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On the Scene (April 02, 2007)


April 1, 2007   by


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Rob Seal has been appointed to the position of president and CEO of Cunningham Lindsey Canada Limited (CLC). Seal has held many adjusting and management positions during his 20-year career with CLC, most recently as president of Canadian operations. “His technical adjusting skills combined with a customer-focused, employee-driven management style have enabled CLC to expand its service offerings and maintain its position as a premier provider of quality independent adjusting services in Canada,” says a CLC release.

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Nancy Ng has been appointed manager of insurance services at PPG Canada Inc., a manufacturer that supplies vehicle-related products around the world. In her new role, Ng will work closely with the Canadian auto insurance industry to provide value through products, services and outsourcing options.

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Joseph A. Hardy has been appointed account development executive of Compliance Management Inc. (CMI). Working out of CMI’s Markham office, Hardy will be responsible for compliance risk management in Canada. With more than 20 years working with large corporations in the risk management field, Hardy has also served as the president of Ontario Risk & Insurance Management Society, as well as serving five years as board director of the Risk & Insurance Management Society.

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Ontario Bar Association grants Excellence in Insurance Law Award

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA)’s insurance law section has announced that Jesse T. Glass of Laxton Glass LLP (Toronto) and Eric R. Williams of Williams McEnery LLP (Ottawa) are the recipients of the 2007 OBA Award for Excellence in Insurance Law.

Glass has worked as a lawyer since 1959. He is past chair of the insurance law section of the OBA. He currently sits on both the Canadian and Ontario bar associations.

Williams is the founding partner of an eight-person civil litigation firm that has operated in Ottawa since 1978. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association (civil litigation section), and the County of Carleton Law Association.

The award recognizes and thanks outstanding members of the OBA for their exceptional achievements, distinguished service and contributions in the following areas:

* the development of insurance law through advocacy, teaching, writing or legislative reform;

* leadership in the profession and particularly of lawyers practicing in insurance law;

* maintaining the highest standards of professional competence and the highest levels of honesty, integrity and civility; and

* enhancement of the profession of law and the well- being of the community.

Glass and Williams will be honoured at a gala dinner and award ceremony to be held on Thursday, Apr. 26, 2007 at the Marriott Toronto Downtown Eaton Centre.

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The Toronto Insurance Women’s Association (TIWA) hosted their annual Wine & Cheese event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Feb. 15. More than 2,000 insurance professionals mingled to the tunes of a live jazz band while sampling a spread of culinary delights and sipping some reds and whites.

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CICMA/CIAA Ontario’s 40th Annual Joint Conference was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Feb. 6. The theme was ‘Slipping into Chaos.’ Emcee Brian Maltman provided a retrospective of the 40-year history of the meeting while introducing the various speakers of the day. The session began with a few words from CIAA Ontario president Mary Charman and CICMA Ontario president Ron Bouwmeister, along with a very fitting and heartfelt claims career retrospective from Larry Gilbertson. Speakers representing Canadian Defense Lawyers provided both plaintiff and defence perspectives on various current legal issues of interest. Speakers included Sandra Corbett, Parlee McLaws LLP, Calgary, AB (“Standardization of Insurance Limitation Periods: What’s coming?”); Marie Audren, partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Montreal, PQ (“Quebec Ice Storm Class Action: Pushing the Boundaries for Economic Loss”); Carmen Place, partner, Lindsay Kenney LLP, Vancouver, BC and president of the Canadian Defense Lawyers (“Social Host Liability: What’s Next?”); and Jamie Chipman, partner, Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales, Halifax, NS (“Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy: Causative Issues”).

The luncheon presentation included a mock trial performed by individuals from member firms of The ARC Group Canada Inc., a network of independent law firms focusing on insurance law and risk management. Mock trial presenters included Kevin McLaren and Todd Davies of Alexander Holbur Beaudin & Lang LLP in Vancouver, BC, and Kim Jossul and Jamie Trimble of Hughes Amys LLP in Toronto, ON.

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Giffin Koerth Forensic Engineering & Science and Blouin Dunn LLP graciously co-hosted a cozy event on Feb. 6 at the Steam Whistle Brewery’s ‘Roundhouse’ on a very, very cold afternoon/evening.

Dozens of claims managers from the CICMA/CIAA Joint Conference and participants of the OIAA Claims 2007 event attended, along with other invited guests from the industry.

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The Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association (OIAA) held their Claims 2007 Conference & Professional Development Seminars on Feb. 7 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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Held in conjunction with the conference, OIAA once again hosted a Claims 2007 Career Fair, bringing together more than a dozen insurance company and independent adjusting firm employees. More than 100 insurance-program students from Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario and Fanshawe College in London, Ontario attended the annual event.

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At the Claims 2007 conference luncheon, OIAA president Marie Gallagher presented a cheque from the OIAA for Cdn$12,780 to the Toronto Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Attendees were treated to a pep talk from Michael “Pinball” Clemons about the importance of character.

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TorQuest Partners Acquires Majority Ownership Position in EW Disaster Kleenup L.P.

TorQuest Partners Inc., a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds, has acquired EW Disaster Kleenup Canada L.P. (EW), a newly formed entity that purchased the assets of Edenvale Restoration Specialists Ltd. and Woodhouse Contracting Ltd. (both independent disaster restoration providers). The current shareholders and management team will be significant owners in this new partnership and will continue to manage the business on a day-to-day basis.

This transaction unites two large independent companies in the Canadian disaster restoration industry. Edenvale, with headquarters in Abbotsford, British Columbia, operates in the British Columbia Lower Mainland with operating branches in Burnaby, Chilliwack and Surrey. Woodhouse, with headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario, operates in Southern Ontario with operating branches in Stratford, Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Orangeville and Mississauga.

Both Edenvale and Woodhouse have been active members of Disaster Kleenup International (Canada) Ltd. (DKC). As part of the transaction, EW was successfully admitted as a new DKC member. “We are very pleased to welcome EW to the DKC Network and look forward to the unique skill set that TorQuest has to offer,” says Matt Johnson, CEO of DKC.

Lyle Kerr, the newly appointed CEO of EW Disaster Kleenup L.P., will complement Allen Booth and Ken Woodhouse, the divisional heads of Edenvale and Woodhouse respectively. Kerr was the CEO of CNC Global, a former portfolio company of TorQuest.

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The Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region (IBTR) hosted their January luncheon at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel with keynote speaker Toronto Police Chief William Blair, as well as guest speakers from both York Region and Toronto Crime Stoppers. Blair and Toronto Crime Stoppers’ chairman Lorne Simon thanked the insurance brokers for their generosity in donating Cdn$10,000 to the Crime Stoppers School program.

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The Insurance I
nstitute of Ontario’s 108th Annual Convocation & Awards Night acknowledged the achievements of more than 500 CIP and FCIP graduates on Feb. 8, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Guests cheered on the most recent graduates at the ceremony, which included special guest speaker Jerry Linenger, a former United States Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut. Linenger both inspired and informed the audience with his stories about what it was like to participate in one of the most dangerous and dramatic missions in space history, aboard the Russian space station Mir.

Numerous awards were presented as part of the National Prize Competition (Toronto Area Winners) CIP Program. They included: The Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association Prize (Top Independent Adjuster Graduate): Gayle Hertzman, CIP, of the Pinnacle Adjusters Group Inc.; The Reinsurance Research Council Prize (Top Reinsurer Graduate): Serge Thomas, CIP, of Aon Re Canada Inc.; FCIP Program awards included The Daphne Mullaly Award (Top Returning Fellowship Student): David Campbell, FCIP, of The Co-operators; The Robert Fisher Clark Award (Top Claims Major Fellowship Student): Timothy Vanderwillik, FCIP, of Aviva Canada Inc.; The Knollys Shield Awards (Top Underwriting Major Fellowship Student): Joanne Christiansen, FCIP; of Chubb Insurance Company of Canada.

In the Ontario Provincial Prize Competition, the Toronto Area Winners included the first runner-up Annie Wai-ling Chui, CIP, of TD Meloche Monnex; the second runner-up: Gayle Hertzman, CIP, of Pinnacle Adjusters Group Inc.; and the winner of the Douglas N. Hurlbut Award (best performance by a CIP student completing first five courses) was Paula Ximena Sanchez.

In the GTA Prize Competition, The Fellows Award (Top Fellow-GTA) went to Scott McMullen of ACE INA Insurance.

Instructor of the Year went to Ron Bouwmeister, FCIP, of Aviva Canada Inc. The Award of Merit went to Glenn Gibson, CEO of the Americas for Crawford & Company International, and an Honorary CIP went to Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited.

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More than 350 participants attended the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), held in Toronto on Jan. 27. Several thought-provoking speakers re-vealed to many segments of the industry the hard facts of collision repair in 2007. CCIF chairman Larry Jefferies (CARSTAR Automotive Canada) and CCIF administrator Mike Bryan opened the one-day session. Jefferies commented on the increasing challenges facing collision repairers, noting ‘points of separation’ such as training, equipment, process efficiency, accreditation and succession planning that will enable some shops to survive and prosper while others close or merge. Clearly those open to change, learn and act will prosper as the industry continues to adjust. Part of the CCIF’s mandate is to present meeting agendas designed to stimulate thinking, exchange ideas and provide new knowledge in support of those who aim to strengthen their business.

The day’s agenda included an introduction to impending VOC regulations and the use of waterborne paint; updates from the recycled and aftermarket parts sectors; and some novel ideas regarding Direct Repair Programs (DRPs). Session speakers included Mark Olson, VeriFacts Automotive; Rick Keister, Keystone Automotive; USA, Steve Fletcher, Ontario Auto Recyclers Assoc-iation (OARA); and Jay Perry, ABC Consulting. The next CCIF meeting is scheduled for Apr. 21 in Vancouver. Go to www.ccif.net for further details.

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Crawford Adjusters Canada’s employees presented a cheque in the amount of Cdn$50,000 to the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) at a reception in WICC’s honour on Jan. 25 in Toronto.

Since its inception in 2004, Crawford Cares has raised more than Cdn$150,000 for WICC.

“Our employees have once again stepped up not only to raise awareness of this horrible disease, but also to donate their own time and raise funds to help find a cure and diminish the impact on Canadians affected by breast and prostate cancer,” said Crawford Adjusters Canada CEO John Sharoun.

Each year, Crawford employees select a national charity for Crawford Cares to support through corporate donations, payroll deductions, employee fundraising events and volunteer efforts. Crawford’s clients also raised Cdn$12,000 at the firm’s annual charity golf tournament in September.

Since the Crawford Cares initiative began three years ago, employees have consistently and overwhelmingly voted WICC as their charity of choice; 2007 is no different. “Crawford Cares will once again direct its fundraising and volunteer efforts to the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade,” said Sharoun.

Campaigning and fundraising is already underway for 2007 and Crawford employees hope to yet again meet their goal. “We continue to raise the bar in regards to the amount of money raised and the number of volunteer hours given, but I am confident we are all up for the challenge,” Sharoun said.

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During Crawford’s reception honouring WICC, Crawford Adjusters Canada CEO John Sharoun took time out to thank a member of the Crawford staff for his hard work and dedication to WICC and other community organizations. Gary Gardener, Crawford’s vice president, sales, was presented the 2006 Crawford Community Service Award for his continuing work as a member of the musical group The Accidental Benefits.

Since 1997, Gary Gardner and The Accidental Benefits have been rocking for a good cause, raising money for WICC and other community groups. The all-volunteer band offers their talent in exchange for a charitable donation to WICC. Band members donate countless hours of time for rehearsals and performances and rarely ask event organizers to reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses to travel and rent equipment. Having produced four CDs and dozens of shows, this group has raised tens of thousands of dollars for WICC and helped countless people inside and outside the insurance industry learn more about WICC.

The Crawford Community Service Award is presented annually to Crawford employees who:

1.make lasting and meaningful contributions to a community or

not-for-profit organization;

2.volunteer their time on an ongoing basis, without payment;

3.demonstrate leadership and initiative to create greater public awareness of an association or community activity; and

4.are role models that inspire their peers to volunteer.

The winner receives $1,000 as well as a memento commemorating their achievement.

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Sean Corner was the benefactor of the first annual HeartFelt Help Fund (HFHF) fundraising event, held Feb. 2 at Premier Place Banquet Hall in Woodbridge, Ontario. The evening dinner event, entitled “An Evening of Blue Eyes and Red Hearts,” saw 184 supporters from throughout the insurance industry and related markets gather for a multi-course dinner while enjoying evening-long entertainment by the dynamic, Frank Sinatra-lookalike tribute performer Rick Sonata and his seven-piece band. The fundraiser was a big success due to the hard work of volunteers and the generosity of dozens of key sponsors, contributors and, of course, attendees.

Special thanks was given to the evening’s Platinum Sponsors: Economical Insurance Group Head Office; Economical Insurance Mississauga Branch Mid-Market Team; Gilbertson Davis Emerson LLP; Hayven Developments; Jones Deslauriers Insurance Management Inc.; National Brokers Insurance Services Inc.; Pilot Insurance Company; Premier Place Banquet Hall; WINMAR Restorations; with Gold Sponsor: Enterprise Rent A Car. Special thanks was given to Economical’s Mississauga Branch employees, who were the impetus for starting HFHF and contributed in so many ways, as well as management and staff of National Brokers for their outstanding efforts.

In 2007, HFHF chose to make its first contribution to 21-year-old Sean Corner. Sean became an underwriting trainee at Economical Insurance (Mississauga Branch) after graduating from Mohawk College. While atten
ding Mohawk, Sean also worked part-time for the Insurance Institute of Ontario, Hamilton-Niagara Chapter. In September 2006, Sean, a local Hamilton rugby star, was injured and paralyzed from the waist down during a match just prior to learning the team’s insurance had been cancelled. Funds raised from the benefit will be used for Sean’s immediate medical expenses, home renovations, vehicle modifi-cations and future care.

HFHF is a charitable, non-profit organization raising funds to support those in need who have been recognized by the insurance industry. Founded by two insurance women, Debbiee Mason and Joyce Usher-Mesiano, along with the help of five others, HFHF – an insurance-based group of volunteers – is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to enhance the quality of life for the individual(s) chosen by the Fund each year.

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The partners and staff of McCague Peacock Borlack McInnis & Lloyd, the Ontario member of the Canadian Litigation Counsel, recently hosted their 11th annual ‘Christmas In January’ party at the Design Exchange in Toronto. An industry favourite, this event attracts people from all sectors of the insurance industry throughout North America. Guests arrived from Boston, Minneapolis, Denver Vancouver Montreal and Edmonton. A great time was had by all!