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____ Monday February 22, 2016 ____



Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, The Co-operators to retire at year end 2016

Guelph - The Co-operators President and CEO, Kathy Bardswick, is retiring at the end of 2016, after 14 years in the role. "I have worked alongside the very best in the insurance industry and co-operative sector," says Bardswick. "I am proud of what we have built together and so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead an organization that provides valuable financial security to Canadians and their communities."

During Bardswick's tenure, The Co-operators has expanded both through acquisitions and organic growth. The organization is one of Canada's fastest growing insurers and maintains excellent financial strength.

"Under Kathy's guidance, The Cooperators has prospered and is recognized today as a leader in the Canadian insurance industry, as well as the cooperative sector," says John Harvie, Chairperson, Board of Directors, The Co-operators. "Her fundamental belief that the world needs organizations that follow ethical business practices, and incorporate sustainable, responsible decision-making, has had a significant impact on our organization and the communities in which we serve. She has helped to make the world a better place."

Bardswick is well recognized as an international leader and a champion for cooperative values-based leadership. She has led a transformation of the organization as it adopted more sustainable business practices, earning recognition from Aon's Best Employers in Canada; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations by Maclean's and Sustainalytics; and in 2013 was ranked #1 on Corporate Knights' list of Most Sustainable Cooperatives in the World. In 2014, Kathy was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence by Women of Influence Inc.

The board of directors will initiate recruitment activities after the organization's annual general meeting in April.

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