Shawn Jenkins, one of our founders, has been our President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since our founding in June 2000. Prior to founding Benefitfocus, from 1995 to 2000, he served as Vice President with American Pensions, Inc., leading sales, operations, and technology. From 1994 to 1995, Mr. Jenkins was a program analyst with Rockwell Automation, Inc. Mr. Jenkins serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Computing at Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Board of Directors, College of Charleston Board of Governors, and Charleston Southern University Board of Visitors. He previously served as Chairman of the Growing Forward Campaign for the Lowcountry Food Bank. Mr. Jenkins received an M.B.A. from Charleston Southern University and a B.A. from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Mason Holland, one of our founders, has been our Executive Chairman and a member of our board of directors since our founding in June 2000. He is responsible for the coordination of strategic partnerships with industry leaders and client relations. Mr. Holland founded American Pensions, Inc. in 1988, serving as its Chairman and President from 1988 to 2003. Mr. Holland’s other ventures have included establishing Holland Properties, LLC, a real estate development firm, in 1989, and acquiring Eclipse Aerospace, Inc., a jet aircraft manufacturer, in May 2009, for which he serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Holland attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Milt Alpern has served as our Chief Financial Officer since January 2012. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, from April 2008 to December 2011, he was the Chief Financial Officer for ITA Software, Inc., a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, provider of technology solutions to the travel industry, which was acquired by Google in 2011, where he was responsible for leading all financial and administrative functions for the company. Prior to ITA Software, from 2003 to 2008, Mr. Alpern served as the Chief Financial Officer for Applix, Inc., a publicly held international provider of business performance management and business intelligence software where he directed all finance, human resources, legal activities, and financial community relationships. From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Alpern served as the Chief Financial Officer at Eprise Corporation, a publicly held provider of business website content management software and solutions, where he was a member of the management team leading the company’s successful initial public offering. Mr. Alpern holds a B.S. in accounting from Montclair State University.
Andy Howell has served as our Chief Operating Officer since June 2010. During his tenure at Benefitfocus, he previously served as our Senior Vice President and General Manager of the insurance carrier business unit from June 2009 to June 2010, as well as Senior Vice President and General Counsel from April 2007 to June 2009. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Mr. Howell served from July 2002 to March 2007 as Vice President and General Counsel at Blackbaud, Inc., a publicly held software company. Prior to joining Blackbaud, he was a practicing attorney with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, where he focused on corporate and technology law. Mr. Howell received a B.A. in economics from Washington & Lee University and a J.D. from Mercer University.
Don Taylor has served as our Chief Technology Officer since February 2008. As a software industry veteran of more than 25 years, Mr. Taylor brings expertise from his experience developing and providing advanced software solutions to the healthcare, banking, and logistics industries. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, from 2001 to 2006, Mr. Taylor was the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Boxcar Central, Inc., which developed a multi-tenant suite of SaaS applications for the third-party logistics market. Mr. Taylor received an A.S. from Charleston Southern University.
Joel Wilhite manages the financial and accounting operations of Benefitfocus, including planning and budgeting, financial analysis, internal financial reporting and general accounting activities. Prior to joining Benefitfocus in August of 2013, Mr. Wilhite spent ten years in various senior financial positions, including Vice President and CFO of the International Division at Blackbaud, Inc., a Charleston-based provider of nonprofit software and services. He started his career at KPMG LLP, an international accounting firm, where he spent several years on assignment in Budapest, Hungary, managing audit engagements and teaching advanced audit courses at the KPMG Czech Republic and Slovenia offices. Mr. Wilhite holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Greg McLain is responsible for the areas of revenue management and compliance at Benefitfocus, including revenue accounting, billing and revenue recognition. Mr. McLain also oversees the company's compliance programs for SOC (Service Organization Control) certifications, PCI (Payment Card Industry) data security standards certifications, HIPAA privacy and security testing and training, and additional internal control standards and policies. Prior to joining Benefitfocus in 2008, McLain was a partner with the international accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he managed accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services to both public and private companies. He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Information Technology Professional. McLain received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Annmarie Fini is responsible for defining the product vision and strategy of the Benefitfocus Platform. This involves identifying key product strategies, customer-driven feature sets and overall market implementation plans. Fini has 20 years of experience in the healthcare and software industry, with expertise in benefits, human resources and payroll. During her tenure at Benefitfocus, she has been responsible for building and maintaining key client relationships, managing multiple large client implementations and overseeing all client-facing activities. Fini has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Clarke Wallace is Senior Vice President of Client Services and serves as the strategic partner liaison between Benefitfocus and its clients. Wallace oversees employer and carrier account management, operations management, employer support services and market adoption of Benefitfocus solutions. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, he was the Vice President of Strategic Alliances for In-Q-Tel. Wallace received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in International Business.
Ken Poletti is responsible for the integration and production processing of carrier, employer and business partner data. As Senior Vice President of Partner Solutions, Ken ensures the smooth transition of business partner product offerings into the Benefitfocus Ecosystem. Poletti has over 30 years of software development experience in the healthcare technology, healthcare manufacturing and government defense industries. Prior to Benefitfocus, Poletti owned a consulting firm and held various positions at Hill-Rom. Poletti has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.
Jessica Brewer is the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Global Services and is responsible for managing client implementations and software delivery across the Benefitfocus Portfolio of Products and Services. Her extensive understanding of software engineering, business operations, infrastructure and application deployments, as well as her knowledge of our products, software and services helps advance the Benefitfocus Platform through the use of innovative technologies. Jessica earned a Master of Science in Software Engineering Management from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science from the College of Charleston.
Jim Kelly manages sales for the Employer business unit as the Vice President of Employer Sales. With more than 25 years of experience in sales and business development, Kelly’s expertise ranges from generating revenue and exceeding sales goals to expanding market share for large software and technology companies. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Kelly was a Senior Vice President at Computer Associates (CA). He earned his Bachelor degree from Loyola University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Mike Murphy is the Vice President of Enterprise Sales and oversees all sales-related activity for the Carrier business unit. Murphy has over 23 years of experience in healthcare and technology sales, sales management and business development. His past positions have included Vice President of Payer Sales at WebMD’s transaction services division (now Emdeon) and Senior Sales Executive with Fair Isaac Corporation. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bridgewater State University, where he graduated with honors.
Nina Sossamon-Pogue is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications and is responsible for developing and executing the company’s marketing, events, media and public relations strategy. Nina is an Emmy Award winning journalist and news anchor who brought 20 years of communications experience when she joined the company in 2007. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Nina was also a press secretary to Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, and the Executive Editor of a regional parenting magazine, The Pink and Blue Pages. Sossamon-Pogue is a graduate of Louisiana State University, a former member of the U.S. gymnastics team and was named a Woman of Distinction by the State of South Carolina.
As the Vice President of Human Resources, Leslie Jones places her primary focus on our human capital needs and our vibrant culture. Leslie provides Benefitfocus with a unique skill set in the areas of talent acquisition, performance management, compensation, leadership development and organizational development. Having previously served at Blackbaud as the company’s Director of HR, Leslie spent nearly half of her career at Sun Microsystems and has 20 years of experience in senior HR positions at a diverse group of software and technology companies including Storage Technology Corporation and Electronic Data Systems, an HP Company. Leslie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from the University of Denver. She is a certified Six Sigma Greenbelt and executive coach. Jones also serves on the Board of Directors at Yoga Benefits Kids, a non-profit organization.