Scott Tannas

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The Honourable
Scott Tannas
Senator from Alberta
Assumed office
March 25, 2013
Nominated by Stephen Harper
Appointed by David Johnston
Personal details
Born (1962-02-25) February 25, 1962 (age 56)
High River, Alberta, Canada
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Taryn (McCormick) Tannas
Profession President/CEO of Western Financial Group

Scott Tannas (born February 25, 1962) is the former President/CEO[1][2] and founder of Western Financial Group[3] (formerly Hi-Alta Capital Inc.), an insurance brokerage, life insurance and banking company headquartered in High River, Alberta, Canada.[4] Tannas was elected as a Senator-in-waiting in the 2012 Alberta Senator-in-waiting elections, and appointed to the Senate following the retirement of Senator Bert Brown on March 22, 2013.

Early life and education

Tannas was born in High River, Alberta, Canada in February 25, 1962, the son of Donald Tannas, (a school teacher/principal, Member of the Legislative Assemblies and Deputy Speaker of Alta Legislature)[5] and Christine Tannas (a nurse).

Tannas has spent the majority of his life in High River, except for a 2-year period, where his parents served with the Canadian International Development Agency in Uganda. While in Uganda, the regime of Idi Amin gained control of the country and the Tannas family returned to Canada.

Tannas attended and graduated from École Senator Riley School in 1979. While not the best student, Tannas was a hard worker at several part-time jobs, including working at a local hardware store, and as a disc jockey on local radio. Tannas also worked the local dance club scene as a DJ and was known for his sound system and light show. At the age of 26, Tannas got a job in the tourism industry working at the Banff Springs Hotel.[6]

Tannas attended both Mount Royal College (now called Mount Royal University), and the University of Calgary. While attending university, Tannas met Taryn McCormick, the daughter of Michael James, Sr and Gweneth Helen McCormick, whose family started the Riley & McCormick Western Wear family in 1901.[7]

Businesses and career

After leaving college, Tannas stayed in the Calgary and Banff area. He established a goal to start and manage his own company. Tannas began to work in the tourism industry and do side jobs to build up capital. Tannas had accumulated enough capital to move back to his hometown of High River and purchased Hi-Alta Agencies, a well known, established insurance firm in town, which had been operating since 1905.

In May 1996, Hi-Alta changed its name to Western Financial Group to allow for expansion outside of Alberta.[8][9] In 2001, Western Financial Group's insurance division, WFG Agency Network Inc. became the largest insurance broker network in western Canada.

In January 2003, Tannas, along with the board of directors at Western Financial Group, created their own bank: Bank West, which took in over $1 million in deposits in its first day of business.[10][11]

Charity and awards

Tannas is actively involved in his community, starting The Western Communities Foundation,[12] a non-profit organization created to support the communities in which Western Financial Group operates in 2001. He is also an honorary board member of SOS Children's Villages - Canada.[13]

In 2003, Scott Tannas was awarded Ernst and Young's Prairies Entrepreneur of the Year for Professional/Financial Services.[14]

Political career

Tannas' father, Don Tannas was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and Deputy Speaker of Alberta Legislature. He ventured into politics himself in 1993, as campaign manager for Ken Hughes who at the time was the Progressive Conservative MP for Macleod in the House of Commons of Canada.[15] Tannas was a candidate for the Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party in the 2012 Alberta Senator-in-waiting elections,[16] and was elected as second out of three Senator-in-waiting positions receiving 349,396 votes. He was appointed to the Senate following the retirement of Senator Bert Brown on March 22, 2013.


  1. ^ "Desjardins Financial Group Acquires 95.5% of outstanding common shares of Western Financial Group Inc". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Company Listing". October 13, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Scott Tannas | Alberta Venture Magazine, Alberta business, Canadian business, Business Awards, Alberta news, Alberta industry". July 1, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Western Financial Group - Directors & Management". April 15, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Powered by Google Docs". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ Keyser, Tom (June 27, 2002). "Small-town banker cashes in on chutzpah - Business Edge News Magazine Archives". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Obituaries Calgary, AB". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ Canada. "Western Financial's struggles bring opportunity". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Peter C. Newman (April 18, 2005). "Fresh wind from the West | - Columnists". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Powered by Google Docs". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Scott Tannas | Alberta Venture Magazine, Alberta business, Canadian business, Business Awards, Alberta news, Alberta industry". July 1, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Our Honorary Board of Directors and Advisory Council". July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Western Financial Group - Our Story". Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Alpine Insurance - Press 4". June 4, 2005. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  16. ^ [1]
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