Just over 10 years ago, Trisura was nothing more than an idea. In 2015, it’s a hundred-million dollar company with branches from one coast of Canada to the other. A lot has happened before and in between, but one thing has remained the same—a will to do business better; a vision to be a step above.

That was the message Mike George brought while standing on stage at the Fermenting Cellar in the historic distillery district of Toronto, the night of November 7th, 2015. His two founding partners, Bob Taylor and John Garner stood on either side—a commemorative painting by Peter Rotter in the middle foreground.

Rotter’s piece is an homage to the original artwork that inspired Trisura’s logo and branding: Fred Varley’s Wind Swept Pine on Georgian Bay. Varley, who was a founding member of the group of seven, was inspired by the Canadian wilderness, particularly that which has been embattled by harsh climates, and survived.

But there’s more to Trisura than an image or an idea.

“The Tri in Trisura represents the three-tiered partnership between ourselves, our brokers, and our customers” said Mike as the faces of employees and significant others looked on.

“And the “sur” represents the word insurance…so if you think about it, the letters “s”, “u”, and “r” make up the middle of our name…we’re the guts of insurance. The “a” on the end was John Garner’s idea, initially Trisureh to keep it Canadian. And what do you know, the name stuck!”

Mike went on to acknowledge, one by one, the members of the team who joined while the Trisura was still a fledgling company.

Mike shakes hands with Chris Sekine

Mike greets Richard W. Grant

Marilyn Van Gansewinkel is welcomed to the stage

Donna Anderson, far right, is introduced

Mike welcomes Richard A. Grant

Ken Carlstrom is next to join the crew on stage.

Chris Kucman gets a lucky rub from Mike.

Dragan Popovic is the “Computer guy” Mike can’t live without.

Mike brings it in with John Watt.

Janet Mascitelli gives Mike a hug after being called up.

Christopher Rendell endures Mike’s bald jokes with a smile.

Called to the stage, but missing from the stream of photos, are Josée Levesque and Jean-François Therrien, who were the first to establish operations in Montreal. Also called were Teresa Galati, Glen Shaw, and Pina Mazzoli from the Toronto plant, who added strength and expertise to the Accounting, Risk Solutions, and Commercial Surety departments, respectively. All original employees are pictured in the group shot below.

Top left to right: Ken Carlstrom, John Garner, Chris Sekine, Teresa Galati, Mike George, Richard W. Grant, Marilyn VanGansewinkel, Donna Anderson, Chris Kucman, Bob Taylor. Bottom row left to right: Josée Levesque, Chris Rendell, Glen Shaw, Pina Mazzoli, John Watt, Richard A. Grant, Janet Mascitelli, Dragan Popovic, Jean-Francois Therrien.

Mike also took time to acknowledge Michelle McCafferty for her effort and enthusiasm in volunteering and charity work, as well as her continued excellence in surety underwriting. A “life-size” original print of the Rotter painting was given to Michelle.

Trisura employees continued to receive praise through the form of peer-review awards. The awards took the shape of miniature inuksuk– the singular of inuksuit, meaning “in the likeness of a human” in the Inuit language. They are monuments used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inuksuk is “Someone was here” or “You are on the right path.” The inuksuk awards fell into three categories: Spirit, Core Values, and Innovation.

The Trisura Spirit award went to the person who exemplifies the culture of Trisura and is a true ambassador of our brand both inside and outside the organization. They are the first to enthusiastically participate, initiate, and volunteer for activities while managing to do well at their job. This year’s recipient was Steve Carreiro.

Both Nadine Dodeman and Bill Van Der Ende received the Core Values Award for consistently demonstrating a commitment to the core values of the organization with both brokers and colleagues. They are well-balanced and mindful of Trisura’s core values in every day decision making, and exhibit a ‘step above’ in all situations.

The Trisura Innovation Award was given to the person that initiated new ideas to improve service to customers, made recommendations to improve processes or technology to enhance efficiency or save money or time, with a genuine interest and belief that ‘it can be done better. That person was Sarah Mainella.

With speeches and cordialities concluded, the night turned to continued celebrations with most attendees sticking around into the late hours of the night (and well into morning) to show off their dance moves while the DJ kept the music pumping.

A significant milestone of 10 years has been reached. The legacy of Trisura as a successful, distinctly Canadian insurer continues to be a step above, now and in the future. Here’s to the next 10 years, and beyond!