"I believe in destiny! In May, 1974 I was the principal of Whitelaw school. Life was good, and Judy and I were looking forward to the summer vacation. The school children were excited to get to their new grades, and the grade 6’s were heading to Fairview next year. The superintendent paid me a surprise visit that day and informed me that a decision had been made to cut a teacher for the following year. I immediately flew off the handle and said that this would cause a split grade of 35 grade 5 and 6’s. I was not willing to ask one of my teachers to take on that challenge, and if the board did that, I would quit!
That afternoon, my life insurance agent arrived at my door unannounced, and changed my world . He informed me that after 36 years, he was retiring at the end of the year, and that I was his choice to replace him. Judy and I talked about it, and since I had made a threat to the board, this seemed like I was meant to make the change to travelling salesman.
Jan 1, 1975, I became the last of the travelling salesmen with Mutual Life of Canada. I would get up in the morning and drive around my territory drinking coffee and selling life insurance. This went on until 1982, when computers came into our industry. I knew that the business would not succeed if I spent my time learning about the computer instead of dealing with people, so I hired Addie Ruether to run the technical part of the business. Judy, in the meantime, started the H & R Block franchise in town and was busy during tax season. She had quite a challenge, doing my books, her business, and raising the children. Donna and Kenny were growing up and getting involved with their worlds, making our lives all very busy. The decade of the 80”s brought huge growth in the business, and in Oct, 1990 Dot Waters joined the team to help Addie. In 1991 Cliff Wagner joined our team. He was immediately accepted into the business by the community, and our success created both problems and solutions. Head office didn’t really know how to deal with the amount of business we were bringing into the company. In 1991 Cliff Wagner moved from Fairview College to our office, and we changed the future of Mutual Life (Clarica/Sun Life). I was the chairman of the agents’ council, which gave me the ears of the executives who made all of the decisions about the company. We had meetings that allowed Cliff and I to change from 2 individual agents to a company, which was called a multi-agent corporation. Thompson & Wagner was born! The next decade created lots of change. We bought a general agency in Peace River (Younger and Holmes) and Ken became an agent in July, 1997 . He operated out of the Peace River office.
Cliff retired from Sun Life in 2002, which allowed Ken to become a partner in the company. Cliff and I split up the business, with Cliff taking Younger and Holmes and Ken buying into T&W. Cliff allowed us to retain the business name of Thompson & Wagner. Cam Dechant joined our company in 2005 and became a shareholder in 2008.
Ken and Cam bought my shares in 2016, and my official retirement date is Jan 2, 2020. This will be the 45th anniversary of the business.
Thanks to all of you who have supported us over the years. We have 3rd and 4th generation clients and wonderful staff who keep the business going strong. Clients make great friends and friends make great clients!"
-Sent from Cameron Dechant