CEO / President
As one of the founders of the team, Karl's service dates back almost four decades! Karl's superior industry relationships allow the team access to outcomes that enhance Client results and further leverage Vita's unique service-based approach.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA. Karl has the CLU, ChFC, RHU, and REBC Designations. He has testified on behalf of the industy's trade association before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions. He was selected by his peers as the California State Professional of the Year. He has many accolades, upon which he rests nothing! Today is a new and exciting day!
3 Words that Describe Karl: Seeking, knowing, caring.
Hobbies: Karl enjoys the outdoors, along with good food, wine and friends.
Little Known Facts: Karl loves to cook. He is not a gourmet, but nobody at his church, where he cooks often, seems to mind!
Chief Operations Officer
After more than 30 years of taking companies from $0 to $100M to IPO across 5 continents through designing & executing cross-functional leadership development & operational dynamics that create high performance cultures, JC has come to Vita to help us scale our Mission statement of making lives easier & better.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: B.A. Computer Science & Robotics
3 Words that Describe JC: Teacher, Purpose, Passion
Hobbies: My kids
V.P. Client Experience
Erik has been around the employee benefits industry his entire life, working at Vita in different capacities since 2001. In his current role as a Strategic Benefits Partner, Erik works with competitive companies to design benefit offerings that are scalable and highly valued. Along with his involvement with Vita's clients, Erik is invested in building and maintaining relationships with Vita's carrier and vendor partners in the insurance and technology industries. His passion for technology revolves around the conviction that excellent customer experiences are human-to-human interactions optimized by the most efficient information systems.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Erik graduated from San Francisco State University with majors in International Business and Corporate Finance. Erik is the chairman of the Young Professionals Board for the Northern California Human Resources Association. Erik is also involved as a principal member of United Benefits Advisors, the nation's largest network of private brokers.
3 Words that Describe Erik: Creative, passionate, adventurous.
Hobbies: Erik enjoys spending time with his family, backpacking the Sierra, traveling the world, and following sports.
Little Known Facts: Erik has known his closest friends since kindergarten.
Rae Lee Clark
Chief Compliance Officer
Rae Lee Clark is a Senior Strategy Consultant and Compliance Officer. She is uniquely qualified in the employee benefits world, with more than 30 years' experience developing practical solutions to complex employee benefits challenges. Under her leadership, the Vita team has developed comprehensive compliance solutions for their clients in all benefit areas, including ERISA, COBRA, Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy and Security, as well as cutting-edge wellness solutions. Rae Lee works with companies from the smallest dynamic start-ups to the largest employers in the nation, including a gig with Wal-Mart!
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: B.S. Stanford University.
3 Words that Describe Rae Lee: Smart, caring, organized.
Hobbies: Triathlon, backpacking and wine (but not at the same time).
Little Known Facts: Came in dead last in her first bike race in 2002. This spectacle included walking her bike up the long hill.
V.P. Business Operations
Wally Anderson brings over 20 years' consulting experience helping organizations execute more effective organizational processes leading to more effective collaboration and problem solving. He specializes in strategic planning, change management, business process improvement, team development, and leadership skills.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of the Pacific with a B.A. in Behavioral Science; Santa Clara University with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology
3 Words that Describe Wally: Caring, fun-loving, curious.
Hobbies: Wally enjoys any vehicle with two wheels and an engine, cooking and time with his wife and best friend of 35 years.
Little Known Facts: Once competed in a vintage motocross race (The Harvey Mushman "aka Steve McQueen" Elsinore Grand Prix ) through the streets of Lake Elsinore, CA
Amy has 20+ years of hands-on employee benefits experience. She assists clients in every facet of implementing an effective employee benefits plan, from marketing to ongoing communication, daily administration, and troubleshooting. She loves to work with clients to craft benefits packages that take into account desired corporate strategy regarding market competitiveness as well as financial goals. She is well-versed in various funding arrangements as well as ACA and other compliance "fun."
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Santa Clara University with a B.A. in English, Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation, Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania.
3 Words that Describe Amy: Loyal, sarcastic, fun.
Hobbies: Golf, cooking (and eating), and spending time with family and friends.
Little Known Facts: Amy is still adjusting to the fact that she has twin boys and they were born in 2007. She did not find out they were twins until halfway through her pregnancy.
Jason Lombardi is Vice President, Benefits at Vita Benefits Group. With over 16 years in the industry, he provides high-touch employee benefit advisory services and serves as a strategic business partner to his valued client base. He works closely with his clients on plan marketing, selection, implementation, compliance, management and oversight, as well as strategies on cost containment, funding arrangements and benefit plan design across market industries. Jason has worked with clients of all sizes (from start-up to large corporations) and is well-versed in serving the needs of rapidly scaling companies.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Notre Dame de Namur University, MBA Human Resources; Santa Clara University, BS in Organizational Analysis and Management; Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation, Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania.
3 Words that Describe Jason: Loyal, fun, patriotic.
Hobbies: Swimming, camping, DYI home improvement, fantasy football and spending time with family and friends.
Little Known Facts: Loves watching B movies — if there are zombies, even better!
Lindsey Doukas joined the Vita team in February 2011 and serves as a Strategic Benefits Partner. With a background in Business Administration, she enjoys working with employers of all sizes to assist them in finding creative solutions in creating comprehensive and competitive benefits packages that fit her clients' Strategic Benefits Philosphy. She thinks of herself as an extension of her clients' HR team and enjoys facing the unique challenges that are presented by serving clients in various industries.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Jose State University, B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
3 Words that Describe Lindsey: Independent, outgoing, passionate.
Hobbies: Traveling, snowboarding, singing and reading.
Little Known Facts: She sang at Carnegie Hall in high school!
Anne Marie Rivara
Anne Marie Rivara joined Vita working with benefits account management in 2012; although she has worked with the organization since 2007. She holds certifications from both SHRM and HRCI in Human Resources Management. She has worked in the corporate arena since the 1980s in benefits, and also has a vast level of experience and strengths in compensation, employee relations and team training working with small employers to multi-national employers around the world.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: SPHR, HR-SCP
3 Words that Describe Anne Marie: Enthusiastic, positive, compassionate.
Hobbies: My dog, travel, reading, movies, crafts.
Little Known Facts: I once wrote and conducted technical software training for Pelican Bay Prison staff — inside the prison.
E.J. Nham joined the Vita team in 2011 and serves as a Strategic Benefits Partner. She believes in becoming an extension of her clients' HR teams, providing well-rounded, comprehensive and thorough employee benefits and total rewards consultation. She enjoys developing short- and long-term benefit strategies with an eye on market trends, creative cost-containment solutions, and consideration of the total rewards picture. She relishes the challenge of navigating healthcare reform and the unique challenges it presents. In addition to her focus with client service, E.J. serves as project manager in continued system and operational enhancements to internal programs and processes.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and a minor in Anthropology.
3 Words that Describe EJ: Competitive, thoughtful, strong-willed.
Hobbies: Food (cooking and eating out!), travel and reading.
Little Known Facts: Loves backpacking — perfect way to truly unplug and experience places few people have access to.
Mariko Ryon joined Vita in 2008 and has a unique role as a Benefits Advisor and Administration Partner. With a strong background in customer service and knowledge of COBRA and core benefits, Mariko dedicates herself to providng employers and employees with ongoing suport and assistance with resolving complex issues. In addition, Mariko focuses on internal operations within the organization.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: U.C. Berkeley, B.A. Molecular Biology, emphasis in Neurobiology.
3 Words that Describe Mariko: Practical, patient, understanding.
Hobbies: Food, gardening, traveling.
Little Known Facts: Will challenge anyone to a game of Dance Central on the Xbox.
Haley Johnson has been with Vita since August 2012. Although her primary role is as a Benefits Advisor, she also manages Vita’s Individual Health Insurance client base as well as champions Vita’s Wellness Team. Haley’s flexibility and adaptability allow her to effectively manage her various roles within the Vita Companies while her strong analytical and organizational skills allow her to assist both employers and employees fulfill their benefit needs.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, B.S. in Mathematics
3 Words that Describe Haley: Outgoing, responsible, hungry.
Hobbies: Loves to travel, try new foods, read and spend time with her friends, family and four dogs.
Little Known Facts: Haley loves to dance despite her embarassing dance moves.
Caroline McGrath joined the Vita team in May 2013. She relies heavily on her past five years of experience working in a doctor's office to help employees maximize their benefits and resolve claims issues. As a Benefits Advisor, she enjoys working with employers to develop, communicate, and maintain a compliant benefits package that meets the needs of the company and its employees.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Davis, with a B.A. in English.
3 Words that Describe Caroline: Compassionate, friendly, dedicated.
Hobbies: Spending time with friends, gardening and knitting.
Little Known Facts: Caroline enjoys reading and collects signed first editions of yet-to-be-discovered authors.
James Mun has been with Vita since July 2012 and currently serves as a Benefits Advisor. He strives to provide thorough and timely communication for colleagues and clients alike, and enjoys daily interaction with those that are in need of service. James is a hound for proper grammar, and will gladly proofread your writing.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science. San Francisco State University with a B.A in Political Science.
3 Words that Describe James: One meticulous planner.
Hobbies: James enjoys singing and playing guitar (at the same time), as well as cooking and playing sports (not at the same time).
Little Known Facts: James shed tears of joy without any shame when his beloved Golden State Warriors won the championship in 2015. James has been a loyal fan since 1995.
Director, Client Success
Ellen Schortgen has over 25 years of account management experience at Vita. Her extensive background and commitment to customer care makes her a valuable asset to Vita’s group insurance clients. This background, combined with her past life in marketing communications, also makes Ellen a strong internal training and support resource for her colleagues at Vita.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Health Insurance Associate certification.
3 Words that Describe Ellen: Perceptive, logical, caring.
Hobbies: Watching baseball, road trips with friends.
Little Known Facts: Ellen is a proud alumna — and current supporter — of the Santa Clara Vanguard, a champion-level drum corps. She has also served on their Board of Directors.
Sr. Benefits Specialist
Rachel Bennett began her role at Vita in 2007 as a Pre-Tax Specialist in the VitaFlex department and transitioned to the Benefits team as a Benefits Specialist. She supported Vita's Strategic Benefits Partners and Benefits Advisors with numerous clients by assisting with claims, analyzing carrier renewals, compliance inquiries, creating professional employee and employer facing documents, supporting clients with carrier correspondence, and interviewing and training new members of the Vita team. She has now moved into a Senior Benefits Specialist position, co-managing Vita's Client Success team, a team of Benefits Specialists who support all departments at Vita.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Davis, with a B.A. in Political Science.
3 Words that Describe Rachel: Inquisitive, efficient, team-oriented.
Hobbies: Cross-stitch, cooking, crafts, gardening, volunteering.
Little Known Facts: Learned Spanish, Hebrew and Danish in college.
Tsehay Tesema joined Vita in September 2014 as a Benefit Specialist on the Client Success Team. She provides administrative support to Vita’s Benefit Advisor and Strategic Business Partners. She enjoys taking care of the unique needs of each client by providing dedicated problem resolutions. Prior to joining Vita, Tsehay spent eight years in the healthcare industry. She is committed to providing service beyond expectations.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Fisk University, B.S in Business Administration with Concentration in Management.
3 Words that Describe Tsehay: Optimistic, generous, amazing.
Hobbies: Participating in any creative activities, volunteering, traveling.
Little Known Facts: Won first place in the Instant Ticket Design contest during her internship with the Tennessee Lottery.
Kristi Nakano joined the Vita team in July 2015 as a Benefits Specialist within Vita's Client Success team. Prior to joining the Vita team, Kristi worked at a small community bank for 15 years. What she valued most during her banking career was the unique characteristics of a community bank where she grew up learning the importance of high-quality levels of customer service. She will be equally dedicated at Vita and is eager to becoming knowledgeable in the insurance industry so she can help troubleshoot, support, and build new relationships with Vita clients.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Sociology.
3 Words that Describe Kristi: Green, growing, grateful.
Hobbies: Watching any Bay Area sports team, eating, volunteering, scrapbooking.
Little Known Facts: I have a very yin-yang personality: I am old-fashioned but modern, girly but a tomboy, organized but messy, a saver but a spender.
Lydia joined the Vita Team as a Benefits Assistant in June 2012. Lydia works with various insurance carriers to ensure employees are correctly enrolled in their benefits coverages.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Francisco State Univerisity with a B.A. in Psychology.
3 Words that Describe Lydia: Detail-oriented, patient, nurturing.
Hobbies: Photography and baking.
Little Known Facts: Lydia was born in England and lived in Italy and Switzerland before moving to the United States at the age of 12.
Sean Ellis-Slattery joined the Vita Team in February 2012, and has a background in customer service. He is a Dedicated Advocate on Vita's Concierge Team. Sean ensures that client's questions and problems are resolved completely, while also striving to provide relevent peripheral knowledge and guidance to our clients. Sean's patience and logical thinking make him an excellent resource when working through exceptionally complex or stressful issues and situations.
3 Words that Describe Sean: Caring, patient, logical.
Hobbies: Sean likes hiking, reading, watching the SF Giants, playing board games, Frisbee games and cooking.
Little Known Facts: Sean cannot follow a recipe to the letter without ruining the dish; however, if he wings it with the spices and measurements, the food always comes out amazing.
Jonna Crocker joined the Vita team in September 2014 and is currently a Dedicated Advocate on Vita’s Concierge Team. Prior to joining the Vita Concierge Team, Jonna worked in a variety of roles including working as a Human Resources administrator, a research assistant, and also teaching swim lessons. As a member of the Concierge team Jonna is dedicated to providing the best customer service experience for participants by listening to participants questions and inferring what other information may be helpful for them to know.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Psychology; pursuing a Master's in Marriage and Family Thearpy at Santa Clara University.
3 Words that Describe Jonna: Compassionate, hardworking, adventurous.
Hobbies: Jonna loves being outdoors, whether it's running, swimming or hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves spending time with her family and close friends.
Little Known Facts: Jonna can ride a unicycle and used to ride it to school in elementary school.
Trish Monroe has been with Vita since 2006 and is a Dedicated Advocate on Vita's Concierge Team. She has been in customer service for 20 years and worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years. She ensures that questions and problems are resolved in a timely manner and provides information and guidance to our clients.
3 Words that Describe Trish: Family-oriented, stubborn, honest.
Hobbies: Board games, watching movies, cooking and anything Disney.
Little Known Facts: Had a pirate wedding in Vegas.
V.P. COBRA Administration
Jayne Drake began her career at Vita in February 2000. As a COBRA Partner, Jayne's role is to oversee Vita's Federal COBRA department. During Jayne's tenure at Vita, she has built extensive knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the Federal COBRA law. She works directly with a large client base to ensure full compliance of the regulations. Jayne prides herself on providing a high standard of client service, and she developed these skills during her prior employment as a Team Leader at a large energy company in the United Kingdom.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Manchester University, England. B.A. Urban Planning and BPl. Urban Planning
3 Words that Describe Jayne: Happy, optimistic, hard-working.
Hobbies: Camping, reading, TV binge-watching, exercising.
Little Known Facts: Jayne loves football (soccer) and she followed her hometown team, Leeds United at games across England for many years before moving to the United States.
Paige Killeen joined the Vita team in 2008. As a member of the COBRA and Benefits Billing teams, Paige provides Federal COBRA, retiree billing and leave of absence billing administration support for a number of clients. She strives to make it easy for clients to understand and remain compliant with COBRA rules and works with clients to provide support that meets their unique needs. Prior to joining the Vita team, Paige was a Department of Defense contractor for 10 years and served four years in the Air Force.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Fancisco State University, B.A. in Psychology.
3 Words that Describe Paige: Detailed, patient, silly.
Little Known Facts: Paige is lucky at winning radio station call-in contests. Some of her best prizes: diamond ring, $1,000 cash, trip to Dallas to see Michael Jackson in concert, mountain bike, many cases of soda and beer.
Jasmine Leong joined Vita in August 2013 as a Dedicated Advocate of the Concierge Team, where she showcased her qualifications in providing excellent customer service as well as performing administrative tasks with efficiency and accuracy. She has since joined the COBRA Team as a Dedicated Advisor, a role in which she devotes herself to executing the administration of COBRA and assisting employers and employees navigate the complex law.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Francisco State University, B.A. In Business Administration, with a Concentration in Decision Sciences.
3 Words that Describe Jasmine: Perceptive, responsible, spunky.
Hobbies: Eating, attending live music performances, going on hikes and trips to the beach, driving her Mini, and spending time with her loved ones.
Little Known Facts: Jasmine prides herself for her multitasking abilities: She was once queen of operating the McDonald's drive-through.
V.P. Pre-Tax Administration
Jim Dzundza joined the Vita Team in October 2012. In his role as V.P. Pre-Tax Administration, he focuses on quarterbacking the Pre-Tax Benefits Team with in-depth knowledge of FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, and Commuter Benefits. He is dedicated to ensuring compliance, executing seamless plan implementations, and providing smooth plan operation, making him a valuable extension to any HR team. Jim brings strong analytical and problem-solving skills to his position, an essential piece of creative and strategic benefits planning and execution.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of Oregon, B.S. in Economics and a Minor in Business Administration.
3 Words that Describe Jim: Exuberant, competitive, analytical.
Hobbies: Jim enjoys the outdoors, playing and watching sports, and watching films. He also enjoys working with his hands, whether it be carpentry or yard work.
Little Known Facts: Jim's favorite word is "rogue."
Gina Martinez began her work in customer and client service in 2001 at a very early age. Having worked in several different industries including hospitality, telecommunications and healthcare, she gained invaluable experience supporting a wide range of clientele. In July 2012, Gina started with Vita as a Dedicated Advocate on the Concierge Team, which allowed her to become knowledgable in all aspects of Vita's Administration Company. Gina is currently a Pre-Tax Benefits Advisor and she prides herself on being a trusted resource on FSA, HRA, HSA and commuter benefit plans.
3 Words that Describe Gina: Always keeping busy.
Hobbies: Gina enjoys watching horror movies, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Little Known Facts: Gina has a certification in Massage Therapy and Health Education.
Rebecca joined the Vita Team in January 2015 and is currently supporting the Benefits Group. As a former medical student with a strong passion for service in healthcare, she strives for mastery of the knowledge and attention to ensure employees are accurately enrolled in their benefits coverages.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: UC Berkeley, B.A. Molecular and Cell Biology, emphasis in Cell and Developmental Biology
3 Words that Describe Rebecca: Compassionate, Driven, Methodical
Hobbies: running, science, GS Warriors, cooking, hiking, crossfit, yoga, kickboxing, family, and cats
Little Known Facts: She took multivariable calculus in college just for fun. Her sister is her BFF.
Tracy North is a 10-year Vita team member. She is currently a senior claims analyst on our VitaFlex team but has also worked as a benefits associate for both Vita Benefits and Vita Planning groups providing support to the account executives in those areas. In addition to her experience with Vita, Tracy has almost 30 years of experience in the compensation/benefits/HRIS disciplines in the Human Resources field.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Cum laude graduate of San Francisco State University majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.
3 Words that Describe Tracy: Dedicated, reliable, detailed.
Hobbies: Tracy is a season ticket holder for the San Francisco Giants and is also an avid Disney fan. Go Giants!
Little Known Facts: Tracy appeared on two different television game shows, winning almost $8,800 combined!
Christine Purser has been with Vita as a claims analyst for the past six years. In addition to working as part of the Flex team, she also supports Benefits, Cobra and Planning teams within the office. Before joining the Flex team, Christine worked full time as a senior domestic engineer managing the educational, emotional, social and athletic departments of her two children. She was also a highly sought-after volunteer for St Nicholas School. Christine also has 15 years of experience prior to her domestic career as a certified chiropractic assistant and a licensed medical assistant. Christine's past experience multitasking enables her to efficiently assist the multiple groups with a variety of tasks.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: A.A. De Anza National Board Certified Medical Assistant.
3 Words that Describe Christine: Happy, fun, competitive.
Hobbies: Cooking, Giants and Sharks fan, crafts/DIY.
Little Known Facts: First-generation American.
Lynda Jones is a 10-year Vita team member. She is currently a senior claims analyst on our VitaFlex team, but has also worked as a benefits associate for the Vita Benefits group. Prior to joining Vita, Lynda spent eight years in Human Resources in the arena of publishing and high-tech.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Mills College, Oakland, CA, B.A. in English; Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, M.A. in Teaching.
3 Words that Describe Lynda: Helpful, intuitive, caring.
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, knitting and going to museums.
Little Known Facts: Lynda taught Kundalini yoga for seven years and is currently homeschooling her 10-year-old son.
Micall Carvalho joined Vita in March 2012. During her tenure at Vita, Micall has gained extensive knowledge of FSAs, HSAs, HRAs and Commuter Benefits. As a Pre-Tax Benefits Advisor, Micall strives to administer plans effectively with a high standard of client service and attention to detail. She supports her clients by helping them understand complex IRS regulations and ensuring compliance along the way. Micall brings strong interpersonal and communication skills to her position, having performed sales support functions in the past.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Sociology.
3 Words that Describe Micall: Fun, honest, responsible.
Hobbies: Eating, spending time with family and friends, camping, learning.
Little Known Facts: Micall has a new baby boy and is adjusting to motherhood.
Jean Walker joined Vita in 2008, bringing more than 20 years of experience in healthcare administrative support. She is deeply committed to collaborative processes in providing superb customer care, and her creativity and meticulous attention to detail make her a unique asset to the Pre-Tax Benefits and Group Benefits teams. Jean embraces every opportunity to employ her communication, research and technical writing skills to a wide variety of Vita’s services and projects.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Jose State University, B.S. in Journalism, Broadcasting emphasis, with a minor in Technical & Professional Writing.
3 Words that Describe Jean: Only three? Why?
Hobbies: Photography, watching baseball and basketball (A's and Warriors fan).
Little Known Facts: Jean is ambidextrous. Sort of. OK, not really, but almost.
3 Words that Describe Allison:
Little Known Facts:
Kyla Mickelson has been a claims analyst with the VitaFlex team since 2009. In addition to claims processing, she provides special project support to the office team including the handling of discrimination testing annually.
3 Words that Describe Kyla: Always keeping busy.
Hobbies: Reading, watching my kids play sports, Crossfit, watching Pro Sports (SF Giants & 49ers & Horse Racing), Cooking
Little Known Facts: Kyla is the "handy (wo)man" in her household and actually enjoys fixing things herself.
3 Words that Describe Jenny:
Little Known Facts
V.P. Retirement Planning
Ken Goth’s 30-year career in financial services has encompassed brokering, investment banking, and management in the world’s major financial centers: New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Ken started his career with the Astley & Pearce Group, an inter-dealer broker. He subsequently ran the joint-venture broking businesses of MAI, Plc in Japan. Ken currently focuses on the investment arrays and analysis of fund performance for 401(k) clients at Vita Planning Group.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Stanford University, B.A. International Relations.
3 Words that Describe Ken: Between two continents.
Hobbies: Ken enjoys cooking, but more than that, eating.
Little Known Facts: Ken's first job out of college was as a thespian with Theaterworks (then in Palo Alto).
Walt has more than 15 years of experience working with qualified retirement plans. He oversees all facets of plan design, vendor implementation, ongoing operation, and compliance. Drawing on his past experience at large institutional vendors as well as specialized third party administrators, he has a solid understanding of the service provider market, resulting in highly effective retirement plan arrangements. A tenacious problem solver, Walt has assisted employers with complex mergers, spin-offs, penalty assessments, and corrective actions. Walt is also adept at explaining technical concepts in readily understandable ways.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: CSU, Sacramento, B.S. Business Administration / Retirement Plans Associate, International Society for Certified Employee Benefit Specialists
3 Words that Describe Walt: Resourceful, Dedicated, Trustworthy
Hobbies: Camping, Travel, Sporting Events, Documentaries, Wine Tasting, Mountain Biking
Little Known Facts: I just renewed my passport, and am ready to explore the world.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Harvey Mudd College, B.S. in Economics; Claremont McKenna, M.A. in Finance.
3 Words that Describe Jeff: Resourceful, inquisitive, athletic.
Hobbies: Jeff enjoys backpacking, hiking, biking, running ... just about anything outdoors.
Little Known Facts: Jeff occasionally bakes in his free time.
Stephanie joined Vita in 2009, supporting nearly every branch of the business before making her way to the 401(k) team. Her unique involvement across departments allows Stephanie the flexibility to assist in other areas of the company, as well as provides helpful insight into everyday client matters. She now serves as Dedicated Advocate of Vita Planning Group.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Jose State University, San Jose, with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Minor in Chemistry.
3 Words that Describe Stephanie: Married with children.
Hobbies: Is jammin' to toddler tunes a hobby?
Little Known Facts: Once interned at a neuroscience lab for the Rockefeller University in New York City.
Director of Marketing
Clear, concise, and delightful messaging is what Mike strives for with every email, webinar, video, social media post and custom client communication. His unique background in the U.S. military, local law enforcement, and event production, along with over five years as a property and casualty insurance broker lends Mike a fresh perspective on what it takes to effectively deliver content to your employees. He can also throw a pretty smashing party.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of Missouri-Columbia, B.A. in Psychology.
3 Words that Describe Mike: Let's add color.
Hobbies: Reading sci-fi, road trips, trying new restaurants, and doing anything creative!
Little Known Facts: Mike is fluent in American Sign Language and can eat his weight in cake.
Events and Communications Specialist
Kenneth Yip comes from a membership association background spanning more than 10 years, having most recently served as program manager at the Northern California HR Association (NCHRA). He served in multiple roles there, including membership services, marketing, and program management. His experience includes curriculum development, event planning, project management and e-learning management. With a service-oriented mindset and strong verbal and written communication skills, he has built strong and long-lasting relationships with clients at all professional levels.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems.
3 Words that Describe Kenneth: Loyal, reliable, patient.
Hobbies: Watching sports (49ers, Giants, Warriors, Sharks) and spending time with family and friends.
Director of IT/Technology
Brian Davis has been on the Vita team since 1996 supporting the Information Technology needs of the company. Brian brings more than 25 years of IT expertise to the table, and has a passion for bringing new and upcoming technlogies into the business. Brian's strengths are in network infrastructure and security, and he always enjoys solving challenging problems.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: School of Hard Knocks.
3 Words that Describe Brian: Helpful, empathetic, fun.
Hobbies: Brian loves spending time with his family, playing guitar and entertaining friends.
Little Known Facts: Brian plays in a band and enjoys all the drama that goes along with it.
System Development Specialist
Roger Stodola has worked with Vita as a software development consultant since 2001. He has helped Vita create its custom software systems for Flexible Spending Accounts, Commuter benefits, COBRA administration and Retirement Billing services. His goal is to make each Vita team member's work flow as efficient as possible by freeing them from tedious repetitive adminstrative tasks and allowing them to focus their talents on what they do best.
3 Words that Describe Roger: Way too organized.
Hobbies: Giants baseball, fixing things, travel.
Little Known Facts: Most fun ever: sliding down a miles-long snow field on Mt. Adams in Washington.
Marianne Kring recently join Vita as Vice President of Finance after 10 years of serving as a CPA with Morrison & Associates. She started her career in public accounting with KPMG in San Francisco, and has enjoyed partnering with closely held businesses and individuals in the Silicon Valley to help them with their accounting, tax and planning needs for the past 22 years. She is excited to join Vita's team of highly trained professionals in providing excellence in client service.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of California, Berkeley, B.S. Business Administration/Accounting and Finance, Certified Public Accountant member: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; California Society of CPAs.
3 Words that Describe Marianne: Spiritual, tenacious, energetic.
Hobbies: Cooking, dancing, reading, spending time by the ocean.
Little Known Facts: Can speak and read Hungarian like a 5-year-old (from Hungary of course).
Ricardo Ayala joined the Vita team in Feburary 2013. He enjoys problem solving and making sure the job is done right. He is currently pursuing his AA in accounting at Foothill College.
3 Words that Describe Ricardo: Makes it happen.
Little Known Facts: Ricardo sang the solo in choir in high school.
Jake Winton joined the team in August of 2015 as a Benefits Specialist, after spending 10 years serving the country with the U.S. Navy on Fast Attack Nuclear Submarines. Jake believes that there is opportunity for success in every situation, and brings his gregarious optimism into long-lasting professional relationships. With his commitment to the service of others, and a perceptive mind, Jake passionately delivers service to Vita clients.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: University of South Florida, B.S. in Applied Science and Information Technology / Valencia Community College, A.S. in Film Production Technology / California Real Estate Salesman.
3 Words that Describe Jake: Empathic, motivated, professional.
Hobbies: Hiking, video games, avid movie fan.
Little Known Facts: Loves to go to the movies by himself, and has movie credits in IMDB.
Prior to joining Vita, Dawn gained her experience and honed her customer service skills from a wide array of industries. She most recently worked for a large foundation and almost single-handedly took care of their property and casualty insurance. Dawn is excited to be a part of the Vita team, use her unique skill set to build upon her knowledge of Employee Benefits, and continue Vita’s history of Excellence.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: Oberlin College, B.A. in Politics (Constitutional Law) and Theater (Performance)
3 Words that Describe Dawn: Sarcastic, detail-oriented, and inquisitive
Hobbies: Kettlebells, crafting, architecture, industrial design, creating and consuming delicious food
Little Known Facts: Performed musical theater for almost 20 years, has a penchant for U.S. Presidential history, and lived in London
Matt has been in the employee benefits industry for 10+ years. His diverse background in operational management, product management, and account management lends Matt a unique viewpoint on how to deliver exceptional service. As a Benefits Specialist, Matt is responsible for supporting Vita’s client-facing team. He believes the foundation of Vita’s excellence is the Success Team and the work-product they deliver to their internal partners. Matt also spends time figuring out what challenges in administering services will serve as opportunities for Vita and our clients.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: BS Management and BA Public Policy, Western Michigan University
3 Words that Describe Matt: Meticulous, Logical, Caring
Hobbies: Spending time with my lovely wife and young daughters + reading . . . when I have the time!
Little Known Facts: Finds cleaninig his house to be enjoyable and therapeutic
Stephanie joined the Vita Family in January 2016. She brings over prior HR experience, as well as a strong focus in customer service. As a Benefits Specialist, she loves working with a large pool of different clients, and making a difference with day to day tasks.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: San Jose State University: BA in Communication Studies; West Valley College: AA in Liberal Arts
3 Words that Describe Stephanie: Genuine, Competitive, Passionate
Hobbies: Camping, traveling, Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, scrapbooking, cooking/baking, Disneyland, reading, video games, billiards, darts
Little Known Facts: Received her 1st degree Black Belt when she was 14
Before joining Vita in April of 2016, Andrew was working in the financial services industry. While there, he was able to assist a plethora of clients in all stages of their financial life. Andrew's broad skill set and experiences allow him to adapt quickly and see solutions from an out of the box perspective.
3 Words that Describe Andrew: Caring, Inquisitive, Personable
Hobbies: Cooking for my wife and caring for my garden
Little Known Facts: I have four goddaughters
Prior to joining Vita, Sharon worked in the Human Resource field for 17 years, starting as a payroll administrator and ending as the HR/Safety Manager. Sharon utilizes her skills gained from working in HR to partner with our clients HR team to assist them in achieving their goals.
Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations: De Anza College - HR Generalist Certificate/PHR
3 Words that Describe Sharon: Optimistic, Happy, Sincere
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, cake decorating, camping, theatre, 5ks, and anything Disney
Little Known Facts: Grew up in Idaho in a house her Dad built without electricity or running water