Wed, May 18, 2016

an article by Shelley Kellelman of Capitalize Magazine

If you see a solution to a problem, you naturally want to apply it, no matter where in the world it is. "An understanding of accounting, business process and analytics can be applied anywhere," says Jeff Brown FCMA, CEO and President of PL&B Insurance. "The world stage is truly available to anyone interested in solving global issues."

Jeff graduated with a BBA from the University of New Brunswick. Early on, he realized a professional designation was essential to move up the corporate ladder. Jeff received his CMA designation in 1993 and was named an FCMA in 2013. He took on a variety of roles in the insurance industry and after purchasing shares in Pratt, Lambert and Brown from his parents, became the company's sole shareholder in 1994.

His father's advice to 'look after others and they'll look after you' has been a guiding force in Jeff's career.

"It's a simple statement, but it sums up what we all know: no one is going to pay you just because you want money. Get a great education, develop a unique vision and plan, work hard and deliver value. Success will follow."

Along with his executive roles at PL & B, Jeff applies his accounting and finance knowledge around the world.

While on a charity trip to Uganda in eastern Africa, Jeff was introduced to the process of solar water disinfection. "We knew the process had to be revisited, and people needed to be better trained if we were to entrench a permanent change in water disinfection practices," says Jeff. To do this, Jeff established his own charity in 2005 called Sun Safe Water.

Sun Safe Water has done work in Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia, and Brazil, with most work presently done in Cameroon. This relatively simple process to disinfect water uses a clear plastic bottle, sunlight and careful instruction. It is effective, inexpensive, simple, and culturally acceptable.

"Archaeologists approximately 30 years ago were wondering why ancient Romans left pans of water in the sun," says Jeff. "Remarkably, they found the sun's energy, under the right conditions, was sufficient to destroy most pathogens."

The process is dependent on a reliable supply of the right kind of plastic bottles, which led Jeff to become involved in managing a water bottling and pharmaceutical production facility in Cameroon.

With Sun Safe Water, 100 per cent of donations are directly spent to benefit the children and families of its target partners. Sun Safe Waters' simple Vision statement says it all: the world can work for everyone. Our part is to focus on practical solutions to the elimination of disease caused by the consumption of contaminated water.

"I've never thought of this work as altruistic. There is really a great deal of personal benefit," says Jeff. "The rewards are new friendships, new understanding of our world, seeing interesting landscapes and faunae, absorbing new cultures and a feeling of being alive. No matter how hard I try to be of benefit to others, it seems I get the most from these ventures."

Designated for more than 20 years, Jeff says travel and some unusual projects impact how he uses his education and expertise. He is more confident, he says, in applying his skill set in unique situations. "My interests have taken me to some very remote locations around the world, and what they say is true: it really is a jungle out there."