Speakers

The Changing Face of Identity Theft
Jill Hazan, Legal Resources
Monday, 1:00 - 1:50 pm

This course is an interactive session focusing on the types of identity theft, the risks to individuals and businesses associated with identity theft, and the elements of identity theft protection plans available in the marketplace. The seminar highlights the many approaches criminals are using to commit identity theft, including ransomware, social engineering, email and online scams, unsecured wifi, etc. It addresses ways for individuals and businesses to operate more safely in the current cyber environment. Attendees will also gain a better understanding of the features of identity theft protection benefits.

About the Speaker: Jill Hazan - Jill Hazan is an Identity Theft educator with a passion to inform individuals on ways to mitigate the risks of identity theft. This passion grew from her background in both technology and employee benefits. She is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist. She provides seminars to a wide variety of groups, from employers to high school students, and teaches an approved continuing education course for health and life insurance licensing in Maryland, Virginia, DC, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. In her position at Legal Resources, a provider of group legal and identity theft protection plans, she specializes in ID Theft services. Prior to working in the identity theft field, she was a Health and Welfare Consultant at Aon Hewitt and at Willis Towers Watson.  She focused on managing employer costs through healthcare benefit plan design, creative voluntary benefit programs, and effective employee communications. She holds a degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Columbia Business School.


A Presentation from Colonial Life
Steve Hesler, Colonial Life
Monday, 1:55 - 2:45 pm

The presentation will provide an informational overview of the voluntary benefit industry trends and growth. The second section will review rising health care costs and its impact on employers, employees and the voluntary benefit industry. The last section will provide an overview of regulatory efforts by the Trump administration throughout 2017 and discuss the latest changes influencing health care reform and how this will impact our industry.

About the Speaker: Steve Hesler - Steve Hesler is Assistant Vice President of Product and Market Development at Colonial Life. As a thought leader, Hesler focuses on industry developments, market changes, consumer experience, health care reform and product strategy. He recently led the company’s oversight and development of both individual and group accident and supplemental health product lines.

Hesler joined Colonial Life in August of 2012 as Assistant Vice President of the Portfolio Management Office responsible for the implementation of all strategic projects for the firm. Prior to joining the company, he spent 16 years working with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and its family of companies. Here he held leadership positions in finance, operations, data analysis, sales operations and others where he received the company’s top award for Leadership and Collaboration.

Hesler holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Management from Covenant College as well as a Masters of Business Administration and a Certificate of Health Sector Management from Duke University.


ERISA: How to Prepare for a DOL or EBSA Health Plan Audit
Steve Honig, OCA Benefits
Monday, 3:00 - 3:50 pm

This course will review all of the basic rules an employer must follow as set forth under ERISA.  We will cover which employers must adhere to the rules and which ones are exempt as well as the penalties for non-compliance.  By the end of the course, brokers will gain a better understanding of the regulations so they can help their clients navigate through this critical regulation.

About the Speaker: Stephen Honig - Stephen Honig began his career in employee benefits in 1981 upon graduation from Rider College with a BS in Commerce.  Focusing on larger employers, his practice expanded to include services for Section 125 Cafeteria Plan administration in 1987.  He earned his CFCI (Certification in Flexible Compensation as an Instructor) designation with honors in 1999 through the Employer's Council in Flexible Compensation.

Understanding the value of consumer education, Steve has pioneered communication concepts to help reduce the rate of inflationary medical increases while at the same time improve the quality of healthcare delivery.  Through a combination of these communication techniques and cutting edge plan designs utilizing Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, Steve and his team have earned a nationwide reputation for reducing healthcare costs while at the same time improving the quality of the healthcare delivered.

As a full time TPA since 2008, his firm has focused on building strategic relationships within the brokerage community to help reduce the cost of healthcare while striving to increase the quality delivered.  His firm, OCA is dedicated to providing audit compliant administrative services for Section 105, 129, and 125 Cafeteria plans, Section 132 Transit Plans, HRAs, HSAs through their proprietary Claim Vaulting™ system, Retiree Billing, COBRA, ERISA compliance, and Wellness platforms throughout the United States to over 3,000 employer accounts today. An active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters Association, Steve has served as a two time past President of his local chapter and currently serves as the Education Chair for NJAHU.   In 2013 Steve was the recipient of the highest state association honor, the Louis J. Mattei service award.  Perhaps though, his highest achievement is that he gets to work with his son, Ross Honig, a former NJ State Association President 7 days a week in their family business.


Vision 2020
Mike Embry, NAHU
Tuesday, 9:30 - 10:00 am

About the Speaker: Michael Embry - Michael Embry is the current president of the National Association of Health Underwriters and president of the Southfield, Michigan based agency Comprehensive Benefits Inc. Michael has worked in the health insurance industry for 33 years, including senior account director of Comerica Insurance Services Inc. He purchased CBI in 2014, an agency focused on small group benefits, midsize group benefits, worksite voluntary benefits and small and midsize self-funded plans.

Michael has been involved in NAHU for nearly 25 years. He had previously served as the president of the Michigan Association of Health Underwriters and was a regional NAHU vice president from 2010 through 2013. He currently serves on the Southeast Michigan Agent Advisory Council for Priority Health.


Using Standout Communication for Sales Success
Alan Katz, Next Agency
Tuesday, 10:00 - 10:50 am

Benefit brokers are communicators, providing consumers with clear, meaningful messages concerning their coverage options, plan usage, regulations and more. The purpose of this course is to educate brokers concerning the elements of a strong message that stands out from the cacophony of noise and news that bombard their clients. The approach taken is to demonstrate how they can craft a standout marketing message, then show how this methodology can be applied to customer service communications, regulatory education and more. The course draws upon findings from the Trailblazed Sales Study, the resulting book (Trailbazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success by Alan Katz) and an examination of 100 broker web sites conducted by Susan Cotton (former Chief Marketing Officer of WellPoint, Inc.). Course participants will learn the elements of powerful communication and how to apply these elements to a host of communication opportunities.

About the Speaker: Alan Katz - Alan Katz speaks and writes nationally on health care reform, technology, sales and marketing, and business planning. His book, Trailblazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success, provides insights on the practices that separate high-growth sales professionals from their less successful colleagues.

Alan is a co-founder of Take 44, the company behind NextAgency. NextAgency helps brokers save time, money and clients by delivering a powerful agency management system with CRM tools combined with straightforward employee management software brokers can give their clients for free. Alan is also co-founder of Insurgency Benefits. Insurgency Benefits offer the Protect and the Secure Plans, two safe and simple, fixed-cost self-funded medical plans. Alan has led sales organizations in companies large and small, including as a senior vice president at WellPoint (now Anthem) and general manager of Centerstone Insurance and Marketing Services, a general agency now known as BenefitMall. 

Alan is currently president of the National Association of Health Underwriter’s Education Foundation. He is a past president of the Los Angeles, California and National Associations of Health Underwriters. NAHU awarded Alan its highest honor, the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award, as Health Insurance Person of the Year. CAHU twice named Alan its Member of the Year. Beyond the insurance industry, Alan has been an investigating attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions, Chief of Staff to California’s Lieutenant Governor, and a member of the Santa Monica City Council.


The Challenges of Prescription & Hospital Costs in Health Plans
Rodger Bayne, Benefit Indemnity Corp.
Tuesday, 10:55 - 11:45 am

With the continued challenges of the ACA affecting how insurers price, and participate in ACA coverage options, the development of innovative cost savings programs have become ever more important. This program will work toward understanding the evolving hospital reimbursement methodologies and prescription drug cost control strategies in today’s market.

About the Speaker: Rodger Bayne - Rodger A. Bayne oversees Benefit Indemnity Corporation to support the marketing, sales, training and education involving the insurance community. Roger is a motivated business professional with a successful track record of entrepreneurship and insurance brokerage management and product development, leading to over $1 billion in sales.

Roger is an engaging public speaker who has conducted thousands of hours of outreach and educational meetings in professional and community forums. Among his expertise is deep knowledge of the evolving health care reform landscape. He has been an activist for health care reform since 1987 and a champion for small employers’ rights and access to health care value. In 1992, he conducted one of Maryland’s first public health care reform rallies.

Known as a health reform and strategy expert, Roger pores over thousands of pages of information each week, drawing on his unique talent to quickly digest and interpret complicated legislation and regulations. Always straightforward and passionate, Bayne delivers complex concepts to various audiences, tailoring his message to each appropriately. Insurance industry, legislative, employers, human resources and legal professionals rely on his determinations of the intended and unintended consequences of these matters to calculate how best to proceed.


Find and Destroy Lurking Risks! Failure to Address Opiates Could Sink Your Ship
Cristy Grupton, Custom Benefit Solutions
Tuesday, 2:00 - 2:20 pm

Uncovering the Risk and Shining the Light on Health Care Data and its Impact on Your Business!

About the Speaker: Cristy Gupton - Cristy Gupton is President of Custom Benefits Solutions, an employee benefits consulting firm serving WNC and surrounding areas.  Cristy has seen that shining a light on the opaque nature of the cost/quality dilemma in healthcare can transform an employer's health plan, taking it from multi-year cost increases to a zero-trend, high-performing health plan with a sustainable outlook on the future.  As she leads Custom Benefits Solutions, blazing new trails into the world of captives and group purchasing platforms, she is gaining the attention of national organizations as she attempts to reduce both the supply and demand for opiates as treatment for acute pain related to on-the-job injuries and musculoskeletal surgical procedures.  Partnering with both state and federal agencies, Cristy endeavors to reform the culture of how pain management is provided by employer-sponsored health plans.  A recent addition to the Health Rosetta Institute, an elite group of benefits advisers who employ high-performance techniques addressing the out-of-control healthcare costs in our current system, Cristy is sought after to help organizations bring their health plans back to being the employee retention tool they were originally intended to be.


Realigning Incentives to Make More Money as Your Clients Save Money
David Contorno, Lake Norman Benefits
Tuesday, 2:20 - 2:40 pm

If you can't talk with your clients about how much they are paying you, then you are being paid too much!

About the Speaker: David Contorro - David Contorno is President of Lake Norman Benefits, now part of the Hilb Group and one of the employee benefit practice leaders inside this now top 40 largest insurance agency. As a native of New York, David began his career in the insurance industry at the age of 14, and has since become a leading expert in the realm of employee benefits over the last 21 years.

Among his many accolades, David received a Broker Spotlight in 2004 and was recognized as an outstanding Broker of Service in 2005 through 2014 by Blue Cross Blue Shield. He has continually received the Echelon Award by United Healthcare since 2003, reserved for the top 1% of agents nationally, and was a 2015 "40 Under 40" Award Winner presented by Charlotte Business Journal. Most recently, David was Benefits Selling Magazine's 2015 Broker of the Year and, in March 2016, Forbes deemed him "One of America's Most Innovative Benefits Leaders." 

David is a member of the Board of Directors for both the Charlotte Association of Health Underwriters and Healthreach Community Clinic. He served on the NC Insurance Commissioners Life and Health Agent Advisory Committee, as well as participated in the Technical Advisory Group that helped with the Market Reforms required under the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina. He is a contributor to numerous publications, including Forbes, Benefits Selling Magazine, Business Leader Magazine and Insurance Thought Leadership.


Don't Let Negativity Be the Anchor that Keeps You from Moving Forward
Vernon Brown, What's Your Happi?
Tuesday, 2:40 - 3:00 pm

What's Your Happi? Regain control and get to the greatest levels of success!

About the Speaker: Vernon Brown - Vernon L. Brown is the president and CEO of What’s Your Happi?, a hands-on happiness coaching practice designed around an individual’s true happiness - allowing clients to get the space and understanding they need to create more successful and happier lives.

With over 15 years’ experience as being a trainer and coach, he has a proven background in his transformational lifestyle vision and mental clarity, having coached thousands of clients across the country. A member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Vernon combines his style of tailoring his coaching to the client with a pragmatic and easy to understand approach.


Knowing When to Adjust Your Sails
Keith Hughes, PrimePay
Tuesday, 3:00 - 3:20 pm

To gain business momentum, you need to include solutions to mitigate risk, control costs and create efficiencies.

About the Speaker: Keith Hughes - Keith Hughes has been actively working with brokers across the United States since 1994. Keith’s focus is using compliance driven employee management solution strategies to help brokers better serve existing clients and earn new business.

Using an ASO platform to Solutions match administrative wants and needs specific to each employer enables brokers to deliver a specialized message for their clients and prospects.


The Captain who is Unwilling to Go Down with the Ship! Commissions to Fees or Walk the Plank
Karen Kirkpatrick, On Your Mark Consulting
Tuesday, 3:20 - 3:40 pm

The leader is an innovative broker and risk manager who leads the ship to safety!

About the Speaker: Karen Kirkpatrick - As owner of On Your Mark Consulting, Karen continues a long career of working with insurance brokers, CPAs, TPAs and employers helping them to understand complex regulations and create action items. Previously, she worked at Infinisource for 18 years where she gained a national reputation for being one of the foremost experts on HR Compliance, Payroll, COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA, Consumer Driven Health Plan Options, Health Care Reform and other benefit laws.

A nationally recognized speaker, Karen brings the audience intense payroll, HR or benefits (including ACA) regulations in an easy‐to‐understand format. She is known for not only her compliance expertise, but her ability to make sense of compliance "spaghetti" and provide the audience with actionable items and clear language to pay it forward (educate others).

Karen brings into her firm the valuable expertise of many years of marketing and professional development experience with several prominent financial, insurance and restaurant institutions, including Northwestern Mutual, Shearson Lehman and DFR. She has been actively involved with Toastmasters International, which helps individuals become more effective speakers, leaders and listeners.


The Opioid Epidemic: Challenges and Solutions
Sandra Shaklan LCSW-C, Cigna
Tuesday, 4:00 - 4:50 pm

The United States consumes more than 80% of the world's supply of opiates, which now contribute to the deaths of more people than auto accidents. The opiate epidemic, as well as other substance use disorders impact nearly 20.2 million adults in the U.S., and present challenges to individuals, families, schools, communities, and employers. We will explore the prevalence of substance misuse, and challenges related to finding quality substance use disorder treatment. This discussion will include challenges to employer groups and include current practices and learnings.

About the Speaker: Sandra Shaklan, LCSW-C - Sandra Shaklan is a Behavioral Client Strategist for Cigna Healthcare. She is responsible for providing support to existing Employee Assistance program accounts and for client behavioral consulting. One of her foci is building relationships with organizations to improve the behavioral health and wellbeing of others.

Sandra has over 20 years of clinical experience. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Maryland. She has a Master of Social Work degree, with a specialization in family and children from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. She has clinical experience with children, adults and their families in multiple settings including both outpatient and inpatient treatment. Sandra is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Sandra believes in a holistic approach to health and wellness. She is a yoga teacher and has specialized training in mindfulness. Sandra volunteers teaching community yoga locally.