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CPBI Saskatchewan Summer Newsletter

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CPBI Saskatchewan News

Summer Newsletter - July/August 2018

In This Issue

  • Message from the Chairperson    
  • Highlights from the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference "Ignite & Energize: Powering the Future"
  • Celebrating CPBI Membership: Barb Diebel
  • CPBI Membership
  • Welcome to New Council Members 
  • Regional Volunteer of the Year: Alana Shearer-Kleefeld
  • 2018-19 Calendar of Events 
  • 2018-19 Sponsorship Opportunities 
  • 2018-19 CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council & Committees   

Message from the Chairperson

Summer in Saskatchewan, a great place to be because it is filled with rider pride, beautiful sunny days, family time, and social activities. I hope this finds you enjoying all of these things. For the CPBI Council it is a time of planning the 2018/2019 program year. Our hard-working volunteers are already setting up a fantastic schedule of events with top notch speakers and topics! CPBI has a goal to provide quality speakers that will educate our membership and guests in pension and benefits current events, human resource topics, as well as provide an atmosphere of friendship and networking.

The 2017-2018 program year was a huge success! The program year started with a member networking event at the Royal Regina Golf Club, followed by a luncheon or breakfast in both Saskatoon and Regina almost every month until May. These events had topics of high interest, such as, “medical and recreational marijuana in the workplace”, and “the economic forecast for 2018” as well as the Human Rights Commission providing some case studies on pension and benefits court cases in Canada. We enjoyed a wide variety of topics for professionals in the benefits, pensions and human resource sectors of our province. In this newsletter, you will find highlights from another successful spring conference held in Regina, themed “Ignite and Energize: Powering the Future”. We had such a great time networking and being educated, we forgot it was about work!!

I hope you will join us by becoming a member of CPBI and enjoying the discounted price for these fabulous events. They provide learning and networking with people in your field of business. If you have questions about membership please don’t hesitate to contact CPBI. We would be happy to explain the benefits! It really is the best of both worlds, work and friendship.

Dara Sewell-Zumstien  


CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council


Highlights from the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference "Ignite & Energize: Powering the Future"

CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council hosted its 8th annual conference Ignite & Energize: Powering the Future at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Regina on April 17, 18 & 19, 2018. The conference began with an entertaining evening event that challenged conference delegates to be open to the powers of a positive mindset; while enjoying a few laughs from our special guest speaker.

Throughout the remainder of the conference, delegates had lots of opportunities to hear engaging speakers, be energized with new knowledge and insights, and network with colleagues old and new. From a panel discussion on communications and engaging employees; breakout sessions on supporting positive mental health, legal updates, and alternative investment strategies; to special guests who shared heart-pounding adventures and an important reminder to pay attention to what matters most - this year’s conference left delegates energized and entertained!

The conference agenda was altered this year to include 6 breakout sessions each in the Pension and Benefits streams. Experts from each industry provided in-depth knowledge on a variety of relevant topics in both the Pension and Benefits industries including; changes in retirement, disability accommodations, drug plan sustainability, and investment beliefs. 

"Energize Your Organization's Future Communications"

Moderator: John Hallett

Panelists: Katherine Strutt, Trevor Davis, Troy Milnthorp


Leon Ferguson of Bridges Health discussed "Creating Customer Centric Cultures" with Kelley Orban, Conference Chair. 


Darci Lang motivated, energized, and inspired attendees to "Focus on the 90%".


Thank you!

Events like this would not be possible if it were not for the support of a lot of people including our sponsors. We would once again like to thank the following organizations for their sponsorship support:

2018 Conference Sponsors





          The Co-operators

          Sun Life Financial             

          Lawson Lundell  

          Greystone Managed Investments

          Morneau Shepell

          RBC Investor & Treasury Services


Desjardins Insurance  

Saskatchewan Blue Cross 



Benefits and Pensions Monitor      


iA Financial Group  



Franklin Templeton Institutional

Homewood Health 


Russell Investments

We would also like to extend our appreciation to Joe Hornyak, Executive Editor of Benefits and Pension Monitor (BPM) magazine, who attended the conference for his 8th consecutive year, and who wrote and published highlights about our conference. The recognition and participation that our event receives each year is due in part to the wonderful coverage that Joe provides through highlights and articles he writes in this distinguished national publication.

A big ‘Thank You’ goes to all Council members who served on the Conference Planning Committee for their countless hours and efforts in preparing for the conference. This includes special recognition to Kelley Orban for accepting the role as Chair of the Conference Planning Committee. Without the commitment of these individuals, this event would not have been the success that it was.

Lastly, we would like to thank all of you for supporting our event for the 8th year in a row. It is the generosity of our sponsors, speakers, members, and conference attendees that not only allows us to host events like this conference, but more importantly makes them successful.

 Photo Credits: Ray Parsley, Narinder Kempa, and Karen Lovelace 


Celebrating CPBI Membership: Barb Diebel

To celebrate CPBI membership, the CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council would like to recognize Barb Diebel for being a CPBI member for over 20 years. Barb is Manager of Pension Programs at the Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA). We invited her to share her experience with and thoughts about CPBI, and here is what she had to say.

"CPBI offers a great learning opportunity to keep on top of industry trends and learn from experts in their specific niche of pensions or benefits.

I have attended Humber College PPAC and ACAP courses provided through CPBI, Regional and National Conferences, Webinars and Luncheons and they are professionally organized and delivered. CPBI also provides Continuing Education Credits towards my annual CPA requirements.

The luncheon atmosphere provides an opportunity for administrators, with a common interest and goal of making our industry the best it can be, to discuss trends and issues impacting our clients.

Thanks to the numerous CPBI organizers that provide this learning opportunity for others to better themselves and help their clients, and in turn make a difference!"

Barb concluded her thoughts with the following quote:

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford

The CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council would like to extend its sincere thanks and heartfelt appreciation to Barb Diebel and the Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA) for their ongoing support of the CPBI Saskatchewan region!


CPBI Membership

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

Purchase your 2019 CPBI Membership now and receive a complimentary CPBI membership for the remainder of 2018.

Click on the following for details:


Welcome to New Council Members!

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

Peter Gruening

Peter Gruening started his pension and benefit career in Winnipeg with an entry-level term position with the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund. After a couple of career moves in Manitoba, Peter made a career move to Edmonton as the Executive Administrator of a fairly large DB pension and group benefits plan. Five years later he moved to Saskatoon, where he currently is the Pension and Benefits Manager of Federated Co-operatives Limited.

Peter has found through his career there have been two constants; one the need for continuing education and two the ability to network with like-minded individuals working in pension and benefits. Peter has found his membership with CPBI to be a great resource in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, providing him with very affordable access to continuing education and a great group of his peers to network with. We are very pleased that Peter has joined our Saskatchewan regional council! We are confident his career experience and his contacts from other provinces will be a huge asset in providing educational sessions and guidance for the Saskatchewan Regional Council and the CPBI membership.

Sarah Johnston 

Sarah Johnston joined CPBI Saskatchewan in 2018 as a member and a council member. Sarah has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Human Resources, Group Benefits Associate Designation, and Compensation management specialist designation both from University of Dalhousie, as well as other certificates and designations. She has extensive experience working with boards and volunteering her time. She currently works as the VP of Sales and Marketing with GMS but has held many senior level positons in her career. Sarah has been in Benefits for 20 years and has experience as a broker, provider and administrator in the Employer Benefits field. This will bring a well-rounded perspective to the council and we look forward to utilizing her expertise to provide speakers and topics in the benefits, and Human resources field.

Gail Genest 

Gail Genest is no stranger to our council as she has volunteered on the Conference Planning Committee since the Fall of 2015, and played an active role in the 2016 and 2017 conferences. Gail decided to join our regional council team this year and has jumped in with both feet. She is already the chair of the Sponsorship and Membership Committee. Gail has many years of experience in the financial services sector. She is currently the Manager of Business Development for Saskatchewan Pension Plan (SPP). Gail has a business Administration certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and other industry related certificates. She has extensive experience in fundraising and development for non-profit organizations. She will be an asset to our council as her strengths are communication, teaching, organizing, creating, and closing decisions. These are all necessary to operate a successful organization. We are excited to have Gail join our Saskatchewan Regional Council team.

Regional Volunteer of the Year: Alana Shearer-Kleefeld


Every year the CPBI Saskatchewan Region recognizes one of our many volunteers that has contributed their time towards CPBI’s goal to provide quality events that will educate our membership and guests in pension, benefits and human resource topics. Alana Shearer-Kleefeld (left) has for the last 11 years gone above and beyond the expectation of a council member. She has held every position on the executive, at least once and chaired two spring conferences. Alana has been very instrumental in the quality of programs we have been able to provide in Saskatchewan because of her many contacts in the industry. She always steps up and offers to assist, even as a speaker if needed and she gives of her time unconditionally. Alana made being on council fun and productive at the same time. She stepped down this year, and is truly missed. We wish Alana all the best and hope to see her at all the CPBI events in the future.


2018-19 Calendar of Events

       Member Appreciation/Networking Event 

          September 12, 2018 at The Willow on Wascana in Regina.

          Watch for details to be released soon!


     Luncheon/Breakfast Seminars 

          Regina:    DoubleTree by Hilton

               Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Luncheon

               Thursday, November 15, 2018 - Breakfast

               Thursday, January 17, 2019 – Luncheon

               Thursday, February 14, 2019 – Breakfast

               Thursday, March 14, 2019 – Luncheon

               Thursday, May 16, 2019 - Luncheon 

              Saskatoon: Radisson Hotel Saskatoon

               Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, November 14, 2018 – *Breakfast*

               Wednesday, January 16, 2019 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, February 13, 2019 – *Breakfast*

               Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – Luncheon

               Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - Luncheon          


        Pension Plan Administration Certificate (PPAC) 1 

          September 17-21, 2018 in Regina

          Click here for details!

     Benefits, Beyond the Basics 2-Day Seminar
          December 4 & 5, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon

          Click here for details!

     2019 CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference    

          April 9, 10 & 11, 2019 at Radisson Hotel Saskatoon in Saskatoon


     Watch for more exciting details about our 2018-19 Calendar of Events! 

2018-19 Sponsorship Opportunities


CPBI Saskatchewan is pleased to announce our 2018-19 sponsorship program. Once again, this year's sponsorship package is designed to allow you the opportunity to maximize your sponsorship dollars. If you choose the option to sponsor both the 2018-19 program year and the 2019 regional conference, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount if you apply by September 30, 2018. 

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.


2018-19 CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Council & Committees 

Chair: Dara Sewell-Zumstien, Public Employees Benefits Agency  

Vice-Chair:    Vacant

Treasurer: Chad Corbin, Saskatchewan Blue Cross

Secretary: Kelley Orban, Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan

National Board Representative: Doug Volk, Teachers’ Superannuation Commission  

Council Members:

     Sylvia Rempel, University of Saskatchewan  

     Nikki-Lynn McKeague, Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation

     Colette Wagner, Möbius Benefit Administrators Inc. 

     Raymond Parsley, City of Saskatoon General Superannuation Plan 

     Peter Gruening, Federated Co-operatives Limited

     Sarah Johnston, GMS

     Gail Genest, Saskatchewan Pension Plan


Finance Committee

     Chair, Chad Corbin

     Kelley Orban

     Doug Volk

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

Professional Development Programs Committee           

     Chair, Nikki-Lynn McKeague 

     Colette Wagner

     Kelley Orban

     Peter Gruening

     Sherri Welk, The Co-operators

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien  

Governance and Nominating Committee

     Chair, Dara Sewell-Zumstien

     Doug Volk

     Nikki-Lynn McKeague  

     Peter Gruening  


Communications Committee    

     Chair, Syvia Rempel

     Sarah Johnston

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien  

Sponsorship and Membership Committee

     Chair, Gail Genest

     Kelley Orban

     James Dulmage, Möbius Benefit Administrators Inc.

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

Conference Planning Committee

     Chair, Kendra Dumont, Sask. Teachers' Federation

     Vice-Chair, Colette Wagner

     Sylvia Rempel

     Raymond Parsley 

     Gail Genest 

     Sarah Johnston

     Lori Cook, BMA Benefits

     Tami Dove, Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority

     Dara Sewell-Zumstien

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