Who We Are2018-10-12T19:54:00+00:00

Get to know those serving you.

Mark J. Becker

President, GBDS, HIA, CBC

Underwriter and Manager, Corporate Accounts, Principal Financial Group; Account Executive, Holmes, Murphy & Associates. Captain, United States Army, Iowa Army National Guard. Mark’s background provides clients with a wealth of experience in group underwriting and the financial management of their employee benefit plans. Strategic planning, risk analysis, funding tool management, and overall education in the purchase of employee benefits are the skills Mark brings forth in advocating for and advising clients.

Brenda Plantz

Vice President, GBDS, HIA, MHP

BA, Central College. Health Insurance Associate (HIA), Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP). Industry Experience (since 1985): Claims Supervisor, Account Executive, Provider Relations Coordinator, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Benefits Coordinator, Delta Dental Plan of Iowa. Brenda brings a background of education and training, claim analytics, contractual document organization, review, and development in providing a full scope of account management services for clients.

Jamie Van Gorp

Director of Client Services, CBC

Previous experience: Account Coordinator at Holmes Murphy & Associates, and a founding member of Benefit Resources of Iowa as Operations and Retention Manager. Jamie has worked in virtually all areas of the employee benefit Industry as Account Manager, Account Executive and Office Management roles. She specializes in the small to mid-size group market. Her knowledge and attention to detail allows her to proactively relate to clients, identify needs, and provide solutions through effective communication and excellent customer service.

Nick Brown

Consulting Service Advisor, HIA

BBA in Finance, University of Iowa. Health Insurance Associate (HIA). Nick previously worked as an Account Analyst at Lockton Companies – Chicago Series, where he began his career in employee benefits. Specializing in the large group market, Nick combines his analytic skills with his knowledge of employee benefit plans to ensure that the client experience is both smooth and efficient.

Joni Preston

Business Manager

Accounting degree, American Institute of Business. Joni has worked in the accounting industry, both public and private, as well as owned her own bookkeeping business for the past 30 years. She has acquired a broad range of accounting experience from the various businesses and clients she has worked for and with.

Leah Belknap Carter

Consulting Attorney, JD

BS magna cum laude – English Rhetoric, Iowa State University; J.D. with honors from Drake University Law School. Leah worked for the Iowa Judicial Branch as a Child Welfare Specialist for Iowa Children’s Justice. Her practice has exposed her to a varied set of legal experience and she enjoys the diversity applying the law to unique client scenarios. She is pleased to bring her legal research and client expertise to assist clients of MJBA.

Susie Pinckney

Director of Compliance, ACA Certified, CBC

Susie began her 40+ year career by developing, managing and training employee benefit professionals for a large local brokerage firm. Taking that experience and knowledge, Susan emerged as a professional broker herself, working directly with employers to design and administer their benefit programs. Today as the COO of Mark J. Becker & Associates she merges her two greatest strengths: developing benefit programs for clients and working in the evolving benefit compliance arena.

Kathy Mabe

Senior Consulting Advisor, MAT, CEBS

BA in Management and Master of Arts in Teaching through Simpson College in Indianola. Kathy graduated Leadership Iowa through the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and attained her Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. Kathy’s background is multi-faceted in providing advice and service in the employee benefit field with extensive experience in consulting, account management, marketing, training and education.

Sheila Kelly

Senior Account Manager, FLMI

Sheila obtained her Fellow, Life Management Institute designation (FLMI) while working at Mercer Health and Benefits Administration, LLC. Industry experience since 1985 in various positions: Senior Account Manager, Operation’s Manager for a Claims Department and Workforce/Business Analysts. Her varied experience with large and small group benefits makes her a valuable asset to MJBA. Sheila is recognized for her exemplary service and attention to detail.

Dena Cox

Director of Analytics, CBC

Chartered Benefit Consultant (CBC). Industry Experience (since 1992): Medical/Dental Claim Processor, Adjustment Analyst, Claim Auditor, Appeal Auditor, CIGNA HealthCare. Dena’s expertise in the development of analytical and audit analysis tools and processes provides MJBA with the data management and reporting necessary to educate clients and advocate on their behalf during strategic planning, renewal processes, and solicitations to the marketplace.

Blake Schlawin

Systems Manager

BA – Interactive Digital Studies, University of Northern Iowa. Blake’s background in blending managerial and technical skills lends well to his abilities to manage and maintain internal systems at MJBA. His creative approach and design experience are invaluable in his role developing unique, client-facing resources and services for MJBA.