“If we can do a good job looking after our insureds, that is the best part.” – Diane Brickner

Just two years after fire swept through the town of Slave Lake, High River experienced the worst flooding in Alberta’s history. Both natural disasters hit close to home for Alberta’s 2013 Business Person of the Year, Diane Brickner. But Brickner, then the CEO of Peace Hills Insurance, says that’s what she was in business for. “If we can do a good job looking after our insureds, that is the best part,” she says. Although both disasters were costly for Peace Hills, Brickner remembers the experience as rewarding. “We had lots of compliments out of our insureds and it created a lot of new business just because the brokers were thrilled with how we handled the fire and the claims,” Brickner says. Peace Hills was awarded Canada’s Passion Capitalist Award in 2014 for their work after the Slave Lake and High River disasters. “You work hard at creating an organization and culture and to see it be recognized in those ways is very rewarding,” she says. Brickner retired in January 2015, after heading the company for 25 years. Her first task as leader in 1990 was to ask the community of Hobbema for $750,000 to keep the company afloat. Now, Peace Hills boasts $348 million in assets, more than 200 employees and operations across Canada. Brickner remains active in the business world by sitting on the boards of Peace Hills and ZCL Composites. Between board meetings, she enjoys golfing and spending time at her cabin in Pigeon Lake, her husband’s cabin in Lac Le Biche and their winter escape in Palm Springs. But for Brickner, the best thing about retirement has been preparing for the arrival of her grandchild. “It’s the best! I’m so excited!”

The Year that Was 2013

Floods sweep through southern Alberta in June

Former Premier Ralph Klein dies

Edmonton city council approves a deal with Daryl Katz for a new downtown arena