Profession: Senior Corporate Executive
Position: Executive Assistant to the Chairman’s Council, State Farm
You might say that Sonya Gong is the lubricant that keeps State Farm’s various zones and corporate offices functioning together smoothly. As Executive Assistant to the Chairman’s Council, Gong handles lease agreements, department of insurance market conduct exams, complaints of the president’s office and special projects impacting the enterprise/corporation. She also attends personal development workshops designed to help her move up to her next post as VP of operations.
Few executives at the insurance and financial giant are as well equipped to be an all-around troubleshooter. After joining State Farm in 1987 as an auto claim representative, Gong worked her way up through the positions of auto claim supervisor, auto claim superintendent, regional public affairs manager and director of regional services. By 2001 she was put in charge of a team of over 500 as customer response center division manager. She then served as divison manager of health operations before being appointed in 2002 to her current post as Executive Assistant to the Chairman’s Council. One of the most satisfying aspects of her current position is that it allows her to help shape the careers of other employees.
Gong helped out at her parents’ grocery store before moving on to work at Fred’s Dollar Store. In high school she worked as a retail clerk and stock person. She majored in marketing at the University of Mississippi.
Gong has never married. In her free time she enjoys traveling, volunteer work with children, cooking, tennis and most other sports, theatre, bargain shopping and music. She also devotes considerable energies to the Asian American community. She has served as president of OCA’s Columbus Chapter and was an APAWLI (Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute) Fellow in 1999. She received the OCA Corporate Achievement Award 2003 and the OCA Community Service Award 2003.