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Over a year ago, I made one of the biggest, and at the time, one of the scariest decisions of my career which was to leave the comfort of the travel industry. I chose to leave the industry where I had spent my entire business life, built my network of contacts and achieved all of my accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong, the travel industry was an amazing place to work; great people, exotic destinations and a really FUN work environment. However, I had a strong desire to challenge myself, to see if I could make a difference in a new industry. So I took the leap of faith and jumped in with both feet.

I decided to join ISB Canada. ISB provides document sourcing to the insurance industry and employment screening services to companies across North America. The journey and challenge of learning a new industry, building a new network and finding ways to take the business to new heights has been nothing less than exciting.

What was most surprising is how well my twenty-plus years in the travel business prepared me for my transition into the insurance industry. The parallels between the two are remarkable; the distribution model (broker vs. travel agency), vertical integration, technology challenges, compensation models and the lists go on. However, I have noticed one major difference in the insurance world…the level of collaboration and teamwork amongst stakeholders is absolutely incredible. I witnessed this partnership approach first hand with the launch of our new MEE Driver Qualification platform, designed to help the transportation industry hire better quality drivers.

Right from the start, every stakeholder was focused on the end goal. Our insurance partners, brokers and customers all worked together in unison to deliver a product that not only solved the problem, but will revolutionize the way a driver gets hired in the future. I was so impressed by the volunteered time and resources, the transparency and openness and how everyone involved put aside their individual agendas for the cause. The result was a real positive industry change! I can’t help but think how this approach could benefit other industries and could have changed the outcome of many of the challenges we faced in the travel industry.

Michael Thompson is a visionary and performance-focused leader with 20-plus years of experience building profitable businesses. With an exceptional track record in the Canadian technology and corporate marketplace, he is well known for his customer-centric approach, team building talent and ability to create a deep network of senior C-level relationships. Prior to ISB, Mr. Thompson was at the helm of a major Canadian company specializing in supply chain management and innovative 1:1 marketing technology solutions. Before that, he had been vice president of a top-tier travel and leisure company, where he drove record growth and created the largest wholly owned consumer travel business in North America with $1B of network sales. In addition to his leadership role at ISB Canada, Mr. Thompson participates on several boards and committees, including the CEO Forum.