PRESIDENT’S OPENING STATEMENT
It is my honor and privilege to be President of the Board of Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company as we celebrate 100 years of faithful service to our Policyholders.An occasion such as this is rooted in the foresight and diligence of our Company Founders: their integrity and common sense have remained the guiding principles of our Company. Today, we acknowledge their contribution and courage as we celebrate our mutual history.
Before continuing this historic meeting, I would like you to stand and honour our first Board of Directors.
A.R. MacAdam, Malignant Cove
John A. Gillis, Morar
John A. MacDonald, Harbour Rd.
George Taylor, Antigonish
Patrick Wall, Glen Alpine
Alexander Stirling MacMillan, Upper South River
William C. MacIntosh, Lower South River
Joseph Benoit, Pomquet
Harry Eadie, Clydesdale
George Vinten, Lower South River
Our Company celebrates this very special year with an awareness that it has been served by Boards of Directors, managers, and staff who have consistently worked together to meet the needs of our Policyholders. The loyalty of our Policyholders, many of whom have retained our services for generations, has enabled our Company to grow, remain strong and secure as it looks forward to insuring future generations.
We have much to be grateful for, and to be proud of, as we celebrate our Company’s Centennial year in 2010. Our Company, in reaching this milestone, has successfully met the diverse challenges that come with meeting the ever changing needs of our Policyholders.
Our first hundred years are now complete and provide us a solid foundation to move forward with confidence and optimism in the service of our Policyholders.
ththPRESIDENT’S REPORT <>2010 <> 100 Annual General Meeting <> April 6. 2010
As in 2008, the first half of 2009 had positive underwriting results. Unfortunately, results deteriorated in the second half with our Company finishing the year with a $129,000. underwriting loss. Our premium dipped slightly for the second year in a row but our policy count was up for the first time in three (3) years. Our Investment Portfolio has rebounded somewhat from the economic meltdown of 2008 but we still have quite a ways to go before recovering the investment losses. Our net income of $560,000 will increase our surplus to almost $10,500,000. Our subsidiary, Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Agency had another excellent year of growth. General Manager Bill Chisholm, Claims Manager Brian Morgan, and Sales Manager Wayne Doucette will provide more details in their reports.
The responsibility of overseeing the operations of our Company is taken very seriously by your Board of Directors and its Committees. Towards that end, your Board met six (6) times in 2009. As well, the Conduct Review Committee met three (3) times; the Audit Committee three (3) times, the Executive Committee three (3) times; the Human Resources Committee three (3) times; and the Underwriting & Rates Committee four (4) times.
As in every successful Company, the most important asset or resource are the people who work for it. For the second consecutive year, our management evaluated our staff higher than they evaluated themselves. I believe it doesn’t get much better than that and speaks volumes about our staff. Pam Power was our staff employee of the year for 2009. Pam was appointed Agency Manager mid 2009. I ask the rest of the staff to rise as I acknowledge them: Georgina DeCoste, Senior Underwriter; Darlene Sullivan, Administrative Assistant; Estelle Boyd, Underwriter; Brian Morgan, Claims Manager; Wayne Doucette, Sales Manager; Tessie MacFarlane, Accountant; Barb MacIsaac, Administrative Assistant, Agency; Mark MacDonald, Company Inspector; Trina Teasdale, Account Executive, Agency; Rovena Byrne, Receptionist; and Bill Chisholm, Secretary/Manager.
Our Agents, who collectively accounted for an increase of 211 new pieces of business during 2009 deserve much credit for their efforts. I ask the agents to rise as I acknowledge the: George Coady, Margaree Centre; Hope Bryden, Goshen; Peter van de Wiel, Amherst; Paul Gardiner, Baddeck/Sydney; Sid LeVatte, Sydney River; Elliott Anderson, Antigonish; Jaymie AuCoin, Cheticamp who was Agent of the Year for 2009; Larry Robertson, Sydney; Gail Carter, Truro; and Wayne Doucette, Antigonish, serving Richmond County.
Education is a cornerstone to strong service. Our Company promotes ongoing education for all Directors, Staff, and Agents. Several of our people are currently studying insurance courses. I am very happy to advise that Estelle Boyd will obtain her Chartered Insurance Professional designation in 2010.
Our Company held a Strategic Planning Meeting in April of 2009. The facilitator for the meeting was Frank Gallant of Peak Experiences. I believe it was a very positive meeting for the Company. It was agreed to be more proactive going forward regarding Company objectives. There were four Committees established and made up of staff and agents. They include a Financial Performance Committee; a Policies & Procedures Committee; a Communications Committee; and a Marketing Committee. They will meet three times a year to work towards meeting ongoing objectives to improve the Company’s operation.
Your Board of Directors feel it is extremely important to maintain a strong relationship with our fellow Farm Mutuals both in the Maritimes and Country wide. Director Casey van de Sande and Manager Bill Chisholm sit on the Maritime Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Board of Directors which meets on a quarterly basis. In November of 2009, Casey was elected President of our Maritime Mutual Association. Casey has been a member of our Board since 1969.
Our Company relationship with our Reinsurance Company is also very important to us. As a standard practice, reinsurance treaties must be reviewed periodically. Comparison reinsurance rates were obtained from another reinsurance company. I’m very happy to report that the other Company proposal wasn’t even close to what Farm Mutual Reinsurance Plan provides us and has been providing us for nearly 20 years. We thank them for their tremendous support of our Company.
I’d like now to report to you on our centennial celebration plans. We have established a scholarship fund for senior high school students who wish to pursue further education. Five annual scholarships of $1,000. will be provided to successful applicants who are the sons or daughters of our policyholders. Due to the tremendous efforts of Toosje van de Sande and Vice-President Mary Bekkers, we have a Company History book. We developed a custom made 2010 calendar that was sent to all our Policyholders last November.We have arranged 18 community dances throughout the different counties we serve for April through September of this year where all proceeds will go to community Fire Departments, Hospital Foundations, or Community organizations. We provided $5,000. support for the Bickerton Community Centre Fundraising Committee in December. We will be making our final payment for our $25,000. pledge to the ndCoady International Institute. We will be making our 2 payment for our $20,000. pledge to the
Inverness Hospital Foundation. We have increased our support of the Antigonish Highland Games by pledging $25,000. over the next five years. We have today made our final pledge payment to St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation. This brings the total support for the Foundation to $100,000. over the past 20 years. We have just recently pledged $50,000. to the People’s Place Project which is the new Antigonish Town & County Library. Finally, we are
hosting the Maritime Association of Mutual Insurance Companies annual Convention in June where Casey, as Association President, will chair the event.
In closing, I would like to thank our employees and agents for another fine work effort in our special year. I would also like to sincerely thank the Board of Directors for the confidence and support they have given me during my two years as your Company president.
I would ask for your Board of Directors to stand and be acknowledged when I say their name. MARY BEKKERS, Lanark; CASEY VAN DE SANDE, Clydesdale; GEORGE BAXTER, Addington Forks; DUNCAN MACINNIS Arisaig; SID TAYLOR, Glen Alpine;
JOANNE VAN DER LINDEN, Back Rd. Brierly Brook; AL MASTERS, Antigonish; BRUCE SINCLAIR, Goshen; and I am CHARLES MACKENZIE, Morristown. thThat is my President’s Report for our Company’s 100. year in serving our communities.
Charles H. MacKenzie