New name. New logo. New website. 2017 was a big year for us, and in the midst of all these changes, we’ve had a number of clients, friends, and community members asking us about our story—our “why.” Well, it’s an exciting story (despite what our kids think, insurance can be interesting) so I thought I’d share our journey, from entering the insurance business to following our dream of opening our own independent business with you.
I’m going to throw a lot of names at you in a moment, but bear with me—it will make sense soon! I’m going to call this “The Evolution of Janzen Insurance,” working backwards from who we are today. Okay, so Janzen Insurance was formerly Mardon Insurance Brokers, White Rock. Charlene, my mother JoAnne (who has since retired), and I opened this branch in December 2005. At the time, this was a huge undertaking for us. We were a very small team, and before our office opened, I worked from home for 18 months to help build and drum up business. But this turned into a very successful venture, with Charlene and I becoming 50% owners (remember this—I’m going to circle back!).
I know I said I was going to work backwards, but to understand the middle of our story, you need to know the beginning. I formally entered the insurance business in 1992, working for Baldwin Janzen Insurance Services, otherwise known as “the family business.” Baldwin Janzen was founded in 1984 by my mother, JoAnne, and her business partner, Glenn Baldwin (both of whom had long histories in the business, going back to Hugh & McKinnon Insurance). In 1995, they sold Baldwin Janzen and I stayed on working for the new owners, with Charlene coming on in 1999 as the financial controller.
We decided it was time to up the ante on that dream we had back in 2004—owning our very own independent insurance brokerage.
In 2004, we decided we wanted to own our own business, so we made an offer to buy Baldwin Janzen back. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out, but our plans of owning our own business didn’t change. So what did we do? Remember when I told you to remember something? Well, I’ve come back round to that piece! So, when we couldn’t buy back Baldwin Janzen, we left and joined Mardon & Campbell Insurance, which then become Mardon Insurance. And yes, there will be a quiz on all of these name changes!
So, what caused us to go from 50% owners of Mardon Insurance to starting our own independent brokerage? In early 2017, our business partners were ready to sell and retire, and though it was a difficult change, we decided it was time to up the ante on that dream we had back in 2004—owning our very own independent insurance brokerage.
We’re still in the early stages of the process, but the response we’ve received has been inspiring and humbling. From the support of our staff and clients to the support of the insurance industry, it’s really been an awesome transition for Charlene and I. We can’t say enough about how blown away we are by the support we’ve received, even from our suppliers who love that we’re doing something different—so onward we move!
But what does this mean for our clients? Well, because of their support and the continued support of our key underwriters, nothing really changes except the name on the door and our new logo (which we’re pretty excited about!) and we carry on.
It’s a new year and we are open for business! We’d like to thank all of our clients and team members for helping us make this dream come true. We welcome new business— referrals are our favourite source of clients so you can refer away with confidence that we will take good care of your friends!
To new beginnings,