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January 15, 2021
My role is to help employers and employees navigate the world of benefits – making sure they comply with all the relevant state and federal guidelines, and that their benefits are usable to members, so that clients are actually getting what they’re paying for.
A lot of employees don’t necessarily understand what benefits they have, and that’s not okay. Your benefits are just as important as your salary and everyone across the entire organization should know exactly what they are.
People are getting wiser about how benefits work, and how much certain items cost. Like the controversy with the EpiPen® a while back – people were trying to figure out why this life-saving item cost so much. On top of that, it expires every so often, so you have to repurchase it regularly. It’s a choice between expensive, regular purchases and life or death.
Or take Hepatitis C – we can cure it in six months! But it cost $50,000. A lot of employers want to cover it and would save money in the long run, but they can’t afford the up-front cost. If you don’t cover it, the person on your plan can go into organ failure or develop other terrible (and costly) diseases down the line.
It’s a genius business model for those that profit from it, but the fallout for employers and employees is awful. However, consumers are starting to understand this, demand answers, and drive down costs.
I like making dishes that are simple, but crowd pleasers. I’m French-trained, but I grew up in a large Italian family peeling tomatoes for my grandmother to boil for sauce. So, I always go back to classic Italian recipes like osso buco or lasagna. It’s so satisfying when people are blown away by something as basic as semifreddo, when it’s just refrigerated ganache and chocolate that took 25 minutes to put together.
But I hate baking. It’s too precise and there’s no forgiveness. I never use recipes and rely on ratios and my own taste buds to guide me. If I’m missing an ingredient, I just find something else that will work similarly and use that instead. But with baking, you can’t adapt or substitute ingredients at all – otherwise your cake will and up as a souffle or a biscuit. If you don’t have eggs, it will wreck your entire bake – what are you going to do, put a banana in there instead? I’m too all over the place in the kitchen for that level of precision.
I volunteer with our local Humane Society in Bend, Oregon. It can be very hard work – you have to put in a certain number of hours to be a volunteer. You can’t just walk in and play with puppies and kitties. I have to be there three days a month to maintain my status; I mostly unload trucks of dog and cat food and clean some kennels.
But the best part is that I get to take the dogs for walks once I’m done with my main duties. I’m able to bring my kids in too so they can see the animals and gain some respect.
I also volunteer for Friends of Amity, a local education support group in Bend benefitting the Bend-La Pine school district. I sit on their board and work on public relations.
I’m a big cycler. I mostly do road biking, but I also mountain bike around where I live. I ride in the Seattle to Portland bike ride every year. I even do indoor cycling during the winter months.
I really enjoy races. I’m only an amateur, but I still love it. I do all the tours, events, cyclecross…you name it. It’s what I do for my alone time and I get exercise on top of it.
I wanted to have my own bar/restaurant. I have always loved people, so I always wanted to have an old school restaurant where you had to know someone to get in and you’re greeted like Norm in Cheers.
That’s what I look for in a restaurant. I enjoy getting to know the people who work there because, if I’m going to spend my time and money there regularly, I want to be taken care of. I’m not asking for a plaque on the wall, but it’s nice to get squeezed into a table even when you don’t have a reservation.
The part that I like about my job is that I truly believe in the service I’m providing. I get up in the morning because I know that I am actually helping the world.
When I worked at the insurance carrier side, I was selling the same product as everyone else. Now I consult in a meaningful way – I get to explain to people why it’s important to do certain things, or that they can hold off on implementing other changes without causing their employees problems. I don’t want anyone to feel forced into a decision about their health, and this job lets me play a role in preventing that.
I have been on all three sides of the industry – the carrier, care provider, and now the brokerage side. This is by far my favorite side. I feel like I’m making a positive difference.
Where are you from? Oregon – born and raised
Family? Wife, Julie; daughter, Wren (10); son, Mac (8)
Favorite vacation spot? Maui, or the Florida Keys as long as it’s warm
Favorite sports team? Timbers/Blazers
Favorite restaurant (pre-COVID-19)? Andina in Portland, Bos Taurus in Bend