This week we’re getting to know more about Brenda Mullen of Belay Advisory.
What inspired you to join the benefits industry?
I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and not unlike the last few years in many parts of Canada, it wasn’t easy for new graduates in most disciplines to find degree-related employment. The employee benefits and retirement industry wasn’t on my radar because it wasn’t an industry that was talked about in university. After a long stretch and my persistence in sending resumes out, I received an offer from one of the large insurance companies to join their Group Annuity Department. I thought it would be a stop along the way to something else, but it has been over 25 years since I stepped into this industry and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Who is your mentor?
I am very fortunate, both personally and professionally, to have already crossed paths with many great people and I know in the years that lie ahead there will be others too. My colleagues at Belay Advisory are a consistent source of inspiration, each one in a slightly different way. It is our collective outlook, camaraderie, and genuine interest to take care of employees that inspires me to give my best every day and to face each new day with the drive to do better.
What is something that people do not know about you?
I am a snowshoer! I am incredibly fortunate to live where the mountains are my backyard and a quick drive brings me to what feels like another place and time. I find the mountains and nature very grounding.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in the business to date?
I learned early in my career how important it is to be a good listener. It can be a difficult skill to practice, but when I listen with intention I know the information and advice I give to clients and their employees is valued. If you don’t make a point of truly listening, you’ll miss opportunities to make a positive impact both professionally and personally.
Do you have insights about the industry that you would like to share? Thoughts about the future of our Industry?
In the time I have been in the employee benefits and retirement industry, I have seen a lot of change. The future is going to continue to shift and offer new challenges, but the best thing I believe we can all do is to continue to make a commitment to be strong advocates for employers and employees. The one thing that will never change in our industry is the people who expect us to have their best interests at the forefront.
The Benefits Alliance Member Spotlight Series showcases providing unique benefits solutions, group retirement and more to Canadian businesses.