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aboutwe’ve been in business for over 30 years, but we aren’t your parents benefits company.

we put connections first

We aren’t a stereotypical benefits company, and that shines through in how we approach our work. We get up each day passionate about meeting people, talking to people and finding solutions. Our team is authentic and vibrant and excited to work hard to help other businesses succeed. We believe that caring matters. That people matter. That authenticity matters. And it all starts with genuine connections.

being authentic means being real people

Stuffy brokers and hard sales pitches get left in the dust around here. That’s not how we operate because well, that’s not fun for us, either. We love our jobs, and we love being known as a team of people who can just be ourselves. Talking to you as a friend helps us get to the bottom of what you really need, and it makes it easier for us to have conversations about what’s right for you. When you can trust that we are working in your best interest, that’s when we know we’ve made that authentic connection.

we work together, we play together

We love to play where we work, and that brings a big family feel to our team, which is ironic in that we are a third-generation family business. A busy office means lots of lunches, walks and laughs together, and that means that we all develop a close working relationship. Collaborations between brokers and specialties come easy to us, and that equals great service for our customers. It’s a win-win.

this ain’t no gang of independent sales people (come on, get to know us)

Atticus Harivel


Atticus Harivel is a partner and advisor with S+F Group Benefits. Having been in the business for over 20 years he brings our team and our clients authentic, real-world experience. He has a knack for dealing with people and prioritizes the relationships he has with our clients. He has an ability to convey what we do in practical terms with a focus on transparency. While never forgetting the important and critical nature of the work we do, Atticus is never one to take himself too seriously (he’s half Australian after all). He has been married for over 26 years to the love of his life and together they have raised 3 great kids. He loves to ride his mountain bikes all over the local mountains on what he contends are some of the best trails in the world. He also loves to ski, hike, collect records (and not just lately), hang out with friends and family, and makes a pretty mean cocktail.

  • Diehard Seahawks Fan
  • Avid Skier
  • Devoted Husband
  • Mountain Biker
  • Faithful Christian
  • Dad of the year

Erik Schmidt

Managing Partner

Erik is one of those disturbed people that not only runs a company but also spends endless hours learning, reading, and listening to podcasts about everyone else’s businesses. When he is not spending his time working on our company, you will find our advisors pulling on his two decades of experience in helping them turn problems into solutions and challenges into opportunities. Clients that work with Erik find his no b.s. straightforward approach refreshing. Erik’s real work starts when he gets home. Juggling between his endless distractions (Snowboarding, Surfing, Mountain Biking, Cycling, Paddleboarding, Running, Golfing, hiking, fishing) and keeping up with his 3 boys and energetic wife, Erik finds coming back into the office on Monday mornings kind of relaxing…

  • Surfing Fanatic
  • Proud Father of 3
  • Amateur Kite Boarder
  • Travel Buff
  • Snowboarder
  • Board of Trade Volunteer

Deanna Schmidt-Hryhor

Managing Partner

Deanna is a gifted leader with over a decade (ok fine, close to 2) of experience in the world of Group Benefits. Before becoming an owner, ‘D’ was one of S+F’s original employees, she spent many years working directly with clients before focussing on where her passions truly lie; our people and processes! Armed with a perpetually determined attitude, creative troubleshooting skills and a true desire to see everyone thrive, Deanna helps to ensure that S+F performs at its best. When she’s not in the office, you can find her chasing the sun on a boat, planning her next travelling adventure, or spending time with her family outdoors.

  • Travel Junkie
  • Wake/Snow-boarder
  • Saved by Grace
  • Mama of 2
  • Substandard Crossfitter & Yogi
  • Summer Lover

Michelle Kellerman

Accounting Manager

Michelle found her way to S+F back in August of 2008 after working in the Tourism industry for many years. She started as a Group Benefits Service Coordinator and after a maternity leave—or two! (she knows how to work the system)—she has returned as not only our Bookkeeper but the person who has the power to send paychecks… or not. When Michelle is not holding our paychecks hostage, she is biking or hiking with her husband and two young sons or escaping them all on snowshoes.

  • Caffeine
  • Perfectionist
  • Saved by Grace
  • Mom X 2
  • Nature
  • Travel

Jon Wartman


With 15+ years of experience with S+F, Jon is a Jedi master of group benefits and wealth management. Nerding out over the numbers, over analyzing the facts and small print he gets the best friggn deal and product available for his clients. He loves math and compliance …….. “ewwww” …….. but he also loves people too, most of the time. Jon loves spending time enjoying the outdoors (all kinds of sports, hiking, gardening, biking, all types of board sports) with his wife and two daughters. He is also surprisingly handy if you need something built or fixed around the house. Jon also thoroughly enjoys being able to drive the golf ball farther than most people.

  • Devoted Christian
  • Family Man
  • Avid Golfer
  • Snowboarding Junkie
  • Handyman
  • Star Wars Nerd

Jessica Kiesz

Client Care- Individual Policies

Jessica joined the S+F team in 2013 and has since worked alongside all departments within the company. As of now, you will find her in client care for the investment department. She has always worked in the area of customer service and feels that good customer service is an important piece in making clients comfortable and welcome. Everyone’s favourite in-house cheerleader- she loves encouraging those around her both in the workplace and in her personal life. If there is a question that she doesn’t know the answer to, it is a goal of hers to help you find what you need.

  • Mother of 3
  • Culinary Enthusiast
  • Passionate Optimist
  • Organizer of Sanity
  • Life Lover

Ben Applin


Ben joined the team at S+F in 2014, with years of experience in the financial and insurance industry. The same competitive and enthusiastic nature that motivates Ben through challenging CrossFit workouts (and donut eating competitions) also drives him to find the most perfectly balanced solutions for his clients. Almost every day of the week, you will find him out on the soccer field coaching his two daughter’s Langley United soccer teams. Growing up on the island fueled Ben’s love for the outdoors, you can find him on a boat or at one of the ski hills with his family whenever he has spare time.

  • Car Builder
  • Soccer Coach
  • Crossfit Addict
  • Avid Sports Fan
  • Family Man
  • Boat Obsessed

Chad Schmidt


Chad is an advisor and partner at S+F. He joined the team after being a professor in the US for many years. Chad’s passionate about providing clients with the knowledge they need to make good decisions for themselves and their businesses. He’s a science and philosophy nerd who never turns down a meaningful conversation. When he’s not in his office, he’s binging shows with his wife or driving his twin daughters to sports practices and annihilating them at online Yahtzee. He has been known to eat everything you put in front of him with enthusiasm and—above all—he needs no excuse to laugh really hard.

  • Family
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Learning
  • Fishing
  • Eating!

Carmen Hill

Group Benefits Analyst

Carmen has been working in the insurance industry for over 20 years. She joined S+F Group Benefits in April 2011, bringing extensive knowledge after 10 years in underwriting group benefits. She is a multi-tasker and is able to successfully complete tasks quickly and efficiently with excellence. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family ‘camping’ (she’s got an rv, does that even count?!), boating or hiking.

  • Devoted Mom
  • Organization Guru
  • Obsessed Glamper
  • Perfectionist
  • Dog Lover
  • Excel Nerd

Lawrence Hoar


Lawrence has been working with small businesses and young family clients since he joined the insurance world in 2009. Prior to joining S+F Group Benefits, he built his own successful business but has taken his practice to the next level by joining our collective. He has come to realize the power of being part of a team – our team and yours. When he is not at the office you can find him being active with his 2 sons and wife. He hopes his boys will take on his hobbies so he can spend more time golfing, cycling, and playing hockey. Always available to listen to your needs and concerns, he will work with you to develop a plan-design that best suits your individual needs.

  • Ski
  • Golf
  • Sycling
  • Hockey
  • Travelling
  • Father/Husband
  • Cardigan King

Katelin Dirksen

Group Benefits Service Coordinator

Katelin joined S + F in 2013 in the group benefits department. Katelin received a soccer scholarship to Union University in Tennessee and graduated with her Bachelors in Business Administration. Previous to coming to S+F, she worked as a customer service representative for CIBC. She totally won us over with her baking, and it quite often makes its way into the office lunchroom. We prefer to think of her as an ambitious go-getter rather than an overbearing control freak, but whatever you want to call it, she gets the job done. She’s also one of those sickos, who thrives at spreadsheets. When this workaholic leaves the office, you will find her doing some type of activity or sport. She loves running, hiking, biking, and soccer.

  • Country Music Lover
  • Soccer Player
  • Cake Baker/Artist
  • Printing Perfectionist
  • Proud Auntie
  • Starbucks Addict

Marissa Bossy

Manager – Investments

Marissa has been working in the financial industry for over 25 years and has been with S+F for over 10 years. Previously, she has had various roles with the Royal Bank of Canada, AGF Investments and Sun Life Financial. Having grown up in Montreal’s West Island, she lived in Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa and has settled in beautiful British Columbia as of 2009. Marissa is always looking to improve and expand her knowledge so she is constantly reading, studying and attending webinars. When she is not working, Marissa spends time with her large family, especially making time for her grandsons. She loves warm sunny days and walking around her Abbotsford neighbourhood.

  • Proud Grandma
  • Natural Leader
  • Avid Reader
  • Beach Lover
  • Curious Learner
  • Super Mom

Shannon Schroedter

Group Benefits Service + Project Coordinator

Shannon joined the S+F team in 2015 on the group benefits side and has worked in a variety of customer service areas for the last 15 years. She came directly to us from working at a large insurance carrier. Shannon is our go-to for any random needs at S+F and is also the voice behind our social media. Her knowledge in group benefits is vast, and her organizational skills are on point. Shannon enjoys not only bringing Pinterest perfect treats into the office but also scaring her co-workers when they open various doors. When she isn’t working you will find Shannon enjoying time with her husband, son and Pomsky Mishka.

  • Adventurous Cook
  • Travel Addict
  • Tattoo Obsessed
  • Day Planner Enthusiast
  • Tea Drinker
  • Enneagram 2 (pretty much sums it up right here folks)

Ksenia Savost’yanova


Ksenia has been in the insurance and wealth industry for almost a decade. She is hard-wired to get things done, which results in building lasting relationships with her clients. We prefer to think of her as a go-getter rather than a type-A control freak—call it what you like—she has a rare talent for just making things happen. She likes to mix her passion for motorcycles and skydiving with a hint of humour.

  • Avid Traveller
  • Tour Wineries
  • Water Sports Enthusiast
  • Joke Connoisseur
  • Family
  • Aficionado of Culinary Arts

Kendalle Zenyk

Group Benefits Service Coordinator

Kendalle has extensive group benefits knowledge. Prior to coming to S+F in 2016, ‘Kenny Z’ as she is known in the office worked at a large insurance carrier for six years. Kendalle has a competitive nature, which helps her make sure the clients are getting the best service. Kendalle has two girls, and when they play house they pretend they are shopping at Aritzia. That tells you where you can find Kendalle on her off time. She does have a well-known weakness for online shopping and can easily be bribed with some Starbucks (as long as you know her high patience order).

  • Harry Potter Nerd
  • Boy Band Fanatic
  • Shopaholic
  • Maui Lover
  • Starbucks Lover
  • Cat Enthusiast

Par Bassan


Par joined S + F Group Benefits in the middle of 2014. He brings his vast knowledge of customer service experience to the team. His life-altering moment came back in 2004 when he started working for a motivational speaker and life coach. It was during this time where Par learned about work/life balance and also about having a purpose in life. It’s with this purpose that he wants to see that the business owner has a positive experience when they are looking at benefits for their company. Another asset is that he is fluent in Punjabi. At home, he likes to spend time with his son. He enjoys watching his son play ice hockey and coaching him in ball hockey. Par also loves to play ball hockey and go golfing. In the summer he likes going camping with family and friends.

  • Music aficionado
  • Softball MVP
  • Ball Hockey player
  • Seasoned Camper
  • Life Coach
  • Pinball Wizard

Kaity Parker

Client Service Coordinator

Kaitlin is the person you will hear from when your Advisor would like to see you to review your insurance or investments. She came to S+F after more than 10 successful years working in the pharmacy industry. Kaity has a lot of experience in management and logistics and is a huge asset when it comes to developing systems in the office. Each day you can find her doing a neighbourhood walk around the office (she needs the break after hunting down our advisors). On the weekends you will find her hanging out with her husband, family and friends, on a quick road-trip somewhere new or on the ball diamond playing slo-pitch.

  • Travel Addict
  • Slo-Pitch Allstar
  • Art History Geek
  • Podcast Enthusiast

Claudia Casto

Group Benefits Account Manager

Claudia is a group benefits Account Manager with S+F Group Benefits. Before joining the team, Claudia served business owners and brokers for one of the largest group benefits insurers in Canada. She knows the industry from many angles and has been bringing her expertise and customer-centric practices to our clients. She’s also a foodie and out-door enthusiast! When it’s time to have fun and relax, you can find her enjoying Vancouver’s natural beauty or exploring local restaurants.

  • Caring Daughter
  • Soccer Fan
  • Latin Music Lover
  • Adventurer
  • Romantic Movie Junkie
  • Sunset Addict

Kelly Wills

Life Insurance

Kelly joined the S+F Team in 2019, working within our Life Insurance department. Originally from England, Kelly moved to Canada over 10 years ago, bringing a background in Administration. When you call S+F you will likely speak with Kelly, you’ll recognize the accent straight away, and will find that she is always happy to go that extra mile to help you- as long as you don’t interrupt her afternoon tea ;). When she’s not working, Kelly can be found with her husband and three daughters exploring the outdoors and obsessing over her dog, Winnie.

  • Mother of Daughters
  • Dog Obsessed
  • Gin Lover
  • Cooking Enthusiast

Deanna Schmidt-Hryhor

managing partner

Deanna started working at S+F by accident almost 12 years ago. Over the years her job has changed and grown into being a key part of the management team. She is the ‘go-to’ person for questions about Group Benefit plans, operations, marketing and technology. Dea, as her friends call her, has grown up in the Fraser Valley and she can’t imagine living anywhere else- she is passionate about her community and working with others. Deanna doesn’t want to be called a soccer/hockey Mom but she can be found cheering for her kids on the weekends or planning her next getaway with her husband Matt.

  • Travel Junkie
  • Online Shopaholic
  • Problem Solver
  • Saved by Grace
  • Mama of 2

let’s get started on that solution.
reach out, we’re (really) here for you.