Shawn Jenkins is an entrepreneur and technology visionary known for transforming the massive employer benefits industry by moving it to the cloud. He is the co-founder and CEO of Benefitfocus and leads the company with a passion for design and engineering. Benefitfocus provides employers and insurance carriers with powerful technology to enable better health, wealth and wellness decisions.
Jenkins has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being recognized as a South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovators Summit. He also received the Trailblazer Award from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the ThinkTEC Award for leadership in advancing a knowledge-based economy in the Charleston region. Jenkins has been featured in multiple publications including the prestigious New York Times Corner Office column.
With a passion for engineering and education, Jenkins serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Computing at Clemson University and was a member of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Board of Directors, the College of Charleston Board of Governors, the Charleston Southern University Board of Visitors and the Lowcountry Food Bank Board of Directors. Prior to founding Benefitfocus, he served as Vice President at American Pensions.
Jenkins has focused his personal philanthropy on advancing children’s health care through his contributions to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.
Jenkins holds an MBA from Charleston Southern University, a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College, and has his commercial pilot’s license. He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife and three children.
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.
Ray August serves as President and Chief Operating Officer. He joined the company in 2014 and oversees operational functions, sales and customer support efforts. Prior to joining the company, Mr. August served as the General Manager for the Financial Services division of CSC, a multi-billion dollar organization with over 10,000 employees around the world. During his sixteen years at CSC, Mr. August held several leadership roles. Prior to CSC, Mr. August was Chief Technology Officer at Great Plains Software. Previously Mr. August held a management position at Price Waterhouse. He earned a B.S. in Accounting from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
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 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 Commercial Officer since August 2014. In this role he oversees sales, marketing and partnering relationships. Mr. Howell joined the company in 2007, and during his tenure has served as our Chief Operating Officer from June 2010 to July 2014; Senior Vice President and General Manager of the insurance carrier business unit from June 2009 to June 2010; and Senior Vice President and General Counsel from April 2007 to June 2009. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Mr. Howell was 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 is responsible for the finance and accounting function at Benefitfocus, including financial planning and analysis, internal financial reporting, revenue management 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 with honors from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Greg McLain is responsible for the areas of compliance and tax at Benefitfocus, including the management of the company's initiatives for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, 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. 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. Brewer 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.
Chris Shee is the Vice President of Employer Sales at Benefitfocus and is responsible for leading all sales efforts across the country for the Employer business unit. With more than 23 years of experience in sales and business development, his expertise ranges from human resource technology consulting to expanding market share for large software and technology companies. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Chris was a National Account Sales Manager for ADP. Chris received a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Akron, where he was also a member of the football team.
Rebecca Bernson serves as our Senior Vice President of Sales Operations and Channel Sales. She leads the Sales Operations team and is responsible for supporting the Carrier, Employer and Channel Sales teams. With over 30 years of experience in senior sales leadership positions, Bernson has worked with a diverse group of software and technology companies including ADP and Xerox. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and serves on the Advisory Board of the Sales Management Association.
Nina Sossamon-Pogue is the Vice President of Benefitfocus Media and is responsible for the Benefitfocus Media & Animation department. She 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, she 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. Jones 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, she 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. Jones 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.