Celebrating an extraordinary advocate for women in leadership

Celebrating an extraordinary advocate for women in leadership | Insurance Business Canada

Celebrating an extraordinary advocate for women in leadership

In 2009, beloved Canadian café chain Tim Hortons completed the reorganization of its corporate structure to become a Canadian public company. At that time, the brand was the largest publicly-traded quick service restaurant chain in Canada based on market capitalization, and fourth largest in North America.

In 2021, major Canadian insurance company Definity filed a preliminary prospectus for a proposed initial public offering. The offering came after one of its member companies, Economical Insurance, made the decision to demutualize. Definity is also the parent company of Family Insurance Solutions, Petline Insurance Company, and Sonnet Insurance Company. In Q1 2022, Definity posted an operating net income of $64.6 million and gross written premiums of $83.8 million – representing a year-over-year increase of 12.7%.

What links these two milestones is that one woman helped prepare both organizations for their journey towards being publicly listed companies: Brigid Pelino.

As the current senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Definity, Pelino’s impressive resume does not stop at just Tim Hortons and Definity – on the Canadian side of things, she has worked for Canadian Tire and WestJet, and she had also held roles at international companies such as Honeywell International and General Electric.

But more than her extraordinary career, Pelino is a strong advocate for women in leadership. She was the executive chair of the Women’s Foodservice Forum in Canada for more than five years. It is this passion that made Insurance Business Canada recognize Pelino as an Elite Woman for 2022.

Read more: IBC Elite Women 2022 – Brigid Pelino

In a blog post on LinkedIn, Pelino shared how she is incredibly enthusiastic about her line of work.

“I have always loved my work. I've loved the opportunity to help create high performing, challenging, fun, rewarding, and caring work environments where employees can thrive and reach their chosen potential,” she said. “I get a real charge out of it. And I love the [chief HR officer] role.”

She added that as chief HR officer, “there is so much opportunity to serve and have a positive impact on an organization's success and on people's lives.”

“Service is [the] key word in my leadership vocabulary,” the leader prefaced.