Who's Who Women in Business


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22 who's who women in business T ara Chammartin says she "never dreamed in a million years" that she would become an insurance broker. But the career turned out to be a perfect fit for her talents and enthusiastic temperament. "My passion is this industry, and I love everything about it," says the operations manager – and soon to be part owner – of La Salle Insurance and Travel Services Ltd. "I just love being involved, I love helping people learn about the industry, I love dealing with people and managing our staff, who are like a big family." That passion led Chammartin to take on a key role in the insurance broker community this year as president of the board for the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba (IBAM), which represents approximately 2,000 property and casualty insurance broker members across the province. IBAM is not only the strategic and collective voice of brokers in Manitoba — but in terms of the development of the industry, it is also the insurance authority in Manitoba. So it is significant that Chammartin is now one of only a handful of women to have taken the helm in the organization's history. "I believe that I'm only the fifth female president of IBAM. There haven't been a lot of women presidents, not to mention board members," Chammartin says. "I see this as a great opportunity to get more women involved in joining IBAM. In the industry, once you get involved, everybody takes you in. It's quite an honour to represent brokers across the province — to be their leader, motivator and model of influence." In addition to helping clients find various kinds of automotive, homeowners and farm insurance at La Salle Insurance's Winnipeg office on Pembina Highway, Chammartin does "everything from working Saturdays, to closing the late shift and emptying garbage cans, to managing 15 staff." The company also has an office in La Salle, where current owners Jason and Adam Murphy's mother and grandfather started La Salle Insurance as a home-based business in 1978. Chammartin will soon join the brothers as a partner-owner, realizing a longtime dream. Ownership has been a goal since she realized how rewarding she found her career as a broker – a career that started out as just a job. After graduating high school and working for about a year as a substitute school secretary, Chammartin took an office job as a receptionist and Autopac clerk at an insurance company in 1994. The rest is history. "I was new to the industry, very young and didn't really know anybody. When IBAM formed the Young Brokers Network Committee in 1997, I became one of its first members, and that helped develop my passion for the association and the industry itself," says Chammartin, who has a 19-year-old daughter and commutes just 15 minutes into Winnipeg from her home in Grande Pointe. Chammartin achieved her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation in 2001, and the next year became a CAIB course facilitator. She maintained the role of facilitator until just recently, and she'll continue to help guide others in this choice career. "When I was taking it all in and learning, I had so many great mentors who were friends and leaders in their brokerages. I just really strived to be like them." ❚ To learn more, visit www.lasalleinsurance.com, call 204-261-3430 or email tara@lasalleinsurance.com. Tara Chammartin, La Salle Insurance and Travel Services Ltd. / Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba Going for Broke DREAMS COME TRUE FOR INSURANCE BROKER By Sherry Kaniuga Chammartin will soon realize her dream of ownership. Photo by Darcy Finley

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