Performance of Our Signature Funds

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When you combine dedication and expertise, opportunities present themselves.

Our Financial Specialists are always in your corner. Our interests are aligned with yours. We’re not in the business of selling products—we’re delivering outcomes. Our appreciation and understanding of educator-specific challenges means that together, we’ll build the right financial path to help you meet your life goals.


Educators helped Judy and I realize our retirement dreams of spending winters on our sailboat in the Bahamas.

Jim Matthieu
TBU, District 3
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Amedeo Perfetto
Amedeo Perfetto
AMP - Agent - Regional Director - Central Western Region

Amedeo is a financial switch hitter, providing his clients with a rare depth of experience acquired over 20 years in not one, but two complex fields – insurance and mortgages. Whether delivering superior client experience at branch level or providing solutions to meet clients’ long-term financial goals for one of Canada’s largest banks, his forte has consistently been achieving superior client experience through advice-driven client discussions. “To me, the most satisfying thing about the job is providing advice that truly meets a client’s needs”, he says. “And that can only be the result of sitting down with the person and discussing where they are now, and their goals for down the road.” Amedeo has taken the Canadian Securities Course and Life License Qualification Program, and has taken courses for the General Insurance License. He holds a Bachelor of Business Management, and has earned the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation.

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Claudio Santamaria
Claudio Santamaria
AMP - Agent - Regional Director – Ottawa/Carleton Region

Whether you speak French or English, are looking to purchase, refinance, or renew/switch your mortgage in the Ottawa region, Claudio speaks your language. A graduate of Ottawa’s Algonquin College, Claudio has spent over 13 years in mortgage sales, with experience in both banks and brokerages. In a prior position, he was one of the top 25 of 1000 mortgage professionals across Canada. Claudio has taken the Ethics and Responsibilities course with CAAMP, and obtained the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation. He enjoys working with members of the education community because “educators help children make great futures for themselves, so it feels good helping them meet their own goals for their future.”

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Dan Martonfi
Dan Martonfi
CFP - Financial Planner - Eastern Ontario

With over 13 years experience in the financial industry, Dan has studied English and Psychology at York University, and completed his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, Canadian Securities Course, Financial Planning I and II, Wealth Management Essentials and the Conduct and Practices Course. While he’s now calling Brooklin home to best serve our eastern region, he lived south of the border for some time – first in the windy city (or ‘Chicago’ as some may know it as) and then in Jacksonville, Florida, working as a Financial Advisor for a large American financial planning firm. Dan says his “passion for helping people” and his “keen interest in financial planning” led him to choose his current career path. A path that not only has led him to Educators Financial Group, but also to volunteer with the Junior Achievement Program in Peterborough, where he’s applying both his passion and expertise to increase the financial literacy of our youth. If you’re in the Durham, Kawartha Pine Ridge or Trillium Lakelands region – book your free one-on-one financial planning session with Dan today.

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Darryl Martella
Darryl Martella
RRC - Financial Advisor - Eastern Ontario, Ottawa Region

With 8 years of experience in the financial industry, Darryl brings specialized knowledge in the realms of pension and retirement plans, in addition to his proven ability to offer sound, strategic advice on a wide range of other financial planning areas. Darryl has a diploma in Business Administration from Algonquin College in Ottawa, a Registered Retirement Consultant designation from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, as well as a Life Insurance License from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. He is currently working towards achieving his CFP designation. As for what he enjoys most about working with the education community, “I would have to say it’s educating the educators… helping them to clarify and prioritize their financial goals, then implement a plan of action.” Darryl can answer your needs in both French and English.

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Edward (Ed) Gougeon
Edward (Ed) Gougeon
Financial Advisor - Eastern Ontario, Ottawa Region

A resident of Orleans, Ottawa, Ed comes to Educators Financial Group from BMO Nesbitt Burns. After 20 years of helping people from all walks of life achieve their financial goals, he’s enjoying working specifically with education members. “It’s an opportunity to apply my skills to a unique group, which I believe is underserved by the financial community”, he says.  A believer in ongoing education, he has his Financial Planner 1 and 2, Personal Financial Planner certification, Canadian Securities Course, and is taking his Certified Financial Planner certification.  A father of two, Ed says, “serving the education community is a way to say thanks for their service to our children and communities.”

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Jamie Cote
Jamie Cote
CFP - Financial Planner - Kitchener

Jamie’s well-rounded background helps him understand all his clients’ financial needs.  He has worked in the financial services industry for well over a decade.  Educators’ clients will benefit from this experience and his dedication to building his knowledge.  With his MBA from Dalhousie University as well as his CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CIM (Certified Investment Manager), and FCSI (Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute) designations, Jamie is eager to help Educators clients as a Financial Planner. “Having overcome personal struggles with learning early in life with the help of education community, Jamie looks forward to working with Educators’ and helping the community that has been so important to his personal development.”

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Jim Wanamaker
Jim Wanamaker
CFP, B. Comm, BA - Financial Planner - Western Ontario

When it comes to knowing Educators firsthand – it’s all in the family (he comes from a family of educators and is married to a teacher). Jim brings many years of experience in financial planning, retirement counselling, and investment advice. Prior to joining our team, he was a Financial Services Manager at one of the largest banks in Canada and has also worked for a leading insurance company. Jim holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Guelph and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, as well as the Canadian Securities Course and Professional Financial Planning Course. What advantages does he bring to his clients? According to Jim, “it’s the fact I understand the financial concerns of our client. That insight enables me to recognize their needs, and assist them in attaining their personal financial goals.”

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Karen Hubbard
Karen Hubbard
Regional Assistant Vice-President, Client Advisory Services

In addition to being an educational advocate, Karen brings to the team over 18 years of financial specialist experience – spending a good part of that time as an advisor with the Private Wealth Management Division of a major financial institution. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and has her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. When describing what she enjoys most about working at Educators Financial Group, Karen says, “it’s definitely sitting down with clients – helping them to employ wealth-building strategies and build effective financial plans for life events.”

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Kola Deru
Kola Deru
CFP - Financial Planner - Guelph and Blue Water District

Since receiving his B.Comm. from Concordia University and MBA from Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Kola has seen ‘both sides of the fence’ in 25- year career in the financial industry. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP), he’s worked hands-on with clients at RBC, BMO, and CIBC, and also has also helped to develop standards within the industry at Moody’s Analytics. A married father of three, the needs of education members are close to his heart, because his daughter is a French teacher. Kola’s motivation? “I’m passionate about developing financial roadmaps that enable clients to make smart financial decisions that in turn grows their net worth.”

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Lisa Raponi
Lisa Raponi
CFP, FMA, FCSI, RRC - Financial Planner - Southern Ontario, Toronto/GTA

Lisa’s love for knowledge and comprehensive background in the finance and investment sector enables her to provide educators with the sound financial solutions they’re looking for with the right combination of smarts, and heart. The ‘smarts’ comes from 15 years experience in several roles within the financial services sector. Having graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Economics, Lisa has also obtained her Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Management Advisor (FMA), and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) designations. She completed the Registered Retirement Consultant designation through the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. Lisa’s love for knowledge and dedication to learning motivated her to join the Junior Achievement Program.

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Lou Comand
Lou Comand
AMP - Agent - Regional Director - Central North

Lou Comand may have obtained a post secondary degree in Geography at York University, but since then his education has taken a definite financial bent.  He has spent over 20 years in the financial field in various positions up to and including Branch Manager.  During that time he acquired his Personal Financial Planner designation, and successfully completed the Investment Funds Canada program and the Mortgage Agent course.  Lou’s interest in the education community is personal. “With one daughter in university, one in high school, and one in grade school, I have nothing but admiration for the work that education members do.  It’s very satisfying to be in a position to help them with their financial needs.”

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Marian Ollila
Marian Ollila
CFP, RRC, FCSI - Financial Planner - Greater Toronto Area

Raised in Vancouver and educated at University of Toronto, Marian’s 25-year career in the financial industry has spanned both cities. Prior to joining Educators Financial Group, she provided investment advice, financial planning, and management of portfolios to physicians and their families. When she started at Educators in 2002, Marian recalls that she was one of only two financial planners. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Marian has taken the Canadian Securities Course, Registered Representative Exam, and has earned Financial Management Advisor (FMA), Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI), and Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC) designations. “One of the great satisfactions of the job”, says Marian, “is finding out what makes our clients unique, and finding solutions that satisfy their needs.”

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Melinda Nelson
Melinda Nelson
Regional Assistant Vice President

Melinda Nelson and the education community have a lot in common – they’re both firm believers in the value of education.  Melinda says that the financial field is always changing and those in it must keep up through constant learning.  She has taken the Canadian Securities, Branch Compliance Officer’s, and Conduct and Practices Handbook courses, has both her Personal Financial Planner and Certified Financial Planner certifications, and is on track to receive her Chartered Investment Manager accreditation.  She has used her learning and experience to help countless clients in her 20+ year career with leading Canadian banks and financial institutions, and now is looking forward to helping Educators’ clients.  “We want everyone in the education community to take advantage of our highly educated advisors, who really know their clients’ needs and goals.”

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Nadeem Ibrahim
Nadeem Ibrahim
PFP, CIM, CSWP, RRC, FCSI, CIWM, TEP, M.Sc. (Hons.) - Financial Advisor - Central Ontario

With a teacher sister and a professor brother, it seems only fitting that Nadeem Ibrahim’s career led him to educate educators on their finances. Nadeem completed his Professional Financial Planning (PFP), Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP), Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC), Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI), Chartered Strategic Wealth Professional (CSWP), and CIWM (Certified International Wealth Manager) designations, and courses such as Portfolio Management Techniques, Investment Management Techniques, Advanced Retirement Management Strategies, Advanced Estate Planning and Trust Strategies and Canadian Securities Course, Personal Financial Planning. He has over 13 years of experience in private wealth management and advisory services to benefit his clients in the education community. “I appreciate having in-depth conversations with my clients”, he says, “getting to know what their needs are – then presenting options to help them achieve their financial goals.”

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Patti Passmore
Patti Passmore
Financial Advisor - Hamilton and Niagara Region

Patti’s commitment to the education community stems from her involvement with her sons’ school. She has spent countless hours assisting in the classroom and volunteering for special events, and has gained valuable insight into the needs of educators. Patti brings more than 20 years of financial services experience to Educators Financial Group, most recently as a financial planner with large financial planning firm serving Hamilton and the surrounding areas. Prior to this, Patti’s background was as a money market and bond trader working with a large investment management firm. Patti has completed her Life License Qualification (LLQP) and Mutual Fund License (IFIC). Her specific areas of expertise are investment, retirement and estate planning. When asked about her approach to providing effective solutions to her clients, Patti responds, I feel it is my responsibility to provide a sound and practical financial plan. I look forward to working with the education community to help them achieve their life goals.” Ready to get started? Contact Patti to book your consultation today.

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Paul Weston
Paul Weston
Agent - Regional Director - North Eastern Region

A graduate of Loyalist College, Paul is well versed in the investing and borrowing needs of clients – he has over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has worked with companies such as BMO Nesbitt Burns, Midland Walwyn and Investors Group. He’s currently studying to get his AMP accreditation, and is a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays.  Why? Because he appreciates teamwork and its importance.  One of the reasons he is pleased to be with Educators is because “With Educators, everybody is pulling in the same direction.  The client is the number one priority.”

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Sandra Walsh
Sandra Walsh
Financial Advisor - Central and Northern Ontario

Having worked as a teacher at Georgian College in Barrie, Sandra is able to relate to the financial needs and goals of the educational community – adding valuable insight to her current role of Financial Advisor with Educators Financial Group. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Science, Sandra has over 13 years of experience working in various roles within the financial sector. In addition, she has completed many industry-accredited courses such as the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), Life License Qualification (LLQP), Conduct and Practices course (CPH) and Wealth Management Techniques (WMT). When asked about the unique dynamic she brings to her clients, Sandra responds, “I would have to say it’s my commitment of helping my clients reach their financial goals through education, information, options, and guidance.”

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Our Leadership Team


Our Board of Directors


Andy Poprawa


Andy is an experienced director of corporate and not-for-profit entities. He is currently a consultant and advisor to financial services regulatory agencies in Canada and internationally. Andy is the past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario and has also served as a senior financial services regulator with the Ministry of Finance (Ontario) and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (Canada) supervising credit unions, insurance companies, pension plans, trust companies and banks. He is a Chartered Professional accountant (CPA, CA) and Chartered Director (C.Dir) which was earned at the Directors College at McMaster University and was awarded the College’s Gold Standard Award in Governance. Andy also serves on the Executive of the Ontario Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).


I want to know about the financial concerns that keep education members awake at night.

Chuck Hamilton

President and Chief Executive Officer

Inquisitive by nature, Chuck enjoys interacting with members to learn about the education community, and the unique financial issues they face. He thrives on bringing value to members, drawing from his experience in marketing, investment management and financial planning. In his role, he leads corporate strategy and business development. Chuck earned a B. Sc. degree from the U. of Winnipeg, a M. Sc. degree from the U. of Manitoba, and the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College.

I want to know about the financial concerns that keep education members awake at night.

I’m motivated to work with our fund managers to maximize performance for our clients.

Stuart Mulcahy

Chief Financial Officer

Stuart keeps a razor eye on maximizing the performance of Educators Mutual Funds. As CFO, he also ensures that the organization performs to the highest standards required of a financial services company. Stuart is described as a creative thinker, proactive change agent, and pragmatic decision maker who has a passion for excellence. Stuart has held senior finance executive roles at TD Bank Financial Group. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and holds a Chartered Accountant designation through the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

I’m motivated to work with our fund managers to maximize performance for our clients.

I’m proud to provide insights to members of the education community on making better financial choices.

Pat Bellissimo

Broker - Vice-President, Lending Services

Pat is committed to providing insights that will help the education community make better financial choices. She is devoted to seeking the right lending partners that are able to fulfill the unique needs of our community. Pat and her team are known for their responsiveness, high level of service and their consistent ability to deliver the right solution that meets the borrowing needs of members. Pat is an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP), who has worked for over 25 years in the financial services industry, for major Canadian Credit Unions and TD Bank Financial Group.

I’m proud to provide insights to members of the education community on making better financial choices.

I see tremendous opportunities for helping the education community and that’s what gets me up in the morning.

Sylvie Pelletier

Vice-President, Marketing

Sylvie uses her marketing thought-leadership and financial services expertise to help the organization consistently deliver exceptional client experience and build awareness of the “best-kept secret” within the education community. She is also dedicated to helping educators become more knowledgeable about financial literacy. A bilingual marketing executive, Sylvie earned her Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing at McGill University and has a career that has spanned over 25 years working in the advertising industry and the private sector.

I see tremendous opportunities for helping the education community and that’s what gets me up in the morning.


Working at Educators Financial Group

We’re made up of talented, creative, dedicated, and passionate problem solvers. We appreciate people who help make dreams a reality for our clients and our organization.

We thank all applicants for their interest; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

We’re currently looking to hire excellent teammates for the following positions:

Not sure if you see a fit right now?

Send us your resume with covering letter at and when there’s something available, we’ll get in touch.

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