Principals

Paul M. Snider

President, Schechter Benefits Advisors
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Paul Snider has served as Managing Director and President of Schechter Benefits Advisors since 1994. His vast knowledge of the employee benefits marketplace and health care legislation has enabled him to manage the health care costs for hundreds of organizations. In addition, he has built a broad knowledge base in the life insurance, disability insurance and 401K arena.

Paul has been a member of the largest Blue Cross Managing Agency’s Agent Council group since 1996 and belongs to numerous other insurance council groups. Prior to joining our firm, he worked with the CPA firm of Kirschner, Hutton, and Shevin. He received his Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in accounting and finance from Michigan State University in 1987.

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Marc R. Schechter

Senior Managing Director & Principal
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Marc Schechter, Senior Managing Director brings an entrepreneurial background, drive and focus to Schechter.  Marc guides the firm in its goal to provide extraordinary financial counsel and service to high net worth families while becoming one of the most well-respected investment advisory firms in the country.

Marc is active in sourcing and due diligence of many direct investments being considered and made by Schechter Private Capital (SPC).  He is also active in identifying many of the alternative funds allocated to by Schechter Investment Advisors (RIA) on behalf of clients.  Marc sits on the board of Industrious, an SPC investment in a co-working business changing the way corporate real estate is managed.

Marc is a technical expert in the life insurance space and has been a catalyst for Schechter’s creative uses of life insurance that go well beyond traditional insurance for estate tax and protection purposes. Marc spends a significant amount time educating and partnering with investment advisors, banks, and insurance agents around the country to distribute Schechter capabilities and solutions broadly.   Marc has been invited to speak to numerous groups of financial professionals, CPAs, and attorneys.

Mr. Schechter has been actively involved with many professional organizations throughout his career, including the Financial and Estate Planning Council of SE Michigan, NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), and AALU (Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. He served on the Partners Financial Advisory Board, an NFP-owned company.

Marc plays an active role in many community organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, the University of Michigan Greater Detroit Campaign Leadership Council, and the University of Michigan Pancreatic Center Advisory Board.

Marc came to Schechter in 2002 with fifteen years of leadership, management, marketing and general business skills developed throughout his role as founder and CEO of Star Trax Meetings and Events and pulse220, a premiere corporate meeting and event management firm.  Mr. Schechter’s vision, and passion, catapulted pulse220 into becoming one of the country’s 500 fastest growing firms as recognized by INC. Magazine and he stayed active with the firm as a member of the board until the firm was recently acquired by global events firm George P. Johnson.

Marc is a graduate of the University of Michigan and lives in Birmingham, Michigan with his wife Susie.

Advisors

Jeff Baker

Account Executive
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Jeff Baker joined Schechter Benefits Group as an Account Director in 2005. His focus is on developing group benefit programs to help control health care costs for potential and present clients while exceeding client expectations. Mr. Baker brings more than 30 years of sales and management experience along with a background as an Agent Relations Manager for the largest managing agency of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

In his spare time, Mr. Baker partakes in many community service functions and is involved in several non-profit organizations. Mr. Baker received his B.A. from Western Michigan University.

Clune J. Walsh, III

Vice President, Senior Advisor
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Clune Walsh has 25+ years of experience working with and advising high net worth individuals’ family offices, business owners, corporations, attorneys, CPAs, and money managers to find the right solutions to achieve financial objectives such as wealth accumulation, tax and estate planning, wealth transfer strategies and charitable giving. Clune works with prominent families in Detroit, Harbor Springs, New York and the Palm Beach areas.

Prior to joining Schechter, Clune was in a similar role as a partner at Walsh Financial Group where he advised his clients regarding estate planning, wealth transfer, corporately-owned life insurance and non-qualified executive programs. Walsh Financial is a member of M Financial Group, a network of 140 independent financial services organizations.

Clune started his career at The Equitable in Chicago, IL, where he was a National Account Representative of Group Operations. During his time there, Clune oversaw all facets of life insurance processes, including underwriting and rate analysis for large group policies. He also managed large case installations and handled the accounts of various clients such as Miller Brewing and Interco.

Clune resides in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In the summer, he spends time with his three kids, Sloane, Clare and Clune, IV in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Clune is a competitive sailor, where he has logged over 10,000 open ocean racing miles, and participates in grand prix racing events internationally.

Ilana K. Liss

Director of Strategy and Implementation
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Ilana Liss is instrumental in the development, presentation and execution of our custom solutions. Her extensive knowledge and skill has earned the respect of clients and helped forge strong relationships with them. She provides counseling and concierge service for our clients throughout the Solution Design process, and she communicates regularly with clients and their advisors throughout the strategy development and execution process. Ilana also directs the underwriting and customer service staff which makes her responsible for our complete client experience.

Prior to joining our firm, Ilana worked as a client service advisor at a hedge fund located in Chicago, Illinois. She is a graduate of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Lead Account Managers

Kelly Miller

Lead Account Manager

As a Lead Account Manager, Kelly Miller works on a day to day basis with clients to assist them with renewals, claims, billing issues. With her team, she works to ensure that clients are well taken care of and all questions and concerns are addressed. She also works to ensure new business is completed as necessary.

Prior to joining Schechter Benefits , Kelly has spent 24 years in the insurance industry including working for a Managing Agent for BCBSM, Third Party Administrator and Agency as well as working with Robert Schechter & Associates for 7 years from 1992-1999.

Lynn Arndt

Lead Account Manager
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Lynn Arndt started working with Robert Schechter in April of 1984 in the pension and 401(k) area. Over the years, she has taken on a variety of roles including managing the securities department as well as overseeing office operations.

In January 2004, Ms. Arndt accepted the role of an Account Manager in the Benefits Department working with groups ranging from two to over 750. She has been a licensed agent since 2004.

Laura McDermott

Lead Account Manager
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Laura McDermott joined the Schechter Benefits team in November 2007. As Lead Account Manager, her role is to work with clients as a day to day contact for their insurance needs. With her team, she helps the client create a benefit program that suits their needs and budget. She then helps the client implement and administer their benefit program.

Stacey Farlow

Lead Account Manager
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Stacey Farlow joined the Schechter Benefits team in September 2003. As Lead Account Manager her role is to work with clients as a day to day contact for their insurance needs. With her team, she helps the client create a benefit program that suits their needs and budget. She then helps the client implement and administer their benefit program.

Prior to joining Schechter, Ms. Farlow worked in the insurance industry for 8 years. Ms. Farlow is a graduate of Union County College and became a licensed agent in 2006.

Jim McDonald

Lead Account Manager

In his current role as Lead Account Manager, Jim McDonald manages client benefits packages and enrollment processes on a day to day basis, ensuring any issues that arise are resolved quickly. Jim works with clients to implement programs that best suit their needs.

Previously, Jim worked on the carrier side and has also been an agent. He has been licensed since 2000.

Implementation & Support Teams

Sara Grech

Director of Talent

Sara Grech is the Director of Talent at Schechter. She is responsible for devising Schechter’s talent strategy and for leading the execution of tactical programs with the objective of growing our team with extremely capable professionals and retaining our current talent base. She is also responsible for maintaining and enhancing Schechter’s Core Values.

Sara has worked in Human Resources for 19 years and prior to joining Schechter, she spent 15 years as the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for an Insurance Services firm for a global conglomerate. Her specialties include employee relations, engagement, talent acquisition, and compensation. She also spent several years on the HR Advisory Committee for The Children’s Center in Downtown Detroit.

Outside of work, Sara volunteers her time to facilitate classes for the VIRTUS program that focuses on educating adults on creating safe environments for children.

Sue Schneider

Account Assistant

As an Account Assistant at Schechter Benefits Advisors, Sue provides a wide variety of administrative support, from enrollment and terminations to claims, audits, preparing handbooks and election forms for our clients. She genuinely enjoys helping our clients in any way that she can.

She most recently worked at BSI Corporate Benefits and Armstrong/Robitaille/Riegle (now Gallagher); however, her benefits career goes back to 1978 at Maccabees Mutual! Safe to say, Sue is more than familiar with the industry.

In Sue’s spare time she enjoys spending as much time as she can with her daughter Estrellita & son Nick. She also has two 4-legged kids, cats Louie and Nala, who are the only kids that live with her. On the weekends, she hangs out with family and friends, frequents estate sales, and sub sales in the warmer months. Sue adores being outside when the weather permits!

Deanna Eastman

Enrollment Specialist

Deanna makes sure clients’ needs are met. She supports the Lead Account Managers when dealing with benefit enrollments, terminations, and changes.

Prior to joining Schechter she worked in the finance industry, mainly banking for about 16 years, 12 years working in data entry at JPMorgan Chase bank.  She also has worked as an accounts receivable specialist with various companies for 5 years.

Deanna is married with 4 wonderful kids and enjoys spending a lot of her free time with them.  Her hobbies are bike riding, music and she loves to crochet.

Angelika Merkle-Kempf

Enrollment Specialist

Angelika ensures all client needs are being met by handling a variety of duties that support the Lead Account Managers and Rate Analysts, including the process of benefit enrollments, terminations and managing any changes for the clients.

Kelly Nicol

Rate Analyst

Kelly Nicol started with Schechter 2003 on a temporary basis to defray the workload in the Individual Life Department. A few weeks later she was hired full time as an Administrative Assistant and later became a Client Service Advisor to handle high-end clients insurance service needs. Ms. Nicol oversaw the reorganization of the file system and change over to a new data base CRM, which helps maintain the growing customer base and life insurance policies.

In her current role as a Rate Analyst Ms. Nicol obtains quotes, based on the client organization participation and needs and prepares client presentations which illustrate options in Medical, Dental, Vision, Life and Disability coverage.

Sharlene Ellard

Lead Account Manager

Sharlene joined the Schechter Benefits team in February 2012 to provide administrative support for the Lead Account Managers. She handles a variety of responsibilities and is heavily relied on for her efficiency and strong administrative skills.

Prior to joining Schechter, Sharlene was an Administrative Underwriting Analyst, New Business Manager, Team Leader and Case Manager at Accuquote in Illinois. She is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Sheri Cwagenberg

Administrative Assistant

Sheri started with Schechter Benefits in October 2011 to provide administrative assistance to the SBA team.  She handles a variety of duties to support the Lead Account Managers including auditing client invoices, the preparation and distribution of benefit support materials for employer presentations and employee open enrollment meetings, assisting Rate Analysts in the client quoting process, and other internal support responsibilities.

Sheri’s prior work experience was in the banking industry as a Product Manager of Fee Based and Small Business lines of business for a large regional bank.  Immediately prior to joining Schechter, she devoted her time to volunteering for a variety of school-related activities.  She is still an active volunteer in numerous organizations.  She is a proud graduate of Michigan State University.

Tammy Leichtnam

Accounting Assistant
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Tammy Leichtnam assists the accounting team in all aspects, including accounts payable and cash receipts.

She also assists the Human Resources department manager with a myriad of tasks.

Christine Belcher

Executive Assistant
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Chris Belcher is responsible for supporting Schechter senior executives and management to ensure all administrative details are handled efficiently and effectively. She plays a vital role in preparing sales reports and client presentation materials, combining and formatting the information used to illustrate strategies and concepts. Christine also assists our firm’s marketing team with sponsorship advertisements. Her responsibilities include in-house systems maintenance to help ensure that Schechter’s operational fundamentals are successfully achieved.