We are pleased to announce the promotion of Joan Milway to Product Manager and Chief of Staff, effective immediately.

Joan’s promotion reflects her important contributions to the development of Common Wealth’s technology platform over the past year, ultimately helping us to bring to market a unique retirement product that can make members’ retirement savings go two to three times farther than a typical RRSP. She has played an integral role in developing requirements, supporting the creation of designs and flows, managing relationships with project partners, usability and user acceptance testing, and much more. Joan’s work contributed to a successful first deployment of Common Wealth’s technology platform as part of a plan for Ontario physicians sponsored by the Ontario Medical Association’s insurance arm. Joan has also played a leadership role in developing an innovative “guaranteed lifetime income” feature in partnership with Brookfield Annuity, which will be launching in the coming weeks.

Joan did this all while capably managing a wide range of important work related to Common Wealth’s finances, human resources, and office management.

In her new role, Joan will broaden her product management responsibilities. Working closely with Thomas Varghese, our SVP of Engineering, Joan will serve as a key member of Common Wealth’s product management team. Joan will be primarily responsible for the customer-centric design and user experience of the Common Wealth product, and will ensure continuous improvement of our user experience through customer feedback, plan sponsor input, and monitoring user behaviour using analytics. Developing specifications for new features will be an important part of Joan’s role. Joan will also manage the feature backlog, collaborating with Common Wealth’s technology team on day-to-day software development activities, ensuring successful rollout and continuous improvement of product features.

Joan also takes on the role of Chief of Staff. In this role, Joan will continue to provide day-to-day and strategic support to the two of us, including supporting our efforts to drive alignment across the organization and optimize our and the team’s effectiveness.

Joan started with Common Wealth just over two years ago and quickly made her mark as someone willing to learn, grow, and go above and beyond to support Common Wealth’s clients and team. This, combined with her strong work ethic, relationship skills, and UX instincts, has given her the opportunity to move her career forward and emerge as a leader, collaborator and product expert within Common Wealth. Joan’s background in client and member services, financial services, program delivery, planning, and relationship management comes from her work experience with Tangerine (previously ING Direct), [24]7 Customer Canada, and Cycle Toronto. Joan has an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Media and the Public Interest degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Please join us in congratulating Joan on her new role!

– Alex and Jonathan, co-founders