2022 Agenda

June 22, 2022 | Arcadian Court Toronto | 8:00 am – 5:30 pm ET

8:00 - 8:50 am

Registration and breakfast

8:50 - 9:00 am

Opening remarks from Chairperson

Vinita Jajware

Chief Operating Officer, Enkompass Power and Energy Corp.

9:00 - 9:45 am

Keynote address: The Virtues of Leadership and Success: How to Perform Your Best, Make Your Mark, and Grow

Once a single mom trying to launch a start-up from her garage, Barb Stegemann has built an international brand thanks to intuition, innovation, and smart risk-taking. Stegemann became known to millions of Canadians when she became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture-capital deal on the CBC TV show Dragons’ Den —for The 7 Virtues Beauty. Fast forward, Barb and her company are positively changing lives around the globe and disrupting the beauty industry for the better – and are the #1 top clean + planet positive perfume brand at Sephora! Now she shares her incredible story and hard-earned wisdom, as a CEO who continues to steer The 7 Virtues through both unexpected road bumps and surprising growth.

In this inspiring and thought-provoking talk, Barb equips leaders with the skills they need to face daily challenges and perform at their best. Her message of thoughtful leadership, collaboration, and clearly defined ambition can help individuals find new heights of success, while maintaining the crucial balance of serving others while taking care of ourselves.

Opening remarks:

Atanaska Novakova

Senior Vice President, TD Life and Health Insurance, TD Bank Group


Barb Stegemann

CEO, The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc.

9:45 - 10:05 am

Networking coffee break

10:05 - 10:50 am

Panel: Creating a space for everyone

It takes one leader to start a shift in a company’s culture – to encourage active participation by all members of your team, to build an inclusive culture, and to support the celebration of diversity. This session will highlight effective and innovative strategies for creating a workplace that is both welcoming and empowering – and the prominent role you can play in driving them.

  • Building a supportive environment for both emerging and established leaders in insurance: What does it take?
  • What are the best strategies for crafting a hybrid culture that encourages participation by everyone? 
  • Communication that fosters openness and empowers your team


Terri O’Brien

President & CEO, Équité Association


Jennifer Devereaux

Senior Vice President, Underwriting, Markel Canada

Danah White

Vice President of Personal Lines, Hub International

Colette Taylor

Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sovereign Insurance

Danny Davies

Chief People Officer, Aviva Canada

10:55 - 11:25 am

Panel: Achieving growth and exposure in a hybrid working environment

This session tackles the paradox of flexibility and exposure in this new working environment. As organizations are returning to the office in some capacity, many are also offering more work from home options. With that flexibility, some may be wondering if there are trade-offs to choosing more flexible work opportunities.

  • How are those that take advantage of working from home missing out on key exposure opportunities that could impact their career?
  • How can meaningful exposure to leaders, team management and growth opportunities still be available to those who choose a more flexible work schedule?
  • What types of solutions allow for equitable opportunities for all types of work styles?


Emily Crewe

Divisional Chief Financial Officer, Arch Insurance Canada


Patricia Chiodo

Director, Human Resources, Burns & Wilcox Canada

Mary Giunta

Assistant Vice President, Casualty Auto Manager, Arch Insurance Canada

Deanna Cain

Vice President, Claims, Arch Insurance Canada

11:25 - 11:45 am

Networking coffee break

11:45 - 12:30 pm

Panel: Standing out from the crowd with your personal brand

Every insurance leader needs a strong personal brand that evolves as you advance in your career. It’s a matter of continually crafting and curating the skills and experience that make you, you! In this session, a panel of industry leaders will share advice on how to best articulate your personal brand, in and out of the office, and how it can be the key differentiator in your career.

  • How to make a strong, lasting impression – from the office, in the boardroom, or at your dining room table
  • Improving your digital footprint: leveraging popular social platforms like LinkedIn to market and build your brand
  • Tips for engaging internal sponsors to be your advocates
  • Using your everyday creativity to help you emerge as an authentic leader


Joyce Usher-Mesiano

Vice President, Business Development, Eastern Canada, Westland


Gaby Polanco-Sorto

Head of Purpose & Sustainability, Gore Mutual Insurance Company

Gaurav Upadhya

Global Chief Actuary and Chief Risk Officer, Foresters Financial

Asima Zahid

Director, Market Development, LLoyd’s Canada

Monica Ningen

President & CEO, Swiss Re Canada and the English Caribbean

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch networking break

1:30 - 1:55 pm

Women In Insurance Awards

Presented By:

Jennifer Rochefort

Business Development Director, Business Insurance, Travelers Canada

1:55 - 2:30 pm

Making an impact with emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a key determinant of a successful leader, especially in an ever-evolving insurance industry. The ability to connect emotionally with your team benefits everything from engagement to overall team productivity. This session will feature an EI expert on strategies for leading with empathy and making a meaningful impact within your team

  • What does emotional intelligence look like in the workplace?
  • How can EI play a key role in communication in a virtual office
  • How can you leverage empathy to impact and empower your team?
  • Effective strategies for improving mindfulness and avoiding burnout

Payal Beri

CEO & Founder, RK Empathy

2:35 - 3:20 pm

Panel: A guide to proactive problem-solving

What separates an impactful leader from others is their ability to effectively problem-solve – to communicate transparently, consider the different perspectives and stakeholders, and challenge the status quo. This session will feature industry leaders who will unpack problem-solving in a workplace setting, and practical tips for finding the best solution to any task or project.

  • Building a team culture that considers different stakeholders – both internally and externally
  • What are the six key problem-solving skills all leaders should master?
  • How can you become an effective problem-solver, regardless of your level of leadership?


Brett Boadway

Chief Operating Officer, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario


Adam Mitchell

CEO, Mitch

Maryann Besharat

Vice President, Human Resource, Ontario, Intact Insurance

Daphné de Vitton

CEO, April Canada

Cheryl Fearon

Vice President of Sales, Zensurance

3:20 - 3:40 pm

Networking coffee break

3:40 - 4:25 pm

Panel: Lessons learned from a multigenerational workforce

For the first time, five generations are interacting within the workforce. While it’s easy to focus on potential conflict, there is a unique opportunity for insurance leaders to take advantage of the varied perspectives and experiences each generation offers. This session will feature a panel of different generations who will share their own experiences, and strategies for leveraging diverse thoughts and collaborating effectively.

  • How to incorporate team strategies such as knowledge sharing, clearing defined expectations, and active listening
  • What are we learning right now from each generation?
  • Understanding your team and how it translates to your client base


Heather Matthews

Chief Client Officer, Crawford & Company


Carol Jardine

President, Canadian P&C Operations, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Nicole Burrell

AVP of Broker Distribution, Aviva Canada

Andrew Knight

Senior Vice President, Executive and Professional Lines, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Edwina McKennon

Sales Manager, Western Financial Group

4:30 - 4:50 pm

Closing keynote: Leveraging industry trends

In this session, hear from key industry leader, Celyeste Power, Chief Strategy Officer of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, on some of the most pressing industry trends that are currently shaping the insurance market – and what you need to know to remain an informed and effective leader today.

Celyeste Power

Executive Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives and Advocacy, Insurance Bureau of Canada

4:50 pm

Closing remarks from Chairperson

Vinita Jajware

Chief Operating Officer, Enkompass Power and Energy Corp.

4:50 - 5:50 pm

Networking and drinks reception

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