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Behind the screen

DATE | 02/15/21
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Get to know our staff and unmask the person behind the phone call!

It’s been nearly 50 years since we first began serving you. And while 2020 has brought many changes, our mission and our vision remain the same.

  • Our mission: To support the values of WEAC by enhancing the financial security of our members with best-of-class benefit programs that are developed and delivered with integrity, sensitivity, and reliability.
  • Our vision: Every member financially secure.

Our staff remain as dedicated as ever to all Wisconsin public school employees during this challenging time. We know these are difficult days for you. And if we can help make them a little easier, we are happy to do it.

So we want to share our story with you. And especially during this time when we can’t meet you in person, we thought we would introduce just a few of the people you might talk with on the phone—folks who are ready and willing to get you set up with our retirement savings or insurance programs, provide a financial consultation or financial planning session, and help you with your questions and concerns.

Our story

In 1972, we began offering personal insurance coverage to Wisconsin public school employees, and later in the decade we added a low-cost 403(b) program to help them save for retirement. Later, the demand for trusted options to save for the future became apparent, so in the late 1990s we added an IRA program for members and their families.

In 2007, to help our members make informed financial decisions, we began offering financial planning services. And this year we continue to grow, extending our IRA program to certain states beyond Wisconsin for those who meet our eligibility guidelines as well as their families.

Our “why”

Why do we do what we do? Our President and CEO, Dave Kijek, puts it this way: “To be able to work for an organization that has the vision to serve people who are so worthy of our service and allows us the opportunity to care for their insurance and financial services needs is inspirational.”

Our people

Meet a few of our staff in these next pages and get to know us a little better. And we’ll be introducing more of us in the coming months—just follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We love talking to you. We want to help. And we look forward to hearing from you.


Kay

Kay Licciardello

Favorite…

  • Music: Rap
  • Movie: Wedding Crashers
  • Restaurant: Fleming’s Steakhouse
  • Beverages: Diet Mountain Dew
  • Treat: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
  • How long have you worked at Member Benefits? 2 years
  • What do you do at Member Benefits? I am a Personal Insurance Consultant. I work with members to help analyze their insurance needs and provide the best solution I have for their situation.
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Watching college football, walking my dog, playing pinochle.
  • What is your “why?” I love this job because I am strangely passionate about financial security. I take great pleasure in helping members understand that insurance is more about protecting their savings and investments than about protecting their car. Being able to advise and counsel members is what I like most.

Shobi

Shobi Samuel

Favorite…

  • Music: Pop/Rap
  • Movie: Iron Man
  • Restaurant: Salvatore’s Tomato Pies
  • Beverages: Mango Juice, Whiskey, Scotch
  • Treat: Kit Kat/Ice Cream
  • How long have you worked at Member Benefits? 2.5 years
  • What do you do at Member Benefits? My title is Retirement and Investment Services Specialist. I am on the phone helping members with their retirement by placing trades and helping members move other retirement accounts to us.
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? In my free time I enjoy working out, watching movies, and reading about investments. A hobby of mine is to collect coins from all over the world, something I had done as a child. My father traveled a lot due to his job and would always bring back coins/currency from wherever he went.
  • What is your “why?” I have two passions: The first is to help people regardless of the subject, it’s just a part of who I am. The second is investing because it’s just so exciting to me. Being a specialist allows me to combine these two passions in perfect harmony, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to pursue both passions in my current role.

BenBen Hellenbrand

Favorite…

  • Music: Christian
  • Movie: The Bourne Series
  • Restaurant: Texas Roadhouse
  • Beverages: Vitamin Water
  • Treat: Peanut Butter Cocoa Mounds
  • How long have you worked at Member Benefits? 6.33 years
  • What do you do at Member Benefits? I am a Member Service Consultant who assists members with changes to their insurance policies and advises them on insurance coverages.
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Going park-hopping with my family, then stopping at a local restaurant in the last town to support local economies.
  • What is your “why?” I love to help people and educate those whose forte is not personal insurance. Prior to Member Benefits, I had no insurance knowledge other that what I learned the hard way. We had a different insurance carrier where we bought a policy online, without speaking to anyone, for what their computer algorithm said was good coverage for our family. As it turns out, we were severely underinsured for our auto insurance liability and didn’t know it until it was too late and we needed it. It was a hard life lesson but one worthwhile if I can help others avoid my mistake.

VickiVicki Engle

Favorite…

  • Music: Oldies and newer additions: REO, Billy Joel, Dawes, Decemberists, and Ed Sheeran
  • Movie: Anything directed by Aaron Sorkin might land in my top five
  • Restaurant: It’s been so long…check back later this year
  • Beverages: Whatever fruity cocktail my son chooses for me
  • Treat: Homemade fudge and cherry pie
  • How long have you worked at Member Benefits? 3 years
  • What do you do at Member Benefits? I am a Member Benefits Consultant. I help simplify the process of planning for retirement to create happy future selves.
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Hiking, biking, kayaking on SLOW water, reading, and visiting family (before 2020, I would have added cooking…not so much right now).
  • What is your “why?” Every day, someone I speak with feels empowered to change their future with enough financial understanding to begin saving for retirement. Having recently retired, I know this will improve lives.