November 30, 2011 by Suzanne Sharma
Each year the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) awards the best and brightest in the industry for their hard work and dedication to the independent broker channel.
“We want to remind people why we’re here and highlight our members and their achievements throughout the year,” says Maria Roscetti, conference & publications coordinator at IBAO.
Going into its fourth year, the IBAO Awards of Excellence were presented on October 21, 2011 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, during the association’s 91st Annual Convention. Click here to read about the winners.
The idea for the awards came to Roscetti when she attended Le Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurances du Quebec (RCCAQ) convention in Montreal five years ago. RCCAQ—the Quebec equivalent to IBAO—hosted an Awards of Excellence at the end of its annual convention, and Roscetti knew this was the element that was missing from IBAO’s closing night banquet.
“When they would name [a finalist] and their photo showed up on screen, tables would stand up and cheer for that person,” recalls Roscetti. “It created an energy for that closing night that was unparalleled.”
IBAO already had a convention committee, and created a subcommittee that worked with the executive director from RCCAQ to implement some of their ideas. For example, IBAO uses the same Montreal supplier that RCCAQ used to create the actual award. And while many of the awards categories are the same, one notable difference is that unlike RCCAQ, IBAO doesn’t award an insurance company. Roscetti explains IBAO wanted to keep the awards broker-specific.
This year, the nomination process was easier. In the past, nominees were required to fill out lengthy questionnaires highlighting their success.
“When we initially started with the awards there was hype about it and people submitted nominations about themselves,” says Roscetti. “The second year it was harder, and the third year it was like pulling teeth. I’ve learned brokers have a hard time promoting themselves.”
So IBAO worked with Canadian Insurance Top Broker to simplify the process, explains Roscetti. Industry colleagues nominated their peers by filling out an online form and briefly explained the reason behind their nomination. Canadian Insurance Top Broker then scheduled an interview with each nominee and submitted additional details to the IBAO.
“Because of this simplified process, we’ve received an outstanding number of submissions for each category,” says Roscetti.
Next, three judges from outside the insurance industry deliberated and chose the three finalists and winner. IBAO selected judges from its affinity partners so they could provide an impartial opinion as they wouldn’t personally know any of the nominees.
As stated, Canadian Insurance Top Broker spoke to the nominees in each category: Broker of the Year, Brokerage of the Year (more than 10 brokers), Brokerage of the Year (less than 10 brokers), Young Broker of the Year, and Affiliate Achievement.
We present you with an exclusive snapshot of the top three finalists in each category.
Copyright 2011 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the October 2011 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.
This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.