It is a pleasure to present Bret Vanleeuwen as the first recipient of Cougar Club’s recognition of an Outstanding Club Member prior to each home football game. Bret’s kindness and generosity have made a difference for BYU’s student athletes as well as young people around the world.
Bret would be the first to tell you that his greatest joy and his greatest success has been his marriage to his wife, Ingrid, and the couple’s relationship with their three children. The Vanleeuweens’ 27 years of marital bliss stem from some solid fundamental family rules: no red in Bret’s home or office, no one in the family possessing any clothing of that color, and all of the cattle on the family ranch displaying the Y brand.
Bret professional achievements have been in the insurance industry, where his international brokerage firm has insured more than 4,000 of our country’s municipalities, as well as organizations including the FBI, the CIA, and the Fraternal Order of Police.
Like many Cougar Club members, Bret’s philanthropic gifts reach to areas beyond athletics. The Vanleeuweens have reached out not only around our community, but across continents where the organization Bret founded 5 years ago, Koins for Kenya, has blessed countless lives. Beginning with one school, Koins for Kenya now supports 14 schools over a 150-kilometer area, currently helping more than 7,000 students. It wouldn’t surprise you to learn that the school buildings they construct are Cougar Blue, would it?
One fact about Bret that gives some measure of the depth of his love for the Cougars was the 16-year period during which he did not miss a single BYU home football game. What is truly remarkable about this was, at the time, Bret was living 3,000 miles from Provo and flying in from Virginia for every game.
Bret and Ingrid are Legacy V donors, members of the Coaches’ Circle, and BYU Athletic scholarship donors.