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2024 Lifetime Achievement Award - Linda & Roli Tipper Belleville Chamber of Commerce - 160th President's Dinner Celebration

The Cornerstone Awards program was inspired by the idea of honouring a member of the business community with the Lifetime Achievement award. As we considered the evolution of business development – from vision, to founding to providing mentorship and giving back through citizenship – it was then we realized these were the components of lifetime achievement we were acknowledging.

Each year, when considering the nominees for this award, we look directly towards examples of their journey that reflect the Cornerstones.  It also isn’t unusual for the intended recipient to also acknowledge it is not a journey undertaken in solitude, but with a partner – we’ve had both business and life partners as joint recipients for many Cornerstone awards, and when we approached this year’s recipient, they were adamant it be presented as recognition to their joint efforts.

Roli Tipper fell in love with Linda the night he met her attending his brother’s high school grad party, the lady in red, and the first person to talk to him that evening.  While they didn’t officially start dating until a year later, they have now been together since 1978 – 46 years.  She has been a part of everything that has become Tipper Financial during that time – including raising their two boys, Adam & Eric – who are now managing the business.

Linda and Roli were both part of the finance industry from the beginning. Roli from the big picture perspective and Linda focusing on the pennies.  When he started with London Life, he had little idea of what the industry meant, didn’t even know what a mortgage was in high school, but when living in his parent’s basement after graduating from York University, he recalls the sense of concern he had following the passing of a neighbor and what might happen to his widow.  He was assured she would be okay because he had a group insurance plan and she would be supported by the benefits of that insurance.  That moment in time, perhaps not significant in itself, describes the driving force behind their ambition to provide clients with the right fit for their financial planning needs.

Vision often comes from seeking a solution to a problem a current situation presents that can’t be resolved with the current practice.  Affiliation with corporate institutions require loyalty to offer their products, even if they’re not the best fit.  With experience, Roli learned he wanted to provide his clients with a custom-built portfolio that wasn’t restricted to a parent organization’s product line. 

The eventual decision to found Tipper Financial Services through incorporation in 2008 followed a number of years of providing insurance solutions and completing the CFP designation.    Ultimately, Linda and Roli become a part of their client’s lives and while they’ve acknowledged working for them while they’re alive, it’s how their family is able to move forward with financial security is where the sense of achievement is found.  As one client explained following her husband’s passing, she had a dream where her husband came to her and said “it’s going to be okay, just go talk to Roli” and it was.  Linda joined Roli in the office 30 years ago, not expecting this was the best idea but she’s still there three days a week and with their sons managing the business now, she loves being able to work with them.

Neither Roli or Linda expected Adam or Eric to join the business in spite of the opportunity, and both started their post-secondary journeys with different goals in mind.  Adam thought banking would be his future, particularly in the field of sales, but when an opportunity to buy a retiring colleague’s practice came up – Adam felt this was a sign he could help with the growth of Tipper Financial.  Eric was planning to be a teacher, but was convinced by Adam a better future existed with the industry.  He started in Kingston with another firm, but in a similar experience as everyone else in the family, he also appreciated the independence of providing custom built solutions to financial planning.

The “boys” have been instrumental to the growth of the business, pursuing acquisitions in 2010, 2013 and 2016 - and running the show the past seven years.  They were up for the challenges presented by COVID that forced a lot of companies to up their game and move into the 21st century with electronic solutions like Docusign, Zoom. 

Roli & Linda might feel their role as mentors has been felt exclusively by their sons; Roli in noting he really didn’t enjoy managing people and it was another part of the decision to run his own business – and Linda’s continued participation there with the family - but there is something to be said for the number of organizations they’ve been a part of over the years.  While he knew there was an advantage to the business by getting involved with both community and business associations, the value of being a part of these activities was built into his DNA by his parents. Both Linda and Roli embrace the reality of living in a close-knit community that even through growth, it’s important to give back and ensure people know they belong.  Churches, service clubs and the Chamber are all examples of organizations that provide the high touch need we have to develop community.  Hi-tech is important but it’s the opportunity to build relationships that really matter.  Live theatre is a shared passion and while Linda writes murder mysteries, Roli loves live music and creating performance opportunities for many talented artists from the region.  They’ve been involved with numerous musicals, including “Keep the Faith” that resulted in the production of 2 CDs of original music and the concerts are created to support local organizations. 

When Roli started with the insurance business, someone suggested he got into it for the money.  He quips he had no idea how that worked, and there were quite a few lean years when he was working on commission.  Linda was there every step of the way and they both faced the doubts and hesitation together. 

September 2017 marked the last annual Tipper Financial mingle at Capers – a tradition for many years.  His health has not been as cooperative after undergoing 2 heart AND hip surgeries, cancer and a stroke. He credits Linda, multiple health care supports, yoga and a persistence to live as part of why he hasn’t yet been “fitted for his wings”. 

Marrying well might be their best advice, as they have learned to embrace the challenges together and accept them gracefully – and the journey in business has made the challenges now seem manageable – and at least Roli doesn’t think they’ve ever been happier.

OVERVIEW OF Accomplishments/Achievements

  • June 1973 *graduated Moira Secondary as an Ontario Scholar -
  • Sept 1973 until July 1975 *accepted an entrance scholarship to the University of Western Ontario- studied business, economics and history
  • Sept 1975 – 1977 *transferred to York University studied history and English graduating with a BA.
  • 1984-1986*Treasurer of the Kiwanis Club of Belleville 
  • 1988-1989*President of the Kiwanis Club of Belleville
  • 1984-1985*Chair of the Bay of Quinte Life Underwriters Association
  • 1986*3rd runner up in Canada in the acclaimed Totem Pole award, a National award for the former Life Underwriters Association of Canada (LUAC), now known as Advocis
  • 2002-2003*Chair of the Loyalist College Foundation after serving for 8 years as one of the original Community Directors (1994-2001)
  • 1998-2009 *Served on the Board of Queen’s Theological College
  • 2018 - 2021*Chair of the Dr James B Collip Memorial Committee
  • 2021* co-founded the Dr James B Collip Award for Excellence in Science presented every April at Loyalist College at the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair,
  • 1986 *achieved CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) designation
  • 1990 *ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant)
  • 1996 *CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
  • 2002 *RHU (Registered Health Underwriter)
  • 2007* CPCA (Canadian Professional Counsellor on Aging)
  • 2007*inducted as a Charter member of Financial Horizon’s prestigious Diamond Club

Awards/Recognition:

Summer 2022 - Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee pin awarded for years of volunteer service in the community.

United States Army Challenge Coin –  Majors Chuck  & Laura Wyatt who both serve in the US Army Medical Corps sent the coin, recognized as a prominent collectable for US Military to enhance morale during WW1 and still presented as gifts and awards.  Chuck is a great grandson of Dr Collip and we became connected because of the public attention our committee was bringing to the unheralded work that Dr Collip had done 100 years ago, the millions of lives that have been saved because of his skill in purifying a safe insulin extraction. The connection with his living relatives might have been the most satisfying aspect of the entire project

 

 

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Cloud Bookkeeping Services - 10% OFF
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