December 31, 2019

And the Awards Go To…

By Crista Murray, Alliance Benefits

The 2019 year is coming to an end and a new decade is quickly approaching. Before we close this chapter, we wanted to take the time to reflect and highlight a few achievements accomplished by some of our vendors and those in Alliance Benefits. We congratulate them for a job well done and consider it an honor to work alongside them!

Alliance Benefits 
From Ken Baldes, Vice President for Operations/Treasurer

I’m pleased to let you know that Curtis Farmer has been promoted to Executive Director for Alliance Benefits.

Curtis’ promotion reflects not only his strong leadership in Alliance Benefits over the past 2+ years, but also the expanded role and responsibilities required to shepherd and oversee our growing health and retirement plans.

His new title, Executive Director for Alliance Benefits, was chosen because it fits well with the multiple audiences that he interacts with including the National Office, districts, churches, international workers, C&MA supporting organizations, third party consultants, and member associations such as The Church Benefit Association, Church Alliance, and Christian Alliance for Benefits.

I remain grateful to the Lord for how he led and brought Curtis, Holly and their family to the C&MA in September 2017. Please join me in congratulating Curtis!

Delta Dental
From Washington, D.C. — June 19, 2019 — Today, Delta Dental, the nation’s leading provider of dental insurance covering over 78 million Americans, launched the Delta Dental Institute, a first-of-its-kind national organization dedicated to putting a new spotlight on the importance of oral health.

The Delta Dental Institute will be a national voice calling for health-care, public policy, academic, and other leaders to begin placing a greater emphasis on the importance of oral health and the impact it has on overall health, and will engage in research, outreach, and advocacy to help all Americans make informed decisions about their oral health. Read more

Empower Retirement
Empower Retirement has received many awards in previous years. To name a few, they were recently awarded America’s Best Customer Service 2019 Award by Newsweek, received 50 best-in-class awards and 13 service commendations through PLANSPONSOR, and given the most favorable and best-rated 401(k) company among advisers award by PLANADVISOR.

For the 10th year in a row, EyeMed’s Customer Contact Center has been named a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence. EyeMed is 1 of 16 contact centers to achieve this distinction out of 2,000 centers—this puts their customer service center in the top 1%!

First Stop Health
First Stop Health has been named one of the top Inc. 500 companies for the second year in a row. The Inc. 500 is an annual guide measuring the top 500 fastest-growing and most successful companies in America. First Stop Health ranked 375 out of the first 500 companies!

First Stop Health guarantees its clients a positive Return on Investment (ROI) and continues to achieve an industry-leading 56% utilization rate. They have earned an 83+ Net Promoter Score (NPS) with clients and 77+ NPS with members.

HealthComp’s Marty Joseph, President of Sales, is on the frontline and sat down with Mabel Jong at the 2019 World Health Care Congress to discuss reference-based pricing and how it can significantly reduce health-care costs for employers. Watch HealthComp’s Interview

In October 2019, Lively announced their $27M Series B financing round with the goal to increase health-care savings across America. This brings the company’s total funding to more than $40 million and will help accelerate its mission in transforming the way Americans save for health-care. This new funding will also be used to expand the Lively HSA experience to encapsulate all of the health and finance tools consumers need to make better informed health-care decisions.

To top this off, Lively has been named as a top HSA provider in 2019 by Morningstar. The annual Morningstar report is seen as the top independent HSA industry report.

Strategic Financial Services
Having been in the business now for over 15 years, Strategic Financial Services continues to receive an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB ratings are based on factors such as complaint history, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices, and licensing and government actions known to BBB.

Congratulations to each and every one of these accomplishments. Thank you for your excellence and for serving our participants so well!


Crista Murray joined Alliance Benefits in June 2009 and has been with The Christian and Missionary Alliance for over seventeen years. She is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day execution of marketing strategies and communication efforts for both the health and retirement plans.

Posted in: 403(b) Plan Tools, Health Plan Tools