Saeed founded Decision Point with the mission of improving health plan clinical, financial and operational performance through informed, data-driven predictions on strategic decisions. He has more than 25 years of health information technology experience, with a track record of developing innovative approaches to solve complex business problems. He has held key senior management positions at Eliza Corporation, Ingenix (currently Optum), IHCIS and ProVentive, where led high-performing teams focused creative uses of technology for practical problem- solving. Saeed is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Economics.
Irving Albrecht is a marketing executive with over 30 years of experience in healthcare &
financial services, startups and new market development. He brings significant experience in
areas including market research and development, market identification and development of
business plans; IT systems development and integration, CRM, direct marketing, attribution and
data analytics to drive direct conversion. Irving has significant skills in identification of
opportunities and development of business plans and deployment of corporate assets to enter
new markets. In addition, Irving is a highly seasoned marketing professional that has exceptional
experience in all aspects of marketing media including traditional, digital, social & experiential.
Currently Irving is Vice President of Marketing & Retail Sales at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South
Carolina. He is responsible for marketing communication and marketing research, direct and
retail marketing for the Group and Individual Area. In addition, to direct marketing inbound call
center operations for various product lines he has responsibility for retail store operations as
well as mobile marketing, direct sales field representatives and all direct marketing efforts;
including Direct Response TV, Direct Mail, Direct Inbound marketing and digital marketing.
Prior to his role at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina he was Mass Marketing Manager at
another insurance company and has spent 42 years in the insurance industry starting as a
college agent trainee for a large west coast mutual. He also was a full time adjunct marketing
instructor at the University of New Orleans where he taught Junior and Senior Marketing
In addition to his executive career, Irving has served as the Chair for many industry summits and conferences and has presented at over 35 on various healthcare and marketing topics, and has established himself as a thought leader in the field of healthcare & marketing. Irving is a former member of; United States Chess Federation national marketing committee , University of New Orleans MBA Corporate Advisory Board; and Former South Carolina State Chair for the March of Dimes Ride and currently serves on the Board of the South Carolina Senior Sports Classic. Irving obtained his Bachelors of Science in Marketing from The University of New Orleans. He also holds an MBA from the University of New Orleans. Irving is a Fellow with the Life Management Institute and a Fellow with the Academy for HealthCare Management.
Melissa is responsible for growth across health plans nationwide at GuideWell Connect. She has more than 20 years of experience in the health insurance industry, holding multiple leadership roles across national sales, account management, and strategy. Prior to her current role, she served on leadership teams at Independence Blue Cross, InstaMed, and CareCentrix where she focused on delivery to customers and enterprise alignment for growth. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University, and a CEBS from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Tracy has more than 20 years' experience in marketing and sales strategy, branding, and corporate communication focusing on healthcare and consumer behavior change. As the CMO of Friday Health Plans, Tracy oversees membership growth and engagement as the company expands into new markets. Before joining Friday, Tracy was Chief Marketing Officer for Colorado HealthOP, where she grew membership to 85,000 members in two years. Tracy also served as VP of Marketing for LiveWell Colorado, a state-wide nonprofit with a mission to reverse obesity. Tracy graduated from Northwestern University and holds a master's in integrated marketing communication from University of Colorado, Boulder.
Karen Fitzgerald, Director of Marketing and Communications, Health Plan of San Mateo Karen Fitzgerald is a results-oriented, customer-focused and highly enthusiastic professional with over 25 years of leadership experience in healthcare, banking and technology. As the Marketing & Communications Director at San Mateo Health Plan (HPSM), she is responsible for maintaining and increasing the organization's Medicare market share through development and implementation of the annual strategic business plan; positioning its brand and reputation; and driving all marketing, communications and sales initiatives. Karen joined HPSM in 2016 after spending 13 years as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, a Sutter Health affiliate. She has had a successful career in developing and executing strategic marketing, communication and sales plans; directing public relations; and championing leadership development and fundraising efforts.
Communications strategist and brand management expert Atoussa Fukuda forges the connection between ideas and action to drive businesses forward. Atoussa has devoted the past 20 years to conceptualizing and deploying marketing, advertising, employee engagement and branding campaigns for leading healthcare, real estate and banking companies. Known as both frontline nurturer and C-suite advisor, Atoussa distills multiple strategic points of view into cohesive, process-based solutions that keep all parties involved and engaged. Outside the corporate halls, Atoussa is a coloring book fan (way ahead of the current fad!), builds Lego structures with her daughter, takes on backgammon challenges, and collects cute shoes.
An expert in operational performance and excellence, Jenny has over 15 years of experience developing and implementing innovative organizational strategies to improve overall business performance and utilization. As a founding partner, Jenny has led engagements for clients in the Health Insurance and Insurance brokerage industries. Her functional expertise includes customer service, correspondence, claims, medical management, enrollment, brokerage servicing, policy management, underwriting operations, requirements development, and information technology. Working in collaboration with executives and their teams, Jenny focuses on developing strategic recommendations that make a positive impact on the customer experience by vastly improving internal processes and management. Jenny has led instructional design teams, developed member-centric operating models and best in industry training and skills development programs. Effective in both off- and on-shore projects, Jenny has experience handling aggressive ramp up timelines including 30-day implementations. A recognized Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and a Lectora Certified Advanced Author, an eLearning development tool. Jenny was a member of the Honor's Program at Babson College and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
As a recognized direct & digital marketing industry leader with 25+ years of experience, Scott Hopkins has overseen the strategy, development and execution for literally hundreds of successful B2B & B2C marketing programs for numerous Healthcare Brands including: Anthem, Aetna, Baxter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Cigna, Coventry, CDPHP, Health Net, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield and Secure Horizons. Scott is known for pioneering the vertically integrated business model for a direct & digital marketing agency, and executing integrated campaigns long before it was the norm. He's helped create some of the industry's best performing marketing programs powered by data driven creative strategies. All of these innovations had a common focus of maximizing his clients' ROI and making their working lives easier. Scott's extensive experience spans numerous industries and programs, including Medicare, where he (and Anderson) specializes in Age-in and New-to- Medicare, AEP, Pre and Post, SNPs, and Retention.
Billy Justice has over 20 years of experience as the Director of Marketing and Member Services for Vantage Health Plan, a Louisiana Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Vantage was created by physicians who wanted to help their patients and Louisiana employers manage the ever-increasing healthcare costs. This philosophy has set it apart from other insurance companies and that is a primary reason why it has been so successful. In June of 1996, Billy wrote the very first fully-insured Vantage policy which is now marketed throughout Louisiana. Billy was also instrumental in the development of the key products and outstanding customer service that have set Vantage apart from the industry standard. Vantage is helping lead the reform of healthcare in Louisiana by proving that coordinated care works through its Medical Home Model. Billy is actively involved with the Louisiana Associations of Health Plans, Louisiana Health Underwriters, and has served on the board level of numerous civic and charitable organizations.
DeAndre A. Lipscomb is vice president of Marketing & Community Outreach at Health Alliance
Plan of Michigan (HAP). He leads HAP's advertising and marketing, corporate communications,
member engagement, public relations, community outreach and health and wellness
Prior to joining HAP in 2011, DeAndre spent 13 years with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan,
most recently serving as director of Market Communications. He started as a newspaper
journalist and later added public relations and digital communications to his expertise. He
earned a bachelor's degree from the Wayne State University honors journalism program and a
master's degree in leadership from Central Michigan University.
DeAndre is an advocate for lifelong learning and professional development. He holds certifications in Reputation Management from the Public Relations Society of America and Corporate Citizenship Management from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He's also a certified website usability analyst through Human Factors International. He is a graduate and board member of the Leadership Oakland Cornerstone Program which brings leaders together to address regional issues. His professional and civic memberships include: International Association of Business Communicators, PRSA, American Marketing Association, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development and the NAACP.
Driven by his passion for children's issues and education, DeAndre was recently honored with mentoring awards from the Metro Youth YMCA and RESULTS Mentoring. He serves as an advisory board member for the YMCA and is a member of the Council for Michigan Foundations' Corporate Contributions Committee and Mentoring Program. In the past, he's mentored young men through Winning Futures, which was recognized as Michigan's 2007 Innovative Mentoring Program of the Year. He is also board president for Spaulding for Children, which connects children with foster care and adoptive family services. In his personal life, DeAndre enjoys spending time with his three sons and supporting the arts.
Jordan develops and leads NovuHealth's marketing and brand initiatives, as well as the end-to- end management of member-facing operations. Jordan brings a passion for analytics, loyalty operations and engagement, as well as strategic energy to NovuHealth.
Betsy Plunkett is the director of marketing and web strategies for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state agency that runs Maryland Health Connection, the state's health insurance marketplace. She joined the agency in 2013 and has been navigating the marketing department through uncharted waters ever since. Prior to joining MHBE, she worked in public affairs for Maryland Insurance Administration. Most of her career in journalism and marketing was spent in health care for ad agencies and hospitals in Baltimore. Betsy has a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Diego State University and a master's degree in communications design from University of Baltimore.
Sean Radlich is manager of digital experience for HealthNow New York Inc., headquartered in Buffalo, NY and with locations in Albany, NY, Blue Bell, PA and Sacramento, CA. In his role, Radlich strategically leads, develops and enhances HealthNow's digital experience by building and maintaining the company's websites, mobile apps and crafting its overall digital vision. Under his direction, HealthNow received the 2015 Best New Website of the Year award from Infotech Western New York. Additionally, Radlich's innovative efforts also earned the company the 2015 Silver ADDY from the Advertising Club of Buffalo and the Best of Blue award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. With over 17 years of digital marketing experience, Radlich previously served as vice president of digital and marketing services for Travers Collins, an integrated marketing firm. Prior to that, he was senior digital strategist for Canalside Media and digital manager for The Buffalo News. Radlich earned a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Buffalo. Radlich serves on the board of directors, the marketing committee and the strategic planning committee for the Epilepsy Association of Western New York. He also serves on the gala committee for Camp Good Days & Special Times. Radlich is also an active real estate investor and enjoys running, having completed 7 marathons.
Mark Santiago is the Vice President for Retail Outreach at MVP Health Care, a regional health
plan located in Schenectady, NY serving residents of New York and Vermont. Mark has always
been a champion for the underserved and disenfranchised members of society. He joined MVP
26 years ago working directly with the most vulnerable people in the community; in doing so, he
saw how having health coverage can literally give people a fighting chance at survival. With this
in mind, Mark developed community outreach strategies that reach the individual market in a
culturally sensitive way. Mark is driven by compassion and understanding, "we do what is right,
and we strive to help people live healthier, more productive lives."
Mark earned his BA in Business Organizational Management from Nyack College and sits on the Hispanic Advisory Board of Congresswoman Nita Lowey, US representative for New York's 17th district.
Today's health care industry demands a new way of thinking. Since joining ConnectiCare in 2014, Heidi Sirota has transformed the company's marketing and communications to prepare it to meet consumers' demands for simplicity and value. With many consumers now taking a much more active role in their health care decisions, Heidi and her team are helping them navigate the often confusing world of health insurance. In her role as the vice president of marketing and communications, she is focused on generating simple, relevant communications and programs that acquire and retain customers and engage members in their health care, helping them get the most out of their plans. Heidi previously held senior marketing leadership roles at Aetna, UnitedHealth Group's Optum division, and The Phoenix Companies. Heidi is also active in the local community, currently serving as a board member for Leadership Greater Hartford and vice president for the Windsor Education Foundation. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Loyola Marymount University and completed executive education from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Leah insists a great digital program is akin to great theater. You need a good script, excellent talent, a sound platform, and a compelling story. She should know. Before becoming an expert in the fine alchemy of the Web-and other electronic wizardry, she was an actress. Armed with a theatre degree from USC, she moved to New York to join her fellow performers behind the footlights,and continued studying acting as she climbed the corporate ladder in healthcare communications. Then, the promise of even more creativity drew her into amassing an impressive fifteen-year track record in digital marketing, helping clients build their brand and business with a strong Web presence. Rest assured, if it's online performance you're after, Leah is always in character.
As HAP's manager of Member Experience, Erika Thrubis is responsible for content marketing, including HAP's Balanced Living magazine and blog, and consumer experience in the Marketing and Community Outreach department. With nearly 20 years of experience in health care, Erika has developed many resources to help people live healthier lives. Since 2015, Erika has been a recipient of several awards, including the Health Information Awards and the Digital Health Awards. The Balanced Living blog she created for HAP was a finalist in the blog category for Ragan's 2017 Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Erika holds a bachelor's degree in advertising from Michigan State University and is pursuing a master's degree in communication studies from Wayne State University. She is a member of the Communication Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta, at Wayne State University.
Patrick Tracy is the Senior Director of Marketplace Operations for UPMC Health Plan of Pittsburgh. In addition, he also oversees the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) product at UPMC, known as UPMC for Kids, which is the largest CHIP program in Pennsylvania. Mr. Tracy has almost 20 years of experience in health care administration and consulting, with a focus on product implementations, operations, and regulatory compliance. He has presented at national conferences on many topics, including member retention and engagement, Exchange compliance, and regulatory audit readiness. Prior to joining UPMC Health Plan, Mr. Tracy was a health and human services consultant with Deloitte in Pittsburgh and with CGI Group, Inc., in New York City. He has a B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and an M.P.A. from New York University.
Kurt Waltenbaugh is a serial entrepreneur with a career focused on the consumer: using data to predict and influence behavior. Understanding consumer behavior, Kurt has built successful analytic solutions, products and companies in the health care, retail, education, and credentialing industries. His previous companies were sold to Oracle and Pearson Education. Most recently, Kurt was responsible for product strategy at Optum, Inc. (UnitedHealth Group), building data analytic businesses for the provider, payer and employer markets.