What inspired you to join the benefits industry?
I started my career working as a Kinesiologist for a Cardiologist in Cambridge, Ontario building and running a brand-new Cardiac Rehab program. The program was a success with over 500+ patients/ year ranging from high-risk diabetics, cardiac patients, and transplant patients.
One afternoon, after exercise class, a patient came into my office distraught. She was a single mum of 2 children recovering from a cardiac stent. She had completed 3/12 weeks of her Rehab and was struggling financially. She was off work, with no disability coverage (claiming EI Sickness benefits) and no drug coverage. She had bills to pay, drug costs, and was struggling to put food on the table during her recovery. Weeping in my office, she asked for help. She didn’t know where to turn or what to do. Young Katrina (23 years old at the time) quickly deployed community resources to help her patient, but was left baffled with questions:
- Why aren’t resources easily accessible when a patient is in need?
- Why weren’t government subsidies enough?
- Who was advocating for patients when they are off on medical leave and need to return to work?
This led me on a search for answers that was bigger than our Healthcare System in Ontario. I landed in Insurance, first in Disability Management, and later in Flex Benefits.
I am now PROUD to be an Insurance Advisor helping clients deploy resources that HELP employees.
Who is your mentor?
I have had several mentors in different forms throughout my career. Early in my basketball career I coached and played for Mano Watsa who is a self-starter, energetic coach, player, and businessman. He recruited me to play at the University of Waterloo and always encouraged creativity. As a self-directed learner, I appreciated his leadership style. As I failed at something I could turn to him to discuss and figure out why. As I matured, I gravitated to literature and resources (such as books like Lean in and Big Magic) to understand my direction and passions.
Now in my professional career, I have looked for that same mentorship, which has landed me with Kirk Davis at Davis Benefits. Kirk allows me to be creative and navigate things on my own and is always there to provide insights and guide me. I believe in the importance of ‘failing forward’ and am excited to continue learning under Kirk’s guidance.
What is something that people do not know about you?
I played varsity basketball in university, multiple sports in high school, but before committing my extra time primarily to sport, I enjoyed performing in musical theatre.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in the business to date?
Communication can prevent or fix almost any problem. The power of communication can’t be underestimated. … Knowing how you communicate and who you are speaking to can be vital in accomplishing tasks, building teams, and solidifying trust.
Do you have insights about the industry that you would like to share? Thoughts about the future of our Industry?
The Employee Benefits Industry is changing. With the pandemic, we have become more efficient with technology and because of that, the demand for education has increased. Clients have an increased appetite to learn all the “ins and outs” as well as how data translates into talent management, retention, and attraction. When we empower our clients with useable, real-time data, strategy, and trends they can focus on business performance, company culture, and future plans.