A Life of Learning
Michelle Spoelstra has been part of the Nova Mutual Insurance Board of Directors since 2009. She was instrumental in the Norfolk/Wabisa merger, helping Nova become the company it is today. Her focus on Business in post-secondary played a key role in our success and acts as inspiration for her fellow board members. Dedicated to learning, Michelle completed OMIA’s (Ontario Mutual Insurance Association’s) Director’s Certification, the University of Waterloo’s Leadership program. She also serves on OMIA’s Education Committee.
Building an Empire
Michelle is the matriarch to a tight–knit family of 3 adult children and their families, including 5 amazing grandkids. Born in Nova Scotia, she and her husband Randy settled in Binbrook. They have been farming at Roy-A-Lea since 1989. Nowadays Michelle’s kids all work and live on farms of their own within 2kms of ‘home base’, thus creating the family farm empire, Roy-A-Lea Farms Ltd.
In 2005 Roy-A-Lea Farms Ltd won the Hamilton-Wentworth Farm Family of the Year Award. In 2015 the family received a City of Hamilton Business Appreciation Award. Most recently, they received were the Ontario BMO Farm Family Award in 2017. Michelle has even personally won rural citizen of the year!
Just as with Roy-A-Lea, when it comes to the Board of Directors, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Michelle is passionate about helping others and big part of that is making sure everyone is fed. In fact, one of the first conversations I had with Michelle was about her deep love of cooking for her family. She donates regularly to local food banks, milk programs and always volunteers at local fairs and agricultural events. Michelle believes “it is important to support elderly individuals and children, making sure nutritious foods are available to them.”
As a part of our Director Snapshot series, each Board Member identifies a cause or initiative they are passionate about. From there, Nova connects with the organization to determine an appropriate and impactful contribution. We also work with the organization to amplify their message via our social media channels and website.
Essential Aid and Family Services Ontario organizes an Emergency Infant & Toddler Food Bank program. The program is open to anyone in Hamilton or the surrounding areas with a child under 4. They provide families with infants an emergency supply of formula or breastfeeding supplies, diapers, and baby food.
On behalf of Michelle, Nova Mutual has donated several boxes of diapers, wipes, and formula as well as cases of snacks for families in need. If you would like to contribute, please visit their website directly. There is no charge for the Emergency Food Bank program as they, and Michelle, are determined to ensure that there is #NoChildWithout.
Written by Jessica Lymburner, Director of Strategic Partnerships