Director Global Crisis Management Program Services
Sun Life Financial
Kevin Bender is an experienced crisis management professional. For more than 28 years, Kevin has provided guidance and programing for companies to reduce risks – the risk of injury, the risk of error, the risk of disruption, and the risk of reputational impact. Kevin earned a BSc in Kinesiology graduating with Honours from the University of Waterloo (Canada), majoring in industrial ergonomics. For the first 15 years of his career, he focused on helping companies to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in every type of industry – from automobile assembly to chicken disassembly, from surgical nursing to heavy machinery operation, from manufacturing of bathroom fixtures to janitorial cleaning of those same toilets.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit hard and created an opportunity for Kevin to move into the field of Business Continuity and Crisis Management. Working in the Health & Safety department of a pharma research company, Kevin took on the project to develop a comprehensive business continuity program, after the research facility in New Orleans was flooded with no plan on how to respond or to recover.
Working with MDS Pharma Services, a global organization with operations in North & South America, Europe, and Asia, Kevin guided leadership teams at each of the 35 locations through business continuity and crisis management planning, to achieve documented plans, and fully trained and exercised crisis management teams.
Kevin Bender is currently Director Global Crisis Management Program Services with Sun Life Financial. Based in Toronto, he works with each of Sun Life’s businesses to ensure that they have Crisis Management Teams that are trained and ready to respond to any type of crisis event. Working with senior leaders around the world has required Kevin to have an understanding of cultural differences and leadership approaches, human behavior and cognitive processing. The crisis management teams he guides have responded effectively to events ranging from super typhoons, to technology challenges, to loss of supplier, and even terror events. Kevin is known for creative exercise scenarios that challenge crisis management teams. It is through these planned experiences that crisis management team members develop their leadership capabilities, to be more prepared to lead the business through whatever may hit the fan.