Lifestyle Personal Lines the December 2019 issue

Dina Daniele, SVP/Marketing Manager, Graham Company

Stop fighting battles with people who are at war with themselves.
By Chris Hann Posted on November 27, 2019
Q
Most important question first: How do you like your cheesesteak?
A
I like mine plain—cheese, steak, and a little bit of ketchup.

Favorite restaurant in Philadelphia: a.kitchen (“It’s where I met Jeff.”)

Favorite dish at your favorite restaurant: “I can’t remember. I was meeting Jeff.”

Most interesting thing in your office: A hoverboard

Favorite vacation spot: Ocean City, New Jersey (“And now Sorrento!”)

Favorite movie: The Sound of Music

Favorite actor: Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny (“My daughter actually was named after her.”)

Favorite authors: I like mysteries—Lisa Scottoline because of the Philly setting.

Favorite Philadelphia museum: Franklin Institute

Q
Geno’s or Pat’s?
A
Geno’s.
Q
Do you live in Philadelphia?
A
I have a condo 75 steps away from our office in Center City. I’m a Philly native—Northeast Philly, grew up in Bucks County, graduated from West Chester University (Go Rams!), and received my master’s in education at Penn State.
Q
What’s the best part about living in Philadelphia?
A
Philadelphia is really a unique city. It remains, in my opinion, very beautiful. I like the walkability, being able to easily access Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River Trail, being able to spend your whole day without getting in your car. I’m also a pretty serious Eagles fan.
Q
Season-ticket holder?
A
Yes, a couple of years now. I went to the Super Bowl in 2018. My favorite team is the Eagles, and my second favorite team is whoever is playing Dallas.
Q
You’ve endowed scholarships at Penn State for single parents and for veterans. Why those causes?
A
The single parents one stems from being a single mother myself. I get introduced to the recipients of scholarships. I got a letter from a single father who dropped out of high school but later attended West Chester University as a sociology major. He went to work and realized that he could do this thing called math. He went back to get his graduate degree in business when his wife just left him. He became the single parent. It was so rewarding that my little scholarship could get him the degree he needed to get promoted by his company and be the father he wants to be. As far as the veterans scholarship, the military is something that is very dear to me. I realize I was blessed to be born in this country versus somewhere else in this world. My freedoms have given me an incredible life and incredible opportunities, and the great men and women in our military protect those freedoms.
Q
Who were your childhood heroes?
A
A hero of mine would be my brother, who was the oldest—I’m the youngest of five. He taught me the importance of family, to uphold your standards, and to be kind and loving even when others are not.
Q
What’s the best advice you ever got?
A
Stop fighting battles with people who are at war with themselves.
Q
Congratulations on your recent engagement, by the way. Tell us about your fiancé.
A
Jeff’s a wonderful man. He proposed to me in August in Italy. He took both our families, a total of 11, on an unforgettable vacation. All the kids knew—everyone except me and my seven-year-old granddaughter. He proposed in Sorrento, by the sea, on one knee. It was perfect. We came back to the villa where the kids were ready to celebrate, champagne and flowers in hand!
Q
When’s the wedding?
A
We’re planning for next fall.
Q
What business leader, in any industry, do you most admire?
A
Right now I’m liking Ellen DeGeneres. She made a choice to make people laugh and be happy. She doesn’t attack. She has a lot of grace.
Q
What three words would your co-workers use to describe your management style?
A
Caring. Motivator. Mentor.
Q
If you could change one thing about the insurance industry, what would it be?
A
More diversity. I think we’re missing out. Insurance might not be sexy, but we need it and we need talented professionals in the industry.
Q
Last question: What gives you your leader’s edge?
A
My listening to others…and understanding their needs, focusing on their strengths and pairing them with the vision of the organization. It’s going back to the fact that people realize I care about them.
Chris Hann Associate Editor Read More

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