A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

As policy service manager at Illinois Mutual, Carita A. Bright is responsible for cultivating a culture of superior service to drive the overall performance of her 17-person department. She oversees the training, development and daily workflow of all service representatives and designs and maintains processes and procedures to ensure efficiency, consistency and timely processing of all service requests.

Bright has built a foundation of trust among her team and boosted employee engagement. Her strong communication skills and empathetic leadership especially shined during the pandemic as she guided her team’s adaptation to remote working arrangements. She chairs Illinois Mutual’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and Call Center Committee, and serves on various committees related to customer service and enhancing the policyowner experience. Outside of the workplace, Bright’s community service focuses on issues affecting youth, women, minorities and economically disadvantaged groups. A member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Committee since 2016, she was directly involved with the first virtual MLK Celebration in 2021, assists with the selection of MLK Drum Major Awards, and has served as a cohost and emcee at various events.

As chair of the Minority Retention Committee at Illinois Central College (ICC), Bright developed programming to support and engage minority students. She has served as a mentor and leader for a number of college and career readiness initiatives, assisting with financial aid and financial literacy workshops for ICC, Dream Center Peoria, and other institutions. She has been a mentor for Girls Light Our Way (GLOW) and Awana at St. Paul Baptist Church, and is a regular participant in Susan G. Komen’s More Than Pink Walk and Circle of Promise program, as well as the Lupus Foundation of America’s 5K walk/run.

In 2019 Bright served as a volunteer judge at Jack and Jill of America’s Midwest Chapter Teen Conference and assisted with Crittenton Centers’ Stocking Stuffer Store. She also contributes to her family’s tax preparation business and was certified in Mental Health First Aid by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. PM