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InsurancePeople JANUARY 2015

Publications Agreement #40027261

Man of the world Rising star TIC-Allianz merger Memorial plates Vacation photos

Class act And along came insurance The claims game Sharpe edges

Opportunity knocks Gene Paulsen takes the reins at Peace Hills

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Contents VOLUME 20 

Pedal Power Employees and broker supporters of Altona, Man.-based Red River Mutual rode the Big Bike for Heart and Stroke through the streets of town last fall to raise funds for that worthy cause. The 28 “Mutual Marauders” collected $3,154 in donations for their efforts, bringing the total raised in their fight for a cure to more than $20,000. 7 StreetTalk 37 TradeTalk 18 TravelTalk 37 Ad index 28 Snaps 38 Q&A 33 Storefront Cover: Gene Paulsen, president and ceo of Peace Hills General Insurance Company. Photos by Kelly Redinger.



10 | Opportunity knocks In his long career in the insurance industry, Prairie

boy Gene Paulsen has had the opportunity to work for Kernaghan Adjusters, Manitoba Public Insurance, Guardian, Royal and Economical. Perhaps the biggest opportunity of them all begins this month, when he takes over at Peace Hills General Insurance Company from a retiring Diane Brickner. F E AT U R E S

13  And along came insurance

|  Tony Hayes, ceo of Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres, says Melanie Davies, the firm’s director of sales and marketing, “helps uncover the mystique of sales for the front line people, which can be daunting for some.” He also says she’s “intelligent, funny and a great lady to be around.”

16 | Class act Hamilton, Ont.’s Linda Papadopoulos, IBAO’s

2012 Broker of the Year, is vp of corporate risk management at Pearson Dunn Insurance. For the past 13 years she has also been teaching the subject online and at McMaster University, where, in 2013, she was crowned the school’s Continuing Education Instructor of the Year.

25 | The claims game In December 2011, after almost 30

years in multiple roles with The Co-operators, including claims adjuster, Regina’s Denise Duval decided to try something new. She considered getting back into sales and becoming a broker. Duval is now back in the claims game – as a claims manager with Mainline Insurance Brokers.




30 | Sharpe edges St. John’s Wayne Sharpe bought into Steers Insurance in 1989, when premium volume was $9 million. Sharpe owns the business now with his two sons, Jeff and Jason. It has 11 locations and 70 employees. Premium volume is about $50 million.


Many of the people I met along the way were also seeing the world on their own,” says Brodie Heidinger, a broker with Medicine Hat, Alta.’s Cowan Agencies, about his 2013 solo trip around the world. “And why not? You’ll never get into an argument with yourself.


Story page 18

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TIC merges with Allianz Global Assistance Canada


he recently announced merger of Allianz Global Assistance Canada of Kitchener, Ont., a subsidiary of Allianz Worldwide Partners SAS, and Toronto-based TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators, part of The Co-operators Group, will make the new entity – Allianz Global Assistance – one of the largest travel insurance providers in Canada. A statement on the Allianz website says the merger “will benefit from TIC’s extensive distribution network of more than 8,000 brokers and travel agencies throughout Canada. It will also benefit from access to Allianz Global Assistance’s global network of service providers which serve 250 million people.” Allianz Worldwide Partners SAS, a Paris, France-based concern, will own 55 per cent of the new entity. The Cooperators Life Insurance Company will own 45 per cent. Daniel Wichels, cfo of Allianz Global Assistance for the Americas, will be the ceo. A subsidiary of The Co-operators will be the lead underwriter.

ECONOMICAL PROMOTIONS Economical Insurance has

announced a pair of key appointments. Chris Van Kooten has been named senior vp and chief underwriting officer. He has been a member of the insurer’s executive team Van Kooten since October 2008, with accountability for corporate actuarial, pricing, analytics and personal insurance. Mary Beth Alexander, who has been with the company since 2005, has been promoted to vp, corporate communications and public Alexander relations. She retains leadership of Economical’s organizational development team.

SGI ENTERS B.C. MARKET SGI Canada recently received a licence to compete in the p&c insurance market in B.C. The Saskatchewan-based insurer had been operating as SGI Canada in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. In Ontario the company operates as Coachman Insurance. “B.C. is a province with

strong growth potential,” said Andrew Cartmell, the company’s president and ceo. “With our experience writing

insurance for the mining and oil and gas industries, moving farther west is a good fit. “This move also allows us to further spread our risk, meanCartmell

Cooke inducted into Curling Hall of Fame

George Cooke, the former ceo of Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company (now Travelers Canada), has been inducted into the Canadian Curling Association Hall of Fame. The organization’s website refers to him as the “driving force” behind the creation in 2009 of the Dominion Curling Club Championship (renamed the Travelers Curling Club Championship), a competition that gives club-level curlers a chance to compete for a national title. The Dominion was also involved in youth curling camps, partnerships with CCA member associations and the sponsorship of high-performance curling teams. These days Cooke, who presides over a management consulting firm, belongs to the Donalda Club, where he coaches for Toronto’s Crestwood Preparatory College. He is also a vp with the Toronto Curling Association and a life member of the Ontario Curling Association. “Curling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” says Cooke. “It’s an absolute thrill and privilege to be joining the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.” IP

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Insurance People is published six times a year in Jan., Mar., May, Jul., Sep., Nov. for the general insurance industry by Insurancewest Media Ltd. 661 Market Hill, Vancouver BC  V5Z 4B5. Tel 604-874-1001 • Fax 604-874-3922. Email: Change of address? Please send old address label along with new address. Insurance People is a national publication with about 12,000 copies distributed on a controlled circulation basis to general insurance brokerages, independent ­adjusting firms, insurance companies, wholesalers and risk managers throughout Cana­da: B.C., the Prairies, Ontario, the Maritimes and three northern territories. Included are major insurance associations and ­organizations as well as selected insurance services, suppliers and trades. All rights reserved. Material appearing herein may not be reproduced in print or electronically without proper credit and written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Insurance People are not necessarily those of the publisher or its advertisers. Insurance People is a ­trademark of Insurancewest Media Ltd. Insurancewest Media Ltd. produces Insurance People (formerly Insurancewest), BC Broker, British Columbia Insurance Directory and Prairies Insurance Directory. POSTMASTER Returns to PO Box 3311 Stn Terminal, Vancouver BC V6B 3Y3 CPC Publications Mail Agreement #40027261 Printed in Canada • ISSN 2292-2849

8  January 2015  Insurance People

said First Insurance ceo Stuart Bruce. “More than ever we are excited about the future and what that means for our partners.” Besides Bruce, the executive team consists of Joe Micallef, president and BIG WIN RSA Travel was recognized recently chief sales officer; John Martin, vp of with Insurer/Unfinance; Brian Day, derwriter of the vp of credit and Year and Marketing operations; David Campaign of the Caringi, senior vp Year honours at the of national sales; 2014 International Marcus Albertson, Travel & Health senior vp of busiInsurance Journal ness solutions; and awards held in Crystal Macklin, vp Venice, Italy. The of marketing. monthly magazine First Insuris published in ance, part of the Bristol, U.K. Wintrust family of The insurer companies, has ofwas recognized fices in Vancouver for its significant and Toronto. Lexpert magazine, the business commitment to inpublication for lawyers, has novation, customer MINING named Jennifer Woznesensky of satisfaction and the GROUP Vancouver-based Harper Grey company’s chamA collection of LLP as one of its Rising Stars pioning of traveller mining compa– Leading Lawyers Under 40. happiness. nies, risk managWoznesensky, the firm’s youngest “We are absoers, underwriters, partner, specializes in insurance lutely thrilled to claims adjusters, and professional negligence law. be recognized by brokers and other Her article, Does the HCCRA apthe ITIJ for our service providers ply to your claim?, co-authored commitment to involved in risk by associate JoAnne Barnum, was providing travellers management and published in the 2014 Insurance with best-in-class insurance-related People Litigation Forum. “We protection,” said activities in the are delighted that Jennifer has mining industry Adrian Hall, vp of received this outstanding rechave recently RSA Travel and ognition,” said Richard Bereti, formed the Mining managing direcHarper Grey’s managing partner. tor of RSA Travel Insurance Group. “She has distinguished herself Insurance. “This The co-operative, as a remarkable leader who award truly celnon-commercial motivates and inspires all those ebrates our culture undertaking has around her.” IP that is driven by been established to an obsession with enable ongoing imcustomer happiness. This provements in underwriting, risk manageaward is not just a big ment and claims processes and to provide a win for us, but also for forum for the exchange of views, knowlour dedicated network of edge and experiences. brokers, travel agents and For more information, consultants that we work contact Anne Chalmers, with every day.” vp, risk & security, Teck Hall Resources, at 604-6994069 or by email at Anne. ROSTER MOVES First Insurance Funding of Canada, Chalmers which merged with Policy Bill last year, has announced an exCL LAUNCHES TWO SERVICES panded leadership team. Cunningham Lindsey Canada Claims “Our combined Services has launched Heavy Equipexperience, financial ment Appraisal Services, a new, national strength and stability are extension of its Transportation Fleet unparalleled in the CanaServices, which is a specialty services dian insurance market,” unit serving transportation, freight Bruce ing losses due to events like catastrophic storms in one region are offset by profits in other regions. This benefits customers in all regions by assisting with rate stability.”

Rising star

commodities and mass transit clients. “(The new service) will assist our clients with their trucking losses by providing a centralized management of insurance programs,” said Joel McQuilkin, director of Specialty Lines and Transportation Fleet Services. “It will provide a central point of contact to our clients resulting in the enhanced delivery of a managed national appraisal service, from McQuilkin initial reporting to investigation to file closing.” The company has also launched inTrust, a new, global third-party administration service (TPA). “We have a strong history in Canada delivering successful local TPA services,” said Rob Seal, CL’s president and ceo. “However, increasingly our clients are demanding global solutions. “We understand that our clients are facing some fundamental challenges, including dealing Seal with risks in new markets and managing multiple interests across numerous territories. We have characteristically been considered a solely domestic contender in the market until now.”

ONLINE EXCHANGE The Centre for Study of Insurance Operations has started an online exchange for brokers, insurers and vendors to share knowledge, gain experience and develop solutions to industry problems. CSIO eXchange was launched with a forum for discussions on topics related to workflow and technology “paint points” within the broker channel. Forums on standards and the formation of working groups will be introduced in the coming months. Ted Harman, president of Accent Insurance Solutions and vice-chair of the CSIO board, said that Harman with the exchange “CSIO can build awareness and engagement” for its members.” To join the conversation, visit CSIO. com/CSIO-eXchange.

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD Economical Insurance has been presented with the FIT Sustainability Award for 2014 from AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes North America. Continued on page 20

High-risk corridors The Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s Paul de Leur, road improvement manager, and Mike Weightman, road safety coordinator, have been recognized with the 2014 Transportation Association of Canada Road Safety Engineering Award for their work on high-risk corridors on the province’s Highway 1 (Fraser Canyon) and Highway 3 (Hope Princeton). IP Insurance People  January 2015  9


Opportunity knocks Veteran insurance man Gene Paulsen left Halifax in 2012 to work as vp of underwriting and marketing with Edmonton-based Peace Hills General Insurance Company, where he worked with former colleague Diane Brickner, the first woman to preside over a Canadian insurer. Little did he know that three years later she would retire and he’d be invited to lead the organization. By Ron Shorvoyce

10  January 2015  Insurance People


moving to Halifax in 1994. ING purchased t seems Gene Paulsen, the new Guardian in 1998, and Paulsen moved on to president and ceo of Peace Hills the Royal Insurance Company, now RSA. He General Insurance Company, was there for five years before he went to work was destined to play a part in for Economical Insurance. Canada’s insurance industry. In all, he lived in Halifax for 18 years, a bit Insurance has been part of his ironic for someone who, earlier in his career, life right from the start. didn’t want to move to the city. But Paulsen Paulsen, who takes over from came to really love the place. There were also Diane Brickner, grew up in special circumstances that kept him there. He Erickson, a small town of about 500 people in had by this time been married and divorced, south-central Manitoba. His father Harry had and he had three children. established a small brokerage in Erickson, H.R. “My kids grew up in Halifax, and I told them Paulsen Insurance. He started the agency while I’d never leave them. There were opportunities working for the town and a rural municipality. to move elsewhere, but I just said no, the kids “Shortly after the Second World War my dad were more important.” was secretary treasurer for the Municipality of Clanwilliam,” says Paulsen.“He also did adminisPaulsen’s children are now grown and living trative work for the town of away from home. Kurt, 26, Erickson, located within the is working in Edmonton in municipality. They needed the oil industry. Kristian, somebody to provide insur22, works for a brokerance, and they asked him to age in St. John’s, N.L., and do it. He really fell into the Kaitlin, who is 20, is in business by accident, like a her third year of chemical lot of insurance people did.” engineering at the UniverIt was similar to how sity of New Brunswick in Paulsen himself got into Fredericton. the business. He graduated In August 2012 an Erickson Collegiate Instiopportunity arose for tute in 1969 and enrolled at Paulsen to return to EdBrandon University, studymonton. ing the Arts. He ran into “It came very quickly. some financial difficulty I thought I was going to Brickner after a couple of years which retire on the East Coast, prevented him from continuing. but this opportunity came up, and it was a “I took a job with Kernaghan Adjusters in chance to work with Diane. We’d always kept Winnipeg. They hired me after a big hailstorm in touch.” in Winnipeg, and for two months I climbed Brickner encouraged Paulsen to apply for the onto rooftops to measure the damage. There job of vp of underwriting and marketing with were two of us; I’d go up the ladder and shout Peace Hills. When he got it, he had no idea he down the numbers to my partner.” would be looking at another opportunity with Paulsen spent two years with Kernaghan, Peace Hills just a couple of years later. also working for the firm in Thunder Bay and “She didn’t tell me then that she’d be retiring.” Fort Frances, Ont. It was suggested he move to Brian Murphy of Edmonton, a retired Halifax, but Paulsen decided against it. He was broker, says Paulsen will do great as Peace Hills’ a Prairie boy and couldn’t see himself living president and ceo. The two have been friends there, although later in his career he changed since 1977, when both worked as underwriters. his mind about the Nova Scotia capital. “Gene is very intelligent, he can think on his He stayed in Winnipeg for another two years feet and he has a great rapport with brokers, and worked as an adjuster with Manitoba which is key to being a ceo,” Murphy says. “He’s Public Insurance. In 1976 he moved to Edalso very engaging, and you always know where monton because “that’s where all my buddies you stand with him.” were going.” He found a job as an examiner Another friend is Brian Houlihan, the with Guardian Insurance Company, but soon branch manager at Portage Mutual in Halifax. became a casualty underwriter with the insurer. The two go back 21 years. At different points in While at Guardian Paulsen met Diane their careers each worked for the other. HouliBrickner, who was with the Royal Insurance han considers Paulsen his mentor. Company. Little did they know how successful “Gene is super honest and a really straighteach would become with a small but mighty forward talker who has a lot of common sense. Canadian insurance company. He’d do anything to help people. He’s a very Paulsen spent 10 years with Guardian in smart, down-to-earth guy.” Edmonton, one year in Vancouver, almost three Paulsen and Brickner have a lot in common. years in Calgary and six years in Toronto before Both came from humble beginnings. She grew Insurance People  January 2015  11

up in Colonsay, Sask., where her parents farmed. Colonsay is a 35-minute drive east of Saskatoon, and, like Erickson, it has a population of about 500 people. Like her successor, Brickner worked her way up the insurance ladder. “My first job was with Saskatchewan Mutual in 1970-’71,” she says. “My cousin who worked there said I was a shoo-in because they mostly hired farm girls and ‘farm girls have a better work ethic.’ I was there for a couple Murphy of years before moving to Reed Shaw Osler in Edmonton.” Brickner joined Peace Hills in 1981, when it first started. She was named the insurer’s president in 1990, making her the first female president of a Canadian insurance company. Many accolades followed. Most recently she was named Business Person of the Year and one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people of 2014 by Alberta Venture magazine. Paulsen officially took over the top job at Peace Hills January 1. Things couldn’t have worked out better for him on a professional and personal level. His wife

Helena, who is from Newfoundland, likes Alberta and has settled into a job with an Edmonton brokerage. Peace Hills is in great shape thanks to the work done over the years by Brickner. Paulsen says she assembled a staff that’s second to none, with strength in all sectors of the operation. Brickner says she’ll miss the business and the people she’s worked with “like crazy.” Still, she says, it was time to step down. “I’m 63; I’m getting tired. I know it’s time for me to retire. It’s not time for me to completely quit, but it’s time for me to quit this position.” (She will continue on as a director with a number of companies and organizations, including Peace Hills.) Brickner is looking forward to having more free time. “I’m going to golf. I’m going to read and go for walks. I want to spend more time with family and good friends.” Her son Jake, 30, who is married and living in Edmonton, runs his own welding business. Recently Brickner bought a home in

Palm Springs. She has a home in Edmonton and a cottage at nearby Pigeon Lake. Her partner also has a cottage at Lac La Biche, in northern Alberta, and the summers will be spent alternating between the two. Brickner says Peace Hills, which specializes in p&c insurance and employs about 200 people, is in good hands and has a great future. Head office is in Edmonton. The company operates in every province and territory west of Ontario. Annual sales are $200 million. “Gene’s very strong technically,” she says. “He has embraced the culture of the organization very well. I think the company will be in better hands going forward. I don’t have one iota of concern.” Houlihan Paulsen says he has no plans for any big changes at Peace Hills. Instead he will keep building the company based on the sound foundation Brickner put in place. The company is owned by Alberta’s Samson Cree Nation. IP

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12  January 2015  Insurance People


Melanie Davies and her 28-ft. Airstream, the Silver Bullet.

insurance was. It wasn’t long before I became a broker and realized I loved it. In the six years I was with Coast Country I worked my way to house insurance, then focused on commercial policies. “In 1999 the Comox Valley Credit Union needed an assistant manager, so I made the move.” When the larger Coastal Community Credit Union merged with her office, Davies was promoted to branch manager and commercial insurance producer. She soon became the company’s North Island regional commercial manager. “In my last years at Coastal Community I got an MBA at Royal Roads University in Victoria. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. After that I was at a crossroads. The structure of commercial insurance delivery at Coastal was changing, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in the industry. Then I got a job teaching professional sales and retail market strategies in the business administration degree program at North Island College. “At the same time I began consulting for Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres. They brought me on board to roll out some targeted training for staff to educate their clients on what was driving the earthquake rate changes. From that I was officially hired to do sales training, which turned into a sales manager position that has recently expanded to include marketing.” Davies has quickly become part of the VIIC family. “Melanie travels the Island, visiting all 14 offices and encouraging our branch managers to embrace the new sales culture and all the things that encompasses,” explains Audrey Craig, director of human resources. “She’s leading that portfolio and getting the managers on board.” Craig says the entire staff extended congratulations to Davies when she was the top graduate on Vancouver Island for her CIP designation. Tony Hayes, VIIC’s ceo, says Davies has a natural sales style and is able to break down the process for those new to the game. “Melanie launched our Solutions Sales program that helps uncover the mystique of

And along came insurance In 1993 Melanie Davies of Courtenay, B.C. began working as a receptionist at a brokerage. “I didn’t really know what insurance was.” Well, she does now. Davies is director of sales and marketing with the largest privately owned brokerage on Vancouver Island. By Laurie Jones


or some brokers, insurance was a career that snuck up on them. Such was the case for Melanie Davies. Her career path went from restaurant waitressing to her first job writing Autoplan policies, which in time blossomed into her current position as director of sales and marketing for Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres, the largest privately owned brokerage on Vancouver Island. “I grew up in Courtenay, in the island’s Comox Valley,” says Davies. “When I was offered a receptionist position at Coast Country Insurance in 1993, I didn’t really know what

Insurance People  January 2015  13

fabulous. They are a great and welcomsales for the front line people, which can ing group, and the ability to connect with be daunting for some. She’s going to be other like-minded brokers who share instrumental in facilitating the program information freely is extremely valuable.” through the ranks. She is also intelligent, Chuck Byrne, IBABC’s funny and a great lady to be executive director and coo, says around.” Davies was keen to be a direcDavies realized after joining tor with the association. VIIC that she had been out of “I have a suspicion she aptouch with some specific issues proaches most things in life facing brokers and she wanted that way, with enthusiasm and to rekindle contacts in the energy,” he says. “Melanie’s industry. quick mind coupled with “At the time there was no Craig her coaching and teaching North Island representative experience also generates a well-rounded, on the IBABC board, so I put my name thoughtful perspective that is of solid forward, and the experience has been

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14  January 2015  Insurance People

value on issues affecting brokers and the association. She gets it, and she contributes.” Outside of office hours, Davies has a passion for travelling and outdoor activities. She’s been married for 10 years to Dan Smith, an avionics and aviation technician currently working on Cormorant helicopters with IMP Aerospace in Comox. “When we got married in Brisbane, Australia, in my best friend’s backyard, we took his son Jordan, now 21, and my son Tarrin, now 19. “Last year Dan and I went to Thailand and Cambodia. We toured Angkor Wat, where some of the scenes in the movie Tomb Raider were filmed. We hired a Hayes private tour guide, a former Buddhist monk who came from a rice farming village. He was a wealth of information, from the history of the architecture to the political climate of Cambodia. It was fascinating.” Closer to home, the family enjoys hiking and kayaking, and they often take their dogs along. “That’s why I love the Comox Valley. We’re within minutes of almost everything we want to do.” Although it’s just a short drive to Mount Washington, skiing is not on Davies’ agenda. “I’ve tried snowboarding, but I was really bad at it. Then I tried snowshoeing, which I really liked. It’s a bit of a workout, but there are often guided Byrne Friday evening snowshoeing outings that are followed by a big fondue dinner. It’s really fun.” The family particularly enjoys hitting the road in their 28-ft. Airstream trailer. They’ve dubbed it the Silver Bullet. “We’d been looking for a couple of years for a travel trailer to replace our tent trailer, and I love Airstreams. I didn’t want anything over 20 feet because I wasn’t comfortable towing a longer unit. To my surprise, Dan found one in Vancouver that was 28 feet, and I was sold. If we’re just doing weekend trips, we stay on the Island, but last summer we did a big trip down the Oregon coast and back up through Yellowstone National Park. It was a great adventure.” IP

SNAPS Call for submissions

Show us something special about your town or community. Rural, urban, small town, big town, pastoral or bustling... we live in diverse and wonderful places across this fine country. Send us your best shot and you could see it published in the March issue. Deadline for submission: Friday, February 6, 2015 Email to: Please ensure that your photos are high resolution (large file size) and suitable for public viewing, with permission to publish granted by anyone shown. Include the names of any people in the photo, where it was taken, your place of employment (including the town/city), who took the photo and your name. Photos may appear in Insurance People magazine or online at

InsurancePeople F O R M E R LY I N S U R A N C E W E S T

PROFILE Whether it’s at the offices of Hamilton, Ont.’s Pearson Dunn Insurance, where she’s vp of corporate risk management, or in the classroom (online and at McMaster University), folks are taking note of Linda Papadopoulos. In 2012 IBAO crowned her its Broker of the Year. In 2013 Papadopoulos took home the McMaster Continuing Education Instructor of the Year Award. By Ron Shorvoyce

Class act

gree in 1984. In the meantime, her family had returned to Hamilton. The first thing she did on her return to Steeltown was . Linda Papadopoulook for a job. los – the ‘Z’ stands for “A family friend who happened to be Zoi – is a broker with an insurance broker called me and said Hamilton, Ont.’s Pearhe needed a bookkeeper for the sumson Dunn Insurance. mer,” Papadopoulos, 50, recalled recently. She grew up in the city “That’s how it all started. To keep my opbut didn’t go to high tions open, I got my licence, but I had school there. She ended up in what is never really considered insurance as arguably a more interesting location – in a career. I began working on personal Thessaloniki, on an inlet of the Aegean Sea, lines files.” the second largest city The firm’s owner died in Greece and home to a year later, so Papadoabout 800,000 people. It poulos went on to work was founded in 315 BC. with Dale Parizeau L.M., Papadopoulos, whose a large Canadian brokermaiden name is Mavroage with a branch in poulos, moved with her Hamilton. It was at her parents to Thessaloniki new place of employfor a short time because ment that Papadopouof health issues with los realized the opportunities her grandparents and a in the insurance industry. family business in need McCarter of attention. Her parents “I got my CIP and CAIB enrolled her at the American International designations. I started in commercial School. lines, becoming the youngest and first After graduating she attended the female marketing manager, commercial American University in Athens, earning a lines, for Dale. I had a very good career bachelor of business administration dethere for about eight years.”


16  January 2015  Insurance People

She obtained her Canadian Certified Insurance Broker designation and went to work for Hamilton’s Dalton Insurance Brokers. “I had developed a really nice portfolio when I was at Dale, so I decided to become a producer and account executive with my own portfolio. It was a good place. It was a young team and we had some incredible opportunities. But one of the partners – George McCarter, a close friend and associate of mine – left. He bought a brokerage called Pearson Dunn, and I moved there to work with him. I Boyd had been at Dalton for 15 years. I’ve been at Pearson Dunn Insurance for the last seven and a half years.” Pearson Dunn Insurance is one of the largest regional brokerages in Ontario’s so-called Golden Horseshoe area, which includes Hamilton and Toronto. It has a staff of about 85 people working out of

to be around. She’s always upbeat and four offices – Hamilton, Ancaster, Missisalways has time to chat.” sauga and Woodbridge. The firm handles When Papadopoulos had to have surpersonal, commercial lines and sports gery on her leg a few years ago, Boyd says and leisure. she didn’t miss a beat. McCarter has known Papadopoulos “Linda was still available to her clients. for 24 years. He considers her a good That’s just the nature of her dedication.” friend. Says Papadopoulos: “No day is the “We don’t have a boss-employee relationsame. I like to have the flexibility of ship,” he says.“We’re absolutely on the same meeting clients in their territory. I like level. We’ve been together for a long time.” helping them solve problems.” McCarter says Papadopoulos, vp of corAnthea McFarland is Pearson Dunn’s porate risk management at Pearson Dunn, coo. She describes Pais a student of the business padopoulos as exuberant and knows more about and witty. insurance than anyone he “Linda is extremely knows. bright in all of her areas, “As a risk manager and especially professional client manager of our most liability,” says McFarland. complex accounts, she’s “She’s a natural teacher highly recognized in her – just a delight to work field. She really knows her with. Linda represents the stuff.” brokerage with the utmost Her clients range from ficlass.” nancial institutions to large McFarland municipalities, large nonPapadopoulos intends profits and manufacturers. She also offers to round out her career at Pearson Dunn, where she says she’s doing her risk management services to clients who own thing without the pressure and may not have a risk management departstress of worrying about running her ment or person on board. Papadopoulos own operation. has designed and has been teaching risk management courses online and at “I’ve got the best of both worlds, Hamilton’s McMaster University for 13 combining brokering with teaching. And years. I’m very fortunate to be with people like George McCarter, who have supported “The demand is so high that we hired me for a very long time.” IP another instructor to do in-class instruction.” In 2012 the Insurance Brokers AssociaVITAL STATS tion of Ontario named Papadopoulos its Broker of the Year, no small achievement • Papadopoulos and her husband considering there are more than 12,000 George, who works in accounting, brokers in the association. have a 12-year-old son, Jordan. “The award recognizes professional The family lives in Hamilton in a achievement, but also the other things four-bedroom house located on a that are important such as community mountain brow with some great involvement. Besides teaching, which views. “On a good day you can see I really enjoy because I can share my the Toronto skyline.” stories and learning experiences, I also • She drives a 2013 Chrysler 200. do mentoring in the office. And I really “From home to work is about a enjoy serving non-profits.” 20-minute drive.” In 2013 Papadopoulos won the Mc• She says she’s addicted to watching Master Continuing Education Instructor her son play hockey. “I get excited of the Year Award. She is also a facilitator and vocal when he’s on the ice.” for the CAIB courses offered through • Papadopoulos likes to walk the IBAO. family dog. “We have a Bichon Frise, Jody Boyd, corporate risk compliance Charlie. He’s two and a half years officer with the City of Hamilton, knows old.” Papadopoulos well. They met 12 years • She listens to classical music and ago. jazz, and she enjoys reading adven“Linda is incredibly positive,” says ture novels. Boyd. “She’s the type of person that when • Papadopoulos and her family like to you call her, you’re going to get her untravel, especially in Canada and to divided attention. She offers innovative Cuba. They visit Greece as often as solutions to the problems we might have. possible. IP She’s a really good people person and fun

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Insurance People  January 2015  17

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s The town square in Wroclaw, Poland.

Man of the world ”Poland is a real gem,” says the author. “The weather, the architecture, the culture and the people were fantastic.”


By Brodie Heidinger

n January 2013 I flew from Calgary to Auckland, New Zealand. My ticket was one-way, and I had no fixed itinerary. I had promised a friend I’d be back for his wedding, but the next six months were all mine. I was 26 years old, and I wanted to see what the world had to offer. Though I had visited Europe twice, I went with friends on both occasions. This would be

the first time I had travelled solo. I remember sitting in the airport, ticket in hand, a 60-litre backpack at my feet, wondering if my decision had been a wise one. I know now that it was. I learned that travelling alone encourages one to make friends and grow. Many of the people I met along the way were also seeing the world on their own. And why not? You’ll never get into an argument with yourself. I spent four weeks in New Zealand. The highlight was the road trip in a camper van I took with a couple of German girls. I then flew to Fiji, where I met a married couple from Kelowna, B.C. who were looking after a small resort. Fiji has some of the best soft coral in the world; it’s absolutely amazing. I tried scuba diving for the first time there, and it has become a love of my life.

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Next up was Thailand, where I saw my first Buddhist monk and earned my master’s diving certificate. In Chiang Mai, in the jungle, I stayed with some local tribes, sleeping in their lodges. I also visited Phuket for the night life and then travelled to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao. While in Thailand I got an email from Cheryl Clarke, a friend from Medicine Hat. She was going to be in Italy and wanted to know if I was in the vicinity. Though it was half a planet away, I flew to Rome anyways. Together we toured Rome and visited Venice and Florence. Three weeks later Cheryl returned to Canada and I flew on to Wroclaw, Poland. I wanted to see Auschwitz. The concentration camp had quite an impact on me; it was very emotional. I only stayed in Poland for seven days, but it was a beautiful spring and the weather, the architecture, the culture and the people were fantastic. Poland is a real gem. I’d say it was my favourite place. From Poland I flew to Cairo, Egypt, where I visited the pyramids. I stayed at a hostel about three blocks from Tahir Square, where many of the Arab Spring

demonstrations were held. Cairo by day is very hot – about 40 C, so nothing much happens. But at night it cools to about 25 C, and the streets become very lively. One day in the market I passed a kid selling vases. Someone smashed one of them, and the next thing I knew there were about 50 people scuffling. I was really surprised how quickly it escalated. I ducked into a McDonald’s until things settled down. At the hostel they advised us not to walk alone at night. Females were advised not to walk alone at any time. I’m glad I saw the pyramids, but I don’t think I’ll return to Egypt. I was soon airborne again, on my way to South Africa, which turned out to be more gorgeous than I had imagined. I stayed with friends in Cape Town who arranged for a tour of one of the townships, which was home to about 35,000 people. Living conditions were unbelievably bad. It was built on a hill that looked out over one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods. The crime rate in the country is high, so many people lock valuables in their trunks before driving off, as smash-and-

grabs are quite common. I was advised not to place my cellphone on the table when I was in a restaurant or a club. I also learned that many white South Africans are starting to leave again. My friend’s wedding beckoned, so I flew out of Johannesburg. Thirty-six hours later, with stopovers in Qatar and Montreal, I was back in Cowtown. I had visited seven countries on four continents and travelled more than 74,000 km by plane, bus, taxi, ferry and boat. I also did some hitchhiking and rode a camel. I made it to the wedding with two days to spare. And Cheryl, the girl I travelled with in Italy? We’re still together, planning our next adventure. IP n    n    n

Brodie Heidinger is an account executive with Cowan Agencies in Medicine Hat, Alta.

Have you had an interesting travel experience? You write it or we will. Contact editor Don McLellan at 604436-4900 (toll-free 800-998-5211) or by email at Insurance People  January 2015  19


Continued from page 9

AkzoNobel is an international paint and coating company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. It has ranked number one on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in each of the last three years. Said Rocco Neglia, the insurer’s vp of claims: “(The award) recognizes the depth of our partnership that helped create a measurable means of assessing where collision repair shops are on their journey towards sustainability operations and practices. Neglia “Using AkzoNobel’s sustainability tool, we have audited nearly 370 of our designated repair facilities. These audits enable repair shops to identify and strip out waste and adopt sustainable workflows and business practices which improve their efficiency and profitability and make them more competitive. “That’s a win for the repair shop, the consumer, the insurance industry and ultimately the planet.” Meanwhile, the insurer has been named the best general insurance company in Canada by World Finance magazine. Judges made the decision after reviewing the responses of four finalists to questions regarding requests for quotes, retention rates, customer satisfaction, training and best practices.

Morrison chairs IIC T. Neil Morrison, the executive vp of operations at Hub International, has been elected chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada. For six years prior to his new role, Morrison, who is based in Toronto, served as president and ceo of Hub Int’l HKMB Ontario. He was elected deputy chairman of IIC in November 2013. The IIC’s 2014-’15 executive committee of the board of governors includes Bob Tisdale, president and ceo of Pembridge and Pafco Insurance companies (deputy chair); Jean-François Blais, president of Intact Insurance (vice-chair, governor-at-large); and Silvy Wright, president and ceo of Northbridge Financial Corporation (immediate past-chair). The regional vice-chairs are Glenda Ouellette (Western provinces), Pat Van Bakel (Ontario), Chantal Gagnon (Quebec) and Darrel Coates (Atlantic provinces). Divisional chairs are Michael Wills (Academic) and Julie Pingree (Professionals’ Council). IP

N.B. ACQUISITION The Co-operators General Insurance Company has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of a company that operates Drost Insurance in Bath, N.B. The brokerage’s portfolio includes about $2 million in premiums from home, auto, farm and commercial insurance policies. “This acquisition fits well with our growth strategy, which calls for an ex-

sustainability among co-operative insurance companies. The ranking evaluated the sustainable business practices of the world’s largest 139 financial services cooperatives.

BEST EMPLOYERS Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, B.C. Automobile Association, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada and Cooperators General Insurance Company have made Aon Hewitt’s


PACICC CHAIR Lawrie Savage has

Saskatchewan Government Insurance, the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund, is issuing a commemorative licence plate for recipients of the Memorial Cross, an award granted since 1919 to the loved ones of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who died in service or whose death was attributed to their service. The award is granted by the Canadian government and often referred to as the Silver Cross. Recipients may request the licence plate by contacting SGI. There is no additional fee. IP

been elected chair of the board of directors for the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation, the nonprofit serving as the p&c insurance industry’s financial guarantee fund. He is president of an eponymous consultancy which advises on insurance, pension and banking supervision issues. Savage joined the federal government’s Department of Insurance in 1966 and later headed Savage up the division responsible for regulation of federal p&c insurers. He was director of insurance consulting services for PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a former superintendent of insurance for the province of Ontario. 20  January 2015  Insurance People

pansion of our distribution system in the Atlantic region and throughout Canada,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and ceo of The Co-operators. Michael Blanchard, the principal at Drost, will remain with the business for one year to help with the transition. In other news, Bardswick Corporate Knights, the Canadian organization dedicated to promoting “clean capitalism,” has ranked The Co-operators tops in the world for

2015 list of the 50 Best Employers in Canada. The Sovereign General Insurance Company

and TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators made the list in the Best Small/ Medium Employers category. Winners of the annual ranking are evaluated based on the results of employee, leader and human resource practices surveys submitted by each participating organization.

PASSION CAPITALIST Peace Hills General Insurance Company has won a Canada Passion Capital-

ist Award, one of only two winners in Western Canada. “We are definitely excited,” said Chad Shurnaik, the insurer’s vp of underwriting & marketing. “To many employees and associates, our Shurnaik

company is a family. At the broker level, we’re not the company you shake hands with, but the company you hug. “At the client level, we still concentrate on letting every situation be unique and not just names and numbers in a database. “We will always strive to complete rather than deny a claim, which reinforces our mission statement: we are a unique insurance company that truly cares.” The Passion Capitalist Awards program, inspired by the book Passion Capital by Paul Alofs, is sponsored by Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions and Business News Network.

MOST ADMIRED Canadian Direct Insurance has made the 2014 list of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures, presented annually by Waterstone Human Capital, the executive search firm. The list recognizes companies whose philosophy, training and recognition initiatives set the organization apart from its competitors. Canadian Direct was founded in 1996 as a home, auto and travel insurer using a telephone and Internet distribution model to serve clients in B.C. and Alberta. Headquartered in Vancouver, the company is part of Canadian Western Bank Group. “The award reflects our commitment to a people-first culture that extends to both customers and employees,” says coo Colin Brown. “That means we look for ways to pay – not decline – customer claims.” Brown The company was cited for its 10-point customer care code, its philosophy of promoting from within, financial and prizing incentives, employee benefits package, volunteer and community involvement programs and team-building activities.

GLOBAL NETWORK Three Canadian brokerages – FCA Insurance Brokers of Toronto, Vancouver’s CMW Insurance Services and Iridium Risk Services of Calgary – have joined Global Broker Network of Chicago and London, England. On its website, FCA refers to itself as a founding member of GBN. Network chairman Jamil Bahou describes GBN as “an interconnected, technologyBahou

based, global insurance eco-system made up of independent insurance, human capital and risk management organizations from around the world. “We envision a borderless insurance network, both physically and virtually, by building an eco-system that enables our partners and clients to transact the business of risk anytime, anywhere and in every language.”

PETHEALTH DEAL CLOSES Fairfax Financial Holdings has completed its acquisition of Pethealth, the second largest provider of medical insurance for cats and dogs in North America. The Oakville, Ont.-based company also operates in the U.K. Pethealth is the leading provider of management software to North American animal welfare organizations and pet-related database management services to the North American companionanimal industry. Pethealth and its subsidiaries are now wholly owned subsidiaries of Fairfax. The new ceo at Pethealth is Sean Smith.

NATION BUILDER Longtime Saskatchewan broker Norbert Wasylenko has been presented with the 2014 Nation Builders Award by the Ukrainian Canadian Community of Saskatchewan. Recipients of the award are recognized for meritorious contributions which have had a significant impact or provided an exemplary role model to Ukrainians in the province.

Wasylenko and his two sons own Rayner Agencies in Saskatoon. Over the years he has been known for his community work, his involvement with charitable endeavours and his mentoring. “When you start out in life, you do a lot of things that should be Wasylenko done. These awards are made towards the end of the life cycle. It’s something I cherish.”

MGA SHARES PURCHASED Hub Int’l Atlantic, based in Saint John, N.B., has acquired Alliance Assurance of

Grand Falls, N.B. Hub Financial, a subsidiary of Chicagobased Hub Int’l, meanwhile, has acquired the shares of MGA Partners, an Ontariobased mga with six offices, four in Ontario and one each in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. With the acquisition, Hub Financial has 16 locations and 200 employees in Canada.

THIS & THAT Saskatchewan Government Insurance

is the only general insurance company in the country to make Mediacorp Canada’s 2015 Top 100 Employers list. The insurer, which employs about 1,800 people, was cited for its paid internships and its student and graduate employment opportunities…Phillip Best Best has been appointed Continued on page 27

Reg Pitchford passes

Reg Pitchford, a founding member of the Manitoba chapter of RIMS and regarded by many as the father of risk management in the Prairie province, has passed away in Winnipeg at the age of 92. Pitchford was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1946, when he went to work as an underwriter with the Moncton, N.B. brokerage Taylor & Steeves. In 1954 he was hired as an inspector with the Royal Exchange Assurance Group in Montreal. He became manager of the United Grain Growers Insurance Agencies in 1966 and corporate risk manager for United Grain Growers in Winnipeg in 1971. Pitchford is a past-president of the Insurance Institute of Manitoba and of RIMS Manitoba. In 1984, the year he retired, Pitchford was presented with the RIMS Canada Don Stuart Award for his contribution to risk management in Canada. “Reg loved life, loved to make others laugh and enjoyed playing the piano, organ and clavinova,” said John Rislahti, director of the insurance and risk management branch of Manitoba Finance. “He led many a singalong at house parties.” Pitchford promoted chapter activities and served as editor of its monthly newsletter. He also ran an annual contest to find the person attending the most RIMS Manitoba meetings, the winner of which was usually one Reg Pitchford. IP Insurance People  January 2015  21

Sp e c ia l in fo r m a t io n f e a t u re



Coquitlam, B.C. facility brings locations to 32 PuroClean Canada is entering its sixth year of operation. The company was founded in 1990 and currently has more than 275 offices in the U.S. The Canadian network has grown to 32 locations across the country, with 13 opening in the last 18 months.The latest warehouse facility will begin operations this month in Coquitlam, B.C.


Headquartered in Markham, Ontario, PuroClean Canada provides restoration services for water, fire, mould and biohazard. It offers a proprietary water damage process known as The PuroClean QuickDry System.



Another advantage of the restoration firm is its PuroMetrix proprietary claims management system. It includes systematic data collection, real-time upload, integrated with multiple property estimating platforms, moisture readings and mapping, photos and job diary documentation and centralized billing to insurance professionals.

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We’re putting the “Pro” in Professional Liability Can-Sure is thrilled to announce the hiring of Brad Greening as Senior Professional Liability Underwriter and Practice Leader. Brad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience underwriting capital “P” and small “p” professionals across Canada. Brad will redefine Can-Sure’s professional liability practice and expand service to Architects & Engineers, Technology firms, Consultants, Associations, and Miscellaneous classes. Watch for new wordings, new marketing materials, faster service, and deeper in-house expertise and solutions for all professional lines.

Contact Brad Greening, CIP, for all your Professional Liability needs at: 604-694-7672 or email Brad at: 22  January 2015  Insurance People


New leak-detection system only product of its kind in Canada


Sigouin says the independent broker channel is also a key element in DCPro’s marketing efforts. Brokers have been provided with background material and booklets to help explain AquaTrip to clients. Brokers will also receive mailouts to distribute on renewal dates. “Insurance companies’ incentives are very important in selling this product,” Sigouin says. “But most homeowners know their brokers a lot better than they know their insurance companies. Brokers develop the relationships with their clients, and this is a broker-driven product.”

Up to 10 to 15 per cent of all water is lost through leaks that occur past the water meter. Sources for leaks can be cracked pipes, taps left running or faulty toilets. He says AquaTrip is the only solution to water loss in a home. Up to 10 to 15 per cent of all water is lost through leaks that occur past the water meter. Sources for leaks can be cracked pipes, taps left running or faulty toilets, to name a few. Burst pipes or a tap left running can empty the equivalent of an average size swimming pool into a home in 12 hours, causing considerable damage at high cost. A running toilet

will waste the same amount of water in a week. It all hits the homeowner in the pocketbook, Sigouin says. And home flooding disasters cost insurance companies millions of dollars. He ought to know. Sigouin began working with a major restoration company in 2003, when he was 18 years old. Much of his past experience has been related to flood damage. “My first job was driving a dump truck, picking up garbage. I followed all the floods through to Lethbridge, Alta. I went to a smaller outfit and became certified as a flood technician and later a project manager. From there I was hired by another major restoration company and became their top grossing project manager.” Damage Control Pro offers three options of protection. The basic unit starts at $169; the second option, a wireless, remote-controlled device, and the third option, a hard-wired device, each cost $289. For each system purchased, DCPro-certified plumbers are available across Canada to install the devices starting at $125 per installation. “Those plumbers have a minimum quantity of AquaTrip units in their vehicles at all times to provide homeowners the opportunity to acquire the product.” Sigouin says Damage Control Pro is committed to making a difference in the insurance industry by providing the only full-service leak detection product in Canada. To learn more, visit IP Insurance People  January 2015  23


here’s an old saying that if you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door. Kyle Sigouin didn’t build a better mouse trap – he found one. It’s a product that can reduce costs to homeowners and insurance companies by helping prevent excessive water leakage and water damage. Sigouin, who has been working in the restoration industry for Sigouin 12 years, is the owner of Damage Control Pro (DCPro), a Langley, B.C. business launched in January 2014. Through DCPro he has acquired the Canadian rights to a system called AquaTrip, which is patented and manufactured by an Australian company. AquaTrip automatically and continuously detects water leaks, providing real-time information and control of the water supply in a home. All the water that enters the home runs through the device. If a leak is detected, the system will shut off water at the main supply, preventing damage or water waste. It can tell the difference between normal use and a leak. It’s particularly useful if homeowners are absent. “Ours is the only device in Canada, on a flow basis, that protects against wasted water. There’s nothing like this anywhere in the country. We’re the first.” Sigouin says he’s been canvassing all the major players in the insurance industry – insurers, associations, brokers, risk managers, underwriter analysts, etc. He says the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C., in conjunction with DCPro, is working on an exclusive member-based program to dovetail with the launch of the system. Sigouin says insurers are offering homeowners a reduction in premiums, some of them by as much as 10 per cent.

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What Denise Duval liked about the insurance industry was the opportunity for advancement.

THECLAIMSGAME After almost 30 years with The Co-operators and a few more working for Crawford & Co., Saskatchewan’s Denise Duval was planning to return to sales and become a broker. But then Doug Trapp, ceo and co-owner of Regina’s Mainline Insurance Brokers, had a better idea. By Ron Shorvoyce


enise Duval is the claims manager at Mainline Insurance Brokers in Emerald Park, a bedroom community east of Regina, Sask. She’s new to the firm, having started last July after working for almost three decades for The Co-operators and, more recently, as an independent claims adjuster. Duval graduated from the Prairie city’s Martin Collegiate in 1980 and then enrolled at the University of Regina, intending to become a teacher. But after a couple of years she changed course, deciding to look for work. “In February 1982 I landed a job at The Co-operators Insurance Company,”

says Duval, 53. “I started in the mail room, then worked my way up through processing and underwriting in the general insurance field. For about five years I was a sales service rep. I was a claims adjuster from February 1991 until I left the company at the end of December 2011.” What she liked about the insurance industry was the opportunity for advancement, though she never thought she’d make a career out of it. But she started moving up the company ladder, and her insurance classes were paid for. She earned her CIP designation in 1998 with the highest marks in the claims field. Another of Duval’s proudest moments while at The Co-operators was being recognized with a national customer service award in 2006.

She was a senior claims adjuster when she left The Co-operators, a company she says was great to work for and where she learned a lot about the business. But after such a long time with one operation, she says it was just time to move on and experience working independently. “Crawford & Company approached me in November 2011 and offered me a job I couldn’t refuse. It was not an easy decision. It took me two months to decide to move into the independent world. I was with the firm until July 2013, and then I really went on my own, working for Absolute Claims Adjusters until June 2014. “I decided I didn’t care for it, however. I have young kids, and the hours were long. I started looking around and came across Mainline Insurance Brokers. Insurance People  January 2015  25

Much of Duval’s previous work in I thought I’d get back into sales and claims was as a road adjuster. She worked become a broker. But one of the owners, on assignments all over southern SasDoug Trapp, said he had something betkatchewan and in other parts of Canada ter for me. He was looking for a claims – from the west coast to the east coast. manager to help with their insureds.” In 2003 she was assigned to handle Duval says her role with the firm is to damage claims related to Hurricane act as a mediator or claims advocate and Juan in Halifax. Juan originally formed to explain the process when the firm’s clinear Bermuda, and while it lost some ents might not understand the procedure intensity as it crossed over Nova Scotia, or might be having problems with their winds were still clocked at adjuster. 165 km an hour, leaving “I listen to the insured’s behind extensive damage side and then I call the adin its wake. juster and listen to their side. “Buildings were gone. I try working out a solution Trees were uprooted and which is in the best interest blown over. In Halifax of both insureds and the all the main docks were insurance company.” washed away. I was really She loves what she’s dosurprised at the devastaing and hopes to stay with tion. Some of the damage Mainline until she retires. here in Emerald Park and “My knowledge and work Huber White City from a recent experience in sales and wind and thunderstorm was similar. claims has made this job a perfect fit for me.” Some rooftops were blown off and trees An old friend and associate, Lynette knocked down.” Gaetz, now chief administrative officer Duval was busy in her new role after with the Town of Regina Beach, met the local storm, offering advice and Duval in 1982, when both were working helping calm the nerves of clients upset with The Co-operators. at not being able to contact adjusters “We worked together, socialized toimmediately. gether and lived together, so I know her “I have to be careful, though, because very well. Denise is very dedicated to her I’m not an adjuster anymore, so I can’t employers. She’s efficient, she gets the job cross the line. I can’t authorize anything done and she knows her stuff. She has with the insured. I just try recommendalso helped me with some of my business ing to the adjuster what needs to be with the town.” done.” Last summer Duval helped Gaetz betKrista Huber also worked with Duval ter understand how to deal with insurat The Co-operators. Their relationship ance companies after the town office had goes back almost three decades. Huber, flooded.

Complex Commercial Risk SPECIALISTS Dave Weinberg CIP Western Regional Manager Direct: 604-678-5405 Toll-free: 1-866-904-8146 • Fax: 604-678-6882 • 200 - 1177 W Hastings St, Vancouver BC V6E 2K3 26  January 2015  Insurance People

who lives in Emerald Park, retired two years ago, but the two keep in touch. “We go out for lunches, have coffee often and visit back and forth socially. Denise is outgoing and good with people. She understands and listens and knows the insurance business very well.” Duval’s current position is unique in that most brokerages don’t offer a claims service. But Mainline, she says, has recognized a need for a much improved level of customer service. The brokerage is part of a network with 17 offices in southeastern Saskatchewan. Doug Trapp, the ceo, is one of five owners of the business, which was set up in 1992. His Emerald Park brokerage has a staff of ten employees and is considered to be a medium-sized operation by Saskatchewan standards. Duval is a former president of the now-defunct Saskatchewan Association of Insurance Adjusters (SAIA). Over the course of 20 years she also served as its secretary, treasurer and vp. Duval was also involved with the International Association of Arson Investigators which folded about six years ago. IP

VITAL STATS • Duval is divorced and the mother of two – Noah, 12, and Nichole, 13. • She and the children live with her boyfriend, Murray Wingrove, a manager at Drive Products, and his daughter, Brandi, 15, in Pilot Butte, a town across the Trans-Canada from Emerald Park. She has a two-storey home. • She likes listening to music. “I’m very open-minded, so I like everything. I tend to lean towards country and the 1970s and ’80s.” • She has vacationed in Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean. • She has a dog, Massey, a black lab, and two cats, Jazzy and Milo, both tabbies. • Before having children Duval played mixed fastball, women’s football and women’s hockey. • She’s a fan of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. “We get to some games or we watch them on TV.” • Duval has two older sisters, Debbie and June-Ann, and two younger brothers, Dwayne and Scott. Her father Harvey passed away some time ago. Her mother Janet resides in a seniors’ home. IP


Deadline: January 30

Continued from page 21

the new head of market management in Canada at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Over the past 30 years he has worked in a variety of underwriting and brokering roles with Commonwealth Insurance, Marsh & McLennan, William H. McGee & Company and Elliott Special Risks. Best joined Allianz in 2010…Brian Parsons has been appointed national partner and ceo of Willis Canada. He joins the Parsons company after spending 22 years with Marsh Canada, where he most recently served as national practice leader for mining. Also at Willis, Roger Hacala has been appointed senior vp and financial institutions practice leader. Hacala, who is based in Toronto, previously worked with Hacala Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Arthur J. Gallagher and Travelers…Ellen Moore, president and ceo of Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, has been named an Exceptional Leader at the fifth annual Catalyst Canada Honours conference. Five “champions” were recognized for their “transformational Moore leadership and commitment to advancing women in their organizations.”…Paul Primiani has been named chairman of Ironshore Canada. He assumes the role from Mark Wheeler, ceo of Ironshore International. Primiani has worked in the insurance industry for four decades with GCAN Insurance Company, RSA, Ace, Reliance and AIG… Anne Chalmers, vp of risk & security at Vancouver-based Teck Resources, is the 2014 recipient of the Donald M. Stuart Award, the risk management field’s highest recognition…Sean Hobson has been named vp national programs at Winmar Franchise Corp. Hobson, who has 18 years’ experience in sales and operational roles in the restoration, insurer, adjusting and brokerage fields, is based in LonHobson don, Ont.…Connie Lastoria and Connie Peplinskie have joined the primary general liability practice in Toronto of Strategic Underwriting ManContinued on page 36

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Accomodation Accountants Adjusters Appraisers

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Reach brokers, adjusters and insurers for as little as $80/mo. Ensure that 80 insurance company offices, 900 general insurance brokerages, 150 independent adjusting offices, and more than 5,000 senior insurance personnel know about your firm and the work you do for the insurance industry. Please call Susan Mellor or Bill Earle, 604-874-1001 or 1-800-888-8811, to reserve your space. Or email

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your vacation photos

POKESHAW, N.B. Photo by Kelly Roberts, Plant Hope Adjusters, Bathurst, N.B.

CALGARY, Alta. Amber Morrison-Givens (r), PAL Canada, Calgary, Alta., with niece Amanda Taylor, also PAL Canada, Simcoe, Ont. Photo by John Givens.

GRAND CASE BAY, Saint-Martin Photo by Greg Ellis, Signature Risk Partners, Calgary, Alta.

28  January 2015  Insurance People

HAVANA, Cuba Photo by Susan Mellor, Insurancewest Media, Vancouver, B.C.

SECHELT, B.C. Photo by Kevin Forshner, Talbot Insurance Services, Gibsons, B.C.

SECHELT, B.C. Photo by Kevin Forshner, Talbot Insurance Services, Gibsons, B.C.

SHEDIAC, N.B. Photo by Alex Martel, friend of Francis Martin, Plant Hope Adjusters, Bathurst, N.B.

tos online Look for other vacation pho opl at www.insurancepe page 15 For the next photo topic see

Insurance People  January 2015  29


Head office of Steers Insurance is in St. John’s. The brokerage has 10 more locations – nine in Newfoundland and one in Labrador.

Sharpe edges Brothers Jeff and Jason Sharpe run Steers Insurance, the St. John’s, N.L. brokerage they co-own with father Wayne, who purchased the business with two partners in 1989. Both Sharpe brothers share the same birthday – August 6 – and both have a young son and a young daughter. A third generation of insurance Sharpes, perhaps? By Ron Shorvoyce


rothers Jeff and Jason Sharpe are a couple of young St. John’s brokers who are building upon their father’s legacy. They own Steers Insurance, a firm that traces its roots back to a business started more than 150 years ago. It’s been a Lloyd’s cover holder since before the province joined Canada. Jeff Sharpe joined the brokerage after graduating the city’s Prince of Wales Collegiate in 1996. Though he grew up in an insurance family, it was not predetermined what Jeff Sharpe he was going to do in life. Insurance, though, did always appeal to him. “I came directly into the business out of high school,” says Jeff, 35. “I started in 30  January 2015  Insurance People

teacher. The couple has a daughter, Nathe mailroom in August 1997, and since talie, 2, and a son, Justin, who was born then I think I’ve worked in every role last August. possible. I’m glad I came up that way Jeff is close to younger brother Jason, because it makes you understand every his only sibling, function that makes a brokerage run who attended the and that contributes to its success. same high school. The fact my dad was in the business Unlike Jeff, Jason made it easier for me to enter the wasn’t sure about profession, no doubt about it, but making insurance a it certainly wasn’t forced on career. me. It was a natural fit; it just “I dabbled at made sense.” various things in He believes insurance university for a is in his blood. He enjoys couple of years, meeting people and likes the taking some busidiversity the industry offers. Jason Sharpe ness courses,” Jason “I love the aspect of dealsays, “but I really didn’t know what I ing with different operations. I like wanted to do. In 2001 I landed at Steers. interacting with our staff memI had done the odd job at the brokerbers, many of whom are longage and spent a few summers on the term employees. It’s interesting switchboard. building relationships with them “I was generally interested in the famand with the different markets we repreily business, but it wasn’t until I started sent. Every day is different, and every risk working full time, doing some personal is different. I’m rarely bored.” lines work and then taking some insurJeff ’s wife Devon is a substitute

ance courses, that I began to really enjoy it and saw the possibility of a career in the business.” Their father Wayne, a veteran insurance man, bought the business with two partners in 1989 from Dale and Company. Within a couple of years one of the partners had retired and in 1999 Wayne bought out the second partner, becoming the sole owner. The original firm was launched by John Steer, who immigrated to Newfoundland from England in the mid1800s. He operated what was then known as Steers Brothers for more than half a century before selling the business. In 1925 the new president, C.C. Pratt, changed the name to Steers Limited, as the firm offered numerous services in addition to insurance, everything from fish to radios and wholesale goods Wayne Sharpe to trucking and commercial export services. The insurance division was sold to Dale and Company. When Sharpe and his partners took over the brokerage annual premium volume was about $9 million. It’s now more than $50 million. Business is split almost evenly between personal lines and commercial insurance. Head office is in St. John’s, and there are 10 more locations – nine in Newfoundland and one in Labrador. The firm employs 70 people. Wayne Sharpe, 62, a past-president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and IBAN, maintains an interest in the family business, but the plan is to turn complete ownership over to his sons in the near future. He still drops in on occasion and offers advice and guidance. For half the year he and wife Heather reside in a condo in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Jeff and Jason share management responsibilities. Jason is involved in business development and sits on the board of directors of the Insurance Brokers Association of Newfoundland. He’s also chair of the province’s young brokers association, which he co-founded in 2005. “I’m heavily involved in the politics of insurance,” Jason, who is 33, says. “I got involved with IBAN because it’s a good way to meet people of similar interests, people who are passionate about the things we do in this industry. I also think

it’s a way to give back to the industry. It’s fair to say I wanted to earn the respect of other brokers and insurance people by letting them know I was serious about the business.” The Sharpe brothers have much in common. Like Jeff and Devon, Jason and his wife Laura, a nurse, have a daughter, Hilary, 3, and a son, Brett, also born last summer. Coincidentally, Jason and Jeff were born on the same day, August 6. Both have vacation properties in Florida, and both enjoy hockey, baseball and golf. Jeff has been a member of the Newfoundland provincial golf team and has competed at the national championships. Keith Howse, the now-retired vp of operations at Steers, says the Sharpe family is well-respected in St. John’s and beyond. “Steers Insurance was pretty much a household name around here since the 1920s,” he says. “Wayne is still a leader in the insurance industry. He was great to work for. Generous beyond anything you could imagine, always had an open door. I think his genes have been handed down to the sons. They’re both knowledgeable, innovative and not afraid to use technology, and they understand the importance of people and relationships.” Doug Grant, a senior training underwriter for RSA in St. John’s, is a family friend. He also acts as the insurer’s business development manager for the province and oversees broker relations in the area. He first met the Sharpe brothers when they were still in high school. “My parents are close with Wayne and Heather Sharpe,” Grant says. “They’re downto-earth. Their business has grown Beattie tremendously since I’ve known them. They have a good staff, and they retain their people, who enjoy working there. You always hear great things about the Sharpes.” Scott Beattie is regional vp of distribution for Travelers Insurance in Dartmouth, N.S. and a family friend of 15 years. “Of all the brokers I’ve had the good fortune of dealing with in Atlantic Canada, they’re definitely at the top of my list,” says Beattie. “The insurance

industry is built on relationships, and I’d say they understand that better than just about any broker out there. Any time we’re together I feel almost like family. The feedback my underwriting team gives me about them is the same. The Sharpes are very engaging.” Jeff and Jason Sharpe say they hope their children will get involved in the business someday. Their goal is to continue building the brokerage through acquisitions and growth from within. “That’s what our father did for us,” says Jeff. “I’m truly thankful, and I’d love to present my kids and Jason’s kids with the same opportunity.” IP

BRIAN GALLIMORE CIP Commercial Lines Manager – Northern Alberta

Neil Klawitter, Branch Manager - Northern Alberta for Peace Hills Insurance, is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Gallimore, CIP to the position of Commercial Lines Manager - Northern Alberta effective October 23, 2014. Brian comes to Peace Hills with 14 years’ experience in the Insurance Industry. He started with Dominion General Insurance in 2000 as an Underwriter trainee and then spent the past 9 years at Economical Insurance as a Commercial Property Field Underwriter. He has an extensive background in Property and Casualty Underwriting. Brian has a Business Management Diploma from MacEwan University and has completed his CIP. Brian’s enthusiasm, experience, and understanding of Peace Hills and its unique culture will serve the company well as it continues to build on its success in the Property/Casualty business. Peace Hills is a Western Canadian Company writing in excess of $180 million in property and casualty business in four western provinces and the territories.

OUR POLICY IS WORKING FOR YOU Insurance People  January 2015  31

Restoration Review Our annual guide to the professionals who can get it all put back together When damage has been done, your customer wants it fixed – quickly, efficiently and well. Get the goods on who provides which services, along with information on their latest techniques, specialties and skilled personnel.

Read all about it in the March issue

InsurancePeople F O R M E R LY I N S U R A N C E W E S T



Email Storefront suggestions to

Reith and Associates, St. Thomas, Ont.

Providing a service the way customers want to receive it


eith and Associates of St. Thomas, in southwestern Ontario, about 180 km from Toronto, has a lot to celebrate. Last November the brokerage – owned and operated by brokers Dan Reith and his brother Darren – celebrated its 100th anniversary. Recently being named the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario’s Brokerage of the Year was icing on the cake. The firm was Dan Reith started in 1914 by Alvin Brown, the cousin of Dan and Darren’s grandfather, Harold Jackson. Their father – the late Dan Reith Sr. – joined the brokerage in 1962. Dan Jr. started working there in 1992, followed by Darren in 1994. The brothers are mindful of their

father’s legacy, especially when it comes to values. “Growing up around the business, the human aspect was drilled into us by example,” Dan says. “When someone called after hours, we learned the importance of answering the phone properly. Sometimes you’d get a call at 4 a.m., and somebody’s barn would be on fire. Dad would head out there, and take one of us with him. “He would pick us up at school, and we’d be on the road to some activity. But Darren Reith we’d have to stop along the way to deliver a policy or check on a customer because they had a claim, and he just wanted to see how it was progressing. “We’d sit in the car and wait for him to come out. Or go in with him, sit quietly

and listen to the conversation. We were exposed to that whole service aspect of the business from a very early age.” Although Reith says he always knew he’d eventually join the family business, his parents encouraged the brothers to develop a wide range of interests. Darren has a degree in psychology, Dan a degree in political science. Dan is a former competitive swimmer and lifeguard; Darren played football in high school. Both are collectors of original art, primarily works by Canadian and regional artists, a passion inherited from their father. They support a number of local community art and recreational endeavours. “Our parents insisted we work outside the brokerage, even if we decided to eventually take a role. It was felt that an outside perspective and experience would be beneficial in terms of management ideas we could bring back to the family business.” Insurance People  January 2015  33

Get out onto the field with company heavyweights and find out where insurers and the insurance industry are headed: • Their latest product offerings • New policy options & procedures • Technological advances & innovations • Trends & developments in the future of insurance

INSURER SHOWCASE Read all about it in the March issue

InsurancePeople F O R M E R LY I N S U R A N C E W E S T

Along with encouraging new ideas, Reith attributes the lasting success of the brokerage to a philosophy that emphasizes meeting the client’s needs and being a trusted advisor. The firm’s operating standards include a commitment to return every call or email by the end of the business day. Once contact is made, the emphasis is on providing an exceptional client experience. “We don’t provide new business quotes over the phone or the Internet. Everything’s done face to face, either at the office or visiting people’s homes. To some extent, it’s going against the current trend, but we really believe in that approach. “We believe our role is educating our clients as an advisor or consultant. It’s finding the problem a client doesn’t know they have and presenting solutions before that problem becomes a reality. We can’t do that over the telephone or by getting some data off an email request online.” Some of the brokerage’s clients have been with the business for many generations. For Reith, that sense of heritage was driven home during the anniversary celebration. “We had clients attend (the festivities) who’ve been with us for 60 years. Their children are with us; their grandchildren are with us. It was really rewarding to hear stories from way back that we didn’t know about.” How does he feel about so many loyal clients? “It’s an affirmation that what we’re doing is what our clients want,” says Reith. “It tells us that we’re providing a service the way they want to receive it.” As a small-town brokerage, he says he was surprised and humbled to win Brokerage of the Year. “It was such an honour just to be nominated. I’d like to believe they chose us because of our fundamental goal. The strategy that we’re a front line, acrossthe-table advisory service that believes in building relationships.” Reith and Associates also takes extra steps to encourage staff participation in community service, giving priority to the charities supported by clients and staff. “We offer three days with pay, which our staff can take to volunteer with the charities they support.” A few years ago the brokerage decided to offer an extra incentive to staff volunteers. “If an employee puts in 750 hours of

pre-approved community work, that automatically puts them into the next pay grade. It’s a way of rewarding our team for making a meaningful contribution to the community. It’s a win-win for all.” Reith and his husband Brian Helmer live ten minutes away from Darren and his wife Stephanie. Dan’s two nephews visit often. “We’ve always been close,” says Dan of his younger brother. “Our parents encouraged the notion of having your brother as a best friend.”

He acknowledges that there are potential pitfalls in working with your sibling. “We’ve learned to check our egos at the door and respect each other’s unique abilities.” Darren leads the life insurance and investment services team while Dan leads the p&c team. They work on strategic planning and development collectively. “Professionally, it’s all about trust, respect and making the right decisions to move the company forward and ready it for the next generation.” IP

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Insurance People  January 2015  35


Continued from page 27

agers. Lastoria has 30 years of casualty underwriting experience. Peplinskie was formerly the vp and cgl department manager for a Canadian specialty carrier…Woodbridge, Ont.’s Cornerstone Insurance Brokers has purchased

Aurora’s Hartwell Thayer Lastoria Insurance and Financial Services. The Aurora office will be Cornerstone’s fourth location… Elliott Special Risks has appointed Michelle RodPeplinskie rigues its vp of online business development, a newly created role. “We envision digital products playing a key role in our future sales and handling of specific segments of our business,” commented Karen Barkley, president of ESR…SouthEastern Mutual Insurance Company has been recognized by Greater Moncton, N.B. with its Excellence Award for small and medium enterprises. The mutual was launched by a dozen farmers in 1938…Fifty-five aspiring hockey goalies aged 5 to 7 will receive a set of goaltending equipment thanks to the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario’s Goalie Assist program. IBAO will also provide minor hockey associations in the province with goaltending resources to aid coaches…Janet Rodger, vp, national operations at RSA Canada, has been appointed to the CSIO

Female entrepreneurs

Jodi Scarlett, the founder and president of Calgary’s ProStar Cleaning and Restoration, has been ranked 50th in the 16th annual W100 Top Female Entrepreneurs ranking. The ranking, which uses a composite score based on the size, growth rate and profitability of businesses, is produced by the publications Profit, Canadian Business and Chatelaine. Scarlett started ProStar in 2002, just days after earning an MBA from Haskayne Business School. The business began as a modest residential maid service and evolved into a cleaning, construction and restoration company employing more than 50 people. Annual revenues approach $10 million. “I’m proud to be recognized amongst this distinguished group of female entrepreneurs,” says Scarlett. “I strive to be a role model not only for young women like my daughter, but also for the next generation of budding entrepreneurs.” IP

board of directors…Angela Veri has been appointed vp, national account executive at Crawford & Company Canada. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, working in the casualty, long-term disability, employer and legal markets…The sixth annual Canadian Insurance Financial Forum will be held May 27 at the Metro Toronto Con-



Randy McGlynn and Larry Smith on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Mass Group of Insurance Brokerages are pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Dunn to the role of President and CEO effective January 1, 2015. Mr. Dunn has extensive experience in senior leadership roles in the property and casualty insurance industry, including increasingly senior roles at Aviva Canada Inc. which he joined in 2004 and was most recently Executive Vice President, National Claims. Greg was previously Senior Vice President, Sales – Specialty Distribution at Aviva Canada where he was responsible for national sales development of the affinity and group business through the independent broker network in Canada. “I look forward to working as an independent broker at Mass, building on the momentum and working to establish the Mass Group of Insurance Brokerages as the leading national broker for group, affinity and retail business in Canada.” Mr. Dunn holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA). By leveraging their digital infrastructure and Greg's strong leadership, Mass will evolve into a national broker/aggregator leader in group, affinity and retail home and auto insurance. Along with adapting to change in consumer buying habits through their digital strategy, Mass will continue to maintain its strong ties in the Milton, Markham and Mississauga communities. Since 1979, the professionals at Mass have excelled in providing competitivelypriced customized insurance to Markham and beyond with a strength in delivering extra savings through group plans. 36  January 2015  Insurance People

vention Centre. Visit ciff for more info…Randy Buschmann has been appointed vp Alberta for Trans Canada Insurance Marketing, the Winnipeg-based insurance wholesaler and mga. Buschmann Buschmann owns London Direct, an mga, and is an associate partner with Calgary’s A-Win Insurance…Dave Nussbaumer is the new president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan. He’s the co-owner of Farrell Agencies in Yorkton, one of the top four or five independent brokerages Nussbaumer in Saskatchewan…Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks took seven places on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles list for 2014. The trend of stolen F-series trucks increased 50 per cent in Alberta… The Insurance Bureau of Canada is the new lead sponsor of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, an elite, fiveteam, centrally financed non-profit. As part of the sponsorship, IBC will educate the public on road safety issues and on how to avoid becoming a victim of auto insurance fraud. IP



Axa Art up and running

should be completed by Sept. 30, 2015.” xa Art, the fine art insurance specialist, received licensAxa Art Insurance Corporation is part ing recently to operate in of Axa Art Verischerung AG, which is a all of Canada’s provinces member of the global Axa Group based and territories. Axa Art in Paris. Axa Art’s global headquarters Insurance Corporaare located in Cologne, Germany. tion opened an office in Canada in 2007, Axa Art’s Canadian branch employs partnering with Axa four staffers and is Insurance (Canada), supported by memhowever Axa Canada bers of Axa Art was purchased by Americas CorporaIntact Financial in tion, the holding 2011. Since 2013, company of all when it received of its activities in federal regulatory North and South approval, Axa Art America. Its board served brokers and of directors is made insureds through its up of Canadian, business continuaU.S. and Braziltion agreement with ian citizens. The Intact. Canadian office is led by Christiane Since October of Fischer, president last year, all new and and ceo of Axa Art renewal policies have Americas Corporabeen insured by the Fischer Canadian branch of tion. She joined Axa Axa Art Insurance Corporation based in Art in 2000, becoming ceo of Axa Art Toronto. Insurance Corporation in 2006. “We will continue to have business with The insurer offers bespoke fine art Intact until all policies have been renewed coverage for collectors of all sizes, conwith Axa Art,” explained Axa Art project centrating on risk prevention methods coordinator Julie McKernan. “The run-off such as establishing best practices for art

storage facilities and art shippers. It also offers security checks and facility surveys to museums. For more information, visit IP

InsurancePeople All Sport Insurance........................... 38 Carfra & Lawton............................... 17 Damage Control Pro........................... 7 Guardian Risk..................................... 2 Intact................................................... 4 Mass Insurance................................ 36 Midwest Claims................................ 39 Pal.................................................... 40 Peace Hills....................................... 31 Richards Buell Sutton....................... 14 RSA Travel....................................... 18 Sovereign General........................... 12 TSW Management........................6, 26 Wawanesa........................................ 35 OTHER BC Insurance Directory.................... 27 Insurer Showcase............................. 34 Prairies Insurance Directory............. 24 Snaps – Photo Submissions............ 15 Restoration Review.......................... 32 WHAT’S NEW? Can-Sure.......................................... 22 Damage Control Pro......................... 23 PuroClean........................................ 22 Sutton Special Risk.......................... 22 Insurance People  January 2015  37

Proudly sponsored by All Sport Insurance

The looks on those faces …with Lee Hill, owner/manager of Porter and McMillan Insurance, Prince George, B.C.

Was brokering your first career choice?

What’s your idea of a good time?

No, I was going to be an accountant like my father and three brothers.

A nice dinner with my wife, family and friends, followed by dancing.

What do you like to do away from the office?

Do you think you could make our readers chuckle?

Travel, cook, eat, drink, bike, swim, play soccer, water-ski, snow ski (crosscountry and downhill). I always say that as I get older I can do a lot of things – just not very well. I’m likely considered above average in water-skiing only.

I was golfing the other day when one of the foursome mentioned he was “carrying” one of the others. The rookie in the group asked the guy doing the carrying if he’d like an Advil. Tell us about your best-ever vacation.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to insure?

I’ve had a few. Driving up to Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France with my wife and kids was one. The looks on their faces. Christmas in Newcastle, Australia was another. I’m hoping there are a lot more of those moments ahead.

Individual diamonds. Would you care to tell us a story?

I’ve never been a storyteller. What would you do if you won a million clams?

If we could arrange a chat with PM Stephen Harper, what would you tell him?

I’ve been looking at used 911 Porsches. I would buy newer or maybe even new if I won.

Don’t ever let the banks into the insurance business.

Tell us about meeting your significant other? Where did you go on your first date?

What would you like to change about yourself?

My partner’s mother introduced us, and we went for a bike ride. We’ve been married for 21 years.

Have you ever had a nickname?

Do you have an accomplishment you are particularly proud of?

We won’t pursue that any further. If our publisher said he’d spring for a five-star meal, what would you order?

I completed my first triathlon last July, but I should answer growing and keeping our/my business strong. My business partners take a lot of that credit. When you were a teenager, what was your favourite band? A favourite song?

I have always been interested in all types of music, but I am a big fan of Elton John and Billy Joel. I love the piano.

Nothing. Life is getting better with age.

My mother called me “Leeky.”

Lamb or possibly steak and lobster. What’s your favourite dessert?

Cheese cake with fresh blackberries. IP Do you know a good subject for our Q&A questionnaire? Email suggestions to

REGINA Garrett Schous CIP Curtis Horwath

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InsurancePeople January 2015  

12,000 copies to coast to coast.

InsurancePeople January 2015  

12,000 copies to coast to coast.