Meet our Board

The WSIB is an independent trust agency of the Ontario government operating at “arms-length” from the Ministry of Labour. Funded by employer premiums, we provide no-fault workplace injury and illness insurance for Ontarians.

We are governed by our Board of Directors as set out in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. Our Board consists of the Chair, the President and CEO, and seven to nine directors, who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board is responsible for our governance, setting strategic priorities, overseeing the achievement of objectives and managements’ overall performance.

Along with the Act, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF) and the Board mandate (PDF) set out the Board’s responsibilities. These include:

Governance documents

 

Mrs. Elizabeth Witmer, Chair

Chair: May 17, 2017 - May 16, 2020
Member of BOD committees:
 Audit and Finance  - ex officio, Governance - Chair, IT Advisory Group , Health and Safety  - ex officio, Investment - ex officio

Elizabeth Witmer has served the Ontario public for 36 years, including 22 years as the Kitchener-Waterloo Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and now Chair of the WSIB. As an MPP she also served as the Deputy Premier of Ontario, Minister of Labour, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister of Environment and Minister of Education.

Her leadership has been acknowledged with many awards such as the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, the Social Work Doctors Award for her commitment to a just and caring society, the Kitchener-Waterloo Citizen of the Year Award and the Asthma Society of Canada Innovation in Public Policy Award.

Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Althouse College of Education and the Rotman Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Program.

Mr. Tom Teahen, President & CEO

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO): February 1, 2016 - January 31, 2021
Member of BOD committees:
 Governance, Investment

Thomas Teahen has devoted most of his professional life to bringing together the interests of workers, employers and all Ontarians.

Thomas began his career as a labour and employment lawyer. After nearly a decade of practice, his interest in public service led him to Queen’s Park, where he served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Labour, and later the Minister of Education. In those roles, Thomas took a collaborative approach to a wide range of issues that are important to workers and employers across the province.

Thomas joined the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in 2010 as Chief of Corporate Services, leading seven business divisions.

In 2013, Thomas returned to government, this time as Chief of Staff to the Premier of Ontario. Thomas led the development of all critical elements of the Government’s mandate, including the province’s Fiscal Plan and Budget; and he forged strong relationships with key stakeholders across many sectors.

Thomas came back to the WSIB in 2016 as President and CEO, now leading one of the largest insurance organizations in North America, which delivers services to more than 5 million workers and 290,000 employers across Ontario.

A native of St. Marys, Ontario, Thomas has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, and received his law degree from Queen’s University.

Ray Hession, Board Member

Member: October 19, 2016 to October 18, 2019
Member of BOD committees:
 Audit and Finance, Health and Safety, Governance and Information Technology Advisory Group - Chair

Appointed Chair of eHealth Ontario’s Board of Directors in 2010, Ray Hession has had wide experience in governance and management in the private, public, community service and broader health sectors. He is currently a director of HDR Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska-based engineering and architectural firm.

A graduate in economics from the Royal Military College, following military service, he entered the private sector, performing various marketing roles at IBM Canada. Joining Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 1974, following his initial appointment as Executive Director, Management Information Systems, he served as its President and CEO, between 1976 and 1982.

Since 1982, he has served as Deputy Minister, Supply and Services Canada, Deputy Receiver-General and Deputy Minister, Regional Industrial Expansion, Chairman and CEO of XIOS Corporation, Paxport International Corporation; President of Hession, Neville and Associates; founding Chair of the Agency for Cooperative Housing and of the Ontario Health Quality Council; Chair of the Board of The Ottawa Hospital, The Rehabilitation Centre of Eastern Ontario, and the Royal Canadian Mint. He has also served as a trustee of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group; Fairness Commissioner for the development of the new Royal Ottawa Health Care Group facilities and the new Ottawa Convention Centre Corporation.

Leslie Lewis, Board Member

Member: May 9, 2019 - May 8, 2022

Leslie Lewis is a Principal at Onex Corporation, one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms with total assets under management of $32 billion. Preceding Onex, Leslie was the Tax, Trade, and International Finance Policy Advisor to the Canadian Minister of Finance at the Government of Canada.Prior to her government service, Leslie was an investor at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and worked in investment banking as part of CIBC’s Mergers & Acquisitions group.

Leslie's career began as a Canadian national team athlete in kayaking and she holds a business degree from Acadia University.  Leslie’s community involvement includes serving as Co-Chair of the Investment Committee at Rise Asset Development and on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

Lea M. Ray, Board Member

Member: December 3, 2008 - December 2, 2019
Member of BOD committees: 
Audit and Finance -Chair, Governance, Health and Safety, Investment Committee

Lea Ray is a certified director (ICD.D) of the Institute of Corporate Directors, at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor.

Lea currently serves as the Vice Chair of Tarion Warranty Corporation and a Director of Street Capital Bank of Canada and Pro-Demnity Insurance Company. Her financial career began with PricewaterhouseCoopers and she is a former executive, Vice-President Corporate Finance, of Warner Bros. Entertainment Canada Inc., where she was employed for 19 years.

She has served on the Professional Conduct Committee of the Chartered Professional Accountants (Ontario) and has served as a Board member and volunteer of several non-profit health, conservation, and other charitable institutions.

Sari Sairanen, Board Member

Member: Sept. 17, 2017 - September 16, 2019
Member of BOD committees:
 Governance, Health and Safety - Chair, Human Resources and Compensation

Sari Sairanen is National Health and Safety Director at Unifor, responsible for the content of health and safety training programs, submissions for better laws, information on workplace substances, the establishment of programs to eliminate hazardous workplace conditions and the publication of the Health and Safety & Environment newsletter.

Sari comes to the National union from the Airline division which represents members from coast to coast to coast in Canada.

Sari began her union activism as a health & safety representative in a call center where she confronted ergonomic and working condition issues such as computer workstations, task design, stress and electronic monitoring. In addition, she served on the Air Canada bargaining committee as a regional representative and as President of Local 2002 during the CCAA or Companies’ Creditors’ Arrangement Act (bankruptcy) proceedings.

Sari also sits on Employment and Social Development Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee, the Canadian Labour Congress’ Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers’ Board of Directors and the National Institute of Disability Management and Research and Pacific Coast University’s Board of Directors.

Lori Turik, Board Member

Member: June 20, 2019 to June 19, 2022

Lori Turik is responsible for establishing the strategic, operational and financial management of the World Health Innovation Network (WIN) and the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health). She has extensive background providing strategic, business development, government and stakeholder relations and communications advice to public and private sector clients in her capacity as a Consultant. Her clients included the pharmaceutical industry, health care providers, not-for-profit associations and private businesses.

Lori is the former Executive Director of the Ivey International Centre of Health Innovation where she led the successful development of the Centre, its products and services and grew the Centre’s reputation both nationally and globally. Lori has served as Senior Vice President Government and Industry Relations at GS1 Canada, Vice President Public Policy for the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Health, Province of Ontario and as Director of Public Health Nursing Services, North York.

Lori has held appointments and has guest lectured at the University of Toronto, and York University. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lakehead University. Lori served as a member of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Board of Governors and has worked on numerous boards and government committees. She continues to be involved in various professional, community and health related organizations.

Bryce Walker, Board Member

Member: January 23, 2017 - January 22, 2020
Member of BOD committees: 
Governance, Human Resources and Compensation - Chair, Investment - Chair, Audit and Finance

Mr. Walker brings with him a wealth of experience in healthcare and education governance. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and past Chair of both Wilfrid Laurier University's Board of Governors and Grand River Hospital's Board of Directors. Grand River Hospital is one of Ontario's largest community hospitals located in the Waterloo region.

Mr. Walker's professional experience includes his role as Senior Vice President of Group Benefits for Manulife Financial, from which he has retired. He has a Bachelor of Math degree from the University of Waterloo, is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds an ICD.D designation from Rotman.

Board committees

We have five board committees that support the Board of Directors in meeting its fiduciary duties. They are the Audit and Finance Committee, Governance Committee, Health and Safety Committee, Human Resources and Compensation Committee, Investment Committee. In addition, we have an Information Technology Advisor Group that reports to the Governance Committee. Each committee operates under a mandate that sets out its responsibilities.

Committees Frequency Current Members as per BOD Minutes
Audit and Finance (PDF)

At least quarterly

Lea Ray - Chair
Bryce Walker
Ray Hession

Leslie Lewis
Elizabeth Witmer - ex officio

Governance (PDF)
 








IT Advisory Group (PDF)

At least quarterly








At least twice yearly
Elizabeth Witmer - Chair
Thomas Teahen
Bryce Walker
Lea Ray
Sari Sairanen
Ray Hession



Ray Hession - Chair
Elizabeth Witmer


External Advisors:
Robert Merizzi
Baha Ohcebol
Helen Polatajko
Health and Safety (PDF) Prior to each Board of Directors Meeting Sari Sairanen - Chair
Lea Ray
Ray Hession
Elizabeth Witmer - ex officio
Human Resources and Compensation (PDF)

At least quarterly

Bryce Walker - Chair
Sari Sairanen
Elizabeth Witmer - ex officio
Investment (PDF) At least quarterly

Bryce Walker - Chair
Thomas Teahen
Lea Ray
Elizabeth Witmer - ex officio

External Advisors:
Maureen Farrow
Peter Jarvis
Michael Whelan

Board of Directors (PDF) At the call of the Chair with a minimum of six meetings per year in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

Elizabeth Witmer - Chair
Thomas Teahen
Ray Hession

Leslie Lewis
Lea Ray
Sari Sairanen 

Lori Turik
Bryce Walker

Review our Board decisions

We’ve archived summaries of major resolutions and approvals made at our monthly Board meetings that may be of interest to you.