Meet the Speakers

Blake Allison
Executive Vice President
Employers Health Network

Blake Allison joined Employers Health Network (EHN) as Executive Vice President in October of 2020 with a focus on growing new markets, in market sales, strategic direction of the company and overall operations. Blake is focused on developing partnerships with large integrated delivery systems focused on cultivating their direct to employer (D2E) strategy. Prior to joining EHN, Blake served as the Chief Executive Officer of Southeastern Health Partners in Greenville, SC, a joint-ventured clinically integrated network between three delivery systems in the region with over 2,000 providers and is responsible for the overall strategic direction and value-based performance of the company. Blake assumed this role in April of 2018 and has led Southeastern Health Partners through a growth initiative which has nearly doubled the total lives under management in both the commercial and Medicare Advantage space. In two years in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Southeastern Health Partners has delivered over $15 million of savings to the Medicare program while achieving an aggregate quality score of greater than 90%.

Prior to joining Southeastern Health Partners, Blake served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance in Dallas, TX. The Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance is a clinically integrated network of providers comprised of more than 6,000 primary and specialty care physicians, 46 hospitals, 29 post-acute care facilities, retail pharmacy clinics, and other healthcare providers associated with Baylor Scott & White Health. The Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance had value-based contracts with over 400,000 covered lives spanning Medicare and commercial products.

Blake’s experience spans multiple settings from physician consulting to large integrated delivery systems through various parts of the country.

Blake received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University in Waco, TX and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.

Brad Byars
Executive Director, Product Develop.
Providence Southern California Region

Brad Byars, Executive Director, Product Development, is responsible for developing and leading the implementation of strategic initiatives and partnerships, resulting in large-scale growth across the Southern California market. Mr. Byars also serves as the Providence St. Joseph Health Network (PSJHN) Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for the overall operations, financial stability and growth of PSJHN. PSJHN is network of high performing hospitals and physicians, located across Southern California, established as a payor agnostic delivery network, and serving over 125,000 members. Prior to this role, Mr. Byars served as the Regional Director of Operational Excellence and Project Management for Providence Southern California. He brings nearly 15 years of diverse healthcare experience across a broad spectrum of health care functions and care settings. Mr. Byars received his MBA in 2007 from the Marshall School of Business at USC and is a Fellow with the American College of HealthCare Executives.

Meghan Cassidy
Sr. Director, Sales & Product Develop.
Cleveland Clinic

Meghan Cassidy serves as Senior Director, Sales & Product Development for the Cleveland Clinic with a focus on employer-based solutions and insurance plan design and performance. Previously, she spent fourteen years at Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (CDPHP), a regional health plan in Albany, NY, most recently as their Director, Product Innovation and Market Analytics. Prior to entering health care, Meghan worked in sales at Lake Champlain Chocolates based in Burlington, VT. She has a MBA from the University at Albany and earned her Bachelor’s Degree at New York University. She currently resides in Westlake, OH with her two daughters.

Jerry Castelloe
Castelloe Partners, LLC

Jerry Castelloe founded Castelloe Partners, LLC in January 2015. As a foundation for his consulting practice, Jerry has used his expertise, relationships and experiences in the self-funding industry to assist clients with a variety of strategic endeavors. He has assisted a variety of clients, including employers, high performance networks, cost management specialists and claims administrators with strategic planning management, product development, talent identification, mergers and acquisitions, and ACA compliance.

Jerry gained valuable experience in all aspects of healthcare and self-funding during 31 years of leadership at CoreSource, Inc., a large national Third Party Administrator. During his tenure at CoreSource, Jerry provided leadership to all functional and geographical areas. Most recently, as Regional President, he led the SouthEast region and was responsible for business development, client management and administration for the clients in the region. In addition, Jerry provided strategic consulting advice to several of CoreSource’s major national clients, including the establishment and relationship management of CoreSource’s State High Risk Pool strategy.

Jerry provided an important relationship management function for several strategic corporate relationships with networks, stop loss carriers, cost containment and medical management providers.

Jerry has served as an advocate for the self-funding industry through his involvement with the Self Insurance Institute of America. He has been on the Board of Directors for two terms, led the Government Relations Committee several years, spoke or moderated sessions at many SIIA conferences and represented the interest of the industry on many visits with Congress and the regulators in Washington, DC.

Jerry holds a Masters of Business Administration from Queens University in Charlotte and a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to being licensed for life accident and health in most states, Jerry also is a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Registered Health Underwriter, a Registered Employee Benefit Consultant and a Health Insurance Associate designee.

Jerry and his wife, Sue, split their time between Charlotte, where they have been residents since 1979, and Fripp Island, SC, where they have been leisure residents since 1998.

John Farnsley
Executive Vice President
Caprock Health Group

As Executive Vice President, Mr. Farnsley is responsible for expanding into new markets, gaining additional market shares in existing markets and securing Caprocks relationship with existing clients. Mr. Farnsley brings an extensive background in managed care where he has worked for over 25 years in various sales, product development, and executive leadership roles. John has served on multiple industry board and trade associations. Mr. Farnsley has served in multiple executive sales positions that include Senior Vice President of Sales for HealthSmart Preferred Care, Chief Sale’s officer for Q-Elements, and director of Corporate Wellness for Pleasant Valley. During his career John has been directly involved in the acquisition and integration of multiple Third-Party Administrators, PPOs, Care Management firms and PBMs. Currently Mr. Farnsley speaks at industry association meetings around the country and teaches Continuing Education classes on self-funding. Mr. Farnsley earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State University and is married with 2 children.

Mike Ferguson
President & CEO
Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc.

Mike Ferguson serves as president & CEO Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA), providing executive management leadership as well as serving as a federal lobbyist. Mr. Ferguson has been with the association for more than 25 years.

He has significant expertise on self-insurance matters related to group health plans, workers’ compensation programs and captive insurance companies.

Prior to joining SIIA, he was a corporate communications specialist for Rockwell International at the company’s world headquarters. Mr. Ferguson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach.

Paul Forte
Senior Vice President, Strategic Development
Health Plans, Inc.

Paul Forte is Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. Paul is an experienced leader with a passion for connecting employers directly with providers to optimize clinical and financial outcomes. An expert in analytics, profiling and predictive modeling, he helps employers understand their health benefit spend and what initiatives can be put into place to mitigate risk before it happens. Paul also pursues market growth opportunities that advance the company’s comprehensive health risk management offering.

Paul joined HPI in 2011 as Vice President of Health Strategies and Innovation to oversee an expanding Clinical Services department responsible for all facets of population health management, wellness, health coaching, and integrated data analytics – all with the purpose of improving coordination of care and reducing or stabilizing cost without compromising quality.

Prior to joining HPI, Paul gained more than 20 years’ experience in clinical integration strategies, and ACO and medical home development leading initiatives to bring the efficiency of care back to the forefront of the healthcare industry. Through work with the CareGroup Occupational Health Network, Enhanced Care Initiative, and the Emblem Health High Value Medical Home Project, Paul focused on the creation, management, redesign and marketing of employee and employer programs that improve quality, efficiency and cost transparency of care for individuals as well as employers.

Jason Hager
Senior Vice President

Jason brings 25 years of experience working in healthcare technology and operations to Apostrophe. He has held leadership roles with large carriers and has built operations from scratch in two prior health insurance start-ups. He’s overseen enrollment and eligibility, premium billing, member and provider service, provider network development, claims processing and financing, technology integration and end-to-end productization of new lines of business. As a seasoned healthcare executive, Jason thrives in scaling start-up organizations into sustainable growth companies while solving consumers’ biggest gripes with their healthcare experience.

Lauren Pickard
Business Development Manager
RGA Reinsurance Company

Lauren Pickard is Business Development Manager, Healthcare Turnkey. Lauren is responsible for educating and training clients as well as closing new business. She has extensive employer stop loss experience that includes handling a $300M book of business at an insurance brokerage and 8 years of underwriting experience at a large healthcare company. She joined RGA in 2019.

Darren Reynolds
President & CEO

Darren D. Reynolds is the President and CEO of Consociate Health with locations in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. His primary roles are Executive Direction, Strategic Planning, Innovation and Team Management. Darren has worked for over 30 years in the benefits arena.

Darren is a co-founder of Consociate Health which was established in 1995 as a Third Party Administrator of employee health benefits. Consociate Health also wholly owns Consociate Care, a proprietary Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) that operates in the Illinois and Missouri.

Darren has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Millikin University and a Juris Doctor in Law from the Southern Illinois University School of Law. He holds the Certified Benefit & Wellness Advisor (CBWA).

Peter Robinson
Managing Principal
EPIC Reinsurance

EPIC RE Responsibilities: Peter leads EPIC’s reinsurance practice. Peter works with clients and colleagues to arrange and negotiate the best possible conditions, pricing and program structures for our national and regional carrier clients. Peter has extensive experience with provider risk including Medicare, Medicaid, and Exchange populations.

Profile: Over 30 years’ experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Spanning the healthcare, alternative risk, public entity, and health and accident sectors. Peter joined Jardine Insurance Brokers (JLT) in 1983. He advanced to serve as the Managing Director of the company's North American division in London. Peter led the management team which formed Aon Managed Care's Risk and Insurance Services and Presidio Excess Insurance Services, as well as Aon Re Accident and Health. In 2003, Peter founded Reinsurance Advisory Services (RAS), a risk advisor and reinsurance intermediary focused on healthcare. In 2010, RAS was acquired by Integro, allowing Peter to bring his experience and knowledge to the EPIC RE team.

Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Adlai E. Stevenson College at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He completed the AHIP endorsed, 250-hour residential Executive Program in Managed Healthcare at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Peter is an active member of the alumni association at Stanford's Graduate School of Business (SEP 1998) .In 2012 Peter was named a Power Broker for health reinsurance by Risk and Insurance magazine. Peter is a frequent speaker to leading national healthcare organizations.

Nick Stefanizzi
Northwell Direct

Nick Stefanizzi is the Chief Executive Officer of Northwell Direct where he is responsible for the strategy, operations, growth, and financial performance of Northwell Health’s direct-to-employer organization. Prior to joining Northwell Direct, Nick served as Chief Administrative Officer and later as Interim Chief Executive Officer of Formativ Health, a for-profit joint-venture aimed at enhancing the patient and provider experience of and access to care. Started in 2016, Formativ grew to over $40M in revenue, 450 employees, 1,200 providers served, and over 2 million patient contacts annually.

Prior to Formativ, Nick spent over eight years in various roles within Northwell Health. This includes serving as Assistant Vice President for HR Innovation and Organizational Effectiveness, responsible for Talent Management (Assessment, Succession, Performance, and Engagement), Culture, M&A, and Emergency Preparedness. He also previously oversaw the HR Technology function. Prior to this role, Nick served as the Director of Management Services for the health system’s ambulatory network of over 450 physician offices and ambulatory locations, where he was responsible for the direct development, coordination and administration of central administrative services, such as real estate and facility services, supply chain, biomedical engineering, security, and emergency preparedness, as well as the operational oversight and integration of the health system’s network of clinical joint ventures. Prior to that role, he served as the Chief of Staff for the health system’s Chief Information Officer.

Nick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University and his MBA in Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University. He has previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Model United Nations Association, a not-for-profit organization focused on providing global issues education to high school students across the international community.

David Wilson
Windsor Strategy Partners, Inc.

Dave is the founder and President of Windsor Strategy Partners, Inc. Windsor Strategy Partners is a specialized actuarial firm which helps clients develop, implement and maintain innovative risk products. Dave leads the firm’s marketing and research efforts and acting as a senior advisor to our clients and partners.

Dave has been active in the health insurance arena for over 35 years and working with Captive Insurers for the last 25 years. He is recognized as a leading expert in stop-loss insurance, healthcare reinsurance, and healthcare insurance underwriting. He has been a strategic advisor to start-up and established companies in the health insurance field. He is a frequent speaker at actuarial and insurance industry meetings.

Dave was the co-founder and Managing Director of The Apex Management Group; a healthcare actuarial firm located in Princeton, New Jersey.

Prior to The Apex Management Group, Inc., Dave was Principal & Senior Healthcare Actuary at Foster Higgins, a Principal at William M. Mercer, Vice President of the Home Life Insurance Company of New York and an officer of the Great-West Life Assurance Company.

Dave graduated with an MS in Statistics from the University of Manitoba. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Laura Zehm
SVP & Chief Administrative Officer
Montage Health

An innovative and collaborative Strategic and Financial Executive with over 36 years experience in various positions within healthcare finance. Committed to developing financial models of health care delivery that support and incentivize care delivery that results in the best patient experience, improved health of the population served and reduced cost of health care. Successful accomplishments to date include participation in an Accountable Care Organization with a major payer, build of a Medicare Advantage health plan and partnership with competitor health system to manage population health County wide.