From Greek teacher to advocate of thousands of Club Members, Cecilia Talbot took her place as one of the most important – and behind the scenes – Club staff members.
As head of the Club’s claims department, Cecilia managed sometimes life-saving claims payments to Members who carried Club insurance, at the most challenging times of their lives – claims for life insurance of loved ones and those facing serious medical conditions. She kept families together, helped save houses during financial crunch periods, advocated for Members in rare disputes, helped Members navigate the path of claims redemption, and was a warm and understanding voice for thousands of Club Members when they needed one during difficult times. She was the quiet but critical soul of the Club.
Congratulations, Cecilia, on a truly remarkable career of dedicated service to Club Members, the backbone of the City. Thank you, and God bless
Cecilia, Director of Claims and Member Advocate, retired in January after 24 years of Club service.
“I was teaching Greek in a university in Argentina,” she told Alive! in 2018 about how she came to work for the Club. “Then I came to the United States and I taught Greek and theology at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. I decided to look for a full-time job, so I came to the Club.
“My background is in theology, but I learned everything I could at the Club. I took the Club to a higher level, to help Members in ways that no one had before. We started going out to meet and help Members where they were at that moment.
“Our communication became more holistic.”
In her career, under her guidance and supervision, Cecilia helped more than 6,000 Members and processed more than 64,236 claims valued at more than $120 million. Aside from claims, she totaled an additional 14,000 client interactions.
For her retirement, Alive! asked colleagues, Members and insurance partners to share their thoughts and wish her well.
Messages From Club Colleagues
Cecilia, congratulations! Twenty-four years of dedicated service to the Los Angeles City Employees Association and the Employees Club of California – you have helped so many families through life’s toughest times as the Claims Administrator (and as the Member Advocate)! I still remember when we began our journey at the Association – just one month apart! Your passion and hard work have made an immense impact on all of us over the years.
During your journey at the Employees Club, you have seen five U.S. presidents and three association CEOs. Such an extensive timeline surely bears testimony to your many talents and devoted passion for celebrating the lives of employees – justly rewarded with your retirement! The Association is certainly going to miss having you around; you will continue serving as an inspiration for generations who follow you in this profession. Congratulations, again, Cecilia!
— Robert Larios, President & CEO, Employees Club of California
I have known Cecilia for more than 20 years. She has become what the Club stands for, fighting for our members. She is tough, resilient, stands her ground, and will always tell you what’s on her mind. She has trained numerous employees over many years on the “Club way.”
As our Claims Director, she has been responsible for making sure that the insurance companies we partner with pay fairly and quickly, and if a Member ever feels like they were not treated fairly, she will always jump in and fight.
I am already missing Cecilia, but I know the people she has trained and mentored over the years will be able to serve Club Members with excellence, compassion and full support. That’s the only way Cecilia would want it.
Thank you, Cecilia. Enjoy your much-deserved retirement!
— John Hawkins, Association CEO
It is with great joy and a hint of sadness that we celebrate Cecilia’s retirement after 24 years of dedicated service as Director of Claims for the Employees Club of California. As one of her colleagues who worked alongside her during the beginning of her career, I can attest to the passion and commitment she brought to her work every day.
Cecilia has been an invaluable asset to the Club, and her unwavering dedication to her job has made a lasting impression throughout the Association. Her compassion, empathy and relentless pursuit to get the best possible claims outcome for our Members have earned her the respect and admiration of everyone she has worked with, including our partnered insurance carriers. Throughout her career, Cecilia has always put the needs of our Club’s members first, and she has gone above and beyond to ensure that every claim was handled with care and professionalism.
As she embarks on a new chapter in her life, I want to thank Cecilia for her many years of service and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement. Her contributions to the Club will be remembered and cherished for many years to come.
Congratulations Cecilia on your retirement!
— Summy Lam, Chief Operating Officer
Cecilia was my biggest cheerleader when I started my career at the Club when I was 20. She was always available to help me with any question I had with a smile on her face. She is truly Club Gold and will be missed dearly.
Enjoy your retirement to the fullest, Cecilia! You deserve it!
— Noelle Kauffman, Director of Sales
Thank you for bestowing your knowledge, your high standard of customer service and the many years of dedicated and valuable service to our members and LACEA!
Congratulations on your retirement, Cecilia!
— Ron Cortez, Assistant Quality Assurance Analyst
When I first met Cecilia, I knew she was special. She was a true advocate for our Members and was always full of compassion and empathy. Cecilia was incredibly intelligent as well. I always left enlightened after our conversations about work and life. I’m glad our paths crossed, she will be missed!
— Jeanette Lopez, Former Club Counselor
Cecilia, you have left a remarkable legacy behind, one that will remain with us for years to come. You have been a fundamental part of the Club and have helped so many Members. You are the true definition of an advocate – someone who never gave up and went up the ladder to the Coordinator, Manager, Supervisor, CEO and President to make sure Members were taken care. You are an inspiration for all of us! I am fortunate to have had you as a mentor and even more fortunate to call you a friend.
It has been an honor to work with you. Thank you for your guidance, expertise and help you have given me! I wish you a healthy and happy retirement!
— Monica Zamudio, Club Claims Administrator
I will miss you, Cecilia, thank you for the many memories we’ve had together for almost a quarter century and for taking good care of our members as well as our staffs! I hope you enjoy your retirement to the fullest!
—Trinh Pham, Sr. Accountant
The legend has finally retired. Congratulations, Cecilia!
The office will not be the same without you.
Thank you so much for bringing your knowledge, hard work and dedication for the last 24 years.
Your contributions will not be forgotten, and I will miss our many lunch- and late-night discussions of how we can always provide the very best to our Members in products and services, especially at critical moments in their lives.
Now it’s time for you to live the next chapter of all the amazing things to come as you embark on your retirement.
Thank you for your friendship,
— Arlene Herrero, Vice President of Business Development
Cecilia is an incredible asset to have on your side. Her commitment to our Members was an integral part of the Club for the past 24 years. I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten to learn from her and am truly grateful for her taking the time to teach me some of her ways.
Cecilia always took time out of her day to sit with me and help me understand why my part on the Club was important. She was always there to lend advice if I ran into an issue and helped me affectively solve problems in ways she had proven to work. I am thankful for her patience, her knowledge, trust, and compassion.
Cecilia has left a lasting impression, and her impact will continue throughout the years.
Thank you, Cecilia!
— Mikayla Sprague, Claims Coordinator
Cecilia is a magnificent leader and Member Advocate. Cecilia made an impression on me because she would help me in a meticulous fashion. No detail was too small for Cecilia to notice and consider. She made sure Members were taken care of and showed me how to keep special accounts in order. She provided me thorough instructions that I hardly had questions on because she was so detailed. I admire her tenacity and willingness to teach others what she knows.
I wish Cecilia the best in her retirement.
— Citlali Bon, Data Quality Manager
From Grateful Club Members
With gratitude, I am writing to thank you for the immense support you have provided me during the loss of my disability benefits due to my mistake. You went beyond the call of duty to help correct the error on my behalf, resulting in me being reinstated with disability benefits. I am so grateful.
Furthermore, as a Member and policyholder of the Employees Club of California for more than 14 years, I can sincerely say the genuineness, compassion, kindness and consideration that you have demonstrated toward me far exceeds my monthly life insurance and disability premiums that I have paid over the years. For as long as I recall, you have always provided me with exceptional service as a person, Member and policyholder.
I thank God for you, Ms. Talbot. You are a very loving person who cares about people while at the same time representing your employer with great professionalism and integrity. You are a jewel, one in a million, and a great asset’ to the Employees Club of California.
Thank you again.
— Earline Spry, General Services, 33 years of City service
Cecilia, congrats on your retirement. You are truly an exceptional, remarkable and inspirational person.
— Debby Labat, LADOT, 34 years of City service
In 1992, I was working at East Valley Substation Operations. At one of our monthly safety meetings, the LACEA made a presentation of the membership benefits. A co-worker approached me after the meeting. He said, “You should check into the Long Term Disability Plan. You’re single.” Thanks for reminding me. “No, I mean you are your sole provider. If something happens, and hopefully it doesn’t, you will have some assistance. The coverage is good, for that price. Plus, you can avoid the personal stress.”
He was right, so I signed up that day. A decade later, I had some health issues, and my financial situation was deteriorating.
I had forgotten about the LACEA plan. Then, somehow, I remembered. But after all those years I thought I was on auto-pay, but it was canceled due to non-payment. A friend and I went to the LACEA office and, fortuitously, I was seen by Cecilia. She calmly listened. Her demeanor allowed me to relax and open up. Cecilia was kind and unpretentious. She has worldly experience in life matters, a full spectrum knowledge, and a heart and soul that encouraged me to let my faith be bigger than your fear.
After that introduction, even if I couldn’t get any financial assistance, the meeting itself was more valuable.
I am not sure how, but I am certain that Cecilia “strongly encouraged” the necessary parties to honor my claim. And that was another blessing. She’s a warrior for good, too.
I always felt better when I contacted the LACEA. Questions were answered; concerns, relieved.
Alive! issue with Cecilia and Monica [Zamudio] on the cover from May 2019 stays in my collection.
Cecilia, you have helped and guided so many people. I have tried to pay it forward to others. Together, we will keep it flowing.
May your journey continue with all you desire and deserve.
Respectfully, with love.
— Sarah Roper, Electrical Station Operator, LADWP, 31 years
From a Valued Club Insurance Partner
Cecilia, congratulations on your retirement! The energy and passion you placed on your work and the care for our Members never ceases to amaze me. It was a pleasure working with you for so many years. Now go use those same traits towards your happiness in retirement!
— Victoria Turner, Regional Account Executive, Voluntary Benefits, ManhattanLife