Behind the Aspen Name
by Paul Harrison, CPCU
Back in 2015 while forming Aspen (yet named), I wanted to find a company name that represented key values and made a statement. I retreated to my favorite place in the world to complete this quest – the mountains of Colorado. I spent numerous hours hiking and soaking in the majestic scenery thinking of a name that would represent what I wanted the company to be built on. After several days of hiking, prayer, and contemplation it came to me. Let me explain…
In 2013 a significant series of wildfires, known as the West Fork Fire Complex, destroyed over 100,000 acres in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests in southwest Colorado. This is an area that I hike and spend time in on a regular basis. I was quite devastated over the loss of wilderness that had been there for centuries. I returned to the burned forest in the summer of 2015 to see the devastation. I expected to find scorched earth with little life. To my amazement, I found that nature had done amazing things. The most impressive recovery was that of the Aspen trees. There were thousands of young Aspen trees everywhere you looked. I learned that Aspen trees can live for 40-150 years above ground, but the root system can live for thousands of years standing the test of time. The root system of the Aspen tree is built to survive wildfires and other disasters. The resilience of the Aspen tree lies in its roots! I had my answer!
This resilience illustrates the essence of Aspen Insurance and what the company is all about. Core values make up the root system that defines our resilience as a company and as a person. Honesty, Integrity, and doing things right are part of our foundation, or root system. These core values exist to provide a solid foundation of who we are so we can withstand the test of time.