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Board of Directors and Staff
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Kristie Howard, CEBS, CWWPC
Board Chair

Kristie is a Principal in the Health and Benefits practice at Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. As Principal, Kristie manages relationships with corporate clients, leading the design and execution of their long term benefits, wellness and health management strategies. Prior to joining Mercer in 2014, Kristie was a Vice President at Longfellow Benefits. At Longfellow, she was responsible for managing client relationships as well as overseeing Longfellow’s Wellness consulting practice, where she advised clients on wellness program strategy, design, vendor selection, communication, and evaluating outcomes.

Kristie is a considered an expert in the field of worksite wellness and her articles have been published in The Boston Business Journal, Business and Legal Reports (BLR), Employee Benefit News, Employee Benefit Advisor, Risk and Insurance Magazine, and Women’s Business Boston.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University and holds her Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) and Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant (CWWPC) designations. Kristie is a co-founder of the Worksite Wellness Council of MA and is a member of various other industry organizations both locally and nationally. Kristie is also an active member of the Boston Club, one of the largest communities of women executives and professional leaders in the Northeast.

Saul Lookner                                                                                  
Vice Chair

Saul is the Plan Director for the HomeBenefitIQ program. Saul is responsible for all aspects of the program including acquiring and overseeing accounts, overseeing volunteers, marketing, and communication. Saul is heavily involved with NEHRA (Northeast Human Resources Association) and serves on the Membership Committee for the NEEBC (New England Employee Benefits Council). Prior to his 4 ½ years with HBIQ, Saul spent 11 years as Senior Executive Recruiter for a small recruiting firm based in Washington DC. Saul has an MBA in Management from Bentley University and a BS in Public Relations from Boston University. Saul lives with his wife and two children in Newton, MA.

 

Erin McGarry  
Treasurer

Erin McGarry is the CFO of MeYou Health, a Boston-based company with a turn-key wellness platform that enables small and midsize businesses to increase employee well-being in measurable ways. MeYou Health employs 35 people and has repeatedly appeared on the Boston Globe’s “Top Places to Work” list. The company is backed by investors from Ballast Point Ventures of Tampa, Florida.

Erin started her career in the Boston audit group at KPMG.  She has worked for BCBS of MA and consulted for Accountalent Management. She joined QuitNet in 2004 as CFO, and after selling QuitNet to Axia and working on Healthways’ acquisition of Axia, worked in various areas of finance and accounting at Healthways. In 2009, Healthways, under the direction of then-CEO Ben Leedle and former MeYou Health CEO Chris Cartter, formed MeYou Health. A wholly owned subsidiary of Healthways, MeYou Health asked Erin to join as CFO. MeYou Health’s executive team spun out the company from Healthways in 2016. 

Erin’s ability to multitask is critical to the success of a startup organization. Her deep understanding of accounting, finance, and contracting are just a few of her contributions. She also runs the human resources department, manages privacy and security for the organization, and oversees the facility’s functions.

Erin has a BS in accounting from Lehigh University and is a member of the Boston CFO Leadership Council. She currently resides on the South Shore with her husband Steve and is the proud mother to four children: Billy, Annie, Ben, and Mary Margaret.

Jennifer Forgione Riley                                                      
Secretary

Mrs. Riley is an accomplished healthcare businesswomen and driver of revenue growth with significant expertise in consulting and management. She has 20+ years of experience working in the healthcare industry and is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. Jennifer started her career providing direct patient care as a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant in various care settings. In 2000, she branched out of direct patient care and moved into medical group management where she increased the depth of her business skills.  After years of working on the client side, she wanted an opportunity to help others like herself navigate the turbulent business of healthcare operations while continuing to provide high quality patient care. In 2011, Jennifer joined athenahealth. She now holds a position as Director of Account Management, now managing a $35M book of business focused on Urgent Care, Convenient Care, and Telemedicine. Tackling strategic and organizational changes in the rapidly evolving healthcare technology landscape, she has a deep knowledge of current industry dynamics in the healthcare delivery space, including patient centric care coordination, value-based reimbursement & consumer-driven models. Jennifer’s past and current healthcare experience will greatly complement the work and mission of the WWCMA.

 

Jennifer earned her Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant from Fisher College and her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from University of Phoenix. She joined the WWCMA in early 2016 to learn more about how the Council was approaching population health and wellness from the worksite perspective.  She has been able to discern the connections between the work of the Council and the work her clients are providing to support employer programs (i.e. health screenings, biometric screenings, accessible/affordable alternatives to the ER), which opened up a space for new ideas and collaboration opportunities.  She began volunteering on the WWCMA Programs Committee in March of 2016 where she continues to serve.  In addition to her work with WWCMA, Jennifer is an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, Boston Chapter and serves as the HBA Ambassador at athenahealth building programs to help demystify gender parity in leadership roles across the company.

Thomas Doane, MBA, PHR  
Member-at-Large

Tom’s current role is SVP, Human Resources at Avidia Bank.  He is responsible for leading the human resources function for Avidia including talent acquisition, employee learning and development, compensation and benefits strategy, and performance management.  In addition to his ten plus years of experience in recruiting and HR, Tom has prior experience in graduate student recruitment and continuing education programming.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters of Business Administration from Clark University and is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

 

Deb Gorhan, MS, MCHES 
Member-at-Large

Deb Gorhan is a strategic thinker with a passionate focus for creating environments, networks and programs that provide opportunities for individuals and organizations to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles. She has provided leadership for the delivery of worksite programs impacting the built environment, culture and lives of employees worldwide, such as the J&J healthy eating initiative, eatcomplete; Energy for Performance®; the rollout of the Global J&J Tobacco Free Workplace Policy, and the global expansion of Healthy & Me™, J&J’s first globally accessible employee health mobile digital platform.  In her current role she leads projects ranging from deploying global exercise reimbursement, developing healthy eating policy implementation and stakeholder analysis plans to standardizing a global medical preplacement process. 

 

Deb has presented to external partners such as HERO, NBGH, WWCMA and CEO’s Against Cancer and participated in the CDC expert panel for Worksite Obesity Prevention and Control.  In addition to her work with WWCMA, she is on the Board of Directors for the Center for Active Design, a non-profit organization using design to foster healthy and engaged communities.

 

Deb received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the Pennsylvania State University, Master of Science in Health Promotion from Springfield College and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).  Deb is currently the Global Planning and Governance Lead for Johnson & Johnson's Global Health Services.


Kathy Hewes, MS, RD, LDN, CWPC, CWP
Member-at-Large

Kathy is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist who has worked in the health promotion and worksite wellness field for over twenty-five years. She has a wealth of worksite wellness experience derived from previous roles as wellness account manager for two area health insurance carriers, a national health & fitness management company and most recently an institution of higher education. Kathy has been a lecturer and provider of nutrition and fitness consulting services at many area companies and organizations.

Kathy received her undergraduate degree in Food & Nutrition from the University of Maine and her Master of Science degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire. She is a Certified Wellness Practitioner with the National Wellness Institute, a Certified Wellness Program Manager through the Chapman Institute; is a member and volunteer of the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists practice group of AND, a member of the New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA), WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) and a member of the Healthy Eating Community of Practice workgroup of the Massachusetts Partnership for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention (MA Department of Public Health).

In her current role as Senior Clinical Consultant at Tufts Health Plan, Kathy assists employers in the planning and implementation of clinical and wellness programs and services. Working collaboratively with employers and brokers, Kathy reviews data and provides clinical consultations to employers regarding health care costs, quality of care and utilization trend to develop clinical strategies and implement programs to improve the quality of care and decrease medical costs.

Karolina Starczak, RD, LDN Member-At-Large

As a registered and licensed dietitian, Karolina Starczak incorporates her unique experience in the healthcare and wellness space to deliver innovative employer wellness solutions aimed at reducing healthcare spend and improving employee health.  Over the past 11 years, Karolina’s career evolved from the emergency services field to health technology startups and employer wellness. In her most recent role, as the Director of Population Health at a boutique insurance brokerage, Karolina created personalized organizational wellness strategies to help curtail future healthcare spend in high risk areas. From small local employers to Fortune 500 companies, her unconventional background has allowed her to design and launch data-driven, award-winning programs that support employee's wellness efforts.

Karolina graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Dietetics from Montclair State University and completed her post-baccalaureate dietetic internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in their highly competitive clinical program. Currently, Karolina is completing her Master in Healthcare Leadership at Brown University.

Dustin Armitage
Membership Chair

On a mission to make the world a healthier place.

Dustin Armitage grew up in a small town in Midcoast Maine where he spent most of his time playing athletics any chance he could get.  Passionate about sports this is where he found his first full time job at the Samoset Resort Health Club and knew that helping to make others healthy was his calling.  It wasn't long till he moved to Massachusetts and discovered the exciting world of software startups and was lucky to find a way to combine this with health and wellness. Dustin started working in the wellness technology space very early on and has worked with many of the top companies including Virgin Pulse, Fitbit, and Limeade.  He now works for Ovia Health bringing cutting edge maternity benefits to companies and their growing families in the Northeast.  
 
In his free time, Dustin loves to travel the world with his Wife Natascia.  To stay healthy and active himself he can be found at a local Crossfit class or walking his dog Luna in his hometown of Natick.

Melanie Rocha, CWPM
Member-at-Large

Melanie is a Wellness Consultant for the Prevention and Wellness Department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. She brings over nine years of experience in the worksite wellness industry. In this role she designs and implements comprehensive wellness strategies for her clients by identifying population health risks and developing targeted interventions in line with employee interests. Prior to joining Blue Cross Blue Shield, Melanie was a Health & Wellbeing Consultant at Borislow Insurance, an employee benefits agency and consulting firm.

Melanie holds a Certified Wellness Program Manager (CWPM) designation through the Chapman Institute and earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Rivier College. Melanie currently sits on the Board of Directors as a member-at-large for the Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts.  She is a Boston Chapter Leader for the Foundation Fighting Blindness where she spearheads fundraising efforts and organizes and leads networking support groups. In her spare time Melanie enjoys yoga and spending time with her family. 

Archana Kansagra
Awards and Recognition Committee Chair

Archana Kansagra is a Director of Health & Wellness Product and Strategy at Aetna. With her high energy and a passion to create a healthier society, she leads efforts in delivering innovative products and tools to the marketplace that empower people to take charge of their health and well-being.

Prior to joining Aetna, Archana spent 12 years in health and welfare benefit consulting, working at Aon Hewitt, The Segal Company, and Spring Consulting Group. Archana worked with clients of all sizes, both in private and public sector organizations, balancing affordable coverage, access to high quality plans, employee engagement, evidence-based care, and consumer driven healthcare. In her various roles with these firms, she has assisted clients with their overall health and welfare strategies, including design, financial analysis, marketing, administration, and implementation.  Archana brings a detailed knowledge of strategic planning, plan performance, funding mechanisms, communications and compliance to key employee benefit areas such as group medical, prescription drugs, life, disability, vision, dental, employee assistance programs and savings vehicles for future medical expenses. For providers, insurers, and TPAs, she improved overall business effectiveness and was responsible for product development, process improvement, and program implementation.Archana specializes in condition and care management solutions focusing on wellness, disease management, and behavioral health. As a thought leader, she explores opportunities to strengthen the integration of health benefit programs in the disciplines of Total Health Management, Integrated Disability Management, Total Absence Management, and Health and Productivity in order to provide cutting edge solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Archana earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a concentration in Health Management Systems, a degree in Business Administration and certificate in Information Technology from Duquesne University, PA and holds a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC) designation through the Chapman Institute. As a subject matter expert in Health and Productivity improvement strategies, Archana’s articles have been featured in Corporate Wellness Magazine and her company’s newsletter. She routinely contributes insights and supports research within the industry. She is licensed as a Health, Accident, and Life Producer and certified health coach.Archana’s enthusiasm for healthy living is evident professionally and personally. She enjoys the outdoors, is active in her local community, and is dedicated to improving the quality of education and health in schools. Archana motivates people to live healthier, more productive lifestyles and is often referred to as "an ambassador of healthy living” by those around her.

Alyssa Holzman 
Education and Events Co-Chair

Alyssa Holzman is a Senior Program Manager in the Health Engagement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. In this role she designs, implements, manages, and evaluates best in class health engagement offerings for our accounts and members. These programs increase account retention, enhance member engagement, and drive behavior change. Prior to this role, Alyssa was a Senior Wellness Consultant for our large national accounts. In this role, she worked closely with her accounts to develop and implement comprehensive results-oriented wellness strategies to address the specific needs and interests of their employees. In addition, she collaborated with accounts to design incentives and effective communication plans to optimize employee engagement in wellness programs.

Alyssa received a Master’s Degree from Emerson College and began her career with Blue Cross in 2004. Alyssa is a Certified Wellness Program Director and serves on the Board of Directors for the Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts as the Programs Chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirsten Wright-Cirit
Education and Events Co-Chair

Kirsten is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Corporate Event Planner, and Founder of Your Wellness Scout, a health coaching and corporate wellness consulting company focusing on integrating sustainable tailored wellness solutions into employees’ daily lives to address health challenges and improve employee well-being through long term behavior change.

For over 17 years, Kirsten has been passionate about the effects of food and stress on our way of life, and our ability to thrive at work, at home and at play. With 12 years of corporate experience in companies such as Qualcomm, Inc. running corporate events and health fairs to McKinsey & Company recruiting from Harvard Business School, Kirsten has experienced the health pitfalls of the corporate life style and has integrated her wellness skills through a variety of wellness events such as group coaching sessions, lunch and learns, seminars, meal planning sessions, health fair implementation, educational webinars, walking programs, and even lunch make-overs in small to large organizations. She has combined her corporate experience, her hands on approach to wellness, and her coaching certification to provide tailored and targeted programs addressing the latest wellness trends and issues in her comprehensive health-coaching and corporate wellness programs. While holding you accountable, she is empowering and empathetic listener to ensure you feel supported throughout the journey of figuring out the best solutions amidst the “rush” of competing priorities.  Recently her work has focused on helping to bring balance to stressed professionals and working parents’ lives.

Prior to starting her business, she coordinated the opening of an entrepreneurial center at Northeastern University, worked as a recruiter for McKinsey & Company, Boston, managed internal and external events at Qualcomm, Inc and has had various event planning and program coordination positions in the fields of Health Care, International Recruiting, and Specialty Food.

Kirsten received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Cultural Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and earned her certification as a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She is active in the local health and wellness ecosystem in Boston/Cambridge, is a member of the Holistic Mom’s Network and has volunteered on the WWCMA Annual Conference team since 2013.

Kirsten lives in East Cambridge with her husband, toddler and very old kitty. They spend most of their “spare” time traveling, but when they aren’t exploring the world or Boston, she loves to bake and cook with her daughter, connect with friends (not over text/social media) and attend cultural events.

 

Martha Gagnon
Annual Conference Chair

Martha currently serves as the Employee Benefits and Wellness Specialist for A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies. She joined A.I.M. Mutual in May 2013, as the Wellness Coordinator for the Injury Prevention and Worksite Wellness (IPWW) department. Martha was then responsible for the facilitation of creating and implementing an evidence based model that would assist small and mid-sized employers in creating  a culture of wellness with measurable results through the A.I.M. Works program.  Martha’s current role is to continue managing this program along with assisting employers in obtaining additional benefits for all employees through the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. 

Prior to joining A.I.M. Mutual, Martha was the Director of Worksite Health Initiatives for the American Cancer Society. There she led large New England employers in developing wellness programs based on specific health risk factors linked to chronic disease.  She was also responsible for ongoing tracking and metrics to measure behavior change over an extended period of time. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Lesley University, is a Certified Wellness Practitioner from the National Wellness Institute and a Certified Wellness Program Director (CWPD) through the Chapman Institute of Wellness.

Brooke Duffy
Marketing and Communications Chair

 Bio coming soon!

 




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