Age 27 | Client service executive, Holmes Murphy and Associates Inc.
When Nataliya Boychenko was 17 years old, she came to Iowa from Ukraine in search of the American dream.
Needless to say, she found it. Boychenko is now a client service executive for Holmes Murphy and Associates Inc., where she advises businesses on employee benefits. She counsels her clients about trends and changes to health care and dental plans. She is also on her way to earning an M.B.A. from Drake University.
Boychenko said part of the reason she chose to move to Iowa was its similarity to Ukraine, pointing out that both places have a strong focus on agriculture. Another deciding factor was her mother’s fear of her moving to a big city.
Although it’s different than she imagined, Boychenko said she quickly fell in love with Des Moines, saying the people and the pace of the city persuaded her not to leave.
She started out her life in Iowa at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) before transferring to Drake. She also worked for Wells Fargo Bank in Des Moines as a small business specialist before joining Holmes Murphy in 2006.
During her tenure at Holmes Murphy, Boychenko has earned three insurance designations and two brokerage licenses. She said finding the time was challenging, but she looked at it as an extension of the job.
Boychenko is fluent in three languages – English, Ukrainian and Russian – a skill that allows her to be a volunteer interpreter for Camp Hope, a nonprofit organization that helps place older Russian orphans with adoptive families in Iowa.
She helps the children make their transitions and acts as a liaison between them and their new families.
“Just being able to help these children, because you know there is no future for them in Russia – the girls would most likely turn to prostitution, and the boys would probably have to join the army. Helping them find families and changing their lives is incredible,” she said.
Five reasons she’s a 40:
• Volunteer interpreter for Camp Hope, a nonprofit group that helps find adoptive families for Russian orphans.
• Graduate of the 2011 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute class and now a curriculum committee member.
• Graduate of the 2011 Holmes Murphy Leadership Institute. Boychenko was handpicked to participate.
• Currently working toward earning an M.B.A. from Drake University while working full time.
• While working full time, Boychenko earned three insurance designations (CEBS, GBA and RPA) and two brokerage licenses (Series 7 and Series 66).
Four years ago Boychenko’s older sister, Lesya, went from being thousands of miles away to only a few blocks away. “Having your family here is just wonderful,” she said. “She really is my best friend.”