We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Callis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It was March of 2020 when the world shut down and I was partially furloughed from my full-time position as a Business Development Manager for a medical group. “Partially” means that I wasn’t TOTALLY let go, but was permitted to work 4 hours a day, for half of my original base salary and no commissions. To say that I was upset would’ve been an understatement. As I sat in my apartment during the lock-down, with -literally- no where to go and nothing to do, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands.
Never again would I be confined to a single income stream that was dependent on someone else’s company and completely out of my control. CMC Benefit Solutions was born out of the sheer desire to “hustle.” A friend of mine reached out to me and encouraged me to get my insurance license (which, I’ll be honest, didn’t have much of an appeal to me). But after a few days consideration I decided I had nothing to lose and went for it anyway. In doing so, I realized that was a niche market to approach small to midsized businesses with voluntary products that allowed their staff to elect in a employee benefits program that would not only give them a sense of value, but would also help their family find affordable coverage and save for their future. People matter, and I wanted to remind them of that, no matter what their financial circumstance was.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a Licensed Insurance Agent & National Structured Settlement Broker specializing in Life, Accident, and Health with an emphasis on Annuities.
I’ve spent the majority of my professional career working exclusively with plaintiff attorneys, and their injured clients, as a medical services liaison, but always felt I could be doing more to have a greater impact on the lives of others.
In my line of work, I constantly interfaced with small businesses who, presumably, couldn’t afford to provide benefits for their staff and had a difficult time keeping excellent employees because of that. Understanding that the vast majority of individuals make their financial decisions through their employers benefits offerings, I desperately wanted to ensure those individuals had access to, and education on, products that would give them the opportunity to protect their families and save toward retirement.
I founded CMC Benefit Solutions in 2021 to meet the needs of those business owners & individuals one two levels:
1. I developed a team dedicated to customizing tailored, affordable & voluntary supplemental Employee Benefit Packages. This has not only been welcomed by staff member but it gives the small to midsize business owner a competitive edge against their larger competition.
2. I work exclusively with plaintiff attorneys & their clients to help them structure portions of their settlement money into a creditor & market protected annuity that will help them grow their existing funds and provide security for their future financial needs.
Nothing worth having is ever easy. We are constantly growing and evolving as individuals and an organization. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in this process is to never underestimate your ability to make a living by doing what you’re passionate about, even if it isn’t in the way you originally imagined. On the surface, what I do might sound boring – I thought so at first too – but what I discovered is that I found a tangible and sustainable way to truly affect change in the lives of others through a means I never knew would be so rewarding. Continually seek to be creative and openminded and your next venture might jump out and surprise you.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I feel like DFW is the “cities of eating and drinking,” so that will be the focus of my answer (haha).
I live in and LOVE McKinney, Texas. We’d start by heading to the old downtown square and have breakfast at Spoons Cafe or CT Provisions to do a little brunch and small-town shopping. Then we’d head south toward Plano to stop at Fork and Fire for their delicious pear-cocktail and pickle spears. Then we’d head to Dallas and visit the obligatory sights: the “x” on the road where JFK was shot, Reunion Tower to check out the view, and Deep Ellum to see a live show or listen to some Jazz at the Freeman. Before the night was over, we’d HAVE to stop by Veritas for a pre-dinner glass of wine, then walk next door for the main course at Gemma for dinner.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Josh Callis, is my biggest fan and supporter. Watching him start, grow, and run his own small business motivated me to dive in and encouraged me to push forward no matter what. He is, not only, a huge inspiration but also an awesome teammate to bounce ideas off of. He constantly encourages me to believe in myself and helps me grow and evolve when I’m faced with new challenges.
Kate & Co Photography