Board of Directors
All directors of FaithLife Financial are Christians. None are employees and none are involved in its day-to-day business operations, with the exception of the President and CEO. Except through their individual insurance and/or annuity contracts which give them Membership in the organization, directors have no material interest in any contracts with FaithLife Financial.
Sheryl A. Teed Callum, Chair
Sheryl Teed Callum has been a valued Director since being elected to the FaithLife Financial Board in 2011. She is a retired partner of Ernst & Young LLP and a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Her primary focus during her 35-year career was serving clients in the financial services sector including life insurance companies. Her experience includes serving as an Audit Partner and an IT Audit Partner, advising on governance and risk management practices, assessing the governance of major capital expenditure projects including IT system implementations and evaluating IT risk. She has presented at numerous professional conferences, seminars webcasts and client sponsored events, and has served on a number of industry task forces and advisory committees. She has over 25 years of experience on not-for-profit boards serving in various capacities.
Currently, Sheryl serves as FaithLife Financial's Board Chair, Sheryl and her husband John Callum have two children and five grandchildren. Sheryl's Christian affiliation is with the United Church of Canada.
Geoff R. Bellew
Geoff Bellew is a business executive with over 40 years' experience in the financial services, technology and consulting services industries. He has extensive business skills at senior executive levels and has served in a senior executive capacity with Scotiabank, Manulife, ING, Aegon, Dspfactory and Mechworks Systems, and, until recently, also served as President and CEO at Southbridge, a Waterloo Region-based investment management firm, guiding the assets of the Bridgeway Foundation. Since 2013 Geoff has also provided strategic advisory services to Communitech and its member companies to support the ambitious growth of Waterloo Region's ICT sector.
Geoff is an active community volunteer. He has served many not-for-profit and faith-based organizations, including Board Vice Chair at Habitat for Humanity and he is currently Board Chair of Grand River Hospital and Vice Chair of Lutheran Homes K-W (Trinity Village). Geoff is also an active mentor within Canada's Futurpreneur program supporting social purpose start-ups.
In business and in the community Geoff has established himself as a passionate, trustworthy and responsible collaborator.
Karen C. Bjerland, President and CEO
Karen is President and CEO of FaithLife Financial. Since joining FaithLife Financial in 1980, Karen has played pivotal roles in a number of areas where she assumed increasingly senior roles including Regional Sales Manager, Director Field & Branch Services, as well as Vice-Presidential roles in Member Services, Field Services, Brand Development, Fraternal, and Sales. She became the organization's first female President and CEO on September 20, 2010.
Karen is known for her leadership skills, her strong communication and organizational development skills, as well as her ability to manage change. She's passionate about stewardship and servant leadership, which she expresses through her work on several non-profit boards, such as Koinonia Homes and the Canadian Fraternal Association.
Julie A. Halgren
Julie Halgren is the Director of Long Term Development at Thrivent Financial, appointed to our Board in 2012 as the Thrivent representative. She has over 25 years' experience in the marketing arena; with expertise in developing and implementing marketing strategies for financial services and insurance organizations. Prior to joining Thrivent Financial she worked at Fair, Isaac & Company in the capacity of Account Manager and Market Offering Director. She also has experience as a surety bond wholesaler and underwriter.
Julie contributes her time, life experience, and skills as a mentor to other professionals. She has chaired the Greenwood Elementary Grant Committee and volunteers at the House of Charity and Habitat for Humanity. She is a member of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, Plymouth MN. Julie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College, Iowa. She earned the Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College.
R. Paul Hogan
Paul Hogan brings 30 plus years of experience as a partner
at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he served a diverse portfolio of clients, including companies
in finance (banks), technology, broadcasting, entertainment, energy, mining, real estate, manufacturing, the non-profit sector and government. He is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA) a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a Certified Public Accountant, Illinois. Paul has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA, and has also completed the Institute of Corporate Directors course. He specializes in synthesizing data, seeing the big picture and understanding future business directions, with particular skills in the areas of strategic thinking, human resources matters, risk management financial analysis and projections, customer
satisfaction, internal controls and computer risks and controls.
Paul has served the boards of
various charities including the United Way, Plan International Canada, World of Science and the Guelph Bible Conference Grounds. Over the years, he has provided governance and strategic planning expertise to many church-related institutions and is currently the Board Chair for
Youth for Christ GTA. Paul and his wife Patricia live in Ajax, Ontario.
Bruce D. Ratzlaff
Bruce Ratzlaff has had a successful 28-year career in both the Insurance and Banking industries where he served as a Senior Officer for more than twenty years. Bruce was the President and CEO of Western Life Assurance Inc., where his responsibilities included liaison with Federal and Provincial regulators. He was then President and CEO of Bank West. Bruce has also held the position of President and Board Director of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CWBC) where his role was to oversee operations, asset management, loan portfolio oversight and leadership of the
volunteer Board of Directors.
Bruce is currently serving as an independent advisor to the Investment Committees of the CBWC Foundation and the Trellis Foundation. Bruce is also an independent
director of an Alberta based public company and has an MBA. Over the years, Bruce has served
on several Boards for his church, a Christian school and a local chapter of a Christian Business Men's organization. Bruce and his wife Verna live in Calgary, Alberta.
Dr. John A. Colangeli
John Colangeli is Chief Executive Officer of Lutherwood and the Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation, a large not-for-profit organization in Waterloo, Ontario. Having spent three decades in non-profits, hospitals and government, John's passions are public service, board governance and growing people and organizations. He has been an advisor to two Ministers of Health while in government and served on provincial boards and task forces. John has spent most of his career in faith-based organizations and lives in Kitchener with his wife, Lee Ann.
Clifford J. Inskip
Cliff Inskip is an independent consultant who advises government and large corporate clients on major projects and related financing matters. He has over 30 years of investment and corporate banking experience in Canada and the United Kingdom and has a BASc (civil engineering) and an MBA from UBC and is a Chartered Director. Cliff retired from CIBC at the end of 2014 where he was Managing Director and Head of CIBC's infrastructure advisory and bond underwriting business. He has arranged public or private placements with all major Canadian life insurance companies. Cliff currently serves on several boards including OMERS, Oakville Enterprises Corporation and Kerr Street Mission. He and his wife Brenda reside in Oakville and have two children and one grandchild.
Ronald W. Walter
Ron Walter was elected to the FaithLife Financial Board of Directors in 2010. He offers expertise to the FaithLife Financial Board in the areas of board governance, policy development and fiscal discipline in varying economic climates. A life-long resident of Saskatoon, Ron graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Ron worked with the Saskatoon Public School Division for 13 years and 18 years with the Saskatoon West School Division, gaining experience in insurance, pensions, board policy, and finances. He holds an Advanced Class A certificate in local government administration. Ron is a lifelong member of St Paul's Lutheran Church in Saskatoon and currently serves as Director of the Board of Stewardship.
W. Bryce Walker
Bryce Walker has had a 30-year career in the financial services business where he has served in Senior Officer positions in Finance and the Group Insurance business at Manulife Financial. He has served as Chair of the Board of Wilfrid Laurier University, Grand River Hospital, and the Investment Committee of the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. He is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Healthcare of
Ontario Pension Plan and is a director of the Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board where he is chair of the Human Resources and
Compensation Committee. Bryce has served both as a Warden and the Treasurer of his local church. He lives in Waterloo with his wife Nancy, they have two children and two grandchildren.