Our Team


Mr. Lyle R. Best
C.M., A.L.H.C., LLD honoris causa
Mr. Lyle R. Best is a veteran of more than 40 years in the employee and group benefits insurance industry and is Chairman of the Quikcard Group of Companies. Mr. Best joined the Board at CDSPI’s Annual General Meeting in September of 1998. Formerly Vice-Chairman of the Board, in May 2004 he became the first non-dentist Chairman in the history of CDSPI.
  • In June of 2017, Mr. Best became only the 5th person to receive Honorary Membership in the Newfoundland & Labrador Dental association.
  • In 2016, the Manitoba Dental Association honoured Mr. Best with a Distinguished Service Award.
  • Also in 2016, the Nova Scotia Dental Association awarded him The Don Pamenter Friend of Dentistry Award for service to the Dental profession as a non-dentist.
  • Best was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Concordia University at a convocation ceremony in 2016.
  • On November 3, 2014, Mr. Best was appointed the first-ever Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of Number 1 Dental Ottawa by then National Minister of Defence, the Honorable Rob Nicholson.
  • Best is an honorary member of the Alberta Dental Association and College. In recognition of his exemplary contribution to Canadian dentistry, he received the Special Friend of Canadian Dentistry Award from the Canadian Dental Association at a ceremony in Ottawa in April 2013.
  • In 2012, Mr. Best received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted into the Edmonton Community Service Hall of Fame.
  • In 2008, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce named him Business Owner of the Year. In the same year, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his leadership as a fundraiser, mentor and volunteer with numerous charitable, sports and community organizations.
  • He was inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame in 2006, and was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2006 and 2007.
  • Best was named Edmonton’s Businessman of the Year in 2005, and was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal the same year.
Additional experience
He is CEO of the Alberta Dental Service Corporation, has been the administrator of the Government of Alberta’s social services dental programs for over 25 years, and was the administrator of the Government of Nova Scotia’s MSI children’s dental program for 16 years. He was a member of the Nova Scotia Oral Health Advisory Group in both phases one and two. Mr. Best is a member of Citizen Advisory Board for Oral Health Advancement of the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research in Ottawa. He is a former Senator at the University of Alberta, and has served as the Senate liaison to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as being a member of the admissions committee for Dentistry and Hygiene. At the Senate, he chaired the nominating committee and was a member of the honorary degrees committee. He is an associate member and the Executive Director of the Edmonton Oilers Alumni Association. Mr. Best was the Co-Chair of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, which took place in Alberta in December 2011/January 2012.
Dr. Jeff Williams

Dr. Jeff Williams joined the Board at CDSPI’s Annual General Meeting in May, 2003. A 1986 graduate from Dalhousie University’s Dental Faculty, he embarked on a varied clinical career that first took him to Northern Ontario as a hospital-based dentist and then, by bush plane, to the First Nations communities in the region. His eventual return to Atlantic Canada saw him in the roles of associate dentist, part-time lecturer, locum practitioner and owner of a solo practice. Unfortunately, that part of his career came to an end in 1996 when he suffered the partial loss of two fingers on his dominant hand in a carpentry accident.

Additional experience

Dr. Williams went on to complete a Master of Business Administration at Saint Mary’s University, and since 2001 has been an associate with ROI Corporation, a national dental practice appraisal, brokerage and consulting firm. He was a past Editorial Consultant for “business of dentistry issues” to the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association. Dr. Williams is a member of the Nova Scotia Dental Association.

Dr. Williams has been a speaker at provincial dental association meetings, Canadian dental faculties and various study clubs on the topic of current trends in the Canadian dental practice marketplace. He has had articles on this subject published in national and regional dental journals. He has also enjoyed many opportunities to speak to dental students and practitioners about the need to protect two of their most valuable assets — their hands.

He is the owner of a six-bed, long-term-care facility in his hometown of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, and spent four years as a Director on the Board of Windsor Elms Village, a 108-bed nursing home in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He was also a past-elected member of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, serving a four-year term. He is currently Co-chair of the Tatamagouche New School Enhancements Fundraising Committee.

Mr. Paul R. Batho

Mr. Paul R. Batho joined CDSPI’s Board in May of 2013. He started his career in the life insurance industry at North American Life Assurance Company and then Transamerica Life Insurance Company of Canada. At Transamerica, he held a number of senior positions including Chief Actuary, SVP of Sales and Marketing, and Chief Investment Officer, and was a member of the company’s Board. Mr. Batho then moved to the investment industry and was the Chief Operating Officer and a principal at KBSH Capital Management Inc. He retired as Senior Vice President and Director of Business Development with BMO Asset Management in 2010, but continues to work in the field of investment and governance.

Additional experience

Mr. Batho is the Chairman of the Independent Review Committee of Empire Life Mutual Funds. He is also a member of the Independent Review Committee of BlackRock Funds. He serves on the Board of Aisling Discoveries Foundation and is President of PRB Financial Consultants.

Mr. Batho has an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr. James B.A. Bonar

Dr. James B.A. Bonar joined the Board in May, 2013. Prior to that, he served 15 years as Chairman of the Manitoba Dental Association (MDA) Committee on Insurance and Investment and as the MDA voting member to CDSPI. He also served on the MDA Economics Committee during that period. Dr. Bonar presently practices general dentistry full time in Brandon, Manitoba, with an emphasis on implant therapy.

Additional experience

Dr. Bonar has served as President of the MDA, Western Manitoba Dental Society and Brandon Pioneers, and as the Brandon Regional Hospital’s Chief of Dentistry. His professional service includes seven years as MDA voting delegate to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and five years on the CDA Audit Committee.

He has received the MDA award of merit, the MDA President’s award of merit, and is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Dr. Bonar is a 1983 graduate of the University of Manitoba who established two dental practices following six years in the Canadian Forces Dental Services. He is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr. Bonar was recently appointed as Chairman of the Manitoba Dental Association’s Blue Ribbon Panel to assess it’s Peer Review System.

Mr. David R. Oliver
BCom, MA, CIM, FCSI, CFA, C. Dir.

Mr. David R. Oliver joined CDSPI’s Board, as an Observer, in January 2019 and was elected to the Board as a Director in May 2019. Currently, Mr. Oliver serves as President of Oliver Advisory, an independent consulting firm, and previously held the position of National Lead and Vice President at MD Financial Management, heading MD Private Investment Counsel and MD Management. Prior to joining MD Financial Management, he was the Chief Portfolio Manager, Vice President and Executive Director at CIBC, as well as Vice President and Portfolio Manager at TD Bank. Mr. Oliver started his career as an economist with the Ontario Ministry of Finance.


Additional Experience

Mr. Oliver currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company, the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority and North York Arts. Previously, he served as member of the Canadian Medical Association Pension Plan Investment Committee, as well as the Investment Dealers Association of Canada Regulation 1300 Review Committee.

Mr. Oliver graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Master of Arts in Economics. He holds the Chartered Director, Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Investment Manager, and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute designations.

Mr. Mitch S. Orr

Mr. Mitch S. Orr joined the Board at CDSPI’s Annual General Meeting in May, 2001. He is the current Chair of CDSPI’s Audit Committee and is also a member of the Risk Management Committee. Mr. Orr is a Senior Wealth Advisor and Director, Wealth Management with Scotia McLeod.

Additional experience

He is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds an honours degree in business administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Mr. Orr has also served on the Board for the Diabetes Flame of Hope Golf Tournament in London.

Ms. Helen Polatajko

Ms. Helen Polatajko has over 35 years of executive experience in both the private and the public sectors. She has been responsible for the overall strategic direction, organizational transformation and management of information technology functions while being a contributing member of company executive committees. Ms. Polatajko joined the CDSPI Board of Directors in October 2016, in an Observer capacity. In that capacity, she has participated as a member of both the Governance Committee and Risk Committee. Ms. Polatajko was officially elected as a Director at CDSPI’s AGM in April 2017.

Additional experience

Ms. Polatajko’s career spans the technology services field, most recently as CIO at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Ottawa and, prior to that, with CIBC Mellon in Toronto. Prior to moving to Canada, she was also CIO at Mellon Financial’s mortgage subsidiary in Houston, Texas.

Ms. Polatajko was featured on the cover of CIO Canada magazine for an article titled “Fusing Business and Technology”. She has served on the judging panel of the Canadian Information Productivity Awards, the Canadian Advisory Board of the CIO Executive Council, and the Advisory Committee of the Conference Board of Canada, Council of CIOs.

Ms. Polatajko has also served as Director on an Ontario Crown Corporation, and is currently Board Chair of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir.

Ms. Polatajko has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Computing, acknowledging her achievements and contributions to information services and technology, and was the Executive Sponsor of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at CIBC Mellon.

Ms. Polatajko received her education from The University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, attaining a Bachelor in Science in Mathematics and Psychology degree, and graduated from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware. She also holds the certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr. Robert J. Sullivan

Dr. Robert J. Sullivan joined the Board in May, 2004. Currently he practices in Orillia, Ontario, and is on staff at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital. He is also on the faculty of Georgian College’s Dental Hygiene Program. He is on the Syrian Refugee committee for Orillia, and is a member of the Community Foundation Investment Committee.

Additional experience

For the Ontario Dental Association (ODA), he was Chairman of the Economics of Practice Committee, and has served on the Insurance Committee, the Fee Guide Committee, and the Board of Governors. He received the Distinguished Service Award and the Barnabus Day Award from the ODA. He has also served as President of the Muskoka Simcoe Dental Society.

Dr. Sullivan has a B.Sc. and a D.D.S. from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Cathy Welling

Ms. Welling joined CDSPI’s Board, as an Observer, in January of 2019, and was elected to the Board as a Director in May of 2019.  Ms. Welling is an experienced Corporate Director with an accomplished career as a Senior Financial Services Executive.   She managed several complex International and Canadian Businesses for Scotiabank, including: Insurance; Pensions; Asset Management; Private Banking; Retail Brokerage and Trust Services.  As a business builder, she completed several meaningful acquisitions to complement strong organic growth.  Cathy spent her career in a highly regulated industry and has been a Senior Executive on several core Oversight & Governance Committees.  She also sat as Director or Chair on several Boards related to this Global Bank which were both private and publicly traded.  Cathy retired from Scotiabank in 2017 as Senior Vice President, Insurance, Pensions and Wealth for the International Bank.


Additional Experience

Ms. Welling received her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and currently sits as the Chairperson for C6 Launch Systems Inc. Board of Directors; is a senior Business Advisor to Fintech companies and sits on multiple Independent Review Committees in the Canadian Mutual Funds industry.