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Putting the “heart” in Hartland

New Brunswick-based brokerage Palmer Atlantic Insurance Ltd. sees great value in giving back to the community

The community of Hartland, NB is famous for being home to its iconic covered bridge—the longest in the world. But the community is also well-known for its warm hospitality, which is demonstrated by the actions and generosity of community members, including the staff and brokers of Palmer Atlantic Insurance Ltd.

Brokerage owners Joe and Shelley Palmer know the value of giving back. “The communities in our surrounding area may be small, but we’re fortunate that so many local business people contribute in numerous ways—through their time and through donations,” says Joe Palmer, president and CEO of the brokerage.

“We believe that when you have the means, you should give back and participate in causes that will make a positive difference in our local communities— particularly in the areas of education, sports and the environment.”

Earlier this year, Joe and Shelley presented Woodstock Rotary president Dr. Kent Orlando with a donation for $10,000 towards the Grow Carleton Campaign. The campaign is raising money to fund three major projects in nearby Woodstock, including the renovation and expansion of the Woodstock High School Theatre, the Woodstock Civic Centre and the Woodstock Public Library.

“We have personal relationships with members of the Rotary Club, and many of our staff and their families, including ours, benefit from using the Woodstock facilities,” says Joe.

Palmer Atlantic casts a wide net when it comes to the types of causes it supports.

The brokerage has supported Hartland High School by providing several students with full scholarships for university and, recently, Shelley was one of the key fundraisers for the Bowl for Kids campaign in Woodstock, which supports Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In addition, Joe is currently president of the Woodstock Minor Basketball Association and serves as a coach for his son’s team. “I played basketball when I was young so I wanted to get involved and help this association be successful—besides, it’s a lot of fun,” he admits.

Joe was also involved recently in a campaign celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Miramichi Salmon Association. The association’s fundraising goal was $2 million, which was easily met and exceeded by approximately $500,000— much to everyone’s delight.

“So many of us really enjoy the outdoors, and I think it’s important that we all do our part to help sustain the environment,” he says. “Atlantic salmon play a key role in our environment and we should do everything possible when it comes to their protection and conservation.”

The Miramichi River and its surrounding area have a strong influence on the people of New Brunswick. “We’ve taken our entire staff on retreats to the Miramichi on several occasions, and have used this time to bond and have a little fun,” he says. “Many of us enjoy fishing and spending time on the river, and we hope this is something that our children, their children and so on, can enjoy for generations to come.”

When asked about what their involvement in causes means to the brokerage business, Joe makes the company’s position clear.

“Our brokerage doesn’t get involved in the causes we support for business reasons. We recognize that giving back fosters goodwill, and we’re fortunate to have a successful brokerage, but the motivation behind our support for the causes we care about is really to help them succeed, because they benefit the greater community.”

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Copyright 2014 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the May 2014 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

Transcontinental Media G.P.