Josh informed Neal about an opportunity to use his accounting and systems background at Argo Surety, and Neal started in 2020 – initially as a director of field underwriting.
“I feel like Argo Surety took a chance on me, because I didn’t have any surety experience,” Neal says.
After some changes to Argo Surety’s strategic operations team, Neal assumed the role of VP, Strategic Operations, reporting directly to Brendan Keating, SVP, Chief Operations Officer.
“Working in accounting information systems early in my career enabled me to speak to both the business side and the programmers’ side,” he says. “That’s what a lot of my systems-focused projects are right now – looking for ways to be more efficient using technology and explaining it to programmers so that they translate it correctly on the final product.”
For example, one recent project he managed involved transferring documentation from Argo Surety’s mining accounts into proprietary software so that it’s more easily accessible by others across the business.
In some ways, Neal says, he approaches each project the same way he did when he ran his own plumbing company.
“What needs to happen, and what are the key metrics of success?” he asks. “Not what I think of as success but what the customer thinks. And my customers are the Argo Surety staff.”