Emerging Leader

Sara Runnalls, FCIP, CRM, RIBO

Vice President, Public Sector Risk Advisor, BFL CANADA Risk and Insurance Services Inc.

Sara RunnallsSara is the consummate professional, building an impressive resume during her time in the p&c insurance industry, and earning the trust and respect of her clients and colleagues along the way.

Sara started her career in the industry as a receptionist in a small reinsurance company, quickly establishing herself as a key support person for the underwriting, claims and accounting departments. Seeing an opportunity to combine her personal passion for horses with her work, she became a farm and horse insurance broker. She later joined a large multi-national firm working on Municipal Accounts, and then moved to BFL CANADA, where she has worked on a large number of high-profile projects: building a National Public Sector Practice, expanding the Commercial Department for the largest risk-managed accounts, heading the Equine Team, and eventually coming back to the Public Sector unit in a risk management role.

Sara completed her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation early on, believing that education was an important building block for her career. She completed her Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) and Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designations in short succession.

Along with education, Sara credits her success to growing up around and competing with horses. With her husband and her sister, she runs a small horse boarding operation, and contributes personal time to the Canadian Pony Club. She is currently Education Chair for the Central Ontario Region, organizing clinics and workshops. She is also currently working on an initiative to establish a foundation for at-risk girls, which would allow the girls to experience the joy and empowerment of working with horses.

Sara gives back to the industry through a number of important initiatives. She has been supporting the work of the Starlight Children’s Foundation through her involvement with the Insurance Gala since 2004, being responsible for the event venue and catering early on, and then later taking on the role of Co-Chair. She continues to support the event as Past Chair, providing a backup and advisory role.

She has also been heavily involved with the Institute’s Career Connections Ambassador program, starting back in 2002, and for almost 13 years as one of the GTA’s most active classroom presenters and career fair attendees. “Her ability to not only explain the ins and outs of insurance to her audience, but also to take the time to emphasize that no matter what your interests are, there is a career in insurance were always well received and generated great conversation,” writes one of her supporters. Sara’s unique career story is featured prominently in Career Connections videos and promotional material.

Sara has also been involved with the CIP Society, sitting on the Ontario Council Committee for 11 years and holding several responsibilities such as working with Institute staff on Fellows’ Night and other events, acting at the Career Connections liaison, and volunteering on the Symposium committee.

Her passion for fairness and equity has seen her involved in an important Working Women Group initiative at BFL. The Group encourages women within the organization to advocate for themselves and provides networking opportunities in an effort to improve participation of women in leadership roles. A five-person committee now works with Sara to operate the Group, which hosts monthly meetings, with plans to extend the group to other offices.

“Whether it is her passion for an industry that has provided her with so many great career successes; her commitment to volunteering from not only the industry but also within her community; or her professional dedication to see the success of the younger generation; Sara encompasses the key elements in being a leader,” writes a supporter.

It gives the CIP Society immense pleasure to recognize Sara Runnalls as an Emerging Leader in 2018.