17 July 2019

“Birds of a Feather…” The 2019 Corvus Summit

This month the Corvus team flocked to our Boston headquarters from around the country for the inaugural Corvus Summit.

This month the Corvus team flocked to our Boston headquarters from around the country for the inaugural Corvus Summit. 

A group of corvids enjoying lunch and a story from co-founder Mike Lloyd (far right) in between workshop sessions.

For a startup with a team distributed across the country, events like this are essential to ensuring that all members of the team have a chance to have shared experiences. It wasn’t so long ago that most Corvids were based in our headquarters in Boston — and “all hands” meetings were held weekly. With the significant expansion we’ve experienced this year, that’s sadly no longer feasible. The Summit is a way to make sure we don’t lose that close team-wide connection as we scale.

Vice President of Cyber Underwriting Brian Alva and Senior Product Manager Tora Olafsen discussing their own Corvus experiences.

We also felt it was important to take time for exercises that we simply don’t have time for in the busy, day-to-day flow of building a business. Things like discussing how we define our company culture, taking a step back to consider (and celebrate) our accomplishments, and demonstrating the power of the mission behind the business. The Summit was a great opportunity to dig deep into these subjects and renew our shared commitment to Corvus values.

Assistant Underwriter Sara Kourkoulos and Chief Technology Officer Jaimie McElhiney

One major theme of the Summit was building a Corvus culture, based on trust. As Corvus continues to engage in a period of rapid growth, a major effort will be required from every team member, across every department. It’s critical for our team members to gain a level of familiarity and trust with one another, on a personal and professional level, and for each person to have confidence in our mutual commitment to growth. 

A second important theme was the changing roles that we will face in a fast-growth environment. For some of us, our roles will narrow. Others will grow from being a front-line contributor to a manager. Change will be the only constant.

Corvids collaborate for a group exercise.

Another outcome of growth will be engaging in cross-departmental teamwork that is rapidly iterative. Teams within the company may form quickly and be disbanded as we test new ways to get further traction with many possible markets. The Summit is a way to spread a shared sense of urgency so nobody feels that they are exerting more effort than their colleagues. We participated in activities that got the team thinking “big” about the future of the business.

CEO Phil Edmundson and his team present the different pieces of Corvus coming together.

It was also a time for some fun. The team loved showing off our new Allbirds shoes and hitting the town after each day’s workshop concluded. We got lots of positive comments from friends, family, and colleagues. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Mike Karbassi

Mike Karbassi is Vice President and Head of Cyber Underwriting at Corvus. He specializes in Network Security, Privacy Liability, Technology E&O, Media Liability, and Miscellaneous Professional Liability. Karbassi has over a decade of experience in insurance and is a graduate of the Boston University Questrom School of Business.

Gerritt Graham

Gerritt is the Chief Commercial Officer at Corvus. He has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience, primarily focused on technology and data solutions for the financial services industry.

James McElhiney

James co-founded Corvus and is the company’s Chief Technology Officer. A 30+ year technology veteran, Jaimie most recently served as CTO of Iora Health and previously co-founded Gazelle.

Mike Lloyd

Mike Lloyd is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Corvus Insurance. Previously, Mike co-founded Poncho, a personal lines agency InsurTech startup, and was a venture investor at FJ Labs. Mike has an MBA from Harvard Business School and engineering degrees from Virginia Military Institute and MIT.

Phil Edmundson

Phil is the founder and CEO of Corvus. A 30+ year insurance veteran, Phil co-founded broker William Gallagher Associates (acquired by Arthur J Gallagher in 2015) and was an active leader in both the Worldwide Broker Network and Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. Phil is the Managing Partner of Edmus Ventures where he invests in InsurTech companies including Verifly, Wellthie, Agentero, and Cover Wallet, and serves on the board of Cover Wallet.

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