June 26, 2023

McFarlan Rowlands COO Recognized by Insurance Business Canada as an Elite Woman in Insurance

Elite Women 2023
Christa O’Neil – Chief Operations Officer, McFarlan Rowlands Insurance Brokers

We’d like to extend a warm congratulations to Christa O’Neil for being named an IBC Elite Woman of the Year!

Insurance Business Canada recognizes 2023’s Elite Women as leaders, fostering meaningful change in the industry and setting an example for other aspiring female insurance leaders. Their professional accomplishments, industry contributions and eagerness to push against the status quo impressed an esteemed panel of judges, who ultimately selected 55 remarkable award recipients across Canada including Christa O’Neil, our Chief Operations Officer.

As COO, O’Neil plays an integral role in the day-to-day operations and leadership of McFarlan Rowlands Insurance Brokers. Having occupied positions over the past decade as commercial account manager, director of operations – commercial lines, and most recently chief operations officer, she has been instrumental in implementing new innovations, processes and technology at McFarlan Rowlands and leading her teams through periods of significant change.

O’Neil is a true team player and is passionate about the functioning of the entire brokerage, encouraging inter-departmental collaboration to ensure strategic objectives are successfully accomplished. She has been a team leader on multiple seamless acquisitions over the past five years and was a key driver in the transition to remote work when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Her effective leadership skills, paired with years of on-the-job experience, have led her to understand that all moving parts of an organization must work together to accomplish shared objectives. She values education, holds CIP and CAIB designations and encourages others to pursue industry designations and educational opportunities.

As a working parent, she knows how vital a flexible workplace is to providing equitable opportunities for women leaders in insurance.

“It is our responsibility as an organization and as female leaders to continue to pay that forward,” she says. “If we can help relieve the pressure of family responsibilities on female employees, it allows them to flourish in their roles.”

O’Neil is mentoring three operations team members, all “very strong females with unique strengths.”

“As they learn from me, I learn from them, strengthening us both. Those internal female mentorship arrangements are important to develop female leaders and shape the next generation of female leaders.”

O’Neil is a director on the board of the Insurance Institute of Ontario – SW Chapter. Her career highlights over the past year include being a guest on the “Elevate Her” podcast with other female executives in the insurance industry to discuss the shift to remote work. She also led the way in winning Brokerage of the Year at the IBAO Convention last fall and is ready to launch McFarlan Rowlands’ strategic plan to propel the brokerage through the next three years and beyond.

Read more about Christa’s journey to becoming an Elite Woman in Insurance: