Having been with Distinguished from the very early years, Carla Vel has seen Distinguished through its many stages and transitions. In her current role as President and COO, Carla is responsible for strategy development and execution, building senior leadership talent, and overseeing Distinguished Group’s revenue and operating units. She’s a New York native that is well-traveled (fresh off her well-deserved sabbatical in Spain), passionate about our industry, and an admired leader who’s known for her cool, calm, and collected nature.
Q: Tell us about your journey to get to where you are now?
CV: I started in the retail broking business by happenstance and spent the next 20 years learning all aspects of the business, ultimately focusing on Business Development. When I joined Distinguished, 20 years ago, we were a tiny retail operation, but very quickly segued to working with Brokers, versus Insureds directly. Distinguished had a cadre of great Real Estate programs that our colleagues in the industry began to access for their clients. I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world in that the few companies I’ve been with were chocked full of wonderful, talented colleagues and mentors and Distinguished has been the icing on the cake, an extraordinary experience with extraordinary people.
Q: What is one accomplishment from 2015 that you are proud of?
CV: Well, that’s easy – merging Distinguished with Fulcrum! My vision of having us learn from one another, build strengths from our combined skills and know-how, and continue to hone our craft and grow from that firm foundation is coming to life. Yes, hard work, but oh the fun we’re having!
Q: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever lived and why?
CV: My favorite place is the home I’ve lived in, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for the last 20+ years. Bay Ridge is unique in that it’s on the banks of the water where all the ships come in to and leave from NYC. I remember seeing the Queen Marys leaving the Harbor, the QM 2, huge and on it’s maiden voyage, and the original, smaller but so noble on it’s final journey back to England. I have 5 bedrooms and plenty of baths to accommodate family and friends in a home made for gatherings. We’ve even had some of our Distinguished summer parties there. I like to say I know where the elevator is going as it’s hard to imagine living in a more terrific place.