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Speaker Biographies

Bill Ashley, CEO of Allied National

Bill has 40+ years of business leadership with Allied National, a third-party health insurance claims administrator and group health plan program manager. Bill is a recognized authority on medical underwriting, networks, claims administration, insurance marketing, medical stop loss and insurance technology platforms.

David Berman, Senior Account Executive of Assured Partners

A broker with Assured Partners, Dave is a long standing member of the National Association of Health Underwriters who has fully embraced these new concepts and ideas. Dave will bring the brokers perspective to these concepts.

Billy Bridwell, Vice President of Employee Benefits Keystone Insurers Group

Billy Bridwell is the Vice President of the Keystone Insurance & Benefits Group which is the benefits division of Keystone Insurers Group. Billy is responsible for growth of the benefits division in all nine Keystone states. Additional responsibilities include building infrastructure across a multi-state platform, establishing a dynamic sales team focused on new business production, further enhancing the account management team responsible for client retention and working with key accounts in the mid-market and large market sector.

Billy graduated in 2001 from Indiana University with a B.S. in Marketing and has over 19 years of experience in the benefits insurance industry. Additionally, Billy has served on multiple insurance company Agent Advisory Boards and Advisory Council’s. He is a past President of the local chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. Billy enjoys golf, boating, water skiing, snow skiing and competing athletically in other sports and adventures. Billy and his wife have been married for 16 years and enjoy spending time with their two sons.

Megan Chiarello, National Vanguard Chair and President of Grassetto Creative

Megan Chiarello is a marketing-enthusiast, social selling evangelist, brand ambassador and corporate storyteller. She began her career at a media and events organization for the employee benefits industry, where she experienced accelerated growth as a strategy and engagement leader for record sales, interactive program design and successful event management.

Prior to founding Grassetto Creative, Megan was a principal at P3 Workplace Solutions where she still serves as investor, advisor and principal. Megan also led the marketing strategy for a leading benefits technology organization. As the marketing manager and summit director, she helped accelerate lead generation, improve client engagement and orchestrate the launch of two new products to the market. At the height of ACA momentum, she worked with senior executives to initiate a product roll-out and awareness campaign for significant company growth. During her time on the management team, the organization completed a highly successful acquisition.

At Grassetto Creative, Megan heads up all social selling marketing initiatives (and implements the method to her madness) including brand awareness, product positioning, campaign execution, client advocacy and overall go-to-market strategy. She collaborates on key partnerships and additional service offerings to drive new business.

Megan graduated from the University of North Florida with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a double minor in Communications and English. She is the Vanguard Council chair for the National Association of Health Underwriters, enjoys writing in her spare time and gets her inspiration from the bottom of a Starbucks cup.

David Contorno, President of Lake Norman Benefits, Inc.

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. The Hilb Group continues to grow organically by ensuring all management is handled locally, providing top notch solutions and supports, and through strategic acquisitions.

Kevin Curran, Founding Partner of Employee Benefits Subject Matter Experts, LLC

Kevin Curran is the founding partner at EBSME, LLC (Employee Benefits Subject Matter Experts). EBSME works closely with partner brokerages to develop and execute best-in-class ancillary benefit consultations and strategies. This approach to Ancillary Optimization involves a series of tactical changes to the RFP workflow, a value-based & client-specific presentation that addresses planning issues above and beyond the traditional approach to group insurance. This method has helped EBSME Partner Brokerages close over 70% of new business opportunities they send to market. Prior to EBSME, Kevin worked for a large regional broker/TPA and a top-five life & disability insurer. He served on the board of the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters and Maryland Association of Health Underwriters. He is a graduate of Salisbury University.

Mark Davenport, SVP of Sales & Marketing of

Mr. Davenport is responsible for sales and strategy in the distribution marketplace including TPAs, brokers, captives, stop loss carriers, and workers compensation administrators. Mark is a recognized thought leader in ancillary medical services, ACA advisory, and alternate funding strategies. Mr. Davenport earned a degree from the prestigious Gongaware School of Insusrance and Risk Management. He is involved in multiple Industry organizations including SIIA, SPBA, HCAA, and various non profit advisory efforts to make the ever evolving employee benefits industry attractive to high achieving college students.

Gregory Everett, President and CEO of Payor Compass

Greg is a subject matter expert on reference-based pricing. His company, Payer Compass, offers reference-based pricing solutions to hundreds of self-funded employers across the country.

Andrew FlanaganBroker Partnership Director at hCentive

Andrew is a current member of NAHU with 10+ years in the employee benefit space working with payers such as MetLife and Humana. He has worked with national, regional and local brokers on products such as major medical, wellness, population health, ancillary, worksite and voluntary benefits. Prior to joining hCentive Andrew was working at collaborating with medical & ancillary carriers to develop technology platforms for brokers, employers and employees.

Robert Greenwood, Vice President of Public Affairs for the National PACE Association

Robert works to strengthen Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) by supporting their marketing and communications efforts. Robert also leads NPA's efforts on increasing awareness and understanding of PACE among consumers, potential sponsors, aging services providers and policy makers. Before joining NPA in 2001, Robert worked for five years at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) in media relations. Robert has a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas and a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University.

Marc Grossman, MD, FACS, Chairman, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of

In May 2013, following a long a successful career as a surgeon and entrepreneur, Marc Grossman co-founded and currently serves as Chairman and CEO. He is a graduate of Albert Einstein School of Medicine ‘75, and a fellow at the American College of Surgery, where he earned his board certification. Dr. Grossman went on to practice medicine through 2007. Additionally, he has owned and operated a hospital. Dr. Grossman co-founded a now publicly traded company for delivery of biologic materials.

Cristy Gupton, Founder and President of Custom Benefits Solutions

Gupton, a third generation insurance expert, started Custom Benefits Solutions in 2006. Custom Benefits Solutions still runs strong after 10 years, operating under three core focuses: Trust, Transparency, and Technology.

Using smart strategies to make every plan in an employer's benefit package function at a higher level, having strong relationships with the best insurance companies and never being satisfied with "good enough" has kept Gupton walking down the right path, side-by-side with her employer clients.

As a recent new addition to the Health Rosetta Institute, Cristy has embraced all that it stands for and is now the benefit advisor lead of the Opioid Component Committee. In that leading role, she will explore new initiatives and insights into the opioid crisis especially as it affects the employer community. Helping Health Rosetta Advisers across the nation with actionable items and strategic benefits design that simultaneously reduces both supply and demand for opioids is the main goal. Cristy states, “We will act on the leading edge of innovative plan design, innovative addiction treatment and recovery methods and partner with the nation’s experts in this area to improve all of employee healthcare…but employee behavioral health will certainly see the positive side effects of that effort."

Jon Jablon, Esq., Director of Provider Relations at The Phia Group

Jon joined The Phia Group’s team in 2013, after receiving his Juris Doctor from New York Law School and being admitted to the bars of New York and Massachusetts. He is well-versed in the ins and outs of ERISA, stop-loss policies, PPO agreements, administrative services agreements, and health plans. Jon works on a large variety of projects for The Phia Group’s clients, including providing advisory opinions, consultative advice, and contract review.

As the Director of Phia Group Consulting’s Provider Relations Team, Jon assists TPAs, brokers, stop-loss carriers, and other entities with disputes related to both in- and out-of-network claims, various claims payment methodologies (including reference-based pricing), appeals, medical bill negotiation, and much more.

Dr. Karen Keller, CEO and Founder of Keller Influence Institute™

Internationally recognized influence expert, Dr. Karen Keller, has discovered a new way to grow your leadership, team, and communication ability – through influence.  Dr. Keller, a clinical psychologist and Master Certified Coach, is founder and CEO of the Keller Influence Institute™ focusing on influence assessment, training, and research. Specializing in human behavior, she has spent her career studying, researching, and developing the Art of Becoming Influential.

Dr. Keller is the creator of the Keller Influence Indicator® (KII®) assessment, the only scientifically validated assessment in the world, measuring the Seven Influence Traits®.  According to Mary Foley, former corporate trainer at AOL, “The KII® is the Fitbit® of Influence.” The KII® Program is used by organizations around the globe to build their market presence and bring significant value to the business world.  

Dr. Keller recently published her Amazon #1 Best Selling book, Influence: What’s the Missing Piece? revealing the keys to influence and the piece that has been missing ever since Dale Carnegie wrote his classic influence primer. Everyone is born with the traits needed to be influential. The secret is knowing what those traits are, where you currently stand in leveraging those traits, and discovering how to maximize your own unique influence potential.

Sean Kelley, President of Texas Free Market Surgery

Sean brings decades of business experience, and has more than a decade of experience in healthcare. As President he oversees the organization, and directs Texas Free Market Surgery in fulfilling its vision of delivering high quality care at an affordable price.

Marc Kiner, CPA, NSSA®, Owner and President of Premier Social Security Consulting

Marc is currently part owner and President with Premier Social Security Consulting. Marc is also a certified instructor for the National Social Security Advisor Certificate program. Marc created and developed the National Social Security Advisor certificate program with his partner, Jim. Marc has over 30 years’ experience in public accounting. Marc recently sold his CPA practice to concentrate on Social Security. Marc obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Finance and a Master’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati. He is licensed to practice as a CPA in the State of Ohio. Marc is the President of Premier Social Security Consulting LLC and the President and on the board of National Social Security Association, LLC. Marc is a supporter of Crayons to Computers, a free store for teachers. Marc lives in Cincinnati and has two sons, Jeremy, 28 and Aaron 22.

Jim King, Owner and Wealth Manager at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC

Jim King, CPA, CFP®, is an owner and wealth manager at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC, where he leads the commercial insurance professionals practice group. He uses his understanding of the insurance industry to help insurance professionals maximize their prime earning years, develop a discipline around saving those earnings and put a plan in place to best utilize assets.

A board member of the Downtown Chicago Association of Health Underwriters (CHAHU), Jim has been named a “Five Star Wealth Manager” by Chicago Magazine. He has contributed his financial planning insights to trade publications such as Investment News, Financial Planning Magazine and Independent Agent. Before joining BDF, Jim worked as a tax accountant at a Chicago-area public accounting firm and consulted in the area of business process improvement at a Big Four accounting firm. He holds a BA from Augustana College.

Karen Kirkpatrick, Owner of On Your Mark Consulting

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. During her career she has conducted thousands of seminars, webinars and executive briefings on numerous federal insurance laws, human resource compliance, consumer driven health care and health care reform. She has written or contributed to several publications, including ABS (formerlyHIU), the magazine of the National Association of Health Underwriters, ALA (Association of Legal Administrators), Thompson Publications and the National Health Information’s Consumer Driven Health Care. She speaks at national and regional conferences including NAHU, ALA, ACCA and SHRM events on both benefit and employment related compliance topics; as well as webinars for agencies and organizations nationwide.

Al Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO of Quizzify

Al wears multiple hats, and not just to cover his bald spot. He’s an author whose critically-acclaimed bestseller on outcomes measurement, Why Nobody Believes the Numbers, was named 2012 healthcare book of the year in Forbes. Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care, released in 2013, was also a trade bestseller. His 2014 book Surviving Workplace Wellness, co-authored with Vik Khanna, has also received accolades, with excerpts appearing in the Harvard Business Review and elsewhere.

As a consultant, he is widely acclaimed for his expertise in population health outcomes and strategy. In 2013, Al was named one of the "unsung heroes changing healthcare forever". As a validator of outcomes, he has been able to obtain Gold Standard certification for many of his clients, and Quizzify, from Intel’s Validation Institute. He is also one of the population health field’s most-acclaimed speakers, as well as a prolific author and interviewee on outcomes economics, having been featured in almost every major lay and healthcare publication.

Before entering the population health field, Al was a partner at Bain & Company. He holds two degrees from Harvard, where he also taught economics, and his economic policy book was made into a show on the Washington, DC NPR affiliate.

Matt Masone, Partner of Employee Benefits Subject Matter Experts, LLC

Matt Masone joined EBSME, LLC as a partner in 2016. Prior to EBSME, Matt worked as a carrier representative for 17 years developing solutions for life, disability, dental, vision, and voluntary benefit programs. He is a past president of the Greater Washington Association of Health Underwriters and served on the board of the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters. Matt is a graduate of Boston College.

Daniel R. Meylan, National Sales Director of Allied National

Dan has 45 years of insurance sales and executive management experience at the agency and carrier level. Dan is a regular presenter at state and local NAHU meetings on affordable health care solutions.

Heath Potter, MBA, Senior Vice President of 6 Degrees Health

Heath has been involved in healthcare since 2004. As an industry expert, he actively participates in speaking engagements across the country. Prior to joining 6 Degrees Health, he led sales initiatives as Vice President of Sales & Development for a national Centers of Excellence (COE) network. In his role as Senior Vice President, Heath is responsible for all growth initiatives, business development, client relations, and strategic partnerships for 6 Degrees Health. Heath holds a business degree and an MBA from Washington State University, Carson College of Business.

Dan Rashke, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of TASC

Dan Rashke, CEO and Owner of TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation), is a thought leader in understanding how giving back to the community is an integral component to an organization’s culture. TASC is in Dane County’s top 20 employers with 1,200 employees serves as the nation’s largest privately held third-party administrator of employee benefits plans. Dan is a second-generation owner of TASC; his father Don founded the business in 1975.  TASC is innately focused on disrupting the benefits status quo with innovative functions and services that are pro-participant and pro-client. From being the first to offer online requests for reimbursement, first mobile app for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and first benefits card with a cash account, TASC strives to provide peace- of-mind with accessibility and choice for all benefit accounts and compliance services.

In addition to leading the business side of TASC, Dan inspires a deep culture of philanthropy and giving back in TASC employees and the community through TASC Cares, the internal philanthropic side of TASC. To encourage giving and volunteerism, Dan has introduced innovative benefits to TASC employees, including paid time off for volunteering and the “GiveBack” workplace-giving platform.

Carl C. Schuessler, Jr., DHP, DIA, GBDS, Managing Principal of Mitigate Partners and BenefitStrategies, LLC

An intentionally small “concierge” consulting firm offering a unique approach to benefits management to a select group of clients, Mitigate Partners and BenefitStrategies, provide risk management, employee benefits, and insurance 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 30 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 6 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 we stay at the forefront of cutting edge ideas in the market to better serve our clients.

Cynthia Smith, Senior Benefits Advisor and Outreach Coordinator for U.S. DOL - EBSA

Cynthia is a Senior Benefits Advisor providing direct assistance for participants and beneficiaries to resolve complex disputes involving health benefit programs and other welfare plans.  She provides general guidance for plan officials, plan service providers and other professionals on matters relating to ERISA. 

Cynthia coordinates the Kansas City Regional Office’s outreach and education activities throughout the eleven states in our region.  She has represented EBSA at a variety of continuing education seminars related to ERISA including pension and health insurance topics, fiduciary education, COBRA, HIPAA, Mental Health Parity, Wellness programs, Genetic Non-Discrimination and the Affordable Care Act.   

Ms. Smith completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  Cynthia was in management prior to employment with EBSA and was a key instructor of management training. 

Dr. Josh Umbher, Founder of Atlas MD

Josh is the founder of Atlas MD, a Wichita-based Direct Primary Care practice. Dr. Umbher has been a pioneer in the DPC movement helping over 500 DPC practices to be launched across the country. Atlas MD offers a proprietary operations platform for DPC practices. Dr. Umbher is a regular guest with Sean Hannity on Fox News and is a frequent speaker at local regional and national conferences.

Henry Vazquez, National Director of Medicare Supplements for Torchmark Corporation

Henry Vazquez is an accomplished business professional with over 30 years of experience in sales, management, and training. He has received numerous awards throughout his sales career, and has a featured article in the Senior Market Advisor (now called the Investment Advisor) titled “A matter of trust.” Henry strongly believes that if the prospect trusts you, they will do business with you. This is the cornerstone philosophy in his approach with every person he interacts with.

A decade after starting his insurance career with Combined Insurance Company, selling a variety of products along the way; Henry decided to take a break from insurance in 1990 to serve his country. He participated in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and has since helped countless veterans secure suitable coverage along with other benefits. Shortly after, he built an agency from the ground up, and was a personal producer and agency builder.

He now works for Torchmark Corporation as their National Director of Medicare Supplements, for United American Insurance Company and Globe Life New York. He has been with this company since 2012 enjoying training agents, and helping them achieve their maximum potential.

Jessica Waltman, Principal of Forward Health Consulting

Jessica Waltman is a health reform and business strategy consultant with more than twenty years of experience in health insurance markets, health policy and executive leadership. As the principal at Forward Health Consulting, Jessica currently partners with employer and broker clients to help them with their compliance needs. Jessica’s area of specialty is taking complex health plan requirements and breaking them down so that anyone can understand them. She has years of experience educating state and federal policymakers about health reform’s real-world impact, leading to dozens of small regulatory and legislative changes that benefit both individual and business consumers of health care. At the same time, Jessica has been educating thousands of employers and health insurance agents and brokers about what they need to now and where the health insurance marketplace is headed, so that they can look forward and design their benefit plans accordingly. Prior to founding Forward Health Consulting in 2015, Jessica most recently served the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) for sixteen years, including eight years as their senior vice president of government affairs. She has travelled the country explaining health reform concepts to vast audiences of agents, brokers, consultants, employers and individual consumers.

Christopher Yarn (AKA Frank MICdroppa), CEO of Walk On Clinic and Healthcare Hero

Much of Franks past is a complete mystery. Some people say he's a new voice in Healthcare and Insurance Disruption and others say he one of Sinatra's unclaimed grandchildren. Some people have even gone through the arduous efforts of a Google search .... and found nothing but a LinkedIn Profile. Disclaimer we are not even sure if it was an official page. What we do know about him are mostly rumors, like that he sang the main stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland when he was only 11, or that he once owned, but forgot to renew it and now only has the .org 

We believe the MICdroppa was born to use his voice to change the world. From the thoughts in his mind he manifests change in the the world by going ... direct from his cell phone to yours through that amazing thing called the interweb. Titans of industry may reign from their towers but even they fear the MICdroppa could sing those towers down into a piles of ruble if he decided to. The melodic tone of Frank MICdroppas powerful auto tuned voice was born to move souls toward a message of hope not despair...that much we know to be true.

We do have it on good authority however, that in early 2018 he traded in his flip phone for a smart phone to bring us his first and hopefully not his last health insurance song parody - "Reading Others Words" from (In Other Words/Fly Me to The Moon) by Frank Sinatra, and for that we are thankful!

Hopefully the clouds surrounding this mysterious LinkedIn Legend will one day be discovered. Until then ..."start spreading the news" ... because we know he certainly plans to!

Barbara Zabawa, Attorney for the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC, and Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Services, Department of Health Services Administration

Barbara J. Zabawa is a clinical assistant professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Administration, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health law and compliance, US health care delivery and health professions career development. Barbara also owns the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries.

Barbara is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association. She is a frequent writer and speaker on health and wellness law topics, having presented for national organizations such as WELCOA, National Wellness Institute, HPLive, Healthstat University and HERO. Barbara has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and an MPH degree from the University of Michigan.