Behind the scenes of CPBI Regional Council of Ontario - Teena Dawson


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Behind the scenes of CPBI Regional Council of Ontario - Teena Dawson


An interview with our Regional Council Member Teena Dawson

Teena Dawson is a Senior Education Advisor at Desjardins Insurance, and a Member of the Regional Council of CPBI Ontario since May 2017


Teena has been in the financial services industry for almost 35 years and is in her 13th year with Desjardins Insurance.  She has completed many financial and pension industry courses and has obtained the Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS. 

Teena is one of our senior volunteers and we celebrate her 10th anniversary at CPBI this year. Food lover, passionate about cats and about giving back to the community, she volunteers with a variety of non-for-profits for different causes.

She is very sociable and is great at making volunteers, fellow colleagues and delegates feel welcomed at any networking occasion: she is the star of CPBI Ontario conferences and golf tournaments and can't wait to be back at the links for our Fall golf tournament!

InterviewerTeena, how and why did you get started in this industry?

Teena:  I started in the financial services industry in my late 20s as the assistant to the VP of Marketing with a small mutual fund company.  At the time, it was just a job to me.  The company started a Group RRSP product and the VP asked me if I wanted to be involved.  I had no idea at that point what an RRSP was, but she was excited about it, so I said “yes”.  More than 30 years later, it’s not “just a job” and has turned into a career in which I’ve done it all … marketing, administration, communication, and education.

Interviewer:  How long have you been involved with CPBI and what do you enjoy most about your involvement with CPBI, Teena?

Teena:  I started volunteering with CPBI in November 2012 on the Ontario regional conference entertainment committee.  I wanted to get more involved in the retirement industry and helping to plan the Ontario CPBI conferences fit well with my personality, skill set and interests.  I became chair of the entertainment committee in January 2017 and co-chair of the 2019 conference and COVID-cancelled 2020 conference.  I’ve been a council member since May 2017.  I enjoy being involved with CPBI because I’m interacting with others who care about retirement and financial services and want to make a difference.

InterviewerCan you tell us about yourself and your role at Desjardins Insurance?

Teena:  I am a Senior Education Advisor in group retirement benefits and am responsible for guiding plan participants via seminars, webinars, and one-on-ones throughout all stages of their retirement planning process – from plan implementation to ongoing education and support. My goal is to encourage participants to be engaged and have them play an active role in their retirement plan. 

Interviewer:  What is the best part of your role, Teena?

Teena:  The best part of my role is interacting with plan participants … helping them understand the retirement plan that is being offered by their employer, how they can maximize it to the fullest and make appropriate investment decisions as they prepare for their retirement, regardless of how close or far away that may be.

Interviewer:  What is one of the most exciting things that you see going on in the retirement plan space right now?

Teena:  Because I work closely with retirement plan participants, I see different levels of knowledge and comfort levels.  Employers providing retirement plans want to give their employees choices but shouldn’t make it too complicated.  Investments options like target date funds and lifecycle paths have made investing for retirement easy and can provide plan participants with the comfort of knowing they are investing appropriately while having an expert investment team make the decisions for them. 

Interviewer:  Thank you for your time, Teena, it was a pleasure speaking with you.


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