Faculty Spotlight: Chris Sullivan

Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“Teaching at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management is the most rewarding thing I have done in my life,” says faculty member Chris Sullivan. That is saying a lot, considering all she has accomplished throughout her career.

A seasoned professional in the insurance industry, Chris currently owns and operates her own company, CAS Consulting, LLC, which provides expertise in injury and liability claim handling practices. Prior to this, Chris retired from Allstate Insurance Company as Vice President of Claims after 35 years with the company.

During her career at Allstate, she spent a few years in education where she was responsible for developing curriculum, including leadership courses, for the company. She received a certification in instructional design and managed a department of instructional designers and teachers. Facilitating groups and classrooms was something she had great success with. When a former colleague – and LFGSM instructor – approached her to consider taking the life changing step to teach an MBA course, Chris took her time thinking about it. A year later, in 2013, she made the leap and hasn’t looked back. She has been teaching Financial Management and looks forward to starting a new course, Healthcare Finance, next term.

“I teach at LFGSM because I like the pragmatic approach to learning and building both managerial and technical competencies,” says Christine. “My class provides knowledge and concepts of corporate finance that enable students to understand the financial position of their companies and look at decision-making in their firm differently. Even if you’re managing a small unit or group of people, really understanding how strategy and finance come together as firms make decisions is critical.”

Although Chris is able to share both her practical business experience and deep managerial expertise, she thrives off the interactive environment LFGSM facilitates.

“Regardless of what students’ roles are, they’re all different,” says Chris. “The fresh perspective and insights everyone shares keeps me sharp. They challenge me to research and learn about topics I wouldn’t pursue myself. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Chris encourages her students to share this same attitude in the classroom and to keep an open mind. In her experience going through an MBA program, there were times she felt concepts were not applicable to her current professional role. Then, as her career evolved, those concepts became relevant.

One of her greatest pieces of advice for students is to take advantage of the network around them, both at work and school. Developing relationships and keeping in touch with those contacts over the years can have an incredible impact on future success.

“I always tell students, you never know where your path will take you or what job you will have in the future,” says Chris. “You may think things will go in a certain direction but you never know. In my experience, things always come full circle.”

 


 

“Chris
Chris Sullivan
Chris is the President of CAS Consulting, LLC, which provides assistance in injury and liability claim handling practices. Chris spent 34 years at Allstate, where she progressed through several technical and managerial assignments before being a named an officer in 2000.
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