The HERO Board of Directors provides the oversight and direction that has made HERO successful and helped us become a leading non-profit health management organization in the country. Our board is made up of corporate executives and individuals from a cross section of employee health management organizations.
Each board member is a recognized thought leader in their respective area of our industry. HERO is proud to be guided by this distinguished group of professionals.
Ron Goetzel, PhD
Vice President of Consulting & Applied Research
Truven Health Analytics and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Chair, HERO Board of Directors
As vice president of consulting and applied research for Truven Health Analytics and as a research professor for Emory University, Ron Goetzel is responsible for leading research projects and consulting services focusing on the relationship between health and well-being, and work-related productivity. He is nationally recognized and widely published in the areas of return-on-investment (ROI), data analysis, program evaluation, outcomes research, and health and productivity measurement. Ron has served as principal investigator for projects supported by Medicare, NHLBI, and the CDC, as well as dozens of business organizations, including HERO. Ron was previously with Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems. He has doctorate and masters degrees in applied social psychology from New York University.
Ron is also president and CEO of The Health Project, which is responsible for establishing and managing the C. Everett Koop National Health Awards. Since 1994, The Health Project has been the premier organization that identifies and recognizes exemplar health promotion programs. The Health Project is dedicated to improving Americans’ health and reducing the need and demand for medical services through good health practices.
Seth Serxner, PhD, MPH
Chief Health Officer and Senior Vice President of Population Health
Vice Chair, HERO Board of Directors
Seth Serxner brings the breadth of his experience in academia, industry and consulting to his role as chief health officer and senior vice president of population health for Optum Care Solutions. His versatile skill set ensures processes and outcomes that improve health for clients in all markets. Seth’s deep knowledge of behavior change, population health and measurement allow him to visualize and deliver on program innovation. He has more than 25 years of experience in health and productivity management and has published more than 30 articles. Seth came to Optum from Mercer’s Total Health Management specialty, where he served as partner and senior consultant for nine years. During his tenure there, Seth established himself as a national expert on behavior change, program design and measurement.
Seth spent a decade each in academia and private industry before becoming a consultant. During this time, Seth was vice president of research at StayWell, where he established the industry-leading market research program for developing and marketing consumer health materials and programs. He has also held academic positions with the University of Hawaii Medical School, the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and the University of California, Irvine. Seth earned a Masters of Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, where his research focused on health promotion and disease prevention in social ecology.
LaVaughn Palma-Davis, MPH
Senior Director for University Health and Well-Being Services University of Michigan
Immediate Past Chair, HERO Board of Directors
LaVaughn Palma-Davis is currently the Senior Director for Health and Well-Being Services at the University of Michigan. In this role, she provides leadership for strategy, business development, program implementation, marketing, operations and evaluation of MHealthy, an ambitious effort to leverage the University’s resources to promote the health and well-being of over 80,000 faculty, staff, dependents and retirees, create a University culture of health, and contribute to containing health care costs. LaVaughn provides direction to over 80 employees in numerous programs and services including: wellness and risk reduction services, employee assistance programs, occupational health clinical services, health policy, environment enhancements and evaluation. MHealthy also provides wellness and risk reduction services to UM Health System patients to support the organization’s population health management goals.
LaVaughn has over 25 years of experience in health care administration and health promotion, having served in a variety of capacities for the UM Health System, Blodgett Memorial Medical Center and the Michigan Hospital Association At the UM she served as the administrative director for sports medicine and cardiac rehabilitation programs and oversaw the Health System Child Care Center. She also was the project director for leadership development strategy for the Health System. LaVaughn received her B.S. in Health Education from the University of Dayton and her Master’s Degree in Public Health Education from Central Michigan University.
Lilly Wyttenbach, MA
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Secretary, HERO Board of Directors
Lilly is an Executive Director in the Corporate Benefits Group at JPMorgan Chase responsible for the global Wellness strategy.
Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Lilly was a Vice President in the Americas Benefits Group within the Human Capital Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Lilly joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 and for 15 years held various roles focused on strategy, implementation and delivery of Wellness and Benefit programs to enhance the health and performance of the people of Goldman Sachs. She has had various responsibilities overseeing Wellness initiatives and facility based operations, including overseeing the design and implementation of the Wellness facilities at the firm’s global headquarters.
Throughout her time at Goldman Sachs, she had responsibility for developing US healthcare strategy recommendations for active employees and retirees and overseeing implementation of approved strategic plan design changes and initiatives and fostering integration and coordination across the firm’s US Health & Insurance and Wellness strategies and program offerings.
Lilly received her Master of Arts Degree in industrial/organizational psychology from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and family studies from Cornell University.
Paul E. Terry, PhD
President & CEO
Dr. Paul Terry is president and CEO of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a national think tank dedicated to advancing best practices in employee health promotion. In collaboration with HERO members, Paul and the HERO team provide leadership in research and education on issues such as the impact of wellness program best practices on health outcomes and the impact of healthy cultures on employee performance.
Before HERO, Terry was president and CEO at StayWell, a national provider of population health management programs. Before StayWell, Paul served as president and CEO at The Park Nicollet Institute, a national leader in health services research and education. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and his Masters from Minnesota State University at Mankato where he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award.
Terry is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Health Promotion and is a Past-President of the Minnesota Public Health Association. He serves on advisory councils for The National Academy of Sciences, the American Heart Association, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health. He was principal investigator of a three year CDC sponsored study of the effectiveness of different models of worksite health promotion. Prevention programs that Dr. Terry developed won the C. Everett Koop National Health Award.
Dr. Terry’s numerous scientific papers and articles have won five awards of excellence from the Society for Technical Communications and five National Health Information awards. He is co-author of four books including “Well Advised: Your Guide to Making Smart Health Decisions.” Paul received two Senior Fulbright Scholarships and was co-founder of a HIV/AIDS Prevention NGO in Zimbabwe.
Josh Glynn, MBA
Global Health and Performance Manager
Josh Glynn, MBA is the Global Health+Performance Manager at Google. Part of the Real Estate and Workplace Services group, his team is focused on enhancing health and community throughout the company. With a focus on user experience, operations, and outcomes, his team runs programs in offices around the world and focuses on innovation through user centered design. His goal is to better understand the link between health, happiness and performance, and better leverage technology for scaleable solutions. Having started in the Benefits group, Josh has been with Google for over 6 years. Previously, he has worked in both the private and university setting.
Fikry Isaac, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Vice President, Global Health Services
Johnson & Johnson
Dr. Fikry Isaac is the vice president of Global Health Services for Johnson & Johnson. In this role, Dr. Isaac leads the development of health and wellness strategies, policies, guidelines, and services worldwide (occupational medicine, Employee Assistance Program and wellness).
During his time at Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Isaac has been has been driving the comprehensive Total Health programs that have reduced the companyís health care costs and improved the health of its employees. He also serves as the chief medical officer for Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. In this role, Dr. Isaac provides health management expertise, strategic direction and support for customer acquisition and lead generation. Dr. Isaac received a Masterís of Public Health in occupational medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin and is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, where he chairs the Pharmaceutical Section and the Corporate Health Achievement Award. Dr. Isaac is the industry co- chair of the Life Science and Innovation Forum-APEC. He also serves on several boards including the Partnership For Prevention, the Global Health & Benefits Institute and the Games for Health editorial board.
Nico Pronk, Ph.D., M.A., FACSM, FAWHP
President of the HealthPartners Institute
Chief Science Officer at HealthPartners, Inc.
Adjunct Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Pronk’s work is focused on connecting evidence of effectiveness with the practical application of programs and practices, policies and systems that measurably improve population health and well-being. His work applies to the workplace, the care delivery setting, and the community and involves development of new models to improve health and well-being at the research, practice and policy levels.
Currently, Dr. Pronk serves as co-chair of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (aka Healthy People 2030) and is a member of the Community Preventive Services Task Force. He was the founding and past president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion and has served on boards and committees at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the American Heart Association, the Health Enhancement Research Organization, among others.
He is widely published in both the scientific and practice literatures and is a national and international speaker on population health and health promotion. Dr. Pronk received his doctorate degree in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University and completed his post-doctoral studies in behavioral medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Betty-Jo Saenz, MBA, MPH
Senior Director, Benefits
Betty-Jo joined ADT in July 2012 as Senior Director, Benefits. In this role Betty-Jo is responsible for the oversight, design, and management of ADT’s health and welfare, retirement, and wellness strategy. She is a performance-driven professional with 15 years of combined expertise in Benefits management with proven results in cross-functional environments. She has a strong track record of creating benefit programs designed to support a healthy workforce and excellence in service levels to employees.
Betty-Jo previously worked at Motorola Mobility, a division of Google, where she served as the Director of North America Benefits. At Motorola Mobility, Betty-Jo directed the strategy, innovation, design and development of benefit programs in support of the company’s global strategy to attract and retain best-in-class employees while promoting healthy employees with a secure financial future. Betty-Jo began her career with Motorola headquarters where she was the U.S. Healthcare Strategy Practice Lead.
Betty-Jo is a performance-driven professional with 15 years of combined expertise in Benefits management with proven results in cross-functional environments. Experience in industry best business practices, policies, and procedures to operate a successful benefit program designed to result in “healthy people” and excellence in customer satisfaction while bringing a favorable return on investment. A creative thinker, problem solver and decision maker effectively balances the needs of employees with the mission of the organization.
Betty-Jo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Miami, a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Master’s of Public Health from Florida International University. She is also a Six Sigma Black Belt and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.
David Schweppe, MPH, CPHIMS
National Vice President
Customer Analytics & Reporting
David Schweppe is national vice president, Customer Analytics and Reporting, for Kaiser Permanente. He is responsible for leading the building of and maintaining industry leading customer reporting and analytic capability across the Kaiser Permanente organization.
In this capacity, Schweppe leads the assessment of Kaiser Permanente’s position in Customer Reporting and Value Demonstration to determine the current and future information needs of Kaiser Permanente customers. He also is responsible for developing the strategy and building the infrastructure to ensure Kaiser Permanente is the industry leader in analytics and reporting.
Schweppe joined Kaiser Permanente in 1993 previously; he was Director of Analytics in Quality Operations with The Permanente Medical Group, and with Kaiser Permanente IT as the Director, Clinical Data Solutions. In the last six years, Schweppe has led the release of a number of new information products, such as Kaiser Permanente’s Partnership in Health Reports, Information Consulting Services, and research & development services to enhance the organization’s reporting capabilities.
Schweppe has a master’s degree in public health from California State University at San Jose and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in genetics from UC Davis.
Anita Shaughnessy, MEd
Vice President, Benefits Manager
Anita Shaughnessy is Vice President and Manager of the Well-Being program at Wells Fargo.
In this role she directs the well-being strategy, and is responsible for planning, developing and evaluating programs and initiatives offered to over 260,000 US based team members, and spanning 8,700 locations.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Anita was Vice President of U.S. Healthcare and Wellness at American Express. Under her leadership that program was conferred multiple industry awards including honorable mention for the C. Everett Koop award.
Before this, she was Director of Welfare Programs at Citi; and also previously led Citibank’s work-life and health promotion programs. While she was with Citibank, the Health Management Program received two C. Everett Koop awards, with published results in the American Journal of Health Promotion and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
In her early career Anita led aquatic and physical programming for the YMCA and then consulted on staffing and development of corporate fitness centers for several corporations including General Foods, GH Bass and Titleist and Footjoy Worldwide.
Anita received her Bachelor of Science degree from Russell Sage College, and a Master’s degree in education from Springfield College.
Tamara (Tami) Simon, JD
Managing Director and Global Practice Leader
Knowledge Resource Center
Conduent Human Resource Services
Tami Simon is a nationally recognized health, wellness and workforce strategy leader. Recently named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Benefit Consulting by Employee Benefit Adviser, Tami is the Global Practice Leader of Conduent’s HR Services Knowledge Resource Center. The Knowledge Resource Center is responsible for the firm’s cross-practice legal compliance consulting center, government relations, thought leadership, publications, research, surveys, and training. Tami also held the position of Global Practice Leader for the Career Practice, the firm’s compensation, talent management and vendor management team. Tami is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and executive sponsor for the Conduent Women’s Alliance DC chapter.
Tami is an accomplished and highly sought-after public speaker and has testified before the US Congress and Federal Government agencies. She has served as a faculty member for numerous programs, including those of the Harvard Business School, American Law Institute, American Benefits Council, ERISA Industry Committee, Society for Human Resource Management, and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.
Tami has authored numerous articles in nationally recognized industry publications such as the Benefits Law Journal, Employee Relations Law Journal and Employee Benefits Journal. She has also been quoted by leading news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BNA, The Atlantic, Business Week, CFO Magazine, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, MSN Money, US News & World Report, Washington Business Journal, and Yahoo Finance.
Tami is on the board of directors for Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions, advisory board of the ERISA Industry Committee as well as BNA Tax Management’s Compensation Planning Journal. Before joining, Tami worked for Mercer, the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, Hewitt Associates and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; she also served as a judicial intern for the Iowa District Court. Tami received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and her law degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was an associate editor of the Law Review. She is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Laurie Whitsel, PhD
Director of Policy Research
American Heart Association (AHA)
Laurie Whitsel, Ph.D. is currently the Director of Policy Research for the American Heart Association (AHA), helping to translate science into policy at a national level in the areas of cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention and health promotion. The policy research department provides policy development and the foundation for AHA’s advocacy work at the national and state level. Whitsel has written numerous published papers in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, health promotion in the worksite and obesity prevention, policy position statements as well as legislative briefs, and the AHA’s strategic policy agenda. Whitsel represents the AHA with several national partners including the Y, Action for Healthy Kids, the President’s Council for Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition, HERO, the Aspen Institute’s Project Play and she has spoken at numerous national conferences. She regularly interacts with several government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as members of Congress. She has served on grant-writing teams for the AHA including the original $8 million grant awarded to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the Healthy Schools Program. From 2011-13 she served as President of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA). NCPPA represents a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations and is focused on promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives at the national level, advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active and healthy.
Senior Vice President, National Health Care Strategist
Sue Willette is a national health care strategist with over 25 years of industry experience. In this role, Sue serves employers across the country, bringing thought leadership around emerging industry trends and insights on the options employers might consider related to their long term health care strategies. Sue also brings specific expertise in serving clients as they develop and deploy best practice, population health management strategies designed to tackle the impact of poor health on health care costs, worker productivity, and overall business performance. In addition to supporting clients, Sue serves on Aon Hewitt’s innovation council and large market leadership team.Prior to joining Aon Hewitt, Sue was senior vice president and chief growth officer at StayWell Health Management, a national wellness vendor. In this role, she served on the executive team and had responsibility for research, sales and account management functions. Prior to StayWell, Sue was a worldwide partner at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and national leader of Mercer’s health and productivity management specialty consulting practice. Sue was strategic leader for many of Mercer’s largest and most complex clients across the U.S., several of which received national awards for their programs and the results achieved.
Sue is a recognized authority in the field of population health management, frequently speaks at industry conferences, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in business and health from St. Cloud State University.
Emeritus Board Members
Mark Dundon, Ex Officio/Co-Founder
Bill Whitmer, Ex Officio/Co-Founder
Jerry Noyce, President and CEO