Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer | Symetra
Years before she took on her current role as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Symetra, Trinity Parker was a recent Western Washington University graduate eager to take on the world’s challenges. She landed her first job in 1996 at Rowley Properties and credits that experience as a pivotal moment in her career because it was where she first learned the importance of serving and giving back to the community.
For the next two decades, Parker worked at various organizations devoted to public service like the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and Sound Transit, shaping policy, advocacy and community building. By 2018, her strong community engagement and visibility on the Eastside and around the region caught the attention of many local leaders, including Margaret Meister, CEO of Symetra.
Fast forward to today, Parker’s leadership role at Symetra provides her an opportunity to uplift underserved communities and advance equity and inclusion in the business world. We sat down with her to discuss how she continues to be an advocate for her community and a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as hear about some of her favorite places around town.
What has been your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my current role is that I have a unique opportunity to make a difference in so many ways—whether it be with our business, our customers or in the community. Symetra has an audacious goal to be the most inclusive insurance carrier in the country. We want to ensure that more people in the United States have access to financial education, products and services.
In the community, we’re focused on providing high-impact resources, like grants and scholarships, that really make a difference for women, youth, and BIPOC communities. My role at Symetra allows me to have an instrumental seat at the table and make sure our company’s message to the public and our customers emphasizes the importance of inclusion within our industry and our commitment to the communities we serve.
What are the challenges you see at Symetra?
People across the United States are underprepared for retirement, or an unforeseen event like an unexpected illness in their lives. The insurance industry has not done the best job reaching underserved customers, and we are working to close that gap. We want to reach more women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ customers. By providing financial education, tools, and products we can really help people be more prepared financially, build generational wealth and change lives.
What are some of Symetra’s notable community partnerships and advocacy in Downtown Bellevue?
Overall, Symetra is always finding ways to be part of and contribute to the community, whether it’s sponsoring the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink or advocating for affordable housing and accessible transportation. As we built relationships with community-based organizations around the region, we heard the need for an advocacy partner in addition to the need for resources. They need our voice. So, advocacy has become a core tenant of our community work.
We are also dedicated to supporting our employees’ volunteer efforts. In 2022, our Summer of Service program will partner our employees with 30 Washington-based projects — everything from building affordable housing, to helping homeless youth, to sorting children’s necessities at Eastside Baby Corner.
You’ve recently been recognized as one of the 12 “Outstanding Voices” by the Puget Sound Business Journal. How did it feel when you got the news?
I felt very humbled and honored to receive the recognition. One of the things I told Puget Sound Business Journal is that as an LGBTQIA+ adult, it’s essential to be visible and demonstrate that you can be active in the community, be married, have kids, and have a great career, etc. Being recognized has made me feel more committed and responsible for my work because of the challenges LGBTQIA+ people face daily, especially the trans community and trans youth. Representation matters, especially to the next generation.
Where do you see Downtown Bellevue in 3-5 years?
Obviously, it’s going to be a denser downtown. The growth is an exciting opportunity to make our city more connected, and I see that in two different ways. The first part is physically connecting Downtown Bellevue, which includes providing accessible transportation like the East Link Light Rail and building the Grand Connection to make the area more walkable. The second part is ensuring all people, residents, workers and visitors, feel connected to Bellevue — that they see themselves and their culture more clearly reflected in the fabric that makes up our community.
Favorite part about working in Downtown Bellevue?
I love participating in some of the activations in Downtown Bellevue like the Bellevue Beats summer concert series put on by the BDA. I hope to see more music, art, and cultural experiences in the future.
Where are your favorite places to dine in Downtown?
I love Central Bar + Restaurantand Bakes Place Bar & Bistro because of the welcoming vibes, great music and outstanding food. I hope in the future, we’re able to see more LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and women-owned businesses and restaurants in Downtown Bellevue.
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