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1992 Insurance Person of the year

John Glavin

“Don’t waste time learning the tricks of the profession; instead, learn the profession. And learn to listen – opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.”
The first-ever Insurance Person of the Year was awarded to John Glavin on Oct. 15, 1992, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. John was humbled to receive the award, which he treasured in his later years as he maintained contact with a vast number of former employees and colleagues who continued to seek his advice on both personal and professional matters.
John Glavin was born Feb. 12, 1925, and raised in Ottawa. On turning 17 in 1942 he joined the war effort and served in the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. His service in the latter took in him into the North Atlantic theatre until his discharge in 1946. John was awarded the Volunteer Service Medal, the Atlantic Star, the British Defence Medal, and the Victory Medal.
John worked steadily anywhere work was available in the post war years until he began a 40-year career in the general insurance industry with the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Group in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and lastly in Vancouver. John was appointed General Manager of the company's BC branch in May 1956, a position he held until 1991 when he was appointed a Director of the Dominion of Canada in his last year before retirement. John continued his work within the general insurance industry when he was appointed a life Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb.). He spent many years adjudicating industry conflict where he earned the respect of all who appeared before him for his firm but fair approach to arbitration and his well-reasoned decisions and awards.
“The general insurance industry as we know it is one generation away from extinction,” John said in accepting the Insurance Person of the Year award. “It’s important to remember that and to continue our pledge of personal service to our clients and to the public at all times to prevent it from happening.
“Say thank you a lot, say please a lot. Make new friends and cherish old ones. A great attribute of our lives is the gift of friendship – I have never taken this gift for granted and it’s something I reassure very much.”
John said the principle of utmost good faith that exists among brokers, insurers, and independent adjusters is “the golden thread which waves its way through the fabric of the general insurance industry.”
John married Elizabeth in Roblin, Manitoba, in 1957 and they built a home in North Vancouver where they raised three children: Christine, Gibson and Jim. When John fully retired in his 70s, he and Elizabeth travelled extensively well into their late 80s. John's final few years were spent at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, with Elizabeth still at his side where they shared a suite. He died Dec. 31, 2021.


1993 Insurance Person of the year

Ron Newcomb

Ron Newcomb joined Kernaghan Adjusters in its founding year and worked tirelessly alongside Stan Kernaghan. They were known as “the twin towers,” and their strengths balanced each other as they built a formidable team across the country – the first national independent adjusting firm in Canada.
Born Feb. 27, 1930, and educated in Winnipeg, Ron began his insurance career with the General Accident Group in 1947 as a junior clerk; one of his many duties was to carry ice blocks up from the street into the office. In 1948 Ron transferred to the claims department and worked closely under the direction of Stan Kernaghan, the company’s Claims Manager for central Canada.
In 1951, he was transferred from the Winnipeg office of the General Accident to the Vancouver office and eventually was promoted to branch Claims Adjuster in 1952.
The quality of reports received from independent adjusting firms led Stan Kernaghan to believe he could do better. In 1953 Stan left the GA and started S.J. Kernaghan Adjusters Limited. Shortly thereafter he invited Ron to return to Winnipeg and the new firm. Ron became its General Manager in 1965 and Vice-president in 1968.
In 1974, Ron returned to Vancouver where the head office is now located and in 1980 became President of the company until 1993. Ron continued to work part-time for many years and retired as Executive Director of the company.
In the early days Ron was known as “the whip” to many of the young adjusters. He worked closely with them to instill the right values and work habits that would differentiate the team from the competition. To the industry and his friends, he was known as “Newc” and in later years, especially to the Kernaghan family, as “Uncle Ron”.
Ron loved boating and had several yachts over the years. He was a long-time member of the Burrard Yacht Club and was commodore 1997-1998.
Ron was kind, insightful, and above all a man of his word, someone you could trust implicitly. He had endless energy and always extended a helping hand to others. He participated in numerous industry associations and groups such as from the provincial Insurance Institutes of Manitoba and BC. In addition to being honoured as the 1993 Insurance Person of the Year, Ron was recognized with an Award of Merit from the Insurance Institute of BC. He served as Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada in 1985-86.
He was President of BC Insurance Adjusters' Association, the Toastmaster Club in Winnipeg, and the of The Honourable Order of the Blue Goose in Manitoba and BC.
He coached minor hockey in Winnipeg for 15 years and was a minor soccer manager in North Vancouver for seven years. In addition to being honoured as the 1993 Insurance Person of the Year, Ron was recognized with an Award of Merit from the Insurance Institute of BC.
Ron and his wife Donna had three daughters – Valerie, Beverley and Janice – and twin sons David and Daniel. After 45 years of marriage, Donna died in 2001. Ron passed away August 29, 2017, at the age of 87.


1994 Insurance Person of the year

Jack Hamilton

Through his leadership of brokers’ associations, John F. (Jack) Hamilton helped create the organizational structure and unified voice that has established the modern insurance broker profession.
Born in Vancouver, he attended Kitsilano High School and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of BC. While in university he obtained his insurance agent’s licence – one of the youngest people to do so at the time – and worked part-time in his father’s brokerage, William F. Hamilton Insurance. In 1955 at age 20 years old, he took a full-time position in the brokerage, which was later to become Hamilton Delong Ltd.
Jack Hamilton’s immense contribution to the industry started in 1971 when he became President of the Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association. In 1972, the BC New Democratic Party, led by Dave Barrett, formed government and wasted no time in making good on their promise to reform auto insurance.
In 1973 Jack was sworn in as President of the Insurance Brokers Association of BC (IBABC); it was then known as the Insurance Agents Association of BC.
In February 1974 the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) sold its first insurance policy. The growing pains for insurance brokers that accompanied the creation of ICBC led to Jack serving an unprecedented 26-month term as provincial broker association President from March 1973 to May 1975. Jack was instrumental during this period in educating MLAs and bureaucrats about brokers’ value to the insurance transaction.
ICBC’s Manager of Field Operations John Hancock said, “Jack Hamilton is one of the few people I know who has devoted his life to the insurance business,” Hancock said. “He played a big part in negotiating a strong position for brokers when ICBC was formed back in 1973 and over the years the success ICBC has had in delivering auto insurance has been due to IBABC – and that means Jack Hamilton.”
In 1978 Jack became President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. He also served as a Director of the Insurance Council of BC. In 1986, he was hired as IBABC’s General Manager and during his tenure IBABC grew in membership, increased it staff from three to 11, created an education department that was to be a major component of its operations, implemented the Broker Identity Program, and added to the association’s membership services and public affairs profile. He retired in 1996.
A lifetime member of the Musicians’ Association, Jack was an accomplished trombonist, having played with the Kitsilano Boys Band, Dal Richards’ BC Lions band, and the Vancouver Fire Dept. band. Jack was also President of the North Shore Association for the Mentally Handicapped.
Brian Stanhope, Regional VP, Insurance Bureau of Canada, described Jack as “the best friend insurance companies ever had.” When insurance companies were lobbying the BC government to turn over ICBC’s general insurance division to the private sector, “Jack Hamilton gave us the best support and counsel we could have wished for.”
David FitzPatrick, partner in the Victoria brokerage Megson FitzPatrick and 1990 IBABC President, described Hamilton as “a man of great presence who has used this attribute to be an excellent spokesperson for IBABC – when he is in a meeting or walks into a room, you know he is there. Jack has been absolutely devoted to the insurance industry and to IBABC and its members.”
Jack died June 14, 1998, after a valiant fight with cancer, survived by his wife Norma, sons David and Graham, and daughter Cindy.


1995 Insurance Person of the year

Bob Vickerstaff

Robert Percy Vickerstaff was born in Vancouver on July 1, 1935. He grew up in Marpole, attending Magee High School and finding his first passion, golf, at an early age. By 16, Bob began a golfing career at Marine Drive Golf Club and became the assistant golf professional under Stan Leonard. However, Bob chose to keep golf as his leisure passion and, as he later said, "opted for a real job".
Bob was hired by Canadian Indemnity Co. as a junior automobile insurance underwriter in 1953. He progressed through the property and casualty underwriting departments before going on the road as a fieldman in 1958. He was transferred to Victoria in 1961 to manage a new CI office in that city, then returned to Vancouver in 1968 to become Underwriting Manager.
Bob moved up the CI ladder to become Regional Vice-president, the position he held until switching to Paragon Insurance Co. in 1983. Paragon successively became Laurentian Pacific, then Boreal Pacific, and then AXA Pacific. The company under its various names grew from a $10-million operation to a $135-million business in 1995, covering western Canada. AXA Pacific was one of three AXA subsidiaries acquired by Intact Financial Corporation in 2011; by then AXA Canada was Canada’s sixth largest P&C insurer.
Surety (performance bonds) had historically been written by insurance company head offices Montreal and Toronto. In the 1960s BC branch offices started to write surety, but under strict controls from head offices in the east. In 1984 local decision-making in surety became a reality under Bob’s leadership at Paragon. It meant that contractors could proceed faster; other insurers soon followed Paragon’s lead.
In accepting the Insurance Person of the Year honour from 1994 recipient Jack Hamilton, Bob said insurance people tend to underestimate their value to society. “I don’t think we should berate ourselves as we do sometimes. Nothing would be running or happening if we weren’t there to provide insurance for people and organizations. We are part of a fabulous industry that I really enjoy. We should hold our heads up high.”
Looking back on his 47-year career in insurance, Bob said:
"A career is made up of good luck and good management, and sometimes good luck is the biggest factor." He attributed much of his success to his team that he believed represented the best people in the insurance industry.
He epitomized the west-coast lifestyle with his love for boating, golfing, and fishing and took every opportunity he could to spend time at Sakinaw Lake with family and friends.
Bob brought joy and support to all the lives he touched and truly saw goodness in everything. He had a genuine care for people and believed his role on this earth was to help others; he lived this belief every day in his generous commitment to people and organizations in need. He warmed and lifted many hearts with his inspirational poetry.
Bob Vickerstaff died Feb. 19, 2003.


1996 Insurance Person of the year

Herb Osen

Herb Osen was born on Aug 24, 1930, to Swedish parents who operated a bakery in Vancouver. They later moved to Cranbrook before returning to the coast to live on Vancouver Island where young Herb for his first job – delivering newspapers – getting in the practice of rising at 5 a.m, which he did for much of his career.
The family returned to Vancouver when Herb was a teenager. He tried several jobs after graduating from high school, then landed in the insurance industry as a filing clerk at the shipping firm C. Gardner Johnson Ltd. in 1952. He later joined the insurance brokerage Rush & Upton. In 1955 he switched to another brokerage, T. Daryl Thompson & Co., which boasted an annual premium volume of $15,000. The following year he joined with Thompson and another colleague, Bill Sherban, to start Thompson, Osen & Sherban Ltd. That firm became TOS Insurance Services Ltd. with Herb eventually serving as its President and Chief Executive Officer.
Through his drive and determination, he helped build TOS into one of British Columbia's biggest and most successful insurance brokerages. By 1996 when he was recognized as the Insurance Person of the Year, TOS employed 110 people and handled $85 million in premiums annually from nine offices.
In 1999, Herb made the decision to sell the family-owned business to Hub International. While he stepped out of management, Herb remained a producer, continuing to generate revenue for the firm. He loved the invigorating challenge of a sale as much as he loved building exceptional relationships with his customers.
Herb was a mentor to many. He brought out the best in people and was passionate about building the next generation of insurance leaders. He believed his success was due to the team that surrounded him and was always quick to give credit to others for their contributions.
Over the years, Herb achieved recognition as a leader in truck and fleet insurance. His involvement in insurance industry affairs included a term as President of the Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association, Director of IBABC, and President of the Canadian Association of Fleet Supervisors.
Nothing made Herb happier than spending time with his family and friends. His perfect day would include fishing, playing golf, or watching sports while enjoying a wee dram of scotch. He and the love of his life, Aster, were married 55 years and had five children; his daughter Tina was 2016 Insurance Person of the Year.
Herb passed away on Feb. 22, 2022.


1997 Insurance Person of the year

Mike Porter

“Mike never stands still and he leads by example,” said 1993 Insurance Person of the Year Ron Newcomb, who at the time of the 1997 Salute dinner honouring Mike Porter had known him for 23 years. “He is a very deep thinker who makes good quality decisions and is known for his ability to interpret insurance wordings.”
Early in his marriage to wife Brenda, Mike gave up an early ambition to be an airplane pilot, and in need of a stable job, was hired by Continental Insurance in 1968 as a trainee underwriting clerk. To supplement his income he moonlighted as a gas pump attendant at a West Vancouver service station. After the birth of his first son, he moved to Canadian Indemnity Co. (whose Vancouver Manager at the time was Bob Vickerstaff) where he remained until 1973 when he joined the fledgling Insurance Corp. of BC.
Mike was with ICBC for more than 10 years in both claims and in the corporation’s general insurance division.
In 1985 ICBC sold its general insurance division to CUMIS, the Canadian arm of the CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, an insurance provider to Canada’s credit unions. CUMIS operated the business under the name Canadian Northern Shield. Mike became CNS’s Vice-president of insurance operations. In 1992 Mike was appointed President of CNS and CEO of CUMIS.
“Mike Porter’s natural leadership skills have a way of bringing out the best in people,” said Lawry Shand, who had recently been appointed Chief Operating Officer at CNS. “He is the most knowledgeable and disciplined insurance professional I have ever met.”
In his acceptance speech, Mike said having fun was what made his insurance career so special to him. Mike issued a challenge to insurance people, in particular to those new to the industry, to become involved, especially in the area of continuing education.
Mike’s involvement with education included 15 years as a lecturer for the Insurance Institute of Canada and chair of its education committee for three years. Mike won Insurance Institute prizes in 1971 and 1974 and in 1985 received a merit award.
“I really believe in it,” he said. “I have enjoyed teaching, and I would ask each of you to do what I have tried to do – to put back into the business some of what you were fortunate enough to take out – and I hope you have a lot of fun doing it.
Under Mike Porter’s leadership CNS expanded to be one of BC brokers’ most important markets. Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) acquired CNS from The CUMIS Group in 2007, CNS had annual premiums of approximately $164 million and the acquisition made RSA the sixth largest property and casualty insurance company in Canada and the largest in British Columbia. Intact Financial Corporation acquired RSA in 2021 and discontinued the CNS brand in 2022.
Mike and Brenda raised their three sons – David, Derek, and Russell – in North and West Vancouver. They enjoyed travel and boating. In 2014 after 46 years of marriage, Brenda passed away.


1998 Insurance Person of the year

Dave Clarke

Vancouver-born Dave Clarke graduated from Lord Byng Secondary School. His insurance career began at a very early age, when he joined Canadian Western Insurance Co. He moved to Canadian Indemnity in 1959 (coincidentally two previous award recipients, Bob Vickerstaff and Mike Porter, were also with Canadian Indemnity earlier in their careers).

Four years later, Dave switched to the brokerage side of the business and spent two years with BC Land & Insurance Agency in Victoria (the precursor to today’s Waypoint Insurance). He then returned to Canadian Indemnity, and in 1981 joined Paragon Insurance Co., the forerunner to Laurentian Pacific, which became Boreal Pacific, then AXA Pacific, which was acquired by Intact Financial Corp.

Bob Vickerstaff, long-time friend and colleague, recalled their years together at Canadian Indemnity, in which they visited brokerage offices along what they described as “the Prince George–Prince Rupert run”: “Those were the days of gravelled roads, and it was a pretty hairy week of travelling before we returned to Vancouver in time for the next week’s work in the office.”

When Dave was honoured as Insurance Person of the Year in 1998 he was Senior Vice-president, insurance operations, AXA Pacific Insurance. Mike Porter, 1997 recipient, said of Dave, “I don’t believe there would be a broker that would have anything other than ‘excellent’ to say about an open, honest, and committed person – he has always been that way.”

In his acceptance speech, Dave acknowledged his mentors over the years and his wife Greta.

“I have been reflecting on the great times I have had in this business and I realized the common denominator was the personal contact with people. Out of that develops friendships as well as business relationships.

“In this age of technology and electronic communication, I wonder whether we will do business in future with virtually no personal contact. Perhaps your only personal contact will be with your computer screen, and that’s too bad. I would like to suggest there be more industry functions to get people together – I hope we don’t lose the kind of personal relationships we have now.”


1999 Insurance Person of the year

Jake Brouwer

Jacob Brouwer was born in Andijk in North Holland, the eighth of 12 children. The family immigrated to north Alberta in April 1936. As a teenager eager to make a name for himself, he travelled to Ontario and points east, landing a position as a police officer for CP Rail. Soon he found himself in Vancouver, with a memorable job as the sole police presence on Bowen Island. Wanting to move on and considering how to utilize his two years' experience with provincial law enforcement, Jake saw a promising career in insurance adjusting. While learning the profession at the brokerage Parsons Brown and insurer Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, Jake met the men who would become his future business partners.
He became a partner in Cooper & Brouwer Adjusters in Chilliwack. He returned to Vancouver in 1956 and formed Brouwer & Company General Insurance Adjusters Ltd., which he sold in 1980 to what was then Morden & Helwig. He was back at it in 1984, establishing Brouwer Claims Canada. Jake prized his associates, and always attributed his continued success to "hard work and great partners."
By 1980 the firm had grown to become the largest independent adjusting company in Canada, with a staff of 500 and 104 offices across Canada, England, and the United States. Jake sold the business to concentrate on politics, and then re-entered the field from the ground up six years later. Brouwer Claims Canada and Company went from strength to strength until it too was sold in the 1990s.
Over 60-odd years, Jake held more than 20 directorships and/or board positions in commercial and public associations in Canada and the United States. He served as President of the BC Adjusters' Association in the early 1960s and chaired the International Financial Centre for British Columbia. He was exceptionally proud of his 15-year service on the Judicial Council of British Columbia, and of his accomplishments on the board of Canadian National Railways. Jacob Brouwer consistently honoured his Dutch origins, and was prominent in several Canadian-Dutch alliances. His work with KLM Airlines earned him membership of the World Society of the Flying Dutchman in Amsterdam. A fervent fisherman, every summer Jake took great pleasure in delivering fresh-caught Coho salmon to the Netherlands Ambassador's residence.
Jake Brouwer was very much involved in community projects, such as raising resources for the Canadian Mental Health Fund, BC Children's Hospital, and the Greater Vancouver YMCA. The latter organization conferred on him several citations including the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of outstanding community leadership. He was a governor of the Vancouver Aquarium and sat on the West Vancouver Police Board. Politics was a passion; a tireless Conservative fundraiser, he supported the campaigns of Joe Clark, and later, Brian Mulroney, who became a friend.
Jake and his wife, professional artist Valerie Hermon Brouwer, enjoyed travel, the opera, and their long-time summer residence on Savary Island. They had four children. Jake passed away quietly, at age 92, on Aug. 25, 2017.


2000 Insurance Person of the year

Eric Laity

Eric Laity was born in Vancouver in 1938 and was a life-long resident of the area. After graduating from Kitsilano High School in 1956 he worked for Felix Beverages in Vancouver, then spent three years as a liability officer with the Bank of Montreal.
In 1961 Eric decided to build a career in insurance and joined Elander & Elander Adjusters Ltd. His next move was in 1962 to Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co., where he remained a staff adjuster and later as Acting Supervisor until 1974.
ICBC sold its first auto insurance policy in February 1974 and Eric joined the corporation that year. His 26-year career with ICBC saw him move progressively from Claim Centre Supervisor to Claims Training Instructor to Manager, Claims Training Services, and finally to Education Services Manager.
It was during this period that he broadened his own educational accomplishments, as well as becoming heavily involved in industry organizations and in teaching others. He obtained his FIIC (now FCIP) in 1974 and completed a variety of courses ranging from business administration to bodily injury claims, to rehabilitation and arson investigations. Outside office hours he lectured for the Insurance Institute of BC and served on the boards of numerous industry associations.
Said Ron Newcomb at the 2000 Salute dinner in Eric’s honour: “Eric’s easy-going and friendly manner, his ability to make you laugh, his high standards and his willingness to bring others along have all gone to make him the person he is – an educator, a dedicated member of our industry, and a volunteer extraordinaire.
“We are very thankful you chose the insurance industry for a career – you are one of our greatest assets.”
Linda Robertson of ICBC credited Eric with teaching thousands of employees at the corporation the principles of insurance and, just as importantly, entertaining them.
“Why is Eric so good at teaching insurance? He probably knows more about all aspects of the business than anyone in this room. But most of all, he made it come alive and made it fun – like all good teachers, he is part entertainer,” she said.
In accepting the award, Eric paid tribute to independent adjuster Dale Elander, a key figure in his early years in the insurance business, as well as to others who had been part of his career.
“I have tried to represent the three faces of claims – serious, sad, and silly – throughout my career,” he said. “I have been serious in this business – with tragedy there will be sad times, a time for compassion and empathy – and then there’s the humour. Usually more can be accomplished with smiles and laughs, despite adversity.
“Claims work is people work, and I have thoroughly enjoyed by association with so many people. We should never lose sight of the fact that most people are honest.” Eric said.
Eric and his wife Vickie had three children: daughter Krista and sons Ross and Ryan.
Eric died on May 25, 2019. He is remembered as a great storyteller, a "mister-fix-it", and for his tremendous zest for life.


2001 Insurance Person of the year

Ron Defieux

Ron Defieux began his career after high school as an office boy with the Union Insurance Society of Canton (Guardian). In 1960 Halifax Insurance hired him as senior auto and casualty underwriter, and later, Claims Manager. Three years later Ron joined the Northern & Employers Insurance Group as its first in-house adjuster.
In 1969, along with Terry Clarke and Don Archibald, Ron opened the brokerage Archibald, Clarke & Defieux. During the next eight years, the trio expanded to four locations. Never one to rest on laurels Ron and business partner Donna Saxelby founded Defieux Insurance in 1977, specializing in marine insurance. Property and casualty insurance were also major areas of expertise and growth, and in 1988, the firm changed its name to Defieux Saxelby Insurance Services. Five years later TOS Insurance Group, part of Hub International, purchased the firm. Defieux was appointed Vice-president of TOS Insurance in North Vancouver.
A veteran marine insurance underwriter and broker, Ron was described as “a man of integrity with a zest for life.”


2002 Insurance Person of the year

Terri Johnson

Janice Teresa (Terri) Johnson was born on Dec. 22, 1951, in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up in Edgemont Village, North Vancouver. In the 1970s she returned to Alberta where she started her own family, eventually moving to Ontario in the 1980s. She always longed to be back on the west coast and returned to North Vancouver with son Chris and daughter Jocelyn in 1991.
She joined Gore Mutual in 1992 as Regional Manager in British Columbia, and by 2010 she was the Vice-president of Special Projects for the organization.
“I worked with Terri for many years. She really was one of our most exciting leaders, bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to the business,” said Andy Taylor, CEO at Gore Mutual. “She was ahead of her time as a Vice-president and General Manager for the western region in a period where the industry was predominantly male-dominated in terms of leadership.”
Under Terri’s leadership Gore grew to be a substantial BC insurance market. “As a confident female leader, she quickly became a great role model for younger female leaders in our industry,” Taylor continued. “Throughout her career, she was a constant mentor to our team, cared deeply about people, and was a very ambitious business leader.
“As a confident female leader, she quickly became a great role model for younger female leaders in our industry. Throughout her career, she was a constant mentor to our team, cared deeply about people, and was a very ambitious business leader.”
Terri highly valued education. From 1994 to 2015 she taught the CIP program and general insurance and risk management program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
“Terri came in and did a fantastic job educating her students. Her class always had a pass rate higher than the average,” said Shaun Sinclair, program head of general insurance and risk management at the BCIT. “She was an inspiring teacher. Terri was one of those people you could always count on and was excellent at making sure her students were always looked after.”
Johnson served as President for the Insurance Institute of British Columbia (IIBC) in 1998 and continued to handle large project and committees in the years following. She won Instructor of the Year at the IIBC in 2006, and again in 2014.
Sinclair said Terri was an impactful mentor, especially for any young woman coming into the industry, because she freely shared her experience and advice on how to be a strong female leader. Terri read voraciously and believed there is no greater education than reading.
Terri was very philanthropic, founding the BC chapter of the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) and volunteering regularly with Canadian Blood Services and shoreline clean-ups.
She travelled the world; she loved driving, top down, in her blue convertible and wandering all corners of the North Shore trails with her dog Lily. She lived life to the fullest and on her on her terms.
She passed away peacefully at home at age 69 on March 14, 2021. In her honour Gore Mutual and the BCIT created the Terri Johnson Memorial Endowment in the amount of $50,000 to support students in the general insurance and risk management program at the BCIT.


2003 Insurance Person of the year

John Toomer

John Toomer’s passion for education was a driving force throughout his career.
Education was to become a top-of-mind issue in the P&C insurance brokerage industry when John Toomer was hired by Walter Lee at General Insurance Brokers in North Vancouver in the 1970s. Lee became a mentor and later a business partner when John bought into the brokerage in 1977.
Around the end of the ’70s Lee was the broker liaison to the Superintendent of Insurance. On behalf of IBABC, he had applied to the Superintendent to recognize insurance brokers and agents as professionals. He was told that the industry first needed to develop a set of professional standards.
The IBABC leadership in the early 1980s, which included future Insurance Persons of the Year Conrad Speirs (2005), Brent Atkinson (2010), and Barry Amies (2012), embraced the challenge of establishing professional standards. “Everyone was involved,” Barry recalled. “[Education] became a mandate of the association.”
In 1984 the Insurance Council of BC was established and delegated with the authority to license insurance agents, salespersons and adjusters. For the first few years it shared office space with IBABC.
With Lee’s encouragement John got involved with IBABC. He assisted at the early pre-licensing courses, which were week-long immersion courses held at UBC with classroom instruction during the day and guest speakers from insurance companies in the evening. IBABC members liaised with regulators and with their counterparts across Canada in developing licensing standards and courses. At the time, BC was the only province that tied the new national CAIB designation courses to licensing.
“John was always interested in the inner workings of broker education, and always worked for the well-being of brokers,” Barry said.
When continuing education requirements became a mandatory part of general agent licensing, John helped develop and coordinate CE courses for about five years until IBABC hired education department staff. IBABC’s annual conference became a major source of education credits, and thus began John’s involvement with the IBABC Conference Committee, upon which he served for 24 years.
John, who had originally planned to become an accountant, served as IBABC’s first Treasurer from 1998 to 2001. He represented his fellow brokers at meetings with ICBC for 13 years, which included the formative years of the Memorandum of Understanding Council and the ICBC/Broker Liaison Committee. The foundations laid during those years still form the basis of the relationship between ICBC and its broker force today. John’s unequalled volunteer record with the IBABC led to him being the first person ever presented with a life membership in the association for outstanding service.
When John Toomer was honoured as BC Insurance Person of the Year in 2003, his daughter Yvonne credited John with influencing her decision to pursue a teaching career. “My dad has become an innovator, a leader and a model of what it means to put your heart in your career.”
After retiring in 2004 he established the John M. Toomer Education Scholarship, which is administered by IBABC. The scholarship criteria emphasize mentorship and tutoring to encourage education, achievement, and mentorship in the next generation.


2004 Insurance Person of the year

Vince Pritchard

Born in 1950, Vince Pritchard grew up in Toronto, the youngest of five children.
Although his first goal was to become an English teacher, on completing university, he “got tired of schooling and wanted to enter the real world.” He landed a job as a trainee insurance adjuster at Shaw & Begg Group (forerunner to ING/Wellington).
“I had no idea what an insurance adjuster did. However, a family friend who was already established in the business summarized the job to me by saying, ‘You don’t know what to expect from day to day; the phone will ring and suddenly you’re travelling somewhere.’ I was hooked.”
After three years of handling small claims and auto thefts, he was transferred to Vancouver in early 1972. Here he was exposed to more diversity in claims. The creation of ICBC in 1974 disrupted the private auto insurers and their claims departments. Pritchard had the privilege of becoming one of ICBC’s first road adjusters for a short period; in 1976 Shaw & Begg hired him back and he was promoted to BC Claims Manager shortly after Shaw & Begg’s merger with Uniguard Mutual.
In 1979 he partnered with Garry Clifford. Through the years, Clifford Adjusters changed its name from Pritchard & Associates to Pritchard, Woodall & Associates, which sold to Claims Pro Inc. in 2008.
Vince has taught claims courses (including liability) for the Insurance Institute since 1980, after achieving his FCIP designation. He has acted as an appraiser and umpire many times and frequently participates in mediations and pre-trials.
When interviewed for BC Broker magazine about receiving the Insurance Person of the Year honours in 2004, Pritchard said that for all his activities, his biggest thrill was still the sense of not knowing what the next phone call brought. “I’ve always been satisfied by the challenge of adjusting and I have never felt the need to pursue any other career.”
Vince Pritchard is currently senior claims analyst at Royal Claims Services Ltd. His wife Valerie and their two sons and daughter all work in the insurance industry.


2005 Insurance Person of the year

Conrad Speirs

Conrad Speirs was born July 9, 1947. A lifetime North Shore resident, Conrad attended West Bay Elementary, Hillside Middle School, and graduated in 1965 from West Vancouver Secondary before completing a Bachelor of Economics at UBC and his FCIP designation.
Always active, Conrad spent his youth involved in sports, playing rugby with the Barbarians, and belonging to such organizations as the Sea Cadets, the Crown Chapter Order of the DeMolay, the West Vancouver Band (trumpet) and the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity (UBC). At nine, he would play a round of golf at Gleneagles before going to school. His greatest wish was to be a member of Capilano Golf and Country Club, which he joined in 1981 and later became its President in 1992.
Days after graduating from UBC in 1972, he started his insurance career as an adjuster with A.J. Benson & Co. His love of sports led him to the family’s brokerage Speirs and Co. Conrad’s father asked him if he would consider becoming a broker to fill the vacancy created by his retiring uncle. “At first I didn’t think I would make a good salesman, but my uncle George insured amateur soccer, football, baseball, and other sports, and I was greatly interested in taking over these accounts,” he recalls.
Conrad Speirs was the first President of the modern Insurance Brokers Association of BC (IBABC). In 1980 about 32 regional broker associations had representation on the provincial Insurance Agents’ Association of BC. Conrad Speirs served as Honorary Treasurer of the provincial association and as President of the regional Greater Vancouver Insurance Agents’ Association. In 1982 the provincial group adopted a new name and governance structure, and Conrad Speirs was sworn in as its first President. (IBABC’s General Manager at the time, Jack Lewis, was succeeded in 1986 by 1994 Insurance Person of the Year Jack Hamilton and in 1997 by 2013 alumnus Chuck Byrne.)
Conrad served as President of the Canadian Federation of Insurance Agents and Brokers Associations of Canada in 1985. During this time he spent months in Ottawa on advisory boards.
In the mid-1990s Speirs and a few colleagues led a challenge to the changes to the agency agreement that ICBC was proposing to its broker force. It led to the drafting of a new terms of reference for how ICBC and its brokers to work cooperatively together on issues of mutual concern. The challenge also led to a revision of IBABC’s constitution and the bylaws and a new definition of membership.
Conrad’s life-long love for amateur sports prompted him to start the managing general agency, Sports-Can Insurance Consultants Ltd., in 1998 and to the sports portfolio he added coverage for leisure entertainment such as rock concerts, parades, and festivals. He started his third company in 2002: Can-Sure Underwriting Ltd., a national wholesaler specializing in property and liability issues.
Shy and quiet by nature, Conrad loved his family, his work, his friends, his annual fishing trips, travelling first class and on any given weekend could be seen on the first tee at Capilano Golf and Country Club.
He and his wife Judi had two daughters Taryn and Brooke, who followed him into the insurance business. Conrad passed away March 17, 2007.


2006 Insurance Person of the year

Patti Kernaghan

Patti was born in Winnipeg in 1955, the third oldest of five children in the family of Agnes and Stan Kernaghan, the well-known founder of Kernaghan Adjusters. Patti moved to West Vancouver with her family when she was a teenager, and graduated from Sentinel Secondary School, having made her mark as a track and field athlete.

Soon after, Patti embarked upon a career in business, and after ten years of management experience with the Bank of Montreal, she began her insurance career with Kernaghan Adjusters in 1988. At Kernaghan Adjusters, Patti first worked as a licensed adjuster in the field, then as Director of Marketing, and then became Vice-President Operations. Since becoming President of the company in 1993, Patti has concentrated her focus on the vision and direction of the firm within the Canadian insurance industry and the service excellence of their team.

Patti believes strongly in the value of education and professional development. After General Arts studies at Capilano College, she pursued studies in International Relations and Art History at UBC. She is a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional and holds a Canadian Risk Management Diploma. Patti has also completed Executive Programmes through the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration at UBC.

Patti also believes strongly in contributing to the insurance industry in BC and across Canada. During her many years in the industry she has been involved with the Insurance Institute of BC and the Insurance Institute of Canada where she has held the position of the Regional Vice-Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada (Western Institutes), President of The Insurance Institute of BC, a member of the Academic Council for the Insurance Institute of Canada and also a member of the Education Committee for the Insurance Institute of Canada.

Patti has also served as a Steering Committee Member of WICC BC (Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade), President of the Canadian Insurance Professionals of Vancouver, and was also as an Advisory Board Member for the Kinsmen Rehabilitation Foundation of BC.

Patti presently serves on the Insurance and Risk Management Advisory Board for the University of Calgary, the Board of Trustees for Insurance Dispute Resolution Services of British Columbia, and is a member of the Steering Committee for The BCIT General Insurance & Risk Management Education Program.

Patti and Pierre have been married since 1983, and have raised their two daughters, Alexis and Neisha on the North Shore. They enjoy travelling, art galleries, cross-country skiing, biking, gardening and spending time at their cottage in Quebec, whenever possible.


2007 Insurance Person of the year

Jim Ball

An insurance Renaissance man who has worked as an adjuster, company man and broker. A dedicated volunteer who has contributed to the Canadian insurance industry, his community and the world. Meet Jim Ball – 2007 Insurance Person of the Year.

Jim was born in Port Hope, Ontario, 66 years ago and has fond memories of an “jdllic” youth. He attended university in the U.S., studying Canadian history in Cleveland and political science in San Francisco. He started his career in 1966, working for the insurer CNA in its Cleveland office as a bodily injury adjuster. He transferred to the company’s Toronto office seven years later where he worked as a claims examiner, reinsurance underwriter and marketing rep.

He became western regional manager based in Vancouver after CNA sold its Canadian operation to Citadel General. He then joined Paragon, the precursor to Axa Pacific, where he managed the marketing set-up and development of its head office, two branch offices and a network of brokerages.

Deciding that he wanted to put down roots in Vancouver, in 1983 he moved over to the brokerage side, taking the position of president of Reliance Insurance; he bought the firm in 1985. The Reliance Group now employs 35 people and includes MGAs Pacific Marine Underwriting in Vancouver and Harbour Insurance Services in Midland, Ontario. Two of Jim’s four children – son Chris and daughter Judy – work at Reliance.

Jim was a very active volunteer in the insurance industry during the 1990s, serving as the 1992/93 president of the Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association, going on to lead of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. in 1994 and the insurance Brokers Association of Canada in 1999. He played a leadership role in developing the Broker Identity Program – a national branding initiative that has raised the profile of the broker channel with elected officials and consumers.

In 1992 Jim was part of he volunteer group that started Salute – the annual Insurance Person of the Year award. He has served for the past five years on the committee that organizes the annual R.P. Vickerstaff distinguished-speaker dinner. And he chairs the all-industry BCIT Diploma Committee.


2008 Insurance Person of the year

Rick Parent

Always with a spirit of goodwill and the intention of bettering our industry, Richard (Rick) Parent is a tremendously giving person who makes a huge contribution.

Always with a spirit of goodwill and the intention of bettering our industry, Richard (Rick) Parent is a tremendously giving person who makes a huge contribution. Rick began his working career as an Engineer in the Canadian Armed Services in 1970 and retired from the forces in 1976 as a fully commissioned officer (2nd Lieutenant) of the Armoured Corp. Upon leaving the forces (1978), he joined a Victoria credit union, which through mergers and accompanying name changes has evolved to become Coast Capital Savings (CCS). Rick serves as President of its (CCS) subsidiary Coast Capital Insurance Services a general insurance agency with 30 offices on Vancouver Island & the Lower Mainland of BC

Rick is known and respected for his caring manner, his positive attitude and his commitment at work, in our industry, in the community and at home.

Over the years, Rick has committed thousands of hours to volunteer time in our industry and the community. He is an active member of the Credit Union Insurance Services Association serving in various capacities on the board and executive. Rick served as President of CUISA from 2002-2003. He currently serves as a Director of CUPP Services an organization created to provide insurance solutions to its members.

Since 1998, Rick has served on the Board of the Insurance Council of British Columbia ensuring the highest of professional standards are upheld by those who serve in our industry. Rick occupied the position of Chairman of the Board for the 2007/08 term and currently holds the position of Past Chair.

As Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Victoria (2003-2005), Rick was influential in achieving some high level funding for the organization. He was actively involved in Monopoly Madness and in renovating the organizations Central Saanich facilities.

On the home front, Rick is a dedicated husband to Terry (35 years), a loving father of two and devoted grandfather of four. Rick takes an active place in the raising of two of his grandchildren – known as ‘Baja’ to granddaughters Talia and Eve, he provides a strong role model of what it means to love unconditionally. He is a strong coach and the ultimate support to his daughter and granddaughters providing a supportive and caring environment, attending numerous dance recitals, swimming lessons, school/church concerts and girl guides events.


2009 Insurance Person of the year

Mark Woodall

Currently Mark Woodall is the president and CEO of Sports-Can Insurance Consultants. Since Mark’s acquisition of Sports-Can the company has experienced great success. Sports-can has also seen exemplary performance through expansion into new markets.

Mark’s career in the insurance industry began right after graduation from York University . Mark’s original intention was to article and become a Chartered Accountant. It was during a graduation wine and cheese function that he managed to wow a recruiter from the Allstate Insurance Company. The next morning he awoke to 2 job offers, the salary offered by Allstate beat out all his other offers and thus Mark began his career in the insurance industry. Mark completed an 18 month management training program, to be a Commercial Underwriter. Shortly after, Mark realized the Underwriting side of insurance was not for him and took a job as a field adjuster at Safeco Insurance Consultants.

It was at Safeco where Mark discovered his niche as an adjuster and within a year and a half he was promoted to Canadian Property Supervisor. After two years of employment at Safeco Mark decided to make a switch and received a job at Fireman’s Fund as the Property Claims Manager for Canada .. Mark spent the following 7 years at Fireman’s Fund. Through his years there, he progressed to Branch Manager in charge of underwriting and claims operation. With the help of his staff of 55, they managed to achieve a sales volume of over $30,000,000, an unprecedented number at the time. With the beginning of a new decade came new career opportunities for Mark. In 1990 he was hired as Assistant Vice-President of ISRM Ltd, an independent adjusting firm with five separate offices. During his time there, he progressed to Senior Vice-President and COO, directly handling the general claims division.

After 4 and one half years with ISRM, Mark decided to take the leap to ownership. Following multiple meetings with Vince Pritchard, now a close friend and colleague of Mark’s, Mark became a partner of Pritchard & Associates. The company was renamed Pritchard Woodall & associates shortly after. Over the next 12 years, Pritchard Woodall saw considerable expansion in Western Canada . At its peak Pritchard Woodall employed close to 30 independent adjusters in 6 different offices. During the August 2003 Kelowna forest fires, Mark and Pritchard Woodall played a very significant role in the reestablishment of the community. Mark work with the local fire authorities and the representatives of the insurance industry to co-ordinate the handling on many total loss claims.. Pritchard Woodall handled 83 total residential losses over 1/3 of the total. On top of that they handled multiple wineries and commercial buildings damaged by the fires. Mark personally handled the reestablishment of the communication towers on the mountainside. To this day Mark considers this as one of the high points of his career. After the sale of Pritchard Woodall to SCM Adjusters in October 2006, Mark made the switch to the underwriting side with the purchase of Sports-Can Insurance Consultants.

Over the years Mark’s excellent public speaking abilities have been a keystone to his success. He has delivered countless speeches, presentations and has been a speaker at all levels of Industry training and leadership. He is a regular speaker at Provincial Sports Associations and is a former instructor for the insurance institute. In 1998 Mark received an award for the Instructor of the year from the insurance institute.

Mark was born in Saskatoon but not long after the family packed up to follow his father’s job. They relocated to Winnipeg , Manitoba where he spent his elementary school years. For high school the family picked up and moved again. They relocated to Toronto Ontario , it was through these multiple moves that Mark developed an uncanny ability to adapt to his surroundings and respond to change. Throughout school Mark’s father, an Accountant by profession, instilled planning and organizational skills in all of his children. Although Mark did not follow his Father into the accounting world, he was able to apply the skills throughout his career in the insurance industry.

Since high school, education has always been important to Mark. He received a BA in Economics from York University in Ontario in 1978 which kick-started his career. In 1990 he received an AIIC Designation from the insurance Institute of Canada and in 1992 he completed the Canada Risk Management Diploma program and received his CRM Designation. All three of these achievements have played their own role in developing Mark not only as a businessman but as a person.

In his early years Mark was a sports enthusiast; Playing on Hockey, Football and Baseball teams as well as almost every other sport on the side; as one of 5 children Mark never had to look far for a pick up game. This is one of the factors that attributed to Marks abilities as a strong team leader and fostered his results oriented nature. Today Mark is an avid golfer and a professional sports enthusiast. It is rare to hear anything other than Team 1040 on the drive to work.

Mark has made an effort to help out in the community where ever he can; whether it be organizing charity programs through his company or going down to the front lines to volunteer. Most recently Mark volunteered for the 2009 winter games as a communications coordinator and plans to hold a similar position during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Last year Mark developed a Sports-Can Charity program which donated to numerous charities including over 50 backpacks packed with school supplies to the Surrey food bank.

When Mark is not working he enjoys working out in his home gym, golfing when ever its not raining, playing games on the computer, or just lounging at home watching Sports,. Mark is also an avid traveler, he and his wife, Judy McKague, enjoy laying by the beach in Maui or seeing the world on a cruise ship. Another of his favorite destinations is Las Vegas , where has been going for years with the same group of friends for a traditional yearly visit.


2010 Insurance Person of the year

Brent Atkinson

The Salute Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Insurance Person of the Year award is Brent Atkinson. A graduate of UBC, Brent obtained his FCIP in 1971 and founded Atkinson & Terry Insurance Brokers that same year. Brent has worked tirelessly for our industry, serving as a director of the IBABC for eight years and president in 1980, as well as being vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Insurance Brokers of Canada. As a representative of the IBABC, Brent helped negotiate the first two five-year Accords between the Brokers in BC and ICBC, and acted as a consultant on the last negotiation rounds.

Brent has been a Notary Public since 1974. He has served as director of the Society of Notaries Public of BC for 24 years and was president from 1990-1992. Brent has been an active member of the community of New Westminster for over 50 years, serving in a variety of capacities including school trustee, treasurer of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation and president of the Hyack Swim Club.


2011 Insurance Person of the year

Brian Wills

BC’s insurance community honoured insurance person extraordinaire Brian Wills at the 20th annual Salute insurance banquet on October 27, 2011 at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Brian is a well known Axa Pacific marketing exec and long-time industry promoter.Born in England, and raised in Toronto, Brian moved west in 1978. An Associate of the Insurance Industry (A.I.I.C.), he attended the University of Waterloo, majoring in Mathematics. He is married to wife Jacqui and has two lovely daughters Jennifer (21) and Lindsay (18). Brian started his career with AXA in 1979, when the company was first chartered, and has worked on both the broker and company side. He has held a number of positions within the company, primarily within the Marketing discipline and was appointed Vice President of Marketing in 1998, with responsibility for managing the company’s distribution channel. Brian is also a driving force behind a number of important, and popular, annual insurance events. He is actively involved in the industry and currently serves on the RPV Dinner Committee, an industry-wide political networking event, as well as B.C.I.T.’s Diploma Program in Insurance and Risk Management. Brian was also a founding member of the Salute Committee and is a well deserved recipient of the 20th Insurance Person of the Year Award.


2012 Insurance Person of the year

Barry Amies

Barry Amies is the owner and partner of Baron Insurance Broker Group. As a young man, he entered the financial services sector securing a position with the Bank of Nova Scotia. Six years later, insurance became his passion and he opened the first Baron Insurance Agency in the Okanagan. Over the next 26 years, Barry’s model of fairness to staff, insurance companies, and clients grew his business from a start up agency to a very successful operation with over 53 employees. In fact, Baron Insurance was so successful that a large BC credit union, Valley First bought the agency in 1994. Following the purchase, Barry remained with Valley First until his retirement in 1999. Retirement however, did not last long and together with his partners, Barry opened another agency, Landing Insurance. A few years later, there was a change in the partnership and a subsequent name change to Baron Insurance Broker Group. Today, Barry & his partners continue to grow the agency where they employ over 35 staff. Barry’s dedication to the industry is reflected in the service positions he has held over his long career. Barry is the past President of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C., he was the First Vice Chairman of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, the past Chairman of the Insurance Council of B.C., the past President of CSIO, the current President of the Vernon Curling Club and was a member of the Vernon Rotary Club. Giving back to the community is a lifelong passion for Barry. Whether it is Hospice House, North Okanagan Community Life Society, BC Cancer Foundation, local kid’s sporting events and summer camps, he is committed to improving the lives of others. Over the years, he has helped the city organize events such as the 2008 Ford World Woman’s Curling Championship and sponsored the Baron Insurance Woman’s Golf event in Vernon for over twenty years. In conjunction with the IBABC and IBAC membership, Barry was politically active for the Bank Act reviews throughout the 80s and 90s. Today, he continues to meet with politicians to promote the broker channel as the premier distribution network for insurance. If you need a best practices book on
running a brokerage, Barry Amies is the resource you need. When not at work, you will find him enjoying playing golf, softball, curling, fishing, hunting or simply spending quality time with his wife Donna, son Tyson, daughter Nicole, granddaughters Jayden & Mikaela and grandsons Carson and Hunter.


2013 Insurance Person of the year

Chuck Byrne

As Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. (IBABC) Chuck Byrne brings extensive Canadian industry experience to his role. Born in Edmonton, raised in Winnipeg, Chuck started his insurance career in 1975 when he joined the Prudential Assurance Co Ltd. in Winnipeg. Rising through the ranks, Chuck worked in each of the four western Canadian provinces. At the age of 33 he was appointed Manager for Prudential British Columbia in 1990. Chuck’s Prudential staff & branch operations where the proud recipients of the IBABC top honours in The BC Broker’s 1991 biennial Insurer Performance Survey. In 1993 when the company merged
with General Accident Assurance Co., Chuck was appointed Regional Manager, with responsibility for the B.C. operations of the merged companies. Over the years, Chuck has served on numerous industry committees including representing the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada; the Insurance Institute of Alberta; the ICBC Presidents
Advisory Committee and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) including multiple terms as the IBC British Columbia Advisory Committee Chair; and Chair of the British Columbia IBC Earthquake and Natural Disaster sub-committee. Chuck is the only industry representative to have been involved in each of the four negotiated Broker/ICBC Strategic Accords. Mentoring and helping others to start a solid career has been particularly rewarding for Chuck. He had those same opportunities and coaching offered to him in his career and recognized early the value of being challenged and tested to reach potential. Chuck’s community activities have included youth sport coaching and league organization, including coaching British Columbia high-school AA basketball for 5 years. Chuck also served for many years and was the founding President of the Seymour Basketball Association (SBA), an organization formed to bring youth basketball to the Mount Seymour area of North Vancouver. The SBA is now in its 15th year and has provided a safe, well instructed, community based basketball opportunity to thousands of neighborhood kids. As IBABC’s chief staff executive for the past 16 years, Chuck and his talented team promote the IBABC 800+ member insurance brokerages as the premier distributors of general insurance products and services in British Columbia. Chuck joined the IBABC in 1997 during a turbulent time in its history. A disastrous industry plan to reduce the number of Autoplan brokers by one-third had literally split the association membership and soon thereafter its bylaws were deemed invalid. Chuck’s marching orders were clear: bring the association’s diverse membership together and return clarity and strength back to the IBABC purpose. He is particularly proud of the teamwork and effectiveness Chuck and each IBABC President were able to forge through all manner of challenges experienced during their terms. In addition Chuck sees this leadership teamwork as instrumental in one of the larger IBABC accomplishments, that being the strengthening of broker and association relations with the provinces largest broker partner – ICBC. Chuck is a strong proponent of the BC insurance industry and has brought continuity to its leadership and association strategy. He has been a pivotal player in many of the BC insurance industry challenges over the last two decades. Chuck was reunited with his high-school sweetheart Cathy in 2006. Together with their blended family, Dillon, Evan, Meredith and Mathew, they enjoy pursuing the good things that life has to offer.


2014 Insurance Person of the year

Kevin Mcintyre

Kevin McIntyre is President of Underwriters Insurance Brokers and Guardian Risk Managers, a BC based MGA. Born in New Westminster, and raised in Victoria and Coquitlam, he enjoyed an active high school life, which culminated in a stint as class president and he went on to graduate from the BCIT Business Administration program in 1984. At the age of 19 he ran for a seat on the Coquitlam School Board and has continued to show a lifelong interest in politics and has worked on several local and provincial political campaigns. He started in the insurance business with Les Garrison Agencies. After several years on the brokerage side he eventually found himself at Commercial Union Assurance, now part of Aviva, working in the claims field. His claims career included time as a company and then independent adjuster. In 1993 he joined Underwriters Insurance Brokers in Kamloops, becoming President in 2001. He acknowledges that were it not for Intact Insurance, which financed the purchase, he would not be here today. Since taking over as President of the firm, Underwriters has grown from 7 employees to over 40. Kevin credits his great partners and team, and his supportive insurers for the firm’s success. An avid community supporter, Kevin has been awarded the Kiwanian of the Year and Rotarian of the Year awards and has spent time as president of Kamloops Crimestoppers. Currently serving his second term as President of the BC Brokers Association, he has spent a total of 11 years on the board. Kevin has also been a key player on the IBABC team negotiating the Strategic Accord with ICBC, including being involved in the negotiation of the last three Accords. Kevin currently Chairs the Optimum West Broker Council, sits on the Aviva Broker Council and the advisory board for the Canadian Commercial Insurance Summit 2015, and serves on the ICBC MOUC, Liaison and ISAS Committees. Nationally, Kevin served as Director of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, Chairman of the Political Action Committee, and as the Founding Chairman of the National Task Force on Political Action. Jack Robertson, a well known BC broker, and former IBAC President commented that, “Kevin has changed the way IBAC does politics in Canada”. Kevin lives mainly in Kamloops, but also spends time in Vancouver where he lives on his boat, and several weeks a year at his home in
Phoenix. In his spare time he enjoys travel, time with friends and family, and cooking and entertaining. His passion in life is simple. “I can sum it up in three words: Making things better”.


2015 Insurance Person of the year

Tom Meier

Tom Meier is the co-founder of Johnston Meier Insurance Agencies Group. Born in Vancouver, Tom spent his early years on his family’s chicken farm in the Fraser Valley. After graduating from Abbotsford Senior Secondary School, Tom enrolled in the CGA program at UBC and spent the next few years working as an accountant. He began his career in the insurance industry in 1969 with State Farm in Abbotsford. In 1973, Tom and Bruce Johnston started Johnston Meier Insurance with a commitment to customer service first and foremost. Their two-person office in Maple Ridge grew rapidly and now has 450 employees in locations throughout the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and the Cariboo. Tom is very active in the community. Just to name a few of his many volunteer commitments, he was president of the Pitt Meadows Airport Authority, a director of Ridge Meadows Hospice, and co-chair of the Maple Ridge Policing Reform Committee and the Maple Ridge Advisory Committee for Municipal Employee Relations. He’s also served on numerous boards, including president of the Maple Ridge Chamber of Commerce, director of Maple Ridge Parks and Recreation and president of Maple Ridge First Night. Tom has also taken the time to serve on numerous advisory committees to international insurance companies, including Royal Sun Alliance, Intact, Gore Mutual, Wawanesa and Zurich Canada.

Accordingly, he’s been recognized for his service to the community. Among the various awards and honours he’s received:
• 2000 Maple Ridge Business Person of the Year
• 2002 Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Volunteer of the Year
• 2002 Queen Elizabeth’s Service Medal
• 2007 Citizen of the Year
He serves on the ICBC MOUC, Strategic Marketing Committee and the BCEA Task Force. In 2014, he was reappointed to a second term on the BC Insurance Council. Tom shares his life with his lovely lady, Robin, and their blended family of five children, six grandchildren and two dogs.


2016 Insurance Person of the year

Tina Osen

Tina Osen is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and acting Chief Sales Officer for HUB International, the largest insurance broker in British Columbia. A recognized leader and innovator who has championed employee empowerment, customer service and community investment, Tina has 20 years of experience in the insurance sector. Under her leadership, the Greater Vancouver operations of HUB International have more than doubled, growing from $170 million in sales to $424 million. In addition to her responsibilities as CEO and CSO, Tina is a member of the Executive Committee of the HUB Group of Companies, which includes 26 Presidents in North America. She is also one of only four presidents on the HUB International President Focus Group with the Corporate Executive Management Team headquartered in Chicago. Tina is synonymous with community leadership, currently as Chapter Chair for the Young Presidents Organization in Vancouver, and as a past Director on the Vancouver Board of Trade. She received the Business in Vancouver 40 Under 40 Award in 2004, and HUB International’s Chairman’s Award in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2014 and 2015. In 2009 Tina received the Deloitte Women of Influence Award, was an Honoree at the BIV Influential Women in Business Awards in 2011, was recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Canada for 2013 by the Women’s Executive Network, and has been a mentor with the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Mentoring Program since 2015. Tina was recently presented with the 2016 Wendy McDonald Diversity Award by the Vancouver Board of Trade. Under Tina and her team’s leadership, HUB International has been actively involved in supporting a number of charitable causes including the Aga Khan Foundation, ALS Society, Amica Helping Hands Community Sponsorship, BC Special Olympics, Burnaby Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society, Canuck’s Place Hospice, Covenant House, Dare Arts Vancouver, Free the Children We Day, JDRF, Minerva Foundation for BC, the Variety Boat for Hope, and numerous Food Banks across the Greater Vancouver region.


2017 Insurance Person of the year

Lorne Perry

Port Moody Insurance
Lorne Perry was chosen by his peers for this distinction in recognition of his extensive leadership provincially and nationally. Lorne started his insurance broker career in 1976 working in brokerages in Quesnel, Prince George and Maple Ridge. In 1991, he moved to Port Moody Insurance, which is now part of the Intercity Group and InsureBC. Today, Lorne is a partner and manages six offices with seven locations.

Lorne joined the IBABC board in 2005. After serving as president in 2009-10, he went on to serve at the national level becoming president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada in 2015-16. Lorne has represented insurance brokers on various committees and task forces. These include the IBAC/IBC Insurance to Value Working Group, chairing the Broker/ICBC Liaison Committee for a number of years, and serving on brokers’ councils with CNS and Wawanesa. Lorne also chaired the IBAC Natural Catastrophe Task Force. Lorne was a founding member of his local Kinsmen Club. He has coached and refereed hockey and football, and served on the boards of various local hockey associations. Lorne still plays Old Timers’ Hockey and is on the Board of Governors of their 12-team league.

Lorne and his wife Pat have two children and two grandchildren.


2018 Insurance Person of the year

Jennie Moushos

Jennie Moushos has spent the majority of her career in the financial and insurance sectors and has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Jennie is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University, and a Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University.

Jennie’s most recent role was Senior Vice President, Western Division, Intact Insurance Company, overseeing the operations of $1.9 billion in written premiums with six branches and more than 1,000 employees in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Starting her career with Zittrer Siblin Stein Levine Inc. (now Ernst & Young) in Montreal, Jennie moved on to become Senior Examiner at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and subsequently held executive positions with AXA Assurances in Quebec and the AXA Pacific Insurance Company in western Canada prior to its acquisition by Intact Insurance.

Jennie has always been committed to giving back both to the industry and communities. For ten years prior to moving to BC, Jennie spent considerable time teaching at the Concordia University Department of Continuing Education. Following her move west, she was a co-founder of the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade BC Chapter in 2002, and continued to ensure corporate financial support for this organization which has now raised more than $2 million for the Canadian Cancer Society. She is a past member of the Insurance Bureau of Canada Regulatory Committees, BC & Yukon and Alberta Divisions helping to shape government policy in these provinces. In addition, she was a key member of an industry/professional association task force to promote and support a General Insurance and Risk Management Program at the BC Institute of Technology Advisory Committee; and has been a regular speaker at the annual FCI-CWI Women in Leadership Conferences which aim to instruct and mentor women of all ages and abilities in the achievement of their professional goals.

Jennie has been a Board Director for the SOS Children’s Villages since November 2013, chairing the Finance & Audit Committee from March 2014, before being appointed Deputy Board Chair in March 2015, and Board Chair in June 2016. SOS Children’s Villages Canada was established in 1949 and is part of the world’s largest charity working with orphaned and abandoned children.

In 2017 she joined the Board of Directors of the Bridges to Community Canada, an organization created in 2006 by a group of Canadian insurance brokers aimed at making a positive and sustainable impact on the poverty in Nicaragua.

Most recently she has been nominated to the Board of Directors of The Western Investment Company of Canada, a new publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange which aims to build and maintain a diversified portfolio of strong, stable and profitable companies in western Canada.


2019 Insurance Person of the year

John Dickinson

Driven by a strong focus on customers, employees, and continuous improvement, John Dickinson has enjoyed a dynamic 30-year career with ICBC.

After graduating from UBC with a degree in political science, John responded to a ‘Careers in Adjusting’ ad in the Vancouver Sun and joined the crown corporation as a Claims Representative at Out of Province Claims.

After several years as a Claims Manager at West Broadway/Kitsilano, John moved to the insurance side of the business to work with brokers in 2002. Since then, his desire for personal growth has led him to a variety of leadership roles including responsibility for road safety, regulatory affairs, and the Insurance Division’s call centres. He obtained his CIP in 1996 and his FCIP in 2000.

Career highlights include: President of the Insurance Institute of B.C. (2005-2006), a Member of the National Academic Committee for the Insurance Institute of Canada (2007-2011), and co-Chair of WICC BC where he led the Gala Fundraising Committee and got to know insurers and brokers by selling candles, pins, and 50/50 tickets at broker conferences. John is a four-time member of ICBC’s Strategic Accord negotiating team, has twice testified on behalf of ICBC as an expert witness at BCUC hearings, has been executive sponsor for ICBC’s United Way employee campaign for two years, and has made multiple media appearances as director of road safety in 2013-14.

John chairs ICBC’s monthly Broker Liaison meetings and various joint task forces and is currently responsible for sales, broker governance, and implementation of the recent significant changes involving brokers. John is currently lead for strengthening the broker partnership and continuing to modernize what is widely viewed as a best-in-class distribution system for all British Columbians.

Married to Sonja for 25 years this fall, John spent many hours volunteering for organizations supporting his daughter’s activities including softball, synchronized swimming, and volleyball. He has bicycled to work since 1993 and can often be found year round on the North Shore mountains with some winter days at Whistler and summer weekends at Sakinaw Lake on the Sunshine Coast.


2022 Insurance Person of the year

Danielle Bolduc

Danielle Bolduc was born and raised in Vanier, a French suburb of Ottawa, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in 1986.

Recruited on campus by General Motors of Canada, she worked with GM as a District Manager in Oshawa and in Winnipeg for over 4 years. In 1990, she decided that she would prefer the West Coast lifestyle and moved to Vancouver where she joined Nissan Canada as a District Manager.

In 1996, Danielle joined GE Capital Casualty to manage the Canadian office for extended warranty automotive products. While at GE she was introduced to the Insurance Institute of BC and enrolled in the CIP program. In 2003, when the GE Capital Canadian office relocated to Denver, Danielle joined the Insurance Institute of BC as Manager and later completed her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in 2006.

At that time, the Insurance Institute of BC (IIBC) was a small office of only 2 people who were responsible for all roles to support 2900 members. This included manual order processing, recruiting instructors, coordinating course schedule and seminars, and working closely with a volunteer Council and Committees. The support functions were also done by the manager, including accounting, marketing, IT and facilities.

Under her leadership, the office has grown to 5 people, and membership has increased to 5000 members. Participation in IIBC educational offerings including seminars, courses, and events, have grown exponentially over the years.

As the Insurance Institute is a volunteer driven not-for-profit organization, Danielle works closely with over 40 insurance industry volunteers annually (Governing Council & Committee members) to support and deliver premier education and networking opportunities to the property and casualty insurance industry.

The Insurance Institute of BC also supports and raises funds for WICC BC (Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade), and through the popular annual “Battle of the Insurance Bands”, IIBC donates the net proceeds to a variety of Lower Mainland charities.
Danielle has served on the PAC Committee of the General Insurance and Risk Management Program at BCIT since the diploma program began in 2006.

For 10 years, Danielle volunteered as a run leader for Sport Med BC where she led, motivated and prepared individuals to run the Vancouver Sun Run. She completed the Ride to Conquer Cancer raising funds for the BC Cancer Society.

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys hiking, cycling and being outdoors with George, her husband of 30 years.

Previous Rising Star


2007 Rising Star

Carla Smith

Carla grew up in Vancouver as the oldest of 3 children. As described by her parents, from the day of her birth she possessed more than her fair share of life and engergy. As a young child she was known for her tendency to be the leader of the pack, a trait which was most often put to good use. Her outgoing nature also proved helpful in performing arts as she spent many evenings and weekends dancing, baton twirling, and playing piano. All of this activity early on in life gave Carla a taste for being busy, something that has carried through to later years of her life.

Carla attended Notre Dame High School, where she was most known for her academic accomplishments. She earned herself the nick name “four point oh” for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average through the entirety of her high school years. She also completed Avdvanced Placement English and Mathematics during her grade 12 year so as to get a head start on University. In between studying and exam writing, she also maintained participation on the Notre Dame Volley Ball, Basket Ball, and Track & Fiels teams, the Ski Club, and held a weekend job. After graduation, she continued to act as on of Notre Dame’s Volley Ball Coaches.

Carla’s academic accomplishments earned her a scholarship to UBC – but she chose to go to SFU instead because of the strength of their Co-Op program. It was Carla’s goal upon entering University to get early hands on work experience. By the 3rd year of her Finance Degree, she was working full time with BCAA while also balancing a full university course load.

In 1999 at the age of 22 and in the last year of her Finance Degree, she began working for ING Insurance. By the age of 24 she was an underwriting manager, at 26 she was promoted to Regional Branch Manager, and at 29 on the 7 year anniversary of her start with ING, she was made the Regional Vice President of their B.C. Mainland Office.

During her years at ING, she also made time for completing her Chartered Insurance Professional Designation. A strong believer in continuing education, Carla is now amidst the completion of a Project Management Certificate with a specialization in Strategic Leadership at the University of British Columbia with completion slated for April 2008.

Outside of work and school, Carla is presently a steering committee member for the B.C. Chapter of WICC, and a Volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society – teaching a mandatory training course for all the employees and volunteers who are newly hired by CSS each month. In her spare time, she enjoys contributing to Starbuck’s revenue, running around Stanely Park, helping with home renovation projects, relaxing with her family and friends, and dreaming about what project to take on next.


2008 Rising Star

Steve Sache

Steve Sache is among the second-generation family members joining Don Sache, Don Terry and Brent Atkinson at Atkinson & Terry Insurance Brokers, the thriving family business that now has 19 locations in the Lower Mainland employing about 160 people.

Steve works in the Delta head office on Scott Road where the partners first opened shop. Family and roots are important to Steve. His parents moved to Delta when he was three, and he remains there today with wife Monique, daughter Sydney, 10, and his two boys Max, 6, and Tyler, 5.

On graduating from high school Steve went to work in the construction industry, but in the 1980s construction work was seasonal, and during an off-season lull, Don Sache suggested to his son that he obtain an insurance license. “In 1990 I found myself working for the King’s Cross office in Newton, in the mail room,” Steve recalls.

Like so many brokers before him, he got hooked. “Two things really appealed to me,” he says. “I loved meeting all sorts of different people, and I loved that there are so many disciplines you can explore.” He became a road-runner for one of the dealerships and managed an office in Surrey’s Whalley district.

Steve credits the direction provided by his father, Don Terry and Brent Atkinson for his professional growth and accomplishments. “They encouraged me to get involved in as many functions, committees and task forces as possible.” He joined the Insurance Brokers Association of BC board of directors in 2003, and in ’05 became treasurer, a post he held for two years. Last year he served as the first chair of the newly formed Young Broker Network. The challenge of attracting young people to the industry is one that’s especially close to his heart: “I love the idea of other young people receiving the kind of support and inspiration I’ve enjoyed. And in these times of chronic labour shortages, such a network aids our profession enormously.”

Over the past decade Steve served on several industry committees and task forces, and was a valued contributor to pilot projects integrating Web-based technology in brokerage systems. In ’07 he was one of IBABC’s representatives on the negotiating team for the 2008-13 ICBC/Broker Strategic Accord, and his ability to hold his own in a forum that is usually dominated by more senior owner/managers is one of the factors that led to him being selected as this year’s Rising Star. Earlier this year, he traveled to Ottawa to participate in the national broker association’s annual political-action events.

Work and keeping up with three active, growing children keep Steve and Monique busy, but Steve manages to do some fishing in his spare time.


2009 Rising Star

Shelly Maurer

In her current role as Senior Manager, Insurance Operations at Valley First Insurance, Shelly Maurer is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of nine insurance locations throughout the Okanagan – Similkameen region.

Like many in our industry, Shelly literally fell into her career. A short conversation with a friend set her life on the path of insurance. “I had just finished college and wasn’t sure what my next step was going to be, for the moment I just wanted to get a job. An acquaintance working in insurance suggested I give it a try. I dropped off a resume at a local brokerage and went home to do a bit of research. I ordered my Fundamentals of Insurance manual a few days later and started home study. Soon after, I got a call from the agency and started in a data entry position. It was April 1, 1992…and the rest truly is history”

Shelly has held almost every position within the insurance agency environment, from that first clerical job to training, sales and various administrative positions. She moved to Penticton and joined Valley First head office in her current capacity in 2005.

Shelly is most grateful to the guidance and mentorship provided to her over the course of her career which has given her the skills and the confidence to grow into her leadership role.

“I’m still in insurance today because every day is a challenge, and because I have been lucky enough to be given many opportunities and responsibilities throughout my career.” Shelly embraces the variety and challenge of the business and feels fortunate to have developed both professionally and personally by her experiences so far.

Shelly has a diploma in Business Administration and her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation. She has served on the board of directors for the Credit Union Insurance Services Association since 2004. Shelly sought election to the CUISA board to represent non-lower mainland brokers and bring a better understanding of regional issues to the forefront. In her time on the board, she has been honoured to work with many accomplished industry leaders and her experiences on various sub committees and insurance company broker councils have developed a broader appreciation of the relevant issues affecting the entire industry.

Giving back to her community is also one of Shelly’s core values; her 10 years on a fundraising committee for BC’s Children’s Hospital have provided her a sense of personal fulfillment which comes from knowing what each of us can do to make things better for others.

Shelly grew up in the small town of Salmon Arm BC . The youngest of 6 children, she attributes her strong work ethic to the influence of her parents and the experiences of being raised on a small farm where everyone had responsibilities.

From the age of seven Shelly was a member of the local 4H horse club and was involved competitively in showing horses throughout her teens. The club instilled responsibility and accountability, while providing learning opportunities for personal growth in areas such as public speaking that have proven to be useful throughout her career.

Away from work, Shelly also enjoys traveling, staying active at the gym, playing volleyball and spending as much time as possible enjoying the unique lifestyle of the sunny Okanagan.


2010 Rising Star

Barbara MacPhail

Barbara is the senior vice president and COO of Hub International Insurance Brokers, TOS Division. Barbara’s career began at the age of 15 with Barton Insurance Brokers. By the time she was 18, she had finished all four levels of her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation and went on to complete a BA in Communications at SFU. Barbara joined Hub International in 1999 as personal insurance manager and quickly earned the respect of her peers, staff and others in the industry. She is an exceptional leader whose vision and strategic direction are integral to the success of the operations she oversees. Barbara has been a facilitator with the IBABC, instructing CAIB courses, and was part of the steering committee for BCIT’s general insurance program. In 2009 Barbara was recognized by Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40 Awards.


2011 Rising Star

Jeremy Green

Jeremy Green is the Regional Vice President of British Columbia for Optimum West Insurance Company, a position which he has held since early 2009. Prior to that, he worked with ING as Regional Branch Manager in Vancouver.Jeremy is the third generation of his family to work within the insurance industry. He has held various positions with independent brokers, Credit Unions and Insurance Companies. He has 18 years experience in this industry and holds his CIOP and CAIB insurance designations as well as a Commercial Pilot License. He is a past Director of CUISA and he currently sits as a Director on the Board of RainCity Housing Society. His support of RainCity as a Director allows him to assist with driving positive changes in attitude on Vancouver’s homelessness issue across multiple socio-economic segments of the population.

Jeremy was recently responsible for developing North America’s first Carbon Offset program linked to a residential insurance policy and he has worked hard to improve social and environmental awareness with all companies he has worked for during his career. Jeremy and his spouse are residents of North Vancouver where they are raising their 1 year old daughter.


2012 Rising Star

Kevin Sigouin

Kevin Sigouin is currently Vice President of Insurance for the First Credit Union. Kevin joined the First Credit Union in January 2008 with wide-ranging experiences in sales and management of both domestic and international insurance brokerages. In his current role, he overseas multiple brokerage locations of First Insurance Agencies and Westview Agencies located on the Sunshine Coast and the Comox Valley. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and was past co-chair of the Risk Management & Insurance Advisory Board at the business school where he actively engaged youth to choose insurance as a career.

He is heavily involved in the business community and was appointed Vice President of the Credit Union Insurance Services Association (CUISA) to promote and protect the interest of the insuring public and Credit Union owned brokerages. Kevin also serves as city director and Treasurer of PRSC Land Developments Ltd; a unique public private partnership between the City of Powell River, Sliammon First Nations and Catalyst Papers which was created to promote economic diversification for the coastal region.

Kevin was elected Executive Secretary of the BC Liberal Party in May 2011 and is past president of the BC Liberal Riding Association for the Powell River Sunshine Coast. He is past chair of an Emerging Leaders forum for politically minded youth on the Sunshine Coast and is past chair of the International Business Committee at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce where he was responsible for responding to government policies relating to international business.

To add to this list, Kevin is also president of Reach For The Sky Limited, a company formed with the sole purpose of creating long-term revenue solutions for community minded foundations.

In May 2011, Kevin received an inaugural award from the University of Calgary for his contribution to leadership and higher education in risk management and insurance.

Kevin is the proud father of two bilingual daughters aged 6 & 8 and the lifelong husband to a remarkable woman whose passion lies in family and a career in dental hygiene.


2013 Rising Star

Aly Kanji

Aly Kanji is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Sussex Insurance, which has more than 40 offices throughout BC and is currently expanding into Alberta, Quebec and Ontario. Aly is a lawyer by training and obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining Sussex Insurance, Aly was an associate with a prominent national law firm and appeared before all levels of the B.C. Courts. Although Aly acted for both insurers and insureds as a lawyer, he was first exposed to the business of insurance when he acted for Sussex Insurance on a commercial litigation claim. Like many in insurance, what started out as a short term involvement with the insurance industry has turned into a passion and a way of life. Aly obtained his CAIB designation within a short period of time and has since become fully immersed in the world of insurance. Aly has been instrumental in building the Sussex Insurance franchise model in British Columbia and has helped to nearly double the size of Sussex Insurance in terms of locations and insurance premium volume since joining the organization.

A passionate advocate for the insurance industry, he is often invited to various community events, conferences and trade shows to speak about industry trends. He is a forward thinker who embraces the opportunities presented by new technologies and alternate channels of distribution, which in his view will result in insurance being more accessible to the public. Aly has helped many insurance agents purchase their own brokerage and become successful entrepreneurs. He, himself is a brokerage owner in three Sussex Insurance franchised locations.

Aly is actively involved in the community and is generous with his time, holding various positions on boards and committees of community groups and non-profit organizations. For example, Aly was a member on the executive of the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada for several years. Its mandate is to inspire excellence and ethics in education. Aly was responsible for developing a career planning program for secondary school students and he managed a large awards and scholarship funding envelope along with a micro lending program designed to help young people obtain funding for vocational training, education and small business start-ups. Aly also served as the past Vice President for the Novaco Childcare Centre Society which operates a childcare facility in North Vancouver. He has served in various capacities for multiple strata corporations and is currently the President of the Strata Council for the Dollarton Business Park. He is also a volunteer with the Ismaili Business and Professionals Association and a volunteer mentor with the FastTrak Mentorship Program.

Throughout his university career, Aly was an avid and successful debater and mooter. He represented Canada at two World Universities Debating Championships and has won several awards for his oral advocacy skills. In his spare time, Aly is a freelance sound technician for live concert performances. He loves to read business books and cheer on the Edmonton Oilers. Aly and his wife Seema have been married for 7 years and are expecting their first child in early 2014.


2014 Rising Star

Eric Glaser

Our Rising Star for 2014 is Eric Glaser. Having earned his BA from the International School of Economics in Rotterdam and his MBA from Simon Fraser, Eric began his career utilizing his marketing expertise with Tourism Vancouver and Sophos.

His insurance career began at AXA as a Business Development Analyst. For the past 2 years, Eric has held the role of Marketing Manager for InsureBC. In this role he is responsible for liaising with various insurers to roll out product updates, monitor results and identify and develop growth opportunities. In addition he supports over 80 offices in the development, implementation and monitoring of marketing campaigns as well as consulting on HR and other operational matters. Eric also assists with activities related to relocation and renovations of various offices as well as reviewing acquisition opportunities and creating operational efficiencies for new acquisitions.

Eric has an active volunteer life, both within the industry and his community, becoming involved on committees for the Vickerstaff dinner, Gary Dorman Golf Tournament and the AXA Pacific Producer School as well as Co-Captaining the AXA Soccer Team. His community involvement includes being a member of the Dutch Business Professional Association and the Princess Christina Concours Concert Series Committee.

At home, along with his wife of almost 4 years, Brianna, he is the proud parent of a 14 year old Pomeranian named Hampton. He is currently working on his CIP designation and in his down time he is a soccer and golf enthusiast.


2015 Rising Star

Jacob Singh

A Kiwi by birth, Jacob came to Canada as a toddler, and aside from four high school years in Calgary, grew up as an East Van boy. In 1997, while pursuing his BCom degree at UBC, he dipped his toes into insurance waters with a summer job at Reliance Insurance, and three years later was a Commercial Lines Underwriter Trainee at Dominion of Canada. From 2003 he was a Marketing Representative and Analyst and then Marketing Manager at AXA Pacific, now Intact, where in 2011 he became Regional Business Development Manager, then Regional Branch Manager and currently Branch Director, where he is responsible for managing over $65 Million in GWP for his branch. Jacob feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to acquire skills in the fields of underwriting, product development, broker management and broker financing, and he credits having exposure to these areas as helping him to provide effective solutions. Jacob has played in the insurance softball league, curls in the Blue Goose curling league, is the Co-chair of both WICC BC and the Gary Dorman Memorial Charity Golf Tournament, and is involved with Intact’s Diversity Council and United Way committee. A rhythm guitar player with the industry band The Moral Hazards, he was delighted when they won the 2015 Insurance Institute of BC Battle of the Bands. Jacob is very proud of the many relationships he has at all levels in the insurance industry. He credits the strive for excellence as his driving force combined with his optimistic approach for helping him realize the success he has had so far in his career. In addition to his Bachelor of Commerce degree, Jacob has also earned both his CAIB and CIP designations. Jacob and his wife Claudia, are the parents of three-year-old twin boys, Uriah and Joshua, and when not spending leisure time with the family he also enjoys golf, cheering on the Seahawks and attending the occasional rock concert.


2016 Rising Star

Crystal Petrie

A farm girl at heart, Crystal grew up spending countless hours outdoors riding horses, fishing, camping, mountain-biking and hiking. All hobbies she still passionately pursues.

In 2010, Crystal stepped into the insurance world. Achieving her CAIB designation in short order and currently on the cusp of her CIP designation, Crystal spent her first three years at an Insure BC office, rapidly moving into a personal lines managerial role, before Capri Insurance landed her talents and she became Branch Manager for their South Kamloops location. Crystal has served the last three years on the IBABC Board of Directors, chairing both the Education and Membership committees.

Outside the office, Crystal is focused on making her community better. With four years on the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation Committee in Kamloops, she helped raise over $380,000 for the foundation. Crystal shares her keen business acumen with local youth through Junior Achievement BC, presenting Economics for Success to high school students, and facilitates Be Entrepreneurial for Grade 11 classrooms. Crystal has worked hard with Work BC to create awareness about careers in insurance through job fairs and other promotions. Finally, Crystal is a Big Sister volunteer and commits time each week to her ‘little sister’.

In what’s left of her spare time, Crystal enjoys weightlifting and CrossFit. She and husband Robert own and operate a conditioning studio in Kamloops, F3 Fit, where their border collie Henry spends most of his days.


2017 Rising Star

Chelsea Fitzpatrick

CAIB Park Insurance
Chelsea Fitzpatrick is a proud third-generation broker who began working part-time at Park Insurance in 2010 while completing her university degree. Chelsea earned her CAIB designation, completed the Producer Development Program, and is nearing completion of her Certificate of Advanced Leadership with the Sauder School of Business. Chelsea has continued to develop her skillset by progressively taking on more responsibility at the brokerage. Earlier this year, Chelsea was appointed VP of Operations at Park Insurance.

Chelsea volunteers with WICC and community events including the Michael Cuccione Foundation. As a Blue Goose member, she also recently chaired the A.Z. Delong Golf Tournament and founded their month of caring.

Chelsea and her husband Gabe have a young daughter and are expecting a new addition, due January 2018.


2018 Rising Star

Carlos Caceres

Carlos is currently the Regional Sales Manager at Gore Mutual Insurance. He kicked off his insurance career as a personal lines underwriter before moving to the commercial side. From there, he quickly moved up the ranks as Commercial Lines Supervisor before being promoted in 2016 to his current role, where he manages a team of six new business underwriters for western Canada.

Two years after obtaining his BA from SFU, Carlos was one of the first graduates of BCIT’s General Insurance and Risk Management program. He graduated with distinction and was awarded the BCIT General Insurance and Risk Management Achievement Award. He has recently earned his FCIP designation as well.

Carlos has been an active volunteer for the Insurance Institute of BC since 2012 as an exam proctor, vice chair of the Future Directions committee, and most recently, vice chair of the Seminars committee.

Outside of insurance, you can find Carlos playing drums, trail running, training in jujutsu, and spending time with his wife and two sons.


2019 Rising Star

Denise Yeng

Denise Yeng is Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Cansure where she leads the development and implementation of their distribution and brand strategy.

With 13 years’ experience in the BC insurance industry being involved with marketing and business development activities of insurers ranging in size from a regional footprint, to companies with a global presence, Denise has developed broad business and operations acumen. Today, she focuses on customer engagement and sales channel development, and is committed to delivering continuous value for brokers by bringing a thoughtful approach to sales activities and capturing market opportunities. Denise enjoys putting her experience to practice at Cansure where she brings together various teams and aspects of the business to push forward on their common goals. As part of the Cansure executive leadership team, she is also involved in the development of various initiatives that support employee engagement and championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Denise also currently serves as Chair of Communications on the Board of Directors for the BC chapter of Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC), Vice Chair for the recently created Young Insurance Professionals of BC Association, and is also an Insurance Ambassador through the Insurance Institute’s Career Connections program. She is also passionate about supporting the development of female leaders in the insurance industry, having recently participated as a panelist speaker at the Women in Insurance Conference in Ontario. She has also been featured in Insurance Business Canada magazine where she addresses overcoming gender stereotypes in the industry and encourages established leaders to support and engage rising talent through mentorship and sponsorship opportunities.

At home, Denise enjoys spending time with her husband Blair, and their 4 year-old Australian Labradoodle, Luna.


2022 Rising Star


Taj was born and raised in the UK, where she obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree. Taj quickly realized that the practise of law wasn’t for her and decided to embark on an adventure across the pond to Canada.

Taj arrived in Canada in 2012, and after a series of temporary roles, she landed a position with the Insurance Council of British Columbia in the administrative services department. Taj discovered the world of insurance while working at Council and in assisting to draft and proofread disciplinary decisions, she became intrigued with the broker side of the business.

After her assignment at Council came to an end, Taj made two big decisions – the first to explore becoming an insurance broker and the second to make Canada her home. Taj joined InsureLine in 2015 as their second employee, taking on the role of a call centre agent fielding calls from InsureLine’s leads. Since then, she has progressed into various roles and today is the Manager for Franchise Operations, overseeing InsureLine’s 30 offices in 4 provinces. She is the first point of contact for insurers and franchisees alike and has been instrumental in the growth and success of InsureLine. While maintaining her full-time job at InsureLine, Taj attended classes part time at SFU to obtain her HR Management certification. In 2019 Taj was selected by RSA to attend their Making Partner program at Queens University in Ontario. She is currently pursuing her CPHR designation and sits on the Wawanesa BC Broker Council.

Taj has a deep sense of community and previously served as a Victim Service Volunteer for the Central Criminal Court, as well as volunteering with Moon Walk, a charity that hosts a night time marathon to raise money for breast cancer research. Outside of the office Taj is there for her community when someone needs her and always makes time to help everyone around her.

Since moving to BC, Taj has discovered an appreciation for easy hikes and long trail walks (minus the mosquitos, bugs, and insects – forever a city girl!) She is an avid traveller of both local and international destinations, with a passion for exploring new cities and countries, challenging herself to get out of her comfort zone and experiencing the unfamiliar and uniqueness of different cultures. Most important to Taj are her family and friends – she cherishes the times spent together.