Director of integrated disability management
Los Angeles Unified School District
Dawn Watkins thought she was destined for a career in retail before she perused a career counseling magazine on a cross-country trip to California featuring an article about careers in insurance.
Fascinated by the industry’s potential, the native, then-nondriving New Yorker decided she would give a career in the sector a try. “I’ve never regretted it — I love this world that I work in,” she said.
Ms. Watkins is now director of integrated disability management for the second-largest U.S. school system, which has about 60,000 employees, including its own police force, and has long since learned to operate a motor vehicle in the driver’s mecca that is Los Angeles. But she started her career as a claims examiner with the San Francisco-based State Compensation Insurance Fund and later worked as assistant claims manager for the Los Angeles-based…