Our people are our greatest resource

We have an unwavering commitment to maintain and actively foster an industry-leading level of insurance and risk management education and training, and we are working hard to plan for the future to ensure the esteemed members of “The Old Guard” are succeeded by an energetic and engaged group of young insurance and surety professionals.

We are proud of our team and we invite you to get to know them.


Direct telephone number: (902) 454-7198 + extension

Our Commercial & Surety Team
Victoria L. Stanhope, MBA, FCIP, CRMPresident & CEO

Victoria does not fit the traditional mold of a commercial insurance broker, let alone one who specializes in the construction and development industry.

Victoria began her career at Stanhope Simpson in 2003 while completing her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s University of which she earned summa cum laude distinction.  Victoria has been full-time at Stanhope Simpson since 2007 during which she has completed the part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Saint Mary’s University, Canadian Risk Management (CRM) program via the University of Toronto, and most recently, the Fellowship CIP program.  In 2008, Victoria completed the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) program of which she completed all ten courses in record pace and earned the following awards upon graduation; Top Broker Graduate (Canada), 1st Runner-up Overall CIP Graduate (Canada) and Best Results in CIP (Nova Scotia).

Luckily for Victoria, she shares her father, Victor’s, innate passion for the construction industry – which means that she enjoys every minute of her challenging and dynamic role at the firm.  As President, Victoria is integral to the management of the brokerage.  Although she relishes her leadership role, her true passion lies in the construction and development industry of which most of her clients belong.  Victoria is proud of the portfolio of esteemed clients that she manages and is always looking forward to the next opportunity to prove her specialized expertise in this industry to a new customer.

Victoria serves on the Board of Directors for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) as well as the Great Big Dig for the IWK Steering Committee. Most recently, she completed the esteemed QuantumShift national executive leadership program for CEO’s at Ivey Business School.  She has been featured in Insurance Business Magazine (2018) and was the lead cover story of Insurance People Magazine (July 2018).  Victoria is honoured to be a National Leadership Award recipient from the Insurance Institute of Canada (2018) and she still finds time to guest lecture at Dalhousie University on the topic family business.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 239

Donald K. McDermaid, BComm, FCIP
Donald K. McDermaid, BComm, FCIPExecutive Vice President & Commercial Insurance Broker
Donald began his career at Stanhope Simpson nearly 20 years ago, becoming an owner in 2015.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University (2001), his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation and mostly recently completed the Fellowship CIP program in the Spring 2015.

Donald manages a broad range of complex commercial insurance accounts encompassing the seafood, hospitality, realty, construction industries, and beyond.  As Executive Vice President, he also manages one of the firm’s commercial teams and is the Director of Stanhope Simpson’s personal lines department.  Donald prides himself on providing a superior customer experience and building great relationships along the way.

Donald recently joined the Board of Directors for the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS), where he is excited and honoured to serve his fellow IBANS members.

Outside of the office, he loves spending time with his family, particularly gathered around the barbeque.  During the winter months, he can be found throwing stones at the curling rink.  In fact, he was a proud member of Team Nova Scotia at the 2012 & 2014 Briers.  In the summer, Donald enjoys getting out on the course and playing a few rounds of golf.  He is a big sports fan – especially of football, golf, and tennis.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 246

Steven Bates, BBA, FCIP, CAIB, CRM
Steven Bates, BBA, FCIP, CAIB, CRMVice President & Commercial Insurance Broker
Prior to joining Stanhope Simpson, Steven received his undergraduate business degree from Mount St. Vincent University where he attended classes full-time while managing the day to day responsibilities of owning and operating a forestry contracting business.  Since joining the firm in 2004, Steven has developed and grown a portfolio of complex commercial insurance and surety accounts.  His experience of being a business owner in the contracting industry – and operating heavy machinery and tractor trailers first-hand – sets him apart from most brokers as it allows him to better understand and connect with his clients.

Steven is the brokerage’s primary internal technical consultant, due to his expertise in specialty coverages such as Professional Liability, Directors & Officers Liability and Environmental Liability.  As Vice President, he is also responsible for leading all aspects related to claims resolution for the organization and oversees the junior producers, providing ongoing guidance to support the sales team as required.

Steven is involved with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and has taught the Construction Insurance course previously offered through CANS.  Steven is an active member of the Family Business Association – Atlantic (FBA), and is proud to have joined FBA’s Board of Directors where he can help serve the needs and interests of Atlantic Canadian family enterprises.

Outside of the office, Steven spends most of his free time with his family and doing his best to complete a “seemingly never-ending” list of home renovation projects.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 229   Mobile: (902) 237-5426

Mark Howard, BComm, FCIP
Mark Howard, BComm, FCIPVP of Simpson Hurst & Commercial Insurance Broker
Mark first joined Stanhope Simpon in 2007, as a member of the personal lines team and has worked his way up through the organization to become a minority owner in 2018.  Since walking through the doors of the brokerage, Mark quickly established himself as a key member of the firm and is now managing complex commercial insurance programs along with developing a portfolio of his own clients.

Mark attended Saint Mary’s University where he earned his Bachelor of Commerce (2004).  Committed to the highest educational and professional standards, he has engaged in several relevant course work to gain designations including his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and most recently his Fellowship Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) in Spring 2015.  He enjoys communicating with clients and maintaining strong client relationships is his top priority.

Mark has a love for all things sports and never passes on an opportunity to hit a golf ball, which is a little less frequent after becoming a father to his three adorable children.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 257

Gary Pellerin, BBACommercial Insurance Broker
Prior to embarking on his career in the insurance industry, Gary enjoyed a successful career in industrial financing where he assisted many New Brunswick and Nova Scotia contractors with their financial needs.

In 1989, Gary joined Stanhope Insurance and started his career as a Commercial Insurance Broker.  Today, Gary enjoys a hard-earned reputation for being a leader in commercial insurance in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  He is fully bilingual; an asset that has proven to be integral to his success at the firm.  Gary’s area of expertise is the construction, development and realty industries.

Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time with his family and visiting his cottage in Larry’s River as often as he can.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 227

Shawn Freeze, CIP, CRM
Shawn Freeze, CIP, CRM
Shawn joined the brokerage after spending 10 years as a senior large commercial underwriter for RSA Insurance, specializing in construction & contracting and professional liability insurance.  He has completed numerous sales and service seminars in recent years, including a two-week intensive technical underwriting training session in the UK in 2012.  Shawn’s passion for providing exceptional service to his clients, coupled with a strong technical background in commercial insurance makes him a natural fit for the Stanhope Simpson team.  He holds his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation and has recently attained his Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation.

Shawn is active as an ambassador with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, as well the Construction Association of Nova Scotia.  His family life can certainly be described as “hectic”, as a dad to a son and two young daughters.  He can usually be found attending any number of basketball games, dance classes or swim lessons, sometimes all in the same day.  A big sports buff (and long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Bears fan), Shawn tries to fit as many runs in during the week as possible.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 222

Scott Peach, BComm, CIP
Scott Peach, BComm, CIPCommercial Insurance Broker
Scott joined the commercial team at Stanhope Simpson in February 2013.  He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University in 2007 and also achieved his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in Spring 2015.  Scott brings with him extensive experience in customer service, having worked in the banking industry with TD Canada Trust for nine years, including five years in sales and one year in management.  He has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sales training courses, workshops and seminars that has allowed for a broad resource base on which to build his insurance career.  Scott looks forward to building lasting relationships with customers at Stanhope Simpson.  He is currently working hard to develop his portfolio of commercial clients.

On the personal side, Scott is an avid sports fan with a special affinity for the Chicago Bears.  He enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and friends, and rarely turns down the opportunity to swing a golf club or hockey stick.  He is also an avid member of the Halifax Progress Club and sits on the board of the King’s Meadow Home for mentally challenged adults.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 243

Pauline Bell, CIPSr. Commercial Account Executive
Pauline began her career in the insurance industry in 1979 at Canadian General Insurance.  She joined Stanhope Insurance in 1988 and later earned her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in 1992.

Pauline works closely with Victoria managing her commercial accounts – many of which are in the construction and contracting industry.  She prides herself on her client-first approach.  Outside of the office, Pauline enjoys kettlebells, cycling, knitting, sewing and reading.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 224

Arin Selig, CIP, CRM
Arin Selig, CIP, CRMCommercial Account Executive
Arin joined the Stanhope Simpson commercial team in 2019.  Now working closely with our president, Victoria Stanhope, she enjoys interacting with and managing a wide array of fast-paced accounts, largely consisting of the most prominent construction, development and real estate companies in the region.

Arin’s versatility and vast expertise are evident in her work with both clients and other industry professionals.  Developing meaningful and positive working relationships is important to her as she strives to always deliver best in class service.  Her approach to client service goes beyond the traditional ‘nine to five’ work hours because she understands that one size does not fit all. She prides herself on being dependable, easily reachable and being able to helping clients to understand their risks and assist them with making informed decisions.

Arin holds her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada, as well as her Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 244

Paula Shubley, CIP
Paula Shubley, CIPSr. Commercial Account Manager & Surety Administration Manager
Paula joined Stanhope Simpson’s commercial team in 1992.  She obtained her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in 2001.

As an account manager, Paula takes care of a diverse portfolio of commercial insurance accounts.  Developing long-term relationships with her clients comes naturally to Paula due to her consistently professional, courteous and efficient service.  Her years in the industry have culminated in a wealth of insurance knowledge and she is often sought out by her colleagues to consult on complex commercial insurance accounts.

In 2017, Paula accepted the challenge to manage the firm’s surety administration team, in coordination with Shawna Naismith.  In this role, she works closely with our clients’ lead broker at Stanhope Simpson to coordinate, place and administer surety bonding programs that are tailored to meet their unique needs.

Paula enjoys cooking, walking and spending time with friends and family.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 223

Tim Smith, BComm, CIP
Tim Smith, BComm, CIPCommercial Insurance Broker
After completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University in 2004, Tim spent a few years involved with the local music industry, which included managing a music store as well as touring the country with his rock band. Life on the road soon took its toll and he decided to make the transition to corporate sales, working with such companies as Telus and Drake International, before joining Stanhope Simpson in October 2013.

Tim’s experience working with a variety of  accounts  across multiple industries have proven invaluable to his insurance career.  His relaxed yet informed approach to business has allowed Tim to foster positive and productive relationship with both his clients and colleagues alike.  He holds his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation.

In his free time, Tim is an avid mountain biker and musician, who is also beginning to develop a bit of a golf habit.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 250

Shawna Naismith, BA, BBA, FCIP, CRM
Shawna Naismith, BA, BBA, FCIP, CRMSr. Commercial Account Manager & Surety Administration Manager
Originally from Antigonish, Shawna obtained her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from St. FX University.  After working briefly in the banking industry, she joined Stanhope Simpson’s commercial team in 2001 as a Commercial Account Manager working closely with Gary Pellerin.  She has since achieved her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and Fellowship CIP designations from the Insurance Institute of Canada, as well as her Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation.

In 2017, Shawna welcomed the opportunity to manage the surety administration team, in coordination with Paula Shubley.  In this role, Shawna works closely with our commercial brokers to coordinate, place and administer surety facilities for our clients.  She prides herself on delivering exceptional customer service.

Shawna is a true pleasure to work with.  She’s always smiling and has one of the best senses of humor at the firm.  Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 242

Ashley Burke, BBA, CIP, CRM
Ashley Burke, BBA, CIP, CRMCommercial Account Manager
Ashley joined the brokerage in July 2018, after spending five years in the insurance company side of the industry, working in both personal and commercial lines with Intact Insurance.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, both obtained from Mount Saint Vincent University.  Ashley completed her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation along with the Commercial Insurance Certificate (CIC) program, through the Insurance Institute of Canada.  She has also obtained the Certified Risk Management (CRM) designation, through the Global Risk Management Institute, the Customer Service for the Insurance Professional (CSIP) certification, through the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, and the Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist Certification (CRIS), through the International Risk Management Institute.

Ashley was the recipient of the IIC Atlantic Vice Chair Award in 2017, for achieving the highest result for Atlantic Canada in the Business of Insurance course along with the IBANS Commitment to Learning Award in 2019.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 236

Wendy Forhan, BComm, CIP, CAIB
Wendy Forhan, BComm, CIP, CAIBSr. Commercial Account Manager
Wendy embarked on her insurance career in 1992.  She earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University (1992),  the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation (with honours) in 2005 and the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation (with honours) in 2008.  She was also recognized by the Insurance Institute  of Canada with the Atlantic Vice Chair Award (2006) for highest results in Atlantic Canada for the Insurance Against Liability Part 1 course.

Wendy joined Stanhope Simpson in 2004 as a member of the personal lines team, during which she managed the department for a short time, before joining the commercial team in 2008.  Today, Wendy is Shawn Freeze’s Commercial Account Manager.  She has extensive experience servicing construction and contracting accounts and prides herself on her exceptional attention to detail.

Inside of the office, Wendy is known for her infectiously upbeat personality.  Victoria would add, “Wendy is an absolute pleasure to work with.  She adds a lot to our organizational culture at Stanhope Simpson – her cheerful attitude and wicked sense of humour make our office that much brighter.”  

Outside of the office, Wendy enjoys gardening, home renovation projects and working out at the gym.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 248

Jannine Freeze, BBA, FCIP, CRM
Jannine Freeze, BBA, FCIP, CRMCommercial Account Executive
Jannine started her career with Stanhope Simpson back in 2002 as a personal insurance broker, eventually moving into commercial insurance.  She left in 2008 to explore the underwriting side of the industry, as a Senior Commercial Underwriter with a major international insurer.  Jannine recently “returned home” to join the Stanhope Simpson team in February 2020 to work alongside Victoria Stanhope, on some of the company’s larger & more complex commercial accounts.

Jannine earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University (2001) and achieved her Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) designation, as well as her Canadian Risk Managers designation (CRM) in 2010.

Jannine’s unique blend of underwriting knowledge combined with her strong broker background makes her a key addition to the Stanhope Simpson team.  She takes great pride in her ability to problem solve and has developed strong relationships within the industry, which allows her to provide top quality service to her clients.

Outside of the office Jannine spends most of her free time with her husband & two young daughters.  A zealous huge music fan, Jannine enjoys taking in live concerts whenever the opportunities arise.  To unwind, she enjoys walking and yoga.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 228

Lindsay Letourneau, BA, CIP
Lindsay Letourneau, BA, CIPCommercial Account Executive
After completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Carleton University and simultaneously working in financial services for three years, Lindsay moved to Halifax and joined the Stanhope Simpson Commercial team in 2010. She completed her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in 2013 and actively builds her knowledge with training and education opportunities. Lindsay is well rounded with experience in surety, global risk collaboration, and has managed diverse and complex commercial accounts for over a decade both at Stanhope Simpson and another global brokerage.

Having developed a particular intrigue for the Construction and Development sectors, Lindsay understands the time sensitive and evolving nature of the industry. She sat on the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) Emerging Leaders Committee for five years, two of which she had the honour to serve as Chair and enjoyed cultivating meaningful relationships with respected peers. She values developing relationships with clients and colleagues alike as a foundation on which to build trust, strategies, and solutions for commercial risk.  Lindsay prioritizes a client-first focus and open communication to ensure clients get the servicing and advice they want and need to be successful.

Outside of the office, Lindsay is a lifelong Blue Jays fan and a proud Yogi having achieved her Yoga Alliance Teaching certification. She loves to spend time with family on the field, at the rink, and at the beach.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 267

Jaylee MacDonaldCommercial Account Executive
Jaylee joined the company in 2022, bringing with her extensive knowledge of all things construction, having worked with some of the largest construction firms in Atlantic Canada.  As such, Jaylee was an instant fit with our commercial lines team, where she works closely with Greg Blacklock. Her high attention to detail, great problem solving skills and ability to multi-task make her an asset to the clients she services.

Jaylee enjoys spending time with her family and watching the Toronto Blue Jays.

Office:  (506) 333-4578

Greg Blacklock, MBA, CIP
Greg Blacklock, MBA, CIP
Greg has a wealth of insurance knowledge, having worked on both broker side and company side.  With his easy-going personality and quick wit, Greg has always excelled at providing superior levels of client service.  He prides himself on ensuring that clients receive the most appropriate solutions to fulfill their insurance needs.

Greg holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Dalhousie University (2008). He completed his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in 2018, a program in which he excelled, earning the Best Performance First Year CIP Student Award.

Outside of the office, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and twin daughters.  He is an avid camper and is also very skilled with computers.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 230

Dana SmithCommercial Account Manager
Dana joined the Stanhope Simpson commercial team in December 2022.  Prior to this, he gained experience in several different areas of insurance, including personal, and commercial small business.  Having spent his entire working life in customer facing roles, he understands the importance of providing exceptional service, while getting the job done.  Dana is a results-oriented professional committed to working with clients to find solutions to their insurance needs.

Dana holds his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada.

When he’s not working, Dana enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 262

Briagh Fergusson, BA, CIP, CAIB
Briagh Fergusson, BA, CIP, CAIBCommercial Account Manager
Briagh is a trusted member of the Stanhope Simpson commercial team, with over 10 years of insurance industry experience in both personal and commercial lines.  She received both her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) and Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s University.  She prides herself on her proactive approach to customer satisfaction and commitment to going the extra mile, as evidenced by her recent nomination for the IBANS Above & Beyond Award.

When she’s not working, Briagh enjoys travelling and spending time with her dog, Luna.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 261

Amber Whebby, CIP
Amber Whebby, CIPCommercial Account Manager
Amber joined Stanhope Simpson in July 2020, bringing with her six years of insurance industry experience in both personal and commercial lines.  She received her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in the Spring of 2020, along with obtaining her Commercial Insurance Certificate from the Insurance Institute.  Outside of the office, Amber enjoys spending time with her dog, Daisy.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 234

Victor J. Stanhope, FCIP, CCIBFounding Partner & Chairman
Victor embarked on his career in the insurance industry over forty years ago.  From day one, he worked earnestly to build a reputation as this region’s leading construction insurance broker.

Victor founded Stanhope Insurance Ltd. in 1979 in the basement of his home in Rockingham, Halifax with a handful of construction clients and his wife, Donna, as his administrative assistant.  It wasn’t long before Stanhope Insurance – armed with two additional brokers, Paul Folk and Gary Pellerin – became known as the top construction brokerage in Nova Scotia.

Victor has since led the firm to achieve steady growth in the highly competitive commercial insurance market.  Although he started his career specifically focused on the construction industry himself, he has grown the brokerage (now known as Stanhope Simpson) to be what it is today – a leading insurance provider in Atlantic Canada for all varieties of commercial insurance.

In both the insurance and construction industries, Victor is known as a true leader and entrepreneur.  He is client-focused, is known as a tough negotiator, and he believes that his staff are the organization’s greatest asset.  This is a reputation that he worked hard to build, and one in which his daughters, Victoria and Heather, and son in laws, Steven and Scott, are all working hard to carry forward.

Office:  (902) 454- 7198, extension 225

Don McDermaid, CIBChairman
Don joined Simpson-Hurst Ltd. in 1973 as an account manager in their commercial department.  Due to his high level of insurance expertise, hard work and perseverance, he became President of Simpson-Hurst in 1993.

Don and Victor decided to proceed with a business plan to operate Simpson-Hurst and Stanhope Insurance under one company, Stanhope Simpson Insurance, in 1998.  Don has an extensive background in all varieties of insurance including commercial, marine, aviation and other specialty and complex insurance products and solutions.  He also boasts highly specialized and expert knowledge of the seafood industry.

Outside of the office, Don is a huge curling fan and enjoys most sports including tennis, Nascar and football.  He enjoys travelling, spending time with his family and sailing radio-controlled yachts.

Office:  (902) 454- 7198, extension 237

Our Personal Lines (Home & Auto) Team
Scott Conrad, BA, MA
Scott Conrad, BA, MAPersonal Lines Manager
Scott joined Stanhope Simpson as the Personal Lines Manager in 2017 and has over 20 years of insurance experience.  He takes pride in providing clients with timely service, developing customized insurance packages based on individual needs, and providing sound insurance and claims’ advice.  Scott and his team work hard to get to know their customers, to build authentic relationships and to advocate on their behalf to ensure a positive client experience.  Scott is the Director of the CANS and Municipal/Dexter group insurance programs.  He also manages complex personal insurance programs for many of our high-net-worth clients.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s University and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo. He was proud to serve the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS) as a member of the board of directors from 2013 – 2017 and to be part of the formation and executive of the Young Broker’s Network (YBN).

Outside of the office, Scott loves spending time in the outdoors hiking, cycling and running.  He also enjoys reading, cooking and scouring Atlantic Canada for antique treasures.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 251

Denise Russell
Denise RussellPersonal Insurance Broker
Denise has been in the insurance industry since 1987.  She joined Stanhope Simpson in 1997 as a Personal Insurance Broker.  Today, she manages a broad book of personal lines business.  Her clients truly adore her for her outgoing and upbeat personality – a personality that makes it easy for her to develop long-term relationships with many of her customers.  Denise’s technical personal insurance knowledge is exceptional.  She is often asked by her colleagues to consult on complex home and automobile insurance matters.

Denise is a valued and long-standing member of the Nova Scotia Insurance Women’s Association.  Outside of the office, Denise loves spending time with her grandkids.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 231

Jennifer MacKenzie
Jennifer MacKenziePersonal Lines Account Executive

Jennifer joined the Stanhope Simpson team in 2018 and has been a broker in the industry for over 10 years.  She prides herself on her ability to connect personally with every client, understanding their needs and requirements, and helping them make decisions that fit their individual lifestyles.  Customer service is a priority for Jennifer. She prides herself on providing her clients a genuine and positive experience, in an industry which can often be overwhelming and intimidating.

Jennifer earned her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation in 2013.

Outside of the office, Jennifer can be found spending time with her son – hunting, fishing and soaking up the sun at her cottage on Big Tancook Island.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 238

Heather McDermaid
Heather McDermaidAdministrative Assistant
Heather earned her office administration certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)  in 2010.  Through NSCC, she was also awarded the Arthritis Society Award of Recognition for exceptional hard work and perseverance.  She joined Stanhope Simpson in 2012 as the firm’s receptionist.

Heather prides herself on her outgoing personality and excellent customer service skills – attributes that make her “a natural” at her job.  She is currently working towards her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation.  Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family – in particular, hanging out with her daughter.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 232

Melissa Dort, BA, CAIB, CIP
Melissa Dort, BA, CAIB, CIPPersonal Insurance Broker
Melissa joined Stanhope Simpson as a receptionist in 2004 and quickly proved herself to be a valuable member of the organization due to her exceptional customer service, work ethic and attention to detail.  Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with an advanced major in psychology from Dalhousie University (2002).  She earned her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation in 2007, of which she earned honors distinction, and later earned her CIP designation in 2009.

Presently, Melissa is a Personal Insurance Broker at Stanhope Simpson.  She is responsible for servicing a broad variety of personal insurance accounts that range from straight-forward tenant’s policies to multifaceted personal insurance programs. She prides herself on her knack for explaining complex insurance coverages to her clients in a way that they can easily comprehend.

Outside of the office, Melissa enjoys live music, watching football on Sundays, and spending time with her family and friends.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 221

Trudy Scanlan, CIP
Trudy Scanlan, CIPPersonal Insurance Broker
Trudy joined the Stanhope Simpson Personal Lines department in October 2015.  She’s been in the business for over 30 years, developing a vast knowledge of insurance, across all lines of business.  Helping people, keeping them protected and happy is what Trudy does best.

Trudy earned her CIP designation in 1998.  She has also taught several insurance courses for the Insurance Institute of Nova Scotia and has been involved with the Nova Scotia Insurance Women’s Association.

In her spare time, Trudy enjoys home improvements, knitting and sewing.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 254

Christine Cox-Norman, CAIBPersonal Insurance Broker
Christine is the newest member of the Stanhope Simpson Personal Lines department, joining in Spring 2022.  She’s has over 10 years experience in the industry.

Outside of work, Christine enjoys playing hockey.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 268

Our Internal Support Team
Heather Peach, CPA, CA
Heather Peach, CPA, CAChief Financial Officer
In her role as CFO, she oversees the financial management of the company, its financial reporting and various corporate functions including tax and long-term strategic planning.  Heather also manages all aspects of the advertising and marketing strategy, leads IT-related initiatives, establishes continuous improvement and operations efficiency directives, as well as oversees the human resource function.

After spending several years in public practice, Heather transitioned from the audit arena to private enterprise at Pacrim Hospitality Services, where she served as Senior Manager of Accounting and Finance.  She later joined Bell Aliant in 2010, where she gained valuable experience in external financial reporting and compliance.

Heather has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Mary’s University where she graduated at the top of her class, earning the Gold Medal in the Faculty of Commerce in 2004.  She also holds her Chartered Professional Accountant designation having passed the UFE in 2005.  In her spare time, she is an avid runner and also plays golf as a member of Ashburn Golf Club.  She loves to travel, anything culinary and spending time with her family and friends.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 241

Gerald Ward, CIPController & IT Coordinator
Gerald joined the Stanhope Simpson’s Internal Support Team in 2002.  Prior to then, he held several positions that primarily focused around insurance and accounting-related functions.  He has completed accounting programs at both NSCC and Saint Mary’s University, and in 2008 he successfully completed his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation.

As Controller at Stanhope Simpson, Gerald is chiefly responsible for the management of all major accounting functions of the company.  This includes managing the general ledger, accounts receivables and payables, budgeting, and various other accounting-related responsibilities.  More recently, Gerald has taken on the additional role of Information Technology Coordinator where he oversees the day to day development and maintenance of IT systems within the office and serves as the main point of contact with software suppliers and external IT providers.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 235

Trish Dominie
Trish DominieCommercial Insurance & Accounting Administrator
Shortly after graduating from Mount Saint Vincent University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Trish began growing her family and was able to stay home and raise two children, Alex & Cassidy, for ten years. Upon reentering the workforce, she started a not-for-profit called Alex’s Safe Harbour and then went on to work with Veterans at the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre.  Both roles had a high focus on client services and attention to details.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking for self-care, especially Asian and Italian cuisine. She is often found camping near the ocean in the RV with her husband Tim and daughter Cassidy.

Office: (902) 454-7198, extension 263

Martali McDermaid
Martali McDermaidOffice Administrator
Martali’s primary role is assisting with the administration of payroll and various accounting-related functions. Martali also works with her husband, Donald McDermaid, performing office administration for the Simpson-Hurst commercial team.  When she is not in the office, she can be found caring for her son and relaxing with her family.

Office:  (902) 454-7198, extension 240