Joint governance

Through their representatives on the Plan’s governing bodies – the Sponsors’ Committee and the Board of Trustees – members and employers have an equal say in and share the risks of Plan decisions. This joint governance structure is recognized as a model for success in keeping defined benefit pension plans sustainable.

The governors are appointed by the Plan sponsors: the College Employer Council on behalf of the college boards of governors, the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA), and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

Are you an employer, a representative of a member group, or an employee of an organization interested in joining the Plan’s DBplus design?

Visit for resources that will help you decide if DBplus is right for your organization. You'll also find the DBplus Value Tool, which lets prospective members estimate the lifetime retirement income they can earn in DBplus

Joint governance adds value

As a member of the Plan, you can be certain that your interests are well-represented, because both members and employers share equally in making the decisions that affect your benefit security. Read why joint governance is an important feature of the CAAT Pension Plan.

Video: An introduction to joint governance

Members of the Sponsors' Committee

Members of the Board of Trustees

Members of the Sponsors' Committee

The Sponsors’ Committee is an 8-member group, which approves Plan amendments and files actuarial valuations. Sponsors’ Committee members primarily represent the interests of the groups that appoint them. The Committee’s focus is determining how to best balance contribution rates and benefit design.

Pat (Patrick) KennedyMr. Patrick Kennedy – Appointed 2013
Co-Chair, Sponsors' Committee

Pat Kennedy is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed). He is President of OPSEU Local 415, which represents faculty at Algonquin College. Mr. Kennedy is a professor in the Career and Academic Access Centre. 


Brian TamblynMr. Brian Tamblyn - Appointed 2013
Co-Chair, Sponsors' Committee
Brian Tamblyn is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). Mr. Tamblyn is a private practice management consultant. He retired from a 30-year career at Georgian College in 2012, where he was President and CEO for 13 years. His prior Georgian experience included Vice President roles in Human Resources, Student Services, and Community and Business Development. Mr. Tamblyn has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. 

Mr. Riley Burton – Appointed 2017 
Riley Burton is an Employee representative (OCASA-appointed). He is Chair, School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts at Confederation College. Mr. Burton was a member of the OCASA Board of Directors and sits on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He has a Masters degree from Royal Roads University and is a certified Project Management Professional.  


Ross GaschoMr. Ross Gascho – Appointed 2017
Ross Gascho is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). He is a Partner at Fasken Martineau, practising in pensions and employee benefits. Mr. Gascho is a member of numerous legal and pension organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association Pension & Benefits Section. He previously sat on advisory committees for federal and provincial pension regulators. He has an LLB and an MBA from the University of Toronto. 

Ms. Cheri Hearty - Appointed 2019
Cheri Hearty is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed) with 20 years of experience in the pension and benefits industry. As a Benefits Officer for OPSEU, she assists members with questions about pensions and benefits, advocates for members, provides guidance to locals in bargaining, and advocates for the value of Defined Benefit pension plans. Ms. Hearty has served on a number of different pension plan and benefit boards of trustees. 

Steve HudsonDr. Steve Hudson – Appointed 2014
Steve Hudson is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). Dr. Hudson is Senior Vice-President, Academic and Learner Services at Niagara College. He previously held positions such as Vice-President Corporate Services as well as Senior Business Officer in a school board. Dr. Hudson has a Bachelor of Engineering from Royal Military College, as well as a Masters of Engineering, Masters of Business Administration and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Toronto.

Anne SadoMs. Anne Sado – Appointed 2017
Anne Sado is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). She is President of George Brown College. Ms. Sado also sits on several boards including ORION, Polytechnics Canada, and the Toronto Region Board of Trade. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto. Ms. Sado was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2013. 


Ms. Veneise Samuels – Appointed 2018
Veneise Samuels is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed). She is a Student Success & Industry Liaison Officer at George Brown College. Ms. Samuels also serves as Second Vice President on the executive of OPSEU Local 557.



Shared objectives lead to security

The Plan’s governors consider benefit security, contribution stability, and equity among members to be top strategic priorities. Read what the Plan's governors have to say about their top strategic priorities.

Members of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is a 12-member board. As fiduciaries, Trustees are legally bound to act in the interests of all Plan members. The Board of Trustees sets the investment strategy and funding risk that are appropriate for the Plan’s long-term obligations and establishes policies for administering benefits.

Don SmithMr. Don Smith – Appointed 2013
Chair, Board of Trustees

Don Smith is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and sits on the Finance and Administration Committee and Governance Committee. Mr. Smith is a faculty member of the School of Business at Georgian College. As a Chartered Accountant, he has served as a member of professional committees concerned with member education and accounting standards development. Mr. Smith has an MBA from York University and a Diploma in Education from the University of Western Ontario. 

Dr. Scott Blakey - Appointed 2015
Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
Scott Blakey is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He serves on the Audit Committee and Governance Committee. Dr. Blakey is the Chief Administrative Officer of Durham College. He has extensive pension experience, including 12 years with the TTC Pension Fund Society. Dr. Blakey served in various roles there, including as President of the Pension Fund Society. He has a doctorate in education from the University of Toronto. 

Ms. Virginia Di Monte – Appointed 2018
Virginia Di Monte is an Employee-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. Ms. Di Monte is a Payroll Administrator at Seneca College. She also serves as Treasurer for OPSEU Local 561. 



Mr. Rasho Donchev - Appointed 2015 
Rasho Donchev is an Employee-appointed Trustee. Mr. Donchev is Co-Chair of the Governance and Audit committees. He also sits on the Investment Committee. Mr. Donchev is a Scheduling Officer at Centennial College and serves as President of OPSEU Local 559.


Harry GibbsMr. Henry (Harry) Gibbs – Appointed 2003
Harry Gibbs is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He serves as Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. An advisor to several Canadian pension investment committees, he has held numerous senior leadership roles in the pension investment industry. Mr. Gibbs previously served as a Vice President and as a Director of the Pension Investment Association of Canada. 


Mr. David Haley – Appointed 2019
David Haley is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He serves as Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. Mr. Haley is a professor in the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin College where he teaches engineering and mathematics courses. He also serves on the executive of OPSEU Local 415 and is a member of the OPSEU CAAT-A Divisional Executive Collective Bargaining Information Services Committee. Mr. Haley has a BEng from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Karen McRaeMs. Karen McRae – Appointed 2016
Karen McRae is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She sits on the Investment Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee. Ms. McRae has experience in the finance, pension, and mutual fund industries. She previously worked as Senior Vice President, Investments at the Mackenzie Financial Corporation. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Anglican Church of Canada Pension Fund. Ms. McRae holds an MBA/LLB from York University and an ICD.D designation. 

Alnasir SamjiMr. Alnasir Samji – Appointed 2010
Alnasir Samji is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and serves on the Finance and Administration Committee. He is Managing Principal at Alderidge Consulting Inc., and serves as a Director on the Torstar Board where he chairs the Pension Committee. Mr. Samji previously worked as a Principal at Towers Perrin, specializing in pension and actuarial consulting. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Mr. Michael Seeger – Appointed 2019
Mike Seeger is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He sits on the Finance and Administration Committee. Before retiring, Mr. Seeger was the Director of Financial Services at Loyalist College. He previously sat on the CAAT Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2017. Mr. Seeger is a retired professional accountant. 



Beverley TownsendMs. Beverley Townsend – Appointed 2008
Beverley Townsend is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and a past Chair of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Townsend is a health care consultant with over 30 years of management and administration experience in the public healthcare sector. She is a past Chair of ACAATO (forerunner to Colleges Ontario) and past Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors and the College Foundation Board (she remains an honorary director). 

Ms. Gretchen Van Riesen – Appointed 2015
Gretchen Van Riesen is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Governance Committee and serves on the Investment Committee. Ms. Van Riesen is a consultant in the pensions and benefits industry. She serves on several boards, including the Municipal Employer Pension Centre of Ontario and the Teachers’ Pension Plan Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador. 


Kim WatkinsMs. Kim Watkins – Appointed 2017
Kim Watkins is an Employee-appointed Trustee. She serves on the Investment Committee. She is the Chief Financial Officer of Mohawk College and serves as Treasurer for the Mohawk College Foundation. Ms. Watkins has an MBA from Laurentian University. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified General Accountant. She also holds a Certified Risk Management designation. 



Subcommittees of the Board

Equal representation and voting extends to these subcommittees of the Board of Trustees that make recommendations to the Board in particular areas of focus:

  • Appeals Subcommittee – hears member appeals of the interpretation of Plan rules.
  • Audit Committee – reviews the effectiveness of the organization in controlling and managing operational risk. It ensures the reliability of financial reporting and reviews the annual financial statements.
  • Finance and Administration Committee – is concerned with Plan design, funding and administration, legislation, litigation, and the appointment and evaluation of actuarial and legal advisors.
  • Governance Committee - assists the Board of Trustees in ensuring effective Board functioning and decision making as well as overseeing management of the CEO & Plan Manager.
  • Investment Committee – develops and recommends the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures and related policies such as those concerning responsible investing and investments in derivatives.


Plan Equity Review Task Force - Governance in Action

As part of delivering value, the Plan considers fairness among generations and member groups when making decisions about contribution rates and benefits. To accomplish this, the governors established a Plan Equity Review Task Force that completed a review of certain Plan provisions in early 2016. Two changes to benefit provisions that
were the outcome of its review took effect in 2016.

  • The pension accrual for members on long-term disability is now the same as for active members.
  • The ability to elect a commuted value payout is limited to six months following termination of active membership.