silverstone_group_omaha

Featured Associates

 

barrett-jeff

Jeff Barrett

Principal

Jeff has over 31 years of risk management experience. He works with both public and privately held clients. His unique skills are in the area of analysis, design and...

Jeff has over 31 years of risk management experience. He works with both public and privately held clients. His unique skills are in the area of analysis, design and implementation of property and casualty programs. His approach with accounts is to focus on methodologies of reducing the cost of risk. This involves various risk financing techniques that include captives, self insurance and loss sensitive rating approaches.

Jeff and his industry-specific teams know that every client faces individual challenges that require customized solutions. But solutions without service are not enough. That's why they strive to give every client service beyond their expectation. That's the SilverStone Group hallmark, and it's practiced every day by Jeff.

A frequent contributor to the Midlands Business Journal and SilverStone Group's SilverLink magazine, Jeff also provides seminars on reducing workers' compensation costs and has given presentations to the Nebraska Society of CPAs.

Jeff is a member of many professional associations, including the Risk Insurance Management Society and Jonathon Trummel Council. He is currently working toward obtaining his Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations.

Contact Information
e-mail: jbarrett@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5563  |  fax: 402.964.5566

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Certified Workers Compensation Underwriter (CWCU)
  • Certified Analytic Broker (CAB)

Education
Bachelor of Arts  |  Business Administration
Iowa State UniversityAmes, IA

marshall-john

John Marshall

Principal

John has lived and breathed healthcare from a very young age. Growing up in a family who works in the industry, he knows the challenges and rewards first-hand.

John has lived and breathed healthcare from a very young age. Growing up in a family who works in the industry, he knows the challenges and rewards first-hand. His entrepreneurial drive has been with him since childhood. He and his younger brothers had a lawn business for many years and, at one time, had Gary Hurley (retired CEO of SilverStone Group) as a customer. When John’s resume landed on his desk a few years later, Gary remembered how John always did an outstanding job and decided to give him a chance at SilverStone Group.

Currently, John serves as the head of the Healthcare Risk Services division for SilverStone Group, in addition to handling all educational institution clients for the firm. John's team works with Associates throughout SilverStone Group to develop strategies to reduce the total cost of risk for clients firm-wide. Throughout his career, John has developed an expertise in medical malpractice insurance and risk management. He has also developed a proprietary risk identification process at SilverStone Group that helps healthcare and educational organizations control business risk.

Working at SilverStone Group allows John to be on the leading edge of industry offerings. With the help of his team, he is able to create, offer and implement solutions to the challenges that others say can’t be overcome. John is able to quantify the exposures his clients have faced in the past, giving his team the ability to prioritize, and hopefully prevent, those same problems happening to new and current clients.

John is a frequent contributor to local trade journals and serves as a public speaker at several healthcare associations each year, providing unique data on risk management and medical malpractice market conditions. His articles on the subject of medical malpractice and risk management have been featured in our own SilverLink magazine as well as national publications such as Medical Economics.

He has previously served two-year terms as board chairman of VODEC and the Southwest Iowa Red Cross Chapter. In 2005, John was honored as one of the top 40 business professionals under the age of 40 by the Midlands Business Journal, an Omaha publication.

John and his wife, Andrea, have worked with several philanthropic organizations in the area, helping with fundraising, strategic development and financial accounting. Andrea also serves on both the summer arts festival and MerryMakers’ boards. The couple likes living in downtown Omaha, experiencing the “urban life.” Together they enjoy traveling, hiking adventures, scuba diving and running outdoors.

Contact Information
e-mail: jmarshall@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5559  |  fax: 402.557.6321

Professional Titles

  • Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI)
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Business Administration
Drake University |  Des Moines, IA

Three-Year Partnership   |  Producer Program  |  Business Management
St. Paul Insurance Companies

burke-dan

Dan Burke

Principal

Dan knows that in business it's people who make the difference. He's been in the property and casualty business for more than 19 years...

Dan knows that in business it’s people who make the difference. He’s been in the Property & Casualty business for more than 21 years, long enough to know that what really makes a customer feel valued is having someone take the time to listen to his or her story. That’s exactly what Dan and his team do each and every day while communicating extensively with their client and then work together to streamline coverages. Dan and his team use a total cost of risk approach that incorporates a number of divisions including the Human Capital and Private Client Service area. Dan specializes in the placement of unique coverages including large workers’ compensation programs that can include a loss-sensitive approach.

Dan really enjoys helping others and already has an admirable community service record. He is a past member of the Fontenelle Forest Board of Directors Executive Committee and a past member of the New Cassel Retirement Center Board of Directors. He has also served on the Ak-Sar-Ben Floor Committee. Dan attended the Roger Sitkins Training Camp and is a member of the Nebraska Restaurant Association. In addition, Dan holds his Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designation.

Contact Information
e-mail: dburke@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5562  |  fax: 402.557.6326

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Organizational Communication
Creighton University |  Omaha, NE

Partnership Program
St. Paul Companies

Producer Program
Continental Western

sutton-john

John Sutton

Principal

John may have grown up on a ranch in central South Dakota, but he's no stranger to the business world. Since graduating from Augustana College, John has...

John may have grown up on a ranch in central South Dakota, but he's no stranger to the business world. Since graduating from Augustana College, John has spent more than 20 years in risk management and the commercial insurance industry. John was responsible for establishing SilverStone Group’s Sioux Falls office and serves as Regional Director for SilverStone Group operations in North and South Dakota.

John also leads the South Dakota risk management team. Their unique practice partners with midsize companies to take a proactive risk management approach. They recognize that placing and servicing insurance policies offers only a limited value to most larger businesses. By employing a comprehensive analysis of both insurable and uninsurable risks, the team is able to develop and implement customized, risk reduction systems and alternative risk transfer strategies to minimize the purchase of insurance and lower the total cost of risk.

John is active in the community, including involvement with Junior Achievement and Augustana College. He serves on the board of directors for LifeScape.

Contact Information
e-mail: jsutton@ssgi.com |  phone: 605.332.3882  |  fax: 605.332.2105

Professional Titles

  • Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI)

Education
Bachelor of Arts  |  Business Administration
Augustana College |  Sioux Falls, SD

mccawley-pam

Pam McCawley

Principal

Pam is great at solving problems. She has more than 20 years of experience in the personal lines insurance arena, specializing in VIP and complex accounts.

Pam is great at solving problems. She has more than 25 years of experience in the personal lines insurance arena, specializing in VIP and complex accounts. Pam's knowledge and experience in the personal insurance industry help her make a difference to the owners of many of the premier homes across the United States. She also enjoys helping her prestigious clients find solutions to protect their collectibles and other fine arts.

Pam previously worked as an underwriter for Crum & Forster and was an Area Manager/Vice President during her 10 years with Alexander and Alexander.

Pam has been involved with several professional and civic associations including the American Cancer Society, Girls Inc., Omaha Food Bank, TeamMates and the Independent Insurance Agents of Omaha. When she's not helping clients, Pam enjoys gardening, knitting, decorating and spending time with her extended "Irish" family.

Contact Information
e-mail: pmccawley@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5570  |  fax: 402.557.6320

Professional Titles

  • Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI)
  • Associate in General Insurance (AINS)
  • Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA)
nelson-john-h

John H. Nelson

President & Principal

John grew up in a family that espoused Midwest values of family, community and an honest day's work for an honest dollar, and his upbringing shows...

John H. Nelson grew up in a family that espoused Midwest values of family, community and an honest day's work for an honest dollar, and his upbringing shows in the way he handles his business. With 20 years of experience in property and casualty insurance, John specializes in multi-family residential, hospitality, retail, industrial and commercial property risks.

John founded and continues to lead our real estate risk services division which is considered one of the top industry-specific insurance teams in the United States, with assets in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Our real estate clients develop and manage commercial, residential and hospitality investment properties. These clients face risk management issues that require complex solutions. With backgrounds in reinsurance, underwriting, marketing, safety engineering and claims adjudication, John's team is uniquely positioned to offer clients a true 360-degree perspective of their risk management program.

John has expertise in designing property programs for clients with catastrophic risk exposures. After Hurricane Katrina, for example, he and his team traveled the world to find affordable solutions at a time when many of their peers were unable to find capacity. John says his clients become more like friends -- and he doesn't like to let his friends down.

John also has a passion for aviation as his Grandfather, Major James Tucker, flew a Lockheed P-38 Lightening during WWII. In recognition of the globalization of business and the proliferation of both privately-owned and corporate aircraft, John has worked diligently to build an Aviation division at SilverStone Group by recruiting experts with extensive knowledge and expertise in the industry. He works closely with the Aviation team, which has over 40 years of combined experience in all facets of aviation and is dedicated to bringing our customers the best service in the industry.

His job experience includes working internationally with Swire Fraser at Lloyd's of London in 1992, Swire Pacific in Hong Kong in 1993 and Aon Risk Services of Chicago, Illinois in 1994.

John is a member of Young Presidents' Organization and he and his wife Susie serve on several community boards and are chairing the 2013 Nebraska Make-A-Wish Fundraiser . John is also passionate about supporting our military and their families through the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Contact Information
e-mail: jhnelson@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5573  |  fax: 402.964.5566

Education
Bachelor of Arts  |  Political Science & Economics
University of Iowa |  Iowa City, IA

Grieg Fester Reinsurance Program |  London, England

CNA Sales & Technical Training School |  Chicago, IL

USF & G School of Insurance |  Baltimore, MD

dale-barb

Barb Dale

Principal

Barb has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years. With that much experience, you can rest assured that your organization is receiving the most knowledgeable information possible.

Barb has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years. With that much experience, you can rest assured that your organization is receiving the most knowledgeable information possible.  Specializing in property & casualty and risk management, Barb oversees the service staff of the Property & Casualty Risk Services Division, a job she says is a lot like working with extended family. Barb prides herself on her team's commitment to always putting client needs first. She has developed strong, positive relationships with insurance carriers and spends time researching products, industry innovations and other means by which the client/carrier relationship can be enhanced.

Barb services on several boards, she is President of Omaha Independent Insurance Agents organization and she sits on the Executive Board of NetVU (National User Group of Vertafore products), past president of Insurance Women of Omaha, and is an  active member of Omaha Underwriters Association and  Omaha Chapter of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU). In 1998 Barb was awarded Insurance Woman of the Year by Insurance Women of Omaha. Barb is not in this for the accolades, though -- she loves working at SilverStone Group because of the firm-wide commitment to customer service.  And she's always up for a challenge -- change, she says, is good for the organization, helping us face the future unafraid to try new things.

Contact Information
e-mail: bdale@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5560  |  fax: 402.557.6328

Professional Certifications

  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
  • Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)
  • Certified Professional Insurance Women (CPIW)
gahan-glen

Glen Gahan

Principal

Growing up in a family of nine children, Glen learned early about the importance of sharing and acting responsibly. As a retirement plan consultant, Glen draws on his...

Growing up in a family of nine children, Glen learned early about the importance of sharing, acting responsibly and living within a budget. As a retirement plan consultant, Glen draws on his background to guide him as he responds to his clients' needs. A successfully managed pension plan can help individuals achieve a secure retirement -- and Glen and his team do their best to make that scenario a reality for their clients.

Glen has more than 25 years of pension plan actuarial experience. He works with employers within several industries, including healthcare, insurance, financial, not-for-profit and governmental. He is highly knowledgeable in the areas of performing and communicating actuarial valuations for funding and accounting purposes, retirement plan designs and implications of new and proposed legislative changes. He performs complex transactions, including plan mergers, acquisitions, plan designs, regulatory compliance and their funding and accounting impact. He believes this responsibility has given him the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, as he faces the challenge of providing viable solutions in a changing marketplace.

He advises clients regarding their unique situations and solves challenging issues for both large and small employers. Glen and his team offer actuarial and consulting services for employer pension plans and defined contribution plans. Every interaction is planned with one goal in mind -- to serve the clients to the best of their ability.

Glen has authored numerous articles for SilverLink magazine. He is a member of community and professional associations including the Society of Actuaries, American Academy of Actuaries and Dundee Presbyterian Church. He volunteers his time serving as a youth coach, at Open Door Mission and the Nebraska Children's Home. Glen is a devoted family man who appreciates the security and loyalty one finds within the family unit. He and his wife provide transitional foster care to newborns as they proceed through the adoption process.

Contact Information
e-mail: ggahan@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5490  |  fax: 402.963.4089

Professional Certifications

  • Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)
  • Enrolled Actuary (EA)
  • Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Mathematics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln |  Lincoln, NE

ehmke-mike

Mike Ehmke

Principal

Mike loves the outdoors, but you'd never guess that from his choice of career -- as an actuary. He's a 23-year veteran of pension, actuarial and consulting services,

Mike loves the outdoors, but you'd never guess that from his choice of career -- as an actuary. He's a 23-year veteran of pension, actuarial and consulting services, including 21 years in post-retirement medical, dental and life insurance actuarial valuations and consulting. His extensive experience provides for the design, implementation, evaluation and ongoing administration of pension and retiree welfare programs. Mike enjoys the challenge of creating solutions for complex financial problems. He realizes that while clients expect his department to provide viable answers, they are often surprised to find that Mike and his team take the time to really listen before making recommendations.

Mike is the author of several articles for our SilverLink magazine and is involved in numerous professional associations, including the American Academy of Actuaries. He is an Enrolled Actuary by the Joint Board for Enrollment of Actuaries, an Associate for the Society of Actuaries and a member of the Nebraska Actuaries Club. He is Treasurer of the not-for-profit Copper Ridge Estates Homeowners' Association and attends St. Patrick Church.

Contact Information
e-mail: mehmke@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5522  |  fax: 402.963.4089

Professional Certifications

  • Enrolled Actuary (EA)
  • Associate of Society of Actuaries (ASA)
  • Member of American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science
University of Nebraska-Lincoln |  Lincoln, NE

collins-gini

Gini Collins

Managing Principal

Gini loves the outdoors, and she believes some of the most profound insights in her experience have come to her while hiking. She has learned how beneficial it can be to combine personal insights with her formal education in order to synthesize unique solutions for her clients.

Gini loves the outdoors, and she believes some of the most profound insights in her experience have come to her while hiking. She has learned how beneficial it can be to combine personal insights with her formal education in order to synthesize unique solutions for her clients.

Gini has extensive experience in human capital, specializing in executive coaching. She feels privileged to work with top executives to maximize growth potential and/or remediate performance challenges, and has successfully facilitated turnarounds for executives facing career derailment. She also provides expertise to businesses, helping them plan critical succession issues. Gini utilizes strong analytical abilities to facilitate organizational development and growth issues through a variety of assessment techniques, including organizational surveys, focus groups and assessments. Because each organization is unlike any other at any given point in time, her challenge is to find the unique key which will drive the desired change. Gini compares this work to that of a whittler or stone mason who believes the form is hidden in the raw material; it is her job to help reveal the form, the answer, the truth for each organization.

Gini has also conducted extensive research and has authored many articles. She has been a presenter at the Midwest Psychological Association Conference, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychologists Conference, M Financial University, M Marketing Meetings, AALU, SHRM and the Governor’s Summit on Workforce Development. She has taught strategic leadership, leadership skills, organizational behavior and organizational consulting in the MBA and EMBA Programs at the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Her interpersonal and leadership skills, coupled with a comprehensive knowledge of human behavior, facilitate professional growth in clients. Her unique organizational insight and analytical ability provide clients with the fresh perspectives needed to maximize the growth potential for their organizations. Gini says there is deep gratification in helping people create better work environments with higher productivity and more balanced lifestyles.

Gini is a member of several professional organizations, including the Society of Consulting Psychologists, American Psychological Association (APA), and the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychologists (SIOP).  She continues to serve on the Board of Heartland Family Services following her tenure as Board President in 2011 – 2013. When Gini is not busy coaching or collaborating with her colleagues to create successful outcomes for clients, you can often find her wearing hiking boots and dreaming of the day she will be able to introduce her grandchildren to the joys of hiking.

Contact Information
e-mail: vcollins@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5602  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Education
PhD of Philosophy  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln  |  Lincoln, NE

Masters of Science  |  Industrial & Organizational Psychology
University of Nebraska-Omaha  |  Omaha, NE

Masters of Counseling
Austin Peay State University  |  Clarksville, TN

Bachelor of Science  |  Psychology
University of Maryland  |  College Park, MD

sorrentino-tony

Tony Sorrentino

Principal

Tony is always on the run. Really. He's over halfway to his goal of completing 100 marathon runs. The same kind of discipline it takes to train for long-distance runs...

Tony is always on the run. Really. He’s over halfway to his goal of completing 100 marathons. The same kind of discipline it takes to train for long-distance runs also serves Tony well in the business world. Tony has over 25 years of experience with Group Health and Welfare Plan compliance under IRS, DOL and HHS regulations. He frequently lectures on Healthcare Reform Legislation, Section 125 plan compliance, Wellness initiatives, Consumer Driven Health Plans, HIPAA Privacy and Security, COBRA interpretation, ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and, most recently, the healthcare reform Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

He provides regulatory compliance in all areas of employee benefits and investment consultation services offered by the Firm, with particular emphasis on Group Health Plan Federal Mandates. Tony sets the standard for his team by being willing to go the distance to satisfy their clients’ individual benefits needs. His team has the training and discipline necessary to create proactive, cutting-edge solutions based on experience, research and current industry trends. No matter what the challenge, the goal remains the same — provide the best, most reliable products available, combined with outstanding customer service. No matter how large or small the client, Tony’s group benefits team provides a level of expertise for a price that is the same or less than the client has paid in the past. That kind of service is not widely available in the industry marketplace and sets SilverStone Group apart from its competitors.

Tony is a member of several professional associations including the Nebraska State Bar Association and Nebraska State Society of CPAs and serves as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the Creighton University School of Law. How does he manage to do all this and train for marathons? Through discipline and a desire to see things through. 59 down, Tony, and only 41 to go!

Contact Information
e-mail: tsorrentino@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5470  |  fax: 402.963.4083

Professional Certifications

  • Attorney
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Flexible Compensation Instructor (CFCI)

Education
Juris Doctorate
Creighton University School of Law |  Omaha, NE

Bachelor of Science  |  Business Administration
Creighton University |  Omaha, NE

riepe-merle

Merle Riepe

Principal

As an avid skier, Merle is well acquainted with fresh powder and moguls. As a psychologist, he is well acquainted with ego bumps. As a Principal for SilverStone Group, Merle takes the same dedication he has for skiing and translates it into increasing the effectiveness of people in the workplace based on proven psychological and management approaches.

As an avid skier, Merle is well acquainted with fresh powder and moguls. As a psychologist, he is well acquainted with ego bumps. As a Principal for SilverStone Group, Merle takes the same dedication he has for skiing and translates it into increasing the effectiveness of people in the workplace based on proven psychological and management approaches. With experience in the fields of psychology and management consulting, he helps organizations hire the best, develop their leaders and create great work cultures.

Since his first role as an organizational development intern in a hospital 13 years ago, Merle has a growing concern over the lack of utilization of business analytics in the disciplines of selection, leadership development and employee engagement. Merle says it’s the variety of his work he enjoys most. Every project provides a new challenge and the opportunity to work with exceptionally bright people to solve important problems. He feels privileged to collaborate with clients who are excited about and value the services he loves providing.

Merle received a PhD in Consulting Psychology from Alliant International University, with research interests in global leadership, personnel selection validation and employee engagement. Merle is active in both his professional and local community. He is a graduate of Leadership Omaha. Merle is Chairman of the Zeta Psi Fraternity Omicron Chapter Board of Trustees and he is President of his homeowners association. Merle is also a member of the United Way of the Midlands Finance Committee, the Society of Consulting Psychology, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and SilverStone Group’s Wellness Activity Group (WAG). Merle has served on the WAG committee for seven years and is currently chairperson. WAG mentors associates in developing and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. His leadership roles and his experience with our wellness plan are invaluable to his clients.

Dr. Riepe’s knowledge of human behavior and systems, his expertise in assessment and his experience in facilitating change enable him to provide innovative, practical and principled consulting services that are crafted to meet clients’ critical needs. Merle’s relentless commitment to a successful outcome is what separates him from the rest. Merle is dedicated to his work, but recognizes the need for renewal and he makes time to hit the slopes at one of his favorite ski resorts. If you see him at the lodge, he is likely to strike up a conversation with you, whether it’s about moguls or egos!

Contact Information
e-mail: mriepe@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5515  |  fax: 402.963.4085

Professional Title

  • Organizational Psychologist

Education
PhD of Philosophy  |  Consulting Psychology
Alliant International University |  San Diego, CA

Master of Science  |  Consulting Psychology
Alliant International University |  San Diego, CA

Bachelor of Science  |  Psychology
Nebraska Wesleyan University |  Lincoln, NE

matthies-grant

Grant Matthies

Principal

Grant has the gift of being able to focus. On one client. On one goal. Honing in on a solution to fit the client's needs. And never giving up until all goals have been met...

Grant has the gift of being able to focus. On one client. On one goal. Honing in on a solution to fit the client's needs. And never giving up until all goals have been met and the client has a satisfactory outcome. With more than 23 years of experience working with employers on group health and welfare plans, Grant knows that customer service is built on the ability to create real world solutions for clients who deal with day-to-day benefit issues. His experience includes working with complicated funding arrangements, large multi-site employers, Rx vendors, TPAs and non-medical insurance plans. He also has additional experience with 401(k) retirement plans and Section 125 medical spending accounts.

Grant appreciates the importance of staying at the pinnacle of industry trends. This is evidenced by the number of publications that quote him as an expert in his field. He has also conducted hundreds of employee meetings and orientations regarding employer-sponsored benefit programs. Grant's relationship with the carrier and vendor marketplace helps clients maintain the most competitive pricing and the highest level of customer service available. United HealthCare elected Grant to their National Advisory Council in 2005. This group consists of 40 brokers from across the country that meet three times a year to provide feedback on United HealthCare's operations and plans for the future.

Grant and the Group Benefits Team work together to provide clients with the most current information on benefits -- always with the outstanding service SilverStone Group is known for.

Grant is currently serving as a board member for the YMCA of Greater Omaha. Grant is a past member of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce President's Club and an active member of St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church. In 2004, Grant was a recipient of the Midlands Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award. This award honors 40 Omaha entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and professional men and women under the age of 40.

Contact Information
e-mail: gmatthies@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5466  |  fax: 402.963.4083

Professional Certifications

  • Health Insurance Associate (HIA)
  • Currently Working on Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Mathematics
Dana College |  Blair, NE

sesker-brett

Brett Sesker

Principal & Senior Consultant

Brett is someone who will go above and beyond for his clients. Brett's 21 years of experience in Group Health and Welfare plans serve him well in underwriting...

Brett Sesker is someone who will go above and beyond for his clients. Brett’s 24 years of experience in Group Health and Welfare plans serve him well in underwriting, product development, project management, alternate funding and managed care. He spent 10 of those 24 years as an underwriter with a major insurance company, an experience, he says, that he “lived to tell about” and which gave him excellent insight into plan design and implementation of group benefits programs.

With specialties in small and large group risk management, alternate funding (including minimum premium and self-funding) product development, project management, medical, dental, life, disability and vision benefit programs, Brett is able to provide comprehensive benefits plans to his clients. Because he knows that every client is different, he enjoys getting to know each one individually as he develops a customized approach to meet their needs. Brett says that meeting the day-to-day challenges of creating understandable and valuable benefits programs allows him to learn new skills and remain open to thinking “outside the box.”

In his free time, Brett serves as a board member for the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation and the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM). He is an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan while living in the great State of Nebraska.

Contact Information
e-mail: bsesker@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5451  |  fax: 402.963.4083

Professional Certifications

  • Fellow Life Management Institute (FLMI)
  • Health Insurance Associate (HIA)
  • Associate, Life and Health Claims (ALHC)
  • Group Benefits Associate (GBA)
  • Producer's Licenses in Nebraska and Iowa for HMO, Life Insurance and Annuities, Sickness, Accident and Health
  • State of Nebraska Consultant's License in Life and Health

Education
Working towards Masters in Business Administration
(23 hours completed)
Drake University |  Des Moines, IA

Bachelor of Business Administration  |  Economics
University of Iowa |  Iowa City, IA

fox-bill

Bill Fox

Principal, Vice President & Senior Consultant

Despite his serious demeanor, Bill Fox will throw caution into the wind and hop on his motorcycle any day. Bill has more than 18 years of experience managing group...

Despite his serious demeanor, Bill Fox will throw caution into the wind and hop on his motorcycle any day. Bill has more than 20 years of experience managing group insurance accounts that have both multiple-plan options and multiple-corporate locations. His areas of specialty include underwriting/budgeting, plan design analysis, analysis of alternate funding methodologies and administration and communication of group insurance programs for large employers. He has extensive knowledge of government filings in health and welfare plans.

Bill works with a solid, “best-in-class” benefits team whose resources allow them to be responsive and effective in supporting customer needs — whether it’s customer service issues such as claims resolution or billing issues, claims underwriting analysis and strategic planning, or all points in between. He believes he makes a difference to his clients by using a proactive approach to consulting; he offers customers short- and long-term strategies for managing their employee benefit plans. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer for a benefits program, so our continual evaluation and establishment of a strategic plan for each customer offers unique solutions to control costs, and remain competitive in their own industry by recruiting and retaining the best employees. Over the course of his employment with SilverStone Group, Bill has come to appreciate the flexibility to handle job duties to the best of his ability without being micromanaged. Bill believes that a large part of his success with the Firm is due to the support and encouragement he has received while building his career.

Bill has been a contributing author for the Firm’s SilverLink magazine. He has reached Fellow status with the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), and he is a former officer for the Nebraska chapter of CEBS. Bill is a mentor for the TeamMates Mentoring Program.

Contact Information
e-mail: bfox@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5455  |  fax: 402.963.4083

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
  • Health Insurance Associate (HIA)

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Business Administration, Finance
University of Nebraska-Lincoln |  Lincoln, NE

cockrell-steve

Steve Cockrell

Principal

Steve has been involved with more accidents than anyone ought to be. But that's only because it's his job. When accidents happen in the workplace -- and, unfortunately...

Steve has been involved with more accidents than anyone ought to be. But that's only because it's his job. When accidents happen in the workplace -- and, unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, it can happen -- Steve is there to help his client mitigate the loss and plan for greater workplace safety in the future.

Steve has 35 years of experience in claims cost containment and claims management with more than 21 of those years at SilverStone Group.

He specializes in workers' compensation claims, monitoring claims reserves and assisting in settling outstanding or disputed claims. His extensive knowledge of the claims process is highly beneficial to his clients, which include both insureds and carriers. He has also established and managed a Third-Party Administration Program.

Having an accident is never a good thing. Having Steve's expertise when dealing with the aftermath of an accident is just good business.

Contact Information
e-mail: scockrell@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5584  |  fax: 402.963.4094

Professional Certifications

  • Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA)

Education
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
University of Nebraska-Omaha  |  Omaha, NE

VonRiesen-Tom

Tom Von Riesen

Principal

Tom has a wealth of knowledge at his fingertips, with over 30 years of experience in human resource consulting, non-qualified benefit design and tax consulting.

Tom Von Riesen has a wealth of knowledge at his fingertips, with over 30 years of experience in human resource consulting, nonqualified benefit design and tax consulting. Before joining SilverStone Group in 1991, Tom worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in both individual and corporate taxation, and he also served as an attorney for Farm Credit Banks. He and his team offer a depth of service that is unmatched by other firms -- their creativity and technical capabilities enable them to design, implement and administer innovative plans for the benefit needs of their clients' key executives.

Tom has authored numerous articles on nonqualified plans. In addition, he has shared his expertise in that area by speaking at continuing education sessions with M Financial Group, the University of Nebraska College of Law and School of Accounting, Nebraska State Bar Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, Inc. and Financial Executives Institute.

Tom is the past Chairman of the Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants and is currently on the Board of Directors of their Political Education Committee. He is also on the Executive Committee for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) and has served on the Member Firm Relations Committee for the M Financial Group. Additional affiliations include the Nebraska and Omaha Bar Associations and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he served on the Employee Benefits Technical Resource Panel. Tom is a family man who enjoys spending his free time with his wife and children.

Contact Information
e-mail: tvonriesen@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5441  |  fax: 402.963.4084

Professional Designations

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Education
Juris Doctorate
University of Nebraska-Lincoln  |  Lincoln, NE

Bachelor of Arts  |  Political Science & Economics
Hastings College  |  Hastings, NE

Securities Offered Through  M Holdings Securities, Inc., a registered Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services Offered Through SilverStone Asset Management. SilverStone Asset Management and SilverStone Group are independently owned and are not under common ownership with M Holdings Securities, Inc.

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Mark Weber

Principal

Mark exemplifies our Firm's commitment to experience. With 30 years in the industry, he is recognized as a financial consultant to business owners and executives.

Mark exemplifies our Firm’s commitment to experience. With 30 years in the industry, he is recognized as a financial consultant to business owners and executives. He has assisted some of the country’s wealthiest individuals with personal financial and estate planning and is widely recognized for his work in both business transition planning and philanthropic estate planning. Mark enjoys the challenge of helping clients solve financial problems. Like his coworkers, he is committed to excellence and is gratified to see his clients achieve their goals.

Mark has spoken on various financial and estate planning topics to audiences including the Nebraska Bar Association, the Nebraska Society of CPAs, the Iowa Bar Association, the University of Nebraska College of Law and School of Accounting, the Society of Financial Services Professionals and the Omaha Estate Planning Council. He has also authored numerous articles on topics dealing with sophisticated uses of life insurance in estate and business succession planning.

He is a member of numerous professional associations, including the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the Advanced Association of Life Underwriters, the National Advisors Conference, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Service Professionals, the Great Plains Federal Tax Institute, the Nebraska Bar Association, the Omaha Bar Association and the Omaha Estate Planning Council. In several of these organizations, he has held leadership positions at both the local and national levels. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services and M Financial’s Standard of Care Task Force.

Mark is active in the community and enjoys charitable work, a commitment that he shares with his clients. He knows first-hand how satisfying it can be to contribute to causes that are near to his heart, and he derives great pleasure from helping clients find that same satisfaction in their own lives.

Contact Information
e-mail: mweber@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5442  |  fax: 402.963.4084

Professional Designations

  • Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC)
  • Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®)

Education
Juris Doctorate
Creighton University |  Omaha, NE

Master of Science  |  Financial Services
The American College |  Bryn Mawr, PA

Bachelor of Arts  |  Psychology
Creighton University |  Omaha, NE

Securities Offered Through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC .  Investment Advisory Services Offered Through SilverStone Asset Management. SilverStone Asset Management and SilverStone Group are independently owned and are not under common ownership with M Holdings Securities, Inc.

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Mark Matthes

Chief Operating Officer

Whether he is solving complex problems at the office or climbing to the Mount Everest Base Camp, Mark is up for the challenge. Having summited 24 of the 53 mountain peaks in Colorado that have an elevation of at least 14,000 feet, one could say Mark has a flare for adventure.

Whether he is solving complex problems at the office or climbing to the Mount Everest Base Camp, Mark is up for the challenge. Having summited 24 of the 53 mountain peaks in Colorado that have an elevation of at least 14,000 feet, one could say Mark has a flare for adventure. His most recent adventure has brought him to SilverStone Group, where Mark serves as our Chief Operating Officer.

In this role, Mark is involved in the firm’s day-to-day operations and he works closely with the firm’s leaders to ensure SilverStone Group’s continued growth. His diverse background as President of Jet Linx Aviation and Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for Duncan Aviation have well-prepared him to be an excellent leader and problem-solver. Mark is a good listener and enjoys working with producers and support teams to provide the resources they need to offer outstanding service to clients. He particularly enjoys the positive energy that is exhibited by SilverStone Group Associates.

In addition to dedicating himself at the office, Mark has previously dedicated himself to our community by serving as a board member of the United Way, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Omaha YMCA. When Mark is away from the office, he and his wife enjoy biking, gardening and hiking.

Contact Information
e-mail: mmatthes@ssgi.com | phone: 402.964.5552 | fax: 402.963.4098

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Michelle Miller

Director

Michelle’s favorite color used to be purple. Since 2003, she’s taken a shine to silver and blue.

Michelle’s favorite color used to be purple. Since 2003, she’s taken a shine to silver and blue. Why? SilverStone Group’s corporate colors!  Michelle has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, specializing in graphic design, branding, advertising and writing and editing marketing materials.

She leads a team of multi-media and communication specialists whose vision helps drive all materials prepared by SilverStone Group Associates. The department utilizes leading-edge technology to innovatively and accurately create an entire brand experience. They pride themselves on their can-do attitude and passion to provide high quality deliverables.

Her innovative thinking was integral in the redesign of SilverLink magazine, which received the Heartland Print Gallery Award in 2004. She was also instrumental in the development of SilverStone Group’s current brand.

Michelle leads by example, promoting teamwork and collaboration among Firm Associates. She knows that successful client engagements are the result of many people working together with a common goal — to provide excellent customer service no matter what the job.

Michelle has served on SilverStone Group’s Wellness Activities Group (WAG) for the past nine years, and she is currently chairperson. WAG mentors Associates in developing and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Michelle is a current member of the Mid-America Direct Marketing Association, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Omaha Marketing Group Roundtable, the Midlands Humane Society Board of Directors and the Golf Outing Committee for Outlook Nebraska Inc., an Omaha-based company that employs the blind and visually impaired. She is also a past board member of Owen’s Educational Services which serves as an educational opportunity for at-risk youths.

When not being creative at work, you can often find Michelle on the golf course with her husband, at the gym or even in her flower gardens.

Contact Information
e-mail: mmiller@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5793  |  fax: 402.964.5504

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Graphic Design &  Fine Arts
Dana College  |  Blair, NE

rogge-todd

Todd Rogge

Principal, Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Treasurer & Shareholder

Todd has more than 20 years of experience in the accounting profession. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1996.

Todd has more than 20 years of experience in the accounting profession. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1996. While his mathematics skills might have initially drawn him into the finance arena, Todd has continued on this career path because he truly cares about the Associates at SilverStone Group. His thoughtfulness and attention to detail have pushed him to remain on the forefront of industry advancements. Todd prides himself on leading, not following, the pack.

Todd’s dedication extends to numerous areas of the company. He manages all of the accounting functions for SilverStone Group’s multi-state locations, including banking relationships and treasury operations. He is a Director for the SilverStone Group and the Firm’s Cayman Islands Captive and serves as financial liaison to our SilverStone Group Holdings Board of Directors and shareholders. Todd functions as a catalyst for the Firm’s budgeting and future financial planning. He also works with outside accountants and legal professionals to handle all federal and state tax planning.

Contact Information
e-mail: trogge@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5533  |  fax: 402.964.5777

Education
Bachelor of Science  |  Business Administration
University of Nebraska-Omaha  |  Omaha, NE

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John P. Nelson

Chairman

The second generation of the Nelson family to head what is known as SilverStone Group, John's first experience in business was literally as a young child...

The second generation of the Nelson family to head what is known as SilverStone Group, John's first experience in business was literally as a young child, when his parents had just opened Nelson Insurance and he and his brother rode in the car when their father called on clients. Now, as a recognized business leader and entrepreneur, John works with both private and public entities to construct alternative funding strategies, including captives, reinsurance, self-insurance and various pre-funding structures. His work with reinsurance intermediaries and direct insurers develops unique strategies that reduce overall client costs.

After serving as an officer in the US Navy, John joined Nelson Insurance in 1965. He has since served as President of The Redland Group (the holding company of Nelson Insurance) and SilverStone Group. His experience also includes serving as the COO of six insurance companies that specialized in tailored programs for associations with difficult risks.

John is a member of many professional associations, such as Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, Chief Executives' Organization, Nebraska Presidents' Organization and World Presidents' Organization. He also serves on numerous boards, including Bellevue University, Doane College and United Way.

Because of his active service participation throughout the area, John has earned several prestigious awards: the Boy Scouts of America Citizen of the Year Award, he was named to the Omaha Business Hall of Fame and also inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 2010. He also received an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Bellevue University in 2000, the United Way Citizen of the year in 2002 and was the 2003 King of Ak-Sar-Ben.

John derives deep satisfaction from working at SilverStone Group, mostly, he says, because it's rewarding to see how the firm's Associates come together to solve complex problems, listen to each other's viewpoints and discuss issues thoroughly until a final resolution is reached. He describes SilverStone Group as a collegial company that fosters inquiry and open, honest communication on all matters.

Contact Information
e-mail: jpnelson@ssgi.com |  phone: 402.964.5401  |  fax: 402.963.4091

Professional Certifications

  • Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Carleton College |  Northfield, MN