CPBI Saskatchewan Summer Newsletter


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CPBI Saskatchewan Summer Newsletter

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CPBI Saskatchewan News

Summer Newsletter - July/August 2019

In This Issue

  • Message from the Chairperson     
  • Highlights from the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference "Today's Vision: Tomorrow's Reality" 
  • Welcome to New Council Members 
  • Farewell to Departing Council Members
  • Regional Volunteer of the Year: Sylvia Rempel
  • 2019-20 Calendar of Events 
  • CPBI Membership
  • 2019-20 Sponsorship Opportunities  
  • 2019-20 CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council & Committees    

Message from the Chairperson

Welcome to 2019/2020 Program year! The summer is here and I hope this finds you enjoying it!!! I would like to start by highlighting our 2018/2019 program year.

We kicked off last fall with a member appreciation at The Willow in Regina, and although it was cool, the attendees enjoyed it. We held a luncheon in October to highlight a healthcare survey done by Sanofi Canada, followed by a breakfast in November discussing the challenges facing Defined Contribution plan sponsors on engaging their membership presented by Mercer. In December, we offered a two day seminar called “Benefits, Beyond the Basics", that was very helpful for people wishing to pursue the CEBS designation. We had very positive responses from the participants of these events.

As usual, we started off the New Year with an economic forecast luncheon in January that is always well attended! This year, it was presented by MFS Investment Management. The February breakfast on trends behind life and disability claims was presented by The Co-operators, followed by a March luncheon highlighting Institutional Investment strategies by Russell Investments. Again, excellent feedback was received on content and speakers.

Our 9th Annual Regional Conference was held in Saskatoon, which saw record attendance and received outstanding feedback from the attendees on the content and professionalism of the event. We closed our program year with a May luncheon highlighting Morneau Shepell’s annual "Trends in Human Resources" survey.

CPBI’s annual plan is to keep you engaged as well as encourage you to invite others to these great events throughout the year! Our membership and our sponsorship are what makes our events successful and according to our survey feedback, we “knocked it out of the park” again this year! Thank you for a great 2018/2019 program year!

Council is well into planning the 2019/2020 program year. We will have breakfast and/or luncheon events throughout the fall and winter months, and in the spring, we will hold our 10th Annual Regional Conference. I am confident these events will be filled with speakers to motivate and educate you on pension, benefits, human resources, and current events topics in your industry, all while providing an atmosphere conducive to connecting with industry experts. You won’t want to miss out on these great educational opportunities and potential continuing education credits for your designations!

I will close with a BIG THANK YOU to our council members and volunteer committee members. We have an amazing group of pension, benefits and HR professionals that provide you with these events all while working in their career and participating in other activities throughout their year. If you happen to see someone from our team please give them a pat on the back for a job well done! WAY TO GO TEAM SASK! If you are interested in volunteering please contact someone from our council and we would be happy to answer your questions. Thank you for your continued support to the CPBI Saskatchewan Region!

Dara Sewell-Zumstien   


CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council


Highlights from the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference "Today's Vision: Tomorrow's Reality"

CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council hosted its 9th annual conference “Today’s Vision: Tomorrow’s Reality” on April 9, 10 & 11, 2019, in Saskatoon. The conference kicked off with an evening dinner event where delegates learned how to take time away from their “busy and overwhelmed” lives in order to try new things and create new stories.

LEFT: Linda Edgecombe, Award-Winning Celebrity Humorist, Motivational Speaker, and Change Resilience Strategist.

The first full day of the conference opened with a presentation focused on reconciliation and indigenous engagement. Over lunch, delegates heard a powerful story of mental illness and the path to recovery, and the day ended with an evening networking event featuring a live music performance. Throughout the day, breakout sessions provided delegates with valuable pension and benefit specific information on a variety of topics such as developing clear member communications, pension case law and legislation changes, a panel discussion on post traumatic stress disorder, the emotional roller coaster of retirement, and developments in digital healthcare.

LEFT: Victoria Maxwell, Actress and Writer, Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, and Psychosis. "Funny, You Don't Look Crazy: A Story about Mental Illness and Returning to Work".

On the second day of the conference, pension and benefit breakout sessions continued, and the morning keynote brought light to the struggles and settlement challenges for newcomers to Canada. The conference closed with an emotional story about the Fort McMurray wild fires, and how the first responders united together as one team to lead the largest evacuation in Canadian history with no loss of life.

LEFT: Darby Allen, Fort McMurray's Fire Chief (Ret), Motivational and Crisis Leadership Speaker.

Crestwood featuring Sam Mitchell, Steven Maier, and Gent Laird. 

Networking during the Reception while Crestwood performed.

Committee with Darby Allen.

Left to right: Dara Sewell-Zumstien, Sylvia Rempel, Lori Cook, Sarah Johnston, Darby Allen, Kendra Dumont, Karen Lovelace (Administrator), Gail Genest.

Thank you!

The entire conference was packed with engaging speakers, powerful information, and plenty of time for networking and fun. And of course, an event like this would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, and the amazing support from our sponsors. A special thank you goes out to the conference planning committee for their countless hours and efforts in planning and preparing for the conference. And once again, we would like to thank and acknowledge the following organizations who provided their sponsorship support for this year’s conference:

2019 Conference Sponsors


        Saskatchewan Blue Cross


        MFS Investment Management



        CIBC Mellon


        The Co-operators



Lawson Lundell LLP 

Sun Life Financial

Desjardins Insurance

Russell Investments

Cidel Asset Management

Morneau Shepell 




RBC Investor & Treasury Services




iA Financial Group




Benefits and Pensions Monitor 



Act Audiovisual

A big thank you also goes out to our special guests who once again took the time to attend our conference this year: Peter Casquinha, CEO of CPBI, and Joe Hornyak, Executive Editor of Benefits and Pension Monitor (BPM) magazine. We appreciate your continued support!

Lastly, we would like to thank all of our delegates for attending this year’s conference! Mark your calendars for the 10th annual conference in Regina on April 21-23, 2020. We hope to see you there!

Photo Credits: Sarah Johnston, Dara Sewell-Zumstien, Kendra Dumont, Karen Lovelace

Welcome to New Council Members!

CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council is pleased to introduce our new Council Members.   

Randy W. Lewis 

Randy W. Lewis is President of Lewis Consulting. A graduate of the University of Alberta, he served in the Insurance industry for over 36 years, 21 of those years with major Insurers before forming Lewis Consulting in 2004. Randy has successfully built relationships with clients that share a desire to be innovative. His clients understand that the key to benefit cost leadership lies with intelligent plan design, comprehensive claiming metrics, and employee empowerment and wellness. Randy is no stranger to CPBI Saskatchewan as this is his second stint on Council, previously serving from 2004 to 2006 where Randy was the Program Committee Chair, assisted in conducting the Benefits, Beyond the Basics seminar, and has spoken at the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference. He is an active adventure cyclist, skier, and a Professional Rodeo Photographer on weekends. Married to Amanda for over 35 years, they have a 26 year old daughter and a loveable but sometimes annoying dog. We are very pleased to welcome Randy back on the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council.

Sherri Welk   

Sherri Welk is the Saskatchewan Account Executive at The Co-operators Group Benefits. She has spent the past 25 years in the employee benefits marketplace with several insurance companies, including 12 years as an Employee Benefits Consultant. Sherri started getting involved with CPBI last year by volunteering on the Professional Development Programs Committee as well as being a presenter at CPBI Saskatchewan’s Benefits, Beyond the Basics seminar this past December. Sherri has also been an active member of Advocis and held almost every position on that Executive ranging from Program Chair to Treasurer and President. With her background and experience, it’s easy to see Sherri is no stranger to the industry association council and committee work. CPBI Saskatchewan is pleased to have her industry expertise on our Council as she looks forward to volunteering as the Chair of the Sponsorship and Membership Committee. Sherri is excited to meet new and existing members of CPBI.

James Dulmage   

James Dulmage joined CPBI Saskatchewan in 2018 as a member of the Sponsorship & Membership Committee. James has a number of professional designations including Certified Employee Benefit Specialist from Dalhousie University and Fellow, Life Management Institute from Life Office Management Association. He has several years of experience working in financial services which includes group benefits, payroll, and retirement. He currently works as a Business Systems Analyst for Möbius Benefit Administrators. Prior to this, he worked at the Ministry of Finance for three years and Great-West Financial for eight years. We are excited to have James bring his wealth of knowledge to the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council, from his various roles over the last 13 years.

Pamela Peters

Pam Peters joined CPBI Saskatchewan in 2019 as a Council member and committee member. Pam began her pension career at SHEPP in May of 2017 as the Manager, Corporate Finance. Pam is a Chartered Professional Accountant, has earned a Project Management Certificate from the University of Regina, and is an appointed Notary Public as well as various other accreditations. Pam has over 20 years of accounting experience working at the Federal and Provincial government levels as well as private industry experience with a variety of roles in finance, external and internal audit, corporate services, budgeting and procurement. We welcome Pam on the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council and greatly appreciate her taking on the role of Treasurer.

Kelly Snowden

Kelly Snowden has been involved in pensions and benefits since 2000. She started her career in Prince Albert as an employee representative on a joint employee-employer pension committee and provided pension members with information on their pension. She moved to Regina to work as an employer level contact for the administration of the Public Employees’ Pension Plan with PEBA. Currently she is working as a senior policy analyst at the Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA). Kelly has completed the Pension Plan Administration Certificate, Foundations of Trust Management Standards, Advanced Trust Management Standards, Master of Trust Management Standards, and is currently completing a Master’s Certificate in Public Policy Analysis. Kelly’s focus on education and life-long learning will be an asset and we look forward to her participation and expertise on the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council team.

Lori Cook

Lori Cook is Client Relationship Supervisor at BMA Benefits Division in Saskatoon. She joined CPBI Saskatchewan in 2018 as a member of the Conference Planning Committee. We greatly appreciate her taking on the role of Secretary on Council this year, as well as joining additional committees. Lori's energy, enthusiasm, and benefits expertise are most welcome on Council.

Bobbee-Jo Wood

Bobbee-Jo Wood joins Council this year and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience! As the Manager of Sales for GMS, Bobbee is responsible for the development and delivery of sales strategies for all GMS product, as well as, manages customer relations, supports product development, and maintains key GMS relationships within the insurance industry. Bobbee-Jo learned the insurance business starting as a broker responsible for multiple insurance lines at small agencies in her home province of Manitoba and continued to increase her knowledge through her education with multiple industry courses. She joined Saskatchewan Blue Cross where she developed an in-depth knowledge of the insurance provider side of the business before her move to GMS. Bobbee-Jo is an active volunteer at community events such as the GMS Queen City Marathon. We are excited to have such a diverse and knowledgeable member of the insurance provider industry on the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council.


Farewell to Departing Council Members

CPBI Saskatchewan would like to thank the following departing members of our Council for their years of service and valuable contributions to our Region. Their time, effort, and expertise contributed to the success of our Council and Region. They will be missed.

Sylvia Rempel, Senior Benefits Specialist, University of Saskatchewan - 8 years.

Kelley Orban, Chief People Officer, Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees' Pension Plan – 4 years.

Nikki-Lynn McKeague, Human Resources Advisor, West Wind Aviation - 3 years.

Colette Wagner, Senior Investment Analyst, Möbius Benefit Administrators Inc. - 2 years.

Chad Corbin, Employee Benefits Specialist, Saskatchewan Blue Cross - 2 years.


Regional Volunteer of the Year: Sylvia Rempel 


Dara Sewell-Zumstien, Chair of CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council (left) presented the volunteer award to Sylvia Rempel (right).

Every year, the CPBI Saskatchewan Region recognizes one of its many volunteers who have contributed their time and talents towards CPBI’s goal: to provide quality events for our Region to educate our membership and guests in pension, benefits, investments, and human resource related topics. At the April 2019 Saskatchewan Regional Conference, CPBI recognized a long serving member of its Saskatchewan Council, Sylvia Rempel. Sylvia is a Senior Benefit Specialist at the University of Saskatchewan and has been a CPBI member since 2004, joining the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council in 2011. During her time on Council, Sylvia has contributed a great deal of time and effort "behind the scenes" towards the success of CPBI Saskatchewan's events, programming, and communications. She has served as Chair of the Communications Committee, Co-Chair of the Professional Development Programs Committee in addition to serving on the busiest committee, Conference Planning for several years. Sylvia has been instrumental in researching and engaging many of the speakers and topics we have enjoyed at our luncheons and conferences, including the two morning keynote sessions at this past year's conference. You will recognize Sylvia as a frequent MC at Saskatoon luncheons as well as the smiling face helping with the microphone fielding questions for speakers from attendees at the Regional Conferences. Sylvia’s friendly personality and consistent commitment has directly impacted the growth and success of the CPBI Saskatchewan Region. After 8 years, Sylvia is stepping down from Council and she will be missed. Next time you see Sylvia at a CPBI event, please extend your appreciation to Sylvia for all her valuable contributions to the Saskatchewan Region over the many years she served on your Council.


2019-20 Calendar of Events

        Member Appreciation Social

               Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

               Birmingham's Vodka & Ale House, Saskatoon

               Click here for details and to register!


       Luncheon/Breakfast Seminars - Mark your calendar!   

            Regina:     DoubleTree by Hilton

               Thursday, October 17, 2019 – Luncheon

               Thursday, November 14, 2019 - Breakfast

               Thursday, January 16, 2020 – Luncheon

               Thursday, February 13, 2020 – Breakfast

               Thursday, March 19, 2020 – Luncheon

               Thursday, May 21, 2020 - Luncheon 

              Saskatoon: Delta Hotels Saskatoon Downtown

               Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - Luncheon           


         Pension Plan Administration Certificate (PPAC) 2 

               November 25 - 29, 2019 in Regina - SOLD OUT 

               June 1 - 5, 2020 in Regina - SOLD OUT

               For information about the PPAC Program, please click here. To be added to a

               waiting list, please email Karen Lovelace at [email protected]


       Administration of Capital Accumulation Plans (ACAP) 1 

               February 24 - 28, 2020 in Regina 

               Only a few spots left so register now!

               Click here for details and to register!

       Pensions, Beyond the Basics 2-Day Seminar 
               March 4 & 5, 2020 at DoubleTree by Hilton in Regina


       10th Annual CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference     

               April 21, 22 & 23, 2020 at the Hotel Saskatchewan in Regina.

               Prepare to join us in the celebration of 10 years of successful conferences!


     Watch for more exciting details about our 2019-20 Calendar of Events! 


CPBI Membership

Choose to be part of the largest community in the industry! Sharpen your skills and expand your professional network!

Purchase your 2020 CPBI Membership now and receive a complimentary CPBI membership for the remainder of 2019.

Click on the following for details:


2019-20 Sponsorship Opportunities


Our 10th annual regional conference is coming up on April 21, 22 & 23, 2020, and we will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate 10 years of successful conferences in Saskatchewan! We hope you will join us in the celebration by becoming a sponsor.

The CPBI Saskatchewan sponsorship package is designed to allow you the opportunity to maximize your sponsorship dollars. If you choose the option to sponsor both the 2019-20 program year and the 2020 regional conference, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount if you apply by September 30, 2019. 

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to promote your brand to a diverse group of benefits, pension, investment and human resource professionals in the Saskatchewan region. With the various sponsorship packages available, your company has the flexibility to achieve its marketing objectives and stay within budget. Each package guarantees you excellent and ongoing recognition building up to and during the events.

The success of our programs and conferences is credited largely to our sponsors who lend their names and financial support. Join us for another exciting year of educational and promotional opportunities.

Click here to download the Sponsorship Brochure and Application Form.


2019-20 CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council & Committees 

Chair: Dara Sewell-Zumstien, Public Employees Benefits Agency   

Vice-Chair: Vacant

Treasurer: Pamela Peters, Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees' Pension Plan

Secretary: Lori Cook, BMA Benefits Division

National Board Representative: Doug Volk, Teachers’ Superannuation Commission   

Council Members:

     Peter Gruening, Federated Co-operatives Limited 

     Sarah Johnston, GMS

     Gail Genest, Saskatchewan Pension Plan

     Randy W. Lewis, Lewis Consulting

     Sherri Welk, The Co-operators

     James Dulmage, Möbius Benefit Administrators Inc.

     Kelly Snowden, Public Employees Benefits Agency

     Bobbee-Jo Wood, GMS

Finance Committee

     Chair, Pamela Peters

     Randy Lewis

     Lori Cook

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

Professional Development Programs Committee            

     Chair, Peter Gruening 

     Randy Lewis

     Sherri Welk

     James Dulmage

     Bobbee-Jo Wood

     Allison Nystrom, Saskatchewan

         Healthcare Employees' Pension Plan

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien   

Governance and Nominating Committee

     Chair, Dara Sewell-Zumstien

     Doug Volk

     Peter Gruening

     Sarah Johnston 

     Kelly Snowden   

Communications Committee    

     Chair, Kelly Snowden

     Doug Volk

     Gail Genest

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien      

Sponsorship and Membership Committee 

     Chair, Sherri Welk

     Gail Genest

     James Dulmage

     Bobbee-Jo Wood

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

Conference Planning Committee

     Chair, Gail Genest

     Vice-Chair, Lori Cook

     Randy Lewis

     Pamela Peters

     Bobbee-Jo Wood

     Jessica Kreutzer, Public Employees Benefits


     Barbara Kook, Saskatchewan Teachers'


     Wanda Boehmer-Schidlowsky, Saskatchewan

         Teachers' Federation

     Michael Carss, Saskatchewan Blue Cross

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

Strategic Planning Committee    

     Chair, Sarah Johnston

     Peter Gruening

     Sherri Welk

     Kelly Snowden

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien  


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