Meet our 2012 Advisory Board. Get to know the industry veterans—both small group benefits and retirement advisors—who shared their years of experience for the 2012 Manulife Financial Small Business Research Report.
Life Insurance and Employee Benefits Specialist
Underwriters Insurance Brokers
Based in Kamloops, B.C., Sam is a life insurance and employee benefits specialist with Underwriters Insurance Brokers. He began his career in the insurance business in 1988, and today he focuses on employee benefits plans for small- and medium-sized businesses in his community. As well as helping small business owners, Sam supports several non-profit charitable organizations, such as the Elizabeth Fry Society, ASK (Aids Society of Kamloops) and the local food bank. When he is not visiting clients, Sam can be found in the woods photographing wildlife. www.underwriters.bc.ca
Montridge Financial Group Ltd.
Kandy is the managing partner of Montridge Financial Group Ltd. in Vancouver. She has been in the insurance industry since 1996, and specializes in employee benefits for companies with 25 to 250 employees across a variety of industries. Since most of their clients don’t have a dedicated HR department, Montridge fills that role. Kandy is a board member of the Delta Gymnastics Society and loves to travel with her husband and daughter. www.montridge.com
dElta Benefits Inc.
Ten years into his insurance industry career, Roger anticipated a need for client advocacy and founded dElta Benefits. In the following 15 years, he has shaped his company to focus in two distinct areas: group pension brokerage and consulting, and human resources and disability management. His clients are typically in the 50 to 500 life market, and in the high-tech and non-profit sectors. For the last eight years, Roger has hosted an annual charity curling event and has donated over $150,000. When Roger isn’t in his office or consulting with clients, he is on a bicycle pedalling himself to better health, setting an example for his team and his clients. www.deltabenefit.com
Goguen Champlain Financial Services Inc.
Joël is the general manager and president of the board of Goguen Champlain Financial Services Inc. in Dieppe, N.B. Before starting his current company in 2008, he began his insurance career in 1992, working for the group insurance administration and marketing department of an insurance company. Today, his firm primarily serves clients with small- and medium-sized businesses and focuses on establishing and monitoring group health benefits, group RRSP programs and executive benefits packages. Joël is a supporter of local charities and his firm is currently involved in three: Relay For Life, Les Ailes du papillon and the Bobby Orr Golf Tournament. In the winter, Joël plays hockey; in the summer, he and his wife enjoy escaping to Cap-Pelé, N.B., to enjoy the beach.
Glendinning Insurance Services
Pamela is president of Glendinning Insurance Services in Kelowna, B.C. When she began in the business in 1985, she focused on employee benefits programs. In the years since, she has expanded her scope to working more closely with business owners to support them with buy-sell agreements, disability, critical illness and shared ownership programs. Outside of work, Pamela loves being active and regularly goes kite boarding, dirt-bike riding, downhill skiing and running.
President & CEO
Aero Corporate Benefits
Herb is the president and CEO of Aero Corporate Benefits in Waterloo, Ont. He is an expert when it comes to group life and health as well as group pension/RRSP solutions. Aero serves all types of corporate clients, and specializes in small- and medium-sized technology and medical services firms. Herb is an avid motorcyclist, and he has participated in community motorcycle fundraisers for the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. www.Aero-Corp.com
Carleton Financial Group
Michael began his career in the insurance industry in 2001. Today he is a partner at Carleton Financial Group in Ottawa, specializing in group benefits, corporate insurance and pension and group retirement programs. Within the community, Michael is a leader for the Junior Entrepreneurship program, where he teaches grade 5 students in schools across the city about how to run their own businesses. He is also a board member and lead fundraiser for the Royal Ottawa Hospital Mental Health Foundation. Even with his rewarding career, Michael is still chasing his dream of making it to the NHL. www.carletonfinancial.com
Cowan Insurance Group
As vice president (benefits) at Cowan Insurance Group in Cambridge, Ont., Teresa has over 25 years of experience in the group insurance industry, both on the consulting side and with major Canadian life insurance companies. She has been involved in the local chapter of the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI), and has been a participant on their advisory committee. She has also been an instructor for the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist Program (CEBS). Teresa currently volunteers with Out of the Cold and Junior Achievement. She has also volunteered with the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo, Leadership Waterloo Region, THEMUSEUM and the Volunteer Action Centre. www.cowangroup.ca
Drew is a principal with Reuter Benefits in Richmond Hill, Ont. He joined the team in 2009 after a successful career with Manulife Financial since 1982. Drew’s focus is group retirement sales and service as well as executive plans. He has actively worked with subsidiaries of U.S.-based clients looking to co-ordinate Canadian programs with their 401(k)s. For over 16 years, Drew has coached Junior A and AAA hockey. He also sits on the board of directors at Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club. www.reuterbenefits.com
Joel brings over 30 years of experience to his position as the principal of usefulideas in Toronto. In addition to focusing on benefits and pension issues for companies with 20 or more employees, his expertise is in estate, succession and business planning for business owners and executives. He is an active member of his local synagogue, where he unwinds from work by studying the Talmud and welcoming new people into his community. When he is at home, Joel’s grandchildren never fail to exhaust any of his leftover energy. www.usefulideas.com
Christian is the owner of Placements-Vie Inc in Dorval, Que. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry with a focus on small business needs in the manufacturing industry. He is actively involved in charity and supports L’Institut Nazareth & Louis-Braille. When he is not solving problems for his clients, Christian practises Tai Chi or heads out to the golf course to relax.
Creative Planning Financial Group
Michael has been working as an employee benefits and group insurance specialist since 2003. As an associate broker with Creative Planning Financial Group in Toronto, he manages over 175 corporate clients whose organizations range from two to 500 employees. He has been responsible for insuring thousands of lives for life, critical illness, disability, health and dental benefits. It is Michael’s mission to assure his clients receive superb service at all times. When not at the office, he’s busy at home with his three young children. www.cpfg.ca