Lunch & Learn Panelists
Jodi Butts, Executive Director, Rise Asset Development
Jodi is an experienced lawyer, strategic advisor and senior executive focused on guiding organizations towards optimizing both their bottom line and social impact. She is currently the Executive Director of Rise Asset Development, an innovative social enterprise working to empower men and women with a history of mental health challenges through business. Previously, Jodi was the Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs and Operations, Mount Sinai Hospital. Here she led the organization’s capital redevelopment, legal affairs, corporate and hospitality services. Jodi sits on the governing boards of the University of Windsor and the Wellesly Institute. She holds an LLB and MA from the University of Toronto and a BA Hons from the University of Windsor.
Cynthia Hastings-James, BA (Psych), Co-founder Cookson James Loyalty
Cynthia has a proven track record with over 20 years of innovation in health promotion, medical education and digital marketing. With a particular focus on disruptive technology, her passion lies in creative problem solving to optimize the health and wellbeing of Canadians.
Early in her career, Cynthia held several senior roles managing digital development work for a number of banking and healthcare clients. In 2004, she moved to mdBriefCase and quickly established rxBriefCase, Canada’s leading provider of accredited pharmacist education, where she served as President of the organization for 6 years.
In 2010, Cynthia joined forces with Susanne Cookson to start Cookson James Loyalty Inc. Early in 2011, Cynthia and Susanne launched their innovative “BestLifeRewarded” health behavior change platform which has received global recognition for its evidence-based approach. With a keen focus on motivational drivers of health consumers, BestLifeRewarded organizes credible tools from national non-profits within personalized action plans. Members of the program receive rewards for engaging in healthy behaviours, which they may redeem for gift cards, health-related items or ballots for larger prize draws.
Cynthia has co-authored several papers and is actively involved in ongoing research in this area. She is an advisory board member for Health Canada’s Network on Healthy Eating, the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation’s OneBiota program and in her personal time, is involved with the Kenya Scholarship Fund and Garden of Hope orphanage in Nairobi. In August, 2015 Cynthia summited Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a fund raising mission with the Global Friends Foundation.
Sarah Hilton, Founder & CEO, Stressed Out Solutions
It took Sarah Hilton a moment to recognize her passion and her goal for the future; to stop silence, stigma and suicide by speaking out and training workplaces on Mental Health and how to understand and support mental illness in the workplace. As Mental Health speaker and founder of Stressed Out Solutions, Sarah spends her time living her passion by speaking, training and consulting organizations on Workplace Mental Health.
Karen Jackson, BSC, MA, Senior Advisor, Healthy Workplace Strategies
Karen is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the health and private sector, as both a healthcare professional and leader; currently as Senior Advisor Healthy Workplace Strategies at Excellence Canada, a leading Canadian authority on organizational excellence, innovation and wellness. As a senior team member, Karen is responsible for providing consultant support; training and strategic direction to organizations pursuing organizational excellence and exemplary healthy workplace practices, including mental health. She is a lead Verifier for organizational assessments and an active member of the GTA/HA Civic Action Champions Council for Mental Health in the workplace
Karen’s specialties include progressive leadership roles in organizational health and wellness, employee engagement, change leadership, corporate learning, leadership development, organizational development and support services management.
Jennifer Elia, AVP, Client Experience, Integrated Health Solutions, Group Benefits,Sun Life Financial
With close to 20 years’ experience, Jennifer’s career has included roles in disability management, strategic planning, and product development. She joined Sun Life in 2009 to help establish the Health & Wellness business before moving to Human Resources where she led the design and delivery of market leading benefits & wellness programs for Sun Life’s Canadian employees.
Jennifer leads a strong team of Organizational Consultants focused on meeting the healthy workplace objectives of Canadian employers. She is passionate about integrating group benefits & wellness programs.
Jennifer is a graduate of the Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion program at Centennial College and has an honours degree in Health and Psychology from Queen’s University.
Addie Greco-Sanchez, RRP, RVP, CVP, President, AGS Rehab Solutions
Addie Greco-Sanchez, RRP, RVP, CVP, has a background in rehabilitation counselling and been in the field of vocational rehabilitation since 1989. Addie was employed by various national and regional rehabilitation companies for approximately ten years before starting her own company, AGS Rehab Solutions Inc. in 1999. As President of AGS, she leads a team of rehabilitation professionals across Ontario from her Mississauga Head Office. Addie is a sought-after speaker in the field of vocational rehabilitation. She has been called upon as a mental health subject matter expert. AGS Rehab has been an active participant of the recently launched three-year Case Study Project created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Paula Allen, VP, Research and Integrative Solutions, Morneau Shepell
Paula Allen is currently the Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions for Morneau Shepell. In this role, Paula focuses on the current, emerging and most complex issues that have the greatest impact on workplace health, health cost and productivity. She is also a well-recognized expert in workplace mental health, disability management and drug plan management. Paula works directly with many of Canada’s leading organization, is co-chair of Civic Action’s Champions Council on workplace mental health, and sits on several research and strategy advisory boards that address issues ranging from e-mental health solutions to substance abuse in the workplace.
Paula completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto in psychological research and neuropsychological testing and clinical intervention. She has more than 20 years of experience relating to workplace research, product development and operational management that spans the range of EFAP, Attendance and Disability Management and Health and Benefits Consulting.
Paula’s career experience includes roles at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, which began with client services and progressed to management of the Boards own employee disability issues and related costs. Paula then joined Corporate Health Consultants, a predecessor organization to Morneau Shepell, as the first employee and pioneer in Morneau Shepell’s disability management service. Paula spent several years as the Disability Management Operations Director, and then the Business Leader of the Total Attendance and Disability Management portfolio. In these roles, she led the development strategy, design and implementation of Morneau Shepell’s attendance support solutions, and the recovery and problem-solving focused model of disability management, which has been emulated widely in the industry.
Given this success, she assumed the role of Vice President of Product Development for the organization as a whole, and combined it with the Health Solutions Group. Health Solutions included researchers, health consultants, and project managers, who were focused on needs assessment and solution development for individual clients, as well as enterprise level products and services.
Subsequently, Paula’s role expanded to include the Shepell.fgi Research Group, Workplace Training and Cross Cultural Solutions, with accountability for more than 600 training and consulting professionals in Canada and Globally. In this role, Shepell.fgi’s Workplace Training doubled through organic growth in less than 3 years. Under her leadership, Morneau Shepell’s Training Group began the development of Canada’s first university certified Workplace Mental Health Training Program for managers, in partnership with Queen’s University, and in collaboration with Bell Canada.
Paula is also well known for the design and deployment of Canada’s most comprehensive workplace solutions for the specific and unique risk posed by the H1N1 pandemic. Just prior to her current enterprise role, she held the role of Health and Benefits Practice Leader, and focused on integrating the planning and focus of health programming solutions with health and disability financial management strategies.
Paula frequently speaks at major conferences, and is often sought out by the national media for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of workplace health, productivity and related risk management.