Over 11 years ago, Samantha was working two jobs to make ends meet. She was a newly single mother of twin babies, and life had not been easy.
“I was going through a lot and my main focus was on taking care of my kids—that's all I had the energy to focus on at the time," shares Samantha A., USAA senior injury adjuster.
One night, a woman pulled up to the drive-thru at the fast food restaurant where Samantha was working. The customer asked questions about chicken strips, and Samantha was her normal friendly self, helping her get the most bang for her buck.
The customer pulled up to the window to pay, and asked Samantha, “Are you the young woman who took my order?"
Samantha answered yes, and the customer handed over her business card which read: Elizabeth G., USAA executive director, catastrophe claims.
“Ever been interested in working at USAA?" asked Elizabeth, who is now VP, claims operations.
Six months later, Samantha was ready to take the leap and called the number on that business card, and Elizabeth remembered exactly who she was.
“Elizabeth sent me a job posting, so I got my resume together and applied," says Samantha. “Next thing I knew, I was well into the interview process, and I got the job."
Samantha is now in her sixth role at USAA and her 11th year of service, obtaining her bachelor's degree while working at USAA and aspiring to be a people leader.
“Elizabeth had no clue what was going on in my life when she handed me her business card, but she changed my life that day," she says. “Elizabeth reminds me that I did all the work to get where I am today, and she helped me realize my potential. I am forever grateful to her for that."
Samantha was at the gym when she heard the news that Elizabeth was retiring — she was surprised at how emotional she became in the moment.
“I was on the elliptical, and just started crying because she has been so important in my life," shares Samantha. “I am so happy for her and wish her all the best in her next chapter."
Elizabeth is retiring after serving over 36 years at USAA, and she has touched many lives during her time here. Her impact will live on with employees like Samantha.
“Every time I am in a drive-thru line, I think of Elizabeth and that day," says Samantha. “I wish I had the ability to hand out my business card and change someone's life like she changed mine."