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Ontario brokers receive top honours at IBAO’s 96th annual convention


October 21, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) has announced the “top performing brokers and brokerages” throughout the province at their recent annual Awards of Excellence gala.

IBAOHeld on the opening night of the 96th annual IBAO Convention at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto on Wednesday, the Awards of Excellence highlight the achievements and initiatives of the IBAO’s most outstanding members, IBAO said in a press release issued Thursday.

“Our Awards of Excellence gala is one of our most treasured moments at convention,” said IBAO CEO, Colin Simpson, in the release. “It’s a time where Ontario brokers come together to honour those who have given back to their communities and to the industry. It’s important that we give recognition to these brokers, as they are the pace setters that can lead and inspire our industry.”

The 2016 IBAO Awards of Excellence winners include:

  • Young Broker of the Year – Adam Hare of Insurance Jack. Among Hare’s accomplishments: director of the Insurance Brokers Association of Durham Region; chair of the Young Entrepreneurs Committee at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce; board member, Insurance Program Advisory Committee at Durham College; participates in monthly meetings with ORBIT around the digital client experience and helps to raise the industry standard; Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) Technology Leader; nominated for Young Business Person of the Year by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce; started an annual fundraiser called Eggstravangaza to benefit Big Brothers and Sisters; and founded Dear Santa Durhamto benefit disadvantaged families at Christmas.
  • Brokerage of the Year – Dalton Timmis Insurance Group. Accepted by Brian Timmis, partner, and other key members of the team. The national broker opened three new offices in the last few months, with net growth at 12% and retention around 90%, IBAO said in the release. The brokerage has written over $23 million in new business across all lines this year. The brokerage: has their own customer relationship management (CRM) system that sends automatic notifications; leverages a mobile app that scans drivers’ licenses for quotes; has a presence on major social media platforms; hired a digital strategist to help the brokerage compete with direct writers; improved workflow by leveraging customer driver’s licenses to capture data; has a modern workplace with ping pong tables, couches, a health and wellness program leveraging Fitbits and internal training programs; has younger staff participate in the Young Brokers Council; and, is involved in the Hamilton Marathon of Hope and local charity events.
  • Affiliate of the Year – St. Thomas-Elgin Insurance Brokers Association. The award was accepted by affiliate president Crystal Underhill. Among the affiliate’s accomplishments: four of 6 board members are young brokers; participation of 45–50% of membership at educational meetings and over 60% at social events; Join Us campaign resulted in a 25% increase in attendance at meetings; donate cash and a carload of food and non-perishables to each of the Aylmer, St. Thomas and Port Stanley food banks to help out during the holiday season; implemented a scholarship to be given to a student from Elgin County pursuing post-secondary education in an insurance-related field; and hosted a joint event with the London Insurance Brokers Association inviting federal candidates from each riding in Elgin-London-Middlesex to speak to members in a panel discussion.
  • Innovator of the Year – Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers. Accepted by president Adam Mitchell. Among the brokerage’s achievements: consistent triple digit growth from $2.5 million in premium in 2010 to $14 million in 2016; heavily invested in technology and digital marketing with a full time developer on the team; run three CRM systems connecting with clients through email, text and “very soon through [artificial intelligence]; embraced a modern ecommerce model spreading clients throughout all Ontario; and reinvented the office space to become more employee friendly by incorporating a gym and cafeteria. “The goal is to convert an old warehouse to be a Google-like campus for the team,” IBAO reported.

After accepting the Brokerage of the Year award, Timmis said in a statement on Thursday that “we are truly honoured and proud to be a recipient of this award from the IBAO. This award is a testament to our amazing staff who work diligently to build relationships with our clients and take care of all their insurance needs. Dalton Timmis prides itself on service which is a key driver in the growth and success of the brokerage,” Timmis said in the statement.

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Brokers are ‘not competition to each other,’ IBAO keynote speaker says