A FULL LINE OF
PRODUCTS TO HELP
GROW YOUR BUSINESS
As one of the largest property and casualty insurers in
Canada, Wawanesa Insurance has the breadth of products
to meet your customers’ diverse and ever-changing needs.
Paired with our outstanding claims service, Wawanesa
policyholders become customers for life.
Contact your Wawanesa Business Development
representative today or visit wawanesa.com to learn more.
HOME BUSINESS FARM
In 1964, my grandparents, Beth and Joe Fitzpatrick, opened the doors to Fitzpatrick Insurance. Six days a week, Joe worked from a small desk at East Hastings and Slocan, while Beth took care of
their three small children and maintained
the books at home in Burnaby. On evenings and weekends, their home became
the office, with clients calling at all hours
for guidance. My grandmother, reflecting
back on this time, said that she would be
worried if their phone wasn’t ringing.
My grandparents’ ambitions were simple: to help others, and to create a future
for their family.
Fitzpatrick Insurance, renamed Park
Insurance in 1965, quickly became a
trusted source in the neighbourhood.
Joe and Beth routinely went above and
beyond the call of duty with their growing clientele. My grandparents became
friends, confidants, and sometimes bartenders to hundreds in the community.
Many of these original clients are still
with us today, as are their descendants.
While the business grew, so did their
it, was bigger than our last name. It
extended to Park Insurance’s employees,
clients, and community.
Park Insurance is not alone in its
humble beginnings. All companies
begin with a founder and an idea. This is
the magic moment where the soul of an
organization is born!
Henry Mintzberg, a celebrated Ca-
nadian academic and author explains it
best when he says, “Culture is the soul
of an organization – the beliefs and
values and how they are manifested. The
culture is the soul that holds the thing
together and gives it life force.”
A culture can be forgotten, manipu-
lated, embraced, or leveraged. It can kill,
or cultivate, an organization. Utilized
properly, a corporate culture has many
long-term positive outcomes for an
organization, such as lowered turnover
rates, improved productivity, increased
marketability, and increased customer
satisfaction with fewer customer com-
One month before I was born, my
grandmother Beth interviewed and
hired Park’s first broker who wasn’t
named Fitzpatrick: Valerie Jang. Val
brought with her a wealth of knowledge,
calmness, and humour, making her the
perfect addition to the family. She is
children. As soon as they were able,
David, Bryan, and Sheelagh began their
careers in the 1970s – as janitorial staff.
They grew up in an environment focused
on helping others, and helping their
family. Before long, they were behind a
desk as brokers, offering the same advice
and friendship as their parents.
As you can imagine, my childhood
was very similar. My father Bryan instilled in my siblings and me the same
values that he grew up with.
Although I could never be trusted to
adequately vacuum the office, by the age
of 10, I was an expert envelope stuffer. I
knew that at any moment, our day could
change, and we would be needed to
help our family. Family, as I understood
Val Jang, founder Joe Fitzpatrick and
son Bryan in a 1989 promo photo for the