Sean Carey is Vice President, BC Division of PPI Solutions, a national insurance brokerage firm with proprietary tools, comprehensive product offers, and life insurance company relationships that assist independent advisors in serving their clients well in the areas of business succession and family wealth transfer planning. “If you provide products and services based on a price point alone, you’re always going to be competing with your peers,” Mr. Carey says. “By providing our advisors with a better experience that allows them an opportunity to grow their practices, we have been able to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. That’s what attracts new advisors to our firm.”
Mr. Carey joined the Club in 2009 when he accepted his role at PPI Solutions. “The person I took over for had a corporate membership and at the time it was a no-brainer,” he says. “We host a fair amount of business events and it’s cheaper for me to host them at the Club than it would be at other high-end venues in the Vancouver area. I need to know that our clients are always taken care of while attending our events. The fact that staff know and address me by name is nice, but the idea that my clients are treated with the same level of respect as I am is what I find really great about the Club and its staff. In the past when taking clients to Canucks games, quite regularly we would come to 1892 for dinner first. Often we came back to the Club for a night cap and a game of pool in the member’s lounge. Having a locker up there with some great scotches – well, it was very much a top-notch, first-class experience. The Club has also done phenomenal wine dinners and I make every effort to attend. It’s a fantastic way to showcase the Club and treat my clients like they’re a million dollars.”
Every moment is an opportunity for Mr. Carey. “I do not consider myself ‘the purveyor of wisdom’ but life is about capitalizing on opportunities that are right in front of us,” he says. “There is a lot of truth in the saying that ‘everything is sales’. At the office our most junior administrator is our receptionist. That individual sets the tone for anybody that walks into the office. I always make sure that I meet with that person before they get hired. When I believe that person is engaging, they’re interested in helping others, and that they’re going to do a great job of capitalizing on that first few minutes that you have in our office, I know we have the right person – hire for attitude and train aptitude!”
Mr. Carey grew up in Niagara Falls, ON, and begrudgingly pursued post-secondary education. “University for me was weighted heavily on relative and hypothetical thinking. I hated that with a passion. What should have taken me three years was stretched out to four and a half. The pressure to have a degree was greater back then, so I got it done,” he says. With a BA in tow, Mr. Carey moved to Whistler for a ski season and ended up staying. After a couple of years of skiing and enjoying everything that Whistler had to offer, he moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in sales, and shortly after got into the insurance business where he’s been for the past 20 years.
For Mr. Carey, he believes that to live purposefully means having a single motivating driver. “Whether it’s a core value or an all-encompassing goal, people need to have something that drives them. For me, it is my family – my wife Carolyn and two children, Caitlin and Caelum. They are 100% what motivates me. It doesn’t matter how bad a day can get, coming home and hearing their footsteps come down the stairs to greet me puts a smile back on my face and makes all of life’s problems seem insignificant. Once you figure out what drives you, it’s about aligning your short and long term goals with a profession that fits. Once you’ve figured this out, you just wake up each day and do what you need to get done.”
Mr. Carey is also Coach Coordinator for Vancouver Minor Hockey Association; he selects all the coaches and oversees the association’s rep-hockey tryout process. This year, due to a shortfall of coaches, Mr. Carey started coaching one of the midget teams in addition to his role as assistant coach on his son’s team. If not at the Club, it’s quite likely you can find him at one of our city’s ice rinks.
Between his role at PPI Solutions, coaching hockey, taking his daughter to her swim club, and committing to a weekly date night (in his own words: “I need to a better job at this one”) with his wife, there isn’t a lot of time left at the end of the week. “To relax, I take my moments.” Mr. Carey explains. “Part of relaxing is not winding yourself up so much that you need to relax.” Wise words.