The National Payroll Institute Board of Directors is comprised of members from across Canada who are dedicated to shaping the future of payroll and elevating the profession as being vital to business wellness. Members are selected via a nominations process, and executive positions (like Chair) are held for a one year term. Read on below to learn more about these payroll leaders.
Carolyn Lesyshen, CPM
Chair of the Board
Payroll Supervisor | Servus Credit Union Ltd.
I'm passionate about payroll because the heart payroll is in maintaining the morale of employees. Payroll addresses two of the levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: physiological and safety. Being paid accurately and on time means people are able to pay for basic needs such as shelter and food. And knowing that they will be paid makes employees feel safe. On a larger scale, showcasing our talent, knowledge and experience is key to raising the profile of payroll. Sometimes payroll is the last piece of the puzzle – HR and management make decisions and payroll has to find ways to make it work, to stay in compliance while accomplishing management's objectives. Instead, we need to be at the table in the first place when the decisions are made.
Mark Betcher, PCP
Vice-Chair of the Board
Manager of Payroll Services | Sexton Family of Companies
My payroll passion starts with the idea that Payroll is key to an organization's central nervous system, integral to its success. If you don't accurately calculate an employee's pay, the problems can trickle down to poor employee morale. Losing trust harms the whole organization. So employers need to recognize its fundamental value. Payroll professionals are resilient: we embrace challenges and turn them into opportunities. Payroll professionals are critical thinkers. When there's a problem, I love to get in there and solve it.
Lynne Harkness, CPM, CHRL
Vice President, People & Culture, North America | 4Refuel
My payroll passion starts with the fact that it is a vital business function that affects business wellness, the lives of employees and the success of our economy. We manage risk, keep organizations out of trouble, and are a pillar of employee experience. If a company is changing perks or benefits, they need to have payroll in that conversation. Similarly, if the government is changing legislation, the National Payroll Institute helps policy makers understand and avoid potential unintended impacts that affect business efficiency.
Sherisse Mason, CPM
Director, Pay and Benefits Support
Branch Pay & Benefits Services Division
Ontario Shared Services | Ministry of Government & Consumer Services
I'm passionate about payroll because it is so multi-faceted and requires real expertise. Payroll is its own field. It is not about just pay. It's about complying with many fast-changing regulations and legislation. And it's about understanding how this will affect the business. The National Payroll Institute is helping companies understand that payroll is about so much more than just administration. It impacts the short and long-term health of every business, and it can't be done off the side of a desk. Successful organizations should ensure that payroll has a seat at the table — to change company policies, to negotiate collective agreements, to navigate the future. We're helping Canada understand the critical role of payroll in any organization.
President | The National Payroll Institute
One of the reasons I am passionate about payroll is because payroll really matters to working Canadians and their families. Employment letters can be several pages long, but one of the first paragraphs is about how much you're going to be making. Other benefits are important, but at the end of the day, it's about what you're being paid. Payroll typically runs well. But if it doesn't, look out. We see the stories in the media about major errors or a disruption in pay. Right away, it is all over social media as panic settles in from those who continue to live pay-to-pay. “My bank takes the mortgage out today! My kid's school is cashing a cheque today!” This speaks to what the Institute is doing: we're establishing our payroll designation as the gold standard. You would never hire a real estate agent or an insurance agent without a professional designation – why would you mess with payroll?
Tisha Parker Kemp, M.Ed, CTDP, CPM
Founder and Principal | shiftED Academy Inc.
Why am I passionate about payroll? Because payroll professionals are often unsung heroes - swooping in and fixing errors when things go wrong. Very early in my career, I was responsible for training those responsible on how to navigate payroll software and analyze their human capital data. Their business owners began to see the value of having someone handle the legislative necessities on their behalf. Unfortunately, this was often a reactive situation when not in compliance with CRA or provincial regulations. And I saw the calm it brought to both the business owners and their payroll professionals when they knew that their biggest expense – payroll – was being managed effectively. When things go sideways, payroll becomes heroic.
Elvira Ciambella, CPM
Vice President Implementation and General Manager ADP Quebec | ADP Canada
I'm passionate about payroll because Payroll is the cornerstone of the relationship between employees and a company's leadership, and the fact that the payroll function is evolving to improve healthy and efficient business operations. Businesses need payroll professionals sitting at the table, providing insight into strategic business-related decisions, providing analytics around compensation, around benefits and turnover. With the Great Resignation, employers ask me, “How do I stop this?” I say, “Have you talked to your payroll department? They have metrics on compensation, attrition at the job level, knowledge of new trends, and an understanding of employee progression plans.”
Deirdre Joachim, CPM
Sr. Manager | Corporate Platforms
Corporate Transformation & Operations (CTO) - TD Bank
I'm passionate about payroll because it reduces the burden on both individual employees and the organizations they work for. I was on the Institute's committee to get T4s online, and I saw firsthand that this change increased accuracy, made life easier for employees, and reduced the costs for employers. And I'm excited about the future of payroll because it means everyone will experience even less burden, while increasing compliance and reducing costs. Professionals will need to increasingly think strategically and understand the payroll process from end to end. Payroll is moving to the next level and I'm excited!
Andrew Shortt, PCP
Compensation and Benefits Manager
I'm passionate about payroll because it's the world's greatest intersection between people and data. Accountants are always looking at numbers, but there's not much personal interaction, whereas HR deals with people, but not data. Payroll brings the two together, which is what I love about it. You can tell a story with payroll: you can pull things out of the data and explain to your colleagues, “this is what happened and this is why it happened.” And this is where the future lies for payroll professionals, because payroll's ability to analyze data is a vital function of business. Executives are starting to understand how much they need us at the table. We're coming out of the backroom and into the boardroom.
Robin Ramrup, CPA, CGA
Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Governance, CENGN - (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks)
I'm passionate about payroll because it impacts the lives of Canadians currently working and after they leave the workforce.
Payroll professionals help shape the culture and have become business partners of organizations, in which they support and guide employees in an ever-changing landscape regarding compensation, compliance and legislation.
I have worked closely with payroll professionals throughout my career. As the board's first public representative, I look forward to bringing a different (non-member) perspective to help the Institute advance its strategic agenda.
Brian Burgess, CPM
Director, Owner, Cycle Business Solutions
What drives my passion for is the impact that professionals have. Payroll is the keystone, the bridge, between the people who run the business and the people who must be paid to keep the business going. Payroll is a front line, not backroom, function that has a direct impact on employee engagement and morale.