Speaker Bio: Dave Patriarche

Dave Patriarche founded Mainstay Insurance Brokerage in 1996 as a one-person shopImage result for linkedin logo specializing in providing employee benefits to small and mid-sized businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. Mainstay has grown substantially and now has clients across the country, including Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. based organizations. Dave only accepts one or two new clients each year and upon referral only.  This ensures that he has aligned and educated client partnerships that get the level of attention they deserve.

Dave is a strong believer in continuing education and recognized the need for the group insurance industry to broaden its efforts in this area. In 2003 he started a small networking group, which evolved into regular breakfast meetings across the GTA, then into regular educational seminars beginning in 2009.

In 2011 he founded CGIB, the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers, an organization dedicated to supporting networking and continuing education for the group insurance industry. He is an accomplished speaker both with CGIB and at other industry events across the country.  Check out his typical survey results.  Dave has worked “behind the scenes” acting as an expert witness in cases involving employee benefits (CV here) and is often chosen as the “go-to” expert for others in the business. Never one to leave things “as they were”, Dave works tirelessly to improve the industry for advisors our clients alike. Recent examples include the protection of women returning from Maternity Leave, protecting employers in regards to LTD NEM increases, and helping to end the misguided G19 Guideline started by insurers.  These are profound changes unlike anything seen in the industry in decades. Dave works with a number of advisors, TPA’s and insurance companies to create or improve on product offerings for the SME market.  One industry changing plan is the transparent and FULLY pooled hybrid plan created with Benefits By Design (a national TPA) designed to provide employer rate stability and employee flexibility. He continues to work with benefit advisors across the country, helping protect them and their clients when they run into difficult cases.  For more information on how his consulting and speaking services, Click HERE.       For photos/headshots try: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

“I’ve never met Dave, but wow, he certainly garners my respect.  He comes at benefits with an almost life and death seriousness – much like a surgeon.  He carries about him a sense that there is a WEIGHT on his shoulders – and that weight is the responsibility of providing advice on something that can

ACTUALLY make or break a business – AND, advice that, for the employees themselves, can actually make the difference between life and death.  Like the surgeon, he knows there are consequences when he makes a recommendation – and that the patient needs to know AND UNDERSTAND all the potential outcomes before making these important decisions. There is nothing about him that comes across as “sales guy”, like many brokers do – he comes across not only as a subject expert; he comes across as the type of serious professional a business owner would want to have in his corner – much like his accountant and his lawyer…. If I were to envision how I WANT our clients to view me – and our team – it is with the same no-nonsense, this is not a hobby or a money-maker for me, image that Dave portrays.  He exudes expertise, trustworthiness, and a genuine CONCERN for his clients (and for the industry).”

Kathryn Ritter, Benefits Advisor, Vancouver BC

Selling Benefits is already a best seller and is now available in soft, hardcover and e-book


  • How to establish lifelong relationships no one will be able to break.
  • Lessons to help strengthen client partnerships
  • How to build client loyalty that won’t be compromised
  • Ways of using storytelling to make business lessons stick.

You will leave with many practical take-aways you can put to work immediately to improve your business and be more successful.  VISIT BOOK SITE


Dave is recognized as a leader in the group benefits industry and is a contributor to various industry publications. He mentors and acts as an informal resource to other benefit brokers, especially those new to the benefits field.  He participates in industry think tank groups and panels such as; the Benefits Advisors’ Drug Plan Outlook, National Pharmaceutical Advisory Boards, the Canadian Leadership Council on Drug Plan Partnerships, and has been featured in the PDCI Market Access Insights magazine.  He was also been a member of the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey Advisory Board from 2015 to 2020, and participated in Health Canadas roundtable on National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases.  You can view some of his recent articles and interviews on the site HERE.

I truly appreciate you coming to Windsor and presenting to my brokers at our Partner Forum. The feedback I’m receiving about your presentation is incredible!

Many Advisors don’t often get the opportunity to attend seminars that are held in Toronto as they are just too far away. The fact that you could bring it to them was amazing.

I look forward to supporting you, the CGIB and your seminars on an on-going basis.

Lindsay Gibson Regional Director, SW Ontario, BBD

Employee Benefits Podcasts

Dave is pleased to work with Jason Watt of Business Career College to produce a quarterly podcast of all things benefit related. Together they will interview benefit advisors and those that work in the space including; insurers, TPA’s, PBM’s, pharmaceutical companies and anyone who plays an important role in group insurance plans.

Dave joins Howard Kettner, of BenefitsGenius.ca, in a series of Employee Benefits Podcasts geared to brokers that want to specialize and grow their business. We talk on topics such as; choosing, obtaining, protecting and maintaining the best clients, understanding the difference between the price and cost of benefits, mentoring, and much, more.

Arete HR Inc. podcasts explore issues affecting mental health and well-being through conversation with experts.  Check out Episode 19 –  Making Sure You’re Covered: The Importance of Disability Insurance.

Pleased to be a part of CGIB member Aria Benefits new podcast series featuring Robin Bailey.  Robins’ firm specializes in employee benefits & these podcasts show how they are just a bit different than the average broker.

You can listen to more of Dave’s podcasts and webinars where he’s featured HERE

A graduate of Seth Godin’s altMBA14 program (October 2017). Dave joined an online, worldwide, workshop that brings together people of all ages, from a variety of backgrounds and experiences to “level up”, produce and just “ship it”.  A great opportunity to expand networks, continue lifelong learning and with projects shipped every 48 hours, it may have been one of his toughest challenges yet.

Speaking Topics

Dave has a passion for his clients, employee benefits, and the group insurance industry as a whole. He is available to speak on a variety of topics to groups of any size from the boardroom to the ballroom. Target audiences include: insurers, TPA’s, GMGA’s, associations, the pharmaceutical industry, brokers, small and mid-sized business owners, lawyers, human resource professionals, and any others who might benefit from his message. He has spoken to a variety of audiences at events including:  The 2022 Advocis Banff School (photo above), Business Career College, The Okanagan Advocis School, Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU), Canada Sales Congress (CSC), Group Insurance & Pharmaceutical Committee (GIPC), Arete Group Insurance Advisor Conference (AGIAC), Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB), the Canadian Pension and Benefits (CPBI) Forum (presentation), BenefitsGenius.ca events, and a variety of insurer, GMGA and TPA broker groups from Vancouver to St. John’s. 

Past Presentations include:

  • Building and using a Personal Brand – 1 hour
  • Selling Benefits during COVID – 1 hour
  • Drug Pooling from an advisors prospective – 1-2 hours
  • Using Risk Assessments to sell Group Benefits – 1 hour
  • Selling Benefits, Providing Advice and Reducing Risk – 1-2 hours
  • Making Group Benefits Compliance Profitable – 1 hour
  • Using the Right Wording to get the Right Coverage- 1 hour
  • Handling High Cost Health Claims- 1 hour
  • Using your CGIB Membership to Add Value to your Business – 1 hour
  • Getting Outside of your Comfort Zone (where the good stuff is) – 1-2 hours
  • Adding Value to your Benefit Client Relationships – 1-3 hours
  • The Pills that Killed the Plan (not!) – Prozac to Pot – 1 hour
  • Sharing your Value & Building a personal “brag sheet” – 1 hour
  • Checklists for new hires, terminations, implementing, changing and terminating groups – 2 hour
  • Getting your Prospects to do their own Risk Assessment – 1 hour
  • The top 20 NEW things benefit brokers need to know – 1 to 2 hours
  • Using the plan administration list to sell, close, prospect and retain your clients – 2 hours
  • Selling Value – Group is not just cheap rates – especially if benefits become taxable – 2 hours
  • Amending Contracts, Why Insurers Just Can’t Wait !  – 90 minutes
  • What’s Going on in Small and Mid-Sized Drug Plans  – 1 hour
  • “Back to Basics Benefits” – 1 hour
  • Benefit Plan Renewals: The challenges and choices, A broker perspective – 60-90 minutes
  • Trillium – Past, Present, and Future – Why private payer coordination must occur – 1 hour
  • Change Issues – The risks you take switching providers – 2 hours
  • Best Practices in Group Insurance – 60-90 minutes
  • What you miss, may be what gets you! – 2 hours
  • Why Small Employers are NOT implementing changes to their Drug Plans – 1 hour
  • Selling Value, Not JUST Price – Small group is not about rates alone – 2 hours
  • Ontario Trillium Drug Program – The Integration No One Wants to Admit to – 2 hours
  • Building a Plan Administrator Checklist (short version) – 60-90 minutes
  • Employment Offers and Terminations and the Implications of Hiring “Independent Contractors” – half day
  • Building and Using a Plan Administrator Checklist – 3-4 hours
  • Incorporating Technology into your Brokerage – 2 hours
  • Build your Group Benefits Business by Marketing to Small Business – 2 hours
  • Group Insurance Policies and Contracts – half day
  • Forecast or Fortunetelling? Things to think about in benefits for the coming year – 2 hours
  • Effective Communication Skills for Youth – 2 hours – half day
  • Starting your own Business by working at McDonald’s – 2 hours
  • How Giving Back helps to move you forward – 2 hours
  • Changes in Group Travel Coverage – 1 hour
  • Top 10 Group Benefit Communication/Sales Ideas (from Canada Sales Congress) – 18 minutes
  • Don’t see the topic you want? Just ask, we can create one for your audience based on the message you’re trying to get across.

If you are interested in having Dave present at your event, please call for pricing and availability 1-877-624-6789 or dave@mainstayinsurance.ca.

Current “In-Person” Speaking Engagement Bookings

2022: March 30 Toronto/Vaughan, May 3-6 Calgary, August 16-20 Banff, September 21-24 Winnipeg, October 5th Toronto/Vaughan, October 18th Calgary, October 20th Vancouver
2023: Now accepting 2023 bookings

“The influence you have had on my team, both here in Kingston and Toronto is immense.  You have been such a strong supporter of our cause to break the mold of traditional group benefits. Sure we’ve had some differences, but we always seem to come out of them learning something new, and being more informed going forward. Your superpower is most definitely your ability to bring people together with no pretence or overpowering ego.  You have always been a fierce compatriot to both your clients and suppliers. This is such a unique quality that has paid off in spades for you and your business. 

I often feel that your operation is just an extension of your natural talent and compassion to see others succeed. There does not need to be a “loser” in every negotiation!!  You have inspired numerous people within BBD and beyond, for that, I am truly blessed to have met you and had the opportunity to work closely with you.”

Troy Southward, Managing Partner at Benefits by Design

Community Work

Dave was a supporter of the Yonge Street Mission for over 20 years introducing many clients and industry members to the Evergreen Dinner Program for street youth. He has also worked with street-involved youth in their efforts to find employment and has spoken on a variety of topics including his famous “I am NOT a cop!” session that talks about starting your own business and using existing job opportunities to launch yourself to the next level.  You also can find him at York Region blood donor clinics about every 56 days (except when his travels remove eligibility).  Offer to tag along and bleed with him, and he’ll feed you lunch after!  His newest efforts see him helping out at the Children’s Breakfast Club in Ashton Meadows Public School.  Starting the day off with a good meal is the best aid to learning.

Personal (and the “sailing stuff”)

Dave spends his spare time with his wife Joanne and their sons Matthew (teaching in Vienna, Austria) and Mitchell (at Laurier University for business). He enjoys taking his clients, friends, associates and just about anyone that wants to come along, sailing on Lake Ontario, or on occasion on the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas.  He’s also working on a book that’s due…one of these days.

Dave’s next big adventure (Feb. 2019) was a more sedate  “Atlantic Crossing” (w/ John again) from Cape Verde to Martinique.  A trip of over 4,210 km (2,273 nautical miles). 

We chartered a Lagoon 38′ Catamaran to sail the Aeolian Islands off the northeast coast of Sicily in May 2022. Together with some friends we travelled these volcano based islands, enjoy tons of great food and a glass (read as bottles) of Italian red here and there.

So what’s next on the “Big Trip” Agenda?

Dave and Captain Jo are planning a trip (someday) that lands on about 20 islands, in 28days, sailing well over 550 nautical miles from St. Martin to Grenada.

Interested in learning more about Dave’s passion for sailing?

Sailing the Dalmatian Cost of Croatia

Atlantic Heavy Weather Passage

Sailing the Canals of France

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean

Want to come sailing for an afternoon or a day? Click on…   Summer Sailing with Mainstay

 Research Says Boating Improves YOU!                     “DON’T DELAY, SAIL TODAY”                 DJP Sailing Resume                 boat info          DJPVAX           dpjppp    mpmpppht    mppp