Written by Rachel Erin McKeighan
As Mother’s Day approaches, we here at AZFoothills.com wanted to highlight several local women in the Valley who are not just mothers but overall BOSSES.
Teresa Strunk is the Vice President of Strunk Insurance Group. She works alongside her husband Casey and has two beautiful young daughters. Teresa is very involved in the community. She currently serves as the Board Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.
She and her husband also recently spearheaded Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 2020 Arizona’s Finest campaign and helped raise over $30,000.
Could you tell me a bit of what you do professionally?
My background is in advertising and sales. Then about three years ago (it will be exactly three years on April 1), my husband and I purchased my Father-in-Law’s insurance firm. My husband has been working there for 15 years. I specialize in our marketing efforts and new business development.
What is it like working so closely with your husband?
We work well because we have separate roles. He handles much of the daily operations and serves as the designated broker. I work on the marketing and new business side. We then collaborate with new clients.
How do you balance your work life, home life, and philanthropic efforts?
I consider my life to be perfectly imbalanced. During COVID, I had to step back from work because my kids were home from school. Once I stepped back, I missed working. After school started again, I was able to work more, but then I missed my kids. I have been involved in philanthropy for about fifteen years, so it is ingrained in my lifestyle. I think it is essential to give yourself some grace as you try to do everything well.
What do you do as the board chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona?
I started the position in July 2020. I lead a 30 person board and work closely with the President and CEO, Laura Coppello. My role involves decision-making in the organization, overseeing committees, such as the finance and governance committees, and helping to meet goals and serve the kids.
Was it challenging to jump into that role in the middle of a pandemic?
It wasn’t easy because our last in-person board meeting was in February 2020. Without in-person meetings, it has been harder to foster the same camaraderie and collaboration. I have only seen the CEO 2-3 times during my term. Budgeting and fundraising have also been more of a challenge because of the lack of in-person meetings, but we will not be returning to in-person until the staff return to in-person work.
Could you tell me about your experience raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation?
My husband Casey and I met in 2011 through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since then, we have stayed in touch with the foundation. 2011 was the last time they had an AZ’s Finest event, so they asked us to be honorary chairs this past year to get people excited, recruit honorees. We honored fewer people this time but blew our goal out of the water.
Why is this foundation vital to you personally?
This has been a fantastic way to learn more about the disease since the foundation educates honorees. It is a tremendous cause that you do not always hear about. There is treatment and medication that prolong the lives of individuals with Cystic Fibrosis, and I honestly think that there will be a cure in my lifetime. Additionally, one of my friends of the last ten years has Cystic Fibrosis. He leads a very healthy life, so I did not even know until recently. Learning that he has it makes the cause that much more important to me.
Do you have any advice for moms wanting to start their own business?
As moms, we give so much to others. We are mothers and wives, business owners, philanthropists, and so much more. It is essential to take some time for ourselves. That might be reading a book after everyone goes to bed or getting a manicure. Whatever it is, it is something for yourself, so the tank does not run on empty. For me, especially during COVID, fitness was something that would keep me sane and healthy. Riding my Peloton was a part of my day just for me.