Our Team


Dr. Jeff Williams

 Dr. Williams was elected to the CDSPI Board in May 2003. He was elected as Chair of the CDSPI Board of Directors in May 2021. Dr. Williams currently serves as a member of CDSPI’s Nominating/Governance Committee. 

Dr. Williams is a 1986 graduate from Dalhousie University’s Dental Faculty, who embarked on a varied clinical career; one which 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. 

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, Canada’s oldest professional practice appraisal and brokerage firm. Dr. Williams is a member of the Nova Scotia Dental Association. 


Additional Experience

 In his life outside of dentistry, he owned a six bed long term care facility in his hometown of Tatamagouche, NS for 14 years and was also a Director on the Board of Windsor Elms Village, a 108 bed nursing home for four years. He was also a past elected member of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board and served a term as Co-chair of the Tatamagouche New School Enhancements Fundraising Committee. He is currently active in the Tatamagouche Area Trails Association and the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital Foundation. In 2019, Dr. Williams was appointed as a Public Representative to the CPA Nova Scotia (Accountants) Board of Directors. 

Dr. James B.A. Bonar

Dr. Bonar joined the CDSPI Board of Directors in May 2013. He was elected as Vice-Chair of the CDSPI Board in May 2021 and is a past Chair of the CDSPI Human Resources Committee. He currently serves as a member of CDSPI’s Human Resources Committee and Risk Management Committee.

Prior to that, he served 15 years as Chair 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 sold his practice to his daughter and son-in-law and now practices 3 days a week.

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 appointed Chair of the MDA Blue Ribbon Panel from 2018-2020, tasked with reviewing the Peer Review Process of the MDA.

Mr. Paul R. Batho

 Mr. Batho joined CDSPI’s Board in May of 2013. He is the past Chair of CDSPI’s Nominating/Governance Committee and currently serves as a member of CDSPI’s Audit Committee, Nominating/Governance Committee and Risk Management Committee. 

He started his career in the life insurance industry at North American Life Assurance Company and then moved to 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. 

Additional experience

 Mr. Batho has served on a number of boards in the past, including Aisling Discoveries Foundation, the UCC Pension Plan and the Independent Review Committees of Empire Life Investments and Clarington Funds. He is currently a member of the Independent Review Committee of BlackRock Funds. 

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

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

 Mr. Oliver was elected to the CDSPI Board in May 2019. He is the Chair of CDSPI’s Human Resources Committee and serves as a member of CDSPI’s Audit Committee and Nominating/Governance Committee. Currently, Mr. Oliver serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BRJO Investments Ltd. He also serves on several other Boards, including Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company and the Auto Sector Retiree Health Care Trust. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority and North York Arts, and was a Member of the CMA Pension Plan Investment Committee. 

Additional Experience

 Previously, he 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 graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master’s Degree in Economics. Mr. Oliver holds the Corporate Director Certificate from Harvard Business School, plus the Chartered Director, Chartered Financial Analyst, and Chartered Investment Manager designations. 

Mr. Mitch S. Orr

Mr. Orr joined the Board at CDSPI’s Annual General Meeting in May, 2001. He is the current Chair of CDSPI’s Audit Committee and also serves as a member of the Human Resources Committee. Mr. Orr is a Senior Wealth Advisor 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
BMath, ICD.D

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 Management Committee. She was officially elected as a Director at CDSPI’s AGM in 2017 and is currently serving as a member of the Human Resources Committee, Nominating/Governance Committee and is Chair of the Risk Management Committee. 

Helen is an accomplished independent board director, for over 10 years, in the financial services, energy, health care, education and arts sectors, serving as chair, risk, governance, and audit committee member. 

She has over 35 years of executive experience in both the private and the public sectors, and 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. 

Additional experience

Helen’s career spans the technology services field most recently as a consultant to The Bank of Canada and Payments Canada for their Modernization Program to replace the national clearing and settlement system for Canada and the Canadian Financial Institutions. She held CIO positions at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Ottawa, at CIBC Mellon in Toronto, and at Mellon Financial Mortgage subsidiary in Houston, Texas. 

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

Helen is currently on the boards of WSIB, the Board of Governors for York University and The Salvation Army, and has served as director on an Ontario Crown Corporation and as a former board chair of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. 

Helen 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 WIN (Women’s Initiative Network) at CIBC Mellon. 

She 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. Helen also holds the certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. 

Ms. Cathy Welling

Ms. Welling was elected to the CDSPI Board in May 2019. She is the Chair of the CDSPI Nominating and Governance Committee, and currently serves as a member of CDSPI’s Audit Committee.

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; Investment Advisory; Direct Investing and Trust Services. 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 their International Bank.


Additional Experience:

Ms. Welling received her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. In addition to her CDSPI duties, she is a Member of the Administrative Board for the Medicus Pension Plan and a Director for Educators Financial Group, where she is Chair of their Human Resources Committee. Cathy is also a member of multiple Independent Review Committees in the Canadian Mutual Fund industry, including BlackRock Canada.