As Senior Vice-President for State Farm Canada, Barbara Bellissimo is responsible for managing both the sales and operations of a $2 billion organization. A great communicator, known for her vision and ability to set strategy and achieve goals, Barbara has held several influential senior leadership roles at State Farm in both the U.S. and Canada. Barbara began her career in the insurance industry in 1986. Since then, she has led the State Farm operations including holding senior roles in both the U.S and Canada in agency, marketing, underwriting, claims, IT and life/health.
Barbara is currently contributing to the integration of State Farm’s Canadian operations to Desjardins General Insurance Group, a transaction positions the company as Canada’s second largest P&C insurance provider with annual gross written premiums of approximately $3.9 billion.
Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional. An influential advisor in the insurance industry, Barbara is currently a board member for the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and is a past board member for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Renowned for developing individuals and teams to reach their full potential, Barbara’s passion and expertise extends beyond the boardroom. Barbara is dedicated to the advancement of women in business and has been a Board Member of the International Women’s Forum since 2008. In 2001, Barbara led the North American expansion of the State Farm Women’s Network, a program that brings employees together to explore women’s business issues and facilitates the development of future leaders.
Actively engaged in the community, Barbara has served on the Southlake Hospital Foundation Board in Newmarket, Ontario, serves on the United Way Campaign Committee and was Chair in 2012 and 2013.