If you ask new CPAs who assisted them in their journey to the designation, they often have very long lists. From grade school teachers to parents, professors and employers, it truly is a community effort. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that Red River Mutual recently made a significant donation to the CPA Manitoba Foundation to set up an endowment fund aimed at helping aspiring CPAs in rural areas.
With more than 67,000 policy holders, Red River Mutual is one of Canada’s largest policy holder-owned property and casualty insurance providers. They provide competitive insurance products to customers across western Canada and Ontario. They are also big supporters of community.
“Red River Mutual was founded in 1875 to help protect the belongings of people immigrating to the Canadian prairies,” explains Jenna Book, Vice President of Human Resources for the company. “Many things have changed since then, but one thing that remains the same is our commitment to people.”
The endowment fund prioritizes those from areas outside of Winnipeg, particularly in southern Manitoba, as the area is important to the Altona-headquartered organization.
“We recognize the important roles that CPAs play in strengthening our organization as well as the communities we serve. We have CPAs that work in finance, on our senior leadership team and in project management,” Book explains.
The insurance company also supports the community in other ways, including the brand-new initiative Spruce Up Your Story, which aims to repair and update community spaces such as ice rinks, meeting centres and other shared spaces. This support is in addition to their long-time commitment to fire prevention and fire safety, including contributing to the Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba .
Red River Mutual hopes that the endowment fund helps create greater awareness that insurance is a vitally important, exciting and rapidly changing industry that more CPAs will consider when choosing where to work.
“For two years in a row we’ve been awarded a credit rating of A- (Excellent) by AM Best Company [the credit rating agency] and last year we were named a top insurance workplace by Insurance Business Canada [a respected magazine and website for the industry],” she says.
Given the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and economic question marks that it brings, Red River Mutual’s commitment to community is extremely important.
“Now more than ever we’re reminded that we all need to work together to ensure a better tomorrow for everyone. Our company has experienced so much in 145 years and one thing we’ll continue to do is support and invest in our communities and the people who make them such great places to live and work,” Book says.
Details about how candidates and students can apply for funding will be available soon at CPAmb.ca/foundation.