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Co‑operators Celebrates Resilience at 2024 AGM

Apr 5, 2024

GUELPH, ON, April 5, 2024 /CNW/ - Co‑operators celebrated resilience while navigating an increasingly complex environment at the 2024 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The event, taking place in Calgary, April 3-5, was host to 96 delegates representing 46 member organizations across Canada. Representatives assembled to discuss organizational achievements and opportunities, to elect its Board of Directors, and reinvigorate the company's strategic focus, purpose-led beliefs, and co-operative identity.

Cooperation as a bridge to resilience

The formal meeting commenced with an opening ceremony and land recognition performed by Mackenzie Brown, Indigenous Ambassador, artist and friend to Co‑operators, who welcomed participants to Mohkinstsis (the Cree name for Calgary).

The chairperson of the Board, the president and CEO, and the Chief Financial Officer addressed delegates to define successes and opportunities within the 2023-2026 strategy. The co-operative and collaborative approach had been vital in company's legacy, was identified as having central importance in their future. In their remarks, leaders explored new ideas, technologies, and successes of the past year which would help strengthen the resilience of Co‑operators, its members, clients and communities.

"By design, co‑operatives, are really good at bringing people together. Our collective ability to influence change is reflected through our shared identity. Co‑operators and its members are pulling in the same direction for the same reasons," said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of Co‑operators. "This is, and always will be, core to our business. It anchors who we are as organizations. It anchors the decisions we make. And it pushes us to go further, creating positive change."

"Our financial strength ensures we are able to meet the needs of our clients and members as well as continue to serve and support our communities. We are able to operate through times of economic and inflationary volatility; are able to withstand the continued growing impact of climate change; and withstand short-term increases in claims trends that we are currently seeing," said Karen Higgins, chief financial officer of Co‑operators. "We continue to have a very strong balance sheet and capital position to support our long-term strategic priorities."

"Financial resilience has never been an individual pursuit; rather, it has to be collectively sustained. That's why we continue to invest in social well-being, environmental resilience and inclusive economies," said John Harvie, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. "We view challenges as opportunities – while never wavering from the co-operative values that guide our every decision."

Extending from the company's commitment to cooperation and resilience, special emphasis was given to celebrating diversity. On the final day, the board announced the launch of their Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) in Governance strategy - encouraging a broad array of experiences, voices, and knowledge to inform better decision-making and more wholistic responses to ongoing global disruption and heightened needs.

Co‑operators Board of Directors updates
  • Co‑operators welcomed a new director elected to the board:
    • François Hastir, Quebec
  • Seven were re-elected to serve another term:
    • Christie Stephenson, British Columbia
    • Jennifer Uhren, Saskatchewan
    • Mike Csversko, Manitoba
    • Pierre Dorval, Ontario
    • Chris Johnson, Ontario
    • Nicole Waldon, Ontario
    • Robert Moreau, Atlantic
  • Co‑operators recognized the service and contributions of the following retiring directors:
    • Louis-H Campagna, Quebec
A bright future ahead

On the final day of the AGM, Co‑operators and guests turned their focus to the future expected for today's youth and built by emerging leaders. Four recipients of the Co‑operators Young Leaders Award - Lisa van Mullins from Artspace Housing Co-operative, Jillian Jones from Access Credit Union, Sahara Shaik from the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and Chloe Williams from the Co‑operative Worker Co‑op Federation – participated in a panel discussion focused on how younger generations are engaging with the co‑operative business model and how they can be catalyzed to build a more sustainable future economy.

The focus on tomorrow's leaders also informed the annual AGM Community Donation. A $5,000 contribution was made to The Howl Experience. The Calgary-based non-profit provides experiential learning that challenges youth, and helps them become the community leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries needed to tackle today's societal challenges. Their unique curriculum focuses on reconciliation, individuality, and a connection to the land, while sharing the knowledge of regional indigenous elders and educational experts. To learn more, visit

"Co‑operators and Howl share the values of reconciliation, community resilience, and striving for a brighter, more sustainable future," says Adam Robb, Founder and Co-Director of The Howl Experience. "The world is changing quickly, and our youth need a foundation to grow from if they're going to thrive. With this donation, we will invest in that foundation and ensure it is built with community, hope, and a strong sense of self."

About Co‑operators

Co‑operators is a leading Canadian financial services co-operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. Co‑operators has more than $62 billion in assets under administration. Co‑operators has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 78 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co‑operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada. For more information, please visit:

Co‑operators® is a registered trademark of The Co‑operators Group Limited. © 2024 The Co‑operators Group Limited.

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SOURCE The Co-operators Group Limited

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