H. Ross Totten, FCIP, CCIB
President & CEO, Totten Insurance Group, London & Toronto, ON
The son of a small town broker and politician, Ross grew up with the example of service and giving back to the community. He started his insurance career with the Pitts Insurance Company in London, followed by London & Midland in London and from there joined South Western Group in Leamington as the seventh employee. He spent 37 years as its President and CEO. In 2003, Ross’s new venture was the formation of Totten Insurance Group, a national wholesale brokerage.
Ross earned his Fellowship designation in 1979 and his passion for learning has been encouraged in others ever since. Involved in education for several years, he has been an Institute course instructor; coordinator of Insurance Studies at St. Clair college; and a teacher and lecturer for RIBO licensing and CAIB courses. Ross is a frequent speaker at seminars regarding insurance issues dealing with niche or specialty marketing and has written numerous articles on the subject.
As one nominator stated: “Well before the Career Connections ‘Ambassador program’ was conceived, Ross was the epitome of an ambassador for both the Institute and the property and casualty insurance industry. Whenever we need someone to participate in an industry panel, Ross’ name is the first one that comes to mind. He’s knowledgeable, articulate and a genuine ‘draw’ within the insurance community. Above all, he is highly regarded, well respected, and we’re glad to have him as a member of our insurance community.”
As President and CEO of Totten Insurance Group, Ross has built a nationally recognized specialty wholesale insurance company with a management team and staff that are committed to providing service and support to the industry. In fact, Ross’ nomination for this award was signed by each of the members of his senior leadership team.
Ross was on the Board of Directors of the Local Institute Chapter, is Past President of the Insurance Institute of Ontario and Past Governor of the Insurance Institute of Canada. Currently he is the International Executive Committee representative for Gamma Iota Sigma, an insurance fraternity organization on university and college campuses in Canada and the US.
Personally and professionally Ross is committed to the support of many charitable and community groups. Ross and Joan, his wife of over 40 years, have been important members of the Children’s ‘family’ of donors for 15 years in support of Children’s Hospital in London. In recognition of their support toward the Building Fund for the New Children’s Hospital, two rooms will be named in their families’ honour.
As the President &CEO of the Children’s Health Foundation stated in her nomination letter: “We are honoured to have Ross as one of our most loyal and valued donors. We of course sincerely appreciate all of the financial support he and his wife, Joan, have given, but we also highly respect Ross’ modesty, his truly philanthropic motivation for giving, and his genuine caring for children – he is a man who has demonstrated time and again his sincere concern for the wellbeing of the youngest members of our society.”
Professionally, Ross and Totten Insurance Group support many industry charitable events including WICC and the Lew Dunn Charity Golf Tournament. Totten Group holds an annual charity golf tournament in support of Canine Vision. The staff of Totten Group is encouraged to participate in charitable events and is recognized for this. All offices of Totten Group raise funds in support of families at Christmas and on May 28 all of the staff from across Canada met in Toronto for a Team Building exercise where bicycles were built for more than 50 children from families that do not have the means to provide these for their children.
It is with great pleasure that the CIP Society recognizes Ross Totten as an Established Leader.