By ANGELA CHILDERS, a freelance writer based in Chicago.
Now, Vucovich hopes to continue assisting others as the newly appointed president of brokerage shared services at Chicago-based insurance brokerage HUB International.
Growing up, Vucovich's family always emphasized the importance of helping people. Hailing from a family of Midwestern educators, Vucovich said his father, a junior high school principal, instilled the value of education, continuous learning, and using that information to support the growth and foster the success of others as they move forward in life.
Vucovich may have chosen business in lieu of education, but that family passion to help others served him well through his various career moves.
At CNA Insurance, Vucovich assisted the company through process improvements, replacing the firm's paper-heavy, clerical work with innovative software systems. This challenge led to another, halfway around the world, when he co-founded an offshore software development startup in Gurgaon, India.
In 1998, more multinational companies were creating outposts in India, taking advantage of the country's motivated and hard-working talent pool and bargain wages. Vucovich and his partners chose to locate in a newly minted technology hub just outside New Delhi, and it was there that he learned how critical communication is to success. The experience instilled in him the necessity of implementing appropriate checks and balances in an organization with multiple locations.
"You learn to be very effective when working with people without being able to see them, touch them every day," he said. "Communication is critical, and planning is of the utmost importance. With multiple projects, initiatives and locations, you have to work across different groups, cultures and languages and still be able to accomplish things in a very effective and fast manner."
During his visits to the Gurgaon development site, which could last as long as a month, he also realized how much the sharing of information would help his employees and enrich his own understanding of India.
"I had an opportunity to really get involved there on a day-to-day basis," he said. "It was more than just interacting with the families and the people and the backgrounds and the history. It's also just the interaction among the people and the different culture that goes along with that organization. They really cared about each other and were trying to learn how to operate in this new environment. It was also very humbling to see us as a nation and how new we are and the history that they have there, and the traditions."
His quest for helping other has extended to his personal life, where he serves on the board for the Jane Adams Hull House, a social service charity in Chicago, and volunteers his time for Junior Achievement.
"Giving back is very important to me," he said. "It's something I find very fulfilling. Helping people is really the driver in every role in my life. That is the main challenge I look for--how can I help?"
"My earliest goals are to understand the organization and the culture," he said about his first few weeks at HUB. "My goal is to figure out where I fit in, how I can add value to the organization and how can I help."
Vucovich's 20-plus years of business experience and knowledge of the insurance industry will surely enable him to accomplish these goals quickly as he steps into his new role, and also his position as a member of HUB's executive management team and executive committee.
(Read the rest of the People on the Move newsletter from Sept. 10.)
September 10, 2008
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