A Rising Star missed her sales goals – then she turned things around

Megan Runci, 29, knows how to get back on the horse.

Runci was named to this year’s class of Rising Stars, a recognition to honor up-and-coming benefit advisers by Employee Benefit Adviser. She works as a senior sales consultant at Hodges-Mace, where she advises benefit brokers in the company’s Florida and Georgia markets.

Last year, Runci failed to meet her sales goals and was disappointed after she lost a couple of deals. She turned it all around the following year and beat her goals, selling $2.5 million worth of product.

Megan Runci

One of Runci’s colleagues — Alex Ward, regional vice president at Hodges-Mace — said he nominated her for EBA’s Rising Stars to recognize Runci at the Workplace Benefits Renaissance conference this month, mostly because she embodies what can be accomplished with hard work and determination.

“Instead of letting it get her down, she looked internally and said ‘how do I get better?’” Ward says. “Now she’s one of our top sales people.”

Runci always goes above and beyond to help the company, Ward says. Whenever one of her colleagues has to travel out-of-state to meet with clients, Runci volunteers to look after their clients who are closer to home. She also helped develop an implementation project that details how to meet client needs when the company is working at full capacity.

“She makes my life easy,” Ward says. “I don’t have to remind her to do this and that. I can focus on coaching her to get to the next level because she’s a stickler for the details.”

And when out of the office, Runci keeps active through community service. On weekends, Runci and her husband volunteer with the service club they founded. She organizes about 100 of her neighbors to work at women’s shelters, nursing homes and food pantries through a Facebook group.

“When you’re working with the elderly especially, you see why it’s so important to have a great benefits package,” Runci says. “You’re going to need a place to go when you’re older, and the right benefits can help ensure you’re taken care of.”

Much of Runci’s role at Hodges-Mace involves helping brokers craft benefit packages for companies. Prior to her six-year tenure as an adviser, Runci worked in the HSA space. While she enjoyed the work, and the opportunity to follow in her dad’s footsteps, she felt it was time to challenge herself by immersing in the broader world of benefits.

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“I just felt like I maxed out my knowledge of the space,” Runci says. “And the thing about benefits is I know that what we’re doing is helping people every day.”

Runci started out as an account specialist at Hodges-Mace, but it didn’t take long for higher ups to take notice of her people skills. She was quickly promoted to account manager, and after two years was transferred to the sales team, where she’s worked for four years.

“People want to work with her because she’s got an infectious personality,” says Peter Mace, Co-CEO of Hodges-Mace. “Her approach is ‘I’m not trying to sell you something, I just want to understand what your needs are to develop an appropriate solution.’ That’s why she’s successful.”

Runci says she has a lot to look forward to this year, including making professional connections with her fellow Rising Stars at the Workplace Benefits Renaissance in Nashville — and the arrival of her first child in June.

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