Windley Ely (WE) was established as a workers’ compensation services firm and quickly became a leader in Canadian Workers’ Compensation services through word-of-mouth referrals. Our team combines decades of experience in workers’ compensation, short-term disability, absence management, and occupational health and safety.
Our knowledge, resources, and services enable us to assist our clients in setting a comprehensive strategy to improve workers’ compensation, thereby creating a competitive edge for our customers by lowering operating expenses associated with workers’ compensation premiums and penalties.
WE focus on long-term partnerships where our significant upfront investment in learning the inner workings and goals of your operations allows us to understand the intricacies of your specific culture and environment. WE function as an extension of your business and partner seamlessly with your internal team to provide a customized claims management solution.
Tell us about yourself?
I hold an Honors Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Western. I’m also licensed as both a Chartered Professional Accountant and Public Accountant.
I joined Windley Ely Inc. in 2017 as CFO and Vice President of Operations. In 2021, I proudly transitioned into the CEO role. Prior to joining the team, I was the CFO of Movati Athletic (formally known as The Athletic Club). I helped grow the business from seven locations and 7 million in EBITDA to 12 facilities and $19 million in EBITDA.
Prior to Movati Athletic, I held the CFO role with Herbal Magic. The company had just been purchased by a private equity group at the time, and within three years, we were able to take the company from $6 million to $20 million in EBITDA. Also, during this time, our franchise base grew from 220 to 360 locations.
I’ve held multiple positions and titles over my 20-plus years of experience working with consumer-based businesses. My career has been focused on strategy development, human resources, planning and analysis, internal controls, financial reporting, as well as IT-related initiatives.
On a personal level, I’m a board member of the Sunshine Foundation as well as an active leader in many community-organized sports, and I strongly believe in giving back to the community.
Windley Ely is a proud supporter of locally owned businesses and strongly believes in giving back to the community. I find that working with Windley Ely is not only in alignment with my professional goals but also strongly aligns with my personal beliefs.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I’ve strived to invest in the corporate culture at Windley Ely. As an example, our employees are offered company-paid benefits, a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (with an additional Mental Health Benefit) and company-matched contributions toward a registered pension plan. One of our recent investments was to renovate one of our empty filing rooms into an onsite private fitness centre for our employees to enjoy both during business hours and on their personal time. It’s been a great investment in our corporate culture and employee well-being. If I could go back in time, I would have made this one of my initial initiatives when I first started with the company.
What problem does your business solve?
When members of your team get hurt, it’s hard for everyone involved. Windley Ely’s goal is to do everything we can to mitigate the burden on you and your team. Our focus on integrity, our national coverage, unmatched depth of subject matter experts, and long-term relationships with the provincial boards help your organization mitigate risk like no one else can. WE focus on your injuries so you can focus on your business.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Windley Ely was founded solely to become a leading expert in workers’ compensation. Because of this, we are practitioners first and committed to working with our clients to deliver outstanding outcomes to effectively reduce colleague absences and associated costs.
We are committed to providing best-in-class disability management for our clients. We provide individualized and personalized case and claims management to ensure all opportunities are explored and captured to increase productivity and reduce costs.
Our program was specifically designed to focus heavily on stay-at-work options and early intervention services. Our stay-at-work philosophy and early intervention approach, coupled with the education of front-line operational resources and supervisors, is critical to achieving positive outcomes of effective and sustainable return to work.
We manage the people and not just the paper within your unique environment, and WE work hard to create a partnership with free-flowing communication amongst all shareholders while maintaining the privacy of your employees and respecting related laws and regulations.
What is your magic sauce?
Windley Ely’s Total Claims Management wraps decades of expertise into a turnkey service that can be fully customized to your organizational needs. WE’s program gives you national coverage, access to subject matter experts, and seamless management of all occupational workers’ compensation claims.
WE takes a proactive approach to disability claims management and employee health and safety initiatives by providing exceptional customer service backed by our proven processes and SMEs.
A snapshot of our impact can be seen below:
- $25M – in annual WCB savings for our clients
- $5,000,000 – Total amount of Cost Relief awarded to our clients last year
- 30% – Average WSIB denial of entitlement – industry average is 16%
- 250% – 800% – ROI seen by Windley Ely clients
- 35 – Number of successful WSIAT appeals every year
- 500 Appeals annually with over a 65% success rate
- 1000% – Typical ROI of the financial impact of a WSIAT appeal in comparison to billed time
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
To remain Canada’s leading disability claims management service provider. Investing in the growth and development of our WE Team and our culture.
We will continue to challenge and expand your own products and services, think outside the box, and explore possible innovations. We understand the importance of information on demand and will continue to invest in our state-of-the-art technology – WE push boundaries and are committed to being a thorough leader in our industry.
Our corporate mission is to continue to be the leading provider of customized workers’ compensation claims management solutions for employers across the country.
Windley Ely serves as an extension of your HR/H&S teams, providing meaningful recommendations and expertise through all aspects of claims management. We view ourselves as a partner and create our practices around your unique business culture and operations. Our team of dedicated specialists applies this intimate knowledge of your operations to manage claims most effectively to your specific business principles. We effectively create a business case for important decisions, allowing employers to make informed decisions about workers’ compensation while providing real-time details as to how these decisions will affect your experience moving forward.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge that we’re currently navigating is the post-COVID-19 employment landscape. When we were presented with the COVID-19 epidemic, our paperless environment allowed us to transition to a fully remote work environment seamlessly. Post-pandemic, we made the decision to transition all our locations to a hybrid work environment. It’s a bit of a balancing act, navigating the hybrid work environment while maintaining our healthy workplace culture. Our management team and leaders have been working hard to come up with some new and creative initiatives to ensure our employees remain connected. Recently, we held a Free Family Skate event so that our team members could spend some personal time together outside of the office.
In our industry, we often have to adjust and enhance our services to meet our client’s needs, as opposed to changing course. At times, this even requires the addition of new support services.
WE has introduced three new programs based on client feedback and the need for support:
- Nurse Triage: Direct contact with an RN to assess the severity of a workplace injury and the best next steps, including follow-up with the worker.
- Attendance Management Claims Management: Assessing the medical need for increased absenteeism due to personal medical conditions.
- Sick Day Reporting Call Center: Employee access to a dedicated line, 24/7 live answer, and bilingual call center to track and alert supervisors to sick day absences or long-term leaves provided in Canada.
How can people get involved?
Book a free consultation today and see how and see how Total Claims Management, WE Claims, and our advisory services can support your organization with all aspects of disability claims management.
Are your workers’ comp claims too expensive? Are you finding your return to work process difficult? Does it seem like health & safety and human resources are losing productivity? Windley Ely can help your organization regain lost momentum while reducing premiums.
As an employer it can be challenging to navigate the occupational and non-occupations programs. If you are interested in a free consultation to discuss possible areas of improvement and how WE may be able to help, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at 1.877.947.2090.