By Ryan Dahlman
Alta Newspaper Group
With the pandemic, a lot of businesses were either downsizing their employee base, adhering to social distancing by having employees work from home or just finding ways to be frugal or close up shop totally.
That is, except Surex Insurance in Magrath. In fact, they are going the total opposite direction. The nationally based firm has insurance agents in Alberta such as Calgary, Edmonton and Okotoks as well as in Ontario but Surex has Magrath as one of its main national hubs. There are agents in nearby Raymond and Lethbridge but the main office is in Magrath. Employees will be getting a much larger and newly renovated area to work in.
The company is in the midst of renovations to the former Diamond Willow Lodge building which they purchased from the Town Of Magrath. The Town had bought it from the Chinook Foundation who had operated Diamond Willow Lodge.
Jennifer DeFrenza, VP of Marketing of Surex Insurance, says the company is excited to move into the new building from its current location.
“We wanted everyone in one spot,” explains DeFrenza who adds the company is getting larger so they needed adequate space, not only for more employees in a centralized space but to also include pandemic social distancing considerations. “Some are liking working from home but there are those missing the comradely and the regular face-to-face interaction.
They also like the fact Magrath is in a relatively remote spot so that presents a lot of positives in regards to focus and social distancing.
She also added the company is looking at the new building as Surex campus where the company would hold training sessions for its employees.
“We’re thinking to have some of the rooms perhaps as place where employees can stay so we don’t have to rent (motel) rooms),” adds DeFrenza.
She says the purchase was made pre-COVID but they decided to push forward with their plans. She explained senior leadership and some employees will be looking for a work setting outside their own homes -if they so choose.
“For many companies there is that hybrid life that will return (once the pandemic is no longer an issue. This building will allow that.”
DeFrenza notes the renovations are targeted to be completed by this November.