Benefit wise. Relationship driven.

Our company’s core values are built into everything we do. Our team of veteran benefits pros and rising experts deliver the best in benefits experiences for our clients and their employees.

Meet the team leading benefitexpress

Our company was founded with the belief there was a better way to offer employee benefits. For years, this belief has driven the way we do business. In our founding years, a commitment to creative problem solving, flexible systems and accountable service helped us grow and become the top benefits administration company of choice for enterprise businesses and insurance professionals.

Our Leadership Team

benefitexpress is committed to building the best benefits administration team in the business, period.

Meet the industry experts leading the charge.

Michael Sternklar

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Michael Sternklar is chief executive officer and chairman of benefitexpress, an industry-leading cloud-based benefits administration technology solutions and services company. Michael is responsible for the strategic direction of the business, its client relationships, and overall operational and financial performance of the company. A benefits administration expert, Michael has more than 30 years’ experience as a leader of some of the best-known brands in the technology-enabled HR services industry. In past roles, he was chiefoperating officer and head of Americas, Mercer HR Services; executive vice president client service and sales, Fidelity Investments and in an earlier role, ran the benefits administration outsourcing business of Kwasha Lipton/PwC. A native of New York, Michael holds a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Albany.

Jocelyn Purtell

Chief Operating Officer

Jocelyn is the chief operating officer at benefitexpress. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of the delivery of services including implementation, ongoing services, and client relationship management. Her focus is on driving and improving our tools, processes, and talent. She ensures responsive relationships with our clients, both brokers and employers. Jocelyn has 30 years of experience in the benefits and HR BPO industry. She worked at Hewitt for 22 years across many roles including head of operations for benefits and HRO BPO. Jocelyn then ran operations and client services for Mercer's benefits outsourcing business for five years, owning all service delivery and customer relationships. Most recently, Jocelyn was the president of North America for NGA Human Resources.

Jocelyn has a degree in Accounting from St. Norbert College. When not working, she enjoys running, reading, traveling, and visiting her son and daughter in St Louis.

Rick Bakewell

Chief Financial Officer

As the chief financial officer, Rick oversees all financial aspects of benefitexpress, including finance, accounting, treasury, and legal. Rick has over 25 years of experience in progressive finance leadership roles in technology and services industries. He has a proven track record of building scalable finance environments, driving operational efficiency improvements, leading financing and capital raising initiatives, and successfully completing mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining benefitexpress, Rick has held CFO roles at high-growth IT consulting firms - Fruition Partners (2014-2016) and The Revere Group (2001-2014). Prior to Revere, he was the vice president, Finance for Ricardo North America, an engineering consulting firm. Rick began his career with Grant Thornton CPA's. He is a Certified Public Accountant and received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Josh Trent

Chief Growth Officer

In his capacity as the chief growth officer, Josh is accountable for leading the sales, business development and growth execution for benefitexpress. Josh has spent 20+ years of his career in a broad range of benefits administration functions, including the leadership and delivery of implementation, client management, and sales teams. He began his career with Aon Consulting in Chicago and was later the office practice leader for the technology and administration solutions practice of Watson Wyatt (currently Willis Towers) in Minneapolis, Minn. He later rejoined AonHewitt as the national mid-market sales leader for the benefits administration practice and was most recently executive vice president and national sales leader for bswift, helping to lead them through significant expansion prior to their acquisition by Aetna in 2015.

Josh received his bachelor's degree from Albion College in Albion, Mich. and attended the Executive Institute Business Program through the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Julia Goebel

Chief Marketing Officer

Julia Goebel is chief marketing officer of benefitexpress and has spent nearly 20 years in senior marketing roles for software and services businesses, from privately-held to publicly-traded firms. She specializes in building high-performing teams and optimizing the marketing mix to increase sales. In her role as CMO, Julia will oversee all aspects of marketing at benefitexpress, including lead generation, brand development, and outstanding marketing communications to generate revenue.

Prior to benefitexpress, she led marketing at a division of Stericycle, one of the nation’s leaders in compliance and regulatory solutions, overseeing teams dedicated to small- and medium-sized business (SMB) revenue marketing as well as enterprise National and Regional accounts sales enablement. She also was also Vice President of Marketing at a privately-held document management technology company specializing in hardware and software integration with financial, health and security systems.

Julia graduated with distinction from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in journalism and economics. Originally from New York, she calls Chicago home and never misses a chance to do something active.

Bill Blount

Chief Information Officer

Bill joined benefitexpress in March 2018 and leads all areas of its technology organization including development, information security, and IT operations. He has more than 20 years of experience in software development, technology operations, consulting and data warehousing. 

Prior to joining benefitexpress, he held a similar role at PayFlex, an Aetna company. In addition, Bill has built and managed highly scalable and redundant solutions in the online retail industry in roles as vice president of information technology at FTD, and vice president of IT operations at Earlier in his career, he held positions in application development and data management and consulted to clients such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Transportation Security Administration and Oracle Corporation. Bill holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

Scott Evans

Chief Product Officer

As chief product officer, Scott is responsible for the growth and market competitiveness of the benefitexpress product portfolio. Scott works at multiple levels to deliver industry-leading cloud-based benefits administration technology products to employers and broker partners and acts as an executive sponsor on key accounts. He communicates with senior leadership and stakeholders to shape the company’s product evolution; including strategic insight on emerging trends, competitor analysis, and overall business intelligence. He works closely with sales and marketing to ensure go-to-market strategies align with the strategic direction of new offerings and industry partnerships.

Prior to benefitexpress, Scott was the chief operating officer of benefitsCONNECT and vice president of operations for Univers Workplace Solutions. With over 20 years of industry experience in client relations, leadership, strategic planning, and company growth, Scott thrives on developing solutions to outdated processes and igniting revenue growth for business transformation.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Liberty University.

Kelly McMillen

Chief Counsel

As chief counsel, Kelly's responsibilities include contract portfolio, compliance and risk management, and supporting the legal needs of the functional teams and entire business.

Prior to benefitexpress, Kelly spent seven years in higher education and healthcare consulting with both Arthur Andersen and the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, which included roles in program management, business consulting, grant accounting, and staffing analysis. He received his Doctor of Law from DePaul University College of Law and is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, watching college football, reading, cooking, and spending time with his family.

Korrie Bird

Chief Human Resources Officer

As the chief human resources Officer, Korrie is responsible for developing and executing on benefitexpress’ overall business plan and strategy regarding current and future employees. She works closely with managers and the executive team to ensure the strategic direction of the company regarding recruitment, staffing, planning, talent and performance management, and employee counseling. She supports positive morale by providing advice and assistance to supervisors and managers regarding training needs, job descriptions, employee growth opportunities, and personnel policies.

Prior to joining benefitexpress, Korrie held management positions at Bank of America and Benefits and Risk Management Service Inc. She has over 13 years of management experience and over 10 years of involvement in the benefits industry. Korrie received her Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University, Sacramento.

Our Business Philosophy

We provide high-quality, client-focused streamlined benefits administration. We do so by leveraging our configurable enrollment system to automate complex processes, creating an error-free flow of information into and out of the platform. We strive to help employers increase employee engagement and understanding of their benefits offerings by providing an intuitive and personalized user experience. Our technology and delivery model is built to serve as an extension of our clients' benefits departments.

Our Board

Meet the visionaries responsible for our strategic direction. As is evident, we're led by notable experts with years of experience developing industry-leading companies. We believe this is a critical factor in a client’s decision to work with benefitexpress.

Sasank Aleti

Principal, LLR Partners

Sasank Aleti is a Principal at LLR Partners. He currently focuses on investing in and advising middle market growth companies in the business process outsourcing and human capital management sectors. Throughout his career in private equity, he has worked with companies in business services, financial services and software. In 2008, Sasank founded Cadence Capital Partners in Boston, Mass., a search fund focused on acquiring lower middle market services businesses.  Earlier in his career, Sasank was an investment banking analyst at UBS. Sasank earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Finance and International Business from New York University, where he graduated with honors.

Scott Perricelli

Partner, LLR Partners

With more than 15 years of private equity and investment banking experience, Scott Perricelli leads LLR Partners’ growth capital investments in the Healthcare and Education industries. Prior to joining LLR, Scott was a principal at Draper Triangle Ventures, an investor in high-technology start-up companies in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  He previously served as an associate at Advanta Partners.  Earlier in his career, Scott worked in investment banking at William Blair & Co. and JP Morgan and Company. Scott earned a B.S. from Bucknell University and his M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

William (Bill) Kerr


William Kerr is an exceptionally experienced financial and operational executive, with an extensive global career spanning over forty years. Mr. Kerr has significant experience in emerging markets and technologies as well as capital markets, strategic planning, financial reporting management and governance.

Mr. Kerr most recently led Talentwise Inc., a Seattle based leading HCM technology company, as CEO and Executive Chairman from 2008 through 2015. Under Mr. Kerr’s leadership, Talentwise grew from a small emerging startup to a major player in the multibillion-dollar HCM industry, with a revenue CAGR exceeding 40% over the period of Mr. Kerr’s leadership. Talentwise was successfully sold to a group of investors, led by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, in January 2016.

Mr. Kerr’s career highlights prior to Talentwise include Chief Financial Officer of Nortel Networks (TSE/NYSE) as well as Senior Vice President Finance and Business Development and executive roles. At BCE Inc. (TSE/NYSE), Canada’s largest telecommunications company, he held the position of Vice President and Controller and was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Lear Siegler Inc., a U.S. based privately held (Forstmann Little) diversified manufacturing and services company. He resides in Whistler, B.C., Canada.

Maria Bradley

Founder, Chief Strategic Advisor

Maria Bradley is the founder and visionary behind benefitexpress. As a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, she brings 35 years of benefits administration experience, where she has developed a variety of products and services including benefit statements, pension administration systems and manuals, employee benefits data management systems, computerized retirement calculation systems, benefits administration systems, and cloud-based SaaS systems.

Maria graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics from Gwynedd Mercy College. She was also recognized as one of the top 25 Influential Women in Business for the Chicago area.

See how we became a top benefits administration company


Benefit wise. Relationship driven.