The holidays are a time for reflection, to recharge and to refocus for a dynamic New Year ahead. For Bridgewell Financial, it’s also an opportunity to look back on the many accomplishments of our first full calendar year in business. As we emerged from the throes of the pandemic and took baby steps in our early start-up months, we’ve worked to expand our group benefits, financial and wealth planning and insurance solutions, and to drive home the message that achieving overall financial well-being is a path to a more fulfilling life.
Of course, we couldn’t have done it without your tremendous support. We’d like to thank the entire Bridgewell community—our clients, industry partners and team—for making our success possible. We’re truly excited to see what comes next as we work to serve your evolving personal and professional financial needs.
New faces and new solutions
Enhancing our service experience means always growing and improving our team. This year we welcomed Associate Insurance Advisor Cheryl Solomon—who holds designations as a Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) and Elder Planning Counsellor (EPC)—to the team. Among her many talents, Cheryl brings decades of experience working with clients to develop financial strategies that help them live independently as they age. Our administrative team also grew with the addition of Bonnie Li. A long-time associate of Bridgewell, Bonnie’s organizational skills and understanding of everything from financial to retirement planning have already proven to be an asset to our firm.
As we continued to grow, we also forged exciting new industry partnerships and introduced new solutions. We started by announcing enhanced drug coverage for our group plan members through a new partnership with Pocketpills, Canada’s leading online pharmacy. The news didn’t end there. We added a new Small Biz and Solopreneur group benefits solution that offers self-employed and contract professionals, along with micro businesses, access to flexible and affordable group benefits coverage. Stay tuned for more exciting solutions to come in 2023.
Stepping out and giving back
In 2022, we took steps to share our firm’s thought leadership in a number of areas. Case in point: Our Amr Galal took on a new volunteer position with TechTO as the Community Director of TechTO Health. It’s a perfect fit for Amr, whose group benefits expertise and insights into healthcare in Canada add real value to TechTO’s many important discussions. That was apparent when he co-moderated a TechTO: Health roundtable in August, focused on the post-COVID-19 state of healthcare in Canada. It was a lively discussion featuring a talented lineup of speakers. The conversation was just as topical at the Manulife Vitality Go Big Event in November. Bridgewell Partner Chad Tranter was the featured guest, where he was interviewed by Manulife Director of Individual Insurance Sales Conor Pang. The two discussed the relaunch of Manulife Vitality and the innovative ways that the insurance rewards program helps the Bridgewell team deliver financial, physical and mental wellness to our clients.
We also had the opportunity to sponsor DisruptHR Vaughan in October at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. It’s a must-attend event on the Greater Toronto Area HR calendar, and this edition didn’t disappoint. DisruptHR very much lived up to its ‘TED Talk meets speed dating’ billing.
You may have noticed that our team attracted media attention this year. Specifically, our Graeme Martin was featured in an online article for Canadian Family Offices on the innovative ways that high net-worth families in Canada are using insurance products as an estate planning tool. It’s a worthwhile read for families concerned about protecting and transitioning their wealth to the next generation in a tax-efficient manner.
It’s been a privilege to again lend our financial support to a number of charities and community groups. One is Jack.org, an organization that provides mental health training and support to young Canadians. Their goal is to help young people better understand and care for their mental health. Another is Fred Victor, a social service charity that strives to improve the lives of homeless and lower-income people across Toronto. Their high-impact programs and services are used by more than 3,000 people each day. The last one is Youth Unlimited, whose mission is to promote the health and total well-being of youth by building mentoring relationships with adult volunteers.
And let’s not forget that we organized a food drive at our annual Appreciation Day event, which this year was held at the Leaside Curling Club. We collected dozens of non-perishable food items and accepted online financial donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Team building through challenges
We don’t just talk about the benefits of overall wellness—we integrate it into every aspect of our business. Our team took part in a number of fun challenges this year, including the introduction of Wellness Wednesday curated by our well-being partners at LIFT Session. We used their healthy living platform to do group workouts and mindfulness exercises that nurture the mind, body and spirit. We also dove into the HEAL Healthy Eating and Living Wellness Challenge. We used it to improve our nutrition and exercise habits as a group, and to build new healthy habits into our daily routines.
Lastly, we woke up early to embrace the CAMH Sunrise Challenge for another year. It’s a fantastic initiative in support of one of Canada’s leading mental health treatment and research hospitals. For five days, members of our team rose before dawn and snapped photos of the sunrise, raising funds for mental health awareness. We can’t wait to do it again in 2023.
And on that note, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy, safe and prosperous festive season and a wonderful New Year of wellness!
The Bridgewell team
For assistance with your group benefits, wealth and financial planning, corporate or personal insurance needs, contact a member of our team today.
Please note that our office will be closed for the holidays at 12 pm on December 23rd, and will be closed December 26th, 27th and January 2nd.