Nava Benefits Expands Benefits Advisory Board

Nava Benefits
  • New board members bring world-class benefits expertise and counsel to small and midsize employers, joining existing Nava benefits advisors from Delta Air Lines, Airbnb and Caterpillar
  • In addition to expanding its advisory board, Nava launches online HR community for advisors to deliver benefits insights and best practices to HR professionals

Nava Benefits, a modern employee benefits brokerage leveraging technology and benefits innovation to tackle rising healthcare costs, today announced the expansion of its Benefits Advisory Board and launched an online community for benefits and human resources professionals at small and midsize businesses (SMBs). As part of the new community, three leading HR and benefits leaders – with experience leading benefits at Fortune 500 companies – have joined Nava’s advisory board to make industry-leading insights available to Nava’s HR Community. The most recent additions to the advisory board include:

  • Lori McAdams, former vice president of HR Administration at Pixar and former chief HR officer at Marqeta
  • Sara Richards, director of benefits at Red Bull
  • Dawn Sharifan, former senior vice president of people at Slack

“My life’s passion is figuring out how to do healthcare differently – and better,” said Sara Richards. “The best way to drive change is through employers. Achieving that on a wide scale means giving employers, regardless of size, access to the tools, resources and thought innovation that you most often see at larger organizations. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of Nava’s Benefits Advisory Board.”

Founded in 2019 to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare to the 160 million Americans who receive health coverage through their employer, Nava formed its Benefits Advisory Board in 2020 to bring benefits expertise from the nation’s largest and most admired employers straight into the hands of small and midsize employers. Since the launch of its Advisory Board, the program has grown from two to 10 world-class leaders, whose insights have impacted thousands of HR leaders, and through them, tens of thousands of employees. The three newest advisors bring their expertise to the already strong advisory board, comprised of:

  • Kelley Elliott, vice president of total rewards at Delta Air Lines
  • Marcus Osborne, former senior vice president of Walmart Health at Walmart
  • Dene Sparrman, global head of benefits at Zscaler and former director of health and wellness strategy and innovation at Amazon
  • Todd Bisping, total rewards manager at Caterpillar, Inc.
  • Ellen Meza, former senior director of global benefits at DocuSign
  • Tracy Desmond, head of global benefits and well-being at Airbnb

Nava Advisors will anchor Nava’s newly launched online HR community, where they will work directly with Nava leadership and interact with community members to share learnings, insights and advice on navigating the complexities of employer-sponsored health benefits. These insights are critical to SMBs that face the pressures of limited resources, rising healthcare costs, a competitive employment market, and consequential decisions in a post-pandemic environment. The digital venue will feature candid conversations on benefits innovation and technology, benefits plan strategy and advice, and HR and benefits managers’ day-to-day challenges.

The new advisors offer expertise across a variety of industries and settings. For example:

Lori McAdams has led HR and benefits for multiple companies, most recently at Marqeta, which provides a modern card-issuing platform for financial services companies, and before that, at LendingHome, now called Kiavi. She brings decades of experience from high-profile entertainment companies, including Pixar, to the Nava Benefits Advisory Board. Her creativity and ingenuity help HR leaders cultivate their own creativity in designing and offering benefits to help employees bring their best thinking and ideas to work.

Sara Richards has served as director of benefits at Red Bull since November 2020, helping lead the development of benefits designed for a range of employee needs and lifestyles. She spent more than a decade in client success and account management roles in healthcare, including Collective Health, a provider of self-funded employer health benefits. With experience both on the employer and broker sides of benefits, Richards has a history of designing and administering benefits programs that support employees with a whole-person approach.

Dawn Sharifan held HR leadership roles at Slack for almost seven years, most recently as SVP of people. She also brings to the Nava Benefits Advisory Board her academic experience, having served as an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, where she helped students learn the importance of becoming well-rounded, business-savvy HR professionals. Her experience is focused on working collaboratively with business leaders and other HR and benefits professionals to share learnings, develop new innovations and build community.

“At Nava, we believe in the power of giving small and midsize businesses access to the innovations and best practices used by America’s most sophisticated employers to deliver better health benefits at lower cost,” said Brandon Weber, Nava Benefits CEO and co-founder. “Our Benefits Advisory Board is a key part of that, and we’re excited to add three more stellar benefits minds to the team. This is another step toward our goal of giving the HR teams we serve a support network they can’t find anywhere else when it comes to their growth and success in HR.”

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