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Telling Our Stories: Leaders

"It is okay to let go of the things, people and situations that bring you down or hurt you."

Isabel Delaney - Isabel Delaney & Associates Ltd - The Co-operators

We’ve all heard it said before but that doesn’t make it any less true. Everything can change in an instant. There is probably no one who knows this better than Isabel Delaney from Isabel Delaney & Associates Ltd - The Co-operators. Not only does she work with people every day to help them prepare for and deal with the unknown but she has also been there herself.

Years before she started working in insurance and financial planning, when she was a 26-year-old single mother, she was in a horrible car accident with tragic consequences that truly was a turning point for Isabel both personally and professionally. Her daughter, Ashley and (now) husband, Garth were critically injured in the accident and her son, David was killed. At the time of the accident, Isabel was a successful photographer who spent her days and weeks photographing young children. How could she ever go back to that job? When it was finally time to return to work Isabel knew she needed to make a change so she went back to school and enrolled in Holland College’s Business Administration program.

A few years after graduation Isabel was recruited to work with Sunlife Financial. Inspired by the experiences that she had post-accident she was incredibly motivated to join the team and help people. “It was a long process working with specialists to recover from the accident, emotionally and physically. We also had a huge financial loss and if it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers, friends and family we would not have even been able to keep our home. “

When Isabel left Sunlife it was due to a great opportunity to grow, and that’s when she joined Mike Bradley Insurance Services Ltd - The Co-operators. Originally joining the team as an associate agent, based in Summerside, Isabel was the #1 associate agent for a number of years before the idea to strike out on her own hit. In fact, when the opportunity presented itself to take over the branch in Charlottetown it was due in large part to the encouragement from her employer and support she received from others. “People kept approaching me to do it. I hadn’t really thought about it.” With her daughter graduating from high school the timing couldn’t have been better so Isabel went for it and made the move to Charlottetown. “It was terrifying at the time but it worked out great in the end!”

“Life happens and when it does you have to learn from it. Every single thing that happens, good or bad, has been a learning experience.” Even that one job she hated (be honest, we’ve all had one) she learned so much about being the kind of employer that she wanted to be that she works hard to treat her staff well as a result. The ability to create her own workspace where both she and the staff genuinely love where they work and the people that they work with is among the most rewarding aspects of owning her own business. “It’s not a sales driven office. We are truly all about protecting people. We are here to take care of them under some of their most difficult times.”

All of Isabel’s hard work continues to pay off. Most recently it was announced that she has been recognized nationally as an Executive Builder agency and has also received the district award for Home Producer of the Year. “I know that I now have the best family, friends, coworkers, mentors that anyone could ask for in their life and any success I have is because all of these people have been there encouraging, challenging, supporting and loving me along the way.”