Message From the Chair

Chair's Message

Signing Off as Chair of the CIP Society

As I begin my departure as Chair of the CIP Society, I reflect on my tenure and how impressed I am with the work being done at the Insurance Institute of Canada. For the past three years as Chair of the CIP Society, I’ve witnessed how the passion and commitment of people across the country are making learning and education in the industry accessible and available to insurance professionals in Canada. The Institute’s employees and volunteers are all dedicated to delivering high quality education and learning experiences that meet the needs of members. The Institute depends on a large group of committed volunteers who give their time and often form long-term relationships with the organization.

I began my journey at the Institute as a member of the organizing committee for the annual GTA Symposium event. I was always impressed by the event but didn’t realize that it takes almost a year of planning to pull it together. One of the most difficult parts of the planning process is selecting a theme and seminar topics that will be relevant almost 12 months into the future! The next task is to find volunteer speakers who have experience or specialized knowledge that they’re able to share. The committee also helps to identify and facilitate sponsorships, which are critical to meeting the budget needs. Leading up to the event, the committee meets regularly to ensure registrations are strong and all the details are on track. On the day of the event, committee members are on-site helping to facilitate speakers and host the sessions – all the while crossing fingers that everything goes without a hitch. What a feeling of accomplishment when the day goes well and feedback is positive! I loved my time on this committee.

After a few years on the Symposium Committee, I was invited to become a member of the CIP Society National Council. This was a whole different side of the Institute that I wasn’t familiar with. Before joining the Council, I didn’t appreciate that my member experience was driven by both national and local activities and initiatives. I remember the meeting where we first talked about how we could provide more professional development for our members. This is where the idea for the Advanced CIP certificate program was born. One of my proudest accomplishments as Chair on this committee was the concept for this new program that provided grads with a next level of education offering after the CIP program, and before the FCIP program. I’m so proud that this new designation was pursued and delivered by the Academic Committee based on the recommendation from the CIP Society Council. Click here to learn more about the Advanced CIP program!

After serving on the Council for a couple of years, Bob Tisdale was completing his tenure as Chair and I was asked to take on the role. I attended the annual general meeting where I was voted in as Chair, with a seat on the Executive Committee. This provided more great experience as I participated in semi-annual meetings with a group of talented senior executives from across the industry tasked with ensuring the financial well-being of the Institute. In my role as Chair, I presented on behalf of the National Council and our members at the Annual General Meetings across the country where I met volunteers and members from the local Chapters and Institutes.

As I prepare to finish my tenure on the Council, I want to welcome Mike Kosturik (see below for bio) as the new CIP Society National Council Chair. I’ve had a wonderful experience as a volunteer with the Insurance Institute. It helped me grow and I hope I’ve brought some expertise and leadership to the Institute too. Best wishes to you all and thanks for reading!  

Julie Pingree, BA, CIP
Chair, National CIP Society


Mike Kosturik, Incoming Chair of the CIP Society National Council

On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Board, and our members, we welcome Mike Kosturik to the role of Chair of the CIP Society National Council.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Economics, and “fell" into insurance when an underwriter position became available. He started in a trainee program at the Guardian Insurance Company, where 18 months were equally split between PL underwriting, CL underwriting and claims. Mike moved through progressively higher levels of underwriting roles, fairly evenly spent in both personal and commercial lines underwriting, in three locations in the GTA. Mike is currently a Regional Vice President for Intact Insurance.

He earned his AIIC then his FIIC (the former CIP and FCIP designations respectively) in quick succession and moved into marketing and management roles, once leading an Ontario Facility Association Servicing Carrier unit - where opportunities to be involved in the full spectrum of an insurer's operation were present.

In the mid-nineties he moved to London, Ontario, and took on the role of Branch Manager for Guardian. Following that company's acquisition by ING in 1998, he moved up to Regional Commercial Manager and then Regional Branch Manager in southwestern Ontario.

Once again back in Toronto, and active in the local GTA Chapter, Mike has been a member of the CIP Society National Council since 2014. He is also an active participant in Career Connections' ambassador program, promoting careers in insurance in high schools and on college and university campuses; and in his workplace -- he has always encouraged newer staff in his company and in the industry to pursue their insurance education and knowledge wherever possible through the Institute.

Mike is elected to the role of Chair of the CIP Society National Council at the Institute’s AGM on October 25 in Charlottetown, PEI, and we look forward to his leadership in 2017 and onwards!