Women in Business: Marlene Morrison Nicholls
Marlene Morrison Nicholls is the president of Stewart Morrison Insurance. Marlene grew up on a farm west of Little Britain with three sisters. Although they didn’t use the language of gender equality her parents never imagined that they weren’t capable of doing any task that was set before them.
Marlene’s father and mother both worked hard and were partners. Her mom was an RN and was a partner in the farm business. Her dad ran the farm and started his insurance agency in the 1960s.
Driven and passionate, Marlene strives for excellence and provides a stable job environment for those who are depending on her.He operated from two small offices, with manual typewriters and two part-time employees. “Today we have five offices and a staff of 30. It is a big company now and we are privately owned, one of the few brokerage in the area that are,” says Marlene, who has been leading the company herself for 30 years.
Marlene is always looking for ways to create a safer, stronger and better community. She has worked to strengthen the local Chambers of Commerce, assisting in particular the Lindsay & District Chamber.
She has worked on large capital campaigns raising money for hospital expansions; doctor recruitment; Women’s Resources; Community Care; and sitting on committees to develop economic progress in Kawartha Lakes. She also spearheaded a Diversity Initiative through the Lindsay Chamber to City Council which was accepted unanimously.
While Marlene sees insurance brokerages in the area being purchased by large companies with no connection to local communities, she encourages brokers to consider Stewart Morrison Insurance if they want to make a change. The company also has a new website with new branding and a client portal.
“It will always be my personal passion to encourage women in business to believe in themselves and to overcome the fear; I am also dedicated to provide a safe and equitable place for women to work,” says Marlene.
“People are my motivation, particularly my daughters. They challenge me every day to be better and I have learned so much by talking with them, helping them get established in their education and respective careers.”
She attributes her success to the talented staff she works with and family and friends who are always there to support her.