2013 Recipients

2013 CPBI Regional Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients

The CPBI’s extensive calendar of events and library of resources are possible thanks to its many dedicated volunteers located throughout the CPBI’s eight Regions across Canada.
On behalf of the CPBI Board of Directors, Regional Councils and National Office, we would like to congratulate and thank the following volunteers for their involvement and contribution to the Institute:

Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins

CPBI Atlantic Region
Regional Vice President, Manulife Financial

Kevin has held a number of positions while serving on the Atlantic Regional Council – Treasurer, Vice Chairperson, Chairperson, as well as being involved in all aspects of programming for a number of years. Kevin co-chaired both the 2009 and 2011 Atlantic Regional Conferences.

Kevin joined Manulife Financial in 1991. Kevin has held a number of positions within the organization, including underwriting, systems and sales. In his present role as Regional Vice President, he is responsible for managing the Atlantic sales team in delivering on the sales and service targets for the region.

Kevin’s unwavering support and efforts on behalf of CPBI Atlantic have been invaluable to the region.

Normand Vachon

Normand Vachon

CPBI Quebec Region
General Director, Gestion de placements TD Inc.

The sustained involvement and contribution of Normand to the Quebec Council and to National in the past 12 years has allowed the CPBI to provide its members with training programs and be updated on the latest industry trends by expert speakers. Norman was very involved with the Quebec region's economic outlook events, their regional conferences as well as their lunch investment sessions.

In addition, Norman has also contributed significantly to various National Forums and has also participated in several committees, including the CPBI's Audit Committee. Norman has always shared his expertise and knowledge with other volunteers which stems from his experience and knowledge of the industry as well as of the CPBI. He continues to be a source of knowledge for both the Quebec Council and National.

Martin Leclair

Martin Leclair

CPBI Ontario Region
Vice President, Proteus

Martin joined Proteus in January 2012. Martin previously held leadership roles at major Canadian investment management firms and at a large insurance company. He started his career in 1996, in Montreal, where he acted as a Global Capital Market Analyst for one of the largest institutional asset managers. Martin then undertook various roles in the fields of investment product engineering, marketing, communication and business development.

In 2007, he moved to Toronto to subsequently head the defined-contribution (DC) and defined-benefit (DB) investment practices of two investment managers. In addition to his role with Proteus, Martin sits on the CPBI Ontario Regional Council and is a member of the Association of Canadian Pension Management as well as the International Foundation.

Martin earned his CFA designation in 2000 and is a member of both the Toronto CFA Society and the Montreal CFA society.

Julie-Ann Ruchkall

Julie-Ann Ruchkall

CPBI Manitoba Region
Senior Account Manager, Group Benefits, Great-West Life

Julie-Ann Ruchkall is a Senior Account Manager with Great-West Life. Julie-Ann has been with Great-West Life for over 26 years. Most of her career has been spent in the Group Benefits Division. This includes several years in Group Insurance Underwriting. In her current role, Julie-Ann is responsible for sales and ongoing service on Major Accounts. This involves helping her clients understand their benefit needs and expectations, preparing financials and renewal reports as well as keeping them informed on new product/service developments.

Julie-Ann has been associated with CPBI for many years and has served on Council as Chair, Membership and Marketing for the last two years. As well she has been an active member of the Golf committee.

John Hallett

John Hallett

CPBI Saskatchewan Region
Assistant Director, Pension Programs, Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA) 

John is the Assistant Director, Pension Programs and oversees the daily operations of eight pension plans and one annuity fund.One plan is the largest defined contribution pension plan by assets in Canada, while another, a defined benefit is listed in the Top 100 Pension Plans by Benefits Canada.

John has almost 40 years’ experience in all facets of the pension industry. His career began at Crown Life Insurance Company in 1973 and in 2002 he joined the Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA).Since then, John has been actively involved in the development of a number of new initiatives for the pension plans. These initiatives have been centered around providing improved and new customer services and maximizing administrative efficiencies. He has attained the Pension Plan Administration Certificate from Humber College.

John has been actively involved in the CPBI Saskatchewan council for the last 10 years. In the last year he was Chair of the Professional Development Program Committee, which combined the efforts of two previous committees – Programs and Education.During the past year a full slate of breakfast/lunch sessions were conducted, plus Benefits Beyond the Basics was presented and Pensions Beyond the Basics is under development. The committee has also been actively involved in offering Humber College’s Pension Plan Administration Certificate courses locally in Regina. John has also been involved in the Regional Conference Committee for the last few years. He has been actively involved in finding a variety of speakers on various topics for both the conference and sessions throughout the year. In the past he has also participated in council sessions as a presenter, moderator and host.

Linda Lockwood

Linda Lockwood, CHRP

CPBI Southern Alberta Region
Human Resources Generalist, Lockwood Consulting

Linda Lockwood has worked as a Human Resources Generalist for over 16 years. Her employment history has been predominantly with the exploration and producing sector of the oil & gas industry working with Mission Oil and Gas, Dolomite Energy and The Wiser Oil Company. Most recently Linda worked for the service side of oil and gas with Leader Energy Services. Linda has spent her career building and maintaining healthy employee relations. She has taken a special interest in policy development. Her areas of responsibility have included: benefits, pension, compensation, performance management, learning and development, employee relations, payroll, records, orientation, recruitment and retention.

Linda put her professional career aside in the fall of 2008 to stay at home and raise her daughter and contribute to volunteer interests.

Linda joined CPBI in 2003, became a council member in 2005 and at that time was a member of the Communications and Membership Committee. Linda moved on to co-chair the Finance Committee in 2005 and was Co-Treasurer. Linda continued in her position in the Finance Committee and then took over as Treasurer in 2010. To date, Linda continues to be a council member and Regional Treasurer. Linda volunteered for the Forum in 2009 for the Venue Committee and the Finance Committee. Linda has been a volunteer at the Regional Conference in 2005, 2010 and for the upcoming Alberta Regional Conference in May 2013 for the Venue Committee and Finance Committee.

Bob Thiessen

Bob Thiessen

CPBI Northern Alberta Region
Associate Partner, Aon Hewitt

Bob Thiessen is an actuary and vice president with Aon Hewitt in Edmonton. Bob has served on the Northern Alberta Regional Council since 2000. As a member of the Northern Alberta Regional Council, Bob has held various positions including Sponsorship Committee member (2001 to 2005), Chair (2005 to 2010) and Co-Chair (2010 to present). In addition to his formal role on Council, Bob has been a presenter at four Pension Basics series for Northern Alberta in 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010 and a host at three Pension Basics series for Northern Alberta in 2003, 2007 and 2010. He has been a presenter (2011) and host of 12 CPBI Breakfast seminars and served as a member of the Steering Committees for the CPBI Western Regional Conference 2010 and CPBI Forum 2009. Bob is a strong promoter of CPBI, encouraging the development of consistent policies for event pricing, sponsorship, financial management and program development to bring value for CPBI members in northern Alberta.

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