Our Directors & Management

Board of Directors

Jim Dinning, Calgary, AB
Karen Radford, Calgary, AB
Robert Herdman, Calgary, AB
Scott Tannas, High River, AB
Sylvie Paquette, Quebec City, QC
Linda Fiset, Levis QC
Jean Royer, Levis, QC

 

Management Committee 

      

Kenny Nicholls 

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Western Financial Group

As the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Kenny Nicholls oversees all of Western Financial Group’s affiliates and business units providing the overarching strategic management for the entire company.

With over 25 years of experience in the financial institutions sector, Kenny spent 17 years with Desjardins prior to joining Western Financial Group in 2011. He has a wealth of experience having occupied several finance, compliance, and risk management positions, as well as executive positions in asset management, pooled and mutual funds, real estate management, securities brokerage, back office and wealth management companies.

Prior to being named to the CEO position, Kenny acted as the Chief Financial and Risk Officer at Western Financial Group from 2011-2016.

Throughout these 25 years, Kenny has had the opportunity to build high performing teams and to work with a wide spectrum of professionals. From this experience, he was able to develop extensive knowledge around operational processes and financial performance.

Prior to joining Desjardins, Kenny spent five years as an auditor with Deloitte & Touche in Montreal specializing in financial institutions.

Kenny holds a graduate diploma in public accountancy from McGill University and a bachelor of commerce degree in accountancy from Concordia University. Along with being a CPA-CGA, Kenny is also an associate CFA member.

 

      

Peter Melnychuk

Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Western Financial Group

As the Interim Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Risk Officer, Peter Melnychuk is the corporate officer responsible for the financial oversight and stewardship at Western Financial Group.

Peter has over 20 years of senior management and executive experience. Prior to his time at Western Financial Group, Peter spent five years with UFA, one of Canada’s largest agriculture co-operatives. While at UFA, he was successful in stabilizing the financial structure of the cooperative as their Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. As the Interim President and CEO he successfully realigned leadership and championed the development of a thorough five year strategic plan defining UFA’s future.

A B.Comm alumnus of the University of Alberta, Peter has both his CPA and CMA designations, and is a graduate of the renowned Queen’s Executive Program. He has also attained his Director designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors.

  

      

 

James Bond, QC
Chief Legal Officer (CLO), Western Financial Group

President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Western Life Assurance Company                                            

James Bond is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Western Life Assurance Company, and is responsible for its overall business development and business strategy. He is focused on growing the Company's sales channel network and building a solid customer service platform. Bond also leads the legal, compliance and facilities operation functions for Western Financial Group (Western) and its affiliates. As a member of the Executive Leadership Group, Bond provides strategic input and direction on a number of key business decisions and initiatives.   

Prior to joining Western, Bond served as a partner in a major national law firm. As a member of the firm, Bond represented Western on a number of significant acquisitions over the last 16 years, including the purchase of Coast Capital Insurance Services and Falkins Insurance. He also led the firm’s recruiting efforts and served? on the Professional Services, Inclusion and Diversity Committees.

Bond has held a number of additional leadership roles, including serving as President of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Chapter), on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation and the International Franchise Association’s Diversity Institute. He currently serves as a Governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Alberta. He has been recognized by leading national and international publications and peer rating programs as a leading lawyer in Canada for a number of years, and was named a Vancouver “Lawyer of the Year” in 2014. Bond was appointed Queen’s Counsel by the government of British Columbia in 2010 - an honour reserved for no more than 7% of lawyers in that province.

 

      

Grant Ostir
President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Western Group Insurance Solutions 

As President and Chief Operating Officer for Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, Grant Ostir is responsible for providing the strategic direction of the company’s business operations. In addition to these responsibilities, Grant is the lead contact for many of the company’s association partners.

Grant has over 20 years of experience with Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions. Prior to his role as President and Chief Operating Officer, he worked in many capacities throughout the company.  In his most recent role, Grant was the Executive Vice President of sales and service where he oversaw the sales development and marketing as related to commercial and employee benefits insurance across Canada.

Grant graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Economics and has been with Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions since 1996.

 

      

Joe Sirianni 
Executive Vice President (EVP), Western Financial Group Network                    

As Executive Vice President, Network, Joe Sirianni leads Western Financial Group's more than 157 insurance brokerages in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Joe joined Western Financial Group in February 2012 as Vice President of Business Development and was promoted to Executive Vice President, Sales in December 2012. He assumed his current role in November 2013.

Prior to joining Western Financial Group, he spent the past 20 years at TD Bank Financial Group where he held increasingly senior roles, including National Sales Manager, TD Insurance. As a member of TD Bank Financial Group, he led various business units from large multi-location branches to regional specialized sales teams and a national sales team.

Joe is an executive with more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, his expertise lies in sales management, strategy development, plan implementation and operations, change management and developing high performance teams.

Joe holds an MBA from Athabasca University and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Calgary. He has his Canadian securities course designation from the Canadian Securities Institute and his Personal Financial Planner designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

 

      

Doug Bennett
Executive Vice President (EVP) Information Technology, Western Financial Group                                             

 

As the Executive Vice President of Information Technology (IT), Doug Bennett oversees all of the IT support, applications development, technology, communications and data management for the Western Financial Group.

He is a veteran IT professional with more than 30 years of experience working various capacities.  Prior to joining Western in 2005, Bennett held a variety of IT consulting roles and worked for Parks Canada for nine years maintaining their computer networking within Western Canada.

Doug started his career in 1986 working for a company called Digital Equipment Corporation.

 

Our Founder

      Scott Tannas
Founder and Vice Chairman of the Board, Western Financial Group                         

Scott Tannas is the Founder and Vice-Chairman of Western Financial Group. As Chief Executive Officer from 1996-2003, Scott engineered the building of Western Financial Group through more than one hundred acquisitions and countless strategic initiatives, while fostering a corporate culture around Western Financial Group’s Guiding Principles of Truthfulness, Fairness, Value and Loyalty.

Scott is a director of a number of private and public businesses, including Western Financial Group and its federally regulated subsidiaries, Western Financial Insurance Company and Western Life. In addition to his business commitments, he is a member of the Ranchmen's Club of Calgary, a Director and fundraiser for SOS Children’s Villages Canada, and Chairman of the Western Communities Foundation.

In addition to his roles with Western Financial Group, Scott is also active in public service as a member of the Senate of Canada, a position to which he was elected in 2013.