On July 1st, 2021, Gillian Choo – Director of Personal Lines Sales at Western Coast Insurance – celebrated her 35th year of employment with Western Coast Insurance. Here is what she had to say about her career, her team, and the evolution of Western Coast over the years.
When Gillian started her career at Western Coast Insurance, all ICBC policies were renewed on the same day, February 28th; applications were hand-written and carbon copied; and “Top Gun” was the highest-grossing film of the year!
When asked about her time with Western Coast, she says: “There’s never a dull moment. It certainly doesn’t feel like 35 years!”
Having been through a number of mergers and acquisitions over the years, Gill has watched Western Coast Insurance grow and evolve from a local brand focused primarily on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to a subsidiary of Western Financial Group, one of Canada’s largest insurance brokers with offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
Throughout all the changes, two things have remained constant for Gillian: “the great people that work at Western Coast and the strong culture of customer service these people have cultivated. And with Western Financial Group’s acquisition of Western Coast Insurance back in 2013, the focus on our people and our customers has only intensified.”
As Gillian put it: “Western is a progressive and forward-thinking company. Their focus on customers and on the wellbeing of our people and doing what is fair is both refreshing and inspiring. I am so proud to work for a company like this.”
In addition to its people-centric culture, Gillian cites the abundance of opportunities for our employees as another cause for her lengthy tenure at Western Coast.
“If you want to build a career for yourself, Western is the company for you—especially if you are flexible and willing to move,” Gillian says. “The beauty of working for a large company like Western is that you can accrue experience in many different fields. You can work in sales, claims, marketing, learning & development, underwriting, and more. We tend to keep good people due to the many internal career opportunities here.”
When asked about the most exciting moments in her career, Gillian highlights Western Financial Group’s purchase of Western Coast as most memorable.
“Western Coast’s purchase really propelled us forward. Western Financial Group saw our potential. They had a vision for Western Coast and its place in the larger organization, and they began executing this vision very quickly and successfully after the purchase.”
After 35 years, what’s next for Gillian? “I’m looking forward to things returning to post COVID-19 normal or a new normal. I’m excited to continue guiding our Western teams as they grow and evolve while navigating the many changes in our company and Insurance industry.”
From everyone at Western, Congratulations on your 35-year milestone, Gillian!
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.