Speaker Biographies

Speakers are listed here alphabetically by last name.


Randy Bauslaugh

Randy Bauslaugh is Counsel in the McCarthy Tétrault law firm where he leads its National Pensions, Benefits, and Executive Compensation practice. He has more than 35 years in the pension and benefits field as a lawyer, trustee, consultant, and lobbyist, and has had various director roles in business and charitable sectors. His experience provides a wealth of legal and practical insights relating to governance, strategy development and execution, human resource management, project management, investment policy development and oversight, client service, and government relations. Randy is consistently ranked at the highest levels by international and national lawyer ranking agencies. For 2020, he was named Lawyer of the Year in Employee Benefits by Best Lawyers, based on an extensive client and peer survey. Randy is a frequent speaker and author, nationally and internationally. He is a member the Institute of Corporate Directors and has chaired or held leadership positions in various industry associations including CPBI. In 2014, he became the third person inducted into the CPBI Hall of Fame. Apart from his law practice, he is currently an independent expert trustee of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) Employee Life and Health Trust (ELHT), a Sr. Vice-President and Director of the Canadian National Exhibition Association and its affiliates, and a director of the Scarborough Health Network Foundation.




J.J. Burnell

J.J. Burnell is a partner at MLT Aikins LLP. She advises on and assists in a wide variety of matters involving pension and benefit plans, including winding-up or amendment of plans, plan creation and implementation, plan mergers, trust agreements and agreements for administrative services, surplus and distribution issues. J.J. is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute and Council Member of the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute of Manitoba as well as a member of the CBA Pensions and Benefits Law Section’s Advocacy and Government Relations Committee & Communications Committee.



Leah Fichter

Leah Fichter is Executive Director of the Pensions Division with the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA), and is Saskatchewan’s Deputy Superintendent of Pensions. In her role at FCAA, she is responsible for overseeing the regulation of occupational pension plans in Saskatchewan.  Leah has been instrumental in the development of a legislative framework to support the restructuring of distressed pension plans. She also spearheaded the development of the legislative structure for regulating pooled registered pension plans and target benefit plans in Saskatchewan.

Leah is Chair of the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA), and a member of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). She was the chair of CAPSA’s Defined Contribution Pension Plans Committee, which was responsible for issuing CAPSA’s revised guidelines for defined contribution plans in 2019. Leah has spoken about pensions nationally and internationally. 

Over the course of her career, Leah has worked in several regulatory roles in the public service. She has also been a pension plan administrator, an investment advisor, and has worked at an insurance company managing pension assets.   

Leah holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She also holds a Pension Plan Administration Certificate from Humber College and has completed the Canadian Securities Course and Canadian Options Course.




Paul Huschilt

Paul is a professional speaker and an actor and a satirizer rolled into an unusual ball of corporate messaging and humour. Described by many as indescribable, he’s one of the most unique voices in the speaking industry. Paul presents with passion and fun, and is a member of the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame.

Paul holds a Masters Degree in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University, 10 years of experience in an insurance company, and training in Career Counselling and Adult Education. He has a BFA in acting from the University of Windsor, and has sung with the Canadian Opera Company.

Paul works across Canada, the United States, Europe, and right around the globe to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He performs in English, French, and occasionally in Japanese. 




Melanie Jeannotte

Melanie Jeannotte has devoted her career to helping organizations attract, retain and engage the talent that will drive their business success. As the CEO for Gallagher Benefit Services in Canada, she brings 18 years of extensive experience as a consultant and leader in group benefits, retirement, human resources, and wellbeing practices.

Melanie works with a holistically minded team that supports over 3,000 clients across a broad spectrum of sector and size.

She is a regular speaker and author on industry trends and business practices, sharing her experience and commitment to managing healthcare risks. Melanie is active in the Canadian business and philanthropic community as the founder and Chair of Figure 8, a group of executive women who work in support of local charities. She was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012, has been recognized on the cover of Advantage Magazine as one of Canada’s leading Female Entrepreneurs and has been nominated twice as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2015 and 2016.




Barbara A. Martinez

As the National Practice Leader, Drug Solutions in Canada Life’s Toronto Office, Barbara A. Martinez supports sales offices across Canada on prescription drug management initiatives. She plays a key role in supporting advisors and their clients, including designing and managing drug benefit plans with Canada Life Drug Solutions programs.

Barbara joined Canada Life in 2012 after 10 years at Mercer, where she led the Canadian drug benefits consulting team. She’s a regular speaker at industry forums and a frequent commentator on employer drug programs. Her past experience also includes 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry, where she worked in sales and marketing as well as government and professional affairs.



Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod

Hal & Joanne are Healthy Living Experts & Hosts of BodyBreak.

Hal Johnson’s love for baseball as a youth lead him to a scholarship at the University of Colorado. He went on to represent Canada at the Baseball World Cham-pionships in Japan in 1982. He finished his business degree and worked in Canada and the US. Besides having a successful baseball and business career, his extensive sales back-ground and enthusiasm to keep fit helped launch and sustain BodyBreak’s longevity. In his “spare” time you might find him golfing, playing hockey or walking on his treadmill.

Joanne McLeod was a member of the Canadian Track and Field Team and was a 4 time National and 7 time Provincial hurdle champion. Joanne also represented Canada at several international competitions such as the World Cup, Commonwealth and Pacific Conference Games. Her business and health background in the insurance industry helped to further BodyBreak’s success. Joanne now enjoys trail running, cycling, and playing golf They bring their passion, energy, and simplicity for healthy living to their presentations.

To celebrate their 25 years of healthy living, team work, and positivity, they appeared on CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada as Team BodyBreak. They were one of 9 teams being challenged physically and mentally as they competed and traveled across Canada. Why Hal and Joanne? The Amazing Race Canada Executive Producer, John Brunton, called them “special” and ‘unique”. They have enjoyed being part of a wide range of corporate, university, and special events... from being Oktoberfest Parade Grand Marshals to Hosts of the Regina Grey Cup Family Zone to Leading a Walk for Heart Day to Celebrating Canada Day on a cruise with the fans of Radio Indie88 to participating in McMaster University’s Soul Food Fair.




Andrew D. Knox

Andrew D. Knox is Institutional Portfolio Manager for Franklin Real Asset Advisors (FRAA), with primary responsibility for providing clients with perspective and insight on FRAA's private and public real estate and listed infrastructure products globally.

With over 22 years of experience in the investment industry, Mr. Knox has held positions in portfolio management, research, and client service within both the institutional and high net worth markets. Since joining Franklin Templeton in 2006, Mr. Knox has been responsible for managing and developing institutional client relationships in Western Canada and was a member of the Franklin Templeton Institutional Asset Mix Committee since 2008. From February 2011 until December 2017, Mr. Knox was the co-lead manager of the Franklin Templeton Institutional Balanced Trust. Over his tenure, Mr. Knox has designed and implemented investment solutions for a diverse client base including pension and benefit plans, educational endowments, First Nations, foundations, individuals, and corporations. Mr. Knox also served as a member of the Franklin Templeton Pension Committee, a Defined Contribution Pension Plan with 700members and $70 Million in AUM.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Knox was a portfolio manager and analyst for a major Canadian investment counsellor. Mr. Knox holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Manitoba. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Charterholder.




Colyn Lowenberger

Colyn Lowenberger is the founding President and CEO of Möbius Benefit Administrators Inc. In addition to guiding the overall business and providing strategic direction, Colyn works closely with the investment team with particular emphasis on private markets.

Prior to Möbius, Colyn spent 20 plus years in the finance and investment industries including stops at CIBC, BMO, and the City of Regina. Colyn holds an MBA from the University of Regina as well as a M. Cert. in management and a B. Sc. in mathematics and statistics. 




Kenneth MacDonald

Kenneth MacDonald is Associate Vice President of Employee Benefits at HUB International Canada West ULC. He has over 25 years of group benefits experience which includes working in human resources for three large Calgary based energy companies.

His experience also includes consulting roles with global and boutique consulting firms and underwriting and leadership roles at a large national insurance company. He has designed flex plans, managed the merger of benefit programs for two Canadian energy giants, and implemented benefit plans in countries around the globe including the United Kingdom, Trinidad, Tobago, and Libya.

Ken is one of Benefits Canada magazine’s on-line Expert Panelists and an experienced Toastmaster. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University and a Certificate in Global Benefits Management.




Troy Milnthorp

Troy Milnthorp is the Senior Managing Director of Corporate Fund Services at the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) where he oversees their pension, benefits, and investment programs. Prior to joining the STF, he was a partner in the retirement practice at Aon Hewitt, where he provided pension and actuarial consulting services to clients locally and across the country. Troy is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.




Sherry Norris

Sherry Norris is Director of Life and Disability Management Services at Saskatchewan Blue Cross. She brings excellence in disability management from spending more than 25 years in the industry with both Sun Life and Equitable Life. Sherry has a passion for disability management having worked in a variety roles within the disability management area throughout her career.




Bruce Sellery

Financial journalist and television host Bruce Sellery is on a mission to help people get a handle on their money so they can live the life they want. He speaks, writes, consults and uses every media format to engage audiences in a smart, fun, high energy way.

Bruce is the author of two bestselling books, including Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things with Their Money (and What You Can Do About It). He’s also the national Money columnist for CBC Radio, a regular contributor to the hit TV show Cityline, the host of the weekly Moolala radio show and podcast on SiriusXM, and is often a featured guest on media outlets across North America including Breakfast Television, Canada AM, CNN, and MSNBC.

Previously, Bruce was the host of The Exchange on CBC Television, and the reality TV show Million Dollar Neighbourhood on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He also spent 10 years as an anchor for BNN Bloomberg in Toronto and as the network’s Bureau Chief in New York City. Now, Bruce delivers insightful keynotes, emcees leading business conferences, facilitates meaningful discussions, and frequently consults to regulators, financial institutions, and large corporations.

Bruce is a graduate of the Queen’s University School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, where he majored in marketing and international business, and currently serves on its advisory board.




Darren Ulmer

Darren Ulmer, CFP, CHS, has been active in the group benefits and pension markets with Sun Life Financial in Saskatoon for over 15 years. His practice focuses on working with new business owner clients with 5 – 25 employees, plus. Darren believes it is important to work with business owners as they start their business to help them gain an understanding of how benefits and savings/pension plans for employees will benefit employers in the long run by being able to attract and retain quality people right from the start. Darren is regularly referred by several accounting firms in Saskatoon to assist their clients in implementing group benefits and savings/pension plans for their businesses.  Darren has a first hand knowledge of the benefits a group plan and group savings has for employees being a cancer survivor himself and seeing how both are affected during times of illness. Darren is the current President of the North Saskatchewan Chapter of Advocis (Canadian Financial Advisor Association), a member of the Canadian Association of Life Underwriters (CALU), and also The Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) representing the top 1% of Financial Advisors world wide. Darren is also a professional speaker who has presented on stages as far away as Batu Malong, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, every province in Canada, and for the National Association of Independent Financial Advisors (NAIFA) in the United States. 




Jill Wagman

Jill Wagman is Managing Principal of Eckler Ltd. and Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors. She joined Eckler in 1993 and was the retirement practice leader from 2003 to 2006. She was appointed Managing Principal in 2012. As Eckler’s Managing Principal, Jill has direct responsibility for preserving the firm’s 92-year history while helping to drive innovation and exciting market strategies.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Jill is a qualified actuary (FCIA, FSA) with over 25 years of consulting experience. She also has her Institute of Corporate Directors, Director (ICD.D) designation.

Throughout her career, Jill has advised corporations, boards of directors, boards of trustees, and government agencies on pension and employee benefits matters including all aspects of valuation, administration, risk management, governance, design, funding, and accounting for pension, post-retirement, and supplemental pension programs.

On September 17, 2019, Jill was appointed by the Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA) to a three-member panel of actuaries to review the 30th Actuarial Report on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Jill is currently a member of the Ontario Financial Services Tribunal (FST).




Jim Yih

Jim Yih is one of Canada’s leading experts on money, retirement, investing, and personal finance. He has a passion for teaching and helping people make better decisions with money so they can all retire happy and achieve financial wellness.

As a well-known financial speaker, he has entertained audiences large and small with his common sense ‘to the point’ approach. Audiences rave about Jim’s ability to take complex matters and deliver them in a way that makes sense. He believes that true success of a professional speaker comes from not only education but also entertainment and inspiration. His use of humor and real life stories make Jim’s presentations memorable and delightful. Jim is the consummate professional who strives to make a difference in the lives of the people he touches.

His goal in every presentation is to share light bulb moments so his audience can achieve more success, wealth, and happiness.


Associate Vice President, Employee Benefits,

HUB International Canada West ULC


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