Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals

Meet some of our Insolvency Administrators > Andrea Mailman

Andrea Mailman

June 13, 2023
Senior Manager
Rita Anderson & Associates
Sydney, Nova Scotia

A self-described “East Coast gal,” Andrea Mailman has lived in, worked in and enjoyed the outdoors in all the Atlantic provinces. She also launched a 25-year career in the financial industry there, with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology (Home Economics) at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia.

While it may seem an unusual entry to finance, the program included courses in business, marketing and consumer behavior. All helped Andrea understand the dynamics of family finances, which would come in handy later. Her path to the industry also showed her “There are interesting and meaningful roles in the financial industry you might not imagine when you’re a student.”

After university, Andrea joined one of Canada’s largest banks as a Customer Service and Operational Manager Trainee. That early role led to others in investments, lending and financial planning with various financial institutions over 10 years. Along the way, she took courses in personal financial planning, mutual funds, securities, financial counselling and compliance.

After a time, Andrea felt the need for something different and more fulfilling in personal finance. An opening as an Estate Administrator with a large trustee firm seemed to fill the need, and she was hired.

“I was aware of the insolvency field through my studies, but didn’t know much about it,” she says. “I quickly found that financial challenges are more common than you might think, across any type of career or income level or education. You cannot be judgmental, but fully understand that things can happen to anyone at any time.”

Over a decade, Andrea’s role helping people and companies recover from financial difficulty expanded to Debt Solutions Counsellor, then Senior Debtor Solutions Counsellor and Senior Associate. Within a year, she completed CAIRP’s Administrator’s Course and BIA Counsellor’s Course.

Now a Senior Manager with Rita Anderson & Associates Inc. in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Andrea feels her education and background have been of significant help to becoming an effective Insolvency Administrator.

“The role can sometimes be as a financial social worker, where you balance highly stressful issues affecting real people who trust you to help resolve them to make their life better,” she explains. “The process can take nine months to five years, and the key to guiding people through it is experience and understanding people’s background and situation.”

She loves that she’s constantly learning. In fact, she’s found that you need to learn a little about a lot of things to understand your debtors and their situations – the fishing seasons in different areas, say, or how home values vary in different communities. She’s seen how low literacy levels can negatively affect families, and that’s one reason she’s been involved with the Laubach Literacy Council for over seven years.

“Helping people recover from financial difficulty is demanding but incredibly rewarding, “ Andrea adds. “Learning how to not take work home with you and trying to find your own balance is essential, but this such a fulfilling career.”

As a reminder, she keeps an image of a lighthouse on her wall. On it, a client wrote, “Thank you for being my guiding light during some rough times. You led me through the storm.”