still with us today, as our executive vice
president. In 1989, Bryan, Val, and Beth
began a special program for engineers
and geoscientists, which propelled Park
Insurance from a mom-and-pop shop to
an organization with multiple locations
and dozens of employees.
As the business was growing, in 1998,
we lost our founder – my grandfather Joe
Fitzpatrick – to cancer. At his funeral,
I recall being overwhelmed seeing the
magnitude of his life’s work, and the
depths of the relationships he formed,
reflected in those who came to pay their
As you all know, our industry is a ser-
corporate culture. Throughout the past
seven years, I took note of the stories,
rituals, and language that were unique
to Park. I began to notice that the origi-
nal values set by Beth and Joe could get
lost in the daily struggle to keep up.
This is not unique to our organization.
Each of you here today should be able
to relate. We can get so caught up in the
day-to-day that we may find it difficult
to answer the following three questions:
1. What do we do?
2. Who do we serve?
3. What value or benefit is derived from
I gathered 15 members of our team,
representing different departments,
ages, and backgrounds. Together, we
debated those three questions. We
analyzed the company, identified areas
of strength and weakness, and set forth
with a plan to empower the organization
to be more progressive. We recognized
that in a service-based industry, our
most valuable asset is our employees –
our family. If we take care of our family,
our clients will be well cared for as a
We decided to use Beth and Joe’s initial ambitions, in conjunction with their
original value and mission statements,
to identify the four core principals of
1. Passion: We believe that what we do
every day makes a difference in the
lives of our clients and employees.
2. Happiness: We believe that work can
be both fun and productive, and each
day should be celebrated.
3. Innovation: Being an innovator takes
courage and we empower our employees to take that leap.
4. Teamwork: Our customers can trust
The Fitzpatricks in 1985 at the grand-opening party of a new
location, from left: Bryan, Beth, Joe, Sheelagh and David.
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vice-based industry. We use our expertise and compassion to help our clients.
When they leave our offices, they don’t
leave with a product in hand. Whether
you are an adjuster, actuary, underwriter,
producer, broker, principal, or agent, it
is the service we provide: Helping our
clients navigate the complex world of
insurance. That is our true value.
In 2010, I joined the Park team, moving through each department before
settling into my role as vice-president of
operations. It was while I was studying organizational behaviour at UBC’s
Sauder School of Business that I was
introduced to the concept of leveraging