Alexis Abramson, PhD is the global authority on Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Gen G and the Boomer consumer. She is an inspiring speaker, blogger, corporate consultant, successful author, and award-winning entrepreneur. Her commitment to multi-generations has been featured in many national publications, including TIME, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and People. Dr. Abramson is an Emmy and Gracie award-winning journalist who has appeared frequently as an on-air expert gerontologist for NBC’s Today show, CNN, CBS, FOX, MSNBC and numerous other media outlets. In addition to her own popular blog, Dr. Alexis is a featured contributor for many top tier websites. She is also highly-sought after as a keynote speaker at industry conferences. Abramson speaks to Fortune 100/500 corporations, consumers, government agencies, and non-profits bringing awareness of the intergenerational dynamic between four distinct generations. As a proven industry consultant, Dr. Abramson has worked closely with many major organizations, including L’Oreal Paris, COMCAST, Harvard, Kroger, Northwestern Mutual, Proctor & Gamble, Humana, AIG, Kimberly-Clark, Walmart, AARP and many more. She is the author of several highly-acclaimed books. Her next two books, Gen “G”: The Generation of Growth™ and Managing Your Multi-Generational Workforce will both be published in the Fall of 2019. Her dedication to multi-generations has won Dr. Abramson a number of professional accolades, including Working Woman Magazine’s General Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Atlanta Small Business’ Person of the Year Award, 40 Under 40 Award, American Society of Aging’s Outstanding Business Award, and many others. Dr. Abramson received her Doctorate in Gerontology from the prestigious University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology.
Jessica Assefa leads efforts to maximize outcomes for government regulated, Quality focused programs including Star Ratings, rewards & incentives, provider experience, value-based contracting, HEDIS, CAHPS, and HOS for ATRIO Health Plans’ multiple Medicare Advantage contracts in collaboration with key internal and external stakeholders.
Prior to joining ATRIO Health Plans, Jessica served as the Senior Director over the Star Ratings consulting divisions for Gorman Health Group and Healthscope Advisors. She brings over 20 years of diverse experience and achievement in managed care, quality improvement and clinical operations. She has strong Medicare, Medicaid, Marketplace, and dual eligible programs knowledge. Jessica is also an experienced national conference presenter on the topics of heath care quality improvement and Medicare Star Ratings. She brings over 10 years of direct managed care experience including delegated case management oversight and quality ratings program leadership, in addition to her years of nursing experience in the states of MN, IN and NY, primarily focused on geriatric, disabled and dual-eligible populations.
With over 25 years in sales leadership, Larry is an expert on sales, marketing & retention in the Medicare field. He has worked for both large state-wide plans as well as smaller regional plans. He takes pride in helping others reach their goals and enjoys working in an industry that assists people access health care.
Larry is married with three daughters who have all received their bachelor’s degrees. Larry is a UCLA graduate who loves college athletics and eating. He is a self-certified grill master.
Jotham’s journey in Health Insurance began over 20 years ago where he worked for a Brokerage in Mid-Missouri. He later moved to the carrier side working for companies such as Anthem BCBS, United Healthcare, and Essence Healthcare before joining the CommuniCare Family of Companies in 2023. In his latest role, he leads the Growth effort in existing and expansion markets, manages the employed sales representatives, and oversees the sales operation. His current responsibilities include setting the strategy to grow plan membership, evaluating entry into new markets and overseeing the development and integration of new systems into the sales process. When he is not working his day job, Jotham can be found at the baseball field watching his son throw a filthy curveball, at a convention center watching his daughter flip across the stage as a competitive cheerleader or on a mountain hiking a back-country trail. Jotham has had the opportunity to speak coast to coast on topics such as leadership, operations and Medicare, and brings humor and excitement to the platform to keep the audience engaged in the conversation.
Kristy Croom Tucker Director of Member Experience & Acquisition
BayCare Health Plans
Kristy Croom Tucker is the Director of Member Experience & Acquisition for BayCare Health Plans, a subsidiary of BayCare Health System—the largest health system in the Tampa Bay area. BayCare Health Plans’ first insurance plan, BayCarePlus Medicare Advantage, began in January 2019, currently serves about 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries across four counties and is rated Five Stars by CMS for the 2022 plan year.
Kristy started at BayCare in 2011 as a hospital marketing manager and oversaw the marketing of four hospitals and the system-wide marketing of several key service lines, including cardiovascular services and neurosciences. In 2014, Kristy moved on to become the System Marketing Manager for Consumers for BayCare. In that role, she oversaw the marketing of BayCare’s extensive ambulatory division and the development and marketing of several mobile applications. Kristy also oversaw the development and launch of BayCare’s first brand campaign—Humanity at Work. Kristy transitioned to the health plan with the launch of BayCarePlus Medicare Advantage.
Prior to her role at BayCare, Kristy was Director of Communication for Rasmussen College. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas. Rock chalk Jayhawk!
When she’s not thinking about branding, member experience and cost-per-acquisition, Kristy enjoys being the mom of two perfect angels, Gabriella and Sebastian. The Tucker family enjoys going on adventures, being outdoors, craft beers and traveling.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Medicare
Kortney Cruz Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Medicare
Independence Blue Cross
As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Medicare at Independence Blue Cross, Kortney is a long-time leader accountable for marketing Medicare products and services to the communities we serve and helping those communities enroll in the Medicare coverage they need. She is directly responsible for acquisition and member retention marketing, product development, sales operations, and sales management at Independence in the Medicare area. Her goal is to deliver innovative and value-driven communications, and she is passionate about enriching the connection between Independence Blue Cross and our membership.
Aaron Davis is a technology leader with extensive experience in patient centric healthcare technology. He is the Head of Hosted Solutions for ConnectureDRX's Plan Compare ONE, a Medicare shopping, quoting, enrollment, and retention platform. Aaron comes from a background in consumer research and product experimentation, running rapid research projects for Fortune 500s such as AARP, Cigna, Experian, and Intuit. Previously, he has served in an innovation role to build a patient engagement platform for individuals with rare diseases. He has a BA in finance and was a University Innovation Fellow at Stanford University's d.school.
Dr. Shannon Decker is principal at VBC One, a consulting firm assisting physician groups, health plans and vendors maximize the performance of their value based contracts and offerings. Dr. Decker has more than 20 years experience in health care and most recently led teams in risk, quality, data and analytics, telehealth, COVID response and delegation compliance. Of her more than 20 years of experience in healthcare--15 include working with risk adjustment, quality and Medicare. Dr. Decker has a PhD. in Interdisciplinary Studies, dual MBA degrees--in Finance and in Marketing, as well as an M.Ed. in Secondary Education and a M.Ed. in Administration and Leadership. Dr. Decker is on the faculty at Arizona State University and is also an associate professor of Higher Education & Adult Learning (HEAL) and chief methodologist for Walden and Capella Universities where she chairs and oversees the dissertations of doctoral students. An author of two books and several peer-reviewed articles, and a prolific national public speaker, her interests include the study of human behavior and how theories on motivation and learning may be brought to bear on population health management.
Meridith Elliott Powell
Business Growth, Sales, and Leadership Expert & Best-Selling Author
Meridith Elliott Powell Business Growth, Sales, and Leadership Expert & Best-Selling Author
Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts, Top 100 Sales Influencers by LinkedIn, and Top 41 Motivational Speakers. Meridith Elliott Powell is an award-winning author, keynote speaker and business strategist. With a background in corporate leadership and sales, her career expands over several industries including financial services, healthcare and finance.
Meridith worked her way up from entry-level to earn her position in the C-Suite. Writing and executing strategy to help leaders master uncertainty, achieve growth and build talent at every level of their organizations. She has been inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on less than one-percent of professional speakers, incoming Chair of the National Speakers Association, A Master Certified Business Growth Strategist, A Certified Executive Coach and Certified Speaking Professional. In addition, Meridith is an invitation-only author for LinkedIn with more than 750,000 learners taking her business growth courses around the world. With a passion for helping her clients learn the strategies they need to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage. Meridith has a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. She is the author of nine books, including “THRIVE: Turning Uncertainty to Competitive Advantage” and Who Comes Next? Leadership Succession Planning Made Easy, written with Dr. Mary Kelly. Both books have won the top honors for the Benjamin Franklin Independent Books Sellers Award. One of the highest honors for business books.
Meridith is regularly featured in publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Investment News, and American Banker among others. High energy and highly interactive, she helps leaders and business owners learn the new rules of success today, and the strategies they need to Thrive in Uncertainty. You can find her inspiring message and strategies on both of her podcasts: Sales Logic – the “logical” approach to selling successfully in challenging times, and THRIVE – where Meridith interviews leaders, sales professionals and business owners who have transformed their organizations to turn uncertainty to opportunity.
Principal, Markets Growth Lifestyle Medicine Marketing & PR - MindBody Medicine
Jessica Gonzalez-Arias Principal, Markets Growth Lifestyle Medicine Marketing & PR - MindBody Medicine
Blue Shield of CA
Jessica is a born storyteller with 12+ years of strategic creative marketing experience. She is a champion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who infuses DE&I into the DNA of every campaign, project, and teams that she touches. She has served as a thought-leader for multicultural creative strategy for Healthcare, Entertainment and CPG, brands.
Jessica currently serves as the Principle, Lifestyle Medicine Marketing & PR in the MindBody Medicine Markets Growth team for Blue Shield of California. As a thought-leader for diverse marketing, she is driving strategic cross-company multicultural initiatives, and culturally relevant audience activations with the goal of achieving health equity.
Kansas Assistance Network, LLC/Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
A Marketing professional at Mass Advantage, with over 24 years of Medicare marketing experience. Skilled at planning and developing marketing strategies and initiatives that support the membership growth of Medicare products. Proven track record of creating and executing successful, measurable campaigns for Medicare customer acquisition and retention, including offline and online campaigns.
Ana Handshuh, Principal at CAT5 Strategies, is a government programs executive with expertise in creating and implementing corporate programs for the healthcare industry. Her background includes Quality, Core Measures, Care Management, Benefit Design and Bid Submission, Accreditation, Regulatory Compliance, Revenue Management, Communications, Community-based Care Management Programs and Technology Integration. Ms. Handshuh currently serves on the Board of the Resource Initiative and Society for Education (RISE), the preeminent national professional association dedicated to managed and accountable care financing and delivery. She is a sought after speaker on the national healthcare circuit in the areas of Quality, Star Ratings, Care Management, Member and Provider Engagement, and Revenue Management. Her recent consultancy roles have included assisting organizations create programs to address the unmet care management needs in the highest risk strata of membership, document their processes and procedures, achieve accreditation status, design and submit government program bids, institute corporate-wide programs and create communications strategies and materials. She possesses sophisticated business acumen with the ability to build consensus with cross-functional groups to accomplish corporate goals. Ms. Handshuh served as the Vice President of Managed Care Services at Central Florida Inpatient Medicine (CFIM). In this role, she provided leadership and strategy on CFIM projects and collaborations with physicians, risk entities, hospital health care systems, and health plans. CFIM is the largest Hospitalist group in Central Florida, with 70 providers discharging over 50,000 patients annually from multiple hospitals across two health care delivery systems and 24 skilled nursing facilities. At CFIM Ms. Handshuh previously served as the Vice President of Operations. Prior to those assignments, she worked with Precision Healthcare Systems as their Vice President of Quality Improvement. In that capacity, she led the IPA’s Quality efforts and collaborated with payers on implementing programs to move the needle on Quality and Star Rating initiatives. Ms. Handshuh also served as the Director of Corporate Program Development at Physicians United Plan. In this role, she led the Quality Management and Corporate Communications departments and spearheaded the development of innovative integrated technology solutions to drive business excellence and Star Rating achievement initiatives. For the past fifteen years Ms. Handshuh has taken an active role in redefining and implementing changes that have led to improvements and greater efficiency within Government programs and healthcare delivery. Prior to joining Physicians United Plan Ms. Handshuh was the founder of I-Six Creative. Under Ms. Handshuh’s vision and leadership, I-Six Creative provided expertise in the areas of managed Medicare benefit design, MSO/IPA operations, provider network strategy, new market launches, technology integration, corporate communications and quality improvement.
As a recognized growth leader in the direct and digital marketing industry, Scott has overseen the strategy, development, and execution for thousands of successful D2C marketing programs for some of the nation’s leading brands, including Anthem, Cigna, Crystal Cruises, AAA, Union Bank and Fed Ex Office.
Scott is known for strategic thought leadership and being the “teller of the truth”, which has led to the development and execution of truly integrated campaigns long before they were the norm. He has helped create some of the industry’s best performing marketing programs powered by data driven creative strategies and flawless execution. His constant focus for the past 33 years has been maximizing his clients’ ROI and making their working lives easier.
Naomi Irvin is a California native who began calling North Carolina home in 2006. She earned her BSBA with a Management concentration and MBA with a Marketing certificate from East Carolina University (ECU). With nearly 15 years of health insurance experience, Naomi supports Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as Chief of Staff. In that role she is focused on providing strategic alignment, accountability, communications, and enablement.
Having participated in Leadership North Carolina’s 2020-2021 cohort, Naomi has taken on the role of Program Chair for the 2021-2022 cohort and sits on the Leadership North Carolina board of Directors.
When not working, Naomi enjoys spending time with her kids (Josh, Hayley, and Milena) and pup (Juliet Bean). Josh is a senior at ECU, Hayley is a rising Junior at Elon University, and Milena is a 5th grader. One of the most rewarding things Naomi does with her family is volunteering with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and KABOOM!. A devourer and collector of books, Naomi retreats to her home office and packed bookshelves when she needs a break.
Margaret Mood is the Vice President, Sales and Marketingfor Mass Advantage, a local provider-sponsored MA plan in the central Massachusetts market.
As the former Director of Sales in the Senior Programs Department at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, she was is involved in the development of long and short term marketing strategies and is responsible for development and implementation of sales strategies for Harvard Pilgrim’s Medicare Products (nongroup). She oversees all sales channels responsible for growth of Medicare nongroup options (internal sales, call center, brokers and exchanges). As a member of the Senior Programs Leadership Team, she also lends her expertise to product development and retention strategies.
Margaret has been involved with direct selling to the senior population since 1994 working for Fallon Health Plan, before joining Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in 1997.
Ms. Mood is a graduate of Assumption College (Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management) located in Worcester, MA and received her MBA from Anna Maria College, Paxton MA.
Previously, Jay was Washington correspondent for TIME Magazine, where she remains a contributor. At TIME she covered politics as well as stories on five continents from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti and the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. She has written nearly a dozen TIME cover stories and interviewed numerous heads of state, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
She authored the 2016 best-selling book, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.
Before TIME, Jay was a reporter for Bloomberg News, where she covered the White House and politics.
Jay received an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Art History from Tufts University. She is a 2017 Halcyon Incubator fellow, a 2016-2017 New America fellow and a 2015 Harvard Institute of Politics fellow. She is the 2016 winner of the prestigious Dirksen Award for congressional reporting and the 2016 Deadline Club award for community service reporting.
Medicare Sales, Marketing, and Retention Professional
Justin is Vice President of Integrated Marketing at DMW. He oversees all digital and traditional media marketing efforts as well as web development within DMW.
He has over two decades of experience spanning web strategy, user experience, digital marketing, and web analytics. At DMW, he oversees direct marketing campaigns for health care and health insurance providers. However, he also has deep experience working across retail, telecom and B2B industries.
Jason Vallejos is the EVP & CSO for Syndicated Insurance Agency, a Limited Liability Company founded in 2003. Syndicated is a multi-line general agency offering all lines of coverage including Life, Health, Property & Casualty insurance with a strong focus on Medicare Plan sales as a National Field Marketing Organization. As Executive Vice President, Jason is head of sales, marketing and training for all sub-agencies working with Syndicated and fosters win-win relationships with professional partners including medical groups & Independent Physician Associations.
Syndicated’s approach to marketing is to work in collaboration with professional advisors such as healthcare providers, CPA’s, business, and estate planning attorneys to help develop long-term protection plans and growth for his clients. As the industry and the needs of our community change, Jason continues rigorous educational standards in Senior Health Care, Life, Long-Term Care and Business Insurance.
At a young age, Jason volunteered with various charities and organizations including the American Red Cross. In 1994 Jason assisted the victims of the Northridge Earthquake with claims filing, shelter, food, and clothing, as an American Red Cross volunteer. This is where Jason first understood the necessity of insurance and the value it brings to communities during disasters. Later, as a healthcare business analyst, Jason developed a passion for helping seniors with their healthcare needs while learning the operational and analytical support that runs a major carrier. Through this diverse career background, Jason acquired business knowledge, actuarial analysis, insurance, networking and managed care experience. Jason Vallejos was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and resides in the Ventura County area.
Jason has a passion for people and is driven by a set of core values including integrity, excellence and innovation, focusing on client satisfaction and retention, teamwork, continuous improvement, mentoring, growth and success. Jason is an accomplished and results driven top performing leader known for his industry knowledge, organizational and leadership abilities and his focus on win-win solutions for his clients and partners.
With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, I am a sales leader with expertise in Medicare and retirement solutions. I am passionate about providing quality and affordable health care options to seniors and helping them achieve their wellness goals. As the Vice President of Sales for the West Region at ATRIO Health Plans, I oversee all sales efforts in the West footprint, including analyzing metrics, optimizing territories, and implementing strategies to ensure continued growth and brand recognition.
In my current role, I work collaboratively with the West Sales Team to develop sales training programs, recruit and retain sales force, and gain and maintain strategic relationships with external and internal partners. I report directly to the Chief Sales Officer and contribute to the overall vision and mission of the organization. I leverage my skills in performance metrics, new business opportunities, and negotiation to drive sales results and customer satisfaction. I am proud to be part of a team that is committed to delivering excellence, innovation, and value to our members and stakeholders.
In my free time, you will find me cheering on my 2 children at one of their football, soccer or wrestling events. Our family loves adventure and travel. We particularly appreciate the water and warm, sunny vacation spots. When not out and about, I challenge myself with home makeover projects.