Message from the Chairman
July 15, 2016
I am both proud and thrilled to be your Chairman for the upcoming 2016/2017 year! I’ve been involved in the industry now 36 years, with 16 years of volunteer experience at CIPH and it has been an interesting journey – I’ve had a lot of fun and have enjoyed my involvement in this industry tremendously.
Like so many of us, I was introduced to the industry by a single individual, and was then influenced by several additional industry pros. In my case, I was introduced in 1979, just out of University, having worked in construction and finding out that really wasn’t for me. Paul Gilgan, another long time CIPH supporter told me about the industry and said you might want to try it. I was just a 22 year old kid, but I said sure, I’ll give it a shot. He introduced me to his boss at the time, Ed Barnes of Waterline and Ed put me in touch with Charlie Hagedorn. You might remember Charlie. He was the Chairman of CIPH in 1990-91 and was a pure entrepreneur. He had multiple businesses in his career and he sparked a passion for the entrepreneurial spirit in me that I carry to this day.
When I first got into the business I was hired on as a Junior Salesman. After calling on accounts in Toronto for about six months, Charlie summoned me into his office one day (and if you knew Charlie he was larger than life). He said “Bill, you won’t get rich if you keep working for me; you’ve got to have your own business.” And then he said “I’ve got an agency opportunity for you. How would you like to give it a shot?” I said sure. Again I was a 22 year old kid! So in my first year I generated $20,000 in commissions and revenues and I thought I was doing pretty good until I did my books at the end of the year and realized I had $30,000 in expenses. So I went back in to see Charlie at the end of the year and sat across the desk and said “Charlie, this working for yourself and getting rich thing really isn’t working for me”. Charlie, in his own influential way helped me along by telling me “just keep doing what you’re doing Bill, you’re doing it all well, you just need to be patient.” And in doing so he encouraged me to keep going.
The next year I broke even and made a little money and then from that point on I managed to do well in this industry. So Charlie instilled the entrepreneurial spirit that I have today.
In closing I would like to thank my fellow Board members who I’ll be working with this year. I’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of our Committees and Councils and the CIPH Regions who help make the Institute such a strong force in the industry. Lastly, I would like to thank you, our membership in general. Without your ongoing support, I wouldn’t be here today. You have my commitment that I will work hard, particularly with regard to the many initiatives we will be undertaking though CIPH’s new Long Range Plan; our team will ensure we to keep your ongoing trust.
Thank you very much and have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Bill Palamar, President, Weil McLain Canada Sales Inc.
CIPH Chairman of the Board