Vernon’s Barry Amies (left) receives the 2012 Salute Award from Brian Wills

Vernon’s Barry Amies (left) receives the 2012 Salute Award from Brian Wills

Insurance industry gives Amies big Salute

Owner of the Baron Insurance Broker Group is the Insurance Person of the Year

Vernon’s Barry Amies has earned a big Salute from the insurance industry.

Amies, owner of the Baron Insurance Broker Group, was honoured as the Insurance Person of the Year at the annual Salute gala event held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. The black tie event featured 500 industry peers from all over B.C. representing insurance companies, brokers and adjusters.

The Salute selection committee comprises professionals in the field who choose a recipient who has made a significant contribution to furthering the image of the general insurance industry in the province.

As a young man, Amies entered the financial services sector securing a position with the Bank of Nova Scotia. Insurance became his passion and, six years later, he opened the first Baron Insurance Agency in the Okanagan.

Over the next 26 years, Amies grew his business from a start-up agency to an operation with more than 50 employees.

Baron earned the attention of Valley First, which bought the agency in 1994. Following the purchase, Amies remained with Valley First until his retirement in 1999.

Amies’ hiatus from insurance, however, did not last long as he partnered with some other investors to open Landing Insurance. It was later renamed Baron Insurance Broker Group. Today, the firm employs more than 35 staff.

Amies is the past-president of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.

He was also the first vice-chairperson of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and is the past chairperson of the Insurance Council of B.C. and past president of CSIO.

He is also president of the Vernon Curling Club and a former member of the Vernon Rotary Club.

Amies and Baron Insurance have given back to local charities such as Hospice House, the North Okanagan Community Life Society and the B.C. Cancer Foundation. The company also supports kids’ sporting events and summer camps.