Group Benefits Associate, Dalhousie University
Gisela specializes in meeting the unique needs of executives and employees of public and private companies, associations, and not-for-profit groups. With over 29 years of steady and progressive industry experience proudly serving the needs of over 25,000 members, she has developed superior subject matter expertise in group benefits. Her passion for the industry has helped her hone her craft in various disciplines such as group underwriting, actuarial analysis, benefit plan design, sales, training, and sponsor/member communications. Gisela is a valued partner for organizations. Her insights, industry relationships, and strategies for containing benefit costs and introducing wellness initiatives contribute to healthier and stronger organizational teams. Gisela’s insurance career started early at Mutual of Omaha directly after graduating high school. She worked closely with the actuaries and underwriters, learning the nuances of the group employee benefits business. She quickly fell in love with the industry and decided to make it her full-time career while simultaneously pursuing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto. Always looking for growth, she understood that to achieve true success in the benefits industry she needed to continue her education in employee benefits management. At 23, she became the group underwriting department supervisor and continued her training by working for insurance companies and the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) program. Gisela recently completed her Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario graduating class of 2022. After 14 years, Gisela set her sights on one day owning her own insurance brokerage firm. She took a chance with Benchmark, joining as a contract employee, and within five years she was offered and accepted an equal partnership equivalent to that of the three founding partners. In 2018 Gisela and Adam Carere, the current CEO, took full ownership of Benchmark. When she is not focused on providing for organizations and the community, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their two children. She is also an avid and committed practitioner of Yoga.