Skip to main content

Wawanesa announces Catherine Best as new Board Chair and Paul Soubry as new Board Director

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 1, 2020 – The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (Wawanesa) is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine “Kay” Best as Chair of its Board of Directors, as well as the appointment of Paul Soubry to the Board. The appointments were effective May 28, 2020.

“By putting its policyholders, brokers and communities first, Wawanesa has a long history of success,” said Ms. Best. “When you combine our mutual structure with recent strategic investments in technology and top industry talent across the company, Wawanesa is well-positioned to continue providing great service while delivering support for the communities where we operate. We’re moving forward, confident in our resilience for the long term.”

Ms. Best has served on Wawanesa’s Board since 2012 and is the first female Chair in the company’s 124-year history. She succeeds Richard Bracken, who has retired after serving on Wawanesa’s Board since 2004, acting as Chair since 2012.

“Wawanesa has been extremely well-served for many years by Richard Bracken and his steady, collaborative approach to governance during a period of growth, change and transformation for our company,” said Jeff Goy, Wawanesa President & CEO. “I’m honored to join everyone in the company in welcoming Kay Best to her new role, and I look forward to working closely with her. Wawanesa will benefit from her keen financial insight, wealth of executive experience in multiple sectors, and her proven leadership abilities.”

Ms. Best is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Calgary Health Region, and served prior to that as an Audit Partner at Ernst & Young. She has extensive governance experience, including her previous role as Chair of Wawanesa’s Audit Committee and her current roles on the Boards of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Badger Daylighting Ltd., and Superior Plus Corporation. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and has long been an active member in the Calgary volunteer community, currently serving on the boards of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Calgary Foundation and the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

Wawanesa’s Board will also benefit from the addition of Mr. Soubry, who brings a strong background in sales, marketing, business development and operations, with substantial experience in business transformation. Mr. Soubry has served as President and CEO of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading bus and motor coach manufacturers. He currently serves on the Boards of NFI Group Inc. and The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club/True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd. He was recognized as Canada’s 2016 CEO of the Year by the Financial Post and recently chaired a major capital campaign for the University of Manitoba that raised over $625 million.

“As a Manitoban, I’ve always been impressed with Wawanesa’s quiet yet solid presence in our province, one that has seen it remain true to its prairie roots while also growing into a large, diversified and competitive North American insurer,” said Mr. Soubry, the newest member of Wawanesa’s Board. “The work ahead to serve our policyholders and brokers and support our communities is critically important. Although it’s a very challenging time in the economy, it’s also an exciting one in Wawanesa’s continuing transformation.”

About Wawanesa

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1896, is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3.9 billion in annual revenue and assets of 10.5 billion. Wawanesa Mutual, with executive offices in Winnipeg, is the parent company of Wawanesa General, which offers property and casualty insurance in California and Oregon; Wawanesa Life, which provides life insurance products and services throughout Canada; and Western Financial Group, which distributes personal and business insurance across Western Canada. With over 5,700 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves over two million policyholders in Canada and the United States. Wawanesa actively gives back to organizations that strengthen communities where it operates, donating well above internationally recognized benchmarks for excellence in corporate philanthropy. Learn more at


For more information:

Wawanesa Contact
Brad Hartle
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: 1-844-946-6282

Back to News Center