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Our Story


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Our Story


AS HEALTHCARE CONSUMERS, WE'VE ALL BEEN FRUSTRATED BY THE SYSTEM.

Whether you’ve been struggling to manage a chronic disease for years, trying to decipher your insurance plan’s benefits, or simply trying to connect the tools you need to live a healthier way of life, you know the feeling of just wanting to throw your hands up. We all do. Why does the healthcare system seem to work so hard against us? Why is it so difficult to pursue wellness?

Kristen Valdes, the CEO and Founder of b.well, has encountered her own set of frustrations with the healthcare system, despite extensive background and knowledge of the insurance industry, including as a VP of the world’s largest health plan, United Healthcare. Faced with a family history of Type II diabetes, she searched high and low for effective, affordable preventive care. It wasn’t until she paid out-of-pocket for lab tests, genetic and microbiome screening, and other wellness evaluations that she was able to identify, treat, and prevent the disease in her own life. Kristen also spent years helping her daughter through a chronic condition, meeting misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. She needed answers and couldn’t find them. And she knew from her years in insurance that other healthcare consumers were facing the same battles.

b.well was born out of our first-hand frustrations, deep experience in the industry, and desire to bring clarity and simplicity to the healthcare system at large. We developed b.well, the heart of your healthcare, as a platform where consumers everywhere are afforded the convenient, modern healthcare experience they deserve.

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Our Team


Our Team


Kristen Valdes Founder and CEO Kristen is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and an accomplished executive in the health insurance industry.  She is intent on transforming the way healthcare is delivered and accessed through b.well.  Throughout her career, Kristen has worked on all aspects of the insurance system, including a three year tenure as VP of Federal Claims and XLHealth at United Healthcare. She previously led the management team at XL Health and oversaw its integration to UHC.

Kristen Valdes

Founder and CEO

Kristen is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and an accomplished executive in the health insurance industry.  She is intent on transforming the way healthcare is delivered and accessed through b.well. 

Throughout her career, Kristen has worked on all aspects of the insurance system, including a three year tenure as VP of Federal Claims and XLHealth at United Healthcare. She previously led the management team at XL Health and oversaw its integration to UHC.

Sheri Kitchin Vice President, Business Development Sheri has 12 years of experience as a healthcare leader focused on collaboration and building strategic partnerships between payers, providers, and technology companies. She helped design and deploy various programs to target quality improvement and grow revenue for small and large payers, including XLHealth. She has expertise in developing software products to solve for healthcare needs. Her extensive background includes operations management, business development, corporate communications, policy and research, and constituency relationship management.

Sheri Kitchin

Vice President, Business Development

Sheri has 12 years of experience as a healthcare leader focused on collaboration and building strategic partnerships between payers, providers, and technology companies.

She helped design and deploy various programs to target quality improvement and grow revenue for small and large payers, including XLHealth. She has expertise in developing software products to solve for healthcare needs.

Her extensive background includes operations management, business development, corporate communications, policy and research, and constituency relationship management.

Yelena Balin Vice President, Operations & Technology Yelena has 15 years of experience as a claims operations and technology leader, driving sustainable results through applied analytics, process improvements, and quality controls.    She was responsible for multi-million dollar program implementations and cost containment at XLHealth.  She is also Facets certified, and a Medicare claims and data expert. Yelena was the recipient of the Thomson Reuters Healthcare Innovation Award. She holds her BS in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Yelena Balin

Vice President, Operations & Technology

Yelena has 15 years of experience as a claims operations and technology leader, driving sustainable results through applied analytics, process improvements, and quality controls.   

She was responsible for multi-million dollar program implementations and cost containment at XLHealth.  She is also Facets certified, and a Medicare claims and data expert.

Yelena was the recipient of the Thomson Reuters Healthcare Innovation Award. She holds her BS in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

 
Leslie Strassberg CFO and Actuary Leslie has 35 years of experience in health insurance actuarial and finance, 20 of which as Chief Actuary at multi-billion dollar companies, focusing on bottom line growth through pricing and cost control while achieving top line growth. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  He also served as adjunct professor of healthcare finance at New York University.

Leslie Strassberg

CFO and Actuary

Leslie has 35 years of experience in health insurance actuarial and finance, 20 of which as Chief Actuary at multi-billion dollar companies, focusing on bottom line growth through pricing and cost control while achieving top line growth.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  He also served as adjunct professor of healthcare finance at New York University.

Philips Johnson CTO Philips has over 8 years experience as an early stage technology executive that delivers winning product outcomes through superior product strategy and execution by leveraging a technical background with real-world experience. He has built over 35 products from ideation to launch.  He was also Thinktiv’s 2013 Innovation Star award winner. Philips holds his BBA and MIS degrees from the University of Texas, Austin.  

Philips Johnson

CTO

Philips has over 8 years experience as an early stage technology executive that delivers winning product outcomes through superior product strategy and execution by leveraging a technical background with real-world experience.

He has built over 35 products from ideation to launch.  He was also Thinktiv’s 2013 Innovation Star award winner.

Philips holds his BBA and MIS degrees from the University of Texas, Austin.

 

Tim Kulp Lead Engineer Tim combines creativity and imagination with technology to build awesome experiences. Prior to b.well, Tim led a global team of developers and architects at UnitedHealthcare Global delivering technology solutions to global healthcare problems. When not writing code, Tim likes to write about coding with over 30 publications spanning topics from software development to secure coding practices. Tim has a BA from McDaniel College and MS from Towson University. 

Tim Kulp

Lead Engineer

Tim combines creativity and imagination with technology to build awesome experiences. Prior to b.well, Tim led a global team of developers and architects at UnitedHealthcare Global delivering technology solutions to global healthcare problems. When not writing code, Tim likes to write about coding with over 30 publications spanning topics from software development to secure coding practices.

Tim has a BA from McDaniel College and MS from Towson University. 

 
Dominic Devita Director of Data Engineering Dominic has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry working with data for consulting firms and payers of different scale and scope. He previously served as Associate Director of Data Services at United Healthcare, as well as manager of all data warehouse and data management activities for XL Health’s Medicare Advantage health plan. Dominic is currently responsible for all data management activities at b.well.

Dominic Devita

Director of Data Engineering

Dominic has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry working with data for consulting firms and payers of different scale and scope. He previously served as Associate Director of Data Services at United Healthcare, as well as manager of all data warehouse and data management activities for XL Health’s Medicare Advantage health plan. Dominic is currently responsible for all data management activities at b.well.

CJ Capizzi Implementation Manager CJ has over 8 years of experience in implementing operations & technology solutions to public and private sector clients, focusing on improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness through process reengineering and technology insertion.  He holds a BS from James Madison University and MS from the University of Tennessee.

CJ Capizzi

Implementation Manager

CJ has over 8 years of experience in implementing operations & technology solutions to public and private sector clients, focusing on improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness through process reengineering and technology insertion. 

He holds a BS from James Madison University and MS from the University of Tennessee.

Ashley Sczudlo Sr Account Manager   Ashley has over 7 years experience in outside sales, marketing, and promotional management.  Through her deep understanding of customer relations and business to business sales, she has effectively driven revenues and served several clients including the largest privately held, family owned spirits company in the world. Her passion for health has brought her to the wellness industry and to b.well in a role in account management.  She holds a BS of Business, with a concentration in Marketing.

Ashley Sczudlo

Sr Account Manager

 

Ashley has over 7 years experience in outside sales, marketing, and promotional management.  Through her deep understanding of customer relations and business to business sales, she has effectively driven revenues and served several clients including the largest privately held, family owned spirits company in the world. Her passion for health has brought her to the wellness industry and to b.well in a role in account management. 

She holds a BS of Business, with a concentration in Marketing.

 
Greg Sczudlo Consumer Experience Manager Greg has an extensive Business Management background, primarily in hospitality environments. He most recently spent 8 years at the helm of multiple restaurants for a boutique group in the Washington, D.C. area. Here he developed robust training and accountability programs, specialized in customer engagement and satisfaction, and built groups of leadership teams.  A true “people-person” and a fitness fanatic, Greg has found a home in b.well that combines his passions for first-rate customer service and healthy living.

Greg Sczudlo

Consumer Experience Manager

Greg has an extensive Business Management background, primarily in hospitality environments. He most recently spent 8 years at the helm of multiple restaurants for a boutique group in the Washington, D.C. area. Here he developed robust training and accountability programs, specialized in customer engagement and satisfaction, and built groups of leadership teams. 

A true “people-person” and a fitness fanatic, Greg has found a home in b.well that combines his passions for first-rate customer service and healthy living.

Lizzie Manning Innovation Champion Lizzie is a Venture for America fellow and recent graduate of Boston College, where she earned a BA in Psychology.   Lizzie has experience working for organizations both large and small, including the Boston Red Sox and various non-profits and social enterprises in the Boston area. Her passion for health and wellness led to her role in operations at b.well.

Lizzie Manning

Innovation Champion

Lizzie is a Venture for America fellow and recent graduate of Boston College, where she earned a BA in Psychology.  

Lizzie has experience working for organizations both large and small, including the Boston Red Sox and various non-profits and social enterprises in the Boston area. Her passion for health and wellness led to her role in operations at b.well.

Carrie Cosgrove Consumer Experience Guru Carrie is a Venture for America fellow and recent graduate of Georgetown University, holding a BS in International Health.   She has experience working in numerous health nonprofits of varying sizes as well as deep experience in the retail and food service industry, leading to an interest in consumer experience in the healthcare industry.

Carrie Cosgrove

Consumer Experience Guru

Carrie is a Venture for America fellow and recent graduate of Georgetown University, holding a BS in International Health.  

She has experience working in numerous health nonprofits of varying sizes as well as deep experience in the retail and food service industry, leading to an interest in consumer experience in the healthcare industry.