Board of Directors

As FaithLife Financial’s governing body, the Board of Directors oversees all matters involving FaithLife Financial and focuses on serving the interests of our members, now and into the future.

W. Bryce Walker, Chair

Waterloo, Ontario

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.

Currently, Bryce serves as FaithLife Financial’s Board Chair. 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.

Karen C. Bjerland, President & CEO

Kitchener, Ontario

Karen is President and CEO of FaithLife Financial. 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 skills and her passion for stewardship and servant leadership. Over the years she has served several local charities, congregations and industry committees.

Sheryl A. Teed Callum

Toronto, Ontario

Sheryl Teed Callum 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.

Sheryl and her husband John Callum have two children and five grandchildren. Sheryl’s Christian affiliation is with the United Church of Canada.

Dr. John A. Colangeli

Kitchener, Ontario

John Colangeli is Chief Executive Officer of a large not-for-profit organization operating in Southwestern 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 a PhD from the University of Waterloo, has completed graduate work at Queens University in Kingston and attended an executive program at Harvard Business School. He lives in Waterloo with his wife, Lee Ann.

Julie A. Halgren

Plymouth, Minnesota

Julie Halgren is the Director of Strategic Development at Thrivent Financial, appointed to our Board in 2012 as the Thrivent representative. She has over 30 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 served on the Que Tal Spanish Language Program Board and volunteers at the House of Charity and Habitat for Humanity. She is a member of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church. Julie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College, Iowa and her Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College. She and her husband Paul reside in Plymouth, Minnesota and have two children.

R. Paul Hogan

Ajax, Ontario

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.

Clifford J. Inskip

Oakville, Ontario

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 based in Canada and the United Kingdom and has a BASc (civil engineering) and an MBA from UBC.  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 is a CFA charterholder and holds FCSI (Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute), P.Eng, Chartered Director and A.C.C. (Audit Committee Certified) designations.

Cliff currently serves on several boards including OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Savings pension plan), Oakville Enterprises Corporation, JCM Power, BetterPlace International and serves as Chair of Kerr Street Mission.  Previously he served on his church board and on the board of CIBC World Markets plc based in London, England.  He and his wife Brenda live in Oakville and have two children and one grandchild.

Bruce D. Ratzlaff

Calgary, Alberta

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.

Ronald W. Walter

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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.

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.

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