This year marks Sarena Hargreaves tenth anniversary in the insurance industry. Over the past decade she’s worked for four different brokerages and is now happy to call Josslin Insurance home. Sarena is based out of Josslin Insurance’s Kitchener location and in March of this year was promoted to the role of Commercial Insurance Specialist.

“I’m proud to say I’m the first female in this role at Josslin,” she said. “I’m so excited to break the gender barrier as the commercial sales world is primarily male. I feel there’s a special niche where I’ll be able to fulfill specific insurance solutions being a strong, independent woman in this department.”

Sarena is hoping to make a difference in how her clients view insurance. She wants to make them feel comfortable with insurance products and solutions and build trustworthy relationships where people are looking forward to meeting with their broker.

“One comment that has stuck with me was actually from my father,” she shares. “Years ago, he said that he dreaded when his broker came for a visit. This statement resonated with me when I began my career 10 years ago, and my goal from then was to ensure my clients always felt that they could approach me with questions about their insurance needs, felt comfortable and could trust me. I’ve strived to make people’s experience with their insurance broker an enjoyable one every time. And in case you’re wondering, yes I’m my father’s insurance broker – and he doesn’t dread insurance anymore!”

Now let’s get to Sarena’s answers.

Why do you like working at your brokerage?

I love giving back to the community and at Josslin we’re continuously involved in community events. If you feel passionate about a specific charity or event, Josslin will get you flex time to use to leave the office and support our community. I definitely feel a true sense of community working here, and it’s something I’m very proud to be a part of.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever been asked to insure?

The most interesting policy was for a hobby farm and on that farm we insured a donkey named Taco.

What’s the most unique insurance claim you’ve ever encountered?

The claim that sticks with me the most was one of my own actually. Seeing firsthand how a claim is handled is quite a different experience. My husband purchased an ATV and a couple of years ago was injured when he rolled his machine. He fortunately was okay and only had a few minor bumps, bruises and needed some stiches, but it could have been very serious. Our adjuster at Gore Mutual was outstanding and to see what is involved in the claims process gave me a new appreciation for adjusters. I take my hat off to the wonderful claims staff at Gore Mutual. They do great work, and to spend as much time with us as they did made for a very positive experience in the end.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“The world is yours girl, take it!” Another motto I stand by is “you have to keep moving forward.”

What’s your favourite song to sing along with during your drive home from work?

It’s “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette.

Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Most of my professional associates don’t know that I’m an adventurous outdoorsy type.  I’m quite formal and conservative every day at work, but what I really like to do is head to the forest for a hike, or jump into a lake and go scuba or free diving, or in the winter throw on a pair of snow pants and take the family snowboarding at Chicopee ski hill.

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

It would start with a big family breakfast and then we’d head outside and get active. We often hike the trails where we live in Ayr, Ontario. There are endless spots along the Nith and Grand River with beautiful scenery no matter what the season or weather, and they make for pretty fantastic photo ops too! Then I would end the day with a big glass of much deserved wine.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t working in insurance, I’d be …

a fashion or cosmetic buyer for the Hudson’s Bay Company. My first job out of college was with the Hudson Bay Company in cosmetic sales. I loved the job. I got to play and sell makeup all day – what girl wouldn’t love this? I thought about applying for the Hudson Bay junior buyer program, but I ended up moving with my husband to the Windsor area, and this is where I obtained my RIBO and my career with insurance sales took off! We also ended up expanding our family while residing in the Windsor area and had our youngest son there, who I named Hudson!               

What are some of the reasons why you like working with Gore Mutual?

I'm a big Gore Mutual fan. And just for fun, I thought I’d make a top 10 list of reasons why I love them.

10) They have a streamlined broker request process, great underwriting teams, great adjusters – Gore Mutual is filled with just all around great people.
9) They have a beautiful, historic building in wonderful downtown Galt, Ontario – it's always a pleasure to visit there.
8) Their Go Broker portal.
7) Holly Beaumont-Green and her wicked awesome billing team.
6) Commercial Underwriter Jeff Vincent
5) Claims Connection is user friendly and perfect for information sharing.
4) A fantastic female CEO, Heidi Sevcik.
3) Their broker appreciation events – Gore Mutual’s 175th birthday party was amazing!
2) They provide endless training and webinar opportunities for brokers.
1) Their Learning Centre team of Rhonda Reist and Carrie Baxter rock and make learning fun and exciting!

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If you’d like to be featured in our Meet Our Brokers series, please contact your Business Development Manager.