At the IBAO Education Awards, we celebrate graduates and top achievers from our broker education programs.

Formerly part of the Annual Convention, this was the third year that the Education Awards were held as a standalone event to better spotlight educational achievement in the channel and recognize brokers’ individual accomplishments.

“It was evident from the moment we walked in that the IBAO has remarkable pride for their association, their team and their brokers,” says CAIB graduate John Laurendi, an Associate Broker with Brokers Trust.

“I felt truly honoured for being recognized,” says Sabrina Bhura, a Commercial Lines Account Manager with Jones DesLauriers and the top CAIB graduate in Ontario. “It was a very special moment of my life and it’s already had a ripple effect within my workplace and social network.”

After a cocktail reception and a gourmet dinner, Incoming IBAO President Jeff Gatcke welcomed the group — about 60 graduates from CAIB and CPIB, as well as this year’s top achieving RIBO students — with an address cheering the potential they bring to the broker channel.

“We’re at a tipping point where we’re beginning to see a growing influx of younger brokers entering our industry,” says Jeff. “They’re a group that’s always changing, always adapting and always looking for fresh takes. To that I say, At long last!”

After each of the graduates and top achievers walked the stage and received their certificates, they were treated to a Keynote by Jeremie Saunders, founder and co-host of the Sickboy Podcast. Jeremie suffers from cystic fibrosis and was not expected to live past 30. He turned 30 in January. His touching and hilarious speech addressed living a life you’d be happy to look back on at any point and why we should allow ourselves to be more open with others.

“Jeremie Saunders was absolutely brilliant. What we say, how we live, the actions we take, have the ability to make an enormous impact — I’ll carry that message with me as I continue to grow in this industry,” says John. “My broker education means I can be the best version of myself for my clients. I can be confident in my practice and my partners can be confident in me.”

“I am a strong proponent of lifelong learning. It broadens our horizons and provides satisfaction across many aspects of life,” says Sabrina. “A well-educated broker force demonstrates professional commitment and goes a long way in enhancing the image of the broker community within society.”

Thank you to all of this year’s graduates and top achievers who attended and from everyone at IBAO, congratulations!