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DON WATZA

Leader and LEAN Champion

Leading projects or teams

I am passionate about coaching people in organizations to succeed.

Successfully operating a small business for two decades and having a decade of insurance rating and operations experience provides real-life skills useful in all organizations.

Team - recruitment, coaching, and training,  

Revenue - Sales, P&L, asset and resource planning, 

Strategy  - LEAN tools for aligning employees with customer value, and prioritizing and planning daily production.

I find in each employee their God-given talent, then nurture it. Happiness and success happen when employees are coached to do the same. I use  LEAN tools and techniques to make this culture change, to go from good to great.

I'm presently open to new opportunities, call now to explore what's possible, or visit www.DonWatza.com for more.

lifetime learner - education

2019

Graduate Program in LEAN Leadership

Oakland University, Rochester

Anticipated Graduation, July 2019

2017

LEAN - Six Sigma Certificate

Villanova University
2018Present

Fellow, Health & Welfare and Retirement Plans

Wharton University of Pennsylvania and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Annual ISCEBS Continuing education consisting of more than forty industry current articles reviewed in detail with comprehensive examination.

20142015

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Selected to participate in accelerated Executive MBA for entrepreneurs sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000, Detroit Cohort III.

Intensive training by nationally recognized professionals in leadership, negotiations, HR, budgeting and finance, corporate vision and mission, marketing and other programs. Local leadership also included community resources of Wayne State University, Macomb Community College, and Oakland Community College.

1986

B.S., Quantitative Methods in Management (Economics)

Oakland University, Rochester Hills, Michigan

Business school led process improvement and economics course material.

1990

Actuarial Underwriting Training

Completion of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Association education program in Chicago at the Association HeadQuarters. Hand-selected Underwriters learn policy, pricing and procedures implemented by Independent Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans across the U.S.

19941997

Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)

Wharton University of Pennsylvania and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Industry standard for benefit education and on-going training.

19942017

Michigan Licensed (#33902) Agent and Counselor in Insurance

State of Michigan Office of Financial Services

Thousands of problem solving meetings with small and large employers learning their needs and interests and solving healthcare, life, disability and retirement product problems. HRIS delivery, integration and service to employees.

WORK HISTORY

20172018

Leader, LEAN Consultant

Start-up PEO, HR Outsourcing Group
  • Lead benefit and payroll start-up efforts for this HR Outsourcing firm.
  • Established vendor relationships.
  • Managed plan document creation.
  • Designed roles for employee and department functions
  • Wrote 15 policies and implemented them for compliance guaranteeing adherence at the processor desk level including back-end transaction internal controls and audit function
20172017

Manufacturing Turn-around

Private Assignment
  • Lead LEAN customer value and employee alignment
  • Established HR policies and employee role descriptions
  • Managed plant floor and daily production
  • Established LEAN improvements with employees
2016

Project, Vice President of Retirement and Health & Welfare Benefits

Trion Solutions, Inc.
  • Lead all aspects of benefit delivery for 24,000 employees in 400 divisions
  • Implemented NEW reporting schedule to timely complete 401k - 5500 and audit
  • Evaluated overall compliance identifying 40+ gaps in compliance
    Coordinated DOL audit response
  • Wrote 18 NEW policies and implemented them for compliance guaranteeing adherence at the processor desk level including back end transaction internal controls and audit function
  • Redesigned department job functions to prepare for staff transitions
  • Turned over 50% staff to improve performance and create career paths.
  • Upgraded team skills with NEW online training
  • Lead analysis and selection of NEW benefit system
1998-2016

President & Founder, HR-Benefit Consultant

BenStaff, Inc . and 4 Your Benefit, LLC
  • Established a direct sales and consulting firm specializing in employee benefit administration and services. Serving more than 20,000 employees with team of 11.
  • Hundreds of successful financial projects savings millions of dollars.
  • Dozens of integration implementation projects for HR, HRIS & Payroll.
  • Conduct actuarial/underwriting audits serving many industries including manufacturing, IT, retail, labor and State of Michigan Emergency Managers.
  • Expert financial negotiator saving clients millions and keeping costs below normal.
  • Created Underwriting Audit, a systematic approach to the analysis and reduction of costs and expenses in healthcare plans.
  • Single greatest success $175,000 per month reduction in premium, a 20% reduction.
  • Recruit talent for HR and benefit positions at client companies.
  • Negotiations with union officers and management – have sat on both sides of the table
  • Audits of hospital claims leading to improved payer negotiation
  • Expert witness for advanced healthcare financing
19971998

Large Group Practice Leader, Agent and HR-Benefit Consultant

Acordia of Michigan
  • Established employee benefit practice for the Michigan division of the worlds 5th largest insurance brokerage company.
  • Deliver all aspects of employee benefits with team of 5.
  • Exceeded sales goal, placing $3,500,000 in premium in 9 months.
19931997

Big Data Analyst - Underwriter

First Security/CIGNA
  • Daily responsibility for profitability, Underwrite and administer 60 self funded cases with 16,000 lives.
  • Responsible for relationships with vendors, TPAs and brokers.
  • Applied actuarial and underwriting methods to establish and negotiate rates with employers.
19861993

Management and Big Data Underwriter

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Underwriter, Rating specialist, Actuarial/uw div. (4 years)

  • Administer 82 insured and self funded cases with 60,000 lives, calculate $74MM in annual renewal premiums for 82 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
  • IT work group member and wrote training document and trained users regarding upgraded actuarial system used in external client reporting.

Supervisor, hospital reimbursements (2 years)

  • Supervised 30 UAW claim adjudicators.
  • Implemented more stringent quality program and reduced admission approval response time resolved outstanding patient accounts.
  • Supervised directors, managers, and others to continue operation during three month union work stoppage.

Management Rotation trainee (supervisor) – operations division (1 year)

  • Management training program consisting of supervisory assignments in membership and billing, claims, call center service and budget and finance.
  • Exposed to all facets of provider and subscriber servicing operations and assisted in coordinating 1987 budget of more than $125MM and covering 2,500 Regular Business Group employees.

Advanced SOFTWARE SKILLS

Always learning the next generation of technology, early adopter and teacher of best practices.

  • Lead LEAN IT projects for:
    • Lead 401k data automation, EDI feed between Worklogics & Financial Institutions
    • Lead Maxwell data automation benefit enrollment integration
    • EDI - 834 Integration with Payplus - PEO & BCBSM
    • Lead SalesForce - Sales  New Client Onboarding integration project 
    • WordPress Web Site Developer/Builder
    • InfusionSoft SAAS Customer Relationship Management
    • HRIS & payroll integration - multiple platforms
    • Lead marketing, CRM, Data Analytics & Adwords
  • Social Media
    • Blog at www.DonWatza.com
    • Twitter @djwatza
    • Facebook, multiple groups, companies - instruction to small business
    • LinkedIn instruction and coaching for students
  • System Administrator Responsibilities for:
    • Google-office, Documents, Spreadsheets
    • Office 365
    • Microsoft Share Point administrator
    • IFEBP delegated LMS training administrator
    • BCBSM client management
    • Priority Health client management
    • BASIC HR
    • Bank of America 401k integration platform
    • Maxwell HR and benefits software
  • Multi-media
    • Jing video tutorial creation
    • Camtasia video editing and production
    • YouTube content creator
    • AutoDesk Sketchbook image tool
    • iBooks author for creating ePub, adobe-PDF
  • Standard Systems:
    • Microsoft and Apple fluent
    • Document Database and research tool DevonThink Pro
    • Google documents

VOLUNTEER ROLES

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FOUNDER

HIVE Foundation - Hands-on Incubator for Vocational and Emerging Engineers

  • 2012, Established a new nonprofit for the benefit of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students.
  • Targeted US FIRST ROBOTICS teams and their mentors to help them manage fund raising.
  • Goal of having professional mentors spend more time with students and less time fund raising and to provide more accountability to donors.

INSTRUCTOR AND SPEAKER

Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, On-line as time allows.

  • Teach Owners, CFO's, agents, consultants and brokers
  • Teach CEBS employee benefit courses for the Wharton school CEBS examinations.
  • Prepare materials and teach specialized financial classes for Oakland University students, BenStaff customers, TPA’s, Insurers, CFO’s and client companies, HR community at large, Union officers, and benefit experts.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Past President, ISCEBS - International Society of Employee Benefit Specialists, Detroit Chapter
  • Past Health Section Member of Society of Actuaries
  • International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialist
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)
  • Group Underwriters Association of America

Personal interest

  • Catholic Faithful, Family, Finance
  • Medical Economics
  • America's Healthcare System
  • Teaching on these topics
  • Lifetime learning
  • Technology
  • Web design
  • World Travel