2011, Provincial Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous other awards
Lily Durepos - Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2011
Let’s start from the beginning: In 1972, a woman and her husband purchased an insurance company in Grand Falls, NB. Today it’s a multi-million dollar company with 58 employees. …and that’s just their first business!
The company I am referring to is Alliance Assurance Inc. which has 10 locations throughout the province. The head office is located in Grand Falls and there are offices/point of sales situated in St-Leonard, Perth, Edmundston, Clair, St Quentin/Kedgwick, St. John, Campbellton, Dalhousie and Petit Rocher.
In addition to owning Alliance Assurance Inc. this year’s laureate owns three other businesses—Advantage Financing Ltd, Place Broadway Limited (16 commercial offices, 163 000 square feet), and Keal Technology—(a manufacturer of technology for the finance and insurance industry with offices located in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.)
Having been known to receive several standing ovations from her employees, and being highly regarded by peers in her field, it comes as no surprise that this year’s winner is Lily Durepos!
Alliance Assurance is distinguished from its competition based on its philosophy—entrepreneurs must dedicate their time and effort by working on their business. At Alliance, members of the team are chosen based on their attitude and ambition and are then trained accordingly. Her staff is provided with a competitive health and benefits package, a training program as well as a personal computer. A system based on rewards for results. This has proved to be a winning formula at Alliance.
Lily describes her employees as family “she is the mother and they are her children.” This personal side is very important to Lily, especially considering 85 % of her staff is women. Being a mother of three children, she understands the importance of school parties and being with sick parents and children.
The principle she used while raising her three children is “trust and verify”. This method is primordial in her business. Since the demographics of her business are so vast, employees must be autonomous and self-reliant.
As a savvy business owner, being on the cutting edge of technology is essential to the success of her companies. With a staff of 65, Keal Technology is now the second largest Canadian provider of technology to the insurance and financial service sector. Furthermore, all of her personnel are ISO 2000 certified, a quality assurance system they have implemented since 1998.
Lily is a leader insurance world, having served on a variety of Provincial, Atlantic and National Committees. Her list of credentials will awe and amaze but here is a brief glimpse: She has served on a variety of board included ACOA, Women in Business Network, New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts and Northern Leadership Council.
She has won numerous awards including: Profit Magazine-W100-Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneur for the past five years, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Atlantic Business Magazine Top 50 CEO Award and a plethora of insurance distinctions.
And she gives back to a variety of causes and organizations such as the E & P Senechal Civic Centre, Université de Moncton and the list goes on…
An ambassador for women in business, a role model and mentor, a business and community leader, a wife, a mother of three, a human resources specialist and a visionary—Lily Durepos is truly deserving of this award!