The Author, Taryn Green, is the Business Development & IT Coordinator at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Shaded by two large trees, a favourite little patio sits outside the entrance to our head office in Sudbury, Ontario. This set has come in handy lately with all the hot weather. On such days, you can usually find a team member on their lunch break reading a good book or just watching people pass by.

And even though summer is full of travelling, exploring, and reading, I discovered that our team has taken on a different sort of adventure. Here’s what our team members have been up to…learning, to be more precise…

Shawna, The Persistent Orator

Shawna has worked in the insurance industry for 29 years; she has been Gougeon’s Vice President of Operations for 15 of those years. Despite her extensive knowledge and background, she continually strives to refine her skills, learn new ones, and push herself outside her comfort zone.

With the goals to enhance her communication skills and ability to motivate her team, she registered in Sudbury Toastmasters. Each week, the club meets and participants help each other improve their communication and public speaking skills. This provides Shawna with “homework”.

Prior to a club meeting, you can hear her practicing speeches. She may also ask you, “What do you think about this opening line?” She then proceeds to rewrite it several times until “punchy” perfection!

Recent development: Shawna is now the Vice President of Education for the Sudbury Noon Hour Toastmasters.

Jody, The Inquisitive Learner

You need only to look at the letters after Jody’s name to realize that she’s a lifelong learner: Jody Elliott, CIP, CAIB, CRM.

Jody obtained her first certification in 1998, earning her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker licence (CAIB), which took her 2 years to complete. She attained her Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation in 2006, which took her 1.5 years to complete. This designation enhanced her focus and expertise on risk and risk mitigation. She earned her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada in 2013. This endeavour took her 3.5 years.

When I asked about her motivation behind achieving all these designations, she laughed and stated, “I just love to learn”, and explained that they help her, help her clients.

What’s next for Jody? Well, she’s taking a break from formal education (rightly so!), but is expanding her knowledge of other topics. She’s been researching the benefits of essential oils, like how they could be used to better her health and in place of other chemicals.

Did you know? Fun fact! A remedy for bugs and spiders in your house is to mix peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle and squirt it around doors and windows. Bugs and spiders hate the stuff, so they’ll stay away! Who knew?

Taryn, The New Me

I thought I would share what I’ve been up to, since I ask it of my team members. I’ve recently become a mom for the first time. With it, came an entire new set of priorities.

Upon returning to work after maternity leave, I found I needed to rediscover my goals: work, family, and personal. One morning at work, a Life and Workplace Coach spoke to our team as part of our Corporate Wellness Program. After the talk, I signed up to visit the coach outside of work to learn more about setting goals and new work-life priorities.

It’s been a great help. I’ve even recommenced journaling.

Read more from the Meet Our Team Blog Series by clicking here.

Interested in working at Gougeon with this dynamic team? Visit our Careers page and apply!

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[from left to right: Taryn, Shawna, and Jody]

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Topics: employee engagement, company culture, Taryn Green, staff, goals, Meet Our Team Series

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