15th Administrator Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Seema Verma currently serves as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and she is only the 15th person ever confirmed to the post. She was nominated by President Trump on November 29, 2016 – the seventh nomination by the President-elect – and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 13, 2017. As Administrator, Ms. Verma oversees a $1 trillion budget, 26% of the total federal budget, that administers healthcare programs for more than 130 million Americans every day.
A nationally recognized leader in health policy and operational design, she has guided healthcare policy in the public and private sector, working with states to build flexibility into their Medicaid programs to help them meet the diverse needs of their unique populations. As the architect of the historic Healthy Indiana Plan, she helped create and implement the Nation’s first consumer-directed Medicaid program.
Administrator Verma is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University.
Her editorial commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Health Affairs, and she also previously served as Vice President of Planning for the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana and most recently before heading CMS was President and CEO of Seema Verma Consulting.
Vice President and Employee Benefits Practice Leader Insurance Office of America (IOA)
Spencer is a Vice President of Insurance Office of America where he serves as a Senior Consultant and Practice Leader in four states. Spencer has been engaged in the employee benefits arena for 32 years and his clientele are typically the larger privately held or smaller publicly held companies. His focus is in the creation of progressive healthcare strategies and risk management techniques that lower cost, mitigate risk, engage members and improve the health and productivity of the employees. Spencer has also developed extensive knowledge in the Pharmacy and On-site Clinic space which compliments his approach to population health management. This "design-build" consultancy utilizes data analytics to drive program decisions to engage members while reducing Plan Sponsor spend.
Founder & President Ault International Medical Management
Deborah Ault is well known and respected in the healthcare industry and has been the builder of successful medical management programs since 1996. Deborah has pioneered the “proactive,” “day-one, dollar-one,” and “progressive patient-centric” models of medical management. Most recently the creation of P3CM™ (patent pending) tops her resume. Deborah combines her proven success in the industry with her proven organizational leadership.
A registered nurse for 13 years, Deborah Ault has a diverse background in health care management and in all facets of nursing care. She worked in major hospitals, and acquired business development, management and marketing expertise at several prominent managed care organizations. Most recently, as vice president of care management for a national firm, she successfully utilized care management best practices to integrate two separate business operations into one company, while containing major health care costs.
Deborah began her nursing career upon graduation from Marion Technical College, and studied at several colleges and universities before earning her BBA degree and then MBA. Her leadership, multi-tasking and organizational skills, coupled with her advanced studies in mathematics and statistics, have proven invaluable in helping clients realize savings from medical management interventions.
Alex M. Azar II
Alex M. Azar II
Secretary U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Alex M. Azar II was sworn in as the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Jan. 29, 2018. Azar has spent his career working in both the public and private sectors, as an attorney and in senior leadership roles focused on advancing healthcare reform, research and innovation.
From 2001 to 2007, Azar served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – first as its General Counsel (2001–2005) and then as Deputy Secretary. During his time as Deputy Secretary, Azar was involved in improving the department’s operations; advancing its emergency preparedness and response capabilities as well as its global health affairs activities; and helping oversee the rollout of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
In 2007, Azar rejoined the private sector as senior vice president for corporate affairs and communications at Eli Lilly and Co. From 2012 to 2017, he served as president of Lilly USA LLC, the company’s largest affiliate.
Azar clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia prior to practicing law for several years.
Azar graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from Yale University.
For the past 10 years, Azar has lived in Indiana with his wife and their two children.
Ashley Bacot, President of ProvInsure, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Florida State University, one of the leading universities and somewhat of a pioneer in the curriculum of Risk Management and Insurance.
Ashley has played an integral role in helping Rosen Hotels & Resorts develop a cutting edge self insured healthcare model to include an on-site patient centered medical home. This program has reduced the company’s healthcare costs to a mere fraction of its competitors while at the same time provides benefits that are far superior. Ashley has been instrumental in attracting national attention to this model with visits from the Chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee on Health, Katie Couric at CBS News, Fox and Friends and CNN to mention a few. This very model has saved Rosen Hotels & Resorts $340 million since its inception and it could reduce the nation’s healthcare cost by $1 trillion annually.
Ashley has become a sought after speaker at conferences on the topic of healthcare reform and maximizing ROI of on-site employee healthcare clinics. Most recently, Ashley has spoken at the World Healthcare Congress in Washington DC, Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy Symposium; the Society of Insurance Research 39th Annual Conference and several World Research Group conferences, among others.
Ashley is married to his wife Cathy with whom he has two children Erin, age 19 and Casey, age 16. Ashley has lived in Central Florida for 30 years and is actively involved in community volunteering including, but not limited to, Canine Companions for Independence, Runway to Hope and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Gary Becker has been a benefit consultant specializing in self-insurance since 1985 and is the CEO of Becker Benefit Group, Inc. and ScriptSourcing, LLC.
In 2009, Gary created the first benefit captive in the Mid-Atlantic area, helping like-minded mid-sized employers transition from “fully insured” to self-funded” to achieve transparency, control, and risk management.
His impressive success in risk management led to the formation of ScriptSourcing, LLC – a pharmacy cost-mitigation program providing solutions and engagement to help employers slash the cost of maintenance name-brand meds and specialty meds by 70-90% while providing a $0 copay for health plan members. In 2017, Gary established Achieve Health Alliance which is an exclusive benefit consortium for highly proactive benefit consultants and employers.
In 2016, he received the “Innovation Award” from the Association for Insurance Leadership in recognition of his “contribution to the advancement of innovation in the employee benefits industry.”
Chief Financial Officer SISD Inc.
Prior to his role at SISD, Inc., Gary Bender was previously Chief Financial Officer with three privately held manufacturing and engineering companies following a successful 20+ year career with Air Products and Chemicals.
At Air Products he held a number of key executive roles in finance, business development, operations and general management. Prior to Air Products, he held positions in the international unit of R J Reynolds Industries with assignments in Europe, Canada and Asia.
Gary received his MBA degree from University of North Carolina and his undergraduate degree from Penn State University.
He has served on a number of community zoning boards and is on the boards of two privately owned companies, the Life Sciences Council board, on curriculum advisory boards for two technical engineering schools, the Workforce Investment Board. He is founder of the CFO Solution.
President Employers Committed to Control Health Insurance Costs (ECCHIC)
Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Hendricks Regional Health
Gary Everling has been in healthcare administration since 1998 and assumed his role at Hendricks Regional Health in 2013. Prior to that, he served as System Executive of Business Development for St. Vincent Health.
Active in his church, for the past 22 years he has enjoyed singing in an a cappella men’s quartet ministry. As an adjunct faculty member, Everling teaches healthcare policy, marketing and statistics at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is a member of the Medical Group Management Association and the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.
Principal & Benefits Practice Leader HJ Spier
Jeff Fox has been in benefit consulting for over 30 years. For the majority of his career, he has been in sales/consulting with three different prominent Third-Party Administrators. Because he has dedicated himself to the TPA marketplace, he has a keen understanding of self-funding and the inherent ability to manage plan assets. In 2003, Jeff joined HJ Spier Co., Inc. as their lead employee benefits consultant and since has become a principal in the firm.
Jeff enjoys a very loyal customer base, due in large part to his personal attention to their needs. Through Jeff, his clients are presented with fresh and creative ways to manage their plan costs. He is aware of the ever-changing marketplace and will not hesitate to introduce new concepts and ideas that enable his clients to offer a competitive, yet affordable benefits package.
Jeff creates a partnership with his clients and strives to become a trusted member of their benefits team. He hopes to create an environment of trust and respect, where his clients have his counsel on a regular basis to help them reach their goals.
Executive Vice President,
Operations & Network Development SkyMedicus Inc.
As Director of Operations, Tom is responsible for expanding the SkyMedicus network of healthcare providers and facilities internationally, as well as developing a domestic network. Additionally he is working with healthcare brokers, third party administrators, major corporations and employer coalitions to enable their clients to take advantage of the high quality, cost efficient healthcare services on a global scale.
His career began, at Grady Memorial Hospital, a 1,000 bed tertiary teaching hospital affiliated with Emory University School of Medicine, where he served 14 years as its Associate Executive Director. Following Grady, he was Executive Director at R.T. Jones Medical Center in Canton, GA, a rural hospital that was struggling financially. He successfully moved the hospital to a sound financial footing, completed an eight million dollar renovation/expansion of the facility, and recruited needed physicians to the community; he left the facility well funded and respected in the community.
He was recruited by Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia to develop HMO Georgia, a for profit, managed care subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia, serving as its Chief Operating Officer, he secured the Certificate of Authority, developed the provider network throughout Georgia and established the marketing/sales plan. HMO Georgia ramped up rapidly and moved to a profitable status over a short number of years. He went on after this to develop and operate other managed care organizations in Georgia.
He was also a Partner and CEO of Prime Living, Inc., a real estate development company, developing and managing assisted living communities in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.
Tom holds a degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern College and a Masters in Health Administration from Georgia State University. Tom served his administrative residency at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, in Chicago, Illinois.
Owner K2 Benefits
As an Employee Benefit Specialist since 2002, Karen Gast goes beyond mere activity on her clients’ behalf to produce real bottom-line results. She is a specialist in strategies that control the quality and cost of a company’s healthcare to reduce their overall healthcare and benefits budget while improving both benefits and healthcare outcomes for the employees.
In 2003, Karen was selected as one of the Peoria Area 40 Leaders Under Forty as sponsored by InterBusiness Issues magazine.
Her civic involvements, previous and current, include Secretary to the Board of Directors for the Zeta Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, Activities Committee to Creve Coeur Club, Red Carpet Committee with Peoria NEXT, Opera Illinois League Board Member, WTVP volunteer, Peoria Park District volunteer, and member of the Young Professionals Organization.
Karen graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Political Science.
Bob Gearhart, Jr.
Bob Gearhart, Jr.
Partner DCW Group
Bob Gearhart Jr. is the third generation to lead DCW Group and has reshaped the company into a Next Generation Benefits Firm. He and the team at DCW Group are committed to delivering high performing employee benefit plans to the market, one client at a time. Bob’s goal is to reverse the hyperinflation of healthcare that has led to middle class wage stagnation over the last 20 years.
Bob is also a nationally recognized speaker on Healthcare Reform and Employee Benefits. He frequently appears on radio, television, and in print to provide insight into the ever-changing landscape surrounding healthcare in America. In 2017, Bob was invited to El Salvador by that nation’s Ministry of Health to provide feedback on the healthcare facilities and providers in their growing Healthcare Abroad Network for patients around the world.
President MAGIC Health Insurance Solutions
Bill Geraci is an insurance consultant for employers who are challenged by the rising costs of health care for their employees.
Bill has been in the insurance business since the early 1980’s and to this day continues to serve his clients with the cutting-edge information needed to make the most appropriate insurance decisions. He started his career with Aetna in 1981, and during his sixteen years he worked in various offices, serving in ever increasing roles of management and leadership.
He took the challenge to learn everything he could about the health care industry. In 2001 he dove into health insurance industry and hasn’t looked back. By 2007 he purchased the consulting firm Metro Area Group Insurance Consultants (MAGIC).
Most employers are unaware of the advantages of alternative-funding. In partnership with MAGIC, employers become more proactive in addressing the increasing health care costs. He helps his clients find alternatives that yield results – more profit, more control over costs, and less hassle – both employers and employees benefit.
Bill’s clients receive the most efficient and economic opportunities to control health care costs. He takes his clients step-by-step through the process so they are not caught in a web of confusion. Through his initiatives, countless employers are now educated on the value and benefits of alternative-funding strategies.
Bill, who has extensive experience in self-insurance, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area of health care insurance. Employers who use MAGIC’s wellness initiatives and claims management are in greater control of the cost of one of their largest budget items. Thus, employers can invest the savings in other areas of the businesses they manage.
Managing Partner Meyers Glaros Group
For decades, business owners in Northwest Indiana have relied on Will Glaros to deliver the highest quality benefit services to companies throughout the region. Will founded Employer Benefit Systems (EBS), which was one of the largest locally owned employee benefits firm in Northwest Indiana until the company merged with HIA Insurance in 2014 to form the Meyers Glaros Group.
In his current role as managing partner at Meyers Glaros Group, Will continues to work with the area’s leading employers to develop their benefit plans. Very active in the healthcare industry, he has led the Northwest Indiana Wellness Council, served as past president of the Northwest Indiana chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters, sits on an advisory board for the Indiana Department of Insurance, and is a member of the Leading Producers Roundtable and Anthem Broker Advisory.
Will has been interviewed by numerous news outlets for his wealth of knowledge about healthcare reform and speaks to organizations about trends in healthcare. Throughout his life, Will has also been involved with many community and civic organizations including serving as past president of Habitat for Humanity and current board member for the Early Learning Partnership (formerly Parents as Teachers).
Nelson L. Griswold
Nelson L. Griswold
President, Bottom Line Solutions, Inc.; Author, DO or DIE: Reinventing Your Benefits Agency for Post-Reform Success
Nelson Griswold has been called “visionary” by Art Dammers of Anthem, “an authority on voluntary benefits and consultative selling” by Employee Benefit Adviser magazine and “a well-recognized industry thought leader” by Ron Leopold of MetLife.
Nelson has been honored by the Voluntary Benefits Association with their prestigious Industry Leadership Award, for his “professional accomplishments that drive the voluntary benefits industry forward.”
A nationally-known agency reinvention and growth expert, he is the author of DO or DIE: Reinventing Your Benefits Agency for Post-Reform Success, the industry bestseller that has been hailed as the only comprehensive blueprint for agency leaders to reinvent their firm to survive and grow in the post-ACA era. As a practice management and agency growth consultant, Nelson works with leading agencies across the country to grow their top- and bottom-line revenue.
Nelson serves as Managing Director of the Agency Growth Mastermind Partnership, a national executive peer-exchange network for non-competing benefits agency owners who collaborate and cooperate to identify best practices and proven growth strategies to remain relevant, profitable, independent & growing.
Nelson is also a leading strategic consultant to carriers and other industry vendors on broker distribution & activation, voluntary benefits, and next-generation engagement & enrollment strategies.
Nelson writes a monthly column for Employee Benefit Adviser magazine, has written for Benefits Selling, Producers eSource and other leading industry publications, and writes a blog for Zywave. He is an in-demand keynote speaker and presenter at industry conferences. He is a board member and serves on the executive committee of both the Workplace Benefits Association and the Voluntary Benefits Association
President and Co-Founder Health 180
Troy is the President and Co-Founder of Health 180, a comprehensive health risk management consulting company. Health 180’s programs are designed to make healthcare more accessible, more affordable, and more effective for individuals and organizations. They offer a comprehensive solution using cutting edge health risk management practices, partnerships and technology to change the way healthcare benefits are funded, delivered, and utilized.
With over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, Troy Hanratty brings a consultant’s point of view to health risk management. During his career, he has risen from sales and account management roles to leading and operating a consulting agency and third-party administrator. Understanding both the insurance industry and what employer’s need has allowed him to develop and launch many cost saving initiatives. Troy has a passion for helping employer’s find their best insurance path which starts with understanding their own company’s risk and finding the correct funding mechanism.
Chief Executive Officer ClaimDOC
Ben Krambeck serves as Chief Executive Officer of ClaimDOC, LLC. In this capacity, Mr. Krambeck is responsible for all staffing decisions, sales, marketing and distribution channel management. Mr. Krambeck was a co-founder of ClaimDOC in January 2013.
Prior to his time at ClaimDOC, Mr. Krambeck held a dual role as Regional Vice President with The TJS Group, a division of TrueNorth Companies, and also served the firm as a self-funded medical plan subject matter expert for the Top 100 insurance brokerage headquartered in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Mr. Krambeck served on the Iowa Association of Health Underwriters Board of Directors from 2006-2009, and his career began in the insurance industry as a Group Sales Representative for Sun Life Financial.
Mr. Krambeck is a licensed insurance agent and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa in 1997. He resides in Des Moines, IA with his wife, Jennifer, and his two daughters Emma and Hannah.
Inc. magazine calls Craig Lack, “Craig Lack is the most effective consultant you’ve never heard of.” As the creator Performance Based Health Plans®, Craig consults with public and private C-level executives and independent health care consultants to eliminate employee out-of-pocket expenses, measurably lower health care claims, and drive earnings to the bottom line.
He is a leading authority and a sought-after speaker at national conferences, business coalitions on health and to C-suite groups. Craig has appeared in Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Huffington Post, Success, and Yahoo Finance and has been featured on CBS, ABC, CW and FOX.
His mission is to help employees eliminate $1 billion in out-of-pocket expenses for their employees.
Inc. says, “Craig Lack is the most effective consultant you’ve never heard of.” http://www.inc.com/logan-kugler/this-entrepreneur-gave-up-nba-dreams-to-make-millions-off-healthcare.html
Forbes calls Craig Lack a “Broker Whisperer for independent healthcare consultants.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/davechase/2016/06/26/if-you-want-to-see-the-future-of-healthcare-watch-the-cable-industry-what-happened-to-newspapers/#3af3a2a16bb1
President and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH)
Since 2008, David Lansky has led the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), an
association of fifty large employers and health care purchasers representing over 3
million Californians, including CalPERS, Wells Fargo, Intel, Safeway, Chevron, and
the University of California. He served as Senior Director of the Health Program at
the Markle Foundation (NY) from 2004 to 2008. His work there focused on
accelerating the adoption of interoperable health information technology throughout
U.S. health care, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that patients and consumers
have access to and control over their information and can participate fully in the
redesign of the health care system.
A nationally-recognized expert in accountability, quality measurement and health IT,
Lansky has served as a board member or advisor to numerous health care projects
and programs, including the National Quality Forum, the Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the National Patient Safety Foundation,
the Leapfrog Group, the Medicare Beneficiary Education Advisory Panel, and the
American Health Information Community (AHIC). He is now the purchaser
representative on the federal HIT Policy Committee, its Meaningful Use Workgroup,
and chairs its Nationwide Health Information Network Workgroup. He is also cochair
of Cal eConnect, California’s state designated entity for governance of health
From 1995 to 2004, Lansky was the founding President of the Foundation for
Accountability (FACCT), a public-private venture developing quality measures and
web-based tools to help consumers and purchasers assess the value of health care
services and providers. Before establishing FACCT, Lansky was a senior policy
analyst for the Jackson Hole Group during the national health care reform debate of
1993-94. He led the Center for Outcomes Research and Education at Oregon-based
Providence Health System from 1988 to 1993.
Principal Mitchell Insurance, Inc.
Deke Lape, vice-president of Mitchell Insurance of Sikeston, Missouri, has been in the insurance business for 20 years. Working as a medical insurance consultant, Lape has continued the 80-year-old family tradition of providing health insurance to companies and individuals in Missouri and surrounding states.
Lape along with the Mitchell Insurance and the Health 180 team have developed a narrow network of hospitals, clinics, and doctors to whom the team steers group medical clients. The team also provides biometric screening and onsite assistance to company associates. Mitchell Insurance understands the changing world of health care, and their team wants to provide the very best care and cost-effective coverage for their clients.
Mitchell Insurance and Health 180 are working to change the culture within each employer, and believe the best way to do that is to connect the most important pieces: Medical Provider, Employer, and Employee. If that is accomplished, everyone wins.
A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Lape has served on the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Council for three years, and he is also a past member of the Roundstone Insurance Advisory Council, an innovative think-tank that collaborates with other producers throughout the country to discuss and implement cost-containment strategies for group medical clients.
Healthcare Strategist The Olson Group
Andy Neary is a healthcare strategist with The Olson Group. He has more than 15 years of experience in helping employers affect the rising cost of healthcare through innovative strategies. He works with his clients to move them from the benefits status quo with innovative and creative strategies that provide savings for employers and a rich benefit plan array for employees.
He recently was named to the “Boulder 40 Under 40” list, recognizing his professional and charitable contributions to that Colorado community. He was a former pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
As a former professional athlete, Neary understands the hard work and daily grind needed to perform at the highest level. His personal motto is, “It’s the work done when no one is watching that generates success”. He takes the same approach with his clients creating truly elite benefit programs.
Managing Director, Healthcare Google Inc.
As the Managing Director for Healthcare at Google, Ryan Olohan leads the teams responsible for developing and managing Google's relationships with pharmaceutical and consumer health companies. Ryan and his teams partner with the largest companies in the world to leverage Google's consumer platforms while connecting the vast health resources and innovation at Google in an effort to push the industry forward. His relentless push is why he was selected by MM&M as a “Top 40 Healthcare Transformer of 2016” and PRWeek’s 2017 Top 50 Healthcare Influencer.
Before Healthcare, Ryan spent the first half of his 11 years at Google overseeing the CPG industry as the Head of Consumer Packaged Goods. Prior to Google, Ryan was a consultant for Hewitt Associates and a Vice President at Bank of NY Mellon before getting the itch to lead Business Development at two prominent startups. Outside of his day job, he is a frequent speaker at industry events and is a Board member for the Chopra Foundation, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Foundation, and the Digital Health Coalition. He is also the founder of the Google Healthcare Advisory Board and the co-author of the widely acclaimed "Pharma 3D" (www.Pharma3D.com) in partnership with Google, McKinsey, and Wharton. When not at Google, Ryan "relaxes" at home in New Jersey with his wife and seven children.
President and Managing Partner The Olson Group
In 2003, Tim Olson founded The Olson Group – an employee benefits consulting firm with an emphasis in retirement planning and group insurance plans.
Tim’s focus on serving his clients holistically garnered him and The Olson Group the honor of being named 2015’s Benefit Adviser of the Year by Employee Benefit Adviser magazine. Since then, Tim and his team have set the standard in client service by reinventing and reinvesting in the practice to deliver ACA expertise, electronic enrollment platforms, wellness initiatives, and fiduciary expertise among other vital solutions. Recently developed BenefitsEdge® – a game-changing strategic planning process that allows organizations to intentionally determine the outcomes of their benefits investment.
The Olson Group currently works with more than 150 employers participating in 500 employee benefit plans, and covering more than 20,000 employees throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas.
Chief Executive Officer SurgiPrice
Dr. Sanjay Prasad is a world-renowned Neurotologic surgeon who has been practicing for 22 years. He is widely published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and is the author of multiple chapters in authoritative texts in the field of Neurotology. Neurotology is a super-specialized field of surgery that involves microsurgery of the inner ear, facial nerve and brain. He is the Founder of Metropolitan NeuroEar Group and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Tower Oaks Surgery Center in the Washington, DC, area.
In 2007, he pioneered the concept of bundled pricing within Neurotology and offered this to patients with no insurance or high deductible health plans. Over time the bundled pricing strategy was applied to multiple specialties, such as orthopedics, gynecology, podiatry, general surgery, etc. This was the birth of a competitive marketplace where surgeons now have to compete not only on the basis of bundled pricing but also surgeon-specific, procedure-specific quality parameters.
Dr. Prasad founded SurgiPrice™, a healthcare technology company that developed a bidding platform that forces surgeons, dentists and radiology facilities to compete for patients. SurgiPrice™ has championed use of the bidding platform to foster market competition in the healthcare landscape.
Thomas E. Price
Thomas E. Price, MD
Former Secretary Health and Human Services (HHS)
Dr. Thomas E. Price, an Orthopedic surgeon, most recently served as the 23rd Secretary of Health and
Human Services (HHS). He brought to the Department a lifetime of service and a dedication to
advancing the quality of health care in America – both as a physician and policymaker. Dr. Price is
excited about opportunities to use his vast experience and unique expertise in healthcare and public
policy to help actively shape improvements in technology and throughout the financing and delivery
His first calling was to care for patients. Dr. Price received his Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine
degrees from the University of Michigan and completed his General Surgery Internship and Orthopedic
Surgery Residency at Emory University. After his training, Dr. Price – a third generation physician
following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather – began a solo medical practice in Atlanta,
Georgia, which would eventually grow to be one of the largest, non-academic orthopedic practices in
the country, which he led as Chairman of the Board. During his 20+ years as a practicing physician, he
also served as Medical Director of the Orthopedic Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital as well as an
Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine.
As with many physicians and health care providers, Dr. Price’s experience caring for patients gave him
a unique perspective about the impact of public policy on the practice of medicine. Eager to broaden
the impact he could have on improving access to quality health care, Dr. Price ran for public office and
was elected to four terms in the Georgia State Senate – during which time he was chosen by his
colleagues to serve as Senate Minority Whip and later as the first Republican Senate Majority Leader in
the history of Georgia.
Dr. Price also served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District from northern
suburban Atlanta. He held this office from 2005-2017 and earned a reputation amongst his colleagues
for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health care matters. During his
congressional career, Dr. Price served in various leadership roles including Chairman of the House
Budget Committee, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and Chairman of the
Republican Study Committee.
Committed to promoting positive solutions under principled leadership, Dr. Price remains a fierce
advocate for a patient-centered health care system that adheres to six key principles: affordability,
accessibility, quality, choices, innovation, and responsiveness.
Dr. Price and his wife, Betty, have lived in the Metro-Atlanta area for nearly 40 years. They have one
Vice President & Benefits Practice Leader David Rine Insurance
Derek Rine heads up the employee benefits practice at David Rine Insurance. As a Group Benefits Consultant, he does a lot more than just identifying and meeting the insurance needs of his clients. While protecting personal, business, financial and human assets is a top priority, he also assists businesses in bringing more value to their companies in many other respects. David Rine Insurance exists in part of make life easier for HR professionals through advanced software and other technology.
Derek has spent the last several years evaluating the healthcare climate to identify new strategies and resources to better protect the long-term interests of their clients. These innovations include alternative funding strategies for employer health plans; elite concierge services to gain transparency with providers and guide clients' employees to high quality but low cost facilities in order to improve their loss ratio and ultimately lower their premiums; and proprietary pharmacy programs, which are able to source prescriptions for 50 cents on the dollar in many cases.
Derek recently was profiled in Employee Benefit Adviser magazine for his innovative strategies to enhance the benefits plan while driving EBITDA to the client’s bottom line.
Principal and Managing Partner Axial Benefits Group
As the Principal and Managing Partner of Axial Benefits Group, Mr. Rodgers brings his extensive background in health and welfare plans to Axial's clients.
He has been pioneering Healthcare Purchasing Coalitions since 2009 specializing in assisting medium and large corporations, many of whom have multi-state locations, with the development of effective health care programs. Specifically, he has designed, implemented and managed 5 successful healthcare purchasing coalitions helping hundreds of companies lower costs and stabilized renewals.
Prior to co-founding Axial Benefits Group, Mr. Rodgers founded its predecessor company, Atlantic Benefits, in 2003. He also founded The Staffing Exchange (TSE) in 2012, a successful healthcare purchasing coalition dedicated specifically to the Staffing industry. He has had over 22 years of experience and held senior consulting positions at Hays Companies, William Gallagher Associates, and Marsh & McLennan.
Mr. Rodgers is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Engineering. He is a former Massachusetts high school wrestling state champion and collegiate wrestler. He is an avid national speaker on the Affordable Care Act and has become known as one of the nation's experts on the topic of its compliance. He is the former Chairman of the Boston Board of Directors for the March of Dimes and has been involved with the development of corporate programs for the both Friends of Boston's Homeless charity and various local Habitat for Humanity Chapters. He lives in Concord, MA with his wife and family, where he is also a town meeting member.
Founder and President Rosen Hotels & Resorts
Harris Rosen is the President & COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, the largest independently owned hotel chain in Florida.
After spending the early years of his career working for other major hotel groups, including Walt Disney World, Rosen purchased his first hotel in 1974. Since then, he has added eight hotels to his portfolio, for a total of six leisure hotels and three convention properties. Combined, Rosen Hotels & Resorts comprise more than 6,694 guest rooms, approximately six percent of Orlando’s total hotel inventory.
Rosen is a charter member of the UCF Board of Trustees. In 2000 he donated $18 million to the University of Central Florida to build the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. He also provided a $5 million scholarship endowment for UCF.
As well as Rosen’s commitment to UCF, he spearheaded the multi-million dollar Tangelo Park Program, which has provided more than 200 high school seniors with full college scholarships over the past 20 years. The program also provides a free preschool education for all 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds in the Tangelo Park neighborhood, a disadvantaged neighborhood in Central Florida, as well as parenting classes. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey presented Rosen with the President’s Award from the US Dream Academy at an event in Washington, D.C. for his work with this program. In the past few years, he has spearheaded a similar, five times larger program to benefit the Orlando urban neighborhood of Parramore. Here he also opened the 24-classroom Rosen Preschool at the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence.
In 2004, Rosen served as the Honorary Co-Chair of the Bethune-Cookman College Statue Project with the late Dr. Dorothy Height, President Emeriti of the National Council of Negro Women. The project raised funds to erect a monument to honor the legendary educator on the campus she founded which is Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Rosen is also a member of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen and the Waldorf Astoria Distinguished Alumni Association and is the past President of Visit Orlando. He is an honorary Tuskegee Airmen and holds an honorary Black MBA from the National Black MBA Association. He serves on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations throughout Florida including the Boys & Girls Club, the Boggy Creek Gang and the YMCA Aquatic Center.
Among numerous accolades, Rosen was named by the Orlando Business Journal as the "2017 CEO of the Year," Orlando Sentinel “2011 Central Floridian of the Year” and “2011 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year ” by his alma mater. He was inducted into Visit Florida’s Tourism Hall of Fame in 2010. He has received Sustainable Florida’s Legacy Award for his contributions not only for his environmental efforts, but for his contributions to the local community and has been named an Orlando Business Journal “Healthcare Hero” and featured on national media outlets for his innovative healthcare program.
Rosen has four adult children that live in Orlando: Jack, Joshua, Adam and Shayna.
As Senior Vice President of Sales, Ziad plays a role in all aspects of new business and implementations. His job functions include the following:
Drive accountability and performance management to delivery LDI growth
Develop and establish strategic partnerships with retail and wholesale channels with ABC market and other health plans
Research & anticipate business needs in current and potential market segments to determine the most effective overall pharmacy solution
Establish and recommend policies and standards to assess product results and performance by market segment and distribution
Develop unique value propositions and business partnerships to positively impact development PBM Services sales opportunities
Develop marketing strategy and execute measureable campaigns and tactics to drive demand, industry and brand awareness
Design marketing strategy and product offering that identifies key customer segment opportunities, actionable-oriented marketing materials and methods to track campaign success
Founder Questige Consulting
John W. Sbrocco, CSFS is a healthcare strategist and founder of both Questige Consulting and Achieve Health Alliance. He began consulting in 2005 and specializes in bringing innovative risk management solutions to self-funded employers. John holds a designation as a Certified Self-Funding Specialist.
John recently visited El Salvador as a guest of the Ministry of Health on a fact-finding mission to evaluate that country’s healthcare facilities and physicians for their Healthcare Abroad program for patients around the world who travel for superior medical outcomes at substantial savings over domestic healthcare.
An in-demand speaker at industry events & conferences, John has been featured in industry publications including, most recently, BenefitsPro magazine. He is a Charter Member of the Association for Insurance Leadership and a member of the exclusive Agency Growth Mastermind Partnership – an elite group of high-performing benefits consultants and advisors from around the country.
Carl Schuessler, Jr.
Carl Schuessler, Jr.
Managing Principal BenefitStrategies LLC
An intentionally small “concierge” consulting firm offering a unique approach to benefits management to a select group of clients, BenefitStrategies and Mitigate Partners provide Insurance, Risk Management and Employee Benefits Consulting.
Serving as a Population Health Manager specializing in Cost Containment and Risk Mitigation, the partners pride themselves on their ability to be creative in designing innovative, optimum plans and helping companies and individuals make the most of their financial resources by serving as a Fiduciary and Steward of health plan dollars. With more than 25 years of experience in employee and executive benefits consulting and financial planning experience, Carl offers clients improved cash flow, saves money and retains top talent with well-structured employee benefit and financial planning solutions. He is also an accomplished speaker and author.
After spending the last 5 years searching for the best in class Healthcare Solutions to solve the Healthcare Jigsaw Puzzle, by integrating these to significantly reduce his clients’ health plan spend, Carl created and is trademarking FairCost, a health plan design he pioneered.Carl has successfully networked with other trusted partners/vendors such as insurance companies, PBM’s, TPA’s, health care destinations, employee benefit communication companies, and onsite clinics. To the delight of his clients, he has a proven track record of bringing comprehensive High Performance Healthcare Solutions to businesses regarding healthcare costs, benefit design, improved medical outcomes, and improved employee communications. Carl is an employer advocate and provides easily understood solutions and encouragement to employers.
He was selected as one of the first group of 30 forward-leaning Benefits Advisors in the U.S. to participate as a Charter Member in the Health Rosetta Certification Program for Benefits Advisors. The Health Rosetta is a blueprint of best practices for intelligently purchasing health benefits that’s been sourced from the most forward leaning benefits purchasers of all types around the country. The certification program helps ensure he stays at the front of the market to better serve his clients.
G. Keith Smith
G. Keith Smith, MD
Co-founder The Surgery Center of Oklahoma
Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, owned by over 90 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.
In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available. His most recent effort is the launch of the Free Market Medical Association which provides a platform where those seeking to obtain high quality and affordable health care can find free market-minded providers, both physicians and facilities.
Operation of this free market medical practice, the standard for all who have embraced this practice approach, has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs and improve quality of care for all.
He has made appearances on the John Stossel Show, CNBC, Huffington Post, The O’Reilly Factor, Capital Account, The Ron Paul Channel, NBC Nightly News and has been featured by Reason Magazine’s TV division. The New York Times, Time Magazine, ABC news, Forbes and many others have written articles featuring Dr. Smith’s revolutionary approach to the pricing of health care and uncompromising free market principles.
Principal Stautberg Benefit Advisors
Partner Gulfshore Insurance
As an Employee Benefits Client Advisor, Dan’s consultative approach helps him gain insight to his clients’ needs and improve the value of their Employee Benefits program. He has worked with Gulfshore Insurance since 2005 and became a partner in 2010. Originally from Maryland, Dan is a licensed 220 & 215 agent and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Business Administration from Hodges University. Prior to working with Gulfshore, Dan worked for both ADP and Paychex.
Dan is active in the business community through his involvement in the Florida Association of Special Districts, the Southwest Florida Chapter of Health Underwriters, and the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce. He was selected as one of Southwest Florida’s “40 Under 40” Leaders by Gulfshore Business Magazine for distinguishing himself in his profession and in the community.
Principal & Benefits Practice Leader Bernard Health
Brian Tolbert has over ten years of experience in the health and benefits industry and is one of the founders of Bernard Health. Based in Nashville, Bernard’s mission is to be the world’s most trusted advisor when it comes to helping people plan for their healthcare. Today, they provide employer advisory services in multiple markets and license their proprietary all-in-one HR software, BerniePortal, through other trusted benefits advisors all over the country.
Brian received his BS from Vanderbilt University and earned his MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management. He and Bernard Health were honored with the 2017 Summit Award from the Association for Insurance Leadership in recognition of their creating a NextGeneration Benefits Firm that provides a superior and more cost-effective benefits plan for employers and enhanced benefits for employees. Most recently, Bernard Health was named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the U.S.