Meet Our Team

Doug Heaman

Doug started his insurance career in 1982 knowing that his passion for entrepreneurship would provide him with an opportunity to make a difference in the industry. For many years, Doug  volunteered on the Executive Board for the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO), serving as President of this Provincial association in 2016.  In this capacity he met with industry partners and politicians to champion the insurance rights of consumers. We were proud to see Doug in such a prominent leadership position setting a strong course for the insurance industry in Canada.

Doug has always had a passion for hockey. While he secretly dreams of the career he would have loved to have had as a child, he has more talent for insurance than he ever did with skates strapped on!

Scott Heaman

Scott is proud to lead Advocate in its second century of serving clients.  An academic at heart, Scott enjoys learning about the ever evolving insurance industry. He has completed a number of accreditation courses including having his Canadian Risk Management designation.  In addition to providing leadership to the Advocate team, Scott is one of our top commercial producers. He enjoys helping businesses navigate risk management decisions and consider options before selecting a solution.  In his spare time Scott is an avid reader and runner.

Sara McLennan
Director of Operations

Sara brings with her over 20 years’ of experience in the insurance industry. Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, she followed in her Father and Grandfather’s shoes pursuing an insurance career. An unusual path considering she studied medieval and ancient English at University! Sara holds her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designations. She enjoys giving back to our community and was recognized as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year, by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time Sara enjoys running. While she has run 7 full marathons, including Boston and New York, she admits she’s happiest now going for a leisurely short run.

Mandy Namisniak
Director of Client Services

Mandy has worked with Advocate for over 7 years and is exceptional as a Customer Service Team Leader. She used to work in the travel industry, but decided to pursue a career in insurance after getting her Provincial broker license. She doesn’t hesitate to mentor, train or support her colleagues, giving her time selflessly to see others succeed. Her passion for her role shines through in her work ethic. Mandy enjoys spending her spare time with her family, golfing and playing volleyball.

Kelly Workman
Account Executive, Commercial Insurance

Kelly is our office expert on all things agriculture. As a licensed professional broker, she makes sure our clients have the coverage they need to protect their assets, livelihood and future. She is a great addition to our commercial sales team. You can count on her to provide you with the best coverage for your specific needs with a personal touch. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family and riding horses.

Ashley Eagle
Customer Service Broker, Commercial Insurance

In 2002 Ashley followed in her Mother’s footsteps launching her career in the insurance industry. Even though she hoped to one day become a marine biologist, learning to study the ins and outs of insurance has allowed her to skillfully educate and advise our commercial clients. With three young children keeping her busy at home, Ashley always has her hands full.

Ilona Petrosky
Technical Service Broker, Commercial Insurance

Ilona joined the Advocate team in 2009. She started her insurance career at reception where she warmly greeted clients. As a little girl she thought one day she would become a nurse. Insurance is a far cry from working in the medical field, but her care for others is a part of what makes her a valuable member of the Advocate Commercial Lines team!

Andy Lee
Customer Service Broker, Commercial Insurance

Prior to pursuing a career as a licensed insurance broker at Advocate, Andy worked on the claim side of the industry.  Wanting to see what insurance was like on the broker side, he joined our commercial team in 2020.  A dog lover who enjoys time outdoors, Andy’s favourite memory is of his time in Puerto Rico with his family exploring coral reefs and savoring local cuisine.  Highly motivated and self-driven, Andy is ready to assist with any questions you may have.

Janice Tamminen
Customer Service Broker, Commercial Lines

Janice is committed to developing her professional skills to ensure she is providing the best service. Her goal to explore Ontario, then Canada’s hiking trails hoping to meet new friends along the way, is evidence of her outgoing and welcoming personality.  Collaborating with colleagues, she creates a fun and collective atmosphere and appreciates the relationships she builds with our clients.

Jim Schweitzer
Commercial Specialist

Jim started in the insurance industry in 1980 as a life insurance agent. Within 6 months, he got his general license and started his own brokerage which he ran for 10 years. He merged this brokerage with Advocate, and has been working in Commercial Lines ever since! In his free time Jim enjoys snowmobiling and travelling the world.

Steve Price
Account Executive, Personal Insurance

Steve joined the Advocate team in 2015 and is a busy member of our sales team. Steve patiently and genuinely serves clients. He shares a passion for trying new things, whether its food or participating in an Advocate event, he is all in! Steve is an avid fisherman, which he likes to do with his Saint Bernard, Tucker. This certainly makes him the owner of the largest dog in our Advocate family. Steve is also a huge Maple Leafs fan and enjoys playing hockey in his free time.

Ellen Eagle
Customer Service Broker, Personal Insurance

Ellen is a member of our customer service team. Over the years she has demonstrated an incredible skill for training. Her technical knowledge, expertise and patience make her perfect as a trainer and many members of our team have benefitted from being a student of Ellen’s! When asked about childhood dreams, Ellen says she always wanted to be a Mother. She’s attained that dream and is a proud Mother. She’s obviously a good role model too as her daughter Ashley decided to follow in her footsteps and is also a member of the Advocate team!

Lena Gaspar
Customer Service Broker, Personal Insurance

Lena joined Advocate over 20 years ago. Many of our clients light up when they see Lena as she speaks Portuguese fluently. In her spare time Lena loves reading romance novels. In addition to her passion for reading is a love of fashion. Even though she didn’t grow up to be a teacher as planned, she enjoys teaching clients about insurance and helping them understand their options.

Tiffany Clements
Customer Service Broker, Personal Insurance

Insurance has been a big part of Tiffany’s life. Not only did she start her career in 2001 and is now an important member of our Customer Service Broker team, but Tiffany also met her Husband in the insurance industry! Tiffany grew up on her parents Elk farm where she learned the disciplines of hard work and an appreciation for nature and animals. Tiffany is a proud mother of two girls and is a devoted dog lover.

Lisa Parsons
Customer Service Broker, Personal Insurance

Lisa’s commitment is evident in the way she educates and informs, helping clients be comfortable and confident with their insurance purchase.

Always on the lookout for timeless treasures, you’ll find Lisa browsing antique markets.  Although Hawaii is on her vacation to-do list, Lisa finds the most joy when she returns home to Newfoundland to spend time with her loved ones.

Elnaz Akbari
Customer Service Broker, Personal Insurance

A graduate of Conestoga College, and in customer service for nearly a decade, Elnaz is a valued member of our Personal Lines team.  Enjoying yoga and meditation, she also spends time with her dog and indulges in a chai tea latte from Starbucks now and then.  As a great listener who makes insurance easy to understand for her clients, Elnaz looks forward to working with you.

Laura Wenzel
Customer Service Broker, Personal Lines

Beginning her journey as a broker in 2018, Laura’s work directly reflects her passion for helping others.  Living in the country, she enjoys time with her beloved family, neighbours and Bernese mountain dog.  Laura wants to help clients understand coverages, providing peace of mind when it comes to what matters most.

Maria Costa
Technical Service Broker, Personal Insurance

For more than 15 years, Maria has provided support to our sales and service departments as a dedicated member of our TSB team. Maria also shares her time and talents as a member of the Social Committee, her laughter and outgoing nature make her an ideal person to serve in this capacity. Maria’s favourite time of the year is the spring and summer months, when she can spend her time in her garden.

Paula Mighton
Technical Service Broker, Personal Insurance

As a constant pursuer of knowledge, Paula shifted her extensive career in health insurance to home and auto insurance.

Paula says her ideal day would be spending as much time with her grandson as possible.  Born in London, England Paula has made a beautiful home in Kitchener-Waterloo where she enjoys watching soccer with her family.

Judy Croal
Quality Assurance, Personal Insurance

Judy started her insurance career in 1977. She is a valuable addition to the advocate team, showing her dedication to make a difference and contributing to the success of the organization. Judy’s team mates all long for the days when she brings in home baked goods. If we could choose an alternative career for her, it would be for her to own a restaurant!

Linda Bradley
Personal Recovery Coordinator

Linda initially joined the Advocate team in 1999 serving as our receptionist. Years later, the vision to create a dedicated personal recovery coordinator (PRC) became a reality and Linda was the perfect person for the role! As our PRC, Linda works side by side with clients who have suffered a claim. Her passion for people is part of what makes her so successful in her position. Claims can be difficult and our clients don’t have to navigate that alone. Linda is passionate about the vision and values here at Advocate. During dinnertime with her family she proudly shares the difference we are making not only with our clients but in the community as well.

Learn more about our PRC services.

Caroline Jones
B.Comm, CA, CPA

Caroline assists with all financial related items at Advocate. We are lucky to have had her on our Advocate team for over 10 years. Caroline has a deep sense of adventure. Highlights have included exploring Australia, scuba diving, hang-gliding and even tempting her taste buds dining on Kangaroo tail!

Marika Sonnenberg
Administrative Coordinator

Marika’s passion for people and life are evident as soon as you meet her. Clients are warmly welcomed with a smile and exceptional hospitality by Marika, who is a member of our reception team. Stop by our office to see for yourself! Marika is a wonderful addition to the Advocate team! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, and her Yorkshire Terrier.

Rebecca Rice

Welcoming clients with her genuine, friendly personality, our Lead Receptionist Rebecca creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.  With her degree from Conestoga College, over 10 years of customer service experience, and her enthusiasm and creativity, she keeps reception running smoothly!

Rebecca’s love for animals is evident and she spends as much of her free time with her two dogs as she can.  She is an avid gardener and enjoys any opportunity to get outside in the sun!