2019 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

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

Mark Breading

Partner and Chief Research Officer, Strategy Meets Action

Mark Breading
  • Session: TBA

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.




Mike Fitzgerald

Senior Analyst - Insurance, Celent

Mike Fitzgerald
  • Session: TBA

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).




Doug Grant

Partner, Insurance-Canada.ca

Doug Grant
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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

  • Session: TBA

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.




Catherine Kargas

Vice President, MARCON

Catherine Kargas
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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.




Dave Kruis

Director, FairVentures

  • Session: TBA

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.




Marc Lipman

COO, AIG Insurance Company of Canada

Marc Lipman
  • Session: TBA

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

InsurTech Innovator

Andrew Lo
  • Session: TBA

Andrew is an InsurTech influencer and keynote speaker who has a passion for growing the insurance industry through digital (www.andrewlo.ca). He is also a Business Strategy Advisor for Ryerson University’s DMZ, helping to develop digital entrepreneurs and startup companies at the #1 university incubator in the world.

Andrew was the CEO of Kanetix Ltd. before it was acquired by Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. He led all digital innovation and growth for Kanetix Ltd. – Canada’s largest digital customer acquisition platform for insurance and financial services.




Ed Meiering

CEO, M2O, May McConville Omni Insurance Brokers

Ed Meiering
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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.




Cletus Nunes

Sr. Director Sales, Octo Telematics (North America)

Cletus Nunes
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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.




Greg Purdy

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

Greg Purdy
  • Session: TBA

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.




Hashmat Rohian

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

Hashmat Rohian
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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
  • Session: TBA

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).




Patrick Vice

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

Patrick Vice
  • Session: TBA

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.




Wendy Watson

President, ORBiT

  • Session: TBA

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!




Janine White

Vice-President - Marketplaces, Kanetix

Janine White
  • Session: TBA

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.




Presentation Topics

Individual topics are outlined on the Topics page.