IBC: Tell us a bit about Bryson Insurance Brokers.
This year we are celebrating our 35th year in the business. We opened our doors in 1981, and since then, we have expanded our geographical reach and breadth of insurance specializations. Our founder, Richard Bryson, built a strong foundation for our brokerage, which his daughter, Tracy Makris, continues today. Through the years, we have maintained and evolved a culture of caring, business ethics and service excellence that has kept Bryson Insurance as a leading brokerage firm in the Durham Region.
IBC: What is one of your main specialties?
Our primary niche is transportation and fleets. We started that practice back in 1979 before Bryson Insurance was even formed. Richard Bryson’s first position in Toronto was with a small brokerage, where he discovered unique solutions for fleets. Since then, the segment has expanded drastically, and we have invested over 35 years developing this particular specialization. Today, we are honoured with the incredible transportation specialists and industry thought leaders who call Bryson home.
IBC: What are you doing to attract new talent?
Our agility and flexibility has attracted incredible talent. There is a cliché that holds true for us – talent attracts talent – and that has been a huge way that we have been able to get new talent in the door. We are open to great people and the infinite possibilities they bring to our organization, which I think is encouraging to younger professionals who are looking for a meaningful career.
IBC: How does your firm support the success of its employees?
We are very supportive of continuing education, so we provide guidance, support and financial coverage to people who are looking to grow in their area.
We are also very proud of the Bryson Experience Program, which is a continuous support structure for learning and development. The Bryson Experience Program functions as a monthly individualized coaching program where team members are encouraged to self-identify the areas where they want to stretch and grow personally and professionally.
IBC: What makes Bryson Insurance Brokers unique?
One of the many things that makes us unique is that we have a lot of fun as an organization, placing a particular focus on health and wellness. We express this value through internal initiatives like team hikes and obstacle courses like Mudderella. Also, we are planning a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
These kinds of activities keep people engaged. We create these opportunities inside our organization because we want to lead as a workplace where those once-in-a-lifetime experiences one may only dream of actually exist as reality.
IBC: How has Bryson Insurance Brokers managed to be successful for more than three decades?
At our core, we truly put business ethics very high on the list of things we care about. We have developed a level of trust, reputation and respect in the industry from companies looking for an insurance partner who is actually seeking their best interests.
In many instances, we align more as a strategic partner than a traditional broker. In part because of our stand for business ethics, we have been able to develop unique and amazing relationships with insurance markets and their wonderful underwriters.
As an organization, we are very ethically focused, and we recognize that the only constant in life is change. When you try to resist change, that can be a full-throttle recipe for failure. By being conscious of our natural resistance to change, it allows an opening to actually start embracing it.
Also, we keep our egos at bay. The success of the organization is not the effort of a single person. If we land a new client, we recognize that everyone in the organization made that happen. Each individual is incredibly committed to the success of the whole. There is a real ‘in it for all’ or ‘everybody wins’ mentality.
But at the end of the day, we do have unwavering core values, and that is why we continue to attract great customers and talent, and they both stay with our brokerage for a long time. We have customers who have been here since the early days, and we also have employees who have called Bryson home for most of their professional careers. To say that we put business ethics before profits or to say that we have a great culture with great people may sound cliché, but these are real cornerstones of our organization. We are always striving to create an extraordinary experience for our team, our clients and our community.