About the Speaker
Jill Gorres joined JA Counter in February 2008. She is licensed in Life, Health and Property and Casualty insurance in WI and MN. Jill is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a degree in General Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Sales. Jill holds designations through The American College for REBC (Registered Employee Benefits Consultant) and RHU (Registered Health Underwriter), SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management - Senior Certified Professional) and is a Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional.
Jill brings expertise in areas of benefits consulting, regulatory compliance, benefits administration and insurance product design. She works with employer groups to find solutions with valued plan designs and budget restrictions leveraging products or services provided by JA Counter, Alera Group.
Jill is active in the Valley communities, having served on the board of directors for Chamber of Commerce, Turningpoint for Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Economic Development Corporation, and Employers’ Association. She is the founder and former President of a Young Professionals Group, won 2011 Associate of the Year with the Home Builders Association, and is current President of the St. Croix Valley Employers' Association.
Wally Gomaa’s drive to revolutionize health care in the areas of disease management and wellness inspired him to become a founder and CEO of SimplePay Health.
His overall health care expertise and experiences allowed him to implement the nation’s largest health management program for individuals with diabetes and heart disease. As a former President of a national insurance carrier, CFO of a health care provider, and a benefits consultant, Wally has a unique understanding of the goals and inner-workings of all major stakeholders in the health care equation. His past experiences give him tremendous insights into how the entire system can work better for businesses and their employees.
Wally earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University. He continued his education at the University of Houston, where he earned his MBA and MHA.
Wally sees the health care system through a unique set of eyes. His whole perspective on the industry changed after he was hit by a car while riding his bike. That patient experience only deepened his passion for transforming and reigniting the health care system.
Mike is the Executive Director of PESI, Inc, a non-profit continuing education provider and President of TBG Holdings, LLC a local commercial real estate company. Mike holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Over his 42 year business career (8 years - retail, 3 years - insurance and 31 - marketing/continuing education), he excelled in positions where his entrepreneurial and motivational skills could be sharpened and utilized. His main focus/passions are business management, product development, marketing and mergers/acquisitions. Mike plays active roles in the business programs at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Technical College. He has also contributed to various community associations including area Chamber of Commerce, Church, Merchant and Lake Associations and has been recognized as the Best Local Business Advocate in 2020 and 2021. Specialties: entrepreneurship, marketing, direct mail, mergers/acquisitions.
Regional Sales Director
As an experienced business development professional, Jake’s focused on developing customized solutions for his clients and ensuring Confidio is well-positioned to exceed client expectations.
Jake’s passion is for people – he is focused on cultivating, maintaining, and strengthening strategic broker and client partnerships. With a strong desire to “compete to win”, Jake is a valuable asset to the Confidio team. He’s able to keep the end goal in sight, while solving for his brokers and client needs.
Prior to Confidio, Jake spent 15 years at Benefit Administrative Systems, a Third-Party Administrator, as a Director of Business Development. Prior to BAS, Jake served 5 years in several roles within Express-Scripts, Inc, concluding his tenure there as a Senior Benefits Analyst – Sales. Jake holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Jake spends his free time with his wife and two sons, Luke and Leo. The biggest joy in his life is being a dad and working hard for his family. As a baseball fan, he enjoys spending the day at the ballpark supporting the St. Louis Cardinals!
Kevin has been working with clients and prospects in an account management or sales support capacity for over 11 years. The first half of Kevin’s career was spent at Express Scripts where he gained valuable experience navigating the innerworkings of PBM processes and the demands of the industry.
In each role held, he has developed his ability to collaborate with others to achieve results. Whether that was reacting quickly to resolve escalated client issues or using his knowledge of tools and resources to anticipate client needs. Kevin’s passion is the customer and will work tirelessly to ensure that customers’ expectations are not only met but exceeded. This coupled with his dedication and enthusiasm has allowed Kevin to build strong mutually successful professional relationships throughout his career.
Kevin’s background in pharmacy benefits and focus in account management provides him with the ability to understand client needs and help decipher the complexities of the industry to help clients achieve their goals
Kevin received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rockhurst University and currently resides in the St. Louis, Missouri area with his wife and three sons.
Troy Sisum serves at ELAP’s Chief Counsel, where he oversees the company’s litigation strategy throughout the United States. He advises the company on health care and ERISA matters that impacts its business, and works with various trade organizations relating to targeted government relations initiatives. Prior to joining ELAP, Troy was an accomplished trial attorney practicing civil litigation with an emphasis on complex litigation matters, specifically in the areas of dangerous prescription drugs, defective medical devices, occupational exposure claims and catastrophic workers’ compensation subrogation matters throughout the United States. Mr. Sisum graduated cum laude from La Salle University in 1998, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 2002. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and several federal courts throughout the United States.
Dr. Thomas Young
Founder, Chief Medical Officer
Thomas R. Young, MD is a board certified family physician with more than 35 years of medical experience. He is recognized as an innovator and thought leader in the fields of Consumer Directed Health Care and Population Healthcare Management. Dr. Young served for six years as the Medical Director of Idaho Medicaid and has remained active in the formation of medical and mental health policy for the state of Idaho. Dr. Young was also Chief Clinical / Medical Officer of Idaho Medicare QIO Qualis Health. Previously, Dr. Young served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Connextions Health, a Florida-based healthcare technology company that was acquired by Optum Health, a division of United HealthGroup. Dr. Young also served as President of Behavioral Imaging Solutions, a technology firm recognized for its application of video imaging for the treatment of children with autism. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at US Preventive Medicine, a health technology leader in Population Health Management. He is also a successful entrepreneur. His businesses ventures include Diversified Franchises, LLC which owns a chain of specialty restaurants, a home health business, and Elite Sports Society, a successful sports marketing business where he serves as the business development officer.
President, Managing Partner
Linda Skoglund is the Managing Partner of JA Counter, an Alera Group Company, which is considered one of the most respected employee benefit firms in the area. An insurance industry leader, Linda is responsible for the agency's strategic direction and continued growth. She is supported by some of the most passionate, hardworking people in the industry. She brings this passion and energy to her clients, resulting in better outcomes for them and their employees. After over 30 years in the insurance and financial service industry, Linda is more passionate than ever about helping employers achieve the best possible outcomes by challenging the status quo. While focused on all aspects of the business, her primary consulting practice is specialized in areas of benefit planning and total reward strategy for large employer groups, specializing in public sector. Linda is proud to be a founding member of the Alera Group, a national employee benefits firm built on the collaboration of 24 like-minded business owners. Alera is on a mission to transform the client experience and is motivated by the desire to provide the resources, technical expertise and best practices of large national firms without losing the high-touch and independent thinking of local teams. Linda is a true believer in “paying it forward” in the communities she serves, supporting this through her own personal involvement and through the encouragement and advocacy of her team’s involvement in giving back.
Chief Client Officer
Kristi serves as Chief Client Officer for the employee benefits practice. In this role, Kristi focuses on delivering an exceptional experience to JA Counter’s clients by supporting the operational infrastructure that clients rely on for customized and innovative solutions to all their benefits needs. This infrastructure includes account management and sales support, financial analysis, benefit technology, and a full array of client services. With the strength of client relationships as a foundational principle of JA Counter’s business, and an environment that fosters collaboration and teamwork, the benefits team is committed to continuous pursuit of effective and efficient client-focused service. As Chief Client Officer and an advanced account and wellness partner, she assists clients with selection, implementation and administration of their employee benefits packages. Kristi is focused on bringing practical solutions to organizations regarding health management, cost control, recruitment and overall culture that supports the wellbeing of employees; encouraging a win-win approach to reducing healthcare costs. Her direction, passion and focus comes from taking a more than fifteen year journey into the industry which allows her to draw on experiences in manufacturing, health care, wellness and general business operations; deploying solutions with equal focus on operational efficiency and experience. Kristi lives in the Osceola area with her family. She enjoys supporting the growth of her children through various sports and activities (Destination Imagination is a favorite), supporting her community, spending time with her extended family, traveling, hiking, biking and camping.
Playbook Strategy Consultant
Within the role of Playbook Strategy Consultant, Amber’s primary aim is to develop and maintain strong community relationships and help large market employers analyze their return on investment in benefits and consulting services by guiding them through the Alera Playbook process. She assists the JA Counter team through expansion and diversification of clientele and keeping current on market, industry and community trends. In addition, Amber enjoys training other Alera firms in The Collaborative Way as one of Alera Group's Collaborative Way Champions. She is a member of Alera's Data Analytics Peer Group, Healthcare Vertical Team and Public Sector Vertical Team. Amber received her B.S. in Healthcare Management and is Accident Life & Health licensed in WI, MN, SC and OH. Prior to joining JA Counter, Amber worked in voluntary insurance & employee benefits, as well as with the American Red Cross and group homes for adults and juveniles with developmental disabilities with experience working with the State of Wisconsin’s IRIS program. Amber previously served in the Kinship of Polk County’s youth mentorship program and is very active within the community. She is passionate about workforce development initiatives, such as hosting and attending Life Poverty Simulations through the United Way, and involvement with several Economic Development Corporations. Amber joined the St Croix County Economic Development Corporation's Workforce Development Committee in 2020 and has taken over the role of Committee Chair. She joined the board for the Family Resource Center of St. Croix Valley in 2020 and is now serving on the executive committee as the Secretary. Outside of work, Amber enjoys reading, traveling, warm weather and spending time with her husband and two daughters.