Enhancing the professionalism of financial advisors in the best interests of the consumer

Chapter Leadership Council

David McGruer, CFP
Chair, Chapter Leadership Council

Dave McGruerAfter completing a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and a Masters in Exercise Physiology at McGill University, Dave taught for a year each at Concordia and McGill Universities and then he and his wife Carole taught in arctic Quebec for four years. In 1993 they moved to Ottawa when Dave jumped into the world of financial advice, not realizing how dramatic the change would be. Dave’s keys to success have been applying the analytical skills gained from a research Masters’ Degree, the communication skills required for effective teaching, along with a clear philosophy and persistence.

Dave has been a Chapter volunteer with Advocis or a preceding organization since 1996 and has served in most roles, including as President in 2005. Dave has tried to use his length and breadth of knowledge and experience to advise newer volunteers and keep his Chapter on a path of steady improvement. Dave’s special interests are political advocacy and professional education.

Eric Barton, CFP, EPC
Regional Leader, ON-NE

CLCEric spent 16 years with the Emergency Health Services as a paramedic and manager of the Sault Ambulance and Dispatch Services. In 1996, he made the move to financial advising. His career in the world of finance began at London Life where he stayed until he made his next move. In 2011, Eric became a business owner with the purchase of the Estateguard Life Insurance Agency Inc. Eric joined the Sault Ste. Marie chapter of Advocis in 1996 and has since held numerous Board positions. In 2006 he became President of his chapter, a position he held until 2017. He has also held the position of Regional Membership Co-Chair for 7 years.

Outside of the world of finance, Eric volunteers his time with the Heart & Stroke Foundation. He has been volunteering with this organization for over 40 years, in which time he has held numerous titles within the foundation. His work with the Heart & Stroke Foundation earned him prestigious recognition in 2012 when he became a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. When he is not providing his services, Eric enjoys golfing and cooking, but most of all he enjoys spending time with his new granddaughter.

Will Britton, CFP
Regional Leader, ON-Central

Will BrittonWill successfully launched his career in the financial services industry in early 2007, joining Advocis the very same day. He has served on the Kingston Chapter board for seven years, including multiple terms as both Sponsorship and Program Chair, as well as Chapter President – and now Advocacy Chair. He also currently serves on the national Best Practices Committee. Last year he joined the Chapter Leadership Council as Sponsorship Chair, and he now looks forward to the transition to Regional Leader for Ontario Central.

Will is dedicated to helping his clients manage and make the most of their cash-flow by eliminating the behavioural hurdles to implementing an efficient plan which accounts for current resources, future objectives, and potential risks – such that they can master their personal economy and truly enjoy their lives, both today and tomorrow, with the confidence that they have the financial capacity to do so. He is committed to building long-term client relationships on the cornerstones of trust, respect, expertise, and convenience. In January of this year, Will stepped out on his own and launched Tidal Financial Management Inc.

Will is also proud to be a member in good standing of the Financial Planning Standards Council, Rotary (Kingston Waterfront Club, Service Chair), and the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. Will enjoys taking on several speaking engagements for various companies and organizations each year. As well, he is an active member, patron, and sponsor of the arts community – having served in the past on the Board of Directors of Theatre Kingston, Domino Theatre and the Kingston Arts Council. He has also sat as the Fundraising Chair for the Parent Council of J.R. Henderson Public School, from which his daughter Emily graduates grade eight this week! His son Alex works diligently and is presently slogging through his grade eleven exams at Frontenac SS. Finding the time can prove to be a challenge, but Will also enjoys spending a quiet evening with his lovely wife, Dianne, whenever he can.

Leo Durand
Regional Leader, Alberta

Will BrittonWith over 20 years of industry experience, and another two decades of experience in business/marketing and management, Leo brings a unique perspective to individuals, business owners and shareholders of closely held corporations. Leo’s been an active member of Advocis for 20 years, and has held a number of positions on his local board including chapter president. He’s committed to protecting the best interests of the clients he serves, and the quality of advice given by those who work in the industry.

Leo enjoys travelling and camping with his wife of 38 years, Gayle. Spending time with his family has always been, and continues to be, a priority. Allowing his girls to experience life and see the world, not just read about it, was a goal that he and his wife have been able to accomplish. This continues to evolve and now includes their grandson. Volunteering and financially supporting smaller local organizations has provided Leo the opportunity to give back to his community. Leo has especially enjoyed focusing on programs which support youth such as Big Brothers, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, Lethbridge Soccer Association and School Breakfast Programs.

Chris Hudson, CFP, CLU, CHS
Membership Chair

Chris HudsonChris began his career as a financial security advisor with Freedom 55 Financial in 1997 after spending a number of years in media sales and management. Chris moved to a Director role in 2001 working with new financial security advisors, coaching and mentoring them to success. In 2006 he moved into his current role as a Director, Practice Development responsible for working with established and senior advisors, coaching and helping them to grow their businesses, incorporating their practices and growing their organizations.

Chris has also been involved in a number of community and industry volunteer positions including local service and charitable groups, as well as industry organizations such as Gama and Advocis for over 20 years. He has served both on local Chapter board levels in Peterborough, as Continuing Education and Membership Chairs, and Durham Region Chapter as President and Membership Chair, as well as being very active with his Chapter’s Advocacy committee and Ontario Legislature Days.

Christine Iles,
Regional Leader, Prairies

Christine IlesChristine has been in the banking and finance industry since 1997. She is passionate about working with and for advisors learning about their business and helping them grow their practice.

Christine has been a member of Advocis since 2005 and held various positions on the executive board. Most recently she has joined the CLC as Regional Leader for the prairies. She is excited to work with these Chapters and support them in any way that she can.

Aaron Keogh
Regional Leader, ON-SW

Will BrittonAaron Keogh is a licenced insurance broker, a licenced mutual fund advisor, and a financial advisor with over fifteen years’ experience in the financial services industry. As President of Greendoor Financial Inc., Aaron provides his clients with a wide range of expertise and attentive, hands-on customer service in full-scale financial and retirement planning, mutual funds, and banking products, as well as life, critical illness, and disability insurance products, all designed to suit a client’s very particular needs and goals.

John McCallum, CFP, CHS
Regional Leader, BC

Will BrittonJohn has been in financial services since 1996. He graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Economics. And in addition to his own financial planning practice, John is Director, Business Development in the Vancouver Georgia Financial Centre, specializing in the recruiting and development of new financial advisors. John's leadership helps others do what they want to do well so that they experience their own fulfillment. He does this by proactively removing barriers and guiding them as appropriate.

Vince McKay
Chair, Sponsorship

Will BrittonVince McKay started in the financial services industry in 1997 after four years in the military and 12 years overseas running businesses. Vince has been an active volunteer in Advocis Greater Vancouver for many years and has sat as Chair of the Sponsorship, Membership and Program committee before serving as President in 2013. Vince continues his involvement with the Chapter as Sponsorship Chair. Vince is also currently sitting on the National Board of the APA as the chair of the Underwriting Committee.

Wendy Playfair, CLU, CFP, CHS
Program Chair, Institute Liaison

Wendy PlayfairWendy began her career as a financial advisor with the Mutual Group in 1996 after 6 years as an Elementary School Teacher. She accepted the role of New Advisor Training Manager in 2004 with London Life, and later Director Business Development Manager in 2008 aligned with the Burlington-Hamilton Financial Centre. During this time Wendy presented intensive training programs related to business development working closely with new recruits and other established advisors, providing support and guidance in the building of their businesses.

Wendy then experienced management roles with Sunlife, Manulife and a tax planning firm before returning to financial planning as an advisor with London Life in 2014. She recently joined as a partner to the firm Carol A.Chambers and Associates out of Mississauga. Wendy is once again working with clients in the facilitation and implementation of personalized plans to execute their goals and dreams.

Since starting in the financial services industry Wendy has been an active member with the Greater Hamilton Chapter of LUATC/CAIFA and now Advocis. She has held many Committee and Board positions within her local Chapter including Professional Conduct, Membership, Professional Development, Advocacy and most recently as President 2012 and 2013. Wendy is a strong supporter of the enhanced education programs offered by Advocis and has completed her CFP, CLU and CHS. She also facilitates the annual Update program in her local Chapter and is always sharing the value of membership to colleagues who may not be members. Wendy is a regular supporter of the Legislature Days in Ontario, visiting Queens Park and meeting with local MPP’s to share the Advocis message.

When Wendy is not working she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, a round of golf, or biking around the lake.

Richard Russell
Regional Leader, Atlantic

Wendy PlayfairRichard runs a financial practice in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and works throughout Atlantic Canada. He began in 2006 with a national firm, later transitioning to become an independent broker of insurance, investments and mortgages. Richard serves the young family market along with small business owners and entrepreneurs.

As a member of Advocis Prince Edward Island since 2007, Richard has held a variety of positions including Chapter President and Treasurer, as well as playing a key role in organizing the inaugural Prince Edward Island Legislature Day in 2014. He has been a member of the Chapter Leadership Council since 2015 representing the Atlantic Region, sitting on the Finance Sub-committee and assisting with improvements to the Inukshuk Award competition process.

Richard resides in Stratford, Prince Edward Island with his wife Emily and two school-aged daughters Charlotte and Violet. He volunteers with Junior Achievement, Stratford Elementary School and Holland College, and is also a professionally-trained musician, performing trombone throughout the region. As he explains to his peers, "Some guys golf – I play in a band!"