The workplace in 2022 comes with challenges for HR with regard to turnover, hybrid work and mental health a concern for management. We learned that benefit enrollments will never be the same as well as the role of benefits to RECRUIT and RETAIN talent.
If your organization isn’t leveraging your voluntary benefit program to address this critical need, let’s talk. We work with top carriers to make your voluntary benefit program front and center in curbing the “turnover tsunami”. Best of all, we will design and implement your custom program at no cost.
Because Covid had such a dramatic impact on the workplace, it is highly advisable that HR set an hour aside to take Pamela’s SHRM course: Workplace 2022 – Leveraging Voluntary to aid in Recruiting and Retention to understand how importance of a well-designed virtual voluntary program
Our “5 Star Process” is simple. Following discovery, we will present preliminary design and with sign-off, conduct RFP‘s, authorize contracts, conduct enrollment, deliver deductions and service new hires and claims for years to come.
Oil & Gas on North Slope (Alaska)
Healthcare Entities (from small doctor offices to mid-large sized healthcare clinics, assisted living, and hospitals)
Public Sector (including boroughs/counties and school districts)
Professional Services (law firms, accounting firms, etc.)
Transportation (trucking and regional transport)
Developing a voluntary endorsement strategy to provide exclusive product rates and benefits to association members (potentially with a revenue stream back to the association). The advantage to an association providing a “custom designed” voluntary benefit offering to their members is the ability to obtain unique underwriting offers and benefits that will enhance their membership and add value without any cost to the association.
Unions can take advantage of voluntary benefits for their members through either payroll deduction or non-payroll deduction. The benefit to the union is providing additional benefits to their members (who doesn’t like that?) but also, unions can leverage their size to obtain valuable coverage that cannot be purchased on the open market. Our agency can design a “union-member-enhanced” benefit options that allow members to purchase valuable “guarantee-issue” coverage that goes above and beyond traditional employer and/or union benefits. We can also provide NON-PAYROLL deduction options for unions and their members
For over 20 years, collaborating and partnering with benefit brokers (in Washington and then Alaska) has been a valuable and important part of our agency’s business. Benefit brokers have looked to Elite-VB to “round out” their benefit offering with their clients by handling 100% of the voluntary benefit execution. Starting with product evaluation, enrollment design, communication tools (many combined with the core enrollment communication) as well as technology/platform decisions and following through with data return, on-going new hire servicing and annual open enrollments.
In Alaska, great partnerships were created with most of the brokers in the Anchorage community. In 2017 alone, over $350,000 of voluntary benefit revenue was generated for one broker (often replacing voluntary put in place by a prior carrier). Enrollment meetings were done jointly and client’s service needs were taken care of my our staff (such as claims and any billing issues). This freed up the broker to do more with their clients with traditional benefits.
Partnering with Elite-VB means your clients are provided with the latest carriers and enrollment solutions on the market today. As well, with my partners at VB@Work, the buying power to obtain high “guarantee issue” limits and unique underwriting offers.
If you’re a broker, let’s meet and discuss your voluntary block of business. Let’s see if we can partner together to both improve the product offering so your clients are happy, you can focus on core benefits and enjoy a potentially substantial revenue stream for years to come.
To be the niche agency that provides top-shelf employee-paid benefits that lessen employee’s financial risk for themselves and their families.
Working with organizations of all sizes we accomplish this by providing “best in class” enrollment solutions that are relevant, easy and affordable. Paired with exceptional service and commitment to service, we make voluntary enrollments fun, engaging, and easy.
Through education & expertise, transform the Hawai’i and Alaska Benefit landscape with turn-key programs that aid our client’s need to attract and retain quality employees
Establishing one of the original Aflac District Offices in the Northwest in Bellevue, WA. With a team of over 10 agents, established over 65 new accounts, earned an endorsement by the Master Builders Association (with over 4500 member organizations) and wrote over $4 million in sales in four short years.
Established the first District Sales Office for Colonial Life in Puget Sound, establishing over 540 new accounts in a 10-year period, with the largest account being Swedish Hospital with over 5500 employees. Annual premium written during this time period was over $10 million.
Pamela’s agency won over 67 management awards and was most proud of developing over 35 agents to achieve their business goals and many are currently in management positions and still making a difference in the community. Obtained the original endorsement of the Master Builders Association for Colonial Life.
Expanding the agency to Anchorage, Alaska (under Whitfield Benefit Solutions, Inc.) Pamela’s agency saw a need to work with the community to provide a professional voluntary benefit agency for business owners in a market that was underserved (by one carrier only). Success abounded in this new market and within the broker community at large with a focus on SERVICE being the foundation for our client relationships. Even in a new market, with our hearts in the right place, over 140 new businesses chose our firm. In seven short years over $8,000,000 of premium was written (approximately 25,000 policies) helping over 4,000 employees obtain valuable and affordable coverage.
Redesigning the agency in February 2019 to respond to the needs of our clients, Pamela made the switch from one carrier (Colonial Life) to establish Elite-VB LLC and became licensed as a voluntary benefit broker in Alaska. The goal was to be able to offer our clients “best in class” carriers following 10+ years of designing virtual solutions with Colonial. Already utilizing an Employee Navigator license, many of the Colonial clients were moved to that platform due to ease of enrollment. Partnering with VB @ Work (leading Voluntary Benefit General Agent out of Atlanta) and one of the largest enrollment companies in the nation, our clients have access to top carriers nationwide along with exclusive underwriting offers and technology to compliment virtual enrollments and easy servicing for new hires and premium remittance.
COVID-19 brought abundance and unexpected change our world. The voluntary industry – including carriers, brokers and vendors – was forced to change the way we do business and organization such as Elite-VB did an outstanding job responding to these changes.
Every organization also was also forced to adapt as did Elite-VB. Free of Colonial clients and due to a death in the family in Hawaii, Pamela took the second half of the year off to shed the “brick and mortar” office in MIdtown Anchorage and moved to Kaneohe, HI in Dec of 2020. Still servicing clients in Alaska, Pamela spent the first half of 2021 rebranding Elite-VB while getting to know Hawaii’s benefit landscape, joining the Kailua Chamber and joining Hawaii Association of Health Underwriters (HAHU).
Elite-VB LLC and became licensed as a voluntary benefit broker in Hawaii (as well as Alaska) and started engaging with the community. Corporate offices moved to Kailua, Oahu and the agency was featured on HI Now Daily, and Pamela gave her CE Course “Voluntary Benefits and Enrollment Best Practices in the Covid World) to over 75 agents and brokers. Early November, the course was also given to over 45 SHRM members. First account established while also being featured in December’s Alaska Business Magazine re: Covid and Insurance. Dec of 2021 – Satellite Anchorage Office opened with Assistant Todd Adams working remotely on both Hawaii and Alaska markets.
Elite-VB with HQ’s in Kailua, now poised to help both Alaska and Hawaii employers, brokers, unions and associations. Employee websites established for both Hawaii and Alaska.
In summary: employees in Alaska are similar to Hawaii: they want the best options to protect their families in 2022. Brokers want to work with reliable, experienced voluntary benefit success leaders. Virtual solutions make the difference and we know how to make videos whether it be a Waimanalo Beach sunrise (for Hawaii) or pics or a Knik Glacier shot (Alaska). It’s really about knowing the market and making benefits fun!
April: Pamela Whitfield obtained the “CVBS” certification
Born in Los Angeles, I grew up in South Florida before returning to LA after a year of college. Venturing up to Alaska in 1980 as a trapper and fisherman (out of Kodiak, AK), there were a lot of lessons out in the bush and as a first mate on 60’ vessels. After 2 years, and near-death experiences at sea, she settled in Seattle and enjoyed a great sales career in her 20’s, married in 1988, joining the insurance business with Aflac in 1995. After moving to Colonial Life in 2002 as the first District Manager (in Bellevue, WA), Pamela watched the voluntary industry evolve and eventually expanded the agency to Alaska with her son, Marshall. Moving to such a gorgeous place and learning the ways of Alaskans brought joy and adventure. Mentoring others to be successful in the insurance business has always been a passion, as well as making a difference in the community and giving back to those who are in need. Moving to Oahu in Dec of 2020 brought excitement, better weather and new friends after settling the family home on the N Shore in Sept of 2020.
Pamela loves the outdoors: boating, walking, gardening, golf, Pilates, riding my beach cruiser and walking the beach. With one married daughter in Boise (age 30) working in public health and a son, Marshall Pickering (age 28) who is a benefit broker for HUB in Anchorage. Passionate about keeping Hawaii pristine and beautiful, a new passion is volunteering with 808 Cleanup to remove trash from Windward beaches and parks.