Bruno Dragani is a value-based leader with 25 years of financial co-operative experience. He serves as an executive for Coastal Community Credit Union and holds the Chief People & Administration Officer position. His areas of oversight include Information Technology, Human Resources, Centralized Operations, and Premises. He has been instrumental in leveraging people and technology to create strategies and programs that support the credit union.
Mr. Dragani holds a Master in Business Administration from Royal Roads University (MBA) and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and he is currently completing the (ICD) Institute of Corporate Directors designation. He serves as a director for the Nanaimo Port Theater and is a past chair for Community Futures Central Vancouver Island. He has also volunteered for the Canadian Co-operatives Association internationally and has served in Mongolia and Indonesia.
As Chief Strategy & Market Growth Officer, Paul leads the design, execution and ongoing evolution of First West Credit Union’s strategy. While his role encompasses all areas of the organization, he directly oversees functions relating to brand engagement, product and pricing, operations and first line business compliance. Drawing on an extensive background in wealth management and strategic leadership, he uses a collaborative approach to define, plan and marshal the credit union’s resources and teams to implement enterprise-level priorities that align to First West’s vision and its foundational “why”—to help its members and communities thrive.
Since joining First West in 2015 as the Vice-President of Wealth Management and Commercial Banking in the Valley First division, Paul has played a key role in leading First West’s cultural shift towards becoming an industry leader in wealth management services and providing comprehensive financial advice for members and clients across all stages of their lives. He was appointed to oversee wealth management across the entire organization in 2019, leading the team to develop and implement a five-year wealth growth strategy that has already significantly improved the credit union’s members’ access to expert financial advice.
Before joining First West, Paul held positions with Alterna Savings Credit Union (Qtrade Financial Group) and CIBC where he successfully increased employee retention and oversaw improvements in internal resources and training. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Wilfrid Laurier University. He also holds Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) and Responsible Investment Specialist (RIS) designations, and has earned a Certificate in Advanced Leadership from the UBC Sauder School of Business.
An active member of his local community, Paul currently works with the Central Okanagan Bursary & Scholarship Society in addition to his position on the Aviso Member Experience Advisory Board.
Neil Cooper’s analytical mind and focus keep Conexus in the winning column to ensure it is properly equipped for and understands what success looks like. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr.Cooper leads the accounting, finance and treasury functions for Conexus. With a focus on organizational financial sustainability and stewardship, he is willing to make thoughtful, tough decisions for the greater good of Conexus, its members and employees.
Mr. Cooper’s experience in the financial industry is supplemented by a Master of Business Administration Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Saskatchewan. He currently serves on the boards of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and APEX I and II Limited Partnership. He has enjoyed volunteering with the Canadian Co-operative Association, Canadian Cancer Society and MS Society of Canada.
James represented CMC and is board member of UFA since 2014 (United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd.). James began his career after attending Olds College and received a diploma in agriculture. He has been active in the industry for 40 years and along with his wife and son, owns and operates a second generation farm specializing in irrigated crops and purebred cattle.
Jeanette Wakelin is the Director of Product Solutions at Atlantic Central and is responsible for the oversight and execution of product and services strategies supporting over 45 credit unions in Atlantic Canada. Having worked in the financial cooperative sector for more than 30 years, Ms. Wakelin has developed a strong passion for the co-operative way of life.
She has served on the PEI Co-operative Council, the Credit Union National Benefits Committee, the Credit Union National Risk Management Committee, and the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce. She currently is on the National Committee in support of a co-operative financial literacy program and works with over 50 certified trainers in Atlantic Canada.
Ms. Wakelin is a Certified Change Management Practitioner from ADPRO and has a Sales and Service Training Certification from MOHR Development Group, a Performance Management Certification from the Hay Group, and her MBA designation specializing in Human Resource Management. Jeanette was the National Chair of the Children’s Wish Foundation and now serves on its National Board as Chair of the Human Resources Committee.
BEV MAXIM began working with credit unions in Canada in 1972. Throughout the course of her career responsibilities included supervising retail branch operations and providing professional product development and management services to a buying group of 53 credit unions and affiliates in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. She has facilitated strategic planning and enterprise risk assessment for Canadian credit unions as a Business Advisory Consultant for SaskCentral. Most recently, Bev was contracted to work with Innovation Credit Union (SK) in a variety of roles including the successful project to operate as a federal credit union.
Bev has served two terms on the board of directors of a credit union; has served on the board of directors for two national charities; and has chaired numerous national project committees.
She has been an advocate for and supporter of international development as a volunteer for the Co-operative Development Foundation for over 20 years. She has completed multiple assignments in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America as well as leading the curriculum development and classroom learning of the Women’s Mentorship Program for eight years.
Jean-Pierre (JP) Gagnon is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Farm Mutual Re and a strong advocate for the Canadian mutual insurance community.
JP has extensive experience in the property and casualty insurance industry and has held senior leadership roles in actuarial, risk management and underwriting in Canada and France. He was Vice President of Personal Insurance at Travelers Canada from 2010 until joining Farm Mutual Re in 2019.
He was also a founding director on the board of Collectivfide Insurance Group, a broker acquisition company formed by the mutual community.
A number of insurance industry committees have benefitted from JP’s leadership over the years. He was a director at the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS), now part of Equité Association — an industry organization created to help combat insurance fraud; and a member of the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) Ontario Committee.
JP has a bachelor’s degree in actuarial sciences from Laval University and is a Fellow of both the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
Jack Wilkinson joined The Co-operators board in April 2007. He serves as chairperson of the Member and Co-operative Relations, Democratic Structure Review* and Resolutions committees. During his tenure on the board, he has been vice-chairperson and a member of the CEO Search, Sustainability, and Executive committees. He was a delegate to The Cooperators representing the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) from May 2002 to April 2007.
Mr. Wilkinson serves as chair of the Nipissing-Sudbury Co-op and is also The Co-operators representative on the Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada board. He served as president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the International Federation of Agriculture Producers and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
Mr. Wilkinson is self-employed as a grain and oilseed producer on his family farm. He is a retired Captain from the Canadian Armed Forces and the recipient of an Honours Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph.
With over twenty-five years in the credit union system, Ian McArthur has a deep and intimate knowledge of credit unions and an undeniable commitment to the credit union community. Ian McArthur joined Innovation Credit Union in April 2015 and currently holds the role of Chief People & Governance Officer.
In his current role, Ian McArthur is a member of the Executive Team and provides leadership to the functional areas of People, Governance and Strategy. During his 15-plus years at SaskCentral, Ian McArthur gained a wealth of operational experience and earned a reputation for being an innovative leader and trusted and effective facilitator. Mr. McArthur was responsible for credit union operations such as internal audit, risk management, training, operational compliance, deposit and lending support, cash and armoured car services, HR consulting and strategic planning. Ian McArthur has worked with credit union boards and executive teams across Canada.
Ian graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and followed that up with a Fellow of the Credit Union Institute of Canada designation. Through Queen’s University Smith School of Business, he has obtained his Executive Education Certificate in General Management.
Ted Pahl is the Chief Executive Officer at North Peace Savings in Northeast BC. He is responsible for oversight of the credit union, board relations, and key internal/external stakeholder relations. He has over 25 years of working in the credit union system and has worked in credit unions from coast to coast.
Prior to joining North Peace, Ted Pahl was the CEO of credit unions in Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan. Mr. Pahl is an experienced board member serving on such boards as Regional District, Hospital Foundation, League Data, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, he was the chair of the Atlantic Credit Unions CEO advisory board. He was also an active member of the fundraising committee for the Ronald MacDonald Children’s charity in Halifax. Ted Pahl served one term as the Mayor of the town of Warfield in BC and spent 10 years serving as a firefighter.
Mr. Pahl holds a postgraduate certificate in executive coaching from Royal Roads University.
Annie Joyal works as Senior Director, Team Development at the Cooperation Council of Ontario (CCO). Cooperatives and the development of collective enterprises have been close to her heart since she became aware of the cooperative movement during her university studies. She is proud to be able to lead the development efforts of the CCO.
Annie Joyal received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Laurentian University with a specialization in marketing and human resources. She was Project Manager — Jeunes en action, at Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario — région Témiskaming, a mandate during which she helped young cooperators start the first youth services cooperative for this region. She also worked for one of North America’s leading metal foundry producers for 18 years.
She was Inside Sales Manager during her last 4 years with this company.
Annie Joyal is part of various boards such as the Timiskaming Funeral Cooperative, Festival des Folies Franco Fun, the Centre culturel ARTEM, the Village Noel and the Comité local en immigration francophone (Timiskaming, Timmins, Corridor de la route 11), the Témiskaming population discovers, promotes and exudes cooperation, francophone pride and the joy of living in French. Annie Joyal has had a positive impact in various small remote communities in northeastern Ontario for several years.
Michael Hatch is the Canadian Credit Union Association’s Vice President of Government Relations. Mr. Hatch manages the team that runs CCUA’s advocacy and policy work at the federal and provincial levels on behalf of credit unions. Before joining CCUA in 2018, Mr. Hatch spent a decade at a government relations consulting firm working primarily for national associations. During that time, he also served as chief economist to a large retail trade association and was their national media spokesperson, conducting well over 2,000 media interviews in all formats over ten years. He worked on Parliament Hill for three years as an economic policy advisor. Originally from Newfoundland, Mr. Hatch has a degree in Economics from the University of Toronto.