2011 Conference: Topics and Speakers

“Business Results Through Informed Action”
2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference

Sheraton Centre Hotel (Toronto) - Monday, February 28th, 2011

Business Results Through Informed Action: Conference logo breakdown

2011 Conference Overview
Topics & Speaker Details

Agenda at a Glance (PDF)
Photos from the conference

Conference Topics and Speakers - Details by Time

Leadership panel Leadership 1 Focus 1 Focus 2 Showcase 1 Showcase 2 Showcase 3 Leadership 2 Keynote

8:45 - Leadership Panel

"Leadership Panel: Objectives, Issues, and Opportunities 2011"
- Dale Avis, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Crawford and Company (Canada)
- Colin Smith, SVP and CIO, The Economical Insurance Group
- Rick Orr, President-Elect, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
- Jack Ott, SVP and CIO, Intact Insurance Financial Corporation
- Patrick Vice, Director - Information Technology, Frank Cowan Company Limited

Modern Technology, Social Media, Business Intelligence: Are these the best or worst of times for technology in the insurance industry in Canada?


This panel - consisting of senior managers on the technology and user side - will discuss the tough issues they face at the intersection of technology and business. You will have your opportunity to pose questions to our experienced panelists at the session and throughout the day. Grab a coffee and join the conversation early.

Dale Avis, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Crawford and Company (Canada)

Dale Avis

Dale brings a solid base of more than 30 years of experience in information systems and technology, business management and planning, operations, process optimization and financial analysis to this leadership role.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's Business School and a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Dale joined Crawford in 1999.

During his career he has held senior management positions in fields such as information systems and technology, project management, operations, procurement and financial control.

Colin Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, The Economical Insurance Group

Colin Smith

Colin applies more than 17 years of experience in business planning, execution, operations and information technology to this leadership role.

Colin brings an interesting perspective to the business of technology in the insurance industry, having spent much of his career building, integrating and managing businesses that served the industry, and now holding a strategic business/technology position in an insurance company. During his career he has held the positions of CEO, COO, and CIO at several insurance related corporations. Throughout, Colin has consistently driven profitable growth through the motivation and engagement of people and the application of technology to business.

Colin holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

Rick Orr, President-Elect, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

Rick Orr

Rick joined Orr Insurance Brokers in 1992. Along with his brother Jeff they are fourth generation owners of Orr Insurance Brokers Inc. in Stratford.

Rick is active in both the industry and the community. He is President-Elect of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, a board member of CSIO and a member of the IBAC Technology Committee. He also sits on a number of local boards including the Hospital and the Parks Board.

He believes that technology is critical to the future success of the independent insurance brokerage distribution system. Rick believes that companies cannot compete based on their ability to transmit data with their brokers. We all need to work together to achieve a meaningful solution.

Jack Ott, Senior Vice President and CIO, Intact Insurance Financial Corporation

Jack Ott

Jack Ott is the Senior Vice-President and Chief Information Officer at Intact Financial Corporation. Prior to his appointment, he was Vice President of Applications Development. He was responsible for providing IT services to the company’s Central and Atlantic Region, as well as supporting national systems for Claims, Commercial Lines, Personal Lines and Data Warehousing.

Prior to its acquisition, Mr. Ott was Senior Vice President and CIO of Allianz Canada. He joined the company in 2005 and played an important role in the successful integration of the Information Technology teams of the two companies. He has overseen the implementation of a new Claims system at Intact and championed the development of key projects to support Intact’s distribution strategy.

Previously, Mr. Ott worked in the Information Technology group at Munich Reinsurance (Canadian Life Branch). There he progressed through various leadership roles before assuming overall responsibility for IT in 1991. In 1997 he moved to Allianz Canada.

He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and studied Business Administration at Ryerson Polytechnic University. He is active in the community and served on the Foundation Cabinet of George Brown College.

Patrick Vice, Director - Information Technology, Frank Cowan Company Limited

Patrick Vice

Patrick has more than 20 years of experience enabling technology and electronic commerce in the risk management and insurance communities. He presently serves as Director - Information Technology for the Frank Cowan Company Limited, Canada's premier provider of public entity risk management and insurance services, where he carries management responsibility for all information technology development, infrastructure, and support. Prior to his current role, Patrick held positions of increasing scope and responsibility with insurance companies, consulting firms, and technology solution providers.

Patrick is a founding partner of Insurance-Canada.ca. Patrick holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Public Administration. Both degrees were taken at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.