Loren Ridinger, Co-Founder & Senior Executive Vice President of Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM, Top 10 Inspiring Women Leaders of 2022 Profile

Leslie Shaunty
General Counsel
Skyward Specialty Insurance

Loren Ridinger, Co-Founder & Senior Executive Vice President of Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM, Top 10 Inspiring Women Leaders of 2022

"A Role-Model for All"

As General Counsel, Leslie Shaunty is uniquely positioned to interact with and influence every aspect of Skyward Specialty Insurance Group, Inc. From contracts with key vendors to mergers and acquisitions to marketing and communications, Leslie works to ensure that the Company's policies and messaging are consistent throughout and across the organization.

One of Leslie's essential qualities is her desire and ability to fully understand every facet of the business. From underwriting drivers and policy forms to complicated reinsurance transactions to communications and HR matters, Leslie digs in to ensure that she knows what is asked of the legal department and what is needed. In addition, she proactively offers advice, highlighting cross-functional issues that others may not consider. Leslie's desire to learn and contribute and her willingness to ask questions in situations where she is still learning or to prompt another line of thought improves her colleagues and the Company. Additionally, Leslie leads the way in implementing methods to measure success in areas of her business that are typically difficult to measure. This challenges other support functions to meet this same challenge in their areas.

According to the Company's CEO, Leslie's "superpower" is her ability to take big projects and undertakings and drive them to completion. A perfect example of this quality is when she stepped out of her legal role and volunteered to work with the CEO and an outside branding consultant to transform the Company's brand from its former iteration to the dynamic brand and Company Skyward Specialty is today. Through this project, Leslie worked closely with the CEO to develop the outward indicators of the new company culture, including the new value, mission, vision statements, website, voice, and, of course, the Company's name.

Finally, Leslie has deep-seated convictions based on a strong sense of ethics and fairness. Her ethics base, paired with the respect she has earned from her colleagues, means that it is easy to ensure the Company keeps its compliance responsibilities in the forefront and there is no pushback, even when the right choice is tough. No matter how tough or challenging the scenario, Leslie is always her authentic self, an excellent attribute as a woman leader and role model for all the employees, but especially for the women across her Company.

As one of the Company's most tenured leaders, and a female executive, Leslie feels responsible for mentoring up-and-coming female leaders to help them find their footing to grow and develop. “Because of the length of time I've been with the Company, I have institutional knowledge and can share insights from my experiences,” she says. “I firmly believe it is essential that female leaders be intentionally visible and active in Company events. Because of this belief, I am engaged in a range of Company-wide initiatives and events, like our inaugural Women's Forum and monthly one-on-one "Coffee Chats" with team members from across the country.”

The steadfast leader is passionate about mentoring and supporting female employees to achieve their full potential. For example, several years ago, Leslie recognized that the Company's receptionist had the ability and desire to develop into a more professional role. Early on, Leslie gave her compliance tasks she could do while performing her regular duties. “Eventually, I brought her into the Legal Department and taught her about compliance and licensing issues. Today, after my urging, she plays an integral role in the department as a certified paralegal and works on various M&A and compliance projects for the department,” elucidates Leslie proudly.

At this point in Leslie’s career, her goals primarily focus on developing employees and helping to create a strong company that can provide for its employees for years to come. “Therefore, my best days are when I get to spend time mentoring and coaching the future leaders of our Company,” explains Leslie.

“I believe our Company's future is directly tied to recruiting the industry's best talent, developing our existing employees and arming them with the tools they need to flourish.”

“It is exciting to represent a people-centric Company that remains committed to its core values and vision. I aim to ensure the culture remains the same and we achieve much more,” added Leslie. WL


Skyward Specialty Insurance


Leslie Shaunty
General Counsel
Skyward Specialty Insurance


Skyward Specialty is a property and casualty insurance holding company formed in 2007. Based in Houston, Texas, and with staff throughout the country, Skyward Specialty provides admitted and non-admitted solutions to retail and wholesale distributors, managing general agents and captive markets.

Inspiring Women Leaders Special Magazine