Suck It Up Buttercup – The History of How We Got Here

Workplace Productivity | History of Employee Benefits

Workplace Productivity | History of Employee Benefits

Suck It Up Buttercup – The History of How We Got Here

Three out of four American workers don’t have $1,000 available for a financial emergency. And until the past decade, most employers didn’t see the lost productivity – and lost profits – that resulted. Employers seemed to be saying “Employees have to make their own decisions on what they do with their money; it’s their problem, not mine.”

That mindset is swiftly changing says David Kilby in his innovative book, The New Productivity Engine. “it’s the employees’ problem,” he agrees, “That is, until they start using company time and resources trying to fix their personal financial problems. Then it pretty quickly becomes the employer’s problem.”

Here’s a staggering statistic from the book: 46 percent of employees spend an average of 2-3 work day hours a week dealing with their personal finances, rather than actually working.

So how did we end up here? A short history.

For centuries there were two levels of people: Serfs who lived short, brutal lives and owned nothing; and nobles who owned everything, including the serfs. Then the tradesmen came along and became the middle class. They owned things, but were sneered at by the nobility, and the serfs were jealous.

Until the late 1700s, manufacturing was truly a cottage industry. Think – thousands of hand looms weaving cloth, and thousands of miners digging tunnels with a pick and shovel. Water power was the sole source of power, so the local grist mill had to be on a river.

Then came steam power and factories could be built anywhere. Some of these locations were in the middle of nowhere, so manufacturers built company homes and schools, and workers often owed their souls to the company store. Employers had a high level of involvement (good or bad) in their workers’ financial lives.

Then, following World War II, when the big manufacturing cities began to die, employees became more like free agents – able to move from job to job. Employers began to distance themselves from their employees’ personal finances. Which explains how we ended up here.

A win-win for everyone

Here’s the problem. Many workers (75% of them) were unable to manage their money in a manner that gave them rainy day cushions, coverage for medical expenses, and savings and retirement funds. Employers moved back into the workers lives with benefits like medical, disability insurance and retirement plans.

“That’s really great”, David Kilby agrees. But there’s a big part missing – personal financial education and the motivation to use it. He calls it ‘financial wellness,’ and the concept is becoming the latest employee benefit.

The reason is simple, Kilby says. “A financial wellness program offers employees financial education that helps them live more stress-free lives, save for emergencies, and help fund their retirement. Employers end up with highly productive workers who are engaged, loyal and stay with the company longer. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

For employers, the return comes from a number of places.

So, why would an employer take the time and effort, get involved in a worker’s personal financial life, and offer a financial wellness benefit?

First, is a documented financial return, according to Kilby. In The New Productivity Engine he cites results from several studies and organizations that found a return on investment as high as 3:1. The return comes from a number of places.

Second is the gain-back of previously lost hours. If 46% of your employees are spending two work hours a week on personal finances and you have 1,000 employees, you’re losing around 1,000 hours a week times 52 weeks a year. Do the math. How much money are you losing? What would you do with the money if you could get it back?

And third is the result of happier, engaged, loyal employees. It costs up to $24,000 to recruit, hire and get a mid-level worker up to speed. Think about it this way. For every employee who stays on the job for another year, you could put an additional $24,000 on the bottom line.

The culturally conscious employer

Somewhere between lifelong indenture to the company store and the employer who says, “Suck it up Buttercup, it’s not my problem,” is what David Kilby calls the “culturally conscious employer.”

“Culturally conscious employers believe that the corporate culture can positively impact performance,” he says in his book.  “They believe that when employees are happy, satisfied, engaged and present, the positive performance follows.”

 

David Kilby has been president of FinFit since it was founded in 2008. He has grown the company from a single idea into the nation’s leading Financial Wellness Benefit platform, servicing over 150,000 clients. Prior to FinFit, David led a multimillion-dollar financial holding company where he was inspired to find ways to help employees improve their financial health. He is committed to helping employees succeed today, and prepare to live healthier, more productive, financially stable lives.

Get in touch with him – he’d love to talk to you about your company, your employees and how he can help.

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Kristen Stringer

Vice President of Banking & Credit Services

Kristen Stringer came to FinFit in 2010 and has been instrumental in the development of the proprietary FinFit systems and processes. Kristen served as FinFit’s Director of Operations for 7 years before being promoted to Vice President of Banking and Credit Services. She is responsible for managing strategic partners including the Celtic Bank and Ares credit relationships, in addition to establishing new relationships in the sponsor bank market. Kristen also oversees the underwriting and credit areas and is involved with development of underwriting models and new credit products, expansion of credit offerings, auditing and compliance, and the overall performance of credit products.

Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in finance, and is currently pursuing her MBA at Old Dominion University. She began her career at HSBC Bank in the customer service and collections departments and later was responsible for process improvement and project management. She was selected to lead numerous special projects including a foreclosure avoidance project that liquidated over $2 million dollars in less than three months. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys photography and is an avid sports fan.

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David Kilby

President/CEO

David Kilby has been President/CEO of FinFit since its founding in 2008. He has grown the company from a single idea into the nation’s largest, most comprehensive Financial Wellness Benefit platform. Chosen as one of the top 100 companies to work for three years in a row (2014-16), FinFit pursues a mission of changing employees lives one employee at a time. Prior to FinFit, David led a multi-million-dollar financial institution holding company, where he was inspired to find a way to help employees get more financially fit. At KPMG Peat Marwick, Norfolk, Virginia, he worked with a variety of public and private organizations in a variety of industries including automotive, chemical manufacturing, consumer finance, managed health care, retail, real estate and wholesale organizations.

David received his CPA designation in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1991 and graduated from Old Dominion University. Today he serves as the President of the Ability Center of Virginia, a charity devoted to helping children and adults with disabilities serve productive lives. He is also an active member with the Young Presidents Organization, an active Board Member of Old Dominion University Business School, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jennifer Creech

Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Jennifer Creech brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience to FinFit. Jennifer is accountable for the overall sales initiatives, client acquisition and strategic relationships. She is also responsible for client retention strategies and the development and management of sales agents.

Jennifer previously served as VP/Director of Marketing at Bank of Hampton Roads/Hampton Roads Bankshares, Inc. As an officer of the bank, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the bank’s sales and marketing programs and was a member of the Retail Leadership Committee to expand the retail banking division.

Jennifer is currently the President of It’s A Surprise and offers support to various community charities.

Kristen Gaskins

Director of Client Engagement and Awareness

Kristen Gaskins brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience to her role as Director of Client Engagement and Awareness. She leads a dynamic team of onboarding specialists whose focus is ensuring employers understand the benefits of FinFit and are ready to roll it out to their employees. She works closely with the FinFit marketing department to craft and measure the omnichannel onboarding experience, working to retain and engage existing partners, clients and employees.

She’s a Virginia Beach native who enjoys travel and cooking, just not at the same time.

Cliff Kiel

Senior Vice President, Sales

Cliff Kiel brings almost thirty years of industry experience to the sales team. He joined the company in 2017 to oversee new revenue channels for the business. Cliff is based in Atlanta, Georgia, overseeing sales and business-to-business prospect marketing. Cliff leads the broker and employer growth strategies for the company.

Prior to his tenure with FinFit, Cliff served four years with Purchasing Power as Vice President, and General Sales Manager. He was instrumental in onboarding many Fortune 100 clients. Under his tenure leading the sales team, the company's revenue doubled and he recorded record sales years for the organization. Prior to Purchasing Power, Cliff worked for leading health and welfare companies such as MetLife, United HealthCare, CVS Caremark, Cigna, Value Options, and Alere.

He earned his BA degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and his Certificate in Healthcare Management from the State University California, Irvine.

Cliff has been a featured speaker at the annual Voluntary Benefits Conference and many other leading conferences.

Paul Grosch

Chief Technology Officer

Paul Grosch is a seasoned technology executive with over 20 years of experience growing business through software development, infrastructure management, data analytics and customer support. He brings a wealth of experience with strengths in areas such as technology process standardization, measurement and disciplined innovation. Paul has worked across a broad spectrum of industries including construction, retail, hospitality, financial services and Department of Defense.

Paul joined the FinFit team in Q3 2018. Prior to joining FinFit, Paul served as the Vice President of Information Technology for Gold Key Hotels and Resorts, the largest and most demanding hospitality developer, owner and operator in the Mid-Atlantic. Paul led the technology team through a series of rapid growth, innovation and exit cycles. This included the $168MM sale of Gold Key Resorts in and recent sale of oceanfront Hilton properties valued over $87MM. Paul has also led state of the art development projects within Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defense.

Paul Grosch obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science in Computer Science from Old Dominion University. He holds an MBA from University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified IT Service Management Expert (ITIL).

Pete Ostberg

Chief Operating Officer

Pete Ostberg joined FinFit in 2017 after spending 20 years in the payroll industry. Pete is responsible for overseeing all business operations, ensuring FinFit has effective operational procedures in place. He also conducts market research and analyses to strengthen FinFit’s product portfolio by adding new and exciting offerings to help employees become more financially stable. Pete is focused on growing the number of valued partners and ensuring the successful implementation of FinFit with each one.

Prior to FinFit, Pete worked at Paychex in a variety of roles. He has in-depth knowledge of tax payments, payroll, insurance, operations, business analysis, and product management. During his tenure there, he helped to strategically position new products as they were brought to the market. Pete has a degree in Political Science from SUNY Geneseo and in his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and traveling.

David Hockstad

Senior Data & Financial Analyst

David Hockstad came to FinFit in 2015 and has led the development of FinFit’s custom underwriting algorithms and employee assessment questionnaire. As Senior Data and Financial Analyst, David is responsible for identifying portfolio trends and KPIs, implementing business intelligence tools, creating visual ad hoc reports, and enhancing predictive modeling capabilities. David also assists various departments in finding actionable insights in their data, be it understanding successful company demographics, employee contact methods, or customer propensity to borrow.

David obtained his Bachelor’s from Lee University. After graduating in 2012, he began his career at PNC Bank as a commercial underwriter where he was responsible for optimizing business cashflow and underwriting loans.

Kim Miller

Director of Marketing

Kim Miller joined FinFit in early 2018 to build their marketing department, re-energize the brand and establish FinFit as the industry expert. She is an experienced marketing director with a demonstrated history of developing brand identities, increasing brand awareness and creating optimal customer experiences. Skilled in strategic product development, content creation, user experience, cross-channel marketing and customer engagement, she is passionate about moving the business forward and establishing FinFit as the industry leader.

She started her career at Brunner, a national advertising agency, helping to create a digital footprint in the emerging space. She supported a variety of brands including Consol Energy, Cub Cadet, Longhorn, Aquafresh, WesBanco and Huffy, and worked in every discipline from project and account management to copywriting to site architecture.

She moved to Virginia in 2010 and joined Dominion Enterprises, working in the marine, automotive and powersports divisions during her tenure. She helped build and grow their marketing departments, create brand identities, develop sales processes and tracking capabilities, and drive the product development for both B2B and B2C audiences.

Bill Hall

Chief Compliance Officer

Bill Hall serves as Compliance Officer for FinFit and is responsible for identifying, assessing, mitigating and monitoring all legal, regulatory, operational and reputational risks for the company.

Bill brings extensive legal and regulatory compliance experience to FinFit, primarily in the financial services industry. After beginning his legal career as an Associate Attorney with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice in Winston-Salem, NC, Bill had a 19-year career in the Law Department at United Guaranty Corporation in Greensboro, NC. At United Guaranty, Bill served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, as well as International Group General Counsel.

Bill earned a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Davidson College and a J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Bill is licensed as an attorney in the state of North Carolina.

Brooke Saunders

Director of Human Resources

Brooke joined FinFit in early 2013 and focuses on key areas such as Talent Management, Employee Development and Training, Benefits, Payroll and Compensation, Business Strategy, Employee Relations and developing programs to increase employee engagement.

Brooke is a graduate of Old Dominion University and started her Human Resources Career at Robert Half International as a Staffing Manager in 2002. She worked there for 3 years and recruited, hired, interviewed, and placed administrative workers into office positions for her clients.

Brooke has years of experience in the hospitality field, where she served as both Human Resources Director and Resort Marketing Recruiter for large organizations such as Gold Key Resorts and LTD Limited. Her skills included the development of effective recruiting programs, handling all associate relations and counseling, tracking all worker’s compensation claims and other various HR functions to support the HR Manager.

Matt Fahy

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Fahy serves as Chief Financial Officer for FinFit, with responsibility for the overall financial management of the company, including accounting, financial planning and analysis, credit and treasury functions and tax.

Matt brings extensive financial and operations management experience to FinFit, primarily in the technology industry. Before joining FinFit, Matt served as CFO and Executive Vice President of Global Services for AgilQuest Corporation, a Workplace Management Enterprise SaaS company. Prior to that, he served as CFO for Public Access Technologies, Inc. and QualityClick.com Inc. and oversaw the rapid growth of these Internet companies. Matt was also a Senior Manager for KPMG in the Information, Communications and Entertainment practice serving public and private media, entertainment and technology clients. Matt began his accounting career with Paul Scherer & Company, a boutique CPA firm in New York City serving Advanced Publications and Newhouse Broadcasting Corp., the largest privately held media company in the world.

Matt is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting & MIS. Matt received his CPA designation from the state of Ohio in 1993.

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