Terri Powell Combines Her Love of Horses With Customer Care

Going after a dream takes the right mix of passion, dedication and endurance. And when you find a way to mix your passions with your profession, that’s when things really take off. That’s certainly the case for American Family Insurance agency owner Terri Powell.

While living in Australia, Terri followed her passion for horseback riding. She competed in dressage, an equestrian sport in which a trained horse executes precision movements in response to signals from the rider.

A few years later, Terri moved back to Portland, Oregon. And she didn’t leave her love of horses when she left Australia, so she took up a new equestrian sport — endurance riding. Endurance riding is a timed race that test horse and rider team’s ability to cross a measured trail over natural terrain. She rides her two horses — Marcus Auxtrailius and Prairie Bell — at least 10 hours every week to train for 25-mile races, and this year she will compete in 12 of them. It’s a big commitment, but Terri loves the sport.

“The races are an absolute rush,” says Terri. “They take place over two days, but they’re very fast-paced. I pack up the camper and horse trailer and head out Friday morning, the race starts early Saturday morning, and wraps up on Sunday. My last race had four river crossings, and I saw bears and a herd of elk. There have been races where it was neck-and-neck at the finish. It’s an amazing sport.”

Endurance riding wasn’t the only change for Terri after returning to the U.S., and she also decided it was time to try her hand at a career in insurance. “I love numbers because of my accounting background, but I’m also a people person,” says Terri. “Insurance gave me a perfect mix of both.”

As she researched companies, Terri found the perfect fit with American Family. “Our values aligned really well. It was about the people. I was really happy when I got hired.” That was seven years ago, and Terri’s agency is still going strong.

She found a way to connect her love of horseback riding with her clients, too.

The endurance-riding community is tightly knit, and they can see Terri loves horses as much as they do. “By being out there and riding, customers — and potential customers — see how much I truly care about this,” says Terri. “I get calls all the time from people asking me to quote their horse property because they see how invested I am — they know I know what their needs are.”

Many of her customers are in Commercial Farm/Ranch, and since writing horse properties has so many moving parts, Terri works hard to make sure they have the protection they need to pursue their dreams. “When I’m working with a customer, I always tell them, ‘You tell me exactly what you want, and I’ll figure out a way to insure it,’” she says.

As for Terri, she is thrilled that she can combine her love for horseback riding with her insurance agency. “I do what I love most in the world, and it makes me a better agency owner, benefits my business, and my customers,” says Terri. “What could be better than that?”


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