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Twenty-five years of professional service at Mitchell Agencies

Unity-Wilkie Press Herald recognizes professional administrators, including Bernice Wildeman.
Bernice Wildeman has welcomed clients and visitors to Mitchell Agencies for 25 years.

UNITY – Every successful business has a friendly, welcoming face when you first walk into the building and at Mitchell Agencies, the first smile one sees is that of Bernice Wildeman.

Wildeman first joined the agency in December 1998. She had attended the Saskatoon Business College, completing an accounting course before working with the Mitchell family-owned business. She also completed the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker course, which is maintained yearly with continuing education.

Over the past 25 years, Wildeman has worked with many clients and two of the three owners. Aside from the change of ownership, Wildeman has seen how technology has changed communicating and running the business.

“We used to talk on the phone with underwriters and now it is mostly done through emails. We used to do everything on paper as far as applications and revisions for policies and now everything is done on computer,” she said.

Observing Wildeman, it is evident she enjoys interacting with the clients who walk through the doors. Each client is greeted by name, asked about upcoming holiday plans, questioned other family members and so on. She exuded a sunny personality along with her welcoming smile and infectious laugh.

Yet, she says the job does come with its challenges.

“When insurance companies change their systems and software, we have to relearn everything,” she said.

She added weather-related claims can be tedious.

“If a hailstorm goes through the area causing damage, it affects more than one person, so the office is flooded with many claims all at the same time,” she explained.

Wildeman is married to her husband Pat of 35 years and is mom to children Corey and Kelsey. She has three young grandchildren as well. With the additions to her family, she has thought about retirement but has decided she is not ready to step away from the position.

Mitchell Agencies was established in the 1960s by Leo Mitchell. In 1967, the business moved into its current location on Main Street. Leo’s son, Murray, took over the business in 1984 until his retirement. Murray’s son-in-law, Deon Delhommeau, is the third generation in the family owned business and is Wildeman’s current employer.