Our Team

Expertise and Dedication The ICBA Benefits Team

The ICBA Benefits leadership team is fully dedicated to serving your needs. Our decades of experience are mixed with genuine enthusiasm for our clients and the benefits you depend on. Our executive team, client relationship team, benefit administrators, agents, underwriters and finance team have assembled their talents, knowledge, hard work and determination to make ICBA Benefits one of Western Canada’s top third-party administrators, and a major force in the benefits industry.

Chris Gardner


Chris Gardner has led the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association since 2017, managing the platform through an exciting period of change and growth. Under his leadership in 2019 and 2021, ICBA won the Washington, DC-based Reed Award as North America’s best trade association. Before joining ICBA, he was a senior executive at two of the largest workforce accommodation and logistics companies in North America, Civeo and Britco, and served as principal secretary to the 35th Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark.

Mark Spence

Senior Vice President, Group Health and Retirement Benefits

In late 2019, Mark took over the ICBA Benefits team after six years in employee group benefits leadership with GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions. He has a long-term, demonstrated record of building and executing business plans, growing revenue, creating customer loyalty and business partner synergy, and leading successful teams across various industries including technology, marketing and not-for profit.

Karen Bell

Vice President, Client Operations

Since 2017, when she joined ICBA after three decades at Pacific Blue Cross, Karen has led and managed a significant modernization effort, updating several key ICBA information technology and client service systems. Her commitment to providing the best client experience possible drives all of her efforts.

Leah Rennie

Vice President, Account Management

Leah joined ICBA Benefits in 2007, and she leads a team of insurance professionals which uses group health insurance product and service expertise to deliver innovative solutions to clients in an increasingly complex industry. Leah’s strong commitment to providing clients an exceptional customer experience, means clients have the solutions to meet the needs of their teams.

David Harstrom

VP, Underwriting & Consulting

With 20 years dedicated to the group insurance industry, David has a strong reputation as both a creative force for his clients, and a valued partner to the insurers and service providers he chooses to work with. Knowledge, integrity, ingenuity and exceptional customer service are the cornerstones that David uses to build customized benefit plans for ICBA Benefits clients.

David Gaskin

Chief Financial Officer

David has been a Chartered Professional Accountant for the past 25 years. He joined ICBA in 2019 after working in financial institutions for more than two decades. While at Coast Capital Savings, he led the finance function as it grew into the first Canadian credit union to become federal, taking on clients outside its provincial borders.


  • Being able to offer these types of benefits has been an integral part of us recruiting and retaining employees. It gives me comfort knowing that I have a team of ICBA professionals behind me that not only have my best interests at heart but those of my employees.

    Building LogoLaura StantonAWG Northern Industries
  • Our company did not fit inside the typical insurance needs box, and the ICBA team found solutions that work perfectly for us. Anytime we have concerns, we have support from their team. We happily recommend ICBA Benefits!

    Building LogoWerner FriesenBert’s Electric
  • Not only was ICBA Benefits able to find a more viable solution for us from a cost perspective, but they provided us with a detailed report that outlined how our plan design measured up in comparison to the industry, and they brought to our attention some deficiencies our prior plan had that we didn’t know existed.

    Building LogoMike KaskRDM Enterprises Group
  • Our employees are our most valuable asset… they get comprehensive coverage and great customer service, and we get the benefit of accessing a growing and thriving benefits pool, with the flexibility of the hour-bank model.

    Building LogoRon ChambersChambers Electric
  • ICBA is always there to provide professional and friendly service and support with our benefit plan needs. They know our business and bring their expertise to ensure that our benefits solutions are tailored to the needs of our staff.

    Building LogoSteve LuxBrighter Mechanical
  • Since placing our business, and through our many dealings with ICBA staff and management over the years, we have come to appreciate their expertise, the diverse range of products they offer, and their extremely competitive premiums. The team at ICBA Benefits continues to exceed our expectations.

    Building LogoScott JacobJacob Bros Construction
  • We received a very detailed plan comparison, and ICBA took the time to come to our office to explain all the differences, similarities and provided us with information on which plan would be more beneficial to us. After a short discussion, we made the decision to move over to ICBA Benefits, and the onboarding has been extremely smooth.

    Building LogoTammy AyreJohnston Davison Architecture + Planning Inc.
  • The commitment to client service and availability that the team at ICBA Benefits has demonstrated over the years has been extremely useful. I would happily recommend as a benefits solutions provider to any corporation.

    Building LogoStacy KoehlerCarbert Waite LLP
  • Year after year, in addition to the up-to-date industry knowledge they provide, they have consistently proactively found cost savings measures in balance with providing great service and benefits to our company and employees.

    Building LogoSarah PurdyStoughton Fire Protection Ltd.
  • ICBA administers our site benefits plan and partner closely with us. We are incredibly appreciative of their responsiveness and prompt customer service whenever we have needed assistance.

    Building LogoDave PearsonBeedie
  • ICBA has always been honest, forthcoming and has had very valuable insights in navigating our needs with respect to the health benefits for our employees. As a small business owner, the world of insurance and benefits is often difficult to navigate. With the support and fantastic client service provided by ICBA, we have found what we feel is the best solution for our business.

    Building LogoDavid PastorAxis Mechanical Ltd.
  • For the past 8 years, ICBA has proven to be a high-quality benefits management company.  They offer efficient and friendly customer service whether it be for a small question or larger issue, you can depend on their professionalism.

    Building LogoLeslie BrachmanDeaf & Hear Alberta
  • As a small business owner, I appreciate the time and dedication ICBA takes to make my team feel like family and not just a client. ICBA appreciates the value of my time and money, and I recommend you review their service offerings as they continue to do things right, time and time again.

    Building LogoDoug ThubronNBI Solutions
  • The time was taken to understand the uniqueness of our organization and what our specific needs were. ICBA has continued to monitor our plan and make adjustments as necessary to provide the best value in coverage and costs for us and our employees.

    Building LogoRon UhlenbergRidley’s Cycles
  • ICBA is consistently timely and responsive to questions, as well as helpful with staff transitions. Their ability to assist with working out benefits for LTD and negotiating a good price for our benefits package has been remarkable. Their positive and caring attitude makes them a pleasure to work with at all times.

    Building LogoAndrea SilvermanSagesse
  • ICBA is absolutely willing to make personal visits at any time so that our questions are answered and needs are met. I have had staff in my office gushing about how much they like the service provided… They are flexible, understanding, forward-thinking, and their customer service cannot be topped.

    Building LogoNoreen BarrosYouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre
  • ICBA is always extremely helpful to both my benefits team as well as the employees that reach out to them directly, and I am and always will be extremely grateful for their customer support. They have proven themselves to be a fantastic group of people in terms of service and in making sure that our plan stays current and relative to the ever-changing times.

    Building LogoKricket TribeUnitech