Greg Pollock is the President and CEO of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. He is responsible for providing effective strategic leadership and direction and oversees all aspects of Advocis's day-to-day activities. Greg is also the Chief Operating Officer of The Institute, the leading designation body in Canada for financial services practitioners in the areas of wealth transfer, estate planning and living benefits.
Prior to joining Advocis in 2008, Greg was general secretary of the 43,000-member Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), responsible for all aspects of the organization and management of the provincial association. This position involved collective bargaining, government liaising, strategic planning, dispute resolution and financial management.
Greg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional and has a Chartered Director designation from McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business. He has both a Master of Laws degree from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School and a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Toronto. In 2012, he was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the teaching profession in Canada.
Ed Skwarek is Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. Ed’s chief responsibility is to ensure that Advocis’s voice is heard by all key stakeholders in the financial services sector, including bureaucrats, legislators, and policymakers, as well as the media. In addition, he assesses and reviews position papers, monitors industry trends, develops policy, and prepares formal submissions in response to consultation documents released by governments and regulators across Canada.
Prior to joining Advocis, Ed was counsel, and later senior legal counsel with leading Canadian securities regulators. He has also worked with a number of large financial product and service manufacturers in Canada.
In addition to his B.A. and LL.B., Ed holds an LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he studied the development and structure of complex financial instruments and their broader legal and policy implications. He graduated from the LSE as a specialist in corporate and securities law, with merit.
Barbara Riddell is Vice-President of Education and Membership at Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. She is primarily responsible for education leadership, corporate business development, and strategic direction. She also oversees chapter relations, member services, and student services.
More than 25 years’ effective leadership experience in financial services in product development, communications, training, and coaching have given Barbara the skills, knowledge, and perceptiveness to position Advocis as the industry standard in advisor education.
A firm believer in the importance of giving back, Barbara is an advocate for volunteerism and contributes to several charities.
She is a Certified Financial Planner and continues to maintain her life license
Julie Martini is Vice-President, Public Affairs and Marketing for Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada. With more than 18 years’ experience helping to grow and evolve financial services brands, Julie is no stranger to the challenges – and opportunities – that present themselves to an industry in transition.
With a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from McGill University and her experience as a former combat medic with the Canadian Army, Julie was trained early on to be a keen observer of human behaviour. Using an insight-based approach to creating connection points with a target audience, Julie has had the privilege of leading award-winning campaigns for some of Canada’s most respected organizations.
When she’s not passionately advocating for professionalization and consumer protection, Julie can be found passionately advocating against rule improvisation during her family’s weekly Game Night.
Linda Illidge is Vice President, Finance & Administration at Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. She oversees finance, human resources, technology, and office services. In her fifteen years with Advocis, Linda has also served as Manager of Accounting, Associate Director of Accounting and Administration, and Senior Director of Finance.
Linda has been a Member Volunteer of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario for nine years. She is also a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), Canadian Payroll Association and the Human Resources Professionals Association.
Linda has a BA in Music and Economics from Wilfred Laurier University, as well as CPA, CMA designation. She is pursuing Payroll Compliance Practitioner certification.