Phil Schreiner, left, and Editor-In-Chief Eric GilkeyThe first time I met former Claims Editor-In-Chief Phil Schreiner was five years ago, when I walked into his office to interview for an entry-level editing position. As I was led into his office, my eyes first landed on a wall covered with Neal Awards, the “Pulitzer” of the business media world. There were 22 plaques in all, and they served as an immediate testament to his 40 years of work in the publishing world.

Phil had a taste for the theatrical, something that became immediately clear when I was introduced to him by HR. His back was to me, a shock of white hair brushed backwards, and an enormous floor-length fur coat lay draped on a desk (the appearance of his raccoon fur coat officially signaled the start of winter at National Underwriter headquarters). He kept this position during the introduction, never turning around until we were left alone and it was time for him to begin the interview. Slowly, deliberately, he spun around in his chair, tenting his fingers in an unintentional homage to The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns, until finally turning to give me a once-over by simultaneously staring over the rims of his glasses and down his nose.

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