11:03 AM

Insurance industry leaders invest $600,000 in Mohawk College

Leaders in the insurance industry have invested in a new executive boardroom for students at Mohawk College’s McKeil School of Business.

The Bert Hares Boardroom officially opens at Mohawk’s Fennell Campus Thursday afternoon.  The boardroom is named for the late Bertram George Hares. During his 45-year career in the insurance industry, Hares worked for Dominion of Canada General Insurance and served as President and CEO of North Waterloo Farmers Mutual.

Mohawk’s Insurance program received more than $600,000 in memorial donations and contributions from college supporters, including Dan Lawrie, President and CEO of Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers Ltd., Cowan Insurance Group and Acumen Insurance Group.

The donations were invested in the construction of the Bert Hares Boardroom, renovations to classrooms and common areas and technology upgrades. In addition to the Bert Hares Boardroom, the McKeil School of Business will also be home to the Insurance Founders Lounge, Insurance Resource Centre and classrooms named in recognition of Dan Lawrie and Cowan Insurance Group.

The Bert Hares Boardroom will serve as a classroom for Insurance students to make presentations, host industry events and meet with prospective employers. Creating a state-of-the-art executive boardroom for students reflects Mohawk’s commitment to offer unique learning environments that mirror the workplace, says Piero Cherubini, Acting Dean of the McKeil School of Business.

“Our students will gain invaluable boardroom experience before they graduate thanks to the generosity of our insurance industry partners,” says Cherubini. “As future-ready Mohawk graduates, they’ll step into corporate boardrooms with an added measure of confidence.”

Nearly 200 students are enrolled annually in Mohawk’s two-year Insurance diploma program. The program has a 92 per cent graduate employment rate and 87 per cent of employers report being satisfied or very satisfied with the Mohawk graduates they have hired.

“It is a privilege for me to personally give back to Mohawk College,” says Lawrie. “Mohawk continues to make a tremendous contribution by preparing highly skilled young people for rewarding careers in the insurance industry.”

“Cowan is pleased to contribute to Mohawk College’s McKeil School of Business,” says Rick Purdy, CEO of Frank Cowan Company. “We fully support the school and the positive impact they have introducing students to, and connecting them with, the insurance community.

“I have been a strong supporter of Mohawk and the college’s Insurance program since the early 1980s,” says Sal Bagazzoli, President of Acumen Insurance Group Inc. “More than 30 per cent of our staff are Mohawk graduates. Hamilton’s community college continues to serves our industry by consistently producing high quality graduates.”

The Bert Hares Boardroom and other renovations in the McKeil School of  Business are part of the largest renewal project in Mohawk’s history. The Fennell Campus Renewal Project aims to further enhance the quality of education and overall college experience for the more than 9,000 full-time students attending Mohawk’s largest and oldest campus.

The Fennell Renewal Project is earning high marks from students. In the Ontario government’s latest key performance indicator survey, Mohawk ranked first among all colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for quality of facilities and services, as well as programs and learning and overall student and graduate satisfaction.