DoubleTree Hotel | Westborough, MA | Thursday May 2, 2019


Chris Powers
President, MassAHU
Sr. VP Employee Benefits, Risk Strategies Company


David Contorno
The Hilb Group, Lake Norman Benefits

David Contorno is President of Lake Norman Benefits, now part of the Hilb Group and one of the employee benefit practice leaders inside this now top 40 largest insurance agency. As a native of New York, David began his career in the insurance industry at the age of 14, and has since become a leading expert in the realm of employee benefits over the last 21 years. The Hilb Group continues to grow organically by ensuring all management is handled locally, providing top notch solutions and supports, and through strategic acquisitions.

Among his many accolades, David received a Broker Spotlight in 2004 and was recognized as an outstanding Broker of Service in 2005 through 2014 by Blue Cross Blue Shield. He has continually received the Echelon Award by United Healthcare since 2003, reserved for the top 1% of agents nationally, and was a 2015 "40 Under 40" Award Winner presented by Charlotte Business Journal. Most recently, David was Benefits Selling Magazine's 2015 Broker of the Year and, in March 2016, Forbes deemed him "One of America's Most Innovative Benefits Leaders."

David is a member of the Board of Directors for both the Charlotte Association of Health Underwriters and Healthreach Community Clinic. He served on the NC Insurance Commissioners Life and Health Agent Advisory Committee, as well as participated in the Technical Advisory Group that helped with the Market Reforms required under the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina. He is a long-time member of the Lake Norman and South Iredell Chambers of Commerce as well as the National, North Carolina, New York and Long Island Associations of Health Underwriters. David contributes to numerous publications, including Forbes, Benefits Selling Magazine, Business Leader Magazine and Insurance Thought Leadership.

David is committed to giving back to his community and actively participates in the membership drive for the United Way, assisting the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and supporting The Dove House Child Advocacy Center. When he is not working, he enjoys boating, traveling, and being with his wife, Heather, and their two children, Hannah and Ethan.

Jeffrey S. Gold, MD
Gold Direct Care

Jeffrey S. Gold, M.D. grew up in Swampscott and attended Swampscott high school, graduating in 1993.  He went on to study Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology in 1997. Upon completion of college, Dr. Gold returned to Massachusetts and was accepted into the class of 2002 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Electing to study Family Medicine, Dr. Gold moved to Scottsdale, AZ, where he spent three years in residency at Scottsdale Healthcare.  In 2005, Dr. Gold returned to his hometown to begin his career as a Family Medicine Doctor.

After working as an employed physician for 8 years, Dr. Gold began to get increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy of medicine that resulted in less of his time spent on caring for his patients. In a system that was more concerned with the quantity of patients that he saw in a day, rather than the quality of care that he provided to his patients, Dr. Gold began to seek out alternative opportunities to practice medicine the way in which he always envisioned.  In 2014, Dr. Gold began to hear about a movement in the Primary Care world of medicine called Direct Primary Care (DPC). This model of care establishes a direct, contractual relationship with the patient and physician and focuses on true patient-centered care. It also provides a much leaner, lower-overhead business model as a result. DPC allows Dr. Gold to spend unlimited time with his patients; to schedule appointments for patients that fit into the demands of their schedule; to communicate with him via cell phone; e-mail; or text; and to cut out the amount of time spent on paperwork by not contracting with insurance companies.  After spending a week visiting a DPC practice in the Mid-west, upon his return Dr. Gold felt passionately about opening his own DPC practice, the first in the state of MA.  While it would be a considerable risk, Dr. Gold made the decision to move forward with his dream, and in January, 2015 he opened Gold Direct Care in Marblehead, MA.

Dr. Gold sits on the National Direct Primary Care Steering Committee. He is also co-founder of the New England Direct Primary Care Alliance, National Direct Primary Care Alliance, Massachusetts DPC Coalition and Massachusetts Free Market Medical Association.

Joe Lawler, CEBS
The Gaudreau Group

Joe has been a key member of The Gaudreau Group’s team since 2000. As one of the very few “Certified Employee Benefits Specialists” in Western Massachusetts, he specializes in the Corporate Employee Benefits market for firms of all sizes, with a focus on firms with 50 or more employees.

Not only has Joe amassed his own extensive knowledge of markets and trends in the Employee Benefits industry, but he also has access to the experiences of more than 2,000 benefits professionals via The Gaudreau Group’s partnership with United Benefit Advisors. UBA is an invitation-only alliance of the nation’s premier independent advisory firms.

Prior to joining The Gaudreau Group, Joe was an Account Manager with MassMutual/UniCare for over 14 years in various parts of the U.S. He completed the intensive Mass Mutual Group School in 1986.

Joe participates in various civic and professional organizations. He has served as President and National Committeeman of the Springfield Association of Life Underwriters (now NAIFA). Joe is a board member for the Springfield Regional Chamber, Legislative Steering Committee and Health Care Sub-Committee, has served as Treasurer of the Hampden / Wilbraham Chamber of Commerce and is now the Treasurer of the ERC 5.

Joe is a member of a number of the health insurance carriers’ Broker Advisory boards and was appointed by Gov. Mitt Romney as the Vice-Chair of the Health Care Quality & Cost Council in 2006. He is also a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters, and serves as the chair of the Legislative Committee.

David A. Shore
SVP, Borislow Insurance

As Senior Vice President, Enterprise Strategy & Risk Management, David is responsible for the overall strategic direction and development of group sales, retention, client service and renewals at BI. He works closely with his team to design employee benefit programs that meet each clients’ unique objectives and challenges.

Before joining BI, David was Vice President of Sales and Leader of the Employee Benefits Underwriting Practice at The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Assistant Vice President of Sales and Service for William Gallagher Associates (WGA) and a Sales Executive in the Boston office of Great-West Life & Annuity.

David is a nationally recognized expert on Employee Benefits, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and Health & Welfare Compliance. Benefits Selling Magazine named David a Finalist for Broker of the Year in 2010. He is quoted and published regionally and nationally in the Boston Business Journal, Worcester Business Journal, Employee Benefits Advisor, and Employee Benefit News and is frequently a featured speaker. David has appeared as a healthcare reform expert on Boston’s Fox25News and CBS’s Keller at Large.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, David is a board member and current president at the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters (MassAHU), and was recently selected to the Legislative Council of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). David serves on various insurance company advisory boards, as well as the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector ( “The Marketplace”) Broker Advisory Council (BAC) and Steering Committee. In his role as President of the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters, David works closely with a number of Massachusetts state agencies on health care and related insurance policy issues, including the Office of the Assistant Attorney General (AAG), Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), Health Policy Commission (HPC), Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), and the Division of Insurance (DOI).

James Slotnick, J.D.
AVP, Government Relations, Sun Life Financial

James Slotnick is Assistant Vice President, Government Relations, for Sun Life Financial U.S. James represents Sun Life’s interests to elected officials and regulators, focusing on issues that impact the Group Life, Disability, Dental, Vision, Voluntary, and Stop-Loss industries.

Over the last 15 years James has held various roles within Sun Life’s Client and Technology Services, Distribution, and Legal departments. Prior to his current role, James served as a member of the Integration Management Team for the acquisition of Assurant Employee Benefits, in 2016.

James regularly speaks to audiences across the country about the changing dynamics in Washington and impacts to the employee benefits industry.

James holds a BA from Saint Anselm College, an MBA from Suffolk University's Sawyer School of Management, and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. In 2017 he was named one of LIMRA’s “Rising Stars of Distribution Under 40”.

CEO Panelists

Richard Burke
Fallon Health

Tom Croswell
Tufts Health Plan

Andrew Dreyfus
Blue Cross Blue Shield MA
Mark Santos
Eric Schultz
Harvard Pilgrim
David Segal
Neighborhood Health Plan

Stephen Farrell, UnitedHealthcare of New England







"All organizations require one core competency: innovation." - Peter Drucker

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