Virtual Symposium West: Clearing Our Vision for the Future

Untitled Document

When: August 19 & 20, 2020

Where: Virtually—from home or anywhere


Symposium West is an annual event hosted by insurance professionals in the Southwestern Ontario, Hamilton/Niagara and Conestoga chapters of the Insurance Institute of Ontario. It brings together bright minds to give talks that are idea-focused on a wide range of subjects. The shared goal is to foster learning, inspiration and wonder, and provoke conversations that matter.

"This was my 3rd time attending and every year I am impressed with the quality of this event"
- 2019 Symposium West Attendee


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Symposium West Schedule

Day 1: August 19
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. EDT   Session A: Climate risks in the time of COVID-19
2:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT Break
2:30 - 3:45 p.m. EDT Session B: Lessons from a Pandemic: Adapting insurance products for a new era
Day 2: August 20
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Session C: The Secret to Making Your Organization Magnetic
1:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT Break
1:30 - 2:45 p.m. EDT Session D: Lessons from a Pandemic: Building Organizational Resiliency
2:45 - 3:15 p.m. EDT Break 
3:15 - 4:30 p.m. EDT Session E: Tackling the Talent Crunch: Positioning an Organization to Gain & Retain Top Talent


Session A: August 19, 12:30 - 2 p.m. EDT

Climate risk leadership in the time of COVID-19
The novel coronavirus has shifted societal, governmental, and personal priorities. How do climate risks fit into this evolving new order? The pandemic has revealed some surprising parallels to the climate change crisis, and there are lessons to learn, new considerations to evaluate, and new actions to explore. Join Paul Kovacs, author of the Institute's 2020 Climate Risks Report, as he presents the research findings and moderates a discussion exploring what climate leadership looks like for the P&C insurance industry in Canada.


Paul Kovacs

Paul Kovacs - Senior Researcher, Insurance Institute of Canada, Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Donna Ince

Donna Ince - Senior Vice-President, Personal Lines, RSA Canada

Carol Jardine Headshot

Carol Jardine -President, Canadian P&C Operations, Wawanesa Insurance

Headshot of Patrick Barbeau

Patrick Barbeau - Senior Vice-President, Claims, Intact Insurance

Session B: August 19, 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. EDT

Lessons from a Pandemic: Adapting insurance products for a new era
COVID-19 has been a catalyst for constructive dialogue and positive change in our industry. In this session, you’ll hear from industry leaders as they reflect on how coverages and claims have been impacted, and what changes and challenges remain for the future. You’ll also explore the possibility of political intervention on products and wordings in the future.


Chris Floyd Headshot

Chris Floyd -President of Individual Insurance Services, OTIP

Joseph Carnevale Headshot

Joseph Carnevale - President, Brokers Trust

Symposium Speaker

Jordan Brennan - Vice President, Policy, Insurance Bureau of Canada


Session C: August 20, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EDT

Keynote: The Secret to Making Your Organization Magnetic 
Hugh is an author, public speaker, and advisor to some of Canada’s most successful leaders. He has a reputation for making complex ideas simple and easy to understand. In this keynote, Hugh will explore the structures of high performing work culture and how to implement them for your team.

Hugh MacPhie Headshot

Hugh MacPhie, Author, Public Speaker, Business Consultant


Session D: August 20, 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. EDT

Lessons from a Pandemic: Building Organizational Resiliency
In this dynamic session, our expert panel will challenge you to think about your organization, ask important questions and review the “customer journey map” from end-to-end. You will be provided with tips on how to generate organizational alignment that supports collaboration, prioritization, and ultimately serve the customer better.


Barbra Anne Vaspori

Barbra Anne Vaspori - Vice President, Ontario Municipal Practice Leader, Marsh, Public Entities and Education Practice

Steven Moro Headshot

Steven Moro - Vice President, Insurance Operations, HUB Customer Central

Symposium Speaker

Diana Giancola - Business Continuity Management Advisor, Intact Financial

Session E: August 20, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m. EDT

Tackling the Talent Crunch: Positioning an Organization to Gain & Retain Top Talent
The global pandemic has sent businesses and our economy into a tailspin. Yet, in our industry the battle of existing and new talent still exists. This session will explore what the search for talent could look like during the economic downtown, and strategies for how businesses can attract the thinly spread top talent and grow from within.


David Leadbetter Headshot

David Leadbetter - President, Lawrie Insurance Group

Jodi Marner Headshot

Jodi Marner - Director of Human Resources & Employee Experience, Gore Mutual

John McNeil Headshot

John McNeil - Program Coordinator & Full-time Professor, Humber College

Trevor Buttrum Headshot

Trevor Buttrum - Manager, Career Connections, IIC (Moderator)


Thank you to our sponsors


Event Sponsors:

BCM Insurance Company Logo

Crawford and Company Logo

Curo Claims Services Logo

Economical Insurance Logo

Gore Mutual Logo

Halwell Mutual Insurance Logo

Heartland Farm Mutual Logo

Lambton Mutual Insurance Company Logo

MNP Logo on green background

OTIP and RAEO Logo

South Easthope Mutual Insurance

Trillium Mutual Insurance Company Logo

TW Insurance Brokers Logo



Session Sponsors:

Ayr Farmers Mutual Insurance Company Logo

Cognition+ Logo

Dumfries Mutual Insurance Company Logo

Kent & Essex Mutual Insurance Logo

Middlesex Mutual Insurance Co. Logo

The Ostic Group Logo

Town and Country Mutual Insurance Logo

West Wawanosh Mutual Insurance Company Logo