Industry Leading Speakers
We've pulled together some of the leading experts and thought leaders in our industry to share their insights. Attendees will be able to ask questions directly to speakers, making this an opportunity you simply can't miss.
Leslie Barber, MBA
Leslie lives with grief and experiences life. Since the death of her husband in 2015, Leslie has been focused on recognition, respect and reconnection of the grieving. From this mission, she founded Grief Warrior as an answer for corporate and personal grief guidance. With workshops, trainings, one-to-one coaching and a line of heartfelt gifts specifically for grievers, Grief Warrior is eliminating our assumptions about grief.
Leslie has spent the last two decades running her own business or supporting other entrepreneurs as the former Small Business Engagement Officer at Intuit QuickBooks. Leslie has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. She is a professional coach trained by the Co-Active Training Institute and a published writer, speaker and thought leader in grief.
Parneet Pal, MBBS, MS
Chief Science Officer
Parneet Pal is a Harvard and Columbia trained physician working at the intersection of lifestyle medicine, technology and behavior change. She strongly believes we can create a compassionate society where health is the default. Parneet made a shift from clinical practice to chronic disease prevention, focusing on the execution of well-being programs in various business and academic settings.
As Chief Science Officer, Wisdom Labs, she focuses on solving for stress, burnout and loneliness in the workplace. Wisdom Labs aspires to build wiser workplaces using the science of mindfulness and scaling the skills of mental resilience, emotional intelligence and compassionate leadership across organizations.
In addition to her medical training, she holds a Masters in Exercise and Movement Science from the University of Oregon. She is a BJ Fogg Tiny Habits Certified Coach and Martha Beck-trained executive coach. Her decades-long meditation and mindfulness practice is key to her personal wellbeing. She continues to foster interdisciplinary health innovation as a TEDMED Scholar.
Garen Staglin, MBA
Garen is Founder/Chairman of ONE MIND (“OM”) a non-profit that is pursuing discoveries in brain health research, advancing better diagnostics, treatments, early intervention and eliminating the stigma for all brain illnesses. OM leverages large scale public/private partnerships as well as individual scientists to achieve these goals. Over 26 years, OM and the Staglin Music Festival for Brain Health have raised $460M for brain health. Garen and Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, are leading the $10 Billion Healthy Brains Global Initiative in collaboration with the World Bank, WHO, the Wellcome Trust and fifty other global leaders. This 20-year effort is targeted at reducing the $3 Trillion annual global burden of mental illness. Garen is a venture and private equity investor for more than 40 years. He co-chaired the $5.5B UCLA Centennial Campaign. He and his family founded Staglin Family Vineyard in 1985 in Napa and the Staglin’s motto is "Great Wine for Great Causes." They have generated over $1B through causes they have led, their charity and wine donations.
Senior Manager, Strategic Benefits Initiatives
Beth Adler is the Senior Manager of Strategic Benefits Initiatives at Fidelity. She leads associate listening for the Benefits team to better understand evolving associate needs and identify potential gaps in the benefits offering. She is also focused on benefits promotion strategy to increase associate awareness and engagement.
Over the past year, Beth has helped reimagine Fidelity’s mental health strategy, through learnings from focus groups, associate surveys, behavioral health data analysis, and market research. She continues to work to break down barriers to mental health support through anti-stigma efforts.
Prior to joining the Benefits team, Beth spent seven years in Fidelity’s Workplace Consulting group. In this role, she supported clients with employee benefits communications and behavior change as well as retirement plan analysis, compliance, and design. Beth holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.
Joel L. Axler, MD
National Behavioral Healthcare Leader
Strategic Benefits Advisor
With more than 30 years of experience in health care, Dr. Axler has held leadership positions directing the psychiatric care of children, adolescents and adults in academic, private practice and insurance settings. Prior to joining SBA, Dr. Axler served as the Behavioral Health Managing Medical Director for Anthem Inc. for the Government Business sectors, including Medicaid and Medicare. At Anthem he was responsible for the administration of mental health and substance use disorder services for the health plans, overseeing the impact on health care quality, cost, and outcomes including managing the psychiatric health needs of members in the Georgia Medicaid program and the Georgia Foster Care program. Prior he served as the Medical Director at Peachford Behavioral Hospital in Atlanta, one of the largest inpatient psychiatric facilities in the Southeast. Previously he was a Regional Medical Director for the commercial business for United Behavioral Health (UBH) for 15 years.
Dr. Axler received his undergraduate degree from New York University (NYU), medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, completed his pediatrics internship at Hartford Hospital and his adult psychiatric residency training at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. He completed a postdoctoral residency fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institution in NYC where he served as the Chief Fellow.
Senior Vice President, Workforce Absence
Mr. Bass is SVP, workforce absence. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing disability and absence management product standards and compliance, quality, data analytics, disability financial services, and strategic project management. Previously, Bryon was the director of integrated disability management at Pacific Gas and Electric where he oversaw companywide integrated delivery of disability and absence management services, comprised of self-insured/self-administered workers’ compensation, fitness for duty, leave of absence, accommodation and time-off programs.
With more than 25 years in the industry, Bryon has amassed a wide range of experience in health and productivity management, both from an employer HR & benefits perspective as well as third party administration. His responsibilities have included client relationships, service operations and product management for disability and absence management products. Bryon is active as an author and seminar leader dealing with topics including: short/long-term disability, FMLA/leave of absence, paid leave, corporate health and wellness strategies, workers compensation, and integrated disability program design.
Kourtney Bassett, MS, CHES
Texas A&M University
Kourtney Bassett is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) who serves as the Employee Wellness Coordinator at Texas A&M University. She is responsible for administering healthy living programs for Texas A&M faculty and staff using a comprehensive and holistic approach to employee well-being. Her professional education and training includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, a Master of Science in Health Education, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, all of which involve studies related to health, wellness, and administration.
Theresa Bindig MS, RDN, CDN
Theresa is a Western New York-based Registered Dietitian who takes a balanced approach to nutrition counseling that is centered on sustainable dietary and lifestyle changes. Her mission is to provide practical education and support to help her clients achieve a healthier state of being. She has been working in the field of nutrition and dietetics for 17 years and counts several different types of settings on her list of current and past work experiences including private practice, hospice, inner-city public health clinic, homecare, acute rehab and long term care.
In her work as an RD Theresa has worked with clients of all ages and cultures in both rural and urban settings. She feels that moderation and working to create a healthy relationship with food is vital to achieving diet and health-related goals. Theresa is passionate about exploring areas of sustainability as it relates to food, food production and health. She enjoys being active outdoors with her husband and three kids (even in a Western New York winter!)
CEO & Founder
Lorna Borenstein is CEO and Founder of Grokker, the on-demand wellbeing solution for enterprises. Previously Lorna was President of publicly traded Move Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE). She also held a number of executive positions at Yahoo! including Chief of their global personals online dating service and Head of Marketing for their multi-billion dollar worldwide Search & Marketplace businesses (Shopping, Travel, Autos, etc.). Lorna entered the Internet world back in 2000, when she launched eBay Canada out of her guest room in Toronto, Canada and went on to serve as eBay Inc.’s Vice President & General Manager.
Dana H. Born
Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program; Faculty Advisor, Black Family Fellowship; Lecturer in Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Dana H. Born is Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program; Faculty Advisor for the Black Family Graduate Fellowship; Lecturer in Public Policy, and former Co-Director serving in the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr Born is a retired Brigadier General with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Prior to coming to Harvard, from 2004-2013, she served two terms as the Dean of the Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy where she was also the Professor and Head of the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Previously, Dana served as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Assistant Director for Recruiting Research and Analysis for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy), Deputy Chief of the Personnel Issues Team for the Department of the Air Force (DC/Staff Personnel), Aide and Speech Writer to the Secretary of the Air Force, Squadron Commander for 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling AFB, DC and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Megan R. Bourque
Senior Consultant, Health & Welfare Benefits
Megan R. Bourque is a Senior Consultant in Fidelity’s Health & Welfare Benefits Consulting practice. Megan works with large clients on the development and execution of benefit strategies and has responsibility for the ongoing management of large client relationships. Her experience includes a broad range of consulting activities including health and welfare strategy and design; vendor management and procurement; employee communication and behavior change; health and wellness program design and analysis; and merger and acquisition support, including benefits harmonization strategy and implementation.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Megan was the Director of Benefits/Health & Welfare Strategy at CVS Health. In this role, Megan was responsible for the overall design and strategy of a financially efficient and effective benefits package that fit the needs of a large, diverse colleague population, supported overall engagement and personal accountability, drove innovation and served as a barometer for the company’s purpose of helping people on the path to better health. Before her role at CVS Health, Megan spent 12 years in Aon Hewitt’s Health & Benefits consulting practice, leading relationships and supporting large clients on their health care benefits strategy. Megan holds a B.A. in Government and Bioethics from the University of Virginia.
Jud Brewer, MD, PhD
Director of Research & Innovation
Mindfulness Center at Brown University
Dr. Jud is an internationally renowned neuroscientist and addiction psychiatrist. Over more than 20 years of mindfulness research, he has developed scientifically-validated digital therapeutics to support habit change for smoking, emotional eating and anxiety; and his methods have been used to train elite performers, from Olympic athletes to foreign ministers.
Sheri B. Bronstein
Chief Human Resources Officer
Bank of America
Sheri B. Bronstein is the chief human resources officer for Bank of America and a member of the company’s executive management team. In this role, she leads a global team of human resources professionals across more than 35 countries who drive the company’s efforts to be a great place to work through a focus on recognizing and rewarding performance, creating opportunities for employees to develop and grow, being an inclusive workplace, and supporting employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellness. Bronstein joined Bank of America in 2000 and has held various roles supporting Global Markets, Global Investment Banking and the international regions. Prior to joining Bank of America, she worked at JP Morgan in a variety of human resources capacities. Bronstein is a thought leader on the importance of mental health priorities and is responsible for driving the company’s industry-leading focus on emotional wellness. She also leads efforts to help eliminate stigma surrounding mental health, including establishing partnerships with many leading behavioral change and wellness organizations. She is deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including advancing young, diverse professionals. She is a member of the Advisory Board at the Robert Toigo Foundation and of the Board of Advisors at Catalyst, a global non-profit driving advancement of women in the workplace. She also spearheads the company’s domestic violence awareness initiatives and is the executive sponsor for the company’s Domestic Violence Task Force. Bronstein is passionate about employing data and analytics to identify emerging trends and to drive meaningful HR and business advancements. She led the effort to publish Bank of America’s inaugural Human Capital Management Report, setting an industry standard by providing a transparent, comprehensive view of the company’s workforce metrics across gender and ethnic diversity, compensation and learning and development. As a champion of learning and development, Bronstein serves on the board of trustees of the Liberty Science Center. She is a member of the Stevens Institute of Technology School of Business Board of Advisors, and she sits on the Visitor Board for her alma mater, Colby College. Bronstein is also a representative on the newly launched New York Jobs CEO Council, responsible for facilitating training opportunities for New Yorkers, including apprenticeships and internships that lead to sustainable career pathways. Combining her expertise in people management and executive leadership, Bronstein is a member of the CHRO Global Leadership Board, which influences and advances HR strategy and the HR community. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Community of Chief Human Resources Officers, a select cross-industry peer group convening on topics facing industries and organizations today.
CEO and Co-founder
Jan Bruce is CEO and co-founder of meQuilibrium, SaaS solution that optimizes individual and teambased performance and engagement through behavioral science and predictive analytics. Jan founded the company to help both individuals and organizations unleash their potential and achieve measurable improvements in their wellbeing, agility and performance. An entrepreneur with a proven record of accomplishment, Jan has a passion for building brands and products that transform lives and organizations.
Prior to meQuilibrium, Jan was managing director and publisher at Martha Stewart Living’s Whole Living/body + soul magazine. Earlier she served as CEO and cofounder
of Integrative Medicine Communications, the leading digital brand in sciencebased complementary medicine.
Jennifer Christian-Herman, PhD
Executive Director, Strategic Customer Engagement
Jennifer is the Executive Director, Strategic Customer Engagement at Kaiser Permanente. In this role, she is responsible for product innovation and evaluation, including work around mental health & emotional well-being, psychologically healthy workplace, social drivers of health, disability/leave management, vendor integration, value messaging, complex employer engagements, and other emerging trends. Jennifer has been at KP for the past 9 years. Prior to that, she was the National Vice President for Integrated Health Improvement at Health Net and served as the Regional Director of Clinical Research for CIGNA Health. She has also held roles with Cerner Health Solutions and at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and Department of Psychology. She has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Jennifer is passionate about housing as a driver of health and serves on the Board of Directors for the Skidrow Housing Trust, which provides permanent supportive housing to over 1,800 of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals.
Benefits and Wellbeing Analyst
Boston Medical Center
Laura Cocca has worked at Boston Medical Center for 6 years as a Benefits and Wellbeing Analyst. In addition to the daily duties of the role, Laura has focused her attention on expanding and enhancing the BMC Employee Wellbeing Program. The Wellbeing Program was recognized for excellence by the WorkWell Council of MA for its innovation and ability to address the needs of employees across the organization, and by PlanSponsor for its success in removing barriers and providing financial resources to set employees up for a successful retirement outcome.
Laura feels strongly that offering workplace solutions to many of life’s changes is an extremely effective way to ensure people receive the support they need, to live the lives they desire.
Laura is a graduate of Russell Sage College where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and of Suffolk University where she received a Master’s of Business Administration.
Alison R. Cupito
Senior Manager, Global Mental Health Program Lead
Alison (Ali) is the Global Mental Health Program Lead for the Inclusion & Diversity Center of Expertise team in Human Resources. In this role, she is responsible for the growth of our global mental health ally networks and implementing strategic programs to support mental health and wellness education for everyone. She is also a strategic advisor and founder of the US Mental Health Allies, part of the recently launched US Mental Wellness ERG.
Prior to this role, Ali worked in Marketing & Communications for seven years, supporting global Inclusion and Diversity priority segments including Enablement (Persons with Disabilities), Pride (LGBTQ) and Gender (International Women's Day, Women's Forums and more).
In 2017, Ali launched the US Mental Health Allies program, with her colleague Lisa Homan, because she believes we should all be comfortable talking about our mental health at work. There are now 325+ trained volunteers from 27 locations across the US who are supporting their colleagues to reduce stigma and seek professional help when needed.
Prior to Accenture, Ali worked for Burson-Marsteller (now BCW), a global public relations firm for eleven years. She was responsible for developing, managing and executing communications programs designed to drive strategic business objectives, influence key stakeholders and maintain a positive perception for clients in the government and corporate sector. She developed expertise around implementing internal, external and digital strategies for several global corporations.
In 2012 Ali took a six-month sabbatical to travel through South America during her transition back to the U.S. from a two-year assignment Singapore. She has traveled to more than 26 cities in 15 countries across four continents.
A Texas native, Alison grew up all over the U.S. as a military “brat” and studied public relations and business foundations at The University of Texas at Austin. She currently lives in Rockwall, TX with her husband Chris and their sons Caleb and Cullen.
Executive Director, Workforce Wellbeing
Maria Dee is currently the executive director for workforce wellbeing in the national Human Resources department at Kaiser Permanente. Maria is responsible for providing strategic direction, leadership and expertise in developing and implementing an enterprise-wide well-being program in support of Kaiser Permanente's aim to have the most resilient, thriving workforce in healthcare. She is accountable for the national workforce wellness (Healthy Workforce) program; mental health and wellness strategy and programs including the Employee Assistance Program; and guiding the strategy for all the other components of Kaiser Permanente's wellbeing model for employees: career, financial, healthy relationships, and community involvement. Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente adopted industry leading actions such as policies on healthy catered food and healthy activities during the workday. She has led efforts to drive enterprise-wide culture change to help employees thrive in the workplace. Maria has also helped Kaiser Permanente receive national recognition as a leader in workforce health and well-being.
Strategic Account Manager
Fitbit Health Solutions
Lauryn D’Angelo is a Strategic Account Manager at Fitbit who works closely with enterprise employers to deliver customized, employer-specific health and wellness solutions. Lauryn joined Fitbit in 2018, and her responsibilities include increasing engagement, improving health outcomes and driving positive returns and VOI for her customers. She has a Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management from the University of Wisconsin and is hopelessly addicted to her Versa 2.
Esther Dyson is executive founder of Wellville, a 10-year, 5-community project to show the value of investing in health and equity, vs. spending later on healthcare and the costs of an under-educated, non-resilient population. The Wellville team includes six coaches in five U.S. communities who are working to improve the physical, mental and financial health of their residents. One of the communities is Muskegon, MI, where Esther is the Wellville advisor to community leaders and most importantly, emerging leaders. Some of the informal Wellville partners include the YMCA, Goodwill, the Mercy Health System and Walmart. The five Wellville communities are all under 200,000 in population. They also include Clatsop County, OR; Lake County, CA; North Hartford, CT; and Spartanburg, SC.
Head of Global Benefits and Wellness
Manulife & John Hancock
With over 30 years of experience at Manulife and John Hancock, Maria has responsibility for setting the strategy and overseeing development, implementation and management of company-wide total wellbeing initiatives. Together with her team, Maria delivers an array of innovative programs and solutions each year designed to engage Manulife employees in efforts to improve overall health and wellbeing through lifestyle changes.
With over 35,000 employees globally at Manulife, there’s no such thing as a cookie cutter approach to benefits. Maria is also responsible for directing plan administration, participant communication and service delivery for the company’s benefit plans. As a subject matter expert, she also provides guidance and counsel to employees regarding their benefit coverages relative to established policy.
Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Curry College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Co-founder and CEO
Eric Gastfriend is a social entrepreneur and Co-Founder and CEO of DynamiCare Health, a digital care program for motivating and monitoring health and recovery from substance use. DynamiCare has won awards from the Harvard Business School Alumni New Venture Competition, Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, and National Institutes of Health. Eric manages DynamiCare Health’s strategy, operations, and fundraising. He earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University and MBA from Harvard Business School.
Garth Graham, MD, MPH, FACP, FACC
Vice President, Chief Community Health Officer
Dr. Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, FACP, FACC, is a leading authority on social determinants of health and health equity. As the Vice President of Community Health for CVS Health, Dr. Graham leads the enterprise-wide community and social determinants of health (SDoH) strategy, working closely with CVS Health’s many businesses, to ensure differentiated, measurable and scalable approaches to addressing community health in communities across the country. Additionally, he leads public health partnerships and cardiovascular initiatives for CVS Health. Dr. Graham joined CVS Health through the Aetna acquisition, where he was President of the Aetna Foundation since 2014.
A cardiologist and professor of medicine, Dr. Graham is passionate about the opportunity to improve local health through cross-sector collaboration. Dr. Graham previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under both the Obama and Bush Administrations, where he also ran the Office of Minority Health. He directed the development of the federal government’s first National Health Disparities Plan released under the Obama administration.
Dr. Graham holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, an MPH from Yale School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Florida International University. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins where he trained in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He holds three board certifications including internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology.
Allison Grupski, PhD
Director of Behavior Change
Allison is a clinical health psychologist specializing in weight management and eating behaviors. She works closely with WW’s Customer Experience, Learning & Development, and Brand teams to incorporate behavior change principles into all member-facing program components of the program. She defines and implements the suite of WW behavior change techniques, develops and executes the WW Behavior Change Coaching approach, and partners with WW Coaches and trainers worldwide to make our science-backed principles of behavior change accessible to millions of people.
Before joining WW in 2018, Allison led the creation of the Behavioral Science Approach—a foundational paradigm designed to enhance health behaviors around weight management, nutrition, physical activity, and stress management using in-person and digitally delivered solutions—at Envolve PeopleCare in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to that, she served as director of clinical psychology at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. From 2016 to 2017, she served as chairperson of the Integrated Health Clinical Issues and Guidelines Committee of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Throughout her career, Allison has provided direct clinical care to more than 3,000 clients and has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals. She has specialized clinical training in cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, and health coaching. Her research has centered around motivation for exercise, binge eating, and weight stigma.
She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her research focused on the relationship between motivation for exercise and eating behaviors. She completed her clinical training in health psychology at the James A. Haley Veterans’ hospital in Tampa and at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
James Hamblin, MD
Preventive Medicine Physician, Senior Editor & Writer
Yale School of Public Health, The Atlantic
James Hamblin, MD, is a board-certified preventive medicine physician and author. He is a lecturer in health policy at Yale University and a writer at The Atlantic. He has published extensively on the consumer health industry, patient-doctor communication and health policy. He is the author of Clean (Penguin Random House, 2020) and has appeared on NPR, BBC, and CNN. His work has been featured in Politico, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Vice, and The New York Times.”
Vice President, Health and Wellness Benefits Manager
The PNC Financial Services Group
Liz Harrington is Vice President, Health and Wellness Benefits Manager for The PNC Financial Services Group, a diversified financial services firm with over 50,000 employees. She has been with the organization for 9 years and currently manages the strategy and planning of their corporate-wide health and wellness programs, and employee engagement in those programs.
She holds a BS in Psychology and Exercise Science from Elon University and an MS in Health Promotion Management with a concentration in Corporate Wellness from American University. She also holds a Work-Life Certified Professional certificate from World at Work. Outside of work, Liz serves as the Vice President of the board of directors for Sojourner House, a non-profit in Pittsburgh, PA that provides residential addiction recovery for mothers.
David Harrison, MD
VP of Clinical Care
Dr. David Harrison is Vice President of Clinical Care at Virta Health, where he leads the medical team and runs Virta’s network of clinical quality initiatives.
Dr. Harrison has worked in different areas of virtual care and telemedicine for over 10 years. He started his journey working for Best Doctors, a global remote expert medical opinion company, serving as Medical Director and Vice President of Clinical Quality. In this role, he scaled the physician team, developed a robust clinical quality infrastructure, and helped expand the company’s product suite. Following Best Doctors’ acquisition by Teladoc Health, the world’s largest telemedicine organization, Dr. Harrison became Teladoc’s Vice President of Physician Affairs, continuing his work of leading physician teams and delivering clinical quality at scale.
In addition to his work with Virta, Dr. Harrison maintains a busy internal medicine and pediatrics primary care practice at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is fluent in Vietnamese and enjoys caring for a large panel of Vietnamese patients in their native tongue.
Dr. Harrison earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology at Harvard College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and completed his residency training in the Harvard Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program. He is dual-board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Dr. Harrison lives in Winchester, MA and loves nothing more than embarking on adventures with his wife and three children—including serving as coach for 4 seasons on his son’s Pop Warner football team.
Health Benefits Coordinator
Self-Insured Schools of California
Nicole Henry is the Health Benefits Coordinator at Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC) where, under the oversight of the DEO, she is responsible for the daily operations of the SISC health benefits program which provides health plans to over 350,000 members from 450 California School districts. Nicole started her career at SISC in 2007 where she worked as an eligibility technician, an underwriter/data analyst, an account manager, and most recently as the department Coordinator. Nicole manages complex benefit plans, influences benefits designs and is responsible for the successful application and continued evaluation of innovative point solutions and plan designs. As the Health Benefits Coordinator, Nicole is passionate about providing access to quality healthcare to members and represents the SISC membership in multiple statewide councils. Nicole received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix and is a graduate student at West Texas A&M University where she will obtain an MBA in Healthcare Management in Spring 2021.
Andy Hiles, F.S.A.
VP, Plan Sponsor Insights and Health Equity Solutions
Andy Hiles leads a national team of health informatics consultants, physicians, nurses and wellness experts in development of customer analytics and associated plan performance consulting. He is responsible for Aetna’s approach to improving health equity among working Americans.
His previous roles include:
- Aetna: Leadership of National Accounts Underwriting, Actuarial and Strategy
- Management consulting: Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company
- Benefits consulting: National and regional leadership roles at Aon and Willis Towers Watson
Andy has published numerous articles on a wide variety of health care topics—ranging from technical (actuarial claim cost forecasting methodologies) to social issues (health equity). He is a frequent speaker on health care trends and developing data-driven programs to engage employers in achieving health equity for low wage workers—Health Institute (CEO forum), HR conferences (Aetna Customer Co-Op), health equity conferences (Institute for Diversity) and academic settings (Duke University, Emory University, etc.). He is a visiting instructor at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the Business Group on Health’s Wellbeing & Workforce Strategy Institute.
Senior Director, Associate Health & Well-being
Walmart Stores, Inc.
David has spent the last 20+ years working with a variety of organizations focusing on measurably improving the health and wellbeing of the workforce. Since joining Walmart in 2012, David has been responsible for designing and delivering offerings that improve the wellbeing of the Walmart workforce. This work has included a strong focus on applied behavior change theory, behavioral science, persuasive technology, habit formation and behavioral insights.
Prior to joining Walmart, David served with Yum! Brands where he was responsible for designing and delivering wellbeing programs both inside and outside the US. His focus has been on engagement and the impact of wellbeing on business performance. David’s career has included work with organizations such as the University of Kentucky, SCANA, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and DuPont.
Raised in a career military family, David, his wife and three daughters call Rogers, AR home.
Director, Channel Development and Execution
Fitbit Health Solutions
Christina Keast is the Director of Channel Development and Execution at Fitbit, where she leads Customer Success and Account Management. She and her teams are focused on developing engaging programs that drive health outcomes for employer and health plan partners. Christina is passionate about the customer experience and takes a thoughtful approach when implementing new strategies and solutions for customers. Christina joined Fitbit in 2015 and has a degree in Marketing from Suffolk University in Boston, MA.
In 2005, Craig joined UnitedHealthcare to begin forming a team of strategic customer analytic specialists. That team is focused on leveraging clinical, financial and consumer behavior healthcare data in a strategic customer dialog. Their goal is to partner with employers, helping them to maintain healthcare affordability and increase their competitive advantage with a healthy and productive workforce. Craig served many customers himself and many more through his team. He was also accountable for the continual innovation of analytic tools nationally, supporting commercial, public sector and government programs. Those innovations focused on the ability to hot spot subsets of the population to focus on the communities in need of interventions. Beginning in 2016, Craig transitioned into UnitedHealthcare to focus on enhancing the role that analytics plays in our ability to support our National Account customers. Craig formed the Center for Advanced Analytics to focus on analytic innovations that change the way we evaluate health care value. His team also focuses on the largest most complex clients that require a deeper and broader view of data, ranging from cost and utilization data to productivity and disability exposure. He is constantly working on inventing the next generation of healthcare analytics.
Cynthia "CJ" Mark
Chief Commercial Officer
Throughout 20-plus years working in healthcare and employee benefits, CJ has focused on simplifying access, lowering costs, and improving health outcomes. Prior to Vida, CJ led teams within the digital health, consulting, and payer spaces, including as Teladoc Health's U.S. Market Leader and Area President for a large employee benefits consulting firm.
Vice President, Plus One
Dave Milani currently leads the product, growth, marketing and engagement teams for Optum Workplace Well-being. Dave has been with Optum for over 10 years and has held a variety of roles and responsibilities within Optum’s well-being portfolio, including product development, innovation, vendor partnership, sales, international expansion, and human resources. Dave began his career in human capital where he had broad responsibilities managing international human resource functions, including as a buyer of health benefits, including insurance and wellness services.
Prior to Optum, Dave worked for an information technology company. He joined Optum following a decision to commit to his own health, realizing he wanted to make well-being the focus of his career. Dave earned his undergraduate degree from Rowan University, and an MS in human resource management from Boston University. Dave currently resides in New Jersey, and spends his free time with his two children, fishing and cooking.
Vice President, Behavioral Health Client Strategy
Kate Mellor is a sales leader and account management professional with more than 16 years of experience in the healthcare and wellness industry. She works with large corporate clients and benefits managers to build strong consultative relationships that support her clients’ overall health and wellness objectives.
As the Vice President for Behavioral Health Payer and Employer Client Strategy at Optum, she leads the client strategy and innovation initiatives for Employer and Payer clients. In this role, she works to solve existing clients’ challenges by developing and deploying innovative data driven solutions.
Kate has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Health Care Administration from La Salle University in Philadelphia. She lives in Montclair, NJ, with her husband and two children.
Healthcare Benefits Strategy & Planning
Kelsey Neystel is a Human Resources professional with a background in strategy and planning for health and wellness. Kelsey’s experience spans several areas in Human Resources including recruiting, training and development, payroll, benefits, and various support functions. In her current role as an Analyst on the People Labor Team at Southwest Airlines, Kelsey focuses on healthcare plan design. She brings a consumer centric approach to employee benefits, communications and planning while also using data and analytics to inform her decisions and recommendations. Kelsey is a highly adaptable human resources professional who excels at facing new challenges and opportunities with excitement and energy. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Arizona State University with a concentration in Finance and she received her bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University.
Senior Vice President, Time Away Strategy Leader
Julie Norville is Aon’s Time Away Strategy Leader. The National Time Away and Life Solutions Practice is dedicated to absence prevention and employee productivity. Julie has over 25 years of experience creating solutions for improved workforce performance and reduced absenteeism. Julie’s capabilities include integrated absence management and health and productivity roles within the employer, vendor and consulting space. In her consulting career, Julie continues to lead the industry with innovative approaches to diagnosing lost time root causes and creating solutions that ultimately decrease overall employer benefit spend and increase workforce productivity and ensure regulatory compliance. She has a Master’s degree in Clinical Case Management/Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a Fellow of the American Board of Disability Analysts. Julie currently serves as a Board Member of the National Business Group on Wellbeing and Workforce Strategy Institute. She has been with Aon since 2007 and resides in Atlanta, GA. Julie has received the Top Disability Consultant award from HR Executive and Risk and Insurance Magazines. She is a recognized speaker and author on health and productivity, integrated absence management, work/life and return to work programs. She has been published in the CEBS Employee Benefits Journal and is frequently quoted in various benefits and risk professional publications.
Shantanu Nundy, MD
Chief Medical Officer
As chief medical officer of Accolade, Dr. Shantanu Nundy oversees the company’s clinical strategy and solutions to improve health outcomes for individuals and families, as well as the experience and relationships they have with their providers. Shantanu is a practicing primary care physician and technologist with expertise in combining medicine and innovation with deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and global health policy.
Prior to joining Accolade, Shantanu served as senior technology advisor in the World Bank Group’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. In this role, he accelerated adoption of health innovation and technology across the Bank’s $15 billion healthcare portfolio in low- and middle-income countries.
Shantanu also previously served as Director of the Human Diagnosis Project, a healthcare AI startup company, and Managing Director for Clinical Innovation at Evolent Health, a population health and predictive analytics company, where he improved hospital and chronic disease outcomes for more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. He is also co-inventor of SMS-DMCare, an automated text messaging software for individuals with diabetes, one of the first mhealth interventions to demonstrate improved health and lower costs and be adopted by the World Health Organization’s eHealth Compendium.
Shantanu’s work has been recognized by the MacArthur Foundation and been featured in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Atlantic, and Wired Magazine. He is the author of Stay Healthy At Every Age, a Wall Street Journal top 5 book in health and wellness of 2010.
Shantanu practices primary care at Mary’s Center, a federally qualified health center serving a large, immigrant community in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of MIT (BS), Johns Hopkins (MD), and the University of Chicago (MBA). He lives with his wife and two daughters in Washington, D.C.
VP, Customer Success
Sarah is the Vice President of Customer Success at Big Health. She and her team are responsible for helping every single Big Health customer achieve their specific goals and ultimately helping millions back to good mental health. Before joining the Big Health team, Sarah held leadership roles in customer success, account management and product marketing at other growth-stage companies. She is passionate about getting to know each and every one of her customers and has an exceptional track record of success implementing digital programs at large, complex enterprises.
Samuel Peik, MD, MPH, MBA
Senior Director of Health Services and Corporate Medical Director
Comcast NBCUniversal. Dr. Peik is board certified in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, and Clinical Informatics. He completed his MBA at the University of Virginia, MPH at Johns Hopkins University, MD and BS at the University of Iowa, and residencies at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Peik is appointed to the residency faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
As a Financial Benefits Sr. Advisor at Dell Technologies, Bette serves as program manager for Dell’s financial wellness program and a number of other US benefits such as the executive Deferred Compensation Plan, executive Financial Planning Program, and a grandfathered pension plan. Since joining Dell in 2017, Bette has been an integral member of the retirement and financial benefits team and is a co-architect of Dell’s financial wellness offering.
Prior to assuming her current position with Dell, Bette was EMC’s Manager of Financial Rewards, managing EMC’s 401(k), US executive nonqualified retirement plan, and global ESPP offerings.
Senior Director Health & Wellbeing Benefits
Leslie Pilliod is the Sr. Director of Health and Wellbeing Benefits at Target Corporation. In this role, Leslie leads the health and well-being strategy for more than 350,000 employees. Target has long invested in its team by giving them opportunities to grow professionally, take care of themselves, each other and their families and make a difference for guests and their communities. Leslie and her team work to help employees take care of their whole self, both at and outside of work, by offering innovative and inspiring benefit programs to Target’s unique population. Leslie has been with Target for 15 years and has served in a variety of Finance and Human Resources positions. Leslie joined Target from General Electric where she worked in the Financial Management Program. Leslie graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Finance and Risk Management.
Senior Manaer, Benefits
A Fortune 100 Tech Company
Edwin W. Quick, MA, MBA, CDMS has over 30 years of experience in health and productivity management from program implementation, plan design to administration. Currently a global senior leader in the integrated leave, disability and time away space for a large technology companuy, he was also the Executive Director of Disability Management Services for JP Morgan Chase in Chicago, Illinois, the Global Leader, Employee Health and Productivity, for General Electric Company and Global Disability Leader, General Electric Energy, Atlanta, GA, overseeing medical and disability case management, absence management, and health, productivity and wellness initiatives.
Mr. Quick has held positions with other major employers, including: National Director of Disability Management for Union Pacific Railroad, Director of Medical and Disability Management Claims for Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company and Manager of Workers’ Compensation for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Ed currently sits on the CCMC board for CDMS after serving over 10 years on the CDMSC executive board in multiple capacity including National Chair. He has also served as an outside member of the Healthcare Quality Certification Committee and as a Special Panel Member for the Society for Human Resource Management.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG
President and Dean
Morehouse School of Medicine
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG, provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. Marrying her transformational leadership acumen and strategic thinking to tackle challenging management issues, she has a track record of redesigning complex organizations’ infrastructures to reflect the needs of evolving strategic environments and position the organization for success through sustainability tactics.
The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution, Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she has served since 2011.
Prior to joining MSM, Montgomery Rice held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers, including academic health centers. Most notably, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color.
Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, Montgomery Rice lends her vast experience and talents to programs that enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse learners, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health care access and health outcomes. To this end, she holds memberships in various organizations and participates on a number of boards, such as the following: member, National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans, and the Horatio Alger Association and board of directors for The Metro Atlanta Chamber, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, The Nemours Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Westside Future Fund, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Headspace, Wellpath and CARE.
Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades and honors. She was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and received the 2017 Horatio Alger Award. For three consecutive years (2016-2018) Georgia Trend Magazine selected Montgomery Rice as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Other honors include the following: The Dean Griffin Community Service Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Girls Inc. 2019 Smart Award, The National Medical Association OB/GYN 2019 Legend of the Section Award, The Turknett Leadership Character Award (2018), Visions of Excellence Award, Atlanta Business League (2018), Links Incorporated Co-Founders Award (2018), Trumpet Vanguard Award (2015), The Dorothy I. Height Crystal Stair Award (2014), National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Women of Impact (2014), YWCA – Women of Achievement of Atlanta-(2014) and Nashville(2007), American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011) and Working Mother Media Multicultural Women’s Legacy Award (2011).
A Georgia native, Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Rush University. All reflect her lifetime commitment to education, service, and the advancement of health equity. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital.
Montgomery Rice is married to her fellow Georgia Institute of Technology alumnus, Melvin Rice Jr., and they have two children: Jayne and Melvin III.
Group Vice President, Human Resources
Leny Riebli is a Group Vice President of Human Resources at Ross Stores, Inc. As a leader in the HR Services organization, she oversees the teams responsible for Associate Relations & Associate Experience, Leaves of Absence, Background Screening, HR Records, and HR Compliance. Prior to joining Ross in 2009, Leny worked in Human Resources at Mervyn’s and practiced employment law. Leny holds her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Stanford, and her J.D. from Hastings College of Law. Leny lives in the Northern California Bay Area with her husband, two kids and two high-energy dogs.
Texas A&M University
Jessica Rubie is Executive Director of Flourish at Texas A&M - an employee wellness and engagement initiative focused on helping employees thrive, connect, and grow. She has 15+ years of experience leading big ventures and high-profile initiatives on behalf of CEOs in politics, private philanthropy, social venture start-ups, and higher education. Her superpower is her ability to see potential in projects, situations, and people. In alignment with her whole-person approach to work and life, Jessica is a graduate of the University of Washington, the Hudson Institute of Coaching, Le Cordon Bleu, and teaches restorative yoga.
EVP and COO
Pam Shipley serves as executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief client officer at Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. Bringing more than 30 years of experience in healthcare to her role, Shipley oversees Sharecare’s ongoing operational growth and end-to-end delivery of its comprehensive virtual health platform, services, and solutions. Reporting to Sharecare founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Arnold, she joined Sharecare from Centene Corporation, a Fortune 50 company and leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. There, Shipley served as Senior Vice President, Markets, with oversight and responsibility for multiple markets in the South, East, and Midwest regions with P&L accountability for $17 billion in revenue. Spanning her 12 years with Centene, Shipley was responsible for strategy and business development for Envolve. She also led the Provider division, resulting in an instrumental organizational shift to value-based purchasing and innovation. Additionally, she led the Business Implementation Group and IT Configuration Unit, served as Plan President in two markets, and was the company’s first Executive Sponsor for Digital Transformation. Prior to Centene, Shipley held a number of positions at other leading healthcare organizations, including UnitedHealthcare, where she successfully launched a platform for the Project Management Office that would sustain the growth of Medicaid Managed Care at the organization. In 2018, Shipley was chosen by the McKinsey Group to be included in their “Remarkable Women” program, for which a dozen women are selected each year across the world. A passionate advocate for healthcare equity, she served as the executive sponsor for Centene’s women’s Employee Inclusion Group, I.N.S.P.I.R.E., is a member of Women Business Leaders, and sits on the Advisory Board of Nuvo Cares. A mother of nine, Shipley resides in Atlanta with her husband and children.
Louise Short, MD
National Clinical Leader
Strategic Benefit Advisors
Dr. Short is the National Clinical Leader for Strategic Benefit Advisors (SBA). Her passion and her focus is working with employers to develop strategies and solutions that engage and support employees and their families in making good choices to avoid the cost and consequences of poor health. She is a seasoned, results-driven physician with a background in internal medicine, occupational and preventive medicine, and 25 years of experience providing clinical leadership in designing, implementing and measuring population health programs and strategies.
Dr. Short earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard, her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, did her internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and trained in occupational and preventive medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City where she also received a Master’s degree in Community Medicine.
Dexter W. Shurney, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs
Dr. Shurney is the President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He is also Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Zipongo, a San Francisco-based digital health and wellness company that focuses on enabling healthy eating - Healthy Eating, Made Simple”. He is the former Chief Medical Director / Executive Director for Global Health Benefits and Corporate Wellness for Cummins, Inc. Prior to Cummins, Dr. Shurney was Chief Medical Officer of the Employee Health Plan for Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, and held joint faculty appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Internal Medicine and Public Health, and Adjunct Faculty, Owens Graduate School of Management. Other positions that Dr. Shurney has held include Senior Health Policy Strategist in the Division of Government Affairs for the biotechnology company Amgen Inc., and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Additionally, he served as the Chair of the Tennessee Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement Board, appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen; and was Chair of the Business Strategies Committee for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).
Dr. Shurney is co-author of the book “Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs”
A graduate of Loma Linda University, and Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Shurney is board-certified in both preventive medicine and lifestyle medicine.
Yusuf Sherwani, MD
CEO & Co-Founder
Yusuf Sherwani is the CEO and Co-Founder of Quit Genius, the world’s first technology-enabled digital clinic for multiple addictions. Together with his colleagues Maroof Ahmed and Sarim Siddiqui, Dr. Sherwani developed a vision for the technology driven addiction treatment platform. Today the company has helped over 60,000 people quit their addictions.
A medical doctor by training and a technology enthusiast at heart, Yusuf is seen as an innovator operating at the intersection of healthcare, technology and design. With a medical degree from Imperial College London, Yusuf has co-authored 12 peer-reviewed studies on behavioral health and substance addictions. He was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, 2018 as well as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Tamara Sims, PhD
Director, Behavioral Science, Health Solutions Thought Leadership
Dr. Tamara Sims is a behavioral scientist investigating how to optimize well-being through improving engagement with key aspects of health care (i.e., planning for health care across a lifetime, accessing affordable, quality care, utilizing preventive care and managing problems and engaging in healthy behaviors). Dr. Sims works with Fidelity Health Solutions Thought Leadership to conduct large-scale research projects that generate data-driven insights to better understand the opportunities and challenges of diverse workforces.
Her expertise falls at the intersection of culture, emotion, decision making, health and well-being. Her research has spanned topics such as the influence of emotions and values on health outcomes, ethnic disparities and biases in well-being, emotions and aging and using age-progression to boost the impact of financial education on healthy financial behaviors. Dr. Sims earned her B.A. in psychology from UCLA, M.A. in psychology at California State University Long Beach and her Ph.D. in psychology and post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University.
President, U.S. Commercial
Mike Triplett serves as President of Cigna's U.S. Commercial business. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s U.S. integrated medical business market strategy, sales and local network partnerships. He also leads National Accounts and Benefits Exchange & Technology Solutions, the Local Win Strategy, and Network Performance.
Since joining Cigna in 1998, Triplett has held various leadership and management positions. Prior to his current role, he was President of Regional Segment, Payer Solutions and Government & Taft Hartley. Before joining Cigna, he held numerous sales and leadership positions with IBM for 14 years.
Triplett is active on the National Corporate Council for the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. During his career, he has been involved in communities across the U.S., including working with the Chesterfield, Virginia Public Foundation, the University of Memphis Athletic Foundation, the Miami Foundation for New Education Initiatives, the American Red Cross, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Triplett was also named by Savoy Magazine as one of the Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America in 2014 and again in 2018.
He graduated with honors from South Carolina State University in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration and Finance.
Head of Corporate Wellness Programs
Jay is a mindful leader who has been helping companies his entire career. After years of creating engaging experiences and communities for C-level executives, Jay and his team at Journey have been on a mission since 2015 to help organizations introduce simple, approachable mindfulness and meditation programs to their employees – helping them to create positive habits and live happier, healthier, less-stressed lives.
Journey's programs have helped lower turnover rates and reduce stress levels over 500 organizations world-wide, including American Express, Facebook, Google, Macy’s, Morgan Stanley, ViacomCBS, top global law firms, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, high-growth startups and several non-profits.
Based in New York, Jay graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Corporate Communications and holds an Executive MBA in Leadership, Strategy, and Growth.
Mike Weiner, LMSW
Director, EY Assist
Mike Weiner, LMSW is the Director of EY Assist, Ernst & Young’s US based Employee Assistance and Work Life program. Mike joined EY in 2015 and is a mental health clinician with nearly three decades of experience. He leads a team of clinicians who, together with a number of vendors, develop innovative programs and solutions to support the emotional wellbeing and daily life needs of EY’s people.
Mike previously worked for Anthem as the Clinical Account Manager for one of their largest global EAP / behavioral health accounts. He also worked for Managed Health Network, the behavioral health division of Health Net, Inc. as the Director of Account Management. Prior to working in the Employee Assistance field, Mike assessed and counseled Adults, couples and families at a public hospital and a private mental health clinic. Mike has a Master’s of Science and Social Work from Columbia University.