Leading the Way in Healthcare Benefit Plans

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About HCS

Health Cooperative Strategies (HCS) is a leader in designing, building and managing self-funded healthcare plans for associations and their members. The company was started in  2010 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, GA.

The HCS self-funded model brings the economies of scale and cost efficiencies only found with large, self-funded plans to the fastest growing, yet most inefficient market segment, the small to mid-size business sector. The self-funded model is designed to aggregate small to mid-size businesses into common purchasing platforms similar to a “Cooperative”. This allows smaller companies to utilize the strength of their association as a large group to negotiate comprehensive employee healthcare benefits at more competitive rates.

Combining world class service providers with innovative products HCS works with Associations to customize healthcare solutions to best meet the needs of their members. Our solutions provide healthcare services that open doors for employees to engage and better manage their health. Healthier employees reduces absenteeism, increases productivity and contributes to a better, safer work place.

The HCS senior leadership team combines an impressive array of skills and experience under Ken Southerland’s leadership to provide unparalleled healthcare solutions to America’s Associations.

HCS Management Team

Brian Keen – Founder and President

Brian Keen is the Founder and President of Health Cooperative Strategies. He has been in the insurance business for over 20 years and is a native of Roswell, GA. As a benefit development and marketing professional, he has worked for several major insurance carriers helping associations develop a variety of insurance programs across the country. Mr. Keen founded HCS in 2010 and continues to lead the company through the ever-changing environment of AHPs.


Wayne Oliver – SVP, Trust Operations

Wayne Oliver is Senior Vice President of Trust Operations at Health Cooperative Strategies. In this capacity, Mr. Oliver manages the day-to-day operations for each Trust under the supervision of HCS and manages vendor relationships. He and his team provide regular updates to the sponsoring associations and work closely with the Board of Trustees of each individual Trust. Prior to joining HCS, Mr. Oliver was Vice President of Jackson Healthcare, which is one of the nation’s largest physician and healthcare staffing companies. At Jackson Healthcare, he also led efforts to create a new system for the way medical malpractice claims would be handled.  Before joining Jackson Healthcare, Mr. Oliver was Vice President at the Center for Health Transformation (CHT), which was a healthcare think tank founded by former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Mr. Oliver led project management teams dedicated to private sector, disruptive, and innovative healthcare solutions which focused on saving lives and saving money.


Alex Diehl – SVP, Marketing and Sales Services

Alex Diehl serves as the SVP of Marketing and Sales Services for Health Cooperative Strategies. He has over 20 years of executive level sales experience in the financial, real estate and healthcare industries. He has successfully developed and managed top-line revenue generating sales channels for start-ups as well as large corporations. In conjunction with his marketing acumen, Mr. Diehl uses his deep understanding of the AHP model and knowledge of trends in the self-insured marketplace to help Clients develop successful sales channels.


Michael Casto – Compliance and Operations Director

Michael Casto serves as the Compliance and Operations Director for Health Cooperative Strategies. In this role, he interfaces with Federal and State regulators to secure licensure for each Association Health Plan. Once licensed, he and his team remain engaged to ensure that each Association Health Plan operates in a manner that is compliant with Federal and State guidelines. Before joining Health Cooperative Strategies, Mr. Casto spent five years working as a lobbyist and later a staff member for the Georgia General Assembly. As a lobbyist with Troutman Sanders LLP, he worked on a broad array of regulatory and legislative issues for clients. As a staff member for the Georgia General Assembly, he served as the Policy and Communications Manager for the House Majority Caucus. Michael is certified as a Self-Funding Specialist by the Health Care Administrators Association.


Mark Ilgenfritz – Director of Business Development

Mark spent four years playing professional football in the NFL and the Canadian Football League. He “retired” at age 25 and began a career in insurance. For the past 35 years, Mark has worked exclusively as a broker and consultant in the employee benefits. Throughout this time, he has been on the strategic forefront of healthcare benefit with groups from 50 to 10,000.


Katie Junior – Director of Financial Services

Katie Junior is the Director of Financial Services for Health Cooperative Strategies. She leads the Financial Services team in overseeing the daily accounting functions, preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements and adhering to statutory requirements. Prior to joining HCS, Ms. Junior was a Senior Auditor at Bennett Thrasher, LLP where she served domestic and international clients within the private sector. Her experience includes audits of foreign and domestic captives, multiple employer welfare arrangements, healthcare, private equity funds, and employee benefit plans.