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
Chief Product Owner, Export Development Canada
Caroline is Chief Product Owner and Director of Export Development Canada’s Knowledge Business. In this capacity, she heads up EDC’s digital product management and innovation lab for its Knowledge product suite. An experienced innovator and deal-maker, she is adept at using Human Centered Design, Lean Start-Up and Agile to build and launch new lines of business and scalable digital solutions that solve her customers’ big challenges of doing business internationally.
Caroline is passionate about AI and Machine Learning, Canada, innovating with relevant tech in an Enterprise context and people leadership, particularly leading Millennials. Her diverse experience spans the banking, trade and automotive sectors where she has led successful business initiatives in Canada and abroad.
Prior to her current role, she led EDC’s Business Architecture group as well as its International Financial Institution business development practice. Caroline holds a B.A. in Economics from McGill University and a CPA, CMA from the Chartered Professional Accounts of Canada with a specialization in Corporate Finance.
Director - Customer Experience, X by 2
Anton Abramov is a creative solutions leader, designer and strategic problem solver with extensive experience in the digital space. As a creative professional, Anton has worked with a wide array of clients in various industries, including healthcare, insurance, banking, telecommunication and automotive to name a few.
Defining and managing the pivotal intersection of inspiration, art, design and technology, Anton has crafted revolutionary digital solutions for Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Chevrolet, GE Healthcare, Verizon, McKesson, First American, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and many others.
Overseeing the Customer Experience Studio at X by 2, Anton provides creative strategy and CX/UX guidance to customers, colleagues and contemporaries. When creating new or when re-envisioning existing digital solutions for large-scale enterprises, Anton views every interaction and opportunity through a human-centric perspective, eliciting innovative ideas that engage users and empower employees, while achieving real and measurable results.
Director, Innovation Outpost, Wawanesa Insurance
David is the Director of the Wawanesa Innovation Outpost. The Outpost is located at Communitech in the heart of the Innovation District in Kitchener-Waterloo and serves as Wawanesa’s connection to the insurance ecosystem in the Toronto-KW Tech Corridor. The Outpost provides both Tech Scouting and Lab Development capabilities as part of the larger Wawanesa Innovation group. David joined Wawanesa in 2017 to open the Outpost.
Prior to Wawanesa, David spent the previous 5 years in product management at a leading telematics provider working on some of the largest UBI and Road Usage Charging implementations in North America and Europe. Over his 25-year career, David has held senior roles in a variety of companies ranging from global CPG to Management Consulting firms to being the CTO of an Ad-tech start-up. In all his roles, David has focused on delivering outstanding business results through the application of leading edge technologies.
David holds an MBA in Strategy & Finance from the Schulich School of Business, York University and a B.Eng & Mgmt in Computer Engineering from McMaster University.
VP & GM - Canada, Keal Technology (A Vertafore Company)
A respected leader and seasoned software, services and product executive, Dimitrios Argitis is known for successfully leading organizational transformations to enhance customer success, optimize revenue and build for the future.
Dimitrios has spent his 23-year career working for leading software and services organizations including Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), CGI, Epcior Retail (currently Aptos), and Tecsys (a leading supply chain ERP software provider in the complex distribution and healthcare space).
Having recently joined Vertafore as VP and GM (Canada) appointed to lead Keal Technology, Dimitrios is well versed in all aspects of the customer lifecycle – from sales to project delivery, custom development, customer support and business optimization. His experience also includes leading Analytics and Cloud organizations as well.
Dimitrios takes pride in leading by example and building organizations that are committed to a customer for life philosophy. A graduate of McGill University, he is currently an invited member of McGill’s Desautel Faculty of Management Expert Panel where he has had the privilege to mentor future entrepreneurs and the privilege to share his insights and experiences with students as a guest speaker.
Innovation Designer, The Moment
Erika Bailey is an Innovation Designer at The Moment, an innovation studio in Toronto. Her purpose is to continuously learn and teach with the aim of lifting up those around her.
Erika believes strongly that making change within organizations is a key lever to making meaningful change in the world. She has deep expertise in organizational design and human systems intervention, service design, and innovation leadership and years of experience working with insurance clients.
Erika is a gifted facilitator and speaker, which she credits to a masters degree in Human Systems Intervention and her first career as a professional (Juno-nominated) musician and singer where she honed her practice in listening and creating excellence in ensemble with others.
Director - Climate Finance and Science, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation
As Director of Climate Finance and Science, at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, Kathryn assesses the impact of climate change on specific industry sectors and the broader capital markets. She is developing guidance to help investment professionals to integrate climate change and extreme weather risk into forward-looking portfolio analysis to minimize associated risk. By extension, her research will influence companies to adapt to climate change in an effort to minimize risk/exposure.
Kathryn holds an Honours B.Sc in Biological Science, University of Toronto, specializing in Environmental Science. In her previous role, Kathryn worked with an affiliate of Raymond James Financial, where she developed a strong understanding of financial principles and practices. While obtaining the Canadian Securities Course certification, Kathryn initiated and developed a framework for integrating Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors into investment portfolios. She also led business analysis, and development of advisory and client platforms, across Canada and the United States.
Kathryn spent several years with the Insurance Industry in Canada. She speaks frequently to professional audiences, and she is a guest lecturer to graduate students at various universities.
Business Development Manager, Mobileye
Julie Bernadou is Mobileye’s Business Development Manager for North America. In her role, Julie also leads the development of the insurance vertical for Mobileye’s latest advancements in collision avoidance technology, in addition to working on Mobileye’s data services initiatvies. Julie oversees the strategic partnerships that help insurance companies be proactive in keeping their customers safe on the road, along with other benefits such as data integration in business models.
Prior to Mobileye, Julie was working for the French Trade Commission, within the Automotive Industry, based in Chicago. There, she built new partnerships and developed business opportunities for French companies that were looking to expand in the North American market. Julie also has experience as the business development and marketing manager for selected suppliers to a range of OEM’s and tier ones in the global automotive, aerospace, and defense markets.
Founder, Bloom Innovation Consulting
Julia Bloom is an independent consultant working with insurance companies helping her clients realize their ambitions for innovation, digital transformation, and organizational agility. Julia holds a Bachelor of Science and Business degree from the University of Waterloo, is a certified Agile Coach, and is presently involved in the Innovation and Entreprenourship program at Stanford University.
Julia's ability to think strategically to select and implement innovative solutions aimed at improving customer experience and orchestrate a digital tranformation journey directly contributed to the business growth of her clients.
Partner, Customer and Digital, KPMG
Katie Bolla develops customer experience and growth strategies for national and multinational companies across all industries, with prominent engagements in Retail. Using a pragmatic and team-oriented approach, Katie is directly involved in her clients’ success while encouraging them to answer the question: how do they become a customer-centric company?
As a collaborator and facilitator, Katie listens and works with organizations to make data driven decisions that balance customer needs and behaviours, strategic priorities and improvements to the bottom line.
Katie has more than a decade of strategic planning experience helping clients to make informed decisions through customer analytics, journey mapping, segmentation, innovation and customer growth strategies.
Katie is frequent speaker at KPMG events, including the KPMG Not-For-Profit Quarterly Conferences on the ‘Value of Engaging Customers in a Not-For-Profit Context’, and most recently in Las Vegas at the Building Business Capabilities conference on how technology, data and increasingly sophisticated consumers are upending business models, disrupting entire industries and demanding a new way of thinking about business.
AVP - Data Science & Analytics, Aviva Canada
Dorothy Comber is a passionate technology leader with extensive experience delivering measurable business value and building high performing engineering teams. With over 10 years as a leader of both product and software development teams across many different aspects of an organization, she recognizes the importance of knowing your customer and understanding how technology can transform the way we interact with a business. Translating that vision into fundamental changes in how we use data, software, data science and customer service has allowed her to transform the way businesses operate and connect with both their staff and their customers.
As AVP, Data Science at Aviva, Dorothy is currently shaping the way Aviva uses data and data science to drive decision making across pricing, underwriting, claims and fraud. She is focused on building scalable and automated end-to-end solutions that reshape the capabilities of the business and allow Aviva to make better decisions, faster.
Chris D. Cornell
Head of Insurance, KPMG Canada
Chris is a Partner and National Sector Leader for KPMG’s Canadian Insurance practice. He has more than 19 years’ experience, specializing in the financial services sector. Chris has served our largest Insurance Clients in an Audit and Advisory capacity. He also is a frequent speaker at Insurance industry conferences and has worked extensively with financial services clients in Canada and abroad, including time at KPMG’s office in London, UK. Chris is the former National Sector Lead for KPMG’s Canadian Investment Dealer Practice and former Human Resources Partner for KPMG Toronto’s Audit Practice.
Chris is also a member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Central Ontario and volunteers as coach for his son's baseball and hockey teams.
SVP Data Science & Chief Data Officer, Aviva Canada
Baiju has led data sciences and engineering teams for over a decade to bring algorithmic and data-driven business growth in FinTech and InsureTech space. As SVP and Chief Data Officer at Aviva Canada, Baiju is responsible for embedding the use of data and algorithms driving business growth. He leads a cross-functional team of actuaries, data scientists and data engineers to deliver innovative data-driven solutions including use of applied machine-learning for product pricing and underwriting and other advanced algorithms for decision-making.
Prior to Aviva, Baiju led the analytics group at IIROC where he guided decision-making and algorithmic surveillance in trading markets that generate up to 600 million real-time data points daily. Baiju was also at OANDA, a FinTech startup that disrupted retail foreign-exchange markets where he led data sciences and business growth and was part of a team that scaled the organization from a startup to a 400+ employee global business that facilitated $10B in trades daily.
Baiju has a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from Queen’s University and developed his data chops working on large biological datasets as part of his graduate work and later at the Ontario Cancer Institute.
Joseph D’Souza is a passionate business builder, with more than a decade of experience in founding and growing companies. He is adept at finding opportunities in the market and delivering tangible business outcomes to fill them.
As the Founder and CEO of ProNavigator, he is using AI to reinvent customer service and drive growth in the insurance industry. An industry ripe for innovation, he helps insurance agencies and carriers increase sales, retention and productivity by extending the capabilities of their existing team.
Sr. Manager - Financial Services Consulting, Deloitte
Michel is a leader in Deloitte’s financial services strategy practice. He has 15 years of experience advising a broad array of clients across financial services sectors, namely in insurance and banking across the US and Canada. Michel specializes in helping clients rethink their business strategy, build new business models and organize their operating model to implement and scale innovations.
Michel has had significant work experience across North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. He is a frequent speaker with Canadian financial services industry leaders and regulators on emerging topics in the industry. Michel holds an MBA from Cornell University and a bachelor of computer engineering from the University of Ottawa.
Senior Analyst, Celent
Marty brings extensive career and industry experience in creating value from digital assets across every link in the insurance value chain in both commercial and personal lines. His longstanding accomplishments include productizing deep industry knowledge in risk assessment and rating as well as creating many valuable innovations in risk selection, pricing, marketing, sales, distribution, fraud, recovery, audit, valuation, claims, customer experience, and service decisioning solutions.
Marty’s research focuses on helping insurance companies build data-driven, customer-centric digital enterprises. Finding more and better data, creating smarter and more accurate analytics, and, developing faster to real-time decisioning solutions are his day-to-day mission. His passion is to permit ease of doing business with value priced accurate risk management in both the digital and physical worlds where carriers solve customer needs in their local and global communities and vendor ecosystems. He has a special interest in customer-centricity and how products fit actual living situations at home and on the job. Additionally, he stays involved in analytics over data supply chains, blockchains, and smart contracts where novel applications of data governance and risk cover are growing.
Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Underwriter
David re-joined Canadian Underwriter as Editor-in-Chief in November 2017. He was previously Editor and Senior Editor of Canadian Underwriter between 2005 and 2012.
Before returning to the publication, he worked as a Communications Consultant at the Insurance Institute of Canada. Previously, he was a communications adviser with Ontario’s legal regulator, the Law Society of Upper Canada. From 2001-2004, he was a staff writer and copy editor for Law Times, a weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario, as well as a regular contributor to Canadian Lawyer magazine.
Vice President - Digital Marketing, aha insurance
Khari Gaynor is Vice-President of Digital Marketing at aha insurance.
Khari loves taking different approaches in business and challenging the status quo, especially when things have never been done before. He is an innovator and creative to the core. He enjoys building businesses, brands, and products – always considering the world of the consumer first.
Founder & CEO, Chisel AI
Ron Glozman is the founder and CEO of Chisel AI. While studying for a double degree in computer science and business at the University of Waterloo and Laurier University, Ron taught a computer to turn his thousand-page textbooks into one-page chapter summaries. The natural language processing (NLP) app he created had users in 33 countries and was ranked as one of the fastest-growing educational apps on Google. This was the genesis of Chisel AI, an InsurTech start-up that uses artificial intelligence to read and interpret digital insurance documents just like a human knowledge worker, only 400 times faster.
Chisel AI won Gold at the 2019 Zurich Innovation World Championship and won the ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge in 2018. The company is currently working with some of the world’s largest commercial insurance brokers and carriers to extract high volumes of unstructured data and digitally transform cumbersome, manual underwriting and brokering processes. Named an “Insurance Innovator to Watch” by Digital Insurance Magazine, Ron is a frequent speaker at AI, insurance and Fintech conferences.
- Session: Reshaping Insurance With Data, Analytics, ML & AI
- Session: Working With An Insurance Marketplace aka Exchange
- Session: InsurTechs: Winning in the Marketplace
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.
Chief Technology Officer, Apollo Exchange
With 20 years of experience developing software and managing large development teams, Justin has seen and done it all. He is proficient with all aspects of product development, from UX, design, and front-end development to back-end API development, DevOps, and QA.
Justin has worked on beacon and location tracking systems, CES award winning robots, market research chatbot software, and websites for one of the largest international video game brands.
Justin leads the APOLLO development team and is responsible for establishing our technical vision, scalable platform architecture, security, and data integrity.
President & CEO, HTM Insurance Company
- Session: Innovation – The Mutual Way
Alec Harmer has been a mutual person ever since he started work when he was 18 – a second generation of mutuality, as both his parents worked at the Farm Mutual Reinsurance Plan. At age 21, Alec was a treasurer, and by 27, he was the CEO of a mutual company. His working career included four mutuals over the last 36 years and he has been the President & CEO of HTM Insurance in Cobourg for more than eight years.
Alec participates on the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association’s Statistics committee and Cognition+’s Product Governance committee. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to participate in a number of organizations as a board or committee member. These included; the Insurance Institute of Ontario (London Chapter) as a board member and teacher; Ontario Mutual Insurance Association on the forms & marketing committee, numerous ad-hoc committees and as a board member; Canadian Association of Insurance Companies on a Banking Committee; Cognition+ as a director; General Statistical Insurance Agency as an Industry Director. Alec has also participated in several non-profit organizations, such as Rotary, in several capacities.
Alec has his Certified Insurance Professional designation through the Insurance Institute and has made professional education part of his life-long objective of continuous improvement.
VP - Operations, Mitchell and Whale
- Session: Digital Can Be Personal: InsurTech For Real People
- Session: The Future of Work: Human-Centric Innovation
Amanda Ketelaars is VP of Operations at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers, the fastest-growing business in Durham Region and one of the fastest-growing brokerages in all of Ontario. Amanda has always been driven to find the perfect marriage between people and technology, and has found her true home at M&W, where the best people come together with the right technology to deliver consistently awesome customer service, strong business results, and a workplace that’s the envy of the industry.
Prior to joining M&W, Amanda spent time at 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.
With more than 20 years of experience in the business, Amanda started her insurance career as a CSR in a brokerage, and quickly became intrigued by how innovation and technology could improve efficiency and customer service. She has extensive experience on the technology side of the industry, working as a Trainer and Consultant for a leading Broker Management System vendor, where she developed strong relationships across the broker community while promoting adoption of emerging technologies to streamline workflows and help organizations work smarter.
Director - Business Insurance, Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers
Nick Kidd is making business insurance not suck in his capacity as Director of Business Insurance at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers – one of the most innovative and fastest growing brokerages in Ontario. Leading a small but growing team, Nick is focused on bringing simple and transparent solutions to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Leading from that, Nick is founder of Quotey, a revolutionary broker platform designed to help brokers deliver a better experience to their clients.
Prior to joining M&W, Nick was CEO of APRIL Canada, bringing unique product solutions to brokers across Canada and supporting them with their Out of the Box risks.
With 25 years of experience, Nick brings a unique perspective to the market having held senior roles in carriers, MGAs and brokers, in both the UK and Canada, and across multiple disciplines (pricing, underwriting, claims, strategy, sales, marketing, analytics, operations).
CEO, DEL Telematics
Daniel Lajeunesse has nearly 15 years of experience in the vehicle telematics space, resulting in numerous patents (named inventor), business methods and processes standard in the vehicle mobility space.
Over the last few years, he has specialized in new product and market development focused on innovation and providing greater value for investments. His specialties include insurance telematics, fleet solutions, road-usage charging, traffic shipping, auto dealership and vehicle OEMs and smart city projects.
Daniel leverages his experiences as an executive level leader with global experience in the fields of software development, network planning, consumer goods, vehicle telematics and marketing as Head of Operations for Mazur Studios. His primary responsibilities include all aspect of business growth, including managing all personnel, IT requirements, customer management, sales (call center and dedicated sales) and more.
As a public figure in the Town of Aurora, Ontario, he also sit as member on the Committee of Adjustment, Property Standards Committee and the Aurora Appeal Tribunal.
VP - Insurance & Wealth Management Solutions, Hearsay
Eugene Lee leads the Hearsay Actions initiative, products and solutions focused on automating workflows and driving best practices in client-advisor/agent digital interactions. He is also responsible for overall market strategy for Property & Casualty and Life Insurers.
Eugene Lee has over 25 years of enterprise software experience, serving in both consulting and executive management roles. Currently at Hearsay Systems as VP Insurance Solutions, Eugene is focused on building products that automate workflows and drive best practices in client-advisor/agent digital interactions. Before Hearsay, he spent 10 years at Guidewire Software, a leading provider of enterprise core systems to P&C insurers, where he led their Data & Analytics business. He started his career at Andersen Consulting configuring and implementing large scale enterprise software. He has also held leadership positions at IBM, Hitachi, and Applied Biosystems. Eugene earned his B.S., Mechanical Engineering and M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Eugene is a Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).
Managing Partner, Insurance-Canada.ca
Gerald Legrove is the managing partner of Insurance-Canada.ca.
He is president of DGA Careers, an executive recruitment firm serving the Canadian P&C industry, and a past member of the Alumni Board of the Rotman School of Business, and is also former president of the Toronto Junior Board of Trade.
Gerald has held senior executive positions with a successful commercial insurance company and a large international insurance brokerage firm. He holds a Bachelors Degree in commerce and an MBA.
As a leader and marketing pioneer (having received his PHD in international marketing strategy (1993, Erasmus University. MBA Insead) Pieter is comfortable in any role from the executive boardroom to the underwriting floor. He is a savvy negotiator known for strong business development and relationship building skills. Pieter's innate ability to build high-performance teams, including his strategically-selected executive management staff, has served as a growth catalyst and infused productive energy into the workplace.
He has held C-suite roles ranging from COO to CFO to CEO at ING group, SNS Bank, and most recently as CEO of Centraal Beheer, the largest direct writer of the Netherlands (2 billion euro written premium). He brings his wealth of experience as he paves the way for Onlia to be the leading digital provider of insurance and lead the safety movement through the Onlia Sense App.
President & CEO, Trillium Mutual Insurance Company
- Session: Innovation – The Mutual Way
Tracy joined Trillium Mutual Insurance in January 2015 as Vice President of Corporate Services. In her current capacity as CEO, Tracy is responsible for the overall organizational performance and is accountable directly to the Board of Directors. Her primary responsibilities include the oversight of strategic planning, corporate governance, political advocacy as well as fostering community and industry relations.
Tracy is an active member of the Mutual Insurance Industry, currently serving on the Board of the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (CAMIC). Tracy is also a member of the Auto Rate Filing Committee serving the Ontario Mutual Companies that jointly file auto rates.
Tracy graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1993. Following graduation, she started her insurance career at Formosa Mutual Insurance as a multi lines claims adjuster. While a claims adjuster, she attained her Chartered Insurance Professional designation in 1994 and her Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional designation in 1996. From 1997-1999 she served as Claims Manager at Formosa Mutual.
In 1999, Tracy joined Economical Insurance and held a number of leadership and management positions in claims between 1999 and 2012. Tracy held the position of regional claims manager for all lines of claims across five Economical branch locations in Ontario. From 2012-2013, Tracy led operations for the national commercial property Express team. During this period, Tracy attended Queens School of Business, obtaining an Advanced Executive Certificate in General Management.
Director, X by 2
Priyanga Manoharan is a Director and Senior Software Architect at X by 2, a technology consulting firm that specializes in IT transformation projects for the insurance industry.
He has over 15 years leveraging his technology background in his consulting roles where he has helped his clients build delivery teams to successfully implement transformational and modernization projects in the insurance, financial, healthcare and telecommunications industries. Some of his recent projects have included modernization of the HR system, analysis and planning of a financial system replacement and lead the modernization of underwriting tools at a fortune 500 insurance company.
Priyanga's consulting expertise includes enterprise and application architecture, system replacement analysis, and project management/leadership. He holds a BASC in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Co-Founder & CEO, Apollo Exchange
- Session: Working With An Insurance Marketplace aka Exchange
- Session: How Fast Can You Take A Product To Market?
Jeff believes in the broker channel and is the co-founder and CEO of Apollo Insurance (formerly Digital MGA), Canada's largest online insurance marketplace. In less than 5 minutes brokers and their clients can purchase over 500 products from multiple carriers, entirely online with immediate quote, bind and policy issuance. The Apollo Marketplace is free to qualifying brokers. Apollo also provides custom quote-bind-issue insurance products white labeled for broker's websites, helping them automate workflows and compete on the digital landscape.
Jeff carries the vision of an industry where computers do the work so people can build relationships. With a background as a broker and strong insurance industry fundamentals, Jeff empowers producers and brokerages to reach their digital potential.
Jeff was Insurance Broker Magazine Top 10 Under 40, and recipient of the Insurance Business Magazine Young Guns Award in 2018. He writes professionally for several publications including the Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun, National Post, and the Vancouver Province.
AVP - Product Analytics and Delivery, Auto Claims, Aviva Canada
Daryl is an experienced claims leader with a demonstrated history of leading operational change in the insurance industry. Daryl is a strong advocate for simplifying claims for customers by using data and technology to improve the customer experience.
As the Assistant Vice President of Auto Claims at Aviva Canada, Daryl is responsible for identifying areas of improvement and implementing technological enhancements to streamline the customer journey. He leads a team of Change mangers and developers that collaboratively work together by incorporating the systems thinking methodology to analyze data and foster an environment of continuous improvement to create simplicity.
Co-Founder & CEO, Foxquilt
Mark Morissette created Foxquilt to empower consumers with greater purchasing power when acquiring and managing their insurance. Foxquilt is a Canadian financial technology company focused on using big data and machine learning to empower social groups to save on Small Business and Home insurance. Foxquilt creates new value opportunities for customers by bringing people and communities together online with a smart and modern approach to insurance. Leveraging innovative technology and creating unique products, they make it easy for customers to buy insurance online from leading carriers and access group purchasing power.
Mark’s career includes more than 15 years in various leadership roles spanning Underwriting, Operations and Sales & Distribution for some Canada’s premier Carriers and fintech organizations including, Aviva and Real Matters.
Jack B. Ott
Founder & Coach, BolderBlue Leadership
Jack Ott has been a technology executive for some of Canada’s top insurance companies. Previously, as Sr. Vice President, Innovation Partnerships at Intact Financial Corporation, he helped Insurtech startup companies find common ground with the insurance industry. He is particularly interested and optimistic about the role IoT will play in the future of our industry.
Jack recently founded BolderBlue Leadership to help emerging leaders build strong foundations and maximize their potential. His approach combines one-on-one coaching with real-world experience gained from 30+ years of executive leadership – including 8 years as Chief Information Officer of Intact.
Jack was on the board of CSIO for many years and currently advises two companies. He was one of the founders of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s insurance ride. He lives in the country near Port Perry, Ontario.
Corporate Director; Board member of Gore Mutual, Genworth Financial, and Equitable Life
Neil is a corporate director, professional accountant and consultant with over 40 years of experience in serving insurance and other financial services organizations. He was a partner in KPMG from 1988 until his retirement in 2016, and was national leader of the firm's Canadian insurance practice from 2004 to 2015.
He was deputy chair of KPMG's global insurance contracts accounting technical committee (ICTT), chair of the Insurance Auditors Advisory Committee for the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada from 2009 to 2016, and a member of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board’s Insurance Accounting Task Force from 2006 to 2016. He is an FCPA and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Neil is a member of the boards of directors of Genworth MI Canada, Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, Gore Mutual Insurance Company and the University of Guelph, and of the Actuarial Profession Oversight Board.
CEO & Founder, PolicyAdvisor.com
Jiten Puri is the CEO and founder of PolicyAdvisor.com, a highly innovative digital life insurance brokerage based in Toronto. PolicyAdvisor's mission is to make life insurance more accessible for Canadians by using the latest technology, intuitive design, and real-world human expertise.
Prior to founding PolicyAdvisor.com, Jiten worked as an Executive Director with Morgan Stanley in New York where he advised global insurance companies and banks on transformative M&A opportunities with a special focus on the financial technology space. He previously worked with HSBC across Asian markets managing corporate lending and high net worth investing portfolios. He holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Co-Founder, Cookhouse Lab; Executive VP, msg global solutions
Sven Roehl is Co-founder of Cookhouse Labs – the first co-creation InsurTech lab, where the insurance industry collaboratively tackles the problems of the industry. Sven is also Executive Vice President of the IT consulting firm msg global solutions Canada Inc. and Head of Innovation of msg global, part of msg Group with more than 8,500 employees in 25 countries.
During his 20-years digital innovation journey in Financial Services, Sven has been responsible for numerous digital innovations in areas such as IoT, customer engagement, analytics and platform services. Sven inspired and empowered many C-level Executives, Managers and Entrepreneurs around the globe to design digital products to interact with people in new and innovative ways.
He started his professional career as an M&A consultant specialized in environmental risk management and co-founded his first IT company developing innovative IoT and GIS solutions in 2005 in Germany. Since then I has worked with more than 60 financial services organizations around the globe providing digital innovation consulting. Sven joined msg global in 2011 as director of UK & Ireland business. In 2016 he moved from London, UK to Toronto, Canada. During this time, Sven set up Cookhouse Labs and the global innovation services of msg providing digital innovation consulting for many corporate organizations and their innovation labs.
Senior Analyst - P&C Insurance, Aite Group
Jay Sarzen is a senior analyst with Aite Group’s P&C Insurance practice. He brings over 15 years of experience delivering strategic advice to a wide variety of clients, primarily in financial services.
Prior to joining Aite Group, Mr. Sarzen identified strategic growth opportunities for major insurance carriers, such as The Hartford and MassMutual, and for major financial services providers, such as State Street, through traditional strategic frameworks such as market analysis, competitive analysis, and value chain analysis.
Since coming to Aite Group, Mr. Sarzen has focused his efforts on understanding innovation along the P&C insurance value chain by examining topics such as how new entrants are disrupting traditional distribution channels and how technology is altering underwriting and claims operations. Mr. Sarzen has been quoted extensively in industry publications.
Mr. Sarzen holds a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College, where he graduated with honors, and an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, with a dual concentration in Strategy and Management. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt, an avid squash player, and serves as an elected official on his town’s Board of Education.
Managing Director, Duuo by Cooperators
Robin Shufelt is the Managing Director of Duuo by the Co-operators, a cutting-edge insurtech brand working to provide Canadians with on-demand, digital insurance products.
After graduating from the DeGroote School of Business with a Masters of Innovation and Technology, Robin successfully built up two Technology and Cyber Underwriting departments before moving on to her current role at Duuo.
With over 10 years of experience in the insurance and technology industries, Robin has established herself as a driven leader with a passion for innovation.
Chief Client Officer, Crawford & Company (Canada), Inc.
- Session: Insurance Innovation: A People Business
- Session: The Future of Work: Human-Centric Innovation
Greg Smith, MBA, FCIP, CRM, is the Chief Client Officer at Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. where he is currently responsible for sales, account management and marketing across all service lines in Canada. Throughout his twenty-one year career at Crawford he has held a number of leadership roles in shared services (IT, HR, compliance), marketing, project management, and operations. As a member of the Canadian board of directors and global senior leadership team Greg has been responsible for a number of change management and business transformation initiatives that cut across the organization. Greg also serves on the board of Crawford Compliance Inc., a subsidiary created to incubate the development of mobile software.
Greg holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Ivey Business School at Western University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) with the Insurance Institute of Canada and holds a Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation from the Global Risk Management Institute.
Insurance Sales Author, Speaker, Coach
- Session: How To Deliver On The Promise, Avoid The Peril And Solve The Math Of InsurTech's Highest Consumer Ambition
- Session: The Future of Work: Human-Centric Innovation
As a living laboratory for his own study, Sheldon he has spent thousands of hours coaching soldiers, skiers, athletes and insurance industry professionals around the world.
In 2002, he launched SteadySales.com to help service people sell. He has coached hundreds of insurance agencies and thousands of CSRs in collaboration with dozens of national and regional carriers, state associations and industry partners.
Sheldon delivers energetic, emotive and entertaining presentations that translate our best intentions into the spark of action – all while eliciting nods of agreement, chuckles of laughter, and earnest commitments to oneself.
His masterful blend of behavioral science book-smarts with industry-specific street smarts helps insurance industry professionals sell more while they serve better.
Sheldon’s energetic coaching flows from two guiding principles: lovingly meet people where they are, and ignite their own desire to improve.
Director, Marketing & Operations, Berkley Canada
Alexandra Spence is the Director of Marketing & Operations at Berkley Canada, a niche specialty insurance carrier. Alexandra began her insurance career as an E&O Underwriter at large international insurer. Since joining Berkley Canada in 2011 Alexandra has continuously taken on more responsibilities ranging from broker contract management, events, website development, product development, system implementations and corporate strategy. In her role as Director of Marketing & Operations, Alexandra oversees all marketing and communication across the country, is responsible for client relations & distribution management and is very active in corporate innovation. Alexandra is part of the Berkley Canada Management Team and is involved in the development and execution of corporate strategy.
Alexandra went to Dalhousie University and graduated with a BA in Economics. She has completed her Chartered Insurance Professional designation and has a certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto. Alexandra has two young boys, Beau and Wyatt, and when she can find some time, enjoys running, and going to art galleries.
AVP - Claims Transformation, National Claims, Aviva Canada
Jonathan Spinner is a passionate advocate for the effective application of technology to transforming businesses and fostering cultures of continuous improvement and innovation. As the Assistant Vice President of Claims Transformation at Aviva Canada, Jonathan is responsible for identifying and assessing the potential of advances in technology to improve the Aviva claims customer experience, and for leading the execution and delivery of the changes that make it easier for claims staff to deliver that customer experience in ways that surprise and delight Aviva’s customers.
Jonathan leverages his background in technology and extensive experience in consulting to bring the business operations and technology delivery teams together to execute successfully on meaningful transformational change.
President & CEO, Cognition+
- Session: Innovation – The Mutual Way
Randy has been part of the Mutual family since 2013 when he joined the Board of Farmers’ Mutual Insurance in Lindsay. In 2014 Randy was elected to the Board of Directors of Cognition+ and in 2016 became the President & CEO.
Cognition+ is a software company that is owned by 32 Mutual Insurance companies across Canada and the creator of Cognition+ a suite of applications to help the Mutuals leverage technology.
Randy started in technology in 1991 and enjoyed various roles at an IT consulting and software development company in Markham, Ontario providing product and services to numerous companies throughout North America including many well-known Fortune 500 companies. He has worked on the front lines with clients in a support role, as a Business Analyst, a Project Manager and in Management roles. In 1996, Randy was one of the founding partners of a successful IT firm in Toronto that fulfilled the demands of numerous software projects throughout North America. In 2004, Randy sold his interest.
His next role allowed him to focus on the challenges of working with a variety of independent companies brought together by common needs and sharing common software. One of Randy’s former clients asked him to continue the work he had done for them previously and head a company specifically formed to develop software for their group. The group was comprised of independently owned companies who, together, represented one major manufacturer. The group of approximately twenty covered all of North America, and all used the same software. Just like the Mutuals they believed that working together was the key to maximizing their investment in software.
Co-Founder & CEO, LowestRates.ca
- Session: Aggregators: Friend or Foe?
Justin Thouin is the Co-Founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca, one of the fastest growing companies in North America. He has been an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist and under his leadership LowestRates.ca has ranked in the top 50 on Maclean's/Canadian Business' Growth 500 list of Canada's fastest growing companies for four years in a row, most recently placing 15th in 2019. The company has also ranked in the top 25 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 the past two years, and won Startup Canada's National and Ontario High-Growth Entrepreneurship Awards in 2019. Also in 2019, LowestRates.ca placed 75th on the Report on Business' List of Canada's Top Growing Companies and 164th on Deloitte's North American Technology Fast 500.
Justin is a highly sought after expert in the areas of personal finance and entrepreneurship, and is featured frequently in the media. Appearances, articles, and contributions include BNN, The Globe and Mail, CBC, CTV, CP 24, The Financial Post, Huffington Post, Maclean's, MoneySense, and hundreds of other media outlets.
In addition to leading LowestRates.ca, Justin invests in early-stage startups and mentors aspiring entrepreneurs. As an alumnus of the Smith School of Business at Queen's University, he supports his alma mater through speaking engagements and student competitions where he’s able to connect with Canada’s future business leaders.
Deb Van Eyk
President & CEO, Lambton Mutual Insurance Company
- Session: Innovation – The Mutual Way
Deb Van Eyk is President & CEO of Lambton Mutual Insurance Company located in Watford (west of London) in Southwestern Ontario. Lambton Mutual writes $25 million in gross written premium, has 32 employees and $39 million in surplus. They distribute their products through a professional sales force consisting of a combination of agents and independent brokers.
Deb began her insurance career in underwriting at Lambton Mutual in 1985, working her way up through various leadership positions before becoming President and CEO in April 2012. She served as a Director of the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association from 2007 until 2015, including a year as Board Chair in 2014. She currently serves as the Chair of the Southwestern Chapter of the Insurance Institute of Ontario. As a member of the Product Governance Committee of Cognition+ for 3 years, Deb provided valuable input in helping shape the development of a new insurance software system for use by 32 Canadian Mutual insurance companies. Most recently, Deb was elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in October 2019.
Bonny van Rest
Chief Marketing Officer, Onlia
Bonny van Rest is a strategic marketing executive with over a decade of international experience in the finance and technology sector, working with market-leading brands, including: Achmea, Central Beheer, Zilveren Kruis, and now, Onlia. Throughout her career, Bonny has established a proven track record in leading international cross-functional teams, building new consumer brands, and leading customer support innovation projects.
Bonny has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Administration from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.
Vice President - Research & Consulting, Novarica
- Session: Leveraging Third-Party Data for Marketing, Underwriting and Claims
- Session: Fireside Chat: Emerging Technology in Insurance
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.
Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Penguin Random House Canada
Robert Wheaton is Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at Penguin Random House Canada, where he is responsible for strategy, sales, marketing, analytics, and operations at the Canadian branch of the world’s largest trade books publisher.
Robert also plays a key role in negotiation and account management with customers such as Apple, Amazon, and Indigo.
Robert has master's degrees from Oxford University and the University of London; he is a published writer, a former web developer, and additionally has experience in retail supply chain and demand analytics. His areas of specialization include strategy, negotiation, and organizational culture.
CEO & Founder, Zensurance
Danish Yusuf is the CEO and Founder of Zensurance, a Toronto-based technology startup focused on commercial insurance product and distribution.
Danish is a former leader in McKinsey & Company's Digital Insurance practice, supporting insurance clients globally on defining their digital strategy. Prior to McKinsey, Danish was a software architect and developer at IBM Canada, covering everything from mainframe development to web development.
Danish earned a bachelor's degree in Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Innovation Advisor, iA Financial Group
Daniel Zhan is a now fourth-time corporate innovator who has built open innovation and startup acceleration programs from scratch at Nasdaq, NYSE, TMX-listed companies and the Australian Government. He is also a startup founder twice over and now mentors at WeWork Labs Toronto on global expansion and ACCES Employment for newcomer entrepreneurs.
Daniel holds an MBA degree from BI Norwegian Business School in a joint program with Fudan University in Shanghai, an executive education certificate on Entrepreneurship from UC Berkeley, and is now a candidate at University of Toronto’s Global Professional Master of Laws program on the Innovation, Law, and Technology concentration.