Our advisors are life insurance and employee benefits experts

It has been said that the key to success is doing something that you are passionate about. This saying is the quintessential value of our family of life insurance professionals. When you get to know the advisor in our family who is helping you, you will feel this passion for what we do. It is about getting to know you, your family’s or business’ planning needs. Our advisors bring together a broad range of education, knowledge, experience, and expertise in the insurance industry. You are in great company.

Why Choose IDC Insurance

Life Insurance Advisors

Aline Barker, Life & Health Insurance

Blair MacInnis, Life & Health Insurance

Brenda Hawthorne, Life & Health Insurance

Christine Binder, CFP, Life & Health Insurance

Christine is a highly trained insurance advisor with IDC and has over 25 years of experience in the industry. Her main focus is to help Canadians protect their most important asset which is their ability to earn income. She chose this career after her experience working as an investment advisor where she witnessed many clients and their families go through severe financial difficulties after experiencing the illness, disability or death of a family member.

Using her vast experience and insurance knowledge, Christine is able to help individuals, families and business owners, properly assess these income risks and put the most effective and economical plans in place by helping clients select coverage from all the major Canadian insurance providers. When working with Christine, she will help her clients mitigate their financial risks and plan for a secure future while handling all of the implementations to get proper insurance plans in place. Once the plan is arranged, Christine is always available going forward, to help her clients with any financial questions they may have or to adjust their insurance plans when circumstances change.

During her free time, Christine enjoys travelling, scuba diving, hiking and listening to live music with friends and family.

Daniel Burke, Life & Health Insurance

Darren Koch, BA, Life & Health Insurance

Darren really enjoys what he does as an independent financial advisor, allowing him to stay at home and help raise his two girls while his spouse continues her professional career. He started working as a career agent with a fraternal benefit society but after almost 10 years there he decided to become an independent financial advisor so that he could offer his clients a full range of products from the best companies. He has been with IDC Insurance since 2006 and anticipates being here well into the future. When you have a conversation with him you will quickly discover that he cares about helping people get the right insurance for the best price. He earned two undergraduate degrees in business administration and political science which enable him to help you solve any insurance problems that you might have.

Dena Leslie, Life & Health Insurance

Derek Bell, Life & Health Insurance

Dave Dhiman, BBA, Life & Health Insurance

Dave Dhiman has over 10 years of experience in the financial services field. He is well versed in individual products such as insurance (life, disability, critical illness) and investments (RRSPs, TFSAs). Dave works with many companies, including small and medium-sized businesses, implementing group benefit plans. Dave holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He started his financial services career with a different agency but quickly realized that his clients were best served by the versatility and flexibility of a broker. In his own words, he often shares with clients that knowing the products he recommends will make a difference in helping his clients through their most difficult times. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences for Dave as an advisor.

John Hill, Life & Health Insurance

Justin Azaria, Life & Health Insurance

Kerrie Albert, Life & Health Insurance

Kristi Allan, Life & Health Insurance

Kristin Wood, Life & Health Insurance

Lorraine Graham, Life & Health Insurance

Marilyn Brodie, Life & Health Insurance

Marilyn became a licensed life insurance agent in December 2004 and since then she has been an independent broker. Marilyn’s educational background is in the area of Operations Management. Marilyn worked in the high-tech manufacturing and software industry, where she managed and implemented software in Canada and internationally. Since becoming an independent insurance agent, she believes that clients are better served when she can represent the different insurance companies and give the best available insurance products and rates. She is a highly knowledgeable agent that cares greatly about the experience of her clients while going through the process of acquiring insurance protection for themselves and their families.

Markus Deutsch, BA, Life & Health Insurance

Markus is all about serving his clients. Gord, a client from Stratford, ON, summed it up very well. “Markus was extremely kind and courteous when we spoke and explained everything to be easily understood”. Markus was a financial advisor in Austria and Germany before emigrating to Canada where he has embraced this career choice. He has been an advisor with IDC Insurance since 2007. Clients benefit from his vast experience in the areas of life, living benefits (disability and critical illness coverage), investments and private health insurance. Markus’ personal goal is to help clients reach theirs. He wants to help solve their unique insurance challenges and provide protection strategies for any unforeseen events that may affect his clients. He enjoys the flexibility of being able to work from home so he can be there for his 3 children and support his wife’s career.

Melanie Storme, Life & Health Insurance

Nadine Halverson, CFP, Certified Financial Planner

Nadine has been a CFP since 1998. She was registered with the Investment Dealer’s Association for 5 years while specializing in placing and managing investments for high net worth clients with one of Canada’s leading investment firms. In 2005 Nadine got licensed as an insurance agent and then continued on acquiring additional licences in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Since becoming an independent insurance broker in 2006, Nadine has been a valuable insurance agent servicing IDC Insurance’s clients in both the family and small business markets as well as many of her own clients.

Torrie Fonda, CHS, Certified Health Specialist

Torrie returned to the insurance industry after raising her family over 25 years. When she was an Administrative Assistant, Torrie developed her attention to detail and identified client needs for life and living benefits coverage. After acquiring her life insurance license in 2008 she went on to obtain the Certified Health Specialist certification in 2010. Since joining IDC Insurance in 2011, Torrie has honed her skills and broadened the shelf of insurance companies. Finding the best options for you and your family is her focus. Delivering a new insurance policy to her clients gives Torrie great satisfaction. “We don’t have a crystal ball to tell the future” and “get your insurance before you need it because when you need it you may not get it” is often echoed in conversations with Torrie. Torrie lives an active lifestyle and encourages others to live a well-rounded and balanced life.

Tyler Vincent, Life & Health Insurance

Tyson Budrow, Life & Health Insurance

Vaneesa Cline, Life & Health Insurance

Winston Bishop, Life & Health Insurance

Employee Benefits Advisors

Aaron Cyr, Employee Benefits Consultant

I have been practicing as an independent advisor specializing in employee benefits for over a decade. I get genuine satisfaction in helping clients simplify the process of evaluating and choosing the right benefits plan for their growing business. I take all the work off my clients’ plates, save them time, money, stress and ensure they are fully informed during the entire journey.

With many years of experience in business management combined with specialization in employee benefits planning, I have a great understanding of what employers’ needs are today. I work for my clients, and not one particular insurance company, to find the best cost-effective plans without compromising the core features and client care. I have learned over the years that each client is unique, but they all seem to want one thing in common, they all want to work with an advisor who has the experience required to give suitable recommendations to fit their needs. I am that advisor.

I have deep family roots in Alberta and Ontario, with family friends and clients across Canada. When not helping my clients, I enjoy connecting with my family. I like to spend time together with our loved ones on the hills and lakes, and rivers in the summer. Whether business or family life, connecting with people truly brings us all together.

Cara Boston, Employee Benefits Consultant

“Surround yourself with people that know more than you” is a phrase whose concept is attributable to Henry Ford and is a valuable piece of advice. We don’t know what we don’t know.

In today’s world, we can’t be specialists in everything. I am a specialist in employee group benefits and other things. I am an independent consultant, which is crucial as you are my client. My focus is to get you what you need.

I am over 50 now, which is a milestone! I can boast of over twenty-five years in the financial industry. I haven’t always done what I am doing now. I have dabbled in several areas of the financial sector, so I have a lot of valuable knowledge, which I am happy to share. You can find me on the east coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia, operating my business. I don’t have children, so foremost in my life are my partner Adrian and our two black labs, Bo and Maddy. Time in the outdoors at any time of year makes me happy, hiking, walking the beach or the park. I also love to travel and explore the world, and you won’t find me on a beach, though. I’m more of an adventure type.

Helping people get what they need makes me happy too. Talk to me!

Geoffrey Greenall, Employee Benefits Management Consultant

Every day I meet Canadians who don’t know much or even anything about the world of life and health insurance. Come to think of it, and they usually tell me they don’t even have a plan or lost the one they might have bought years ago. To top it off, they also believe that the only place to get sound financial advice is the bank! My goal is to educate people across the country one by one about what is available to them and the differences between types of plans and the companies that offer them. Working as an independent broker, I can source the very best solutions for every one of my clients.

Besides having 13+ years of experience in the industry and helping Canadians across the country, I race mountain bikes and enjoy surfing and snowboarding. While I live in Rossland, British Columbia, with my incredible wife and daughter – I also travel across the country to help my clients, so you don’t need to live next door to give me a call.

Greg Brown, Employee Benefits Consultant

Having over thirty years of financial services experience helping Canadians save and protect their families and businesses, I’ve realized more than anything that there is no substitute for real-life experiences. Not all conversations are comfortable, especially financial conversations like any family or business. I am the voice of financial reason for families and businesses. I will be honest and realistic in helping you achieve what’s most important to you and your business while avoiding road bumps along the way.

I know all about life’s road bumps. I’ve helped many of Canada’s poorest and wealthiest during economic prosperity and economic hardships. I am a divorced father, remarried, and a self-made business person. I am also a cancer survivor and warrior. Not only have I helped Canadians with their insurance needs, but I have also claimed on my insurance policies. I have first-hand experience of how insurance solutions can help ensure your family’s well-being or the survival of your business when faced with life road bumps.

I have had the pleasure of visiting, living and spending time in every Canadian province. I love and have two dogs, a Canadian Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and a rescue dog from the Yukon. I love the outdoors, and when not in the office, I’ll be out camping under the stars with a roaring fire and a glass of red wine. Life is for living.

Sylvie Leger, Employee Benefits Consultant

National Service Centre

Aaron Mak, Advisor Marketing Consultant

Ben Nguyen, President & C.E.O.

Mr. Ben Nguyen has served as IDC Insurance’s President and Chief Executive Officer since November 2014. In this role, Mr. Nguyen oversees IDC Insurance’s client experience, digital properties, designs and implementations, technology systems, and our team of advisors. Mr. Nguyen also works closely with the company’s sales, marketing and administration teams. Mr. Nguyen brings over 15 years of sales management, Internet and eCommerce experience to IDC Insurance. Before acquiring IDC Insurance, Mr. Nguyen is the founder of several other pioneering financial services companies in the mortgage, investment, and insurance sectors.

Before joining financial services, Mr. Nguyen spent twelve years at several telecommunication companies. He held various corporate sales and sales management positions from 1998 to 2010, including serving as the Sales and Project Manager for a pioneering wireless provider.

One of Mr. Nguyen’s past career highlights included the implementation of Canada’s first fourth-generation wireless network during the events of the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, BC.

Since acquiring IDC Insurance, he has implemented many innovative technology systems to grow and strengthen IDC Insurance’s position as one of Canada’s premier online insurance agencies.

David Lam, Client Service Consultant

Johnny Le, Policyholder Service Consultant

Kevan Penonzek, Life Insurance Management Consultant

Russell Smart, Founder & Training Consultant

Mr. Russ Smart is an unusual combination of technical expertise and practical business experience. After completing his MBA at the University of Toronto, Mr. Smart went on to study for three years toward a Ph.D. in Marketing. His career path has been anything but theoretical, as he has excelled in a wide range of management positions. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Smart has built companies as a master franchiser and franchisee and a successful insurance brokerage. As the founder of IDC Insurance, Mr. Smart germinated the idea from his home office as an independent life insurance broker to build this successful company, beginning with selling life insurance online via the Internet in 2003.

Sarah Ng, New Business Consultant

© 2003-2022 INSURANCEDIRECTCANADA.ca or .com, an Internet brand and property of I.D.C. Insurance Direct Canada Inc. All rights reserved. Last updated March 2022.

All product names, trademarks, and trade names are the property of their respective owners. The Insurance Council (BC, AB, SK, MB), Financial Services Commission (ON), Chambre de la Sécurité Financière (QC), The Superintendent of Insurance (NB, NL, PE, NS) are the provincial and federal authorities that regulate, supervise and enforce standards for life insurance professionals.

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