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Annual Conference 2019
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CIAA Annual Conference 2019: Embrace the Road Ahead
September 15-18, 2019 | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Our flagship event brought together members and speakers from Canada and the US to meet, learn and network.
This year we traveled to beautiful Saskatoon on September 15-18, 2019.

Click below to view available presentation slides.



EY: Property & Casualty Reinsurance in Canada
KPMG: Industry Results and Outlook - 2019
Clearwater Analytics: Investment Strategies and Impact on Capital
PwC: Accounting and Tax Update 
MNP: Ethics
Munich Re: Climate Change and Impacts on Reinsurance


601 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, S7K 3G8 Canada
+1 306 244 5521


We are proud to announce that this year we have selected the Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children as our local charity. All proceeds from our Charity Raffle and donations made on behalf of our presenters went towards Crisis Nursery and Parent Aid programs.

This year we've raised over $7000!

Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children
 (Crisis Nursery and Parent Aide programs)

The Crisis Nursery offers a ten-bed, 24-7 community respite home to children age 0-12 whose families are in crisis or have no safe childcare alternatives when they need respite. The Nursery also has a 24-hour emergency crisis line for families to call for support. Families often call the Nursery when they are in a very dark space, and feel they can’t parent safely unless they get a break. Families use the Nursery when they face medical issues, domestic violence, sexual assault, family conflict, homelessness, addictions, mental health breakdown, post-partum depression, food insecurity or high stress. The Crisis Nursery keeps kids safe while families take the time they need to rest, make decisions and find resources, and by doing this we preserve the family. Our ten-bed facility is full most of the time, with stays anywhere from two hours to a month. We serve between 750-1000 children every year. In order to operate the Crisis Nursery, we fundraise $300,000 a year.

Svitlana Nechyporenko
(416) 494 1440 x 232



        Shawn Kanungo
Disruption Strategist

Shawn Kanungo is a strategist who operates at the intersection of creativity, business, and technology. He has been recognized nationally and globally for his work in the innovation space after 12 years of working at Deloitte. Shawn's mandate at the firm was to help corporate executives to better understand and plan for the opportunities and threats associated with disruptive innovation.

Now, as General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Shawn is focused on applying exponential technologies and new business models to mature businesses. He is a practitioner who has worked hand-to-hand with hundreds of organizations on their journey to digital transformation, and he has adopted the concepts of behavioural economics, user-centered design, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, drones, and film to help create world class client experiences.

Shawn's work and interviews have been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, CBC and CTV. In 2016, he was recognized as Avenue Magazine's "Top 40 Under 40". He spoke at TEDx in 2017, and was named to Inc's "100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers" in 2018. His podcast, The Remix with Shawn & Wang, can be currently found on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

    Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan
Performance Consultant to the NHL, NBA and Olympians 

Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan lives by her philosophy of embracing challenges and pushing boundaries to achieve your highest potential. She was the first female Performance Consultant for the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Edmonton Oilers. Her passion for motivating audiences to reach their fullest potential has received praise from international corporations and sports organizations alike, including Visa, Johnson and Johnson, the NHL, and the NBA.

She has worked at five Olympic Games with the gold medal winning teams of the Women’s Hockey Team, Cross Country Ski Team, and Speedskating Team. The Canadian Olympic Committee appointed her as the Lead of Sport Psychology for the entire Olympic team for the 2010 Vancouver, 2012 London, and 2014 Sochi Olympics.

For her groundbreaking work, she has received awards such as the Globe and Mail’s Top Power 50 List, WXN Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and Avenue magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. Companies worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies Johnson & Johnson, VISA, General Mills, and Royal Dutch Shell have hired her to motivate them to achieve sustained high performance.




      Andrew Clarkson
Associate Partner, Transfer Pricing Services, Ernst & Young LLP

Andrew is member of the international tax transfer pricing practice of Ernst & Young (“EY”). Andrew has managed cross-border projects involving financial transactions, the purchase and sale of tangible goods, provision of services, and the licensing of intangible property. He advises clients frequently on intercompany pricing and related issues from an economic perspective, including: tax planning, documentation, permanent establishments, tax audits and advises clients on the economic analysis related to controversy projects, such as Advance Pricing Arrangements and competent authority applications.

Andrew specializes in transfer pricing for insurance and other financial services transactions, including reinsurance, asset management, capital market trading and sales, investment banking, head office and centralized cost charges and funds transfer pricing transactions. Andrew also has considerable experience in financing transactions, such as loans, guarantees and other credit- and market-risk related transactions.

Prior to joining EY’s international transfer pricing services group, Andrew worked for 7 years in transfer pricing at one of the other Big Four accounting firms in Toronto and 2 years as a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he studied public finance, microeconomics, and industrial organization.

      Jennifer Baziuk, PMP, CIP
Vice President, Transformation & Strategic Delivery,
The Commonwell

Prior to joining The Commonwell, Jennifer spent nearly two decades working in the Property & Casualty Industry for TD Insurance in both Toronto and Montreal.  Jennifer has held a variety of leadership roles over the course of her career in Information Technology, Claims, Operations, Sales Effectiveness and Data Management & Data Governance.

As Vice President of Transformation & Strategic Delivery she will drive and enable the organizations business strategy through integrated ownership of CMIG Business Transformation Office (including Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO), Organizational Change Management (OCM) & Business Strategy), IT Strategy, Delivery & Operations as well as the overall Enterprise Data Strategy and Data Management practices.

Jennifer holds a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Management, Business Management and Marketing in addition to a Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University.  She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Insurance Professional (CIP) who has volunteered her services to the Insurance Institute of Ontario to review academic programs in an effort to improve the quality of education for students and insurance professionals alike.

Jennifer grew up in Northern Ontario and moved near Lake Simcoe where she and her husband Paul are raising their two children Paige and Rory.  They enjoy the outdoors and spend as much time as possible on Lake Simcoe in both the summer and winter.

      Dawn Bloom
Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer, Saskatchewan Government Insurance

After spending 18 years in the travel industry, Ms. Bloom shifted her focus to the insurance sector. She joined SGI CANADA in 2007 to lead the development and implementation of eService solutions for the independent broker network. These solutions provided SGI CANADA brokers with the ability to electronically send and receive insurance transactions. SGI CANADA was the first Canadian insurer to successfully implement eDocs – the ability to electronically send policy cover pages in PDF format to a broker’s system. Her team was awarded the 2012 Insurance Canada Technology Award for this implementation. Also in 2012, she assumed the role of Vice President of Customer Strategy, where the disciplines of customer journey mapping, persona development and experience design were initiated and developed. This role later grew to include responsibility for SGI’s broker distribution function, furthering the development of digital solutions for brokers.

Ms. Bloom’s experience in inspiring and navigating change resulted in her appointment to the role of Executive VP and Chief Digital & Information Officer in 2017 overseeing the IT division and the corporate transition of SGI into an agile environment with modern technology solutions. 

      Tara Carruthers, CPA, CGA
CFO, NFP Canada

Tara Carruthers is the CFO of NFP Canada, which sells Property Casualty and Group, Retirement & Life Insurance. Before becoming CFO, Tara spent most of her career at Dalton Timmis Insurance, (sold to NFP in 2017), as VP of Finance. Along with her accounting designation, Tara obtained her RIBO license in 2011 and her CAIB designation in 2012. Gaining this extra knowledge of the insurance industry has contributed to her success. She has been involved in the successful implementation of policies and procedures to support the growth of the organization. She managed the implementation of many large projects, including conversion to a paperless environment, disaster recovery planning, new office openings and two BMS Conversions. 

In her spare time she enjoys golf, country music and spending time with her husband and 2 boys.

      Chris Cornell
Partner Audit Financial Services

Chris is a Partner in the Financial Services practice at KPMG in Canada with over 18 years’ experience and specializing in the financial services sector.  Chris has worked extensively with financial services clients here in Canada and abroad including time in our London office. Chris is National Industry Leader for our Canadian Insurance Practice and formerly the head of KPMG’s Canadian Investment Dealer Practice.

Chris has responsibility for oversight of all KPMG activities with Sun Life Financial globally.  He primarily provides audit and assurance services to financial institutions.  He has experience and familiarity with the business and operating landscape financial institutions operate in, as well as, the evolving regulatory framework and markets.  Chris has extensive experience in the insurance, wealth management, and investment banking industries here in Canada and globally.

      Debbie G. Coull-Cicchini, B. Econ., MBA, FICB
Executive Vice President, Ontario, Western & Atlantic Canada
Intact Financial Corporation

Debbie Coull-Cicchini, Executive-Vice President of Intact Insurance, oversees the operations of Intact Insurance in Ontario, Western and Atlantic Canada. Prior to this role Ms. Coull-Cicchini was Senior Vice President, of the Ontario Division. During this time she played an integral part in the integration of three successful acquisitions and led the implementation of numerous key strategic priorities.

Prior to joining IFC in 2005 Ms. Coull-Cicchini worked for a US Bank as EVP Wealth Management, Retail Banking & Marketing., while residing in the US. Previous to this role she was instrumental in launching two On-Line Banking start-ups which included President's Choice Financial in Canada and Amicus Bank in the US. She has also held various Retail Banking executive roles in Personal & Commercial Banking within CIBC.

Ms. Coull-Cicchini holds a BA in Economics from McMaster University in Hamilton and an MBA from Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

      Russell Grieve, CA
Senior Manager, PwC

Russell Grieve is a senior manager in the Financial Services Tax Practice of PwC in Toronto. He joined the Canadian firm during 2011 from PwC UK and is a Chartered Accountant and qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). Russell more than ten years of insurance industry experience and has been actively involved in interpreting and analyzing the tax impact to the adoption of IFRS 17 for insurers.

      David Kerr
Partner, Deloitte

David Kerr is a Partner in Deloitte Canada’s Technology Consulting practice. He is an insurance industry and technology leader with 30+ years experience in emerging technology, industry solutions, business and market development, project delivery, strategic consulting, various forms of outsourcing, team building and leadership. He has previously held leadership roles at IBM and Accenture in Canada and abroad.

Based in Kitchener, he leads a number of large insurance technology delivery projects in Canada and manages Deloitte’s Emerging Technology Hub in the Kitchener office. 

      Summer Kisner
Senior Solutions Engineer, Clearwater

Summer works with Product Development and Sales to ensure industry feedback is incorporated into Clearwater’s product offering. She also ensures our Solutions Engineers, Consultants, and Sales staff are informed of new product functionality and the value it will provide clients and prospective clients. In addition, Summer leads our Senior Solutions Engineering and Consulting team, serves as an expert resource for her knowledge of asset classes, and is a key voice in the Insurance Market Council that drives the company strategy for the insurance industry.

Summer has been involved with many departments at Clearwater in her seven-year tenure. She previously served as the Product Owner for software development of alternative and complex asset class reporting, where she was responsible for the research and implementation of new features and enhancements directly related to the reporting of complex asset classes.

After moving often with a military family, Summer has enjoyed settling down in the up-and-coming tech hub of Boise. When she isn’t problem-solving with her colleagues in Clearwater’s headquarters in downtown Boise, she spends time with her family horseback riding, enjoying the outdoors, and living the simple life on their small ranch just north of Boise.

Summer has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boise State University.

      John Knotek
CEO, ClearPay

John currently is the CEO of ClearPay, a company focused on automating the payment and reconciliation process between brokerages and carriers.  John has a long history in commercial banking, with a passion for delivering financial services to the P&C Insurance industry.  He is happy to be attending the CIAA conference for the 5th year in a row.

      Cody Lott
Treasury and Investments Solutions Expert, Clearwater

Cody Lott has worked for the past two years as a treasury solutions expert for Clearwater. Prior to his time at Clearwater, Cody worked for Micron Technology as a senior treasury analyst. During Cody’s time at Micron, the portfolio grew to $8 billion and then back down to $3 billion due to acquisitions. Cody managed a group of nine external asset managers at the height of the portfolio. He also assisted in the implementation of Kyriba (treasury management system), while at Micron. Cody has an MBA from Boise State University as well as degrees in accounting and finance.

Cody spends the majority of his free time in the Idaho outdoors with his wife, family, and friends. In addition to riding snowmobiles for pleasure, Cody also started an organization dedicated to keeping lands public called Sum+It Riders, and he serves on the board of the Idaho State Snowmobile Association. A personal goal of his is to ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the backcountry.

      Alice Lumley
CFO, Odyssey Reinsurance Company

Alice Lumley is a UK Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of experience in the re/insurance industry.  Alice started her career in London, UK and then moved to Bermuda with KPMG where she worked predominantly on the audits of reinsurance companies.  Following two years with KPMG, Alice took a position with the Oil Insurance Group of companies in Bermuda where she worked for 9 years holding the positions of Controller and Treasurer.

Alice moved to Canada from Bermuda and took up employment with Gore Mutual Insurance Company in 2011 where she worked as Director of Finance with responsibility for the oversight of the finance department including financial and regulatory reporting, tax filings, planning and budgeting as well as responsibility for the investment, reinsurance and treasury functions.

In August 2015 Alice commenced employment with Odyssey Reinsurance Company as Chief Financial Officer for the Canadian Branch where she is responsible for the finance, HR, claims, compliance and risk management functions.

      Byron Mack, CPA, CA
Regional Managing Partner, MNP

Byron Mack, CPA, CA, is the Regional Managing Partner for North Saskatchewan and a Partner in MNP’s Assurance Services group in Saskatoon.

Byron leads the Northern Saskatchewan Region, including the firm’s offices in Saskatoon, Humboldt, Lloydminster, Melfort and Prince Albert. He heads up a team of close to 300 team members working with a diverse group of clients and oversees many of the firm’s service areas.

Drawing on more than a decade of experience, Byron has an in-depth understanding of his clients’ needs and is acutely aware of what is required to help them succeed. He develops innovative and practical business solutions for clients, including business planning, annual filing requirements, reviews, governance and audits with extensive experience leading large audits.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Byron is a designated Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA), qualifying in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Regina.

      Liam McFarlane
Partner, Insurance and Actuarial Services, Ernst & Young LLP

Liam has 30 years of experience in the Canadian property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industry. Before joining EY in 2009, he gained extensive experience as a senior insurance executive, and as a consulting actuary working with insurers, reinsurers, captives, professional associations and financial institutions across most of the major lines of insurance in Canada.

He’s been involved in the evaluation of all major automobile insurance reforms in the Canadian marketplace since the early 1990’s; Liam was active in evaluating the impact of the changes on premiums, creating revised rating structures, filing revised rates as required by various rate regulatory bodies and, from time to time, appearing at hearings in support of proposed changes. Liam currently acts as Appointed Actuary to approximately 10 insurance and reinsurance companies in the Canadian market both domestic and foreign branches. He has deep expertise in the valuation of policy liabilities as well as the assessment of financial condition through Dynamic Capital Adequacy Testing.

He continues to assess the impact of automobile insurance regulatory changes on expected costs from a pricing and valuation perspective on behalf of a number of clients.

      Dr. Christian Menkens
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Intact Financial Corporation

Dr. Christian Menkens was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Intact Financial Corporation (IFC) in May 2019. In this role, Dr. Menkens is responsible for the Software Engineering teams across North America, for Software Architectures and for the Intact Lab.

Prior to joining IFC, Dr. Menkens was Chief Technology Officer and Chief Architect at Digital & iX of IBM Canada’s Global Business Services. During his six years with IBM, he consulted for dozens of clients across industries such as Energy, Retail, Travel & Transportation, Banking and Insurance. He was responsible for technology strategy, for the software engineering team’s technical excellence, for solution architectures and ultimately the success of the solutions delivered to clients.

Dr. Menkens has over 15 years of experience in Information Technology Leadership, Technology Innovation, Software Architectures and Software Engineering. He began his career as a freelance Software Engineer working for a wide range of clients in Austria and Germany, and in 2008, joined the Center for Digital Technology & Management as Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Consultant. During that time, among others he worked with Deutsche Telekom Laboratories for four years as Software Engineer and Architect on emerging Next-Generation Telecom & Mobility Systems and Solutions.

Dr. Menkens holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich, a dual M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Technical University of Munich, and a Software Engineering diploma from the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria.

      Tariq Nasir
Senior Manager, PwC 

Tariq is a Senior Manager with PwC’s Indirect Tax group with over 10 years of experience servicing clients on a broad range of indirect taxes including GST, HST, QST and PST.  He has extensive experience in servicing financial service clients across Canada, helping financial institutions with various indirect tax compliance obligations including indirect tax planning, assistance and representation responding to audits and assessments, assistance in system implementation and providing an analysis on highly technical issues in the financial services sector. Tariq also has extensive experience in dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency.

      Karen Nelson-Hoflin, CAIB
Vice President, Go Insurance

Starting as a direct writer for Co-operators over 34 years ago, where she literally “fell” into the job. Her insurance journey has taken her to the Insurer side, where she held positions as a Senior in underwriting and then back to where Karen knew her true passion was, the Independent broker.  The daily challenges a broker faces serving the clients, the carriers and the business presented her with the challenges that she was willing to face.

Over the past 7 years Karen has taken a small brokerage of 7 staff and transformed it into a brokerage that is a leader in its class.  Over 6 years they tripled the size of the book of business in premium and policies while maintaining a high retention of customers and a healthy bottom line.

Karen’s strong leadership with a focus on People Process and Purpose, has afforded the success Go Insurance has today.

As a recent Top 10 Brokerage winner in Canada, Karen couldn’t be more proud of her staff.  Excited for the future of Go Insurance, Karen and her team continue to transform and look for new and innovative ways of delivering their product to their customers.

      Alex Ng, B. Math, MCSE, MCPD
National Practice Lead, Data & Analytics, BDO Canada LLP 

Alex is the practice-lead for Data & Analytics at BDO Canada LLP IT Solutions practice. Having worked across all lines of insurance of Health, Property & Casualty, and Life, Alex has deep industry and technical knowledge providing Analytics solutions to meet the needs of the Digital Insurer.

Alex is a technically proficient, customer-dedicated delivery manager with 20+ years of experience and cross-functional ability in the design and architecture, programming and testing of large-scale, highly complex solutions, with emphasis on Data, Cloud, and Web technologies.  Alex is skilled in redesigning processes to strengthen development cycle while introducing strategies that generate product/process improvements.

      Brian Nielsen, CPA, CA
Vice-President of Finance, Munich Re Company of Canada

Brian Nielsen is Vice-President of Finance for Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada (Munich Re) and has been with the company since 1999. He has more than 25 years of experience working in the life and health, and property and casualty insurance industries. Brian’s time at Munich Re has included three years at the company’s head office in Germany where he worked on Solvency II implementation and global life reserving topics.  In 2016 Brian returned to Canada to work on the P&C insurance side of the business.

In addition to his work at Munich Re, Brian has been involved in various positions on industry committees with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and with Insurance Bureau of Canada.  Brian is actively engaged in IFRS 17 topics and OSFI’s discussion paper on the Reinsurance Framework.  Brian is a CPA, CA and holds a Bachelor of Math degree, Chartered Accountancy option from the University of Waterloo.

      Lynn Oldfield, FCIP, CRM
President & Chief Executive Officer, AIG Insurance Company of Canada

Lynn Oldfield leads AIG Canada as President and CEO. Lynn joined AIG in 1991as an underwriting manager and since that time she has held a variety of progressive management positions before assuming the role of President in 2008. Lynn participates on a number of industry related Boards of Directors; IIC, PACICC, Global Risk Institute, GCIA and Laurier’s Risk and Audit Committee.  Lynn holds a MBA from McMaster University and an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has earned her FCIP and CRM designations.  She has been the recipient of a number of business and academic awards for her contributions to diversity, leadership and community engagement.  Lynn is a lifelong learner, leads passionately from the front, and believes that if we treat our employees well, they will take care of our clients and partners.  


      Cassandra Rouse
Senior Manager, PwC

Cassandra Rouse is a senior manager with PwC, based in Toronto.  She has significant experience auditing P&C insurance companies, including Canadian operations of multi-national insurers.  Focusing on Canadian insurance audits, Cassandra has had the opportunity to work closely with management to understand their processes, flow of transactions and related control activities, as well as their oversight function and control environment.  In addition to managing several insurance audits, Cassandra provides guidance on accounting and regulatory developments and contributes to thought leadership.

      Lyn Schmidt, CPA
CFO, Cornerstone Insurance and Swift Digital Insurance 

Lyn is the Chief Financial Officer of Cornerstone Insurance and Swift Digital Insurance and is a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) with 25 years of experience in both the corporate and small business sectors. Over the last 7 plus years, Lyn has established herself as a leading professional in the Canadian insurance accounting realm. Lyn has lead system conversions as well as the implementation of the accounting systems, processes and technology infrastructure for Cornerstone and Swift Digital Insurance. Lyn’s expertise extends to actionable analysis of business data. Lyn’s abilities to provide reliable process and systems allowed Cornerstone Insurance to confidently launch Swift Digital Insurance, now one of Canada’s leading digital brokerages.

Since joining the Cornerstone Insurance team, Lyn has also established the company’s accounting and business consulting division where her team of accomplished and knowledgeable accounting and insurance specialists are able to share their expertise through managed services to other brokerages.  Lyn is passionate about sharing her accounting and business knowledge and experience with other insurance and accounting professionals and continues to look forward to managing the challenges and changes in the insurance accounting landscape. 

      Daryl Senick
Partner, BDO Solutions Technology 

Daryl is a results-driven IT executive focused on strategic planning, execution excellence, and delivering value for our clients through the BDO Technology Solutions Practice.  National responsibility for managing and growing the BDO Technology’s practices of Data Analytics, Application Modernization, Digital & Collaboration, and Productivity Automation.  

In addition, Daryl is BDO’s national Industry lead for Insurance serving P & C, Health, and Life insurers, as well as Brokerages, TPAs, and Associations, with Assurance, Tax, and Advisory solutions to enable successful business transformation. We have assisted hundreds of clients looking to streamline their businesses and make technology work for them, winning many awards along the way.

Responsible for a broad range of services from digital and data strategy to enterprise solutions implementation to full service managed support programs.  We support our clients at every stage of their digital transformation.  Daryl assists clients with digital strategies, solution design and architecture, business / technology alignment and providing thought leadership on best practices around the rapidly evolving big data / analytics, cloud enablement and digital transformation space.

      Akif Siddiqui
National Insurance Assurance Leader, PwC

Akif is a partner in the Financial Services Assurance practice and provides audit and advisory services, mainly to insurance companies. He brings diversified experience of  22 years working with insurance companies in Canada, the UAE and Pakistan. As a Chartered Professional Accountant and a change agent, Akif has a keen interest in the future of audits and remains involved with transformations and innovation initiatives.
As an audit partner Akif is responsible for overall seamless service delivery to his clients, maintaining strong working relationships with management and Board members, while adhering to PwC’s quality standards.

Jeffrey Stepan, CPA, CA, CFA, ICD.D
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer/Chief Risk Officer, Saskatchewan Government Insurance

Mr. Stepan joined SGI in August 2008 as Treasurer, and became the Chief Financial Officer in November 2010 with the Chief Risk Officer responsibilities added in 2013. Prior to joining SGI, Mr. Stepan spent 17 years as an institutional investment consultant with Hewitt Associates and its predecessor company James P. Marshall, Inc. where he consulted to clients in the pension, endowment and insurance sectors. Mr. Stepan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and earned his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees' Pension Plan and Chair of the Investment Committee for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation. Mr. Stepan is a member of the Financial Executives International Regina Chapter, Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan, the CFA Institute and the Risk and Insurance Management Society, and is an avid volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

      Ajay A. Tellis, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), CIP
Chief Financial Officer, Peace Hills General Insurance Company

Ajay joined Peace Hills General Insurance Company in Alberta as the Chief Financial Officer upon the promotion of Kathy Boychuk the former CFO to President and CEO. Ajay joined Peace Hills with an extensive background in both insurance and finance making his way from Controller to Chief Financial Officer with an Insurance company in Ontario. He currently also serves as the Chair of the Accounting Committee of Facilities Association.

Ajay has a CPA, CA; CPA (Illinois) and a CIP. Ajay was awarded the Ralph Sketch award in 2016 and the Gerald E. Hackett Memorial award in 2015 by the Insurance Institute of Canada. He was also awarded the Diamond Jubilee award in 2016 and the Douglas N. Hurlbut Award in 2015 by the Insurance Institute of Ontario.  In 2010, Ajay was the top student at the CIAA’s 2010 Fundamentals of Insurance Accounting Course. 



      Owen Thomas
Partner, Financial Services, PwC

Owen is a Partner in PwC’s Financial Services practice with over 16 years of experience. Owen provides audit and advisory services to financial services clients, with a focus on insurance companies (both property and casualty insurers and life insurers). Owen is extensively involved in the new IFRS 17 insurance accounting standard, working with clients to understand and navigate the new requirements in their transition projects.  

Owen is a member of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board IFRS 17 Transition Resource Group, the OSFI IFRS 17 Auditor Working Group and other IFRS 17 industry and PwC global working groups.

      Shelley Willick, CPA, CA
President & CEO, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company

Shelley has 25 years of progressive management experience in the P & C industry.  She joined SMI in 1994 as the Accounting Manager and held various management positions (Secretary-Treasurer, VP Finance & Administration, and Senior VP of Operations) prior to being appointed President and CEO on July 15, 2019.  Shelley obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1989 and Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA,CA) in 1992.  In 2018, Shelley completed the Queen’s Executive Education program.