Bridges Insurance & Financial Services, at 10445 N. Oracle, Suite 131, is in the very heart of Oro Valley, and is owned by Carol Bridges.
Bridges is a full-service, multi-line insurance agency, representing Farmers Insurance.
What got you into the position, or field you are currently in?
Carol has had an insurance license in excess of 35 years. Her professional life has always been focused on asset protection and management and growth.
Carol started her career as a CPA, and eventually moved into banking where she became an executive vice president. Later, she moved into investment management to serve as vice president for the largest wall-street firm.
Looking at her career, Carol focused on retiring and then starting all over.
“Well. I did start over,” she said. “After I retired from investment banking, I grew restless and decided to embark in my next career, owning an insurance agency. I did my due diligence and decided Fanners was a perfect fit for me and my clients.”
When it comes to advances made by females, Carol recalled she was the first female CPA that was hired in the branch by this Big 6 Accounting firm.
“Then, when I was in banking and pregnant, I was strongly discouraged from calling on commercial customers, because my condition wasn't the image the bank wanted to portray to the public,” Carol said. “Then, when I went into investment banking, I was told I had a distinct disadvantage because investors preferred dealing with men. Thank Goodness those days are behind us. Now to work on the salaries.”
Working to overcome gender bias in the industry means being persistent, competent, dedicated and having a strong support system, Carol said.
“For me, having a career and family required a lot of help, especially from family,” Carol said.
Like most businesses, Carol said gender doesn’t play a part when the economy is the main threat.
“When people aren't buying cars or building homes, or expanding their businesses, we are adversely affected,” she said. “Our success has been in providing exceptional service, and actively working with our clients to provide a product that precisely meets their needs and expectations. Amazingly, that works in whatever economy we're subjected to.”
In talking about why Farmer’s Insurance Group is unique, Carol said they are the top single provider of commercial insurance in the state.
“Combining that with our very competitive auto, home, life and financial services expertise makes us a force in the industry,” she said.