LONG BEACH, CA—Following the recent purchase of American Administrators, TRISTAR is close to completing the transition of merging the Iowa-based third-party administrator into its Benefit Administrators division, which operates out of West Des Moines, Iowa. To strengthen its presence in the Midwest, the company has made three additions to the TRISTAR Benefit Administrators (TBA) staff, according to Joe McLaughlin, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing of TRISTAR Insurance Group.
Steve Gauldin, who was recently named Vice President of Operations, will be responsible for overall leadership, management, and delivery of high-quality administrative services to TRISTAR Benefit Administrators’ growing base of self-funded clients. Gauldin brings more than 25 years of experience with group benefits. Prior to joining TBA, he was the Strategy Director for Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Financial Group’s National Accounts Division where he identified and successfully implemented efforts to increase profitability and market share. Gauldin has a BA in Business Administration from Grandview College in Des Moines and is a past Board member of Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA).
Darrell Van Woert has been named Director of Claims and will be responsible for all facets of claim operations for Health, Dental, Vision, Short-term Disability, and Flex products. Van Woert’s extensive experience as a health benefits manager includes more than 30 years of helping Principal Financial Group, a global financial services corporation, manage costs, increase profit margins, and profitably grow its reimbursement account administrative services. He holds a BA in Management from the University of Northern Iowa School of Business. His certifications include Associate, Life and Health Claims (ALHC) from the International Claim Association.
Janet Gustafson has been named Director of Compliance and will implement, document, and maintain a compliance program that meets all legislative and regulatory requirements, create client/broker/employee educational materials, and prepare client-specific Plan documents. Most recently, she was Enforcement Attorney/Compliance Officer for the State of Iowa, Insurance Division, Dept. of Commerce. Her experience also includes serving in compliance and legal roles for numerous insurance companies. Gustafson has a Law Degree and Masters of Health Administration from the University of Iowa, and designation as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
Gauldin and Gustafson will report to Denise Cotter, CFO of TRISTAR Insurance Group, and Van Woert reports to Steve Gauldin.
“By adding these three experienced professionals to our TBA staff we continue to enhance our ability to efficiently serve a greater number of groups in the private and public sector,” said McLaughlin. “Through our purchase of American Administrators we’ve expanded our footprint in the Midwest. Along with adding personnel, we’re integrating and updating software and systems so that we can provide our clients with customized employee benefits packages that include the latest technology for successful plan administration,” he added.