APRIL Marine is proud to be among the 2023 finalists for Insurance Business Canada’s prestigious “Woman of Disctinction” awards.
Each year, the magazine celebrates the industry’s most outstanding players in terms of achievement, innovation and leadership. Finalists are selected by an independent panel of judges made up of industry experts. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on November 16.
This award recognizes the outstanding female trailblazer in the insurance industry whose astounding personal and professional achievements have earned them a place among the industry’s best.
With an ability to envision a better way for customers, brokers and underwriting teams to operate, and the tenacity to motivate people toward that vision, Marie-Eve Paquette is at the forefront of change in the insurance industry. She is responsible for driving APRIL Marine’s strategy across Canada, identifying opportunities for growth and innovation.
Marie-Eve Paquette was 17 years and about to study theatre when she landed a summer job working as an underwriting assistant at an insurance firm. She got hooked and stayed on, working in several departments over the years. By 2018, she was 30 years old and Director of APRIL Marine Canada, the insurance firm where it all began. She became in 2023 APRIL Marine Canada’s new Deputy CEO. Her managerial skills, energy, dedication and unparalleled knowledge of pleasure craft insurance had made her an effective leader respected by employees.
Today, Marie-Eve runs a team of 20 professionals ranging in age from 19 to 63. She is the face of modern-day insurance. She values diversity and develops young talent – all while leveraging the experience of the not-so-young. She knows the strength of a dedicated team and constantly offers her staff opportunities to grow, which they eagerly accept. This might explain the high retention and 98% satisfaction rate of APRIL Marine employees. Over the last 5 years, she played a critical role in expanding APRIL Marine, now Quebec leader in pleasure boat insurance and a major player in Ontario. She has served as a key player in helping to expand APRIL Marine’s innovative programs across Canada : QUICK QUOTE, an online quoting platform built through extensive broker research, providing intuitive, simplified, express online quotes/request to bind
– In-house claims team
– APRIL Academy, our training program designed to keep our broker relationships strong through proactive education
– Direct billing now offered in Ontario and Quebec for more flexible payment options
Buoyed by the parent APRIL Canada firm and its predominantly female management team, Marie-Eve is focused on enhancing women’s equity and shattering the glass ceiling of this historically male industry. Among other things, she has created a support and mentoring committee for female employees and managers within the company.
She’s also a devoted champion of diversity and inclusion, which she believes goes beyond visible factors such as gender and racial diversity to include diversity of experience and creating an environment that embraces diversity of thought. As a mentor, she works with people to recognize their strengths, develop their talents and envision their possibilities.
She truly believes that promoting diversity and inclusion will strengthen the team’s cohesion, performance and culture. She welcome outside the box thinking and is immensely grateful for her team’s dedication and devotion. Regardless of our uniqueness, under Marie-Eve’s direction we all share the same passion and commitment to our customers, always going the extra mile to offer them the best of us.
Building on APRIL Marine’s dedication to being an employee-centric company, Marie-Eve knows the strength of a dedicated team and constantly offers her staff opportunities to grow. She achieves this in various ways: by supporting professional development with internal training, by developing new methods for communicating and sharing information, and through our internal mobility policy. Employee growth is an integral part of the management culture she instills. She inspires a safe environment, supporting each member of our team.
Under her guidance, we’ve been the proud recipients of several IBC awards, the latest being Excellence in Claims in 2021 and Digital Innovation in 2022. She is that driven, inspiring and inspired.
The industry has also nurtured her philanthropic nature, providing opportunities to volunteer with various organizations. Since many years, she’s been supporting initiatives that promote good boating practice in Canada, from organisations for young people to water therapies: women’s regattas, ride for autism, treatment of eating disorders through water-based activities among other causes.
Marie-Eve’s dedication also extends to environmental issues and safe recreational boating. Under her leadership, the non-profit organization Club APRIL Marine was born. Its mission is to encourage its 53,000 members to adopt safer, more environmentally friendly boating practices. We happily donate a portion of coverage fees to local organizations that actively support environmental protection and aquatic biodiversity. We ourselves organize several cleanups each summer, with more than 3 tons of waste cleaned up by our own teams, members and broker partners along the banks of Ontario and Quebec since 2020.
When not at work, Marie-Eve practices fitness, positive thinking and gratitude on a daily basis, applying her immense discipline and energy to grow both personally and professionally.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marie-Eve for almost 10 years now.
Since her early days at APRIL Marine, she has shown unwavering determination to drive the company forward and climb the corporate ladder through a number of different positions. Today, Marie-Eve holds the position of CEO with the greatest success and I have every confidence in her to continue to grow the company for many years to come.
Marie-Eve has always driven APRIL Marine with passion and commitment. She has excellent managerial skills, which are as much about caring as they are about demanding the highest standards from her teams, making her a totally legitimate and highly inspirational figure for everyone she works with.
She is, of course, a leading specialist in yacht insurance but, beyond her obvious technical knowledge of insurance, it is her versatility that is behind her success and that of the company: project management, team management, negotiation skills, communication, all with her own enthusiasm and commitment…
Finally, Marie-Eve loves constantly taking on new challenges, for herself, for the company and for her team. She’s not afraid of anything, and she’s always committed to new projects that are proposed to her or that she launches herself, without holding back either in terms of the changes to be made or in terms of the work to be done. This is one of her great qualities.
Marie-Eve is a remarkable person, professionally and personally, and I hope to have the pleasure of working with her for many years to come.”
Lionel Boismery, CEO APRIL Marine & President APRIL Canada
“Marie-Eve is a talented individual with valuable expertise in insurance, communications and project management. Her in-depth knowledge and understanding of pleasure craft insurance is remarkable. With over 15 years’ solid experience, she is able to guide our team towards achieving our objectives with great passion and determination.
One of Marie-Eve’s most outstanding qualities is her inspirational leadership. She is truly extraordinary. She knows how to motivate her team, encouraging us to give the best of ourselves in APRIL Marine’s various innovative projects. She is a key factor in our team’s success.
Marie-Eve has excellent communication skills. She knows how to convey information clearly and concisely, which makes it much easier to understand tasks and expectations. Whether it is positive or negative, she knows how to explain things to help us grow and retain the positive! Her door is always open to the team’s questions and concerns, which creates an extraordinary working environment.
As director, she not only supervises our work, but also acts as a mentor. She has a gift for recognizing and developing the skills of everyone in the team.
In short, Marie-Eve is an exceptional leader who embodies professional excellence. Her competence, inspiring leadership, effective communication and ongoing support are all qualities that make her remarkable. Working under her direction is a rewarding experience, and I’m grateful to be working alongside her.”
Marie Rabaud, Data Analyst – APRIL Marine