Carla Blackmore, FCIP, CRM
Retired April 2009 from the role of Director, Commercial Programs after 34 years with Zurich Canada
“Ask anyone in the insurance industry about Carla and they will undoubtedly recount some positive interaction with her. She has touched many as manager, mentor, advisor, public speaker, volunteer, educator, committee member or chair, colleague and friend.
When Carla takes on a project – and she has taken on many – and asks you to help, it is virtually certain that you will enthusiastically agree. Something about the way Carla asks and the very fact that she has personally selected you to help, makes it difficult to refuse,” say the nominators.
“Carla has a presence that is incontestable – she radiates professionalism, class and poise. I watch how Carla carries herself, how she chooses her words, how she composes her responses, how she interacts with people at events. She has perfected the art of conversation, of making each person she interacts with feel as if they have her undivided attention. And somehow manages to spend that time with virtually everyone in the room – whether she is introducing herself to someone new or catching up with a longstanding colleague.”
Carla worked at Zurich for over 30 years in a number of different capacities – Underwriting, Branch & Unit Management, Sales & Marketing, and Programs. Over the years, she has managed staff, mentored numerous individuals, developed excellent relationships not only with the brokerage community but also with people at other insurers, claims adjusting firms, reinsurers, wholesalers and customers. Carla was constantly finding ways to enhance the reputation of Zurich Canada and its staff. She is well recognized as someone people could speak with about business issues, personal concerns, or health issues – everyone would get some of her time and valuable input back.
Carla’s strength of character is reflected in high standards of ethical conduct and a strong sense of corporate citizenship and community responsibility. Through her own accomplishments in business and in the voluntary sector, her impact has been substantial over more than three decades and through those she has mentored in the industry, ensuring that her drive will be transferred for the future. She communicates persuasively and engages her audience, whether she is chairing a committee, speaking to a crowd at an insurance industry or charitable event, or chatting to a student at the New Fellows evening.
Outside of Zurich, Carla’s commitments are: to the Institute both in the areas of teaching and furthering its reputation (most recently as the Chair of the CIP Society Ontario Council), to Charities supported by the industry (Starlight Gala and WICC to name just two) and to ensuring success and progress of individuals within our industry.
Carla has been a Director of Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade Ontario since 2001, contributing personal time and management skills to the outstanding results accomplished to date – raising over $4 million across Canada for cancer research since 1996. And she has been involved with fundraising for the Starlight Foundation since 1995, co-Chairing the Starlight Insurance Gala since 2007 and inspiring the insurance industry to contribute $2.4 million dollars in the past 15 years to fulfill the dreams and wishes of seriously ill children.
The Director of Development for the Starlight says he has “often asked Carla how she manages to balance a busy corporate career with not only her Starlight commitments but commitments to many worthwhile causes. Carla just gives me her famous smile and says, “I can’t sleep until I know we have done all we can to help the Starlight Kids! When you meet a person as special as Carla Blackmore, you are forever grateful. On behalf of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the more than 200,000 seriously ill and hospitalized children that we serve, thank you Carla for everything that you do!”
As one of the many reference letters stated: “The fact is, Carla throws herself whole-heartedly into every aspect of her life. In doing so, she acts as mentor to countless individuals in the insurance industry, and inspires us to try to live better, more meaningful lives. I can’t imagine a person alive today who is more deserving of a ‘leadership award’ than Carla.”
It gives the CIP Society immense pleasure to recognize Carla Blackmore as an Established Leader.