Advisory Board

Executive Advisory Board

Barry Cross
Barry Cross
Director, Corporate Business Services, Personnel - Michelin

Barry L. Cross, Director of Michelin’s Corporate Business Services – Personnel, has responsibilities for Total Rewards strategic activities for Michelin’s Canadian, US, Mexican, and Brazilian employees.

Mr. Cross joined Michelin in 1979 having served over 37 years. During his service he has held various positions in Corporate and Industry. They include Purchasing, Corporate Accounting, Financial & Industrial Controlling, Industrial Engineering, Production Management and Strategic planning for Industrial Semi-Finish Product Line and North America Corporate Personnel.

Mr. Cross earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina (1976) and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University (1993).

Along with his duties for Michelin, Mr. Cross serves on the Board of Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina and is a member of the SC Upstate NBGH. Michelin remains the global leader in the tire industry, manufacturing tires for every type of vehicle including aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. The North American operations are more than $10 billion in sales and with over 21,500 employees.

Shawn Leavitt
Shawn Leavitt
Senior Vice President of Total Rewards - Comcast Corporation

Shawn Leavitt is the Senior Vice President of Total Rewards for Comcast Corporation, one of the world’s largest media and technology companies, including Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Comcast-Spectacor.

He is a designer of employer-driven change, rethinking the relationship between individuals, business and community to redefine the way companies help their most important asset: their people.

Shawn and his team are responsible for delivering benefit programs that support the company’s nearly 160,000 employees and their families, including retirement, health and welfare, and health services, as well as compensation.

He’s changing the way companies operate by connecting product innovation with workforce strategies – creating new ways to improve the experience when it comes to managing physical, emotional and financial health in order to drive better outcomes for employees, their families and the business.

Over his 20+-year career— including strategic positions at Carlson, Safeway Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and Knight-Ridder—Shawn has developed a reputation as a maker, motivator and catalyst for innovative solutions that are not only changing the way companies support their people, but also the way consumers can better manage their health.


Benefit Advisors Panel

Jeffrey Hogan
Jeffrey Hogan
Northeast Regional Manager - Rogers Benefit Group

Jeffrey Hogan is the Northeast Regional Manager for Rogers Benefit Group, a national benefits marketing and consulting firm. Jeff has been with Rogers Benefit Group for 27 years. Additionally, Jeff operates a consulting firm, ConsumerConsult where he provides expert witness services on health care related litigation, as a consultant to payers and large provider groups for product development and launch, and as a resource to private employers to align their goals and company culture with appropriate products and vendors in the market. Jeff is especially focused on healthcare payment reform, care coordination and precision medicine.

Jeff has served on several boards and panels designed to bring value-based insurance design (VBID) to plan sponsors and is actively working to advance healthcare related transparency measures in the market. He is a current board member for the Connecticut Association of Health Underwriters and a current member of the Connecticut Health Council’s Move to Value working group.

Currently, Jeff serves as the Board Chair for Brian’s Angels, a local non- profit working to help the homeless in our community. Jeff and his family are also active annual participants in the Pan-Mass Challenge, and have raised more than 200k for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Jeff served his local government as the Farmington Town Council Chair from 2012-2014 and as a town council member over a 10-year period. Jeff, is an avid outdoorsman, and previously served as the Director of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mountain Leadership School and for the past 20 years instructs in a Wilderness Medicine Symposium for the UCONN Medical School.

Scott Haas
Scott Haas
Senior Vice President - USI Consulting Group

Scott has over 34 years of employee benefits experience. Scott’s background includes the development of prescription benefit management (PBM) solutions; provider network evaluation and valuation, and negotiation; product development and underwriting.

Scott was the Executive Vice President of a TPA with over $2.8B in assets under management. Scott has also started and operationalized a Third-Party-Administrator (TPA) and a PBM platform from scratch. Scott has worked in the arena of alternative funding for the majority of his career. Scott’s current role within USI Insurance Services is focused on support of PBM and Managed Care/Provider Excess national practices that transcends to self-insured plan sponsors. In addition, the Healthcare Operational Risk Consulting team has evolved multiple solution combinations and expertise in the Reference Based Reimbursement arena.

Scott has held officer-level positions within Blues plans and TPAs as Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Vice President of Underwriting; and President. Scott has also served as a trustee for both union and non-union health and welfare and pension plans.

Scott frequently shares his consulting expertise speaking at national events hosted by organizations such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefits; Health and Welfare Plan Management Conference; Western Pension and Benefits Council; and the Self-Insurance Institute of America.

Scott has authored and co-authored articles on various topics over his career.

Scott earned his B.S. in both Business Administration and Economics from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He holds Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations.

Edward D. Smith, CIC
Edward D. Smith, CIC
Executive Vice-President - HealthTree Benefits & Consulting

Edward was born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia. Upon graduating as Valedictorian from Flint River Academy, Edward attended Wake Forest University as a student athlete where he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Wayne Calloway School of Business and Accountancy. He began his career in the Financial Services Division of Accenture, LLP. Edward joined Hutchinson Traylor in 1997. Over the years he has obtained his resident and surplus lines licenses in Life & Health and Property & Casualty insurance. He has also earned his Series 6, 63 & 65 Securities Licenses and obtained the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation. Edward is co-owner and Executive Vice-President of Hutchinson Traylor, and founder of HealthTree, a comprehensive health and employee benefits platform.  Advocating for and guiding employers, HealthTree sheds light on the financial incentives embedded within our health system that have been intentionally hidden. HealthTree delivers proven results in helping employers achieve better medical outcomes for employees at a significantly lower cost.

Edward is a member of the Board of Trustees of LaGrange College where he serves on the executive committee and as chairman of the advancement committee. He serves on the board of directors for Charterbank and Charter Financial Corporation (CHFN) and is currently Chairman of the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority. Edward was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to the industrial Development Authority of LaGrange. Past President roles include the LaGrange Rotary Club, the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia, and the LaGrange College Leadership Council, among others. Edward has served in multiple leadership roles within his church, First United Methodist of LaGrange. He was a member of the Leadership Georgia class of 2005 and, in 2008, was selected by Georgia Trend magazine to their prestigious “Forty Under Forty” list.

Edward is married to Dr. Laura Alexander.  They have two children, Bryson (19) and Laegan (17).

Mick Rodgers
Mick Rodgers
Managing Partner - Axial Benefits Group

National Topics of Interest:

  • Selling Benefits to the C-Suite
  • Fishing (selling) with a Net
  • Performance for Fee Compensation the new “at Risk Model”
  • What can we learn from the Tech industry about selling

Mick Rodgers, is Managing Partner of Axial Benefits Group and the Founder of The Alliance Healthcare Coalition (AHC), a Nationally based healthcare purchasing coalition. Mick has been called a pioneer, a disrupter and has always had a focus on disintermediation. He was awarded the prestigious “Advisor for the Year” from Employee Benefits Adviser Magazine in 2017 as well as the top 2018 award in industry leadership, from the Association for Insurance Leadership.

His Firm, Axial Benefits Group, has also received National acclaim and much press for their coalition process and incredible results for their clients. An engineer by trade, Rodgers founded ABG in 2004 with the belief that deconstructing traditional employee healthcare benefits programs. He has become one of the country’s top healthcare strategist, using data to optimize the parts and rebuilding them in a way that yielded better benefits at lower costs could transform an industry struggling to keep pace and give employers, employees and their families access to the best healthcare possible

Richard Sutton
Richard Sutton
Employee Benefits Consultant - RE Sutton & Associates

As an independent broker/consultant, Richard works with a variety of small and large employers and specializes in working with school systems, libraries and other public employers. Richard is a graduate of Ball State University where he majored in Public Relations and Political Science. While at Ball State, Richard was active as President of his Fraternity and President of the Student Center Governing Board.

Prior to founding RE Sutton & Associates, LLC in July, 2001, Richard was a partner at the firm of D.B. Englehart & Associates. Before his consultant work, Richard worked ten years at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and The Acordia Companies, where he received numerous awards for new sales and service to existing clients.

RE Sutton & Associates was named as one of the Top 25 Largest Indianapolis-Area Independent Insurance Agencies/Brokerage firms by the Indianapolis Business Journal for five years. In 2008, RE Sutton & Associates merged with Brown & Brown of Indiana creating the Largest Indianapolis-Area Independent Insurance Agency in the Indianapolis area and the firm has remained at the top of that list.

Richard contributed to a book series “Inside the Minds: Employee Benefit Best Practices”. The book, written by leading executives across the country, is an authoritative perspective on key strategies for offering secure, affordable coverage, while continuing to attract, retain and award employees. Richard’s chapter is entitled: “A Transparent Effort for Servicing Clients in the Employee Benefits Industry.

Richard is a graduate of Leadership Hendricks County. Through that program he was instrumental in instituting the Summer Lunch Bunch for Kids in Brownsburg. This program brings lunch, activities and entertainment to the children of Brownsburg during the summer months. Richard serves on the advisory board for several insurance and health related corporations.

Richard was included in the 2011 Indianapolis Business Journal list “Who’s Who in Health Care and Benefits.” This list includes administrators, benefits experts, insurance executives, and doctors doing groundbreaking work, attorneys, CPAs and policymakers.

Wm. Ashley Pace
Wm. Ashley Pace
Partner - Lockton Companies

Ashley Pace is an employee benefits consultant, vice president, and Producer at Lockton Companies in Memphis. Pace advises clients on health and welfare programs, human resources issues, and health risk solutions. His expertise within the employer healthcare space specifically focuses on seeking validated solutions to solve problems centered around the increase in unnecessary benefits costs. As a Health Rosetta consultant, Pace has taken the pledge to first do no harm to his clients, and secondly, operate under a fully transparent model to assure that he is completely aligned with his clients’ best interests.

Pace joined Lockton after seven years with Regions Insurance and more than 20 years of experience in the development and management of health and welfare programs. Over the course of his career, Pace has built his model around seeking and deploying proven and meaningful steps that consistently improve employee health and employer bottom lines in the managed care arena.

Education

BA, Urban Studies and BA, Economics | University of Tennessee — Knoxville

Professional Affiliations and Awards

Health Rosetta
International Foundation of Employee Benefits
The National Business Group on Health
Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM)
Presidents Club Recipient

Lee Lewis
Lee Lewis
Area Vice President and Managing Director, Innovation Lab Practice - Arthur J. Gallagher

Lee Lewis runs Gallagher’s Innovation Lab practice, a mission-driven group devoted to improving the cost, quality and design of American healthcare. Lee advises several health startups working to solve meaningful healthcare problems.

The Innovation Lab has a track record of breakthroughs. It leads the effort to bring sophisticated health plan audits to private employers. It pioneered specialty drug direct purchasing without using a PBM. His team led a grassroots effort to identify all independent freestanding Emergency Rooms in Texas. The innovation lab developed the first HSA compliant model for back and joint pain prevention, and is piloting first-ever ultra-high value virtual networks in 2018 in two major U.S. cities.

His current and past clients include American Airlines, Comcast NBC Universal, Albertson’s Grocery Stores, Home Depot, Abbot Laboratories and dozens of other large and jumbo employers.

Lee is a Rhodes Scholar Nominee. He graduated second in his Class, Magna cum Laude with University Honors in Accounting from Brigham Young University.

Nelson L. Griswold
Nelson L. Griswold
President - Bottom Line Solutions

Author and professional speaker Nelson Griswold is Chief Evangelist of the Benefits Revolution, a grass-roots movement that is slashing a company’s benefit costs by 20-40 percent in just the first year by changing the way employers buy healthcare for their employees.

Nelson has been called “One of the most dynamic speakers in insurance” by Billy Farmer of Aflac. As a popular keynote presenter and speaker, he has spoken to more than 4,300 brokers and advisors in over 40 states.

He is the author of the #1 bestseller, BREAKING THROUGH THE STATUS QUO: How Innovative Companies Are Changing the Benefits Game to Help Their Employees AND Boost Their Bottom Line, as well as the industry bestselling book, DO or DIE: Reinventing Your Benefits Agency for Post-Reform Success.

Nelson has been called “visionary” by Art Dammers of Anthem, “a well-recognized industry thought leader” by Ron Leopold of MetLife, and “an authority on consultative selling” by Employee Benefit Adviser magazine.

The Voluntary Benefits Association has honored Nelson with its prestigious Industry Leadership Award, for his “Professional accomplishments that drive the voluntary benefits industry forward.”

A nationally-known agency reinvention and growth expert, Nelson is president of Bottom Line Solutions, Inc., which consults with employee benefit firms across the country, from local agencies to national firms such as Aon Hewitt and HUB.

He serves as Managing Director of the NextGen Benefits Mastermind Partnership, a national executive peer-exchange network for non-competing, progressive leaders of independent benefits firms who collaborate and cooperate to identify proven growth strategies and best practices.

Nelson is also a leading strategic consultant to insurance companies and other 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. Nelson is an in-demand keynote presenter and speaker at industry conferences. He is a board member and serves on the executive committee of both the Workplace Benefits Association & the Voluntary Benefits Association.

David Contorno
David Contorno
Founder - E Powered Benefits

David Contorno is Founder of E Powered Benefits. 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. E Powered Benefits works with select employers directly around the country as well as dozens of like minded advisors looking to learn how to bring truly effective benefit advisory services to their clients.

For the first 17 years of his career, David received many accolades for his sales results among the national carriers.  In 2010, however, he realized getting accolades recognizing the work he does for his clients was FAR more important.  Among his many accolades,  David 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 frequent writer, speaker and contributor to many events and leading publications in the industry and around the country.

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 long-time member of the Lake Norman and South Iredell Chambers of Commerce as well as the National, North Carolina, New York and Long Island Associations of Health Underwriters. David contributes to numerous publications, including Forbes, Benefits Selling Magazine, Business Leader Magazine and Insurance Thought Leadership.

David is committed to giving back to his community and actively participates in the membership drive for the United Way, assisting the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and supporting The Dove House Child Advocacy Center. When he is not working, he enjoys boating, traveling, and being with his wife, Heather, and their two children, Hannah and Ethan.