Applying the art of balance to life, career, and giving back
Lana Wood (’82)
Lana (Williams) Wood (’82) learned balance as an Acadia student. “Success is not about any one thing. It’s about having a whole lot of tools in your toolbox and balancing them,” she says. “I think I learned the fine art of balance when I was there. It was a terrific experience for me being at Acadia – a great academic experience, a great social experience, and a great life experience overall. I think it set me up well for my future.”
In her 30 years in the Canadian insurance industry, Wood has demonstrated strength and vision. She became known for fostering strong relationships and creating winning strategies. Following several years as President and CEO of Western Financial Group, she joined Northbridge when the company was about to integrate four of its Canadian insurance companies.
“I joined Northbridge Financial because one of the skills I built over my years in the insurance business is integration and change management,” she says. “And I joined Northbridge for the opportunity to create a new entity in Canada.
Wood led the Northbridge integration in Western Canada. As Executive Vice President, Western Region, of Northbridge Insurance, she has expanded the company’s business in the Western marketplace.
However, her life now, as it was during her student days, is about more than her career. Wood and her husband, Verne (’81), who retired last year as Senior Vice-President with MNP Ltd., met at Acadia through the ski club, when she was the club’s president. Wanting to be in good skiing country is one of the things that prompted them to move to Alberta – Wood grew up in Nova Scotia – and they’ve maintained that interest in skiing ever since.
“The thing I learned most at Acadia was balance. Success is not about any one thing. It’s about having a whole lot of tools in your toolbox and balancing them.”
As a member of the Campaign Cabinet, Wood wants Acadia to continue succeeding in the increasingly competitive field of higher education. “Well endowed universities are set up well for the future, and I wanted to do my part to help make sure that Acadia is set up well,” she says. “It’s amazing what the campus has been able to do in both development and change over the last 30 years, how much money they’re now getting for research and for capital expenditures, but running a campus is costly. I want to make sure it’s there for the long term.”
Today, as Wood divides her time between Calgary and Vancouver, she needs balance more than ever. Fortunately, that’s a skill she carries with her wherever she goes.