More Great Speakers You Can Hear Only at the 2017 Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress

The Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress is heading to Los Angeles from October 2 – 4 for three days of networking and education on all aspects of employee benefits, from best practices on corporate wellness, healthcare reform, self-funded insurance and voluntary benefits. Here are just some of the speakers you can hear!

Rob Thurston, President, HR Consulting Group, Inc.

Rob-Thurston-headshotRob Thurston is the President of HRCG. In addition to his official duties, he serves as a consultant to numerous corporations, insurance companies, and third-party administrators. His consulting expertise is in the area of human resources, employee benefits, and marketing. He is a national expert in the design and implementation of computer systems for interactive voice response (IVR) administration systems, including flexible compensation, enrollment/communicating benefits, 401(k) plans and health care cost containment.



Robin Bouvier, VP, Certified Wellness Program Coordinator, AON Hewitt

Robin-Bouvier-headshot-webRobin Bouvier is a Vice President in Aon’s Health & Benefits Practice in the Boston area. As a member of Aon Hewitt’s National Innovation Group and Health Transformation Team, Robin identifies opportunities for organizations to increase the health and well-being of their workforces. She provides assistance to consultants and clients related to data collection and analysis, strategy development, wellness vendor selection, and program design and execution. Robin also evaluates opportunities for organizations to make policy and environmental changes to create a culture of healthy living. You can see Robin Explore the ROI of Sleep Initiatives.



Nancy Rothstein, The Sleep Ambassador®; Director, CIRCADIAN Corporate Sleep Programs

Nancy-Rothstein-headshot-webAs The Sleep Ambassador®, Nancy Rothstein inspires a new respect for sleep and its impact on all aspects of work, life, and well-being. Through consulting, public speaking, media engagements, and other venues, she presents strategic solutions selected to empower people to make lasting shifts to optimize their sleep quality and quantity to optimize their lives and well-being. As Director of CIRCADIAN® Corporate Sleep Programs™, Nancy consults and lectures to Fortune 500 corporations and other organizations.  With decades of experience in the financial and corporate sectors, Nancy brings an understanding of how sleep impacts performance, productivity, profitability, safety, health and health care costs, for both employers and their employees. Nancy will be joining Robin in discussing how sleep deprivation is costing your company.



Denise Holland, Owner/President, Inside Employee Wellness & Consulting

Denise-Holland-headshot-webDenise J. Holland, MHA is a health insurance and employee wellness expert with over 15 years experience creating effective, data-driven corporate wellness programs. She is the Owner and President of Inside Employee Wellness and Consulting, a corporate wellness consulting firm specializing in wellness programs for medium to large manufacturing companies. Some of her clients include the Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Hog Slat, Inc (where she also serves as Director of Employee Healthcare) and The Noel Group. She was the recipient of the 2004 Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s National Best of Blue Award for Quality in Health Innovation and has had her health interventions published in the International Journal of Men’s Health. Denise will instruct the core courses for the Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist®



Gregory Sullivan, President, CIGNA Stop Loss, CIGNA

Cigna_logo-web_GREG_SULLIVANGreg Sullivan is president of Cigna Stop Loss, which is believed to be the largest stop loss carrier in the country. Greg has been working in the stop loss marketplace for over 16 years and has an actuarial background. Greg will share “New Developments in Medical Stop Loss.”





Scott Kirschner, Director of Benefits Strategy, Iron Mountain

Scott-Kirschner-headshot-webScott Kirschner is the Director of Benefits Strategy at Iron Mountain, where he is ultimately responsible for all health, welfare and retirement benefits for over 8,000 US and 1,100 Canadian employees, as well as shared responsibility for the benefits of another 10,000 employees in 34 countries. Mr. Kirschner is especially focused on the near and long-term benefits and health strategy for the company in the US, encompassing approximately $135 million in annual costs. Mr. Kirschner’s four-year health strategy for Iron Mountain that was implemented in mid-2013 has been recognized extensively both internally and externally. Scott will discuss how employers are failing in managing diabetes.



Jim Pursley, Chief Commercial Officer, Livongo/ EosHealth

Jim-Pursley-Headshot-webJim Pursley is responsible for Livongo Health’s commercial efforts and go-to-market strategy, including sales and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Livongo, Jim ran global sales and marketing for Care Innovations, an Intel-GE company, where he also served as General Manager of the Independent Living business segment overseeing the launch of three new products, including Care Innovations’ first direct-to-consumer offering in healthcare. He was on the original team involved in the formation of Care Innovations, where he provided strategic leadership and market expertise to help launch the new company. In addition to his role at Care Innovations, Jim has served on the Board of Directors for the Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) Centre in Ireland and as a Commissioner for the Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST) in Washington, DC. Jim will join Scott in discussing An Employer Approach to Diabetes Programming.


Rob Harkins, Practice Leader, Private Exchanges, Willis Towers Watson

Rob-Harkins-headshot-newRob leads the Willis Towers Watson initiative for private exchanges in the Mid-Market space, bringing his exchange expertise to our clients and consultants. He has created and developed unique technology solutions for many of our clients and has led the transition of the Legacy Willis organization of consultants and advisors to embrace the changing benefits environment in the Private Exchange space. By championing an integrated, modern technology approach to benefits administration he introduced the national brokerage line of business to new opportunities. As part of the leadership team, he evaluated exchange vendor capabilities, developed and managed strategic partnerships, and positioned Willis Towers Watson as an unbiased leader in the exchange environment. Today, Rob manages the Mid-Market exchange initiative, driving collaboration and strategy across the organization to assist employers in modernizing their benefits delivery. Rob will discuss how employees are smarter than you think they are when it comes to benefits selection.


Alan Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Liazon / Willis Tower Watson

Alan-Cohen-headshot-newAlan leads product for Exchange Solutions for Willis Towers Watson, defining the future of benefits delivery with innovative, modernized solutions for businesses of all sizes, including their global service line. Additionally, he co-founded Liazon, operator of the industry’s leading private benefits exchanges. Liazon was acquired by Towers Watson, now Willis Towers Watson, in 2013. Alan is often sought out for his insights on private exchanges, their role in the new health care landscape and their effect on businesses. His expert commentary has appeared in Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, Forbes, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Yahoo Finance,, and numerous benefits publications including Employee Benefit News and Benefits Pro. Alan will inspire you about how you can change the benefits landscape.



Kristin Kahle, CEO, and Founder, Navigate HCR

Dr.-Kirstin-Kahle-headshot-webWith more than 20 years of industry experience, Dr. Kahle is now the CEO and Founder of NavigateHCR (NHCR), a full-service Affordable Care Act (ACA) and compliance consulting company that offers a variety of services to assist employers and brokers with even the most complex requirements of laws governing employee benefits. NHCR was founded in 2012 and is the oldest ACA technology and compliance company in the country. With a sole focus on simplifying compliance, NHCR acts as an extension to HR Departments in order to lessen the burden on employers of time-consuming processes, distribution of required employee communications, and complicated reporting. Dr. Kahle will Join Ben Conley in hosting the Certified Healthcare Reforms Specialist® core courses.



Cheryl Perez, President & Managing Partner, Benefit Innovations Group LLC

Cheryl-Cooper-Perez-headshotCheryl Perez comes to B.I.G. with over 13 years’ experience in Employee Benefits consulting. Having worked for years in the Sales Divisions for both the largest Health Insurance and Voluntary Benefits providers in the US, she specializes in Group Major Medical and Voluntary Benefits plan options. For the last 9 years, Cheryl has led a team of over 50 Benefits Consultants and Sales Executives, focusing their efforts on providing cost-effective benefit solutions and services to clients ranging in size from 3 employees to over 5000 employees. Recently, she began focusing on the complexities involved in delivering these products and services under the new Healthcare Reform Laws.  Cheryl is a certified Healthcare Reform Specialist and received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Communications as well as her Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Business from Ohio University. Cheryl is a trained and award-winning public speaker who enjoys inspiring people to set their goals high and develop a plan of action to achieve their dreams. Cheryl will help you grow your HR consulting business.


Bill Bade, Consulting Actuary, Milliman Consulting

Bill-Bade-headshot-webBill Bade is a consulting actuary with the Tampa office of Milliman. He joined the firm in 2015 after spending 10 years in the worksite benefits industry corporate setting. Prior to joining Milliman, Bill served as vice president of national account management at Allstate Benefits, a subsidiary of The Allstate Corporation. In that role, he was responsible for the management of national account premium administration, proposals, contracts, and new client implementation. Through his exposure to distribution and marketing, Bill developed a passion for anticipating market trends, distribution opportunities, and the interaction between market trends and product pricing. Bill will help you with Compliance Pitfalls Pertaining to ERISA’s Governance of Voluntary Benefits.



Jeffrey Gero, Stress Management Pioneer, Success Over Stress

Dr.-Jeffrey-Gero-headshot-webGero is a pioneer in the field of stress management and the creator of the Success Over Stress System. For over 40 years, Dr. Gero has worked with many organizations and individuals dealing with a variety of stressors and organizational challenges. He is an executive and wellness coach, trainer and he delivered the first stress management program for the California Department of Corrections at San Quentin Prison. He assisted the Los Angeles Times with the stress surrounding the 1984 Olympics; he assisted Allied Signal with the stress involving a plant closing; helped JPL (NASA) deal with the stress after the failure of the Mars Project; and, he assisted paramedics in the California State Firefighters Association with job stress. His Transformational Thinking and Emotional Intelligence programs explore consciousness, which gives individuals the opportunity to search within themselves for deeper meaning. He researched and wrote his doctoral dissertation on meditation. Dr. Gero will help learn Stress, Emotional Intelligence and Meditation for Employer, and Employee Wellbeing.


Karen Gathercole, Benefits Manager, Florida Institute of Technology

Karen-Gathercole-headshot-webKaren has a B.A. from the University of Oregon, and 16 years management experience in Human Resources. She has been certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) since 2008, a Certified HealthCare Reform Specialist (CHRS) since 2013, and recently became a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM­CP). Currently, Karen is the Director of Human Resources for Florida Institute of Technology, one of the premier private research institutes in the nation. Times Higher Education ranks Florida Tech as one of the top 20 World Universities, including other schools such as CalTech and the Paris-based Ecole Normale Superieure.  Karen is the Vice Chair of the Human Resources Advisory Council for ICUBA- Independent College and University Benefits Association- a MEWA headquartered in Orlando, FL.  She also serves as a member of the South Brevard Society for Human Resources. Karen will discuss the future of benefits enrollment.


Sibyl Bogardus, Key Accounts, HUB International

Sibyl-Bogardus-headshot-e1390517756568Sibyl Bogardus provides compliance and consulting services regarding health plans and other employee benefits. Her areas of expertise include federal and state health care reform, ERISA, cafeteria plans, HIPAA, FMLA, ADA, and compliance with Internal Revenue Code requirements for favorable tax treatment of benefits. Sibyl is a frequent keynote speaker on health reform and medical plan design trends. In December 2013, the House of Representatives invited Sibyl to testify on health reform impacts to their Small Business Committee in Washington, D.C.  She currently serves on an IRS Advisory Council for the Gulf Coast.  She is a widely published author on employee benefits, tax, and labor law issues.  Sibyl also has given interviews for radio, magazines, and newspapers on the ADA, human resources, legislative activity, and related issues.