The Chapter is powered by volunteers. These volunteers put in and get back in a variety of ways. They serve on important committees – education, seminar, membership, public relations and social media as committee members, committee chair people – and in leadership positions on the Board of Directors. There are so many ways to make a contribution to the Chapter. In doing so, volunteers enhance the prestige of the full range of CEBS designations, increase the knowledge of people and groups in the benefits community, demonstrate value to employers and grow in their professional development. And volunteers have fun and form life-long friendships through their involvement with the Twin Cities Chapter of ISCEBS.
For more information about volunteering, contact one of the committee chairs listed below, email the Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org, or let a Board Member know you are interested.
2018 Chapter Leadership
Deb Rosenberg, CEBS Fellow
Phone: 952. 466. 6221
Josh Hoover, CEBS Fello
Phone: 612. 834. 1925
Public Relations / Social Media
Jared Schmillen, CEBS
Phone: 612. 486. 4702
Janis Koltun, CEBS Fellow
Phone: 612. 642. 8740
Lara Pischke, CEBS
Phone: 612. 486. 4771
Board of Directors
Francine Merrell, CEBS
Phone: 612. 719. 9694 (cell)
Francine is presently and HR/Benefits Consultant working through several consulting groups. Her experience includes benefits, HRIS, management, budgeting, payroll, training, mergers & acquisitions, wellness initiatives, and legal compliance.
She also has been responsible for strategic planning, design, implementation and administration of all employee benefit plans including retirement plans which have included 401k, 403b, and 457 plans. She has additional experience in employee communications, leave of absence management, relocation services, vendor management, worker compensation, ergonomics, employee relations and employee safety programs.
Francine is a seasoned HR/Benefits professional with over 20+ years of experience. She earned her CEBS designation in 1998 from the Wharton School of Business.
Terri Jo Halverson, CEBS
Phone: 612. 877. 4317
Terri Jo is a Client Manager with 121 Benefits in Minneapolis, a woman owned third party administration practice. Her main role is overseeing the overall client relationships for larger VIP clients for FSA, HSA, HRA and COBRA administration, with an emphasis on communications and compliance. Terri Jo started her career in Human Resources where she worked as a generalist for seven years before transitioning to third party administration and a focus on benefits.
Terri Jo received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business, with an emphasis in Human Resources, from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul and earned her CEBS designation in 2010. She is a member of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and is a past Fellow.
Leigh Stepan, CEBS
Phone: 612. 805. 6561
Leigh Stepan is Principal at Stepan Consulting doing consulting work with clients in the area of benefits and risk management. Leigh was previously the director of non-healthcare benefits at Target Corporation, a $73B U.S. Retailer with 350,000 team members in 49 states. Ms. Stepan led teams responsible for the outsourced benefits administration process and for the design, delivery and compliance for the products such as retirement, life insurance, disability, FMLA administration, leave of absence policies, pay practices around time away from work, vacation, personal holiday and national holidays. The team’s product responsibilities include managing a number of external vendor relationships and internal partnerships in order to deliver these products nationally. Ms. Stepan is the past manager of Target’s Canadian benefit program. Ms. Stepan previously held the role of claims manager on the Target Risk Management team responsible for the team that managed all property, casualty and employment practice liability losses. Prior to joining Target, Ms. Stepan spent her career in the Risk Management industry. Ms. Stepan spent 13 years at Sedgwick Claims Management Services where she was SVP, Regional Director. During her time at Sedgwick CMS, she specialized in operational leadership, workers compensation, general liability, developed and managed the Sedgwick quality system and was a key leader in building their successful disability management business.
Lara Pischke, CEBS
Phone: 612. 486. 4771
Lara is a Vice President at Hays Companies. She joined Hays in 2003 and provides senior level consulting services on all aspects of health and welfare benefits to clients of various size and industry. Lara’s experience and responsibilities include account implementation and management, strategic planning, financial forecasting and analysis, guidance on product strategy and delivery, vendor management and development of key messaging and employee communication campaigns.
Lara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College and a Masters of Business Administration from Hamline University. She also holds a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans through the Wharton School and is a license life and health agent.
Barb Didrikson, CEBS Fellow
Phone: 612. 708. 6431
Barbara Didrikson has over 30 years of Human Resources Leadership experience. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President – CHRO for Green Tree Servicing for over 24 years. Retired in 2015, she is currently staying connected to the industry by working on the Board for the Twin Cities Chapter of ISCEBS and consulting with organizations to assess and strengthen the Human Resource function.
Before joining Green Tree she managed Human Resource development for the New York Daily News and Minneapolis Star Tribune. She worked with Donaldson’s Department Stores for 10 years in several capacities including Director of Executive Development and Placement.
Ms. Didrikson is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society of Human Resources Management. A Certified Employee Benefit Specialist – Fellowship designation from Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, through ISCEBS. She holds a graduate certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN and a bachelor degree in Social Science/Urban Studies and Economics from the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN.
Josh Hoover, CEBS Fellow
Phone: 612. 834. 1925
Josh has over twenty years of experience in the employee benefits industry including roles in managed care, broker services and sales. Josh holds a BA in Marketing Management form the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He earned his CEBS designation in 2015 and the CEBS Fellow designation in 2017. Josh is currently the Director of Sales-Midwest for EPIC Hearing Healthcare. When not at work you can find Josh at a local craft brewery or binge watching Netflix with his wife and two children
Brent Bordson, CEBS
Phone: 612. 696. 6005
Biography coming soon.
Bethany Charlsen, CEBS
Phone: 612. 667. 8690
Bethany Charlsen is a Client Experience Manager at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT). She began her career in the retirement industry ten years ago as a Customer Service Representative at Wells Fargo. From there she broadened her experience as an Operations Manager and Relationship Manager in Chicago, IL and Anchorage, AK.
In her current role, Bethany leads a team of consultants responsible for communication programs and education resources designed to help America’s diverse workforce prepare for a better retirement.
Bethany received her BS in Management and Finance from Iowa State University and her MBA from the University of Alaska – Anchorage. She achieved her CEBS designation in 2007 and is a Fellow of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.