Native of: Kansas

Industry: Benefits

Region: Austin

Company Profile

Tell us about your career at Humana.

I was in pharmaceuticals prior to my arrival at the company. I made some contacts in the local Humana market office, and ended up making a career change. After working for a year at Humana, a leadership position opened up.

For roughly 11 years, I ran the small business team for the central, south and west areas of Texas, charged with growing revenue every place from Waco to El Paso, down to the Rio Grande Valley.

We work through brokers, rather than directly with employers. Then, through a re-organization that occurred 18 months ago, I took over leading Central Texas.

 

What is your career background outside of Humana?

I graduated in 1992 from Newman University with a bachelor’s in business.

I started in the waste management field, and then worked in publishing. I enjoyed that, but there was an inordinate amount of travel, and my wife and I had two small kids.

I then went into pharmaceuticals. I enjoyed that as well, but the industry went through a lot of overhaul in the late 90’s.

I wanted a career change. I thought I would be a schoolteacher and coach. I wound up coaching the son of a gentleman who was running the market here for Humana. He convinced me to work for him.

 

Where are you from originally, and how did you wind up in Texas?

I grew up in the Kansas City area. I went to school in Wichita, Kans.

It wasn’t a bad place, but I wanted something different. My wife and I looked at different areas. When I took the job in publishing, we moved to Austin 20 years ago, sight unseen.

 

What is your view of the business climate in Texas?

It’s a fantastic business climate. Everything that state and local governments have done to attract businesses is very progressive and makes Texas a great place in which to locate your business.

The talent pool is good as well. I have built relationships with 38 colleges and universities statewide.

And Austin is like the Silicon Valley of the South. Austin is on the cutting edge of technology.

In addition, the oil boom has made areas of Texas into metropolises again, such as Midland and Odessa. They’re having a rebirth from the ‘80s. It’s revitalized Houston as well.

 

Why did you decide to join YTexas?

I like what the organization is trying to do in integrating companies that are new to Texas. Humana supplies health care solutions to employers. The more employers are here, the better it is for our business.

I want Texas and Austin to thrive. Having more companies here is good for everybody.

 

What makes Humana different?

We’re a true leader in workplace wellness. We differentiate ourselves from the competition in our wellness offerings, which we bring to employers through solutions that drive happy, healthy and productive employees.

If you’re healthier, you’ll be a more productive employee. Bringing measurable, data driven-solutions to businesses impacts our clients’ bottom line.

 

What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?

The biggest issue is the federal Affordable Care Act.

It brought a lot of positive change to the health care industry. It shed light on accountability that individuals need to have for their own health.

But being able to navigate the new law, and have employers understand the complexity of the health care act, is a challenge for us. It’s a change for our brokers, our employers, and my team. The question of how employers must offer benefits is very complex today.

It’s a different mindset for employers. They now need to fund their benefit solutions on the back of wellness.

The whole industry, from providers to hospital systems and on down the line, must work together to make it easier for people to both access the care they need and to understand how their benefits work. It’s a very big undertaking. Fortunately, we’re all working together on this.

 

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

I’m an avoid golfer. That is my passion.

I’m also a cheeseburger connoisseur. I grew up in a small town north of Kansas City. I ate cheeseburgers every day for lunch.

When I came to Austin, I had a good buddy who had a popular morning show here. In what started out as a joke, back in the late 1990s or early 2000s he started having me on to talk about where to find the best cheeseburgers.

I got the nickname “Cheeseburger Brock.” It followed me all over.

I will try any cheeseburger anywhere, but I’m more of a family-owned, greasy spoon kind of guy.