Where your firm operates, geographically speaking.
Our firm is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and we primarily deal with Saskatchewan businesses.
How did you enter the industry?
I started after graduating from University of Saskatchewan with a B.Comm., I started working with Canada Life as an Employee Benefits Specialist and found an industry that I loved!
What makes Sutton Benefits and Pension unique?
We are more than passionate. We’re on a mission. Our firm provides holistic financial planning, benefits, and pension for driven, successful families, professionals, and businesses. Our Sutton Smartfit Process™ process has a unique story – a collection of stories actually – that weave together to bring us to where we are today. The story begins with the founder, Bob Sutton. Bob always had a strong sense of how he wanted his clients served, and “put the client’s best interest first” was his motto.
It was those values and the foundation of Sutton that attracted Tim and I to join in partnership with Stuart Sutton and Jay Stark. The firm was known for its expertise in wealth planning and I brought a passion and complementary expertise in benefits and pension services for businesses. I didn’t come alone. Staci Heinbigner and Stacey Frost had had dynamic careers in the benefits industry over the past two decades and each was a self-proclaimed “benefits nerd” who loved benefits as much as I did. We are three homegrown Saskatchewan professionals that have worked together in the past and our stories merged again to create Sutton Benefits & Pension and the Sutton Smartfit™ process.
The Sutton Smartfit Process™ captures the values and beliefs of the Sutton Team, and the process may just shift your perspective on benefits. It has been designed to align your benefits and pension plan with your company values and culture while identifying obstacles, gaps, and also opportunities. The process has been proven to help to grow, successful businesses make informed choices and take timely, confident action to support what really matters to their teams and their business.
What is something that people do not know about you?
People may not know that I am also a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Certified Practitioner which is an incredibly insightful tool in understanding differences between people and how to maximize team performance.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in the business?
One of the biggest lessons is to leverage your strengths and understand your blind spots and having great partners! You can’t be good at everything! As an example, one of my business partners is my spouse and our strengths are complementary. I love change, casting a vision, and inspiring the team to achieve the mission. I don’t always factor in the steps to achieve the vision. Overlooking details sometimes gets me in trouble which is where Tim excels, but my leadership style takes us to some existing places we might not have gone. I believe that although you may go faster alone, you definitely will go further together. All partners having an abundance mindset is the key to a successful relationship and business.
What are you hoping to do with The Benefits Alliance Group?
To help influence, advocate and shape the future of the Canadian group benefits & pension industry.
Do you have insights about the industry that you would like to share? Thoughts about the future of our Industry?
The benefits industry is becoming increasingly complex and a specialized area of expertise. Currently, there are no minimum standards or certifications for an individual to use the title of Benefits Advisor and we expect that will change in the future. The scope of “employee benefits” is much broader than what is traditionally provided by group insurance companies and there is an ever-growing number of vendors providing employee benefit perks and solutions. A benefits plan cannot be looked at in isolation and employers will need professional advisors to integrate product solutions into a holistic strategy aligned with their company culture and values.