Past Event: Benefits and Pension Summit

April 17, 2019
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre




Planning for tomorrow, today

A rapidly changing workplace means today’s employers must plan for tomorrow’s employees. With gender and race equality at the forefront, as well as up to five generations now working together*, the future workforce is looking more diverse than ever before. These major shifts will have a significant impact on work. What do employers need to know to attract and retain top talent? How should benefits and pension plans be updated to reflect the needs and wants of the new workforce?

This year’s Benefits and Pension Summit will aim to answer these questions–and more–to help your organization stay ahead of the game.

*The five generations:
Traditionalists—born before 1946.
Baby Boomers—born between 1946 and 1964.
Generation X—born between 1965 and 1976.
Generation Y/Millennials—born between 1977 and 1997.
Generation Z—born after 1997.

This Summit is designed for senior-level personnel within plan sponsor organizations in both the public and private sectors to discuss common challenges and acquire solutions.

These plan sponsor organizations have already registered for The 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit.

• Estee Lauder Companies
• General Motors
• J.D. Irving
• Longo Brothers Fruit Market
• Peel Regional Police

A booth exhibition will be featured at this event.


This full-day conference will feature concurrent streams with sessions focused on benefits and DC pensions.

Early bird price: $299 + HST (effective until February 28, 2019)
Regular price:
 $349 + HST (effective March 1, 2019)

Benefits Canada has a limited block of rooms available at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre at the rate of $229 + HST per night. Please use the following link to book your room prior to March 18, 2019. Book your group rate for Benefits and Pension Summit.  



CE credits will be offered at this event. Please visit the registration page for more information.



For agenda and speaker information, please contact Wendy Morrison, conference editor.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Alison Webb, publisher, Benefits Canada.
For registration questions, contact Emma Ramsey, registrations specialist.

Join the conversation! @BenCanMag

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

7:55 - 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and registration

8:30 a.m.
Opening remarks - Grand Ballroom

8:35 - 9:35 a.m.

Opening keynote speaker - Grand Ballroom

2030 - A brave new world
Today we are seeing big technology and new finance companies aiming to disrupt the financial planning industry across all demographics. In just 11 years, between 2019 and 2030, we’ll see more changes in the pensions and benefits industry than we have in the past 100 years. In this session, Nikolas Badminton will look to indicate how 2030 will be by identifying “signals of change” we see today in the use of technology, wealth movement, young people’s attitudes to saving and the impact on other ages, along with the changing landscape of how people are operating in our exponential world.

Nikolas Badminton, futurist and strategic advisor

DC Stream - Trinity Ballroom Group Benefits Stream - Grand Ballroom
9:40 - 10:20 a.m.

Artificial intelligence, blockchain and technology - Trends, challenges and opportunities in the DC pension universe:

This session will focus on the current technology trends, what has driven these trends and how they can help pension market participants both individual and institutional. Emerging technology and its varied uses will be defined and applications and challenges in the pension space will be articulated and discussed.

Serge Boccassini, senior vice president, product management and solutions, Northern Trust

[Download Serge Boccassini's Presentation]

Your team members are customers: Developing a benefits value proposition that holistically supports a multi-generational workforce

Innovation in benefits plan design is necessary to connect our team members to the right resources, accessed in the ideal way, just in time to optimize personal and family well-being. But what is right or ideal differs for our 26,000 team members – it’s critical that our benefits plan design reflects the shifting needs, values and sensibilities of our ‘five-generation’ workforce. Learn how TELUS applies brand and marketing principles to:
• Understand the unique needs of our team
• Develop solutions that support physical, psychological, social, financial and environmental well-being
• Reach our team members in an accessible, collaborative, customized and personally meaningful way

Wade Domries , vice-president, total rewards, TELUS

[Download Wade Domrie's Presentation]

10:20 -10:40 a.m. Networking break

10:40 - 11:40 a.m.

Panel: Canadian DC plans come of age

DC plans have evolved since they emerged in Canada in the 1980s. They have grown to the point where they have begun to eclipse private Canadian DB plans. As they have grown in assets and prominence, the plan features and investment structures have continued to evolve. This session will take a glimpse at the DC plan of tomorrow, focussing on how integrated accumulation and decumulation is tailored to the risk tolerance and needs of each plan member.

Colin Ripsman,
president, Elegant Investment Solutions, Inc.

Jim Cooke, vice president, total rewards, Sobeys Inc.
Roman Kosarenko, senior director, pensions, George Weston Limited
Jana Steele, partner, Osler
Marc-Antoine Morin, assistant vice-president, chief product owner, group retirement solutions, Manulife


[Presentation not available for download.]

The first six months of legalized cannabis in Canada

Implementing changes to benefits plans with the recreational legalization of cannabis can come with uncertainty and misinformation. Many plan sponsors/employers are confused as to their rights and obligations in this area, and in regard to medical cannabis. Some plan sponsors and employers have already implemented changes while others have taken a “wait and see” approach.
On the sixth-month anniversary of cannabis legalization, what have we learned from these implemented changes in benefits plans? Why are some employers hesitant to address coverage in their plans? What do employers need to keep in mind from a legal perspective? This discussion will aim to summarize areas of interest/controversy in the lead up to and post-legalization of recreational cannabis, and to provide some solid takeaways for attendees for risk mitigation.
Jennifer Paterson, editor, Benefits Canada
Gregory Clooney, senior legal consultant, governance, legal and compliance consulting practice, Morneau Shepell
Ned Pojskic, leader, pharmacy and health provider relations, Green Shield Canada
Angelo Tsebelis, president, Starseed Medicinal Inc.

[Presentation not available for download.]

11:45 - 12:25 p.m.

DC decisions: What matters most for your plan members

TD Greystone has done research and analysis on the impacts of plan sponsor decisions to the retirement outcomes of their plan members. What we have found, is that some plan sponsor decisions are more consequential for members than others. In this presentation, we would evaluate and rank the key decisions that plan sponsors make by quantifying the potential impacts on plan members’ retirement success (i.e. account value at age 65 and how long savings last through retirement). Examples of decisions we will evaluate include:
• Plan design: Should we increase the contribution rate? Should we implement auto-enrollment or auto-escalation?
• Investment structure: What should the default option be? Should we offer target date funds as opposed to a single balanced fund or other stand-alone investment options?
• Investment selection: What is the impact of active versus passive investments?
What are the benefits to using plan- or member-specific glide paths? Should we give our plan members access to the alternative asset classes that DB plans commonly use?

Jafer Naqvi, vice-president and director, fixed income and multi-asset, TD Greystone Asset Management
Nicole Lomax, associate, fixed income and multi-asset, TD Greystone Asset Management
Hiedi Pearson, , vice president, human resources, Harvard Developments Inc. – The Hill Companies

[Download Jafer Naqvi's, Nicole Lomax's and Hiedi Pearson's Presentation]

Modernizing your total rewards program for tomorrow’s workforce

It’s an exciting new world. Workforce demographics are growing increasingly diverse. Technology, artificial intelligence and robotics are changing how work gets done and how organizations interact with their employees. To attract and retain talent, leading organizations must begin to plan for tomorrow–today. This includes taking a fresh look at their total rewards programs to ensure they remain relevant in this new world. In this session, we’ll explore how technology and an increasingly diverse workforce are changing the way we work, the type of workers we engage with, and how this will impact the design and delivery of total rewards programs in the future. We’ll also hear directly from Hydro One about their own transformational journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Ofelia Isabel, managing director, Willis Towers Watson
Sabrin Lila,director, compensation & human resoures analytics, Hydro One

[Download Ofelia Isabel's and Sabrin Lila's Presentation]

12:25 -1:00 p.m.

1:00-2:00 p.m.

The CAP member poll survey

This year’s Capital Accumulation Plan member research looks at the perceptions of Canadian members through the specific lens of the three large demographic groups currently in the workplace (boomers; gen x; millennials). We will compare and contrast the answers of the three generations to uncover differences or convergences of opinion. Are the views of millennials really that different than those of boomers regarding the use of technology to sign up or track their financial progress? Do boomers have a better understanding of decumulation options? Do younger age groups look for environmentally responsible investments more than others? As always, we also look at confidence in their CAPs to provide the retirement income they anticipate they will need; as well as the retirement lifestyle they anticipate living. In understanding if they are on track for their retirement goals we ask about formal and informal financial plans, and how do they track their progress. The survey includes both a mix of tracking questions asked in previous years, as well as new questions asked for the first time this year.

Joe Nunes,
executive chairman, Actuarial Solutions Inc.

Michael Dodd, director of pensions, treasury, shareholders services, Co-operators Group
Kim Duxbury, executive client partner, group retirement services, Sun Life Financial
Karen Burnett,senior director, retirement, Willis Towers Watson
Janice Holman,principle, Eckler
Justin Graham, Senior Manager - Research, TC Media

[Download Justin Graham's Presentation]

Ask the advisors

Benefits plans are evolving and changing, and so are the ways employers make decisions about their plans. This session will shed light on how benefits plan changes can come about. Today, employers are faced with a large number of plan design decisions and options that they’ve never had to address before, such as medical cannabis, telemedicine and biosimilars, as well as ongoing challenges around managing costs, high-cost drugs and formularies. The session will feature a range of experienced advisors — who work with a large and diverse group of employers — sharing their views on these changing decision processes. How does the decision-making process change depending on the topic? How do employers combine data, market trends, business needs and employee feedback in their decision-making? And who really has the ultimate influence over what’s covered?

Tim Clarke,
president, tc health consulting Inc.

Chris Pryce, managing director, Human Capital Benefits
Lizann Reitmeier, health practise leader, Buck
Scott Southward, managing partner, Eastern Canada, Benefits By Design
Theresa Tran, senior benefits consultant, Eckler Ltd.,

[Presentation not available for download.]

2:05-2:45 p.m.

ReDefined contribution plans, engaging members with clarity

This presentation will allow attendees to walk away with tangible tools to apply with their own plan member communications. In an industry where member engagement is often discussed, this is a new and unique take on a familiar topic. The session will explore the four universal communication principles, the emotional response participants have to the current language of retirement plans and the words to use versus the words to lose

Rob Kochel
, vice-president, Invesco

[Presentation not available for download.]

The benefits of fraud? There are none

Benefits fraud is a top concern among plan sponsors and insurance carriers. Conference attendees will learn from an insurance carrier’s perspective how data analytics, proactive measures and industry partnership can help in the fight against fraud. The session will include an employer’s experience over the last five years, the process followed and the employee’s reaction when faced with the facts.

Terisa Ducharme
, associate director, pension and benefits, human resources, York University
Shelley Frohlich
, director, fraud risk management, Sun Life Financial

[Download Shelley Frohlich's Presentation]

[Download Terisa Ducharme's Presentation]

2:50-3:10 p.m. Networking break

3:10-3:50 p.m.

A perfect match: the right target date fund for your plan

Target Date Funds (TDFs) are the core investment vehicle for the majority of capital accumulation plans and plan members in Canada. But with an increasing variety of TDFs available, how should a plan sponsor make sure they have the right one? This presentation will dispel some common myths around TDFs and give plan sponsors a better understanding of the key factors to consider.

Zaheed Jiwani,principal, Eckler Ltd.

[Presentation not available for download.]

Drug Plan Design Case Study

This session will feature a discussion with the benefit consultant of an international leader in the auto parts industry who has over 2,000 employees in Canada. The consultant will discuss their journey through plan design changes that included incentivized mail order for chronic drugs and a managed formulary with pharmacist support. Challenges, engagement results and outcomes of this employer story will be shared along with insights into drug plan management program changes.

Mark Rolnick
, vice president, payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation, Shoppers Drug Mart
Elaine Gringauz
, vice-president, group benefit services, NFP

[Presentation not available for download.]

3:55-4:55 p.m.

Closing keynote speaker - Grand Ballroom
Search and discover: What the Internet and big data reveal about who we are

How can Google search terms help predict elections? How many white Americans voted against Obama simply because he was black? Are crime rates affected by violence in the media? Are boys secretly favoured over girls amongst parents? For Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the answer to these questions doesn’t lie in traditional polls, but in the billions of Google searches made every day. Through his original research with search terms and big data, he’s discovered—and predicted—a number of counterintuitive insights, often that fly in the face of conventional wisdom. And in this surprising keynote, he lays out just what big data can reveal about our biases, anxieties and hidden desires—and how Internet searches can provide answers to questions we’re often too afraid to ask. Though sometimes uncomfortable, these revelations are designed to help us understand the world with more accuracy. And they’re here to help us become smarter consumers of data, based on asking better questions. It’s about what people are actually doing, Stephens-Davidowitz argues—not what they say they want to do.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author and former data scientist, Google

4:55 p.m.

Closing remarks

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Cocktail Reception (By invitation only) - Trinity Ballroom

Sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart

For information on the group benefits stream, please contact: Wendy Morrison
For information on the DC pension stream, please contact: Wendy Morrison



Opening keynote:
Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is a renowned futurist that drives world leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. He is a strategic advisor who provides expertise in new technologies and promotes exponential thinking with a critical, honest and optimistic view that empowers you to plan for today, tomorrow and the future.



Closing keynote:
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a former data scientist at Google and the author of Everybody Lies, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller that explores how Google searches open an unprecedented window into human behavior, choice and decision-making. He is also a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and has worked as a visiting lecturer at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has developed a course about his research. A direct, succinct and frequently humorous writer and keynote speaker, he’s presented his original research using big data as engaging lectures, scientific manuscripts and popular data journalism. He has a doctorate in economics from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University.


Serge Boccassini

Serge Boccassini

Serge is a Senior Vice President in Northern Trust's Institutional Global Product Management and Regulatory Services. In his current role Serge is responsible for the research, identification, development and operational support of new global products and services for the retirement, insurance, pooled and alternative asset markets. In addition, Serge manages the division’s global footprint research and expansion into new markets. Previously Serge was principal and director of product Management at Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C., supporting the firm’s commitment to institutional retirement services. Prior to joining Northern Trust, Serge was an assistant vice president in MetLife’s Institutional Business supporting their Retirement Services Group. In that role, he managed all aspects of product and process development and enhancements, SEC and NASD compliance, as well as being a member of the operational review team for retirement business mergers and acquisitions.

Jim Cooke

Jim Cooke

Jim Cooke is the Vice President of Total Rewards for Sobeys Inc. He is responsible plan governance, design, administration, regulatory compliance and plan member education for Sobeys defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans. In addition to his responsibilities with Sobeys he is a Trustee with a large multiemployer pension plan. He has experience in plan acquisitions through multiple company mergers and has lead the evaluation of de-risking strategies along with establishing appropriate investment line-up alternatives for plan members. Prior to leading the Total Rewards team he held many finance positions with Sobeys Inc. including being responsible for all pension plan management accounting and external reporting.

Michael Dodd

Zaheed Jiwani

Michael Dodd joined the Co-operators Group in 2003. He is currently Director of Pensions, Treasury, and Shareholder Services at the Co-operators Group. In his role, he oversees the management of the Co-operators Group Defined Contribution Pension Plan with Assets under management of over 1 billion dollars. Michael also sits on the Pension Committee of a Defined Benefit plan for Co-operators subsidiary The Cumis Group. Mr. Dodd is also a long standing member of the Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) Ontario Regional Council. He has also participated in many Industry Conferences including as a speaker or panelist from time to time.

Kim Duxbury

Zaheed Jiwani

As an Executive Client Partner, Kim works with clients across Canada to understand their evolving business and people challenges and needs for their workplace retirement and savings programs to ensure that Sun Life’s solutions are aligned to support the achievement of the employer’s strategic goals and objectives. Kim has over 37 years of experience in the retirement industry and is well recognized for her deep experience in participant behaviours, plan design, innovation and thought leadership. She is also an active participant in the retirement industry’s advocacy efforts to drive public policy change across the country.

Zaheed Jiwani

Zaheed Jiwani

Zaheed Jiwani is a principal and leads Eckler’s defined contribution consulting group. With over 20 years in the institutional investment industry, Jiwani is able to provide a unique perspective, drawing on his experience in consulting, asset management and record-keeping. He works with clients in a variety of areas, including governance, investments, record-keeper selection and plan design. His strength is dissecting complex problems, developing relevant solutions and distilling everything into a format that is easy to understand. Jiwani regularly contributes to the industry through conference speaking engagements, authoring articles and sitting on the Benefits Canada advisory board. Prior to joining Eckler, he lead the defined contribution business at an asset management firm, where he helped design and build a lifecycle/target date fund suite incorporating alternative asset classes. Prior to that, Jiwani lead the defined contribution consulting practice at another consulting firm, where he consulted to defined contribution and defined benefits clients. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor of science degree with a specialist in actuarial science and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder (2001).

Rob Kochel

Zaheed Jiwani

Rob Kochel is a nationally requested keynote speaker and workshop leader who seeks to motivate his audiences to re-examine and transform their business practices with novel ideas and approaches. Rob joined Invesco in 1999 as a wholesaler and evolved to embrace senior leadership roles in regional management, institutional account management and as a national sales manager. Prior to joining Invesco, Rob actively competed in four diverse industries: professional sports, commercial real estate, global packaged goods and wireless communication. Rob seeks to translate this 34 years of experience in the boardroom and on the street into stories and insights that come alive in a passionate delivery of Invesco’s industry-recognized selection of consulting tools and programs. He holds a BA (Hons.) in kinesiology and business from the University of Western Ontario.

Roman Kosarenko

Roman Kosarenko

Roman Kosarenko is a senior director of pensions at George Weston Limited. He oversees investment aspects of multiple defined benefits and defined contribution/401k plans for George Weston, Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix. Kosarenko has been involved with investment oversight of corporate pension plans since 2004, including prior positions with BMO and Nortel. He is an active member of the PIAC and an advocate for DC decumulation solutions.


Nicole Lomax

Nicole Lomax

Nicole Lomax is an Associate, Fixed Income and Multi-Asset. Nicole joined TD Greystone Asset Management in 2012. In her role, she is responsible for serving as a strategic liaison between the Fixed Income and Multi-Asset portfolio management teams and the rest of the firm. Externally, she has marketing, client service and research responsibilities, working with clients and the investment/consulting community to ensure they are well informed regarding the firm’s multi-asset solutions. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours) with a specialization in Financial Analysis & Risk Management from the University of Waterloo and is a CFA charterholder.

Marc-Antoine Morin

Roman Kosarenko

Marc-Antoine Morin is an assistant vice-president of product development in group retirement solutions at Manulife. In his current role, he is the chief product owner of member engagement and is responsible for developing experiences that will lead members to better financial health. This includes enrolment, education, advice and decumulation products. Over the last 13 years in the pension industry, he has held various leadership roles in group retirement product development and worked as a defined benefit consultant in a large consulting firm. Marc-Antoine graduated from the Laval University actuarial program, and is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Jafer Naqvi

Joe Nunes

Jafer Naqvi is Vice President & Director, for Fixed Income & Multi-Asset. Jafer joined TD Greystone Asset Management in its Toronto office in 2012. His internal responsibilities include serving as a member of the Fixed Income Team, Asset Strategy Team and is the primary liaison between the marketing and the investment teams. Externally, he has marketing, client service and research responsibilities, working with clients and the investment/consulting community to ensure they are well informed regarding our fixed income and multi-asset capabilities. Jafer has over 13 years of industry experience working in fixed income, multi-asset consulting and investment solutions development. Prior to joining TD Greystone Asset Management, Jafer was Vice-President, Product Specialist, with Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) where he was responsible for Canadian product management. Prior to that, he was an Investment Analyst and later a Manager Research Consultant with Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt). Jafer holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a CFA charterholder.

Joe Nunes

Joe Nunes

Joe Nunes is the executive chairman of Actuarial Solutions Inc., He has practiced in defined benefit pensions, defined contribution programs and retiree health plans for 30 years. Nunes is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a graduate of the University of Waterloo. He is a frequent contributor to the actuarial profession and actively participates in professional meetings. Nunes also regularly shares his views on pensions and broader issues of financial security through his writing and his speaking.


Hiedi Pearson

Hiedi Pearson

Hiedi is Vice President, Human Resources, Harvard Developments Inc. – The Hill Companies Hiedi’s focus is pursuing Harvard’s mission of providing a rewarding work environment which fosters innovation, continuous improvement and opportunity, while respecting and promoting individual and family values. Being with the company for the past 20 years, Hiedi has gained a thorough understanding of the business and the culture of Harvard. Under Hiedi’s leadership, the YES Team or Your Employee Service Team provides internal services to the employees of The Hill Companies. These services include human resources, payroll, office administrative support, marketing and business communications. The YES Team is proud to announce that Harvard Developments has been selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers in 2019 as well as one of Canada's Top Employers For Young People in 2019. Hiedi is a graduate of the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts and Certificate in Administration and is a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals. She currently sits on the board of directors of Access Communications Co-operative Ltd. and Ranch Ehrlo Society. Hiedi was a member of the Host Organizing Committee of the 101st Grey Cup Festival.

Colin Ripsman

Colin Ripsman

Colin Ripsman founded Elegant Investment Solutions (Elegant IS) in 2019, bringing 25 years of investment experience gleaned from senior roles with several leading consulting and investment management firms. During his career, Ripsman has serviced a wide variety of clients, including corporate and non-profit organizations, as well as multi-employer pension plans. He has special expertise in providing meaningful and practical advice in areas such as asset allocation and investment policy, performance evaluation and investment manager selection. Ripsman also has extensive experience in the design of DC investment structures. Prior to joining Elegant IS, he was vice-president and portfolio manager of institutional client services with Foyston, Gordon & Payne Inc. Ripsman was also a principal in Eckler’s investment consulting practice. Before Eckler, he was vice-president and institutional portfolio manager at Phillips, Hager & North, managing relationships with a wide range of clients and developing DC investment products. He also spent 16 years with Mercer, including a tenure as global head of DC consulting. Ripsman is an active participant in the pension and investment industry. He is a frequent speaker and author on investment topics and sits on the Benefits Canada advisory board. Ripsman has also been appointed to the investment and pension advisory committee of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Jana Steele

Jana Steele

Jana Steele is a partner in Osler’s pensions and benefits group. She has extensive experience dealing with pensions and benefits in the context of corporate transactions. She is involved in providing advice with respect to both the establishment and the ongoing administration of pension plans. Steele advises on issues such as plan design, governance, administration, pension investment, compliance, trustee obligations, surplus matters, plan conversions, plan mergers, de-risking strategies and plan wind-ups. She also has experience dealing with pensions and benefits issues arising in insolvencies and corporate restructurings. Steele is a frequent speaker on pension matters in Canada and has guest lectured at several universities. She has been recognized in the area of pensions and employee benefits in several industry publications, including Chambers Global, Chambers Canada, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in Canada, the Canadian Lexpert Directory and Who’s Who Legal.


Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke founded tc Health Consulting in 2017 after over 20 years with international HR consulting firms Aon and Hewitt, working with employers to manage all elements of their Canadian employee health and benefit programs. He held various leadership roles with Aon and Hewitt, including as Hewitt’s Canadian Health Consulting practice leader and 6 years as Aon’s Health Chief Innovation Officer. Tim founded tc Health with a vision to work with all industry stakeholders to bring the next generation of innovative health, benefits and insurance solutions to Canadian employers.

J. Gregory Clooney

Gregory Clooney

Gregory Clooney, a lawyer and senior legal consultant at Morneau Shepell Ltd., is well versed in benefit and pension issues and experienced in drafting strong governance policies and procedures, as well as educating and advising on related matters. He provides guidance on benefit and pension plan design and documentation, compliance, governance, troubleshooting and related due diligence. Clooney's goal is to help organizations understand and meet their requirements and obligations, pursuant to their unique needs, while implementing best practice in an efficient and effective manner. He is a contributing author and coordinator of the Morneau Shepell "Handbook of Canadian Pension and Benefit Plan"s and a contributor to the Morneau Shepell “Summary of Pension Legislation in Canada.” He regularly drafts industry articles advising of recent benefit and pension-related news and serves on the OBA Pension and Benefits Executive committee.

Wade Domries

Gregory Clooney

Wade Domries is the vice-president of total rewards at TELUS. A member of people and culture at TELUS, he leads a team focused on recognizing and empowering the organization's team members by offering personalized total rewards that support their well-being and diversity. Domries leads all aspects of TELUS’ compensation, recognition, benefits and pensions, HR systems, operations, transition services and well-being strategy, as well as works closely with TELUS’ board of directors and its human resources and compensation committee. Previously, he spent three years as the vice-president of home solutions marketing, leading the national marketing team responsible for driving TELUS’ consumer wireline strategy in Western Canada. In this role, he oversaw the development of customer and competitive insights, unique value propositions, product and pricing, and customer marketing strategy to deliver superior home solutions in B.C. and Alberta. Domries also spent nine years as the vice-president of customer experience, where he led all strategy, enablement and executions teams, as well as frontline organizations spanning both wireless and wireline, where he transformed TELUS’ customer experience by embedding their "customers first" culture across all call centres. Domries graduated with a bachelor of commerce from Sauder School of Business at U.B.C.

Shelley Frohlich

Gregory Clooney

Shelley Frohlich is the director of fraud risk management in Sun Life’s group benefits division. She is responsible for investigating, detecting and preventing fraud through strategic direction and fraud risk management. Under her leadership, the team uses intelligence-led anti-fraud strategies with a focus on the profiling of medical and dental providers and facilities, including the investigation into large collusion schemes and organized crime. Frohlich has been with Sun Life since 2010 and has worked in the investigation field within the insurance industry for the last 18 years, including participating in court and regulatory hearings pertaining to fraud.

Elaine Gringauz

Elaine Gringauz

Elaine Gringauz joined NFP in 2009 as a benefits analyst. She quickly proved her value and worked her way up to the role of VP Group Benefit Services. In her role, Elaine manages client reporting and servicing for group clients in the GTA and works directly with many large NFP accounts. Elaine graduated from the University of Toronto and holds an Honors BSc with a double major in actuarial science and computer science. She earned her Associate of the Society of Actuaries and Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries designations in 2012

Ofelia Isabel

Ofelia Isabel

Ofelia Isabel is the managing director of client management at Willis Towers Watson. She has spent the last 28 years working to make organizations better and healthier places to work – places that great people want to join and give their best. Having designed and implemented more total rewards programs for organizations across multiple industries than she can now count, Isabel remains excited and optimistic about the changes organizations are now willing to embrace. Since joining Willis Towers Watson in 2001, she has held various roles, including leading the rewards, talent and communication business in Canada and the U.S. Midwest and leading the Canadian defined contribution business. Isabel is a Canadian human resources leader, a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. She completed her human resources studies the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School and her actuarial degree at the University of Toronto. She’s also currently completing her professional coaching certification. Isabel is a frequent speaker on total reward and employee experience topics.

Sabrin Lila

Sabrin Lila

Sabrin Lila is the director of compensation and human resources analytics at Hydro One Networks Inc. She is an energetic leader, who has held this position since 2017 and has experience in multiple disciplines, including compensation, human resources analytics, talent management, leadership development, organizational design and employee and labour relations. Lila is focused on designing innovative ways to attract, retain and motivate talent through performance and compensation programs. She is forward thinking and keenly interested in designing strategies to prepare for the future workplace, through programs such as workforce planning and analytics. When Lila isn’t busy at work or off traveling, you will find her at the Ismaili Centre Toronto, where she volunteers as a tour guide, or in Brampton, where she serves as the vice-principal teacher support for the Ismaili Tarqia Board of Canada. Lila holds a masters of industrial relations and human resources from the University of Toronto and bachelor of political science from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ned Pojskic

Ned Pojskic

Ned Pojskic is Green Shield Canada’s (GSC) leader for pharmacy and health provider relations. In this role, he is responsible for setting GSC’s strategic direction with respect to provider and drug benefits management. Pojskic takes the lead in managing stakeholder relations with all health care providers, including pharmacy, dental and paramedical. He is also responsible for overall drug formulary management, including pricing and policy as well as pharmaceutical industry partnerships. With an industry background that includes a role as director of health policy for the Ontario Pharmacists Association, Pojskic is a key member of GSC’s strategic market solutions team. He holds masters and doctorate degrees from the department of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Toronto and is currently appointed as an adjunct professor within the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Chris Pryce

Ned Pojskic

A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Chris has spent his entire 25 plus year career in the employee benefits field. He has worked as an analyst and consultant at various firms, before spending 7 years as an account executive with a major Insurer. Chris is the founder and principal of his current firm; a role he has held for 15+ years. Last year, his firm Human Capital Benefits, successfully acquired and integrated 2 separate benefit practices. In growth mode, they are looking for other strategic acquisitions. For over 15+ years, Chris has held the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation and over the years he has participated in a number of Industry groups and panels in the Benefits and Pharma space.

Lizann Reitmeier

Lizann Reitmeier

Lizann Reitmeier is the Canadian Health Practice Leader at Buck. For more than 30 years Lizann has worked with clients to set benefit plan strategies and meet those strategies through design and management. Reflecting the diverse needs of clients, this has included a broad range of initiatives such as: Launching flex plans, De-flexing, Shifting enrollment patterns, Increasing employee appreciation for the plan, Enhancing competitive benchmarking of the plan, and The ever popular containing plan costs. Lizann has a special place in her heart for flex plans, having worked on many over the years, but she recognizes flex is not always the answer. Lizann is passionate about wellness, which can impact the quality of life even if its impact on the benefit plan is not quantifiable. Lizann is also a champion of benefits communication, as benefits are the unsung hero of compensation.

Mark Rolnick

Lizann Reitmeier

Mark is responsible for leading the strategy and development of innovative sustainable solutions to help employers manage their drug plans and improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. Mark and his team work in partnership with insurance carriers, benefits consultants and advisors to implement and execute such initiatives. Prior joining SDM, Mark spent over 5 years at Sun Life Financial in leadership roles within the Group Benefits product development area with a portfolio that included pharmaceuticals, disability, and health and wellness. Mark also spent over 11 years at AstraZeneca holding a number of roles with increasing responsibility including market access, sales, marketing, strategic planning, and business development.

Scott Southward

Lizann Reitmeier

Scott is Managing Partner of Benefits By Design, whose mission is Helping Working Canadians. Benefits By Design now administers employee benefit programs for approximately 4,000 employers nationally with a team of 100 people in offices in Port Coquitlam, Kingston and Toronto. Scott was born and raised in the Niagara region. He earned his Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and his Law Degree from Queens University. Prior to joining Benefits By Design, his work experience included working with Aon in their commercial insurance business, and completing his articles at a law firm in Toronto.

Theresa Tran

Lizann Reitmeier

Theresa is a Senior Benefits Consultant with Eckler Ltd. in Toronto. She has 20 years of experience helping clients with a range of key plan management activities including design, benchmarking, marketing, implementation, renewal & pricing, labour strategy & costings, plan governance and communications. She brings a broad knowledge of the industry, solid client management skills and a creative forward-thinking approach. Theresa has expertise in managing clients across various sectors including, financial, hospitality, consumer products, mining, retail and public sectors


Event Location

The 2019 Benefits and Pensions Summit will take place at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre Hotel.

Visit the Marriott website for more information

525 Bay Street
Toronto, ON, M5G 2L2

Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre


With further inquiries about event logistics, please contact Kristy Davidson, event manager.