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IBABC Honours Outstanding Insurance Professionals at BC Place


June 20, 2018   by Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.

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VANCOUVER, June 20, 2018 /insPRESS/ – On May 31, several outstanding insurance professionals were honoured at the centennial celebrations of the Insurance Brokers Association of British Columbia (IBABC).

IBABC is the professional association that represents and provides licensing and continuing education to general insurance brokers in B.C. In celebration of its 100th anniversary, IBABC held its annual conference gala at BC Place Stadium with nearly 1,100 people in attendance.

In recognition of the work done by IBABC-member insurance brokers over past decades to establish today’s professional standards for the insurance brokerage industry, IBABC launched an awards program that recognizes top-performing brokers, brokerages, and allied trades.

The inaugural winners (more photos) in the seven awards categories are:

• IBABC Centennial Inaugural Builder Award: Bill Earle, Group Publisher, Insurance People Media, Vancouver.
• Partner/Supplier of the Year: Special Risk Insurance Managers, Mark Woodall, President & CEO, and Tom Willie, Director of Underwriting & Partner, Langley.
• Young Broker of the Year: Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay, Vice President of Operations/Marketing, Park Insurance, Burnaby.
• Personal Insurance Broker of the Year: Dorothea VanHerwaarden, Manager, Private Client Group, Producer Services and Digital Leads, Axis Group, Vancouver.
• Commercial Insurance Broker of the Year: Amrit Sidhu, Account Executive & Director of Operations, S&S Insurance, Vancouver.
• Community Champion of the Year: Jim Ball, President, Reliance Insurance Agencies, Burnaby.
• Brokerage of the Year: MacDermott’s Insurance Agency, Port Alberni.

From left: IBABC President Shawn Fehr, and Rosemarie Mesic and Brian Carriere of MacDermott’s Insurance Agency

Executive Director/COO of IBABC Chuck Byrne stated, “IBABC is exceedingly proud of its members, and our combined accomplishments over the century since the first agents’ group came together in 1918. Marking this century of performance by recognizing our top talent, diversity and contribution to B.C. was a must for our centennial celebrations. The IBABC Centennial Awards will be the legacy and reminder of all who came before us as we look to the future.”

Next year’s Centennial Awards will be presented at IBABC’s AGM & Leaders’ Conference, May 2019 in Victoria. IBABC would like to thank the generous Centennial Gala and Centennial Awards sponsors: Wawanesa Insurance, Intact Insurance, Gore Mutual, and Aviva Canada.

IBABC serves as the voice of the general insurance brokerage industry and promotes its members as the premier distributors of insurance products and services in British Columbia. IBABC represents more than 870 property and casualty insurance brokerages that in turn employ more than 15,000 people in approximately 140 B.C. communities.
For more information on IBABC, visit www.ibabc.org

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MEDIA CONTACT
Chuck Byrne
Executive Director/COO
604-606-8001

BACKGROUNDER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2018

IBABC Honours Outstanding Insurance Professionals at BC Place

Additional information about IBABC’s Centennial Awards winners:

IBABC Centennial Inaugural Builder Award: Bill Earle, Group Publisher, Insurance People Media, Vancouver.

Bill Earle began his career in the insurance industry in the 1960’s, working at his dad’s adjusting firm while attending UBC. His father had frequently expressed that he wished there was a directory for the industry. Together they developed a business plan and Earle published the first BC Insurance Directory in 1964 before he graduated.

In 1978 Earle proposed to IBABC that it convert its newsletter into a self-sustaining magazine; it was the start of a collaboration that marks its 40th anniversary this year. Earle added the BC Broker magazine to his fledgling publishing company that was producing the BC Insurance Directory. BC Broker over the years inspired other broker-association publications across Canada. Along the way Earle launched today’s Insurance People magazine, which is distributed across Canada, and his directories now cover the four western provinces.

Partner/Supplier of the Year: Special Risk Insurance Managers, Mark Woodall, President & CEO and Tom Willie, Director of Underwriting & Partner, Langley.

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. (Managing general agencies are brokerages that typically serve niche-market clients and can also offer these insurance products to other brokerages.) 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.

Young Broker of the Year: Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay, Vice President of Operations/Marketing, Park Insurance, Burnaby.

Chelsea Fitzpatrick-Lindsay is a third-generation broker who began working part-time at Park Insurance in 2010 while completing her university degree. Fitzpatrick-Lindsay earned her CAIB designation, completed the Producer Development Program, and is taking advanced education at the Sauder School of Business. She implemented a plan to improve each employee’s satisfaction both professionally and personally and 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. Fitzpatrick-Lindsay volunteers with Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade and other insurance-industry groups, and community events including the Michael Cuccione Foundation.

Personal Insurance Broker of the Year: Dorothea VanHerwaarden, Manager, Private Client Group, Producer Services and Digital Leads, Axis Group, Vancouver.

Dorothea VanHerwaarden started with Shaw Sabey and Associates with a clear action plan to develop a private client group. After building a book of private clients, VanHerwaarden hired staff and officially created the Private Client Group, which further served Metrix Insurance Professionals and Axis Insurance Managers. Then VanHerwaarden 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.

Commercial Insurance Broker of the Year: Amrit Sidhu, Account Executive & Director of Operations, S&S Insurance, Vancouver.

Amrit Sidhu’s strategy has revolved around hiring key people, and differentiating S&S Insurance Services by catering to niche markets. He has developed several trade-specific insurance solutions, including coverage especially tailored to the needs of general contractors and demolition and excavation contractors. Sidhu’s five-year plan includes adding a managing general agency division, and expanding their online quoting system.

Sidhu also manages the day-to-day operations of the brokerage, setting high customer-service standards and leading by example. Sidhu has his CAIB designation and is completing his CIP designation. A CRM designation is his next goal. Sidhu 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.

Community Champion of the Year: Jim Ball, President, Reliance Insurance Agencies, Burnaby.

In 1985 Jim Ball purchased a small Vancouver brokerage that today is the Reliance Insurance Group, headquartered in Burnaby, and comprised of seven divisions employing 113 people. Ball has been an industry leader, serving as president of the Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association (1992), Sales and Marketing Executives (1993), Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. (1994), and the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (1991).

Additionally, Ball 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 four years. He has served since 2008 on the board of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
In 1992 Ball 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 was the founding chair of the all-industry BCIT Insurance & Risk Management Diploma Committee.
Ball is also 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, and has built 220 houses, two schools, and a library.

Brokerage of the Year: MacDermott’s Insurance Agency, Port Alberni.

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.

They submit all new business and policy changes to insurers via a broker portal and in 2016 they implemented e-signature technology. The same year MacDermott’s was the brokerage with the largest commercial electronic-document download in B.C. As a result, in 2017 CSIO named them a “Technology Leader.”

Since 2008, MacDermott’s has sponsored the Alberni Valley Charity Golf Classic, 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.


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