The Co-operators President and CEO, Kathy Bardswick, is retiring at the end of 2016.
During Bardswick’s 14 years in the role, The Co-operators has expanded both through acquisitions and organic growth to have more than $40 billion in assets under administration. The organization is one of Canada’s fastest growing insurers and one of the best-known Canadian-owned co-operatives.
“Under Kathy’s guidance, The Co-operators has prospered and is recognized today as a leader in the Canadian insurance industry, as well as the co-operative sector,” says John Harvie, Chairperson, Board of Directors, The Co-operators. “Her fundamental belief that the world needs organizations that follow ethical business practices, and incorporate sustainable, responsible decision-making, has had a significant impact on our organization and the communities in which we serve. She has helped to make the world a better place.”
“I have worked alongside the very best in the insurance industry and co-operative sector,” says Bardswick. “I am proud of what we have built together and so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead an organization that provides valuable financial security to Canadians and their communities.”
Jack Wilkinson, President of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) stated that “Kathy Bardswick leads by example and her co-op values are obvious to all who work with her. She has played a pivotal role in the creation of CMC and the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (CCIF). Kathy’s leadership has benefited the co-op community and the larger business world both in Canada and internationally, at the ICA and the United Nations. She has been a great role model for many and will continue to inspire future activities and leaders.”
Bardswick is recognized as an international leader and a champion for co-operative values-based leadership. She has led a transformation of the organization as it adopted more sustainable business practices, earning recognition from as Best Employers in Canada, Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations by Maclean’s and Sustainalytics; and in 2013 was ranked #1 on Corporate Knights’ list of Most Sustainable Co-operatives in the World. In 2014, Women of Influence Inc named Ms. Bardswick to their Top 25 Women of Influence list.