meet the commercial and agricultural services team
Our commercial and agricultural services department (CAS for short) is constantly surpassing the expectations of our business members. With over 100 years of combined financial experience, our group of account managers offer a complete range of financial services that will cater to your business’ (or your!) every need.
Our CAS team is completely mobile, wandering the open highways of Manitoba, contemplating the meaning of the universe… well, not really – they’re really on their way to meet with business members like you! As a business owner, we get that you’re busy. That’s why we’ll come to your office (or preferred meeting spot) when you need us.
Our credit decisions are all made locally, which means you can expect rapid responses and approvals. And just so you can always get a hold of us, you can find our CAS team members’ contact information below, along with a quick introduction.
Now based in Stonewall, Ian grew up tossing bales on a grain farm in Argyle, Manitoba – so he understands agriculture. Ian holds a diploma in Business Administration from Red River College, and began his finance career with Sunova in 2005 before joining the Stonewall branch in his current position in 2008.
Ian is a sports nut and can’t wait until his son James is old enough to join in the fun. He also loves taking family vacations with his wife Laura and James, especially to Walt Disney World in Florida. Ian considers himself to be very lucky in all aspects of his life – from having supportive and loving family all around, to having women in his life who are amazing bakers! He can make himself hungry just talking about their baking. Feel free to bring Ian baked goods in an attempt to lower your mortgage interest rates – he can’t guarantee it will help, but it’s worth a shot!
Ian works in the community that he lives and was raised in. His pride in his community means that he wants to see your business succeed and will do everything he can to help. Ian’s goal is to be a ‘partner’ in your business, and to provide you with the advice and guidance you need to ensure that your farm or business is on the right path.
Larry Watkins is a commercial and agricultural services account manager working out of Beausejour, where he has lived for the past 20 years. He comes from a finance background with a major in accounting, which allows him to better understand businesses and their financial issues.
Larry is a true outdoorsman, but he’s just as comfortable in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes – his favourite dessert is his own chocolate chip cookie recipe! Larry prides himself on being able to say that he has rarely passed on any opportunity that has come his way. He believes in living life to the fullest!
Larry has years of experience in the finance and business industry and has been able to help many members fulfill their dreams – many of them multiple times over. He will meet with you at your residence or place of business to review your commercial or agricultural needs, and to help you take the next step to make your dreams a reality!
Michael Bjarnarson is an account manager with Sunova’s commercial and agricultural services department, working out of Beausejour. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business from the University of Manitoba, and has been working in the field of commercial and agricultural lending for the past ten years. He is married with two kids, and enjoys spending time in the outdoors. Fishing and hunting are hobbies, and his favourite dessert is quite fitting of an outdoorsman: pumpkin pie!
Michael feels lucky to have had the opportunity to work with a number of different business owners who have helped him learn more about their businesses and industries. He credits these relationships with helping him develop his knowledge and experience as a lender, and is glad that in his profession, there is never a dull moment and always something new to learn!
Michael is happy to offer his expertise in commercial and agricultural real estate financing, personal lending, equipment financing, operating credit, and business planning.
Sasha was born and raised in Ukraine, moved to Canada in 2002, and now works in the Winnipeg area. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2010 with a business degree from the Asper School of Business, and has been working in banking for over nine years. In that time, Sasha has enjoyed learning new things from members that he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to learn in any other industry.
Sasha believes that his greatest talent is working to turn his dreams into reality. He believes in choosing to be lucky and working hard, instead of just waiting around hoping. His proactive attitude has yet to help him find a particular type of ice cream that he loved in Ukraine, but luckily Canada is brimming with his second favourite food: potatoes.
As an account manager in the commercial and agricultural services department, Sasha can help you get your business to where you want it to be. On the other hand, if what you really want is to see a fancy car on the driveway of your new home – he’d love to help you with that, too!
With a Red River College Business Administration degree and sales training under his belt, Sheridan Wiens is equipped to provide exceptional service and expertise to our commercial and agricultural members.
Sheridan is married with two daughters and enjoys taking his children to the local pool and teaching them how to swim. A few of his hobbies include cooking (but only on special occasions), playing board games with friends, and LARPing. What’s LARPing? LARP stands for live-action role play and involves putting on armour and ‘fighting’ with foam weapons. He also participates in an annual zombie apocalypse LARP. Now that’s ‘dead’ication.
Whether you want to talk about dogs (Sheridan has two), movies (Sheridan’s favourite is The Big Short), LARPing, or making your business venture the best it can be, Sheridan is here to provide the best service around.
Kyle started his credit union career as a member service representative with Oak Bank Credit Union back in 2014. Since then, he worked at Sunova’s support headquarters, before transitioning to a full-time position as a CAS Account Manager.
With a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Winnipeg and several years of experience in the credit union industry, Kyle is confident he can meet your commercial and agricultural banking needs.
He’s also available to chat about a few of his favourite hobbies. When he’s not hard at work for wonderful members like you, you can find Kyle playing soccer, woodworking, or hanging out on a golf course. Fore!
Cory was born and raised in the Winnipeg neighbourhood of North Kildonan. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have one absolutely amazing daughter together and a son on the way. He enjoys spending his free time playing guitar, cooking, fishing, and golfing. As any Winnipegger does, Cory cheers for the Winnipeg Jets, even though his choice of team is the Detroit Red Wings. (Don’t worry Cory, we’ll let that one slide).
Cory also means business. He obtained a Diploma in Business Administration from Red River College in 2012, specializing in Financial Services. Before joining Sunova, Cory worked for a variety of financial institutions and has close to a decade of financial industry job experience. In addition to work, maintaining an education is important to Cory. He is currently enrolled in the Management Studies Program through the Canadian Credit Union Association.
Cory loves what he does and prides himself on providing members with a timely and professional financial experience. He enjoys taking the time to discuss all aspects of member requests to ensure they make well-informed financial decisions. Don’t hesitate to give Cory a shout today!
Susanne grew up equally in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Calgary, Alberta. After living in Calgary, she moved to Winnipeg in high school, back to Calgary in her 20s, and after the birth of her son, she came back to Winnipeg to stay.
If experience and extensive knowledge are what you’re looking for, then Susanne is the CAS Account Manager for you. For her education, she graduated from the University of Calgary after completing a Management Program. In her career, she has worked at chartered banks and credit unions in leadership roles, financial advisory, and small business and commercial lending. Altogether, Susanne has been working in banking and finance for over twenty years!
In addition to the experience, Susanne truly enjoys what she does. Dealing with people is her passion and she believes that the best relationships are derived from understanding the member and their needs while providing the best advice, resources, and recommendations.
A belief of Susanne’s is that every business owner should have their ‘A’ team to ensure their success. This includes lawyers, accountants, and of course, their friendly CAS Account Manager at Sunova.
As important as business is to Susanne, she has many other interests that keep her busy in her free time. She has one son and a beagle-dachshund puppy named Otis. They all love to be outdoors, whether it be hiking, walking, camping, swimming, sitting by a bonfire, or enjoying a sunset. Susanne also enjoys travelling and looks forward to seeing many more places in this great big world of ours.