Kelly Benefits University - Connecting You with Those in the Know

Our presenters are industry experts chosen for their knowledge and experience.  

Each Kelly Benefits University symposium features a panel of speakers recognized for their insight into the most pertinent issues in health care and employee benefits today. Below are just a few of the industry leaders who regularly present at
Kelly Benefits University:

Our Kelly Benefits Experts

Jennifer Berman , JD 

Senior Vice President
Compliance and ERISA Counsel
Kelly Benefits


Jennifer Spiegel Berman, JD, officially joined the Kelly Benefits  team in 2016 after many years serving as a trusted resource to the organization and its clients. In her dual roles as senior vice president of compliance and ERISA counsel, Jen consults with Kelly Benefits’ clients regarding ongoing employee benefit compliance issues. Jen also works with the consulting and account management teams to help design and implement innovative benefit strategies within the confines of the many applicable legal requirements now impacting employee benefit plans; including the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, ACA, wellness plan rules and other applicable statutes.
Jennifer graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2006, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law. Jennifer also completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Jennifer is admitted to practice in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Connect with Jen on LinkedIn.


Jason Danner

Senior Vice President
Senior Consultant
Kelly Benefits Strategies


Jason Danner oversees all business development and client retention operations for the Delaware Valley market for Kelly Benefits . Jason also sits on the Kelly Benefits Strategies’ Senior Leadership Team, with his staff serving the benefit needs of clients throughout the country.
Jason was instrumental in launching Kelly Benefits University as an ongoing learning series, educating customers on employee benefit issues. Jason also serves as campaign director for the public-private health promotion campaign, Motivate The First State, encouraging healthy living among the citizens of his home state of Delaware.
Jason graduated cum laude from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education with a concentration on nutrition.

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn


Bruce C. Mitchell

Vice President
Senior Consultant
Kelly Benefits Strategies


Focusing on large market business development, as well as strategic client support and project leadership, Bruce Mitchell specializes in benefit strategies and plan designs that ensure clients implement the best programs to support their culture, business goals and risk tolerance.
Having started his career with a regional consulting firm and later serving as principal at Mercer and as a senior member of the consulting team at Aon Hewitt for 20 years prior to joining Kelly Benefits, Bruce has more than 35 years of experience in the employee benefits industry.
Bruce received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Johns Hopkins University, is a graduate of Leadership Baltimore County and holds a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation.

Connect with Bruce on LinkedIn


John Newcome

Vice President and Senior Consultant
Kelly Benefits Strategies


John Newcome brings extensive experience in the insurance industry and a wealth of knowledge to the clients he serves as Vice President and Senior Consultant with Kelly Benefits Strategies (KBS).
John joined KBS in 2001 as a Senior Account Manager and since then has served as a strong client advocate, keeping businesses informed of changes within the health care industry and advising on how their impact may affect business operations. In his current role, John serves clients ranging in size from 500 to 25,000 employees. He is a member of Kelly Benefits’ Compliance Committee and the Kelly Benefits Technology Business Leadership Team.
Prior to joining KBS, John served as a claims adjudicator for a national third-party claims administrator and as a senior account manager with a Baltimore-based brokerage and consulting firm. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators.

Connect with John on LinkedIn


Sandy Walters

Executive Vice President and Senior Consultant,
Kelly Benefits Strategies

Chief Industry Information Officer,
Kelly Benefits


Sandy Walters has more than 30 years of operational leadership and employee benefits/insurance industry experience. Prior to joining Kelly Benefits , Sandy served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of United American Healthcare Corporation. In 1988, Sandy co-founded Corporate Healthcare Financing, Inc., a national health care consulting firm, serving as President until 1993. Earlier in his career, he was Chief of Operations and Management Analysis at the Department of Licensing and Regulations for the State of Maryland.
Sandy is an active member of the Society of Professional Benefits Administrators and currently serves as its Past Chairman. In addition, Sandy was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission in 2017 and the Task Force to Study Cooperative Purchasing of Health Insurance in 2019. Sandy was involved in developing the rules for waiver for groups not meeting annual and lifetime limits. He has also influenced the IRS on how the adoption of W-2 rules and guidelines will be implemented. He is active in framing implementation of many other aspects of the Affordable Care Act.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, Sandy also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore.

Connect with Sandy on LinkedIn


Cheri Wheeler

Senior Consultant
Kelly Benefits Strategies


Cheri Wheeler draws from her more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to serve as the chief strategist and consultant on several of Kelly Benefits’ premier Large Group accounts, specializing in self-funded medical plans, pharmacy benefit management, employee engagement, wellness, compliance and contract review.

In her current role, Cheri is also responsible for the evaluation, implementation and ongoing effectiveness of Kelly Benefits’ services including technology, client integration, communications, plan management reporting and enhanced benefits. She brings a well-rounded career perspective to health and welfare consulting, having previously worked for a claims-paying third-party administrator and for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Cheri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Hobart/William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.

Connect with Cheri on LinkedIn


Past Speakers

Cory Easton 

Partner, Confidio 
Lead Pharmacy Benefit Management Consultant, KBS RxM


Cory Easton is the cofounder of Confidio, a unique pharmacy benefit procurement platform, developed to efficiently and effectively evaluate, manage and oversee self-funded clients’ pharmacy benefit programs. He has more than 30 years’ experience in health care cost management, having spent 10 years working in population health management at Intracorp and more than 17 years in various positions at Express Scripts, Inc., most recently serving as vice president of sales. Throughout his career, Cory has had the privilege of working with some of the nation’s largest, most complex health benefit plans.

Cory is a frequent and passionate public speaker, often called on to present his perspectives and strategies on topics related to integrated health care cost management and payment integrity. Cory received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Connect with Cory on LinkedIn.



Steven Jessup 

Regional Vice President 
Ash Brokerage


Specializing in asset protection through life, long-term care and disability insurance solutions, Steven Jessup helps advisors in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. protect their clients’ dreams and, in turn, grow their businesses.

With more than 20 years in the business, Steven started his career in property and casualty insurance with his father’s firm before studying at the University of Pennsylvania. After college, he became a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and Wachovia Securities. At Lincoln Financial and, most recently, Sun Life Financial, he gained expertise and passion for linked-benefit solutions for long-term care.

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn.



Todd Martin 

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer 


As the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for PinnacleCare, Todd is responsible for accelerating growth and profitability through the development of new and existing distribution channels. Since joining PinnacleCare in 2012, Todd has developed the go-to market sales strategy for PinnacleCare’s group model that currently supports over 3 million lives. He has developed strategies to incorporate health advisory services into new distribution channels, and spearheads the marketing efforts to bring health advisory services to the forefront of modern-day health care.



Bruce Panasuk, MD

Thoracic Surgeon
Christiana Care Health System (1990-2008)
Wilmington VA Medical Center (2008-2018) 


Dr. Bruce Panasuk earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed his general and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, also in Philadelphia, and began his practice in thoracic surgery at Christiana Hospital in 1990. In addition to building his clinical practice, Dr. Panasuk has chosen to spend much of his career educating and training surgeons, serving as Associate Program Director and Program Director for the General Surgery Residency Program while at Christiana Hospital. Additional leadership responsibilities during his career included Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Christiana Hospital, and thereafter, Associate Chief of Surgery, Chief of Surgery, and Interim Chief of Staff while at the Wilmington VA Medical Center, from which he recently retired.

Dr. Panasuk has spoken at a number of human resource regional conferences including Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Penjerdel Employee Benefits and Compensation Association (PEBA), as well as the national SHRM Annual Conference in 2009. In 2014, he became a certified facilitator for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (FranklinCovey) and Crucial Conversations (VitalSmarts).



Sonja Quale, PharmD 

Chief Clinical Officer and Vice President of Informatics


Sonja Quale, PharmD, possesses a unique blend of clinical, technology and analytics expertise. A seasoned health care executive with a passion for integrating empirical data and evidenced-based clinical outcomes, Sonja’s deep understanding of pharmacy trends enables her to identify new product development opportunities, create technical changes that improve efficiencies, and maximize the value of data to improve patient care and strengthen organizations financially.

Prior to joining Confidio, Sonja most recently served as Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at PharMerica Corporation. In previous capacities, she served as Vice President of Client and Sales Analytics at Express Scripts and as a pharmacist with both Target and Massachusetts General Hospital-Pediatrics & Oncology Department.

Sonja received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy.

Connect with Sonja on LinkedIn.



Matthew Rae

Associate Director, Program on the Health Care Marketplace
Kaiser Family Foundation


Matthew Rae is the Associate Director for the Program on the Health Care Marketplace at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program researches and analyzes the private insurance market and policy proposals to reform it. In this capacity, Matthew has managed the Employer Health Benefit Survey since 2011. He has a special interest in analytic methods and data analysis, including gleaning lessons from survey and claims data.

Matthew is currently a Ph.D. student at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. He earned a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a Graduate Certificate in Survey Design and Data Analysis from the George Washington University. Prior to joining KFF, Matthew worked at the Government Accountability Office, Small Business Services for the City of New York, the Service Employees International Union and the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.



Marjory D. Robertson, JD 

Assistant Vice President
Senior Counsel
Sun Life Financial


Marjory D. Robertson, JD, advises Sun Life Financial on employment law issues, including legal issues related to absence and disability management for its employees. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School, she also supports and provides legal oversight for Sun Life’s absence and ADA administration products. She is a frequent presenter on legal and compliance absence management issues at conferences and at Sun Life broker meetings, and prides herself on being entertaining as much as educating at both employee and broker events.



Daniel Silvert

Velocity Advisory Group


Daniel Silvert is a behavioral expert, keynote speaker and executive coach. As president of Velocity Advisory Group, ranked 548 by the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America, he has guided organizations through cultural transformations, building greater accountability into workplace culture and leading change.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Dan is the co-author of Taking Flight!, published in nine languages. His latest book, The True Competitive Advantage, was released in 2018. Dan’s clients have included Aflac Insurance, Biogen, Brinker Capital, Cushman & Wakefield, Crump Insurance, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Kolmar, Situs, W.L. Gore and Zara.



Fayton Washington 

Director of Marketing & Sales 


Since joining PinnacleCare in 2017, Fayton has been responsible for driving brand awareness, client engagement, retention, and sales growth through strategic partners and employers across PinnacleCare’s group benefits business. Fayton supports the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer to establish strategic partnerships and develop opportunities within small and mid-markets.



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