2023 THIA Annual Conference

April 16 - 19, 2023


2023 marks a significant milestone as THIA celebrates its 25th anniversary. Our Annual Conference returns to Nashville, Tennessee from April 16 to 19, 2023. Nashville has been one of our most popular conference destinations. It is home to legendary country music venues, including the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. Broadway Street features many honky-tonks with live music. The conference will be held at The Westin Nashville, nestled in the heart of downtown and steps from Music City Centre, Music Row and Broadway. As always, the conference will feature an exciting roster of speakers, ample opportunties to network with colleagues in the industry, and free time to explore this vibrant city and everything it has to offer! You won’t want to miss this event, which is always the highlight of the industry calendar. For more details, view our conference brochure.


Our speakers include:


Dale Buckner, President & Chief Executive Officer, Global Guardian, LLC

Dale Buckner is the President and CEO of Global Guardian, LLC in McLean, Virginia. He has been leading Global Guardian since its inception in March 2012 and is directly responsible for the day-to-day operations and its growth. He is a decorated Combat-Commander with multiple combat tours and classified operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti and Cuba and executed deployments to Russia, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Panama, Kuwait, and Qatar. Dale served in the United States Army Infantry (9 years), Military Intelligence (2 years), and Special Forces Green Berets (13 years). He commanded 5 organizations including an Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon, Special Forces Scuba Team, Special Force Counter-Terrorism Team, a Special Forces Counter-Terrorism Task Force, and a Special Troops Battalion. Dale has Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice and Business, Master’s Degrees in Public Administration and Business Administration, a Masters Certificate in Strategic Leadership from Cornell and was a Senior Fellow at the Tufts University School of Law and Diplomacy. Dale earned a total of 27 awards and decorations highlighted by his combat Bronze Star Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.


Carl Carter, Chief Commercial Officer, Blink Parametric

Carl Carter is Chief Commercial Officer for Blink Parametric, a multi-award winning global leader in travel insurance parametrics and real-time assistance.

Blink Parametric work with global travel insurers, brands and financial institutions to differentiate their propositions, generate revenue and remove the everyday disruptions from travelers and consumers lives.

Carl has over 25 years’ innovation, marketing, development and Managing Director/board level experience within UK and international insurance, assistance and financial services sectors.  He has direct experience of Canadian, US, UK, EU and global travel insurance markets having developed, underwritten, distributed and administered travel insurance products globally.

Having formerly held President/CEO/Managing Director roles at a major travel insurance provider, a global health/travel insurance MGA as well as an international assistance organisation, Carl has a strong background in global strategic product innovation and diversification, putting this to practice at Blink Parametric where he works closely with existing and new brand partners around the world to develop commercial relationships and deliver competitive edge.

He is a Chartered Marketer, industry-recognised keynote speaker, former guest lecturer at Oxford University and the long-serving (ex)Chairman and co-founder of Association of International Medical Insurance Providers, as well as having served on the executive committee of the UK Association of Travel Insurance Intermediaries.

 images/Tony Chapman
Tony Chapman, Branding Expert, Media Personality
Tony Chapman is an inductee into the Marketing Hall of Legends and the Canadian Advertising and Marketing Hall of Fame, a testament to a career where he founded and built two internationally renowned advertising agencies and a research firm. 
Today, Tony is also the host of the prime-time radio show Chatter that Matters, which airs in nine markets across Canada, and the podcast ranked in the top one percent of most popular in the world. Each week Tony shares an inspiring story of someone who overcame circumstances to chase their dreams and even change the world. The show is about positivity and the possibility to counter the storm of negativity and a growing sense of impossibility.

Download Chatter that Matters wherever you get your podcasts or click here:  https://www.chatterthatmatters.ca/podcasts


Guy Charpentier, CFE, Senior Managing Consultant, Canada, Mastercard

Guy has expertise in a wide area of specializations related to the provision of financial services which include product integration into enterprise risk models, risk management strategy development and implementation, customer authentication, network and Canadian regulatory compliance, fraud identification and loss prevention, dispute resolution and data analysis.

He joined MasterCard Data & Services from the Mastercard Franchise Customer Engagement & Performance team where he was responsible for delivering on all Mastercard Franchise objectives supporting all Canada Issuers, Acquirers, Third Party Service Providers and Strategic Partners. Processes supported included authorization, fraud, disputes, data integrity, network compliance, regulatory compliance including privacy, data governance, information security, PCI DSS and business continuity with a focus on optimizing the customer (Cardholder & Merchant) experience at all points of interaction. 

Prior to joining Mastercard, Guy held roles with increasing responsibility at major Canadian Acquirers and Issuers with responsibilities ranging from Fraud Operations, Chargebacks, Call Centre Management, Operational Risk & Compliance (Card Plan & Regulatory) as well as Major/National Account Management and Regional & National Sales.


Alex LaPlante, Interim Head, Borealis AI

Alex LaPlante is currently the interim Head of Borealis AI, RBC's R&D lab for artificial intelligence, where she and her team build leading-edge AI solutions to complex, high-impact business problems. Previously, Alex led Borealis' business development and product management teams, which saw her design the company's long-term product vision and build strategic partnerships with RBC stakeholders. Before joining Borealis, Alex held a number of leadership roles at the intersection of technology and finance. Throughout her career, she has provided thought leadership around AI ethics and developing robust enterprise AI systems. She holds a PhD in operations research from the University of Toronto.


Bernard Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Medavie

Bernard became Chief Executive Officer of Medavie in September 2016 to provide strategic leadership and further the company’s mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians. Prior to this role, he served eight years on the Board of Medavie. He is the Chair of the International Federation of Health Plans, the Chair of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association of Canada and the President of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans. Bernard is also a member of the New Brunswick Law Society and Canadian Bar Association.

Bernard was elected four times to the New Brunswick Legislature and was Premier of New Brunswick from 1999 to 2006. He also worked as the CEO of the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association from 2008 until 2016. Throughout his career he has served on boards of several companies and organizations and has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors. He is a Queen’s Counsel and has been inducted in the Order of Moncton and the Order of New Brunswick.


Jill McCutcheon, Partner, Torys

Jill is co-head of the Financial Services Practice. She has more than 25 years of experience in providing counsel to the insurance industry on all aspects of the law. She acts as counsel to insurers, reinsurers, MGAs, intermediaries, third-party administrators, marketers, retailers, employers, and associations.


Monette Pasher, President, The Canadian Airports Council

Monette has 20 years of executive leadership and tourism marketing experience and possesses extensive knowledge of Canada's airports and policy landscape. She brings a wealth of experience in government and media relations, strategic planning, aviation and tourism marketing.

Monette is a proven association leader, having successfully supported Atlantic Canada’s airports both prior to and throughout the pandemic, raising the profile of Atlantic Canada’s airport community, and building strong relationships with federal and provincial government officials and Canadian air carriers. 

Monette is pleased to work with Canada’s airports in this pivotal time for our industry, as we continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and address recovery for our country’s airports. 

Monette began her career in the tourism industry working for the Province of Nova Scotia where she managed an industry and government partnership responsible for strategic planning for the Province. She then moved to Prince Edward Island to spearhead the development of a new public and private tourism partnership. Monette is from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Business from Mount Saint Vincent University.


Christian Petit-Frère, Legal Counsel, Canadian Bankers Association

As Legal Counsel, Christian provides legal analysis and advice to the CBA on matters such as contract negotiation and renewals, retainers, compliance with labour law requirements, etc. He also works with CBA members to provide advocacy and strategic thinking on consumer affairs files such as the Financial Consumer Protection Framework and guidance published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), credit freeze and French Language matters in Quebec.

Christian holds a dual degree in common law and civil law from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Christian is fluently trilingual in French, English and Haitian Creole.


Sven Roehl, Co-founder of Cookhouse Labs

Sven Roehl is Co-founder of Cookhouse Labs – the first co-creation InsurTech lab, where the insurance industry collaboratively tackles the problems of the industry. Sven is also Executive Vice-President, Innovation of msg global, with entities in over 20 countries. During his 20-year digital innovation journey in Financial Services, Sven has been responsible for numerous digital innovations in areas such as IoT, customer engagement, analytics, and platform services. Sven inspired and empowered many C-level Executives, Managers and Entrepreneurs around the globe to design digital products to interact with people in new and innovative ways.

Sven holds a Master in Applied Physical Geography and started his professional career as an M&A consultant specialized in environmental risk management and co-founded his first insurtech Startup, developing innovative IoT and GIS solutions, in 2005 in Germany. Since then, he has worked with over 100 financial services organizations around the globe providing digital and product related innovation consulting services. Sven joined msg global in 2011 as director of UK & Ireland business. In 2016 he moved from London, UK to Toronto, Canada. During this time, Sven set up Cookhouse Labs in Canada and The Netherlands. In his free time, Sven enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and hiking with his two dogs in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.


Skip Schwartz, President & CEO, Serefin Health

Skip Schwartz has been President and CEO of Serafin Health since 2010. Skip’s background spans two successful stints as an architect/planner in designing major healthcare facilities across Canada and around the world. He was a partner at a large Canadian practice – NORR – for many years and in his latter tenure as an architect, he was in charge of the hospital/medical sector practice in Canada for HOK - one of the largest architecture firms in the world.

In 1994 Skip became the start-up CEO for Interhealth Canada. Its mission was to export Canadian healthcare expertise around the world. Skip successfully managed the launch of Interhealth from a 2-person operation and built the organization to over $200 Million in annual revenues. The organization developed/built and managed major hospitals, clinics and systems in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Since 1985 Skip has been a partner in a large health care systems company in Bangkok, Thailand. The organization provides programs offered by its primary care clinics, an acute care hospital, a geriatric hospital, three nursing homes, a home care company and a large nurse aide training. Although privately owned, the company specializes in government funded universal coverage care, mostly provided for the poor. The company also has a large corporate health program as well as executive health services.


Matthew Seagrim, Longview Loyalty

Matthew is the founder of Longview Loyalty, providing support and guidance to organizations pursuing transformational change and deeper customer relationships. Matthew has over 25 years of experience driving customer engagement, growth and innovation in multiple sectors, including grocery, entertainment, retail, dining and financial services. His experience includes work with Scotiabank, Sobeys, Cineplex, TD, PC Financial / Loblaws, Citibank, and more.

In his last role leading Scene+, a Canadian loyalty program, Matthew drove a dramatic transformation to grow Scene+ from a niche movie program to one of Canada's largest and most engaging lifestyle coalition programs. The transformation resulted in 85% growth in membership, 350% growth in retail partner locations, and grew Scene+ to 63% national household penetration. This required redevelopment of the brand, expansion of the value proposition, new partnerships, modernized architecture, and strategic alignment in a complex multi-owner corporate structure. Scene+ has received international recognition for innovation, partnership strategy, personalization, CRM, marketing, and member engagement. 

Prior to Scene+, Matthew had a strong history of driving growth and transformational change. He built innovation and product development divisions to enter new verticals and expand into international markets. He also led the scaling of a financial services business to achieve 95% growth in market share and 200% growth in revenue through data-driven CRM, development of new customer acquisition technologies, and innovation in customer experience.


Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge

Laura Tamblyn Watts is the CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization and a frequently sought-after speaker. Her work focuses on aging, inclusion, and justice. She has previously served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (2018- 2019) and in a number of positions at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law including as their long-time National Director (2004-2018). She is faculty at the Factor- Inwentash Faculty of Social Work where she teaches a course in Law and Aging at the University of Toronto.  She was called to the Bar in 1999.

Laura is a past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Elder Law section, where she sits as a current Executive member. Laura is a Board Member of IIROC, Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario, and PACE independent living.  She has completed her term on the Board of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). Laura is a member of the Ontario Securities Commission’s Task Force on Seniors and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario’s Consumer Advisory Panel.

Laura is the author of numerous papers on aging issues, and is a frequent media commentator. Her upcoming book, The 3 AM Guide to Your Aging Parents will be released next year.


Elizabeth Walford, Walford Partners

Elizabeth is a trusted advisor who counsels executives and their teams, and delivers detailed execution with strategic thinking to optimize Employee + Customer Experience. She enables companies to improve their Employee + Customer Experience by innovating policies, products, procedures, process flows + optimizing front end digital experience, through a creative approach to problem solving, known as Human Centered Design.

Elizabeth’s drive for Employee & Customer Experience began in Retail Banking at TD Bank. Subsequently, she earned the opportunity to successfully grow and run a billion-dollar Credit Card business at PC Financial, built up her expertise and delivered award winning solutions across Innovation, Marketing, Customer Experience & Human Centered Design at TD Bank, Canada Life & Coast Capital Savings.

Elizabeth is an award-winning mentor and coach – leading high performing teams of 100+ across North America, Europe & the UK, achieving 91% Employee Engagement.


Event Sponsorship

Participation in the THIA Annual Conference speaks to your commitment to the travel health insurance industry. This conference will be your opportunity to connect with leaders and decision makers from across North America.

Sponsorship is a great way to show off your company's brand and support of our Association but there are limited opportunities available!

For Conference 2023 Event Sponsorship Information, please contact:

Ryan Lee, email: ryan.lee@globalexcel.com

Exhibition Space

Once again, we are offering you the opportunity to showcase your company’s products and services by inviting you to exhibit at our conference – giving you an opportunity to maximize your visibility to the delegates.  If your company wishes to participate by exhibiting, we will have limited exhibition space on a first-come-first-serve basis. The exhibition will be held in the food service area guaranteeing the visibility of your company to our delegates. The cost will be $3,250 CAD until February 28th, 2023 and $3,750 CAD on or after March 1st, 2023. This pricing includes one (1) Conference registration.

If you are interested in taking part in this opportunity, please contact:

David Ewing, email: david.ewing@jhsmiami.org

Thank you to our Conference Media Sponsor ITIJ.




The Westin Nashville
807 Clark Pl, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-Out: 12:00 pm

Please be advised that our hotel block at the WESTIN NASHVILLE HOTEL is sold out. However, downtown Nashville is quite compact with various hotels within walking distance and many reasonably priced options within a short UBER/Lyft ride of the Westin Nashville Hotel. Third-party booking sites such as Air Canada Vacations, Expedia, Hotels.com and Booking.com should reveal a range of comparable and nearby options. 


Early Bird (THIA & USTIA Members) - $1,525.00 until February 28, 2023
Regular (THIA & USTIA Members) - $1,775.00  on or after March 1, 2023
Non-Member - $2,175.00
Spouse/Non-Conference Guest - $200.00


The following cancellation penalties apply:

  • 100% refund until Wednesday, March 1st, 2023, less $150 administration fee
  • 50% refund from Thursday, March 2nd to Friday, March 31st, 2023

Please note: No refunds available on or after Saturday, April 1st, 2023.

We strongly encourage you to ensure appropriate travel insurance coverage as we will not consider registration refunds outside of the above noted policy.

Take Advantage of THIA's Air Canada Flight Discount

THIA has secured a promotional discount code with Air Canada for attendees of the conference. To book a flight with our promotion code, access aircanada.com and enter the promotion code in the Promotion Code Box: CZ8VKNU1
Applicable Rules
  • The booking is to be made to the following city: Nashville, BNA (TN)
  • The travel period begins Friday, April 07, 2023 and ends Friday, April 28, 2023.
  • Travel is valid Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
  • For North America, 5% applies on standard fares, 10% on flex fares & higher. For International Travel' 10% on standard fares & higher.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

You can help fight climate change by calculating the greenhouse gas emissions from your travel to the conference and taking steps to offset the environmental impact. The following websites provide tools to measure your impact and reduce your carbon footprint. THIA will be offsetting the carbon emissions for board and committee chairs attending the conference.



Location & Hotel Information