Executive Leadership Team

Michael Sternklar

Michael Sternklar

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Michael Sternklar is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of benefitexpress. In his role, Michael is responsible for the strategic direction of the business, its client relationships, and overall operational and financial performance of the company. In addition, in his role as Chairman, he will oversee Board operations. Michael has spent over 3 decades in the technology-enabled HR services industry. He has led the HR services businesses of some of the industry's best-known brands including the Benefits outsourcing business of Kwasha Lipton/PwC, Fidelity's payroll business, and Mercer's North American outsourcing business.

Michael graduated with a degree in Business from the State University of New York at Albany.

Michael Sternklar

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 Service 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.

Maria Bradley

Maria Bradley

Founder and 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.

Scott Evans

Scott Evans

Chief Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer, Scott is primarily responsible for the growth and market competitiveness of all benefitexpress products. Scott is laser focused on customer needs and represents the ‘voice of the market’ as a direct advocate for client relationships. As an Executive Sponsor on key accounts, Scott works at multiple levels to garner intel for product enhancements. 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 COO of benefitsCONNECT and Vice President of Operations for Univers Workplace Solutions. He has over 20 years of industry leading experience in client relations, leadership, strategic planning, and company growth. He has innovated solutions to outdated processes and ignited revenue growth for struggling business units.

Scott holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Liberty University.

Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson

Chief Growth Officer

As the Chief Growth Officer, Bob Carlson is responsible for the management of our sales team and for the growth of our business through the acquisition of new clients. Bob ensures clear understanding of our clients' needs and presents solutions that exactly meet those needs. Bob has thirty years in the benefits administration business with experience in defined contribution, defined benefit, and health and welfare administration solutions. Prior to joining benefitexpress, Bob worked with KPMG, Mercer, and Willis Towers Watson in operations management, consulting and sales leadership roles.

Bob grew up in northern Indiana and attended Purdue University. He graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Bob enjoys pick-up basketball games, spending time with his family, helping his kids with their science homework, and the occasional round of golf.

Tim McLaughlin

Tim McLaughlin

Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Officer, Tim is responsible for strategic planning to achieve business goals by identifying and prioritizing development initiatives and setting timetables for the evaluation, development, and deployment of all flexible benefit administration technology services. He also ensures and establishes the company's best practices surrounding security, product development, and quality assurance processes. Prior to joining benefitexpress, Tim worked with IIS, IPA, and Mercer in various roles including Operations Leader, Product Leader, and sales roles. Tim has over 20 years of benefits administration technology experience.

Tim grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania and after attending Gannon University with a major in Engineering, moved to Texas, where he co-founded a successful computer wholesale business. After exiting this business, Tim moved to Cleveland, Ohio and began his career with IIS in benefits administration. Tim is a Cleveland Playhouse benefactor and enjoys a round of golf with friends when opportunities allow.

Kelly McMillen

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 7 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 BA degrees in Economics and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, watching college football, reading, cooking, and spending time with his family.

Rick Bakewell

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.

Korrie Bird

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 & 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 & 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 BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Sacramento.

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