Founder, Consultant, Author, Speaker
Chris is the founder of Group Benefit Solutions in Tacoma, a risk mitigation and cost containment consulting firm with expertise in converting a top P&L liability into earnings for employers, while increasing the quality of life for their employees. Chris is an Amazon best-selling author of NextGeneration Healthcare, and was recently named a Rising Star by Employee Benefit News.
Chris has been interviewed for stories appearing in US News & World Report, Self Magazine, Moneyish.com, Clutch.co, Employee Benefit News, and Benefits Pro.
Chris is originally from Tacoma and received his BA from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman (Go Cougs!). He is the president of the South Puget Sound NAIFA chapter, a member of the South Puget Sound SHRM chapter, and was treasurer of the Kiwanis Club of Steilacoom for 4 years. Chris’ wife, Valerie is the owner of Natural Venom All-Stars, a competitive cheerleading gym in Tacoma that has won 2 international championships (2012, 2018). They reside in Steilacoom with their 3 beautiful children, Cara, Carly, and Luke
Phone: (253) 228-8336
Vice President of Employee Engagement
Eric Silverman is considered one of the most recognized authorities and disruptive forces in enhanced employee funded benefits (the industry formerly known as “voluntary”). He is widely known as a subject matter expert with more than 19 years of employee benefit sales, marketing, management and recruiting experience. He is often sought after and interviewed by various journalists from multiple industry publications such as BenefitsPRO, ThinkAdvisor (formerly LifeHealthPRO), and Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) online and print magazines. He has also been asked to deliver key note speeches and speak on various expert panels at multiple national industrywide and carrier conferences.
Eric has received the 2017 “Voluntary Adviser of the Year” award by Employee Benefit Adviser magazine – one of the highest industrywide honors given to only one “voluntary” adviser annually. He is also a contributing author to the Amazon Best Selling employee benefits book, “Breaking Through The Status Quo.”
Personally, Eric is originally from the DC area and went to college in Baltimore where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Towson University. Eric is a huge Baltimore Orioles baseball fan and is heavily involved in his community where he sits on the city’s board for youth baseball and volunteers as a little league head coach. Eric and his wife Megan reside in Harford County Maryland, just north of Baltimore, and they have two beautiful children, Dylan and Devin.
Client Success Leader
Diane brings over thirty years of experience in the insurance and risk management industry to GBS. She enjoys working with clients through all aspects of developing and implementing custom benefit solutions that align with an organization’s philosophy.
She was born and raised in Tacoma, attended the same high school (Stadium) as her mom and several family members. She has deep roots in the community. She appreciates the relationships she built with her current clients and always looks forward to meeting and working with new ones.
Diane currently resides in University Place, WA. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching and attending various sporting events and volunteering for various organizations. She’s an involved member of the Tacoma Athletic Commission. She is the proud mother of two grown children.
Phone: (844) TEAM-GBS (834-6427) x.702
Lester J. Morales
VP Marketing & Strategy
Lester is a passionate thought leader, keynote speaker, and he's always looking for game-changing solutions that foster innovation and shatter the status quo. Our latest approach involves transparent health benefits, whose comprehensive plan designs builds transparency and proven results into the cost of healthcare delivery and access.
Healthcare is complex, but cracking the code is simple. The more informed consumers of medical services become through access to transparent pricing and quality measures, the easier it will be to find providers who offer the best value and health outcomes, which reduces the cost of care for the patient.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur as CEO of Next Impact and partnering with GBS, Lester served nearly three years as Executive Vice-President and Chief Growth Officer for Willis’ Human Capital Practice, one of the largest insurance brokerages in the world. In this role, Lester led over 200 producers/consultants in 40 + offices as part of a $350,000,000 practice- Willis’ single largest practice in North America. During a previous eight-year stint at Willis, Lester was consistently among the top five consultants nationally.
Deborah Ault (Nurse Deb)
Chief Medical Officer
Deb, RN, MBA is well known and respected in the industry and has been the builder of successful medical management programs since 1996. Deborah has pioneered the “proactive”, “day-one, dollar-one”, and “progressive patient-centric” models of medical management. Most recently the creation of P3CM™ (patent in process) tops her resume. Deborah’s proven success in the industry, coupled with her proven organizational leadership, has prompted the development of this new company. She is a lifetime member of Who’s Who and was recently recognized by Sky Radio as one of America’s best CEO’s. She is a sought-after speaker and a passionate advocate of the use of evidence-based clinical practice standards.
Dr. Harvey Popovich
Medical Director for Ault International Medical Management
Dr. Popovich graduated from the Medical University of Ohio after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in science from Ohio State University. He is Board Certified in Occupational Medicine and has additional certification from the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners. He has served as the Attending Physician for Owens Illinois, as the Medical Director for Mercy Work Solutions Worker’s Compensation Managed Care Organization, the Director of Occupational Medicine for Riverside Mercy Hospital, the Medical Director for Zeller Corporation, and as a Preceptor in Obstetrics. Dr. Popovich is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps. His role in AIMM includes involvement in daily operations, peer-to-peer consultation with patient’s treating physicians, program development, Quality & Excellence Committee, and delivering specialized presentations.
Jennifer S. Berman
VP of Compliance
Jennifer S. Berman is CEO and co-founder of MZQ Consulting, LLC a benefits compliance and ACA reporting firm. She is an Employee Benefits attorney specializing in ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, IRS Code, the ACA, and other wellness plan rules and statutes. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Jen has become an expert on health care reform developments and frequently serves as a speaker and commentator on a wide variety of health care reform and employee benefits issues, especially ones related to the Affordable Care Act.
She earned her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 2014-2020, she was named a Maryland Rising Star in the area of Employee Benefits/ERISA by Super Lawyers. Jen earned her executive MBA at Loyola University Maryland in 2019. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, Josh and their two children, Jack and Abby.
VP of Technology
Frank Mengert is a benefit technology expert, keynote speaker, podcast host, and volunteer. We believe each client is unique, which is why we offer multiple employee benefits platforms that are tailored to each employer’s needs, ranging from basic benefits administration to full blown private exchange-ish environments.
In today’s complex and rapidly changing world of health insurance and HR benefits, we are on a mission to make BenTech® simple by providing intuitive and easy-to-use tools that allow employers to make informed decisions about their coverage.
Those who don’t evolve, won’t survive. Why? Employers need more than just great benefits – they need solutions that help HR communicate & educate employees about their benefits and facilitate a headache-free enrollment experience.
We'll help you implement technology as a strategy without taking your focus away from delivering a best-in-class of employee benefits offering.
Technology is only as good as the team that is behind it®
Steven T. Polino
Managing Member of the Law Offices of Steven T. Polino, P.L.L.C.Steven T. Polino is the Managing Member of the Law Offices of Steven T. Polino, P.L.L.C. Mr. Polino performs a wide variety of regulatory compliance, contract review, preparation, consultation, general corporate, employment and ERISA consultation and litigation and managed care litigation. His practice includes representation of employers, underwriters, and agents, reinsurers, TPAs, PPOs, HMOs, Utilization Review, Information Technology, and Medical Management companies. He is a former briefing attorney for the Hon. Lucius D. Bunton, III, Chief Judge of the United States District Court, Western District of Texas. Mr. Polino is admitted to practice in the State of Texas, including each of the four Federal Districts of Texas, the Central District of Illinois, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court. He was formerly National Coordinating Counsel in more than twenty-six states concerning medical stop-loss and excess workers compensation issues. Mr. Polino received his B.B.A. degree from Baylor University and his J.D. degree from Baylor Law School. The Law Offices of Steven T. Polino, P.L.L.C. is a member of the Self-Insurance Institute of America.
Advise First podcast hostRobert Clark is a thought leader in income protection planning, host of the Advice First podcast, content contributor and frequent speaker for industry events catering to executive attraction, retention and overall financial wellbeing.
Robert found his calling among an industry that saved his family after the loss of their Father in 2011. It wasn’t life insurance, however, it was the disability insurance benefit they relied on for 20 years prior. Robert carries out his passion to help clients & employers alike build sound income protection plans using a consultative, goal-driven process.
As a former board member for the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors, and ALS Golden West Chapter, Robert continues to serve his community through volunteering, coaching, and financial education workshops. A past recipient of local 40 Under Forty & Ultimate Male Rising Star awards, Robert holds multiple industry designations including Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS), Disability Income Fellow (DIF), NAIFA’s Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP), and Long Term Care Professional (LTCP).