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Senior Director, Benefits

Job Type: 
Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)
Competition Number: 
ID# 18-1940
Job Description : 

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) represents nearly 300 urban municipalities including cities, towns, villages, summer villages and specialized municipalities and more than 85% of Albertans. It is a dynamic and evolving association, advocating the interests of members to the provincial and federal orders of government and other stakeholders.

We believe that municipalities need stable and predictable funding to support their social, economic, cultural, environmental, and governance objectives. We also believe that the roles and responsibilities of municipal governments must be recognized and respected by both the provincial and federal orders of governments, and advocate for that recognition and respect. We work to ensure that everyone—at every level of government—understands that municipal governments are accountable to their citizens and are trusted to act in the best interest of their respective communities.

AUMA works to engage our members and develop strategic partnerships between all orders of government to meet municipal needs. Although many urban municipalities share common challenges, such as the need to fund core services and maintain infrastructure, we also understand the diverse and complex nature of our membership. That’s why we’re committed to developing solutions that respect differences.

Mission - AUMA is the voice of urban municipalities and provides visionary leadership, solution-based advocacy, and service excellence.

Vision - AUMA is a change agent that enables municipalities to be a fully engaged order of government with the capacity to build thriving communities.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Senior Director, Benefits plays a key role in managing, at a strategic level, the Alberta Municipal Service Corporation’s (AMSC) portfolio of aggregated employee benefits services. This includes a comprehensive and aggregated multi-employer employee benefits program comprised of over 200 municipalities and municipally related non-profit organizations covering 14,000 employees. The program includes, Life, Extended Health and Dental, Disability (both taxable and non-taxable), EFAP, Wage and Compensation Survey, Best Doctors, VFIS and Critical Illness.

The position is expected to creatively find opportunities to enhance and enrich the programs to become more comprehensive in delivering broader HR customer service offerings. The position will provide leadership, oversight and strategic direction to the Director of Claims and Wellness ensuring all current service offerings remain competitive and sustainable and return the expected financial obligations to the organization. Moreover, the position has responsibility for alignment with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization and will research, build the business cases and operationalize new services related to an expanded HR offering in support of the AMSC commitment to provide value, service and expertise.

Overall responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain effective ongoing relationships with key municipal staff through continuous communications face to face and through other channels. Frequent and consistent face-to-face communication is expected.
  • Work with peers, vendors and other key stakeholders to uncover new opportunities, deliver outstanding service and maintain excellent customer intelligence.
  • Operationalize viable new service offerings related to HR.
  • Maintain a close working relationship with the Director to ensure that AUMA/AMSC members receive a consistent approach to all service needs.
  • Provide staff with access to appropriate training and tools to ensure growth, development and appropriate succession planning.
  • Implement an ongoing training program to ensure that all staff are fully knowledgeable about privacy requirements, legislation and regulatory environment.
  • Review and manage the contracts with service partners to ensure SLAs are maintained and contracts are reflecting the current environment. If required go to the market to determine whether better alternatives are available in accordance with AUMA/AMSC practises.
  • Work with the Directors to review the existing programs and models and make adjustments and enhancements to ensure a competitive service.
  • Investigate and recommend to senior management new related service opportunities that support the long-term health of the branch.
  • Provide input to the annual Strategic Plans and Business Plans.

Operations Management

  • Provide oversight and handle escalations related to ensuring effective claims management.
  • Plan review and design recommendations related to industry trends and demographic changes to best meet client needs while containing costs.
  • Work with the Director and vendors to assess activity within the claims management process identifying trends and emerging issues, and opportunities to improve service to program participants. Work with clients to address issues.
  • Periodically review the relevant risk registers and revise and update as required.
  • Provide input into the development of sales and marketing plans as required by the relevant areas.
  • Review the annual Line of Service Plans, Vendor Management Plans and Marketing plans to ensure they are current and appropriate.
  • Provide leadership at the Customer Advisory Group’s meetings.
  • Spearhead the delivery of an HR Conference.
  • Continuously review the plan designs with key staff and vendors to look for areas of improvement, effectiveness and recommend changes to assist clients.
  • Ensure that the annual renewal process is completed effectively and in a timely manner.

Information System Development and Management

  • Ensure the area maintains confidential and flexible information systems needed to support all aspects of the programs.
  • Ensure alignment of the area’s information systems with the long-term information management and service delivery strategies of the AUMA/AMSC.
  • Ensure efficient and effective use of the information system to provide appropriate management and governance reporting.
  • Provide subject matter expertise and drive the successful implementation of the new benefits administration system.

Financial Management Practices and Processes.

  • Develop and maintain the financial management and reporting processes needed to ensure the fiscal integrity of the programs/area.
  • Create and manage a comprehensive and accurate reporting system that ensures the Executive Officer and CFO are kept fully informed of all financial dimensions of the area.
  • Ensure that all relevant external agencies receive the information they need, in a format and within time frames acceptable to them.
  • Oversee the annual financial cycle of the benefits program, including review and assessment of experience, recommendations for rate and coverage adjustments, recommendations to the Executive Officer, communication of changes and underlying reasons to program participants and AUMA/AMSC members where appropriate.


  • Provide advice and background for communicating to members.
  • Maintain current updates on branch initiatives and report to Chief Operating Officer regularly through corporate dashboard.
  • Write articles and updates to the newsletters in order to continue to inform client base.
  • Contributing to the development of an annual business plan for the AUMA/AMSC.
  • Produce supporting reports for the AMSC and AMSCIS Boards.
  • Respect the fact that each member of the team brings skills to the table, and it is the effective combination of those skills that will allow the department to provide responsive and successful service to the members.
  • Meet regularly with the Director and peers of the department to ensure appropriate coordination of their knowledge and activities.
  • Meet regularly with department staff to discuss operations, and work with them to make improvements in process and procedures as required.
  • Mentorship and succession planning.
  • Additional duties as assigned.


  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field (business, management, finance) is required. A graduate degree is considered a strong asset.
  • Certified Employee Benefits Designation (CEBS).
  • A strong track record of success in the benefit management and sales field is required. Exposure to multi-employer plans is considered an asset.
  • Expert experience in ASO.


  • Outstanding ability to foster relationships with a diverse group of clients and work collaboratively to identify positive solutions. Recognized as a trusted advisor with external client groups.
  • Strong change management, innovative problem solving, and good judgment skills.
  • Excellent leadership skills with a strong ability to motivate, coach, and effectively manage team performance with a positive, “get it done” attitude.
  • Good understanding of refund accounting and underwriting.
  • Effective project management skills and ability to be self-directed to manage multiple priorities, organize workload for self and others and meet deliverables with quality response.
  • Dynamic communicator with the ability to establish relationships with elected officials, municipal government staff, and relevant provincial government officials.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to prepare comprehensive, clear, and concise documents about complex issues.
  • Ability to prepare business cases and manage and forecast financial resources.
  • Ability to stay abreast of trends, risks, and innovations in the pension and benefits sector.
  • Familiar with the law and related processes and procedures governing the delivery of benefits services.


A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.

Closing Date: 
February 17, 2019
Application Return: 


Ardyce Kouri or Samantha Chiu
Leaders International Executive Search
Suite 501 Fox One
10226 – 104 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 1B8

Phone: 780-420-9900
Email: Edmonton@Leadersinternational.com