Person of Interest: Tina Mallie
While Tina Mallie will admit she has strong southern roots, living in the metro has already grounded her firmly in Kansas City soil.
“I’m from a very small town in Tennessee, but when I moved to KC two and a half years ago, I felt like I was moving home,” says Mallie. “I tell my friends from the East Coast that Kansas City is the best-kept secret in the country. It’s cosmopolitan enough with great shopping and fabulous restaurants, but with warm and friendly Midwestern people.”
Quite a compliment coming from a young woman whose extensive travel abroad required extra pages in her passport, and who, just a few years ago, could see the Alps from her apartment in Switzerland.
Mallie recently became the first woman to lead a team for Zurich North America, a $4 billion division of Zurich’s global insurance company perched at the corner of College and Metcalf as their president of programs and direct markets.
Prior to joining Zurich, Mallie served in an executive position at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York and as a professor of accounting at Miami University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of
Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University, as well as a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Tennessee.
Overseeing more than 800 employees nationwide is a very big job, but even though the position requires tough decisions almost every day, Mallie loves the challenge — and loves to learn.
“The role is perfect for me,” says Mallie, who enjoys mentoring people and watching them develop. “Now I get to lead the team and be a part of the team, and it’s very rewarding.”
Mallie juggles the responsibilities of her corporate position seamlessly with personal time; she exercises a lot and loves to read. And how does she feel about her move back to the states?
“Coming back to the U.S. was an easy decision because of the career opportunity, but I will admit that it was tough at first, and I miss Switzerland. But I do love living here!”
The Road Less Traveled
“I believe that when an opportunity presents itself, or you pursue an opportunity because it interests you, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk and get outside your comfort zone.”
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
“My advice to any young person, but especially to women, is to just be yourself. Don’t be someone that you think the world wants you to be in order to be successful. Know who you are and be true to yourself.”
“I find quiet time for myself almost every day. I can get lost in a good novel or go for a long walk and recharge. I have great friends that I enjoy spending time with as well. Nothing makes me happier than having my house full of laughter on a Friday night."