Last month, Andrea Ferrie—Leader of Personal Lines Sales & Service—celebrated her 20th year with Western Coast Insurance Services. Here is what she had to say about her career and the evolution of our organization over the years.
Andrea Ferrie joined Western Coast Insurance Services in 2001 in search of opportunities to advance her career. Her previous employer, a smaller local brokerage, provided little room for advancement and so she came to us in hopes that a larger organization might offer the opportunities for which she was looking.
She was not disappointed!
Within five years, Andrea was promoted to assistant manager at one of our busiest branches on Vancouver Island. Then, in 2013, Western Financial Group purchased Western Coast Insurance and the opportunities only increased in number.
Andrea has left an amazing mark on every branch she has touched and has worked at many of our locations starting in Sooke, Shelbourne, James Bay, Westshore, Eagle Creek and Oak Bay.
“I was nervous at first,” Andrea admitted, referring to Western’s acquisition, but she quickly realized that it was the right move for all involved. In addition to more opportunities for career growth and development, Western Coast’s new owners also brought in much-needed structure, long-term vision, and guiding principles that place employees and customers at the forefront of the organization’s priorities.
“The Guiding Principles are a very important part of who we are, and the fact that Western supports our clients, employees, and communities really stands out to me.” Andrea highlighted Western’s focus on employee wellness and maintaining a work-life balance, and our Good Heart Program, which allows our people to take paid time off in order to volunteer for a good cause, as factors that make Western the best company for which to work.
Andrea has many fond memories from her time with our organization, but three stand out in particular.
Her trips to Tofino, Las Vegas, and Nashville as part of Western’s Record Breakers, a company program that rewards top performers every year, all stand out. During her trip to Nashville, Andrea even had the chance to meet Paul McDonald and watch him record a new song. “Western even surprised us by having Paul attend our final reception where he played live for us.”
These days, Andrea oversees a number of branches on Vancouver Island as part of her role as Leader of Sales & Service. Having successfully worked her way up the ranks over the last 20 years, she offered the following advice to anyone looking to do the same.
“The key to being successful in this business is to embrace change. Change is going to happen regardless; if we don’t embrace it, we get left in the dust.”
Having experienced a number of mergers and acquisitions throughout her career with Western Coast, Andrea is speaking from experience. By embracing change, she has grown and evolved both personally and professionally, leveraging her experience to capitalize on the opportunities that arise in times of change and transition. In the process, she has become an inspirational leader and guide for her team and an indispensable part of our organization.
Congratulations on your 20-year milestone, Andrea!
Western Coast Insurance Services Ltd. is a wholly-owned division of Western Financial Group Ltd. Insurance products are underwritten by certain licensed insurance companies and are only
available throughout British Columbia, Canada.