2018 award recipient, Bill Earle, Insurance People Media.
Award presented by Chuck Byrne, Executive Director, IBABC.
2018 award recipient, Special Risk Insurance Brokers. Award accepted by Mark Woodall, President and CEO; Tom Willie, Director of Underwriting and Partner; and Taryn Vaughn, Senior VP and COO.
Presented by Jeremy Lebsack, 2018 Chair of the Board, IBABC.
2018 recipient, Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay, Park Insurance.
Award presented by Ed Nesbitt, Gore Mutual.
2018 recipient, Dorothea VanHerwaarden, Axis Group.
Award presented by Graham Haigh, Wawanesa Insurance.
2018 recipient, Amrit Sidhu, S&S Insurance.
Award presented by Debbie Coull-Cicchini, Intact Insurance.
2018 recipient, Jim Ball, Reliance Insurance Agencies.
Award presented by Jason Storah, Aviva Canada.
2018 recipient, MacDermott’s Insurance Agency, Port Alberni. Award accepted by Rosemary Mesic, General Manager; and Brian Carriere, Commercial Insurance Broker & Systems Manager.
Presented by 2018 IBABC President, Shawn Fehr.
Bill Earle, Insurance People Media
In the early ’60s while Bill Earle was at UBC he worked at his dad’s adjusting firm. His father had frequently expressed that he wished there was a directory for the industry. They developed a business plan and Bill published the first BC Insurance Directory in 1964 before he graduated. He continued to publish the directory as a home-based business while he worked at a Vancouver advertising agency.
In 1978 Bill pitched IBABC on a proposal to make its newsletter into a self-sustaining magazine. The IBABC leadership approved the deal. Now with a directory and a magazine to publish, Bill quit his day job.
BC Broker Magazine became an important benefit of membership in IBABC, and through it, Bill served as IBABC’s de facto communications department for many years. The magazine also became a template that has been used successfully across Canada – Alberta Broker, Saskatchewan Broker, and so on, all the way to the Atlantic Broker. Along the way he launched today’s Insurance People Magazine, which brings the P&C insurance industry in Canada together. And his directories now cover the four western provinces.
Bill’s staff are all consummate pros, and incredibly loyal and dedicated. They are a family.
In 1992 Bill and a few colleagues launched the Insurance Person of the Year award and Salute banquet – again, to showcase the excellence within the industry and with a few more of us launched the RP Vickerstaff dinner as well now in its 16th year.
Bill has always ensured his publications meet the needs of the insurance industry, and truly reflect what’s best about it – its people, and its professionalism. The magazines have become our collective institutional memory. And his business has become indispensable to B.C.’s insurance industry. Today vertical publications are everywhere, but 40+ years ago, it was a new concept, and it took a visionary to see the opportunities in our industry, and make it happen.
Special Risk Insurance Brokers
This award recognizes a business that is innovative, provides consistent levels of excellent customer service, and maintains strong relationships.
Special Risk Insurance Brokers started as a family business in 1991 to offer solutions for hard-to-place risks. Tom Willie took it over in 2005. In 1994 industry leader Conrad Speirs started a managing general agency called Sports-Can; Mark Woodall became its president and CEO in 2006.
In 2013 Tom and Mark amalgamated the companies into Special Risk Insurance Managers.
In today’s world brokers increasingly find that traditional policies don’t sufficiently meet the needs of their clients. Special Risk Insurance Managers fits clients with the products that will best suit their needs, quickly and at the best price possible.
Special Risk provides exceptional service. They get quotes out quickly and stay in close communications with brokers. They understand the brokers’ need for quick turnaround time and service.
Special Risk works closely with their retailing brokers; for example, providing senior brokers with pricing authority. And they innovate with co-branding programs so that the brokers’ branding stays front and center. They help brokers on book rollovers, providing portal training and support.
Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay, Park Insurance
This award celebrates a young broker who is forward-thinking and proactive in implementing new approaches to his/her brokerage or within the industry.
Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay is vice-president, operations, at Park Insurance, headquartered in Burnaby. She’s a 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 taking advanced education at the Sauder School of Business.
Chelsea implemented a plan to improve each employee’s satisfaction both professionally and personally. And she oversaw a two-year project to reduce quote response times. It involved implementing a new Client Management System, and she led the team in that transition.
Chelsea volunteers with WICC and community events including the Michael Cuccione Foundation. She’s a member of the Honourable Order of the Blue Goose, and recently chaired their golf tournament and founded their month of caring.
Dorothea VanHerwaarden, Axis Group
This award celebrates a personal-lines broker who has developed a special product offering to meet the insurance needs of personal lines and micro-commercial clients.
Dorothea VanHerwaarden is manager, Private Client Group, Producer Services and Digital Leads, Axis Group, in Vancouver.
Dorothea started with Shaw Sabey and Associates with a clear action plan to develop a Private Client group. After building a book of Private Clients, Dorothea hired staff and officially created the Private Client Group which further served Metrix Insurance Professionals and Axis Insurance Managers.
Dorothea also created and introduced Producer Services as a beta project, and after positive early results under her management, it has been implemented across the group of companies.
She contributes regularly to Insurance Business Magazine. She was a “Young Gun of the Year” at the 2017 Insurance Business Awards.
Amrit Sidhu, S&S Insurance
This award celebrates a commercial-lines broker who has developed special offerings to meet the insurance needs of SME/mid-corporate clients.
Amrit Sidhu is account executive and director of operations for S&S Insurance, a family brokerage in Vancouver.
Amrit’s strategy has revolved around hiring key people, and differentiating S&S Insurance Services by catering to niche markets. He has cultivated several Lloyds facilities to develop solutions, including a General Contractors program, and a Demolition and Excavation Contractors program.
Amrit’s five-year plan includes adding an MGA division, and expanding their online quoting system. He also manages the day-to-day operations of the brokerage, setting high customer-service standards and leading by example.
Amrit has his CAIB designation and is completing his CIP designation. A CRM designation is his next goal. Amrit has served on several industry committees and task forces. He personally organizes the S&S Insurance booth at the Main Street Vaisakhi Festival where, this year, they provided more than 5,000 free meals.
Jim Ball, Reliance Insurance Agencies
This award recognizes significant contributions to and a positive impact on the community at large. The recipient embodies a positive spirit and serves as a role model for others.
In 1985 Jim Ball bought a small Vancouver brokerage; today the Reliance Insurance Group, headquartered in Burnaby, is comprised of seven divisions employing 113 people.
Jim has been an industry leader, serving as president of the
- Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association (1992),
- Sales and Marketing Executives of Vancouver (1993),
- Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. (1994),
- Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (1999) – during the intervening years he was instrumental in developing the Broker Identity Program.
He was a director of Association of Neighborhood Houses of Vancouver for 12 years and on the board of the Immigrant Services Society of BC for 4 years. He has served since 2008 on the board of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
In 1992 Jim was part of the volunteer group that started Salute – the annual Insurance Person of the Year award; in 2007 his peers bestowed the honour on him.
He has served for the past five years on the committee that organizes the annual R.P. Vickerstaff distinguished-speaker dinner. And he was the founding chair of the all-industry BCIT Insurance & Risk Management Diploma Committee.
Jim is a founding board member of Bridges to Community Canada, which alleviates poverty in Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the hemisphere. Over the last 10 years the group has raised over 2 million dollars, and has built 220 houses, 2 schools, and a library.
MacDermott’s Insurance Agency, Port Alberni
This award recognizes a brokerage that’s forward-thinking and proactive in its approach to internal organization, technology, human resources, and community service.
MacDermott’s Insurance Agency in Port Alberni was founded in June 1908 when Alfred Carmichael formed a company to act as agent for the Alberni Land Company. It went through several owners and name changes and in late 1975 Brian and Mary McDermott bought it and gave it its current name. Gary and Barbara Connauton owned the brokerage between 1991 and 2017 when it was purchased by Schill Insurance. The brokerage has always been located on Argyle Street.
MacDermott’s Insurance currently employs 15 people. All employees except one are Level 2 or 3 licensees. With a philosophy that “knowledge is to be shared”, they celebrate each employee’s milestone, and senior agents are paired with junior agents to assist with development.
MacDermott’s Insurance submits all new business and policy changes via Broker Portal; in 2016 they implemented e-signature technology. The same year MacDermott’s was the brokerage with the largest commercial e-doc download in B.C. As a result, in 2017 CSIO named them a “Technology Leader”.
MacDermott’s has sponsored the Alberni Valley Charity Golf Classic since 2008 contributing to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and a number of local charities. For 110 years, MacDermott’s has continuously strengthened their reputation for customer service, friendliness and commitment to the community.