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Associated Benefits, its executives, and group benefits specialists hold membership in these respected professional organizations:

Bill Heine

Founder

Building on more than 40 years experience in the employee benefits field, William (Bill) Heine founded Associated Benefit Consultants of LA., Inc., today doing business as Associated Benefits Consulting. Bill's success was built on a unique service-oriented philosophy: serve the needs of clients through the expertise of the local agent/broker. This approach has proven particularly successful with membership associations, reflected in a client portfolio spanning the nation from Louisiana to Montana. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Bill received his BBA Degree from Tulane University. He is a member and former president of the Association of Employee Benefit Planners and holds membership in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (CEBS). In addition, he has taught CEBS courses at Loyola University in New Orleans. Bill is also a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and was the first in Louisiana to hold both CLU and CEBS designations. Bill remains of counsel to the firm.

Contact: BillH@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

Cindy Heine, CEBS

President

With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Cindy has held administrative and executive level positions with some of the Gulf South's most prominent faith-based healthcare entities, first with Mercy Medical in Daphne, Alabama, and later, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL) Health System headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA. Cindy gained invaluable experience during her tenure as FMOL's Vice President of Mission Integration with leveraging an organization's history as well as its core ideology - its mission, vision and core values - to better inform current day realities. Such current day realities are often complex issues facing organizations and business owners alike. A prime example is how to fairly and creatively establish a strategically relevant and affordable "people" focus. This includes everything from group health insurance offerings to wellness benefits to developing an organization's talent. The need to identify and address such concerns serves as the foundation for the solutions Associated Benefits provides today.

Cindy has served on the board of Associated Benefits since the company's creation in 1998. In 2007, she began full time employment with Associated Benefits as its Vice President, Operations and was named President of Associated Benefits Consulting in 2009. She holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Louisiana State University, as well as a designation as a Group Benefits Associate from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business in conjunction with the International Foundation of Employee Benefits. She is a member in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (CEBS).

Contact: CindyH@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

Susan Ellender

Vice President, Client Relations

Susan began her career in the human services field working with individuals to create long term, healthy mentoring relationships and has brought that same ability to forge partnerships to associations and their members for over 10 years. Her experience working with brokers, carrier representatives, association leaders, members and individual employees allows for comprehensive needs assessment and fulfillment. For the past 5 years, Ms. Ellender has served as the primary consultant for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's (LABI) endorsed insurance plan. A board member of Associated Benefits Consulting since 1998, Susan graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Ecology in 1992. In addition, she is a licensed life, health and accident agent with a certificate in Health Care Reform Studies from The American College of Financial Services.

Contact: SusanE@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

Cheryl Bridge

Administrative Assistant
and Sale Support

Cheryl comes to us with an extensive background in office management and customer service. She serves as our Administrative Assistant and Sale Support.

Contact: CherylB@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

Ruth Ferry Ragusa

Benefits Operations
Manager

Ruth is a licensed health insurance professional with more than 12 years experience in the healthcare field, having held administrative and operational positions with several companies, including, an international medical devise manufacturing firm. Ruth works out of Associated Benefits' New Orleans office and currently serves as a board member for the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters. Ruth is currently certified through The National Association of Health Underwriters’ (NAHU) professional development course on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). She is now prepared to counsel her clients on upcoming required healthcare changes and new options for health plans. “By taking this course, Ruth has joined an elite group who is uniquely qualified to assist clients in complying with the new law,” said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein. “She understands how the market is likely to change over the next few years, and is in the perfect position to advise families and businesses in planning for the future.”

Contact: RuthR@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

Jessica McDonald

Administrative Assistant
and Sale Support

As our Administrative Assistant and Sale Support, Jessica brings with her almost 10 years of experience in insurance customer service, assisting clients with their questions and concerns. Jessica is currently certified through The National Association of Health Underwriters’ (NAHU) professional development course on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). She is now prepared to counsel her clients on upcoming required healthcare changes and new options for health plans. “By taking this course, Jessica has joined an elite group who is uniquely qualified to assist clients in complying with the new law,” said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein. “She understands how the market is likely to change over the next few years, and is in the perfect position to advise families and businesses in planning for the future.”

Contact: JessicaM@abenefitsconsulting.com ×

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ACA Decision Support Technology software is now available for licensing to select groups.
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ACA Decision Support Technology software is now available for licensing to select groups.
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