2018 Technology Conference: Faculty

16th Annual Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference

“Insurance Vectors in Play: Risk, Technology, Engagement”

Feb. 27-28, 2018 — Beanfield Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto

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External forces are driving innovation and disruption in the insurance industry. Our faculty members will offer perspectives to give you and your peers fresh insights as you face these challenges and address the opportunities. Some have a long track record working in or with the insurance industry; some bring extensive experience in other industries to their current insurance positions; and others add a perspective based on careers elsewhere. All bring a wealth of expertise and experience to their sessions.

Below is the roster of confirmed faculty members. More participants will be added over the coming days.

Presenters, Panelists and Moderators

Samir Ahmed

Principal & Sr. Architect, X by 2

Samir Ahmed

Samir Ahmed is a Principal and Senior Architect at X by 2. He has spent over a decade advising client leadership on their technology strategies and providing program and architecture leadership for the delivery of strategic business application and enterprise integration initiatives in the Insurance, Healthcare, Financial Services and Retail industries. Mr. Ahmed holds dual bachelor's degrees in computer science and computer engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

James Barber

Director - Global Insurance, Information Builders

James Barber

With 29 years of experience at both IBM and Information Builders, James leads insurance executive visioning and solution design efforts concentrating on our 100 North American Insurance customers as well as prospects. Leveraging prebuilt insurance business warehouse applications and custom work James helps insurers leverage insight across all areas of: customer facing, channel facing, marketing, underwriting, pricing, reserving, claims, operations, and finance for a broad range of insurers. This requires strong insurance specific capabilities in BI, predictive, integration, big data and data management guided by strong insurance business impact and leadership.

James holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. When not speaking passionately about insurance business information opportunities, James helps lead the Executive board at Conrad Grebel College, assists a charitable foundation for kids and chases trout with a fly rod.

Dario Battista

President & CEO, isure

Dario Battista

Dario Battista is one of Canada’s leading innovative retail digital insurance brokers and an industry leader in insurance digital marketing and social media. As President and CEO of isure, Dario transformed a traditional insurance brokerage business into a leading organic growth digital insurance retailer.

Starting in insurance as a sales producer, Dario has succeeded in every aspect of the retail insurance marketplace. Initially building a profitable portfolio of personal insurance clients, Dario transitioned to commercial insurance, where he became a top commercial producer. His success comes from his core belief to put the customer in the center of everything you do.

Dario’s creative and unique approach to insurance retail marketing stems from his solid foundation in insurance sales, along with his unique perspective having grown up in the travel retail and wholesale industries. Through his family’s businesses, Dario witnessed the transformation of retail travel and how successful agents adapted their business models to changing customer demands.

In 2006, Dario saw an opportunity to transition his successful traditional brokerage into a brand focused multi-choice digital insurance retailer. Through organizational restructuring, effective and creative use of digital marketing and an extensive social media platform, isure has become a leading Canadian independent retail insurance brokerage.

What differentiates isure from other digital brokers is its focus on organic growth. Isure relies exclusively on its brand in attracting new clients. Through this strategy Dario has built a sustainable insurance retail and marketing model allowing isure to continually invest in brand building and customer development.

Gwenn Bézard

Co-Founder and Research Director, Aite Group

Gwenn Bezard

Gwenn Bézard is a co-founder of and research director at Aite Group, where he leads the Insurance practice (encompassing P&C Insurance, Life Insurance, and Healthcare Insurance). He also oversees the firm’s Banking & Payments practice and the Research Design & Data team.​ He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is researching how technology is creating new market opportunities for insurers.

Mr. Bézard has over 15 years of experience assisting financial institutions, payments companies, and technology vendors with advisory services and strategy consulting. Prior to founding Aite Group, he was a senior analyst within Celent's banking group, where he helped build an industry-leading payments practice. Before that, Mr. Bézard was with BNP Paribas, where he headed the research team of L'Atelier, the bank's technology and Internet intelligence division. He also served as an analyst at Plénitudes, a management consulting firm that specializes in change management.

Mr. Bézard holds a Maîtrise degree in contemporary history from the University Rennes II, France, and is fluent in English and French.

Plamen Bliznakov

Sr. Director, IoT Solutions, EPAM Systems

Plamen Bliznakov

Plamen Bliznakov has 21 years of experience in various roles in the enterprise software industry. Currently, he is a Sr. Director, Extended IoT Solutions at EPAM. In that role he is working with clients and the EPAM internal organization to identify potential benefits and value from implementing IoT solutions, and ensure delivery of world-class solutions and services. He also is leading the development of partnerships in the area and ensures the professional growth of the internal competency team.

He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University.

Michael Brattman

VP - Individual Insurance Operations & Innovation, OTIP

Michael Brattman

Michael served on the IBAO Board and Executive for 7 years, serving as President in 2015. Michael brings with him almost 30 years’ experience in the property and casualty, and life insurance fields. Michael has worked both on the company side as well as at brokerages. He leads OTIP’s innovation hub, driving change in individual insurance products and services, by leveraging new and evolving technologies that position OTIP for long-term success.

In addition to IBAO, Michael is also involved with a number of other industry associations and committees including IBAC and the Facility Association boards. He has both his RIBO and life licenses as well as a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation - obtaining second highest marks in Canada when he completed this designation. He holds his Honours BA from Huron College, at University of Western Ontario.

Michael is an avid runner and has completed 25 full marathons including the New York, Chicago and Boston marathons.

Mark Breading

Partner and Chief Research Officer, Strategy Meets Action

Mark Breading

Mark Breading, a Partner and Chief Research Officer at SMA, is a recognized expert in advanced technologies and their implications for the insurance industry. His specialty areas include the customer experience and analytics. He has exceptional knowledge and experience in many dimensions of the customer/producer experience, including omni-channel, customer communications, mobile technologies, CRM, digital content management, and contact centers. He has broad experience and insights in data and analytics, including business intelligence, advanced analytics, and big data.

Mark has more than 30 years of insurance and information technology experience in a variety of leadership roles. Mark is well known for his perspectives on innovative uses of technology in insurance and the future of the insurance industry. Mark leads the research program at SMA, and has exceptional knowledge and experience in all aspects of advanced technologies and solutions that provide value across the insurance enterprise – including analytics, customer communications, enterprise content management, telematics, and mobile technologies.

He has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy, including roles as IBM's Global Insurance Strategist, Global Insurance Marketing Leader, and Director of Global Executive Conferences for insurance and banking. In these roles, he has advised C-level executives around the world.

Mark is a graduate of Bucknell University with a BSBA in Accounting and a graduate of IBM's Systems Research Institute with a major in Software Systems. He also holds an MBA in International Business from Liberty University.

Simon Brown

Director of Digital Development and Integration, RSA Canada

Simon Brown

Simon Brown is the Director of Digital Development and Integration at RSA Canada. Simon is a founding member of the Digital practice at RSA, and over the last 5+ years has helped develop the capability and infrastructure which allows RSA to provide a Digital channel for all lines of business, as well as integration to traditional insurance systems.

Simon is very interested in the way new technology can enable the best insurance experience for all customers.

Michael Cohen

President & CEO, Industrial Skyworks Inc.

Michael Cohen

Michael is the President & CEO of Industrial SkyWorks Inc.; a Canadian provider of Drone Data Solutions. He is a former Airline Captain (Boeing 737 NG) and an expert in Aerospace Safety Systems and Risk Management, as well as, a Certified Aircraft Accident Investigator. He has served as Chairman of Air Safety (Air Line Pilots Association: Canjet Airline) and as member of an Airline Emergency Response Team (Air Canada).

After leading Industrial SkyWorks Inc. to Nationwide flight approvals within Canada (2013-14), Michael authored the Historical First Nighttime Commercial UAS Approval (2016) issued in the USA by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2016, Michael was named as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists and recently named by Commercial UAV News as one of The 25 Most Influential People in the Drone Industry.

David Coletto

CEO & Founding Partner, Abacus Data

David Coletto

David Coletto is CEO and a founding partner of Abacus Data, a full-service market research and public opinion research firm based in Ottawa. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, David and his partners founded Abacus 7 years ago, and since then it has grown into one of Canada's most respected market research firms.

David is the lead researcher for Abacus Data's Canadian Millennials Practice and has advised organizations and corporations on how to engage and manage generational change. He spoken to groups all over North America on how his generation is disrupting work, politics, and the consumer market.

Abacus Data has provided data-based strategic advice to organizations such as, NAV CANADA, the Air Canada Pilots Association, the Canadian Bankers Association, Shaw Communications, Imperial Oil, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Allstate Insurance, Kids Help Phone, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Real Estate Association, Leadnow, Food & Consumer Products of Canada, and many more.

Earning a doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2010, David is an Adjunct Professor at the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University where he teaches courses on public affairs strategies, polling, and political marketing.

Kathy Corbacio

Director - Business Development, CAA Insurance Company

Kathy Corbacio

Kathy has invested 33 years in the insurance industry she loves and she is still going strong. Kathy has had the opportunity to work in both the Broker space along with Insurance Companies over the span of her carrier, holding various management roles, her passion being people, sales and operations. She is excited to share her perspectives at the conference.

Designations: CIP, CIOP and Green Belt Approved in Lean Six Sigma.



Kathryn Curran

Director - Broker Solutions, Economical Insurance

Kathryn Curran

Bio forthcoming.






Tim Currie

Senior Vice President, Navigators Insurance

Tim Currie

As a second-generation insurance leader and the father of three sons who also landed careers in insurance, Tim literally has a passion for insurance innovation in his blood.

After a lengthy career at brokerages and agencies, Tim found the drive to lead the industry an attractive draw for working at Navigators.


Aly Dhalla

CEO & Co-Founder, Finaeo

Aly Dhalla

Aly Dhalla is the CEO and co-founder of Finaeo, a venture-backed InsurTech startup that has built a platform to help insurance advisors win in a digital era. Finaeo's operating system provides advisors a specialized CRM, digital tool-kit and paired it with an intelligent assistant/chat-bot, Domo, to create the "Bionic Advisor".

Aly spent his early career as a banker at TD before leaving to join a startup as their first employee, which was acquired by Benefits by Design, a national Third Party Administrative company, where he served as Managing Partner before launching Finaeo. Aly also Co-Founded TriCelerate, a not-for-profit tech incubator to help youth progress from idea to product.

Joseph D'Souza

CEO, ProNavigator

Joseph Dsouza

Joseph believes customer service in Insurance​ is due for an upgrade. Leveraging messaging and breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence, ProNavigator works to disrupt manual driven customer service that exists in the Insurance Industry.

ProNavigator's intelligent customer service assistant can talk to your website visitors and customers in real-time,​ driving sales and making it easy for insurance companies to provide on-demand customer support at scale.

Charles Dugas

Director - Insurance Solutions, Element AI

Charles Dugas

Charles Dugas joined Element AI in September 2017 as Director of Industry Solutions where he leads the insurance vertical, helping carriers and other insurance market participants develop and implement a strategic vision and roadmap for the rollout of AI capabilities across their organizations. Charles holds a B.Sc. in Actuarial Science, a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning with Yoshua Bengio. He has 20 years experience developing and implementing analytical solutions in financial services, either as an entrepreneur, a professor, or manager of large corporations' analytical teams.

Rob Dunlap

Practice Lead - Watson Engagement & Virtual Agents, IBM Canada

Rob Dunlap

Rob is a Cognitive and Contact Centre consultant at IBM, specializing in the future of customer engagement, with emphasis on leveraging cognitive solutions and integrating with the contact centre in a way that emphasizes premium customer experience. He works primarily in the financial services industry in a design, development and solution architecture capacity.

Rob is passionate about applying technology to alleviate painful customer experiences and to drive efficiency in the services that his clients deliver. He’s excited about the continuous evolution of great customer experience, the current and future role of deep analytics and cognitive computing in industry and society, as well as how we can architect solutions today to ensure that we are prepared to meet the demands and expectations of the customers and technologies of tomorrow – through cloud architecture, intelligent design and service decentralization.

Samuel Falmagne

International Business Development Director, Shift Technology

Samuel Falmagne

Samuel is International Business Development Director for InsurTech Shift Technology. Shift Technology is specialized in Insurance Fraud detection leveraging AI and Machine Learning technologies. Shift has raised $40M USD, has signed contracts with over 45 major insurers across the world and is cited amongst the top 20 InsurTech firms globally.

Samuel has 15+ years experience in Sales and Business Development leadership positions in technology companies. He joined Shift Technology in 2017 to accelerate the international expansion of the InsurTech.

Mike Fitzgerald

Senior Analyst - Insurance, Celent

Mike Fitzgerald

Mike Fitzgerald is a senior analyst with Celent's Insurance practice and is based in Cary, North Carolina. He has specific expertise in property/casualty automation, operations management and insurance product development. Mike's research focuses on billing, business process and operations, social media use in insurance, and distribution management.

Mike brings extensive industry experience to the analyst role. Prior to joining Celent, he was vice president of enterprise underwriting solutions at Zurich North America, where he led the evaluation of technology alternatives to support a new underwriting product development process. He held a number of positions at Royal & Sun Alliance, including a field operations regional executive role. His technology implementation experience includes the installation and maintenance of billing, automobile policy administration, and workers compensation automation. In the 1990s, Mike led an initiative which delivered one of the first global online technical underwriting and claims learning platforms in the industry.

Mr. Fitzgerald has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Davidson College and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Dr. Blair Feltmate

Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo

Blair Feltmate

The primary purpose of the Intact Centre is to mobilize practical and cost-effective means to help de-risk Canada from the costs associated with extreme weather events.

Blair has written textbooks on environmental science, banking and sustainable development. He is generally interviewed by the media 100-150 times per year.

He Chairs the development of two adaptation Standards for the Canadian Standards Association, and he is Chair, Federal Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation and Resilience Results.

Blair has previously held positions including Vice President, Sustainable Development, Bank of Montreal; Director, Sustainable Development, OPG; and Partner, Sustainable Investment Group/YMG Capital Management.

Sherif Gemayel

President, Sharp Insurance

Sherif Gemayel

A native Calgarian, Sherif Gemayal is the founder and president of Sharp Insurance, the fastest growing insurance brokerage in Alberta. Since Sharp's inception in 2009, it has grown from a two-person business to a brokerage that employs forty highly-trained individuals, and is also ranked among Canada's top ten insurance brokerages. Sherif strongly believes in using the latest technology platforms to stay competitive in the insurance industry which has led to the creation of his software company, Sharp Mobile Technology Limited. The development of the iMobileBroker app and the BrokerScape portal has witnessed significant results in reducing calls, increasing sales, and promoting customer loyalty. Sherif continues to work on developing new software that seeks to improve and transform the insurance brokerage industry in Canada.

Igor Gonchar

Sr. Director, Head of Insurance Solution Practice, EPAM Systems

Igor Gonchar

Igor Gonchar is the Senior Director, Head of North America Insurance Practice at EPAM. Igor is responsible for leading the design and blueprints for insurance implementations, as well as leveraging his knowledge to identify client issues and build long-term business relationships.

Before joining EPAM, Igor held positions at Microsoft and IBM over the last 20 years where he gained expertise in data warehousing, business intelligence, and enterprise and solution architecture. At Microsoft, Igor worked as a Solutions Architect for almost two years, and at IBM, he spent nearly 17 years moving through the ranks and serving in roles such as Executive IT Architect, Business Solutions Exec., Systems Solutions Engineer and others.

Igor holds MS in electrical engineering and physics from Rostov State University (Ru.).

Doug Grant

Partner, Insurance-Canada.ca

Doug Grant

Doug Grant has been helping the insurance industry in Canada make effective use of technology for many years. From a business-impact and application perspective, he has helped individual companies and cross-industry groups in both Property & Casualty and Life insurance.

The progress of technology from the the basement computer room to the desk-top terminal and PC, to portable laptops to smartphones and tablets and now BYOD has been a fascinating journey. Processes extended to business partners through connected systems has continued to improve efficiency and timeliness.

The web brought the customer directly into the equation. Social functions have enabled new levels of connectedness, triggering the current focus on customer experience and engagement, which can paradoxically both enhance loyalty and increase freedom of choice.

Doug is a founding partner in Insurance-Canada.ca, a leading Canadian Insurance resource centre for consumer and insurance professional alike. He organizes and hosts regularly scheduled Insurance-Canada.ca conferences and other events.

Married with two sons, Doug is a recent migrant from house to condo (too much stuff – not enough space), both in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Craig Haney

Head of Corporate Innovation, Communitech

Craig Haney

Craig has been leading the charge for corporate innovation in Canada for the past few years. His work with Canadian Tire Innovations helped launch the corporate innovation program at Communitech which helps large, non-tech companies become faster and more innovative by engaging in the startup technology ecosystem. As the Head of Corporate Innovation at Communitech, Craig helps the big companies be more innovative through the writing of his Blog, the Nimble Hippo, as well as his podcast, Nimble Hippo Radio.

Craig helps large organizations understand the most effective way to launch and maintain an innovation strategy by leveraging technology ecosystems. By connecting Enterprise organizations to start ups and high growth companies, our focus is to grow the entire ecosystem by exposing our small companies to big problems that they can solve for some of Canada's largest companies.

Craig has an undergraduate degree from Western University (London, Ontario), a Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technonogy (MBET) from the University of Waterloo. He has been part of leadership teams of large and small companies leading change initiatives wherever he has gone.

Adam Hare

COO, Insurance Jack

Adam Hare

Adam Hare is the Vice President of Petley-Hare Insurance Brokers and founder of Insurance Jack. His main responsibilities include business development through technology and innovation as well as strategic growth initiatives.

For the past decade, Adam has devoted his life to being a passionate, creative leader who can think outside the box. His professional career spans from a young entrepreneur to the world's leading entertainment company at Universal Music, and more recently he has made waves in the insurance industry with the launch of his modernized, online brokerage, Insurance Jack.

Adam's focus is clear: to make insurance personal, fun and hassle-free. Insurance Jack connects consumers and insurance products in an entirely new way.

Philip Henville

Head of Canadian Operations, Hubio

Philip Henville is the Head of Canadian Operations for Hubio. He has over 15 years experience with Hubio and predecessor companies, including roles as the Vice President Professional Services, Vice President of Product Development, and SVP Solutions. He is responsible for Hubio's broad range of insurer solutions, including Portals, Broker Connectivity and Regulatory Reporting products and services, and has successfully directed over 30 insurer/broker software implementations. Prior to joining Hubio Phil held various senior roles within the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Phil speaks regularly at insurance industry events, including the recent Telematics Update conference in Chicago, and has presented at prior Insurance-Canada.ca events.

Steve Holder

Strategy Lead - Analytic Ecosystems, SAS Canada

Steve Holder

As Strategy Lead for SAS Canada Steve Holder is responsible for creating and driving SAS solution strategy in the market. A key part of this is providing thought leadership for the SAS Analytics, Big Data and Cloud portfolios. A Canadian analytics evangelist Steve has seen first-hand how the use of analytics and data can help customers solve business problems; make the best decisions possible and unearth new opportunities. Steve’s passion is making technology make sense for everyone regardless of their technical skillset.

With many years of software industry experience, spanning: management, solutions architecture, presales and sales, Steve brings alignment and execution across SAS’ customers, sales teams, and partners.

Prior to joining SAS in 2014 Steve was Director of solution strategy at SAP and Regional Director at IBM. Steve received his Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University and lives in Toronto with his wife and two daughters. During his spare time he enjoys traveling, cycling, skiing and spending time outdoors.

Ashley Holmes

Operations Manager, Roughley Insurance

Ashley Holmes

Ashley takes big ideas and turns them into a reality at Roughley Insurance. When visiting the office, you can find Ashley working with her team of strong and passionate individuals, fostering an environment where the Roughley family enjoys coming to work. At the forefront of each day she is striving to find new technology and processes that continuously improve the relationship Roughley Insurance has with their clients.

Ashley was recently awarded the 2017 Young Broker of the Year Award from the IBAO for the modernization and implementation of new technology within Roughley Insurance Brokers .

Neil Huzinga

Author and Consultant; Founder, Arun Bay Ltd.

Neil Huzinga

Neil Huzinga is the founder and owner of Arun Bay Ltd, working alongside smaller insurance brokers and agents on both important day-to-day and strategic decisions.

Having worked in the insurance industry as both broker and underwriter for over 25 years, Neil co-founded award-winning online insurance pioneers Avantia Insurance Ltd in the UK in 2003. Through a period of rapid and fundamental change in the UK personal lines insurance market, heralded by the arrival of price comparison sites, Neil helped to re-define first what Avantia offered to the market, and in turn what the market itself was able to offer customers to quote and buy online.

With experience of starting businesses and achieving strong and sustainable results, identifying new opportunities and taking decisions even when times are good to re-focus to support renewed, longer-term growth, since leading the PE-backed MBO of Avantia for CAD96m in 2014, Neil has been helping smaller businesses adopt some of the best principles and practices he has learned in order to re-start or enhance their growth.

Over the last year Neil has balanced his focus between the UK and Canadian markets in order to help Canadian brokers take advantage of and avoid the many pitfalls inherent in significant market change.

Stephanie Inglis

Vice President - Professional Services, Goose Digital

Steph Inglis

From SMB to multinational, every brand needs a plan. You need to know your audience and the real reason they buy. You need to know your voice – online, in-print and in-person. You need a strategy and a way to measure incremental and big-picture success. As an accomplished marketing strategist and award-winning creative leader, Stephanie helps organizations establish a new brand or re-establish an existing one, develop go-to-market strategies and KPIs, and manage the ever-shifting digital marketing landscape.

In her spare time, Stephanie is an accomplished amateur equestrian.

Catherine Kargas

Vice President, MARCON

Catherine Kargas

Catherine Kargas, MBA, is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience providing consulting advice to executives in the insurance, transportation (with an emphasis on alternative propulsion technologies) and energy sectors. She is the Vice President of the management consulting firm, MARCON, and the Vice Chair of Electric Mobility Canada.

Catherine has worked with numerous players in the P&C space, including insurance carriers and brokers. She is a member of the Insurance 2023 group and an Insurance-Canada.ca collaborator.

Amanda Ketelaars

Operations Manager, Mitchell and Whale

Amanda Ketelaars

With over 20 years in the business, Amanda started her insurance career as a CSR in a brokerage. She quickly became intrigued by how innovation and technology can improve efficiency and customer service. Amanda made the move to the technology side of the industry, working as a Trainer and Consultant for a leading Broker Management System vendor. Amanda has worked with brokerages across Canada implementing efficient workflow, maximizing their use of technology, and promoting the adoption of emerging technologies.

Amanda joined CSIO (Centre for Study of Insurance Operations) where she worked on projects to help identify and implement leading edge technology standards and solutions for the broker distribution channel.

Amanda is now Operations Manager at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers, one of the fastest organically growing brokerages in Ontario, boasting a 70% growth in 2015, while maintaining a very strong retention rate of existing clients. Loving what she does, Amanda continues to implement efficient workflows using existing technology and embraces emerging technologies in search of growth opportunities for Mitchell & Whale.

Jas Khehra

Co-Founder, Espresso Claims

Jas Khehra

Jas Khehra is the Co-Founder of Espresso Claims, a startup looking to help foster further innovation in the insurance industry.

He holds a master's degree in International Business from Hult International Business School, where he spent time in San Francisco and the UAE implementing a market penetration strategies for startups.

Jas is part of Cloud Security Alliance (San Francisco Chapter), currently as a research and contributor to Blockchain use cases within the Heath sector.

Dave Kruis

Director, FairVentures

Dave brings more than 15 years of technology and business strategy experience to FairVentures through various roles in startups, hyper-growth, and multinational technology companies. Dave brings his passion for customer delight, in-depth understanding of technology, product and market strategy and his ability to successfully deliver solutions to market. Most recently, Dave held several senior management positions at Desire2Learn, a global educational software technology firm headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario. At D2L Dave was responsible for mobile strategy, strategic product management, as well as leading the 'personal learning' product development department.

Dave joined D2L when they acquired Metranome, the software startup he founded in 2007. Metranome developed a cloud-based content management and monetization platform for smartphones. Dave started Metranome while he was Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Tech Capital Partners, an early stage Venture Capital firm based out of Waterloo Ontario.

Prior to that, he spent seven years in product management roles at Research In Motion (BlackBerry). During that time he led the development of solutions for ISPs and mobile operators; overseeing technology, partnerships and marketing. Dave also defined the overall BlackBerry solution for the consumer and SMB markets and was responsible for the development and commercialization of several components of the BlackBerry solution.

Greg Kruk, CIP, CPIB

Partner, Sentinel Risk Insurance Group

Greg Kruk

Greg Kruk is a partner with Sentinel Risk Insurance Group, a newly formed brokerage with locations in Toronto, Brooklin, Bethany, Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls. Prior to the formation of the Sentinel, Greg was the owner of JWK Insurance, a third generation family brokerage originating in Bethany Ontario. Under Greg’s leadership, his brokerage introduced omni-channel shopping experiences for their customers through the Kawartha Quotes and Liberty Quotes online platforms. Greg is currently on the Board of Directors with the Durham Brokers Association, The Durham Chapter of the Insurance Institute, a Territory Director with the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario and the chair of the IBAO Technology Committee. Greg is very involved in his community, sitting on various boards and committees including Nova’s Ark, Greater Toronto Capitals Hockey Association, and the Kawartha Lakes Health Initiative.

Marc Lipman

COO, AIG Insurance Company of Canada

Marc Lipman

Marc Lipman is the Chief Operating Officer of AIG Insurance Company of Canada. Based in Toronto, he is responsible for the development and implementation of various strategic initiatives as well as acting in various client facing capacities. As part of his role Mr. Lipman is responsible for overseeing and championing AIG's Innovation Strategy within Canada.

Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Mr. Lipman held various positions with AIG including the Chief of Staff of AIG Canada, the Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of AIG Canada and the Chief Regulatory Officer for all AIG companies in Canada from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Lipman has worked with AIG for 10 years and holds 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Mr. Lipman holds a Masters of Laws degree, with an award of Merit, from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, in Toronto, Canada.

Andrew Lo

President & CEO, Kanetix Ltd.

As President and CEO, Andrew Lo leads corporate development initiatives for Kanetix Ltd., Canada's largest online marketplace for insurance and financial services. He is also a Business Strategy Advisor for Ryerson University's DMZ helping to develop entrepreneurs and startup companies at Canada's largest startup incubator.

Andrew has many years of experience as a business and technology leader for FinTech companies such as Filogix and D+H, and has developed organizations from startups into industry shaping ventures with over 4,000 employees.

David McGown

Sr. VP - Strategic Initiatives, Insurance Bureau of Canada

David McGown

An accomplished executive leader with experience in communications, policy, government relations and corporate development, David brings in-depth knowledge of the financial and public sectors to corporate decision-making. Prior to joining IBC in 2015, he held senior leadership roles at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce over a span of 28 years, most recently serving as its Vice-President for Government, Regulatory and Public Affairs. He began his career in research at Queen's Park and then as an economist in the Department of Finance in Ottawa.

As Senior Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, David oversees IBC's Communications, Policy and Legal teams, in support of IBC's goals.

He holds a master's degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and an honours bachelor degree from University of Western Ontario.

David's leadership extends beyond the boardroom, with a strong track record of non-profit and community involvement. A former President for the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs and for the Canadian Youth Foundation, he serves on the board of Jazz FM, the capital campaign for the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Cape Dorset and continues to serve as a friend of the Canada Institute Advisory Board of the Washington DC-based Woodrow Wilson Centre.

Bernard McNulty

Head of Claims – Canada, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Americas

Bernard McNulty

Bernard is the Head of Claims in Canada for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. He has over 21 years of progressive claims experience, including 13 years leading teams of claims professionals. At AGCS, he leads a team of 17 claims professionals.

Prior to joining AGCS in July 2016, Bernard also spent 4 years in a senior underwriting leadership role with a specialty lines insurer. His claims experience includes Property, Boiler & Machinery, Business Interruption, Delay in Start Up, Course of Construction, Crime and Marine. His Liability experience includes Commercial General Liability, Umbrella and Excess, Wrap-Up Liability, Directors’ & Officers, Errors & Omissions and Cyber.

Bernard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and holds a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional ‘FCIP’ designation from the Insurance Institute of Ontario.

He is a member of the Nuclear Insurance Association of Canada ‘NIAC’ Claims Committee and regularly sits on insurance industry panels.

In 2017, Bernard also took on the role of Allianz Risk Transfer 'ART' Ambassador for Canada. In that capacity, he presents Allianz global capabilities for Captive solutions and other unique products to Canadian brokers and clients.

Ed Meiering

CEO, M2O, May McConville Omni Insurance Brokers

Ed Meiering

Ed is known as an innovative, collaborative leader who is passionate about evolving brokers' business. Brokers know that Ed has a thirst for technology and is an avid early adopter. He constantly wants to explore new ideas that can drive business value for both brokers and the company side of the insurance business in Ontario.

Ed is a constant champion of the broker value proposition. He is extremely involved in the broker community where he helps to inspire and share innovation.

Adam Mitchell

President, Mitchell and Whale Insurance Brokers

Adam Mitchell

Adam Mitchell is President of Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers in Whitby. Adam is the 3rd generation Mitchell and took over the family brokerage in 2009.

Since taking over the brokerage, Adam has grown the business organically over 880%, while still maintaining a strong retention of existing customers. Last year the brokerage grew 46%, and is currently growing at $1 million net new premium every 51 days. In 2009 premium sitting at $2.5 Million which has grown to $22 Million here in 2018.

Adam is forward thinking, ambitious and fearless, willing to take risks that traditional brokers might not. Adam moves leaps and bounds ahead where technology is concerned embracing new technologies to enhance his team’s ability to communicate with clients the way they want and ensure strong customer satisfaction.

Adam’s strong leadership skills and bold moves get him recognized across the industry. Adam was named as one of IBC’s Young Guns 2 years in a row, named one of the Top 10 Brokerages for the last 3 years and Top 10 Elite Broker in Canada, and won IBAO’s Innovator of the year in 2016 and this year being recognized as first runner up for the Insurance Canada Technology Awards. In 2017 Mitchell & Whale was runner up as Brokerage of the Year.

Jeroen Morrenhof

CEO and Co-Founder, FRISS

Jeroen Morrenhof

The title entrepreneur defines who I am. My energy is derived from new initiatives and I do not avoid taking risks. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs who have taught me how to think out-of-the-box, to set high goals for myself and to work to realize them. I am constantly searching for new, innovative challenges. My studies include Computer Science and a university degree in Business Administration. From an early age I have enjoyed elaborating complex problems and putting my ideas to work. I have spent many years as a management consultant (since 1991) helping to improve the performance and profitability of insurers. One of my creations, that I am quite proud of, was the founding of Mobilee Consultancy along with Leon Brunenberg in 2004.

My enthusiasm for innovation and 15 years of experience in the insurance industry helped me with the founding of FRISS | fraud, risk & compliance in 2006, together with Christian van Leeuwen and Leon Brunenberg. A great idea for a new solution to mitigate risk for insurers and detect fraud together with a few excellent people and the dream was brought to life. According to Celent, FRISS is market leader in Europe, with 40+ implementations over 8 countries.

My ambition for FRISS is to help all insurers globally in preventing and fighting fraud and become the number one player for fraud, risk and compliance.

Bill Morris

Senior Partner, Navicom

Bill Morris

Bill is a Senior Partner at Navicom and has executive responsibility for Navicom's insurance and hospitality business. Navicom's goal is to help its clients understand customer decision making, create differentiation and build competitive advantage.

Bill has been extensively involved in a variety of different market research and customer measurement initiatives within the Canadian Insurance Industry for over 20 years. He has been working closely with IBAO and Ontario brokers since 2001.

Most recently Bill has played a leadership role in the development and facilitation of the Beyond Best in Class Transformational Change Workshops and worked closely with IBAO to develop Understanding the 21st Century Consumer and Connecting in the 21st Century workshops.

Bill and Navicom remain committed to working diligently with key insurance industry stakeholders to develop new strategies and tactics to ensure the ongoing success of the broker distribution channel.

Chris Murumets

Co-Founder & CEO, LOGiQ3 Group; Co-Founder, Cookhouse Lab

Chris Murumets

As CEO and Co-Founder of LOGiQ3 Group, Chris' responsibility is to ensure growth of the entire organization, leverage synergies where possible, and explore opportunities to increase the footprint across the entire operations - LOGiQ3, APEXA, TAI, and Cookhouse Lab. Chris helps sets the strategic and innovative direction of these companies and is always trying to help direct these organizations to make insurance better.

Chris has been part of the insurance and reinsurance industry for over 25 years. Starting at Crown Life and later at Sun Life Chris's career spanned ceded administration, corporate actuarial, assets/liability management and reinsurance operations.

He has been active in many industry related organizations, holding positions such as President of the LOMA Society of Toronto, Executive Director to CAILBA, Past Chair and founding member of Reinsurance Administration Professionals' Association and VP, Woodsworth College Alumni Association at the University of Toronto, grooming and inspiring young minds.

A serial entrepreneur and someone who always wants to find a different way, Chris has helped lead the successful establishment of three start-up businesses, including the newest addition of Cookhouse Lab, the insurance industry's first open innovation space. Above all, Chris is thankful every day to love his job and work with friends.

Cletus Nunes

Sr. Director Sales, Octo Telematics (North America)

Cletus Nunes

Cletus Nunes is Sr. Sales Director at Octo Telematics North America. He oversees insurance, automotive and emerging product sales in the US and Canada. Cletus has worked in the connected vehicle industry for more than 15 years in product development, delivery and sales for OEM, fleet, automotive, and insurance connected car solutions. Cletus is a strategic leader and key innovator with a history of success in anticipating consumer need and capitalizing on emerging technology to deliver innovative products and solutions. His passion is finding new opportunities to use vehicle connectivity to improve ROI.

Rick Orr, CIP

Owner, Orr Insurance Brokers Inc.

Rick Orr

Rick Orr is President of Orr Insurance and Investment, a family Brokerage established in 1895. He is proud to be a fourth generation co-owner of the business carrying on the tradition of professional excellence and community involvement as well as focusing on implementing contemporary consumer technology. Believing in his industry as well as his community Rick is a Past President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, a past board member of CSIO and the IBAC Technology committee. Rick is very involved in the Stratford community sitting on various Boards and committees including chairing the Stratford Board of Park Management and sits on the board of the Stratford Festival.

Ian Portsmouth

Managing Director, Canadian Underwriter

Ian Portsmouth

Ian Portsmouth is an award-winning writer, editor, marketer and business innovator recognized for excellence by such organizations as the National Magazine Awards Foundation and Canadian Business Press and Canadian Public Relations Society. With the knowledge gained from 21 years as a business journalist and B2B marketer, Ian is a trusted media commentator and public speaker on the management issues and best practices of independent business and high-growth companies, and he regularly moderates events and discussion forums for senior executive audiences.

In January 2017, Ian joined one of Canada's leading providers of B2B content and marketing services — Newcom Business Media — as Managing Director, Insurance Media Group. There he runs several publications and services for Canada's insurance industry, including Canadian Underwriter and Claims Canada magazines.

Prior to joining Newcom, Ian was Group Publisher, Business and Personal Finance at Rogers Publishing Ltd., overseeing the strategy and operations of three of Canada's top media brands: Canadian Business — Canada's largest-circulation paid business magazine; MoneySense, the country's best-selling personal finance magazine; and PROFIT, Canada's first and leading media brand for entrepreneurs and SMB executives.

In his 12 years as the Editor-in-Chief of PROFIT, Ian launched several awards programs for entrepreneurial business, including the HOT 50 ranking of Canada's Hottest Startups, the FuEL Awards for Canada's Top Entrepreneurs Under 30, and the Canada Export Achievement Awards. He was appointed Publisher of PROFIT in January 2012, adding Canadian Business to his portfolio in December 2013 and MoneySense in March 2014.

Ian is also the co-author of Marketing Masters: The Best Ideas of Canada's Savviest Marketeers, published by John Wiley & Sons, and the founding host and producer of both the BMO Business Coach podcast (100-plus episodes) and the Rogers Business Series of how-to videos for small business owners.

Deep Prasad

Co-Founder, HealthBlock Identity Inc.

Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad is an inventor and entrepreneur. His first invention received recognition from MIT for applying the Internet of Things concept in a household setting, proving the device could save up to 25% on one's electricity bill.

Deep is also a Toronto’s Top 20 under 20 and was a recipient of the “Top Student Talent Award” within RBC Wealth Management for his work in Artificial Intelligence. At RBC, he developed and architected a patent-pending machine learning powered search engine as well as a patent-pending analysis tool that merged the fields of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence.

He is now pursuing a venture that aims to bring blockchain technologies into the Canadian Healthcare System.

Greg Purdy

Managing Partner, Pathway Partners, Ltd.; getClarity, Inc.

Greg Purdy

With more than 25 years of experience in the insurance technology marketplace, Greg brings a unique perspective on how to build a successful company. In 17 years as C.E.O. of Applied Systems Canada Greg oversaw the growth in the Canadian marketplace from 200 brokers to over 1200. In 1992 Greg added the responsibility for international development and successfully established the UK operations with The Agency Manager UK.

In 2008, Greg formed Pathway Partners Ltd. with Michelle Cole-Kennedy to advise brokers on a wide range of operational and strategic topics with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions.

In 2011 Greg played a key role in the launch of getClarity Inc, a business intelligence company that focuses on bringing sophisticated demographic and statistical analysis to businesses of all sizes. With over 1.7 million records of new data on a monthly basis getClarity identifies timely market opportunities and as a result maximizes the return on investment.

Greg is the founder of the Canadian Insurance Strategy Group, which can be found on LinkedIn.

Tom Reid

Executive Director, Digital Broker Strategy, Aviva Canada

Tom Reid

Tom has been in the P & C insurance industry since 1993. He’s held roles in IT, Finance, Operations and was a licenced broker during his tenure as COO of Canada Brokerlink. Tom currently works for Aviva Canada as Executive Director of Digital Broker Strategy. Tom holds a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.

Tom has been the volunteer president of Ski Jumping Canada since 2014 and is a session member of the Canadian Olympic Committee. He lives in Calgary with his wife and two children, aged 20 & 18. Tom enjoys both winter & summer sports and is a drummer & photographer.

Jason Rodriguez

Data Analytics Manager, Willis Towers Watson

Jason Rodriguez

Jason Rodriguez is a Data Analytics Manager at Willis Towers Watson in the Philadelphia, PA office. He has more than 10 years of data analytics experience across several industries.

Within the financial services industry, Jason has held positions as a predictive modeler at Chubb with particular focus on advanced techniques and a software developer at The Wharton School where he performed financial data engineering and platform development for the Wharton Research Data Services.

He also has a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania.

Hashmat Rohian

Sr. Director & Managing Enterprise Architect, The Co-operators Group Ltd.

Hashmat Rohian

Hashmat is currently the Senior Director & Managing Enterprise Architect at Cooperators Group of companies. He leads the delivery of the Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy work-plan and objectives. He also maintains in depth knowledge of strategic business plans and help drive IT investments and the Applied Innovation portfolio to support operating and strategic imperatives.

Hashmat's career has centred on ‘digital’ and ‘transformation’ with a focus on delivering significant and sustainable value right through from strategy to execution.

Hashmat also teaches software engineering, data science and agile delivery at top Canadian higher learning institutions. He co-founded DisrupIT Labs that helps clients harness data analytics and digital in support of business strategy, deliver cross-functional, rapid prototyping capability to push and test new value propositions in the market fast.

His professional training as a software engineer, quantitative analyst, experience as a data scientist, fraud examiner, information security professional, transformation and integration specialist and digital entrepreneur gives him a unique advantage in driving organisational transformation and value.

Jeff Roy

CEO, Excalibur Insurance Group

Jeff Roy

Sitting idle at his desk pushing paper? Not an option. Instead, Jeff Roy careens head-on into action with the reckless abandon of a 16-year-old who has been handed the keys to mom's minivan for the long weekend. If the results don't turn out as expected? Then a tire smoking handbrake-turn changes course without losing momentum.

He experiments. He refuses to wait. He's always willing to share.

Innovation awards and industry accolades are not what drives Jeff (even though he has more than a few). Instead it's the never-ending quest to “eliminate indifference” and win the battle of mindshare with customers. Ask any of his 20 Excalibur teammates what fuels their culture, story and Jeff's internal leadership style, and you'll hear the following two themes consistently repeated:

  • He believes a willingness to fail is the key to growth.
  • He's a tank load of “get it done.”

Customer Experience 3.0 — we'd like to introduce you to Jeff Roy.

Ken Sedgewick

Director - Sales, Sharp Mobile

Ken Sedgewick

As a former insurance broker with a CAIB designation, Ken understands firsthand the challenges brokers face – especially with regards to technology – and he is excited to be doing something about it. Ken strongly believes in the value of the broker model and knows it can do better to challenge the direct writers and future competitors in the industry.

He is excited about the solutions Sharp Mobile has to offer to brokerages by bringing technology and innovation to the forefront of the insurance brokerage industry. A constant learner, Ken strives to learn what his clients need to be successful and to help brokerages maximize value through the use of innovative, efficient software.

When he is not working he can usually be found trying to manage 3 boys under the age of 6 and longing to ride anything with two wheels.

Colin Simpson

CEO, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

Colin Simpson

Colin Simpson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) and Independent Broker Resources Inc. (IBRI), IBAO's “for profit” entity.

Previously, Colin was President & Chief Executive Officer of Intrinsync Insurance Solutions Inc., a company founded in 2012 with the mandate to develop real business solutions to improve the sustainability of the Independent Broker Network in Canada by making the brokerage of the future more competitive.

A longtime proponent of the Independent Broker Network and Canadian Insurance businesses, Colin specializes in corporate transformation and change management. He has worked in the Canadian Insurance industry for over fifteen years and is a seasoned corporate executive and director.

His recent roles have focused on the North American P&C market and have included leading Kingsway Financial Services Inc. as President & Chief Executive Officer through, arguably, the most turbulent period of its corporate history. Colin has held other senior executive roles that have leveraged both his strategic and operational capabilities including President & Chief Executive Officer of York Fire & Casualty Insurance and as Director of a number of independent Trusts formed to raise capital for the Kingsway Financial Group.

Colin holds an Honours Degree in Business Law and Economics, a Master's Degree in Accounting & Finance and is a qualified CA (Scotland).

Charles St. Louis

Co-Founder, HealthBlock Identity Inc.

Charles St. Louis

Charles St.Louis is a blockchain evangelist who loves to share news about his experience with the revolutionary technology with his network.

Charles' background is in pure mathematics and applied statistics from Queen's University. He began his blockchain career while working at RBC. There he was on a team that developed a private blockchain proof-of-concept using Hyperledger technology. The patented project was created for a digital client identity management system for RBC clients and has now been put into production.

After that, he decided to dig deeper into Ethereum and Smart contract development and got his Certification for Ethereum Development through the Blockchainhub and York University. His smart contracts range from a simple crowdfunding contract to building an ERC20 token with capabilities to run an ICO.

Since then he has been working on his own startup, HealthBlock Identity, in hopes to revolutionize the old school healthcare space using a Hyperledger permissioned blockchain.

Rain Takahashi

Co-Founder, JAUNTIN'

Rain Takahashi

Rain is a self-proclaimed geek who fell into the insurance industry by accident. His previous career as a consultant and travel blogger (RainTravels.com) helped him realize the pains and struggles that are facing policyholders and insurance companies alike. With this in mind, he founded JAUNTIN' to help insurance companies bridge the gap between an on-demand world and traditional insurance products.

Based in Toronto, Rain hopes to revolutionize insurance, starting in the travel and drone industries.

Iliana Oris Valiente

Managing Director, Global Blockchain Innovation Lead, Accenture; Founder, ColliderX

Iliana Oris Valiente

Iliana Oris Valiente, CPA, CA, CBP (Certified Bitcoin Professional) is widely credited for being a trailblazer in the blockchain space, having been among the first to recognize the tremendous impact of this traditionally “hacker” technology on the enterprise world. Her focus has been on exponential technology, entrepreneurship and bridging the gap between the corporate world and the start-up communities.

In her current role as a Managing Director and Global Blockchain Innovation Lead at Accenture, Iliana is responsible for strategy initiatives and overseeing projects to conceptualize and build blockchain solutions across industries, with a focus on FSI, supply chain, healthcare and the public sector.

Iliana is also the founder and Chair of ColliderX, the world's first non-profit, open sourced, and crowdsourced R&D hub for blockchain and related technologies.

Previously, Iliana was the catalyst in getting Deloitte actively involved with blockchain innovation, and founded the Rubix by Deloitte practice in 2014 where she led teams providing advisory services and building decentralized applications across multiple technology platforms. Iliana has strong views on how the network effects of this technology will impact multiple verticals, and how it will radically change many status quo business models. Iliana is an author and sought after speaker, regularly presenting at conferences and events around the world.

Chris Van Kooten

Managing Director, Guy Carpenter

Chris Van Kooten

Chris joined Guy Carpenter in September of 2016 as a Managing Director and member of GC Canada’s Leadership Team. During a 15-year career in financial services, Chris has gained vast experience through leadership of actuarial, product, underwriting and analytics functions and is knowledgeable in both broker and direct primary distribution models.

Prior to joining Guy Carpenter, Chris served as the Chief Underwriting Officer at Economical Insurance, responsible for personal, commercial, and specialty lines of business. Chris also served as the executive lead for the strategic development and implementation of Economical’s direct-to-consumer channel, Sonnet Insurance.

Chris is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. He attended the University of Waterloo, where he is presently a part-time lecturer in the Actuarial Department of the Math Faculty. In addition, Chris has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University and is currently completing a Master’s in Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Patrick Vice

Partner, Director - Products & Services, Insurance-Canada.ca

Patrick Vice

Patrick has more than 25 years of experience enabling technology and electronic commerce in the insurance and risk management communities. Patrick is a Founding Partner of Insurance-Canada.ca, Inc., the premier source for Canadian information on insurance & technology.

Patrick currently serves as Insurance-Canada.ca's Director of Products and Services, and sits on the company's Advisory Board. He edits the Intersection, Insurance-Canada.ca's blog, produces and hosts on-line and in-person events, and develops bespoke offerings for Insurance-Canada.ca's clients.

Throughout his career, Patrick has held senior management positions with insurance companies, distributors, consulting firms, and technology solution providers. He serves on boards and committees of various industry associations.

Patrick authors articles for leading trade publications and has spoken at insurance and technology conferences in Canada, the US, UK, Europe, and Bermuda.

Bobbi and Patrick Vice enjoy living and working in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada.

Steve Wagler

Partner, Josslin Insurance Brokers Limited

Steve Wagler

Steve Wagler has been working in his family's brokerage for 23 years. He and his brother Scott have been shareholders in the brokerage since 1999 and today operate 6 branches with just over 70 employees.

Steve is a graduate of Economics from the University of Waterloo and in addition to completing his CAIB studies in 1993 he completed the Best Practices Companion series in 1999 and in 2010 completed the Beyond Best In Class program created by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario.

Steve and his brother Scott have been long time members and supporters of the IBAO and the Centre for Family Business in Waterloo.

Wendy Watson

President, ORBiT

Wendy has been in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, covering both the direct writer and brokerage sides of the business. Having garnered experience in underwriting, developing system user requirements and conducting systems testing with a direct writer, Wendy made a move to the brokerage side, where her abilities landed her as Vice President of Operations for a highly regarded full-service brokerage.

Wendy has represented brokers as a Beta broker for Applied Systems, then as an active member on the Canadian Interface Ad Hoc Committee of ASCNet for Applied Systems. Playing an active role in the Real Time Broker Expo hosted in Cambridge on September 16th, 2008 lit a fire to really drive real time in Canada. This passion to continue educating brokers on what is possible through the use of Real Time functions resulted in the birth of ORBiT.

As President of ORBiT, Wendy has facilitated a significant increase in collaboration amongst participants in the broker distribution channel. This collaboration is key to the ongoing development of Real Time best practice workflows, which in turn enable the education of brokers and other stakeholders. Turning what could be into what is!

Eric Weisburg

Vice President - Research & Consulting, Novarica

Eric Weisburg

Eric Weisburg is a Vice President of Research and Consulting at Novarica with expertise in insurance technology, operations, and finance. He has over 20 years... of insurance experience in industry, consulting and software. For the past several years he has been helping clients understand and implement cognitive, analytics and information solutions. His experience spans most lines, channels and horizontal functions.

He has held roles as Managing Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Tower Group Companies and Vice President at AIG, where he led the global internal consulting function reporting to the enterprise CFO and supporting the C-Suite in the areas of sales, underwriting, claims, profitability and change management across all lines of business in areas ranging from predictive analytics and technology adoption to distribution and finance. He also created the insurance strategy practice for Navigant Consulting, and led digital solutions and big data and analytics engagements for IBM. Eric holds an MBA in Finance from New York University and a BA from Binghamton University.

Janine White

Vice-President - Marketplaces, Kanetix

Janine White

As the Vice-President of Marketplaces, Janine White leads the sales and operations for Canada's largest online marketplaces for financial services. With almost two decades of experience working in the insurance and financial services world, Janine is an expert at bridging the gap of understanding between consumers and the financial products available to them.

A consumer first, Janine has spent her career making financial services more accessible to Canadians through Kanetix. Janine joined the company in 2001, not long after its inception, and has been with Kanetix through its various stages of growth and success. She has been part of almost every area of Kanetix, including leading the charge on business development, spearheading the company's early digital marketing programs, ensuring the highest quality of partner management, and even serving as one of the company's first bookkeepers.

Prior to joining Kanetix, Janine held several roles as at Scotiabank in Canada and spent time working in the railway industry in the UK.

Lawrence Wong

Director - Application Development, Munich Re Canada

Lawrence Wong

Lawrence is head of Sourcing Management for the Information Services department at Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada. His responsibilities include managing the application operations, database administration, development and test services that support Munich Re Group’s Non-Life reinsurance, Life reinsurance, and Property and Casualty companies in the Americas. Currently Lawrence is working to deliver a transformation and digitalization project for Life reinsurance.

Starting his career at CNA Canada, he worked in the Operations & IT department through successive roles from developer to Application Development Manager. His focus was supporting the Finance, Claim, and Marketing departments from a technology perspective. Lawrence also spent a period of time stabilizing systems and standardizing technology platforms for CNA Europe.

Lawrence joined Munich Reinsurance in 2010 responsible for Munich American Reassurance Company based in Atlanta. He transitioned IT functions there to a shared service model and helped the company meet its IT cost targets. In 2013, he returned to Toronto full-time to assume his current position.

Dan Woods

Founder & CEO, Socotra

Dan Woods

Dan Woods is founder and CEO of Socotra, which brings modern enterprise software productization to core insurance IT. Prior to that, Dan did IT investing and portfolio building for Formation 8 Partners (now 8VC, which Dan still advises), where Dan specialized in data platforms and smart enterprise. Dan’s depth of enterprise experience starts earlier, when he worked six years with Palantir. There, Dan was a core engineer on Palantir version 1.0 and later transitioned to run Palantir’s partnerships, plus several deployments. Dan Woods holds a masters of science in computer science from Stanford University, where he was published in artificial intelligence (ISMB ‘Best Paper’ 2006). Dan’s mission today is modernizing insurance IT by applying approaches and technologies proven in other data-intensive industries.

Socotra is the core technology platform of tomorrow’s digitally-transformed insurer. Only Socotra brings the staggering technology infrastructure advances of the last decade to the insurance industry. The result is a new, simplified, radically open, cloud-native core platform that supports underwriting, policy administration, claims, billing, reporting, and much more. Socotra delivers agility, reliability, and a clear path to the many InsurTech promises of today and tomorrow.

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