Small Company. Big Service.
Since 1995, Centric Benefits Consulting has been serving the benefits needs of family-owned businesses, large corporations, and school districts and municipalities. Regardless of size, our team thoroughly researches the marketplace for the best plans to meet your group's needs. We never use the one size fits all approach because we understand that every business entity has its own unique benefits needs.
At Centric, we thoroughly analyze your program to identify activities that drive claim frequency, and implement an action plan to control those healthcare costs while promoting a healthy work environment for your employees. We work with all major insurance carriers including Cigna, Aetna, Horizon, United, AmeriHealth and more, which gives us the flexibility to find the right plan that works for you.
Knowledge and experience set the Centric Team apart from the rest. By providing both broker and consultant services, our clients gain additional insight and guidance. Understanding the increased complexity and ever-changing nature of employee benefits is a challenge. That's why we make sure to continually monitor changes in government regulations, keep informed of health and lifestyle trends, and stay abreast of the issues you and your employees face.
At Centric, we navigate the confusing and evolving landscape of healthcare reform for you and develop strategies to meet the constant demands of business to give you a competitive edge. With more than 100 years of combined experience in the benefits consulting industry, our team has the know-how and drive to be the best partner for you.
We'd like you to meet the Centric Team:
Edward J. Gunther, Jr
As the Owner and President of Centric Benefits Consulting, Ed brings with him more than 30 years in the insurance benefits industry. Ed has the ability to keep an eye on the future by cultivating new business without ever losing sight of the needs of his current customer base. As a leader, Ed fosters an environment where superior customer service and personal attentiveness are key drivers in his business model. Those qualities are what makes Centric stand out from other firms.
Ed joined Centric (formerly known as Grinspec of NJ, Inc.) in 1996, and eventually bought out his partners in January 2008. Prior to joining Centric, Ed spent 15 years at CIGNA as a National Account Executive. At CIGNA, Ed honed his skills and found he was successful at both writing new business and maintaining existing business ($200 million in annual premium), and additionally was tasked with managing an eight-member service team.
With his far-reaching industry contacts and expertise cultivated over the past 30 years, Ed has positioned Centric as a highly-regarded contender in the benefits consulting arena.
Ed currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, and serves as President of the Ted Gunther Memorial Fund. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Heroes and Cool Kids. Ed is a graduate of Middlebury College.
Eric joined the Centric team in 1996 in a sales and service capacity. Prior to joining Centric, Eric spent four years at CIGNA Healthcare in its Health Services, Provider Relations and Sales departments. Recognizing early on that he had an eye for procuring new business, Eric's job responsibilities expanded over the years. Today, Eric's primary focus is selling and servicing new business. With a goal of delivering the best service possible, Eric diligently negotiates rates, manages the day to day service on the accounts, and keeps his clients well-versed in all aspects of healthcare reform. Eric's facility to not only secure new business for Centric, but also to deliver an unparalleled level of service to those new clients has contributed greatly to the firm's success.
Eric is licensed in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Vermont, and he is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Following his passion in his spare time, Eric serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the West River Community Project, a non-profit organization specializing in promoting sustainable agriculture.
Vice President of Operations
Debra joined Centric after spending 20 years raising her family where she cherished her role as CEO of the household. Prior to that, Debra spent the early part of her career at CIGNA Healthcare as a Group Administrative Representative. At Cigna, her primary responsibilities included setting up new accounts and serving as the lead service representative on those accounts. When it was time to return to the workforce, Debra knew her strong organizational and management skills would be well suited to the operations side of Centric. Equally comfortable behind the scenes managing all back office duties as she is interfacing with clients and staff, Debra has proven to be an invaluable asset to Centric.
Debra also serves as a Board Member of the Ted Gunther Memorial Fund.
In 1999 Brian began learning pricing and plan design strategies for the insurance marketplace as an underwriter with Alta Health & Life Insurance Co. (AH&L). Joining Centric in a sales and service capacity, Brian's focus is the implementation of quality products and services at competitive prices for his clients. Recognizing the ever-changing landscape of healthcare reform, Brian expertly leads his clients as they adapt to changes and new product offerings that have arisen in response to evolving legislation.
Brian graduated from Rutgers College where he earned a degree in Economics. During his time with Centric, Brian has obtained the Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designation from The American College of Financial Services. Additionally, Brian is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and serves as a board member and the immediate past President of the Irish Business Association, a division of The Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce. Brian's most recent speaking engagements include the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) Boot Camp, April 12th of 2016, the NJ Charter Schools Conference, May 25th of 2016 and "Is Your Business Fit For the Future," August 31, 2016, which was sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Kurt J. Lance
Kurt has worked in the employee benefits industry for the past 20 years where he was part of the management team at Grinspec Consulting. At Centric Benefits Consulting since 2008, Kurt's duties include developing new client relationships and servicing existing accounts.
Kurt graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, has a Master's Degree in Worksite Health Promotion Management (MHPM) from Nebraska Methodist College, and holds a NJ and NY Insurance Producer License in Life Insurance, Accident, Health and Sickness; Personal Lines; Property, and Casualty. Kurt has earned several specialized designations including: Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS®), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®), Registered Health Underwriter® (RHU®), Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Senior Customer Service Representative
Marianne has worked in the Health and Life Insurance business since 1992. She gained experience with Grinspec Consulting, specializing in the Public Employer Marketplace. She made the transition to Private Sector when Ed Gunther came aboard to head Centric Benefits (formerly known as Grinspec of New Jersey, Inc.) in 1996. She uses her knowledge of the medical insurance industry to keep her up-to-date on plan designs, benefit structures and rates.
Marianne's main focus is Customer Service and delivers it with excellence and pride. She works closely with some of Centric's large group clients as the “go-to” person for help in solving claim problems, transmitting information between the carriers and client, and general customer service support. Marianne also serves in the essential capacity as Administrative Assistant to President, Edward J. Gunther, Jr.
Beth Anne Donald
Customer Service Representative
Beth Anne has 16 years of experience in the Employee Benefits marketplace, spending time on both the carrier side and broker side. As an instrumental part of the Centric staff, Beth Anne works closely with our Sales Executives in developing a team approach to satisfying customer needs. Beth Anne will search high and low to find the best quotes in the marketplace for Health and Ancillary coverages for both new and existing clients. Her expertise in handling the areas of claim resolution, billing issues and renewals, has afforded our clients a seamless and professional experience with Centric.
Ashley E. Palmer
Ashley joins us with 8 years of experience in the insurance industry, primarily working in a claims environment, gaining invaluable experience working with customers within that time. In the ever-changing world of healthcare, her enthusiasm is necessary in order to stay current with rules and regulations. Her ability to translate what can sometimes be confusing information into a manner that is well-received and understandable to her clients is something that sets her apart from the competition. Her primary responsibilities are in a customer service and sales capacity.
Ashley is a Massachusetts native and a 2008 graduate of Springfield College in Springfield, MA, where she ran Division III track & field and was a volunteer leader on the Student Government Association. She is a power networker and born leader with a volunteer spirit, and will be serving as the Chair of the Young Professionals Committee at the Morris County Chamber of Commerce from 2017-2019. She is also a chapter leader for the women's networking franchise "Powerful You!" in Montclair, NJ and starting an enrichment program for at-risk youth living in low-income urban communities called "The Urban Vista Initiative."
Donna M. Ward
Donna joined Centric in 1987 after spending 21 years with CIGNA Healthcare. While at CIGNA as an Administrative Assistant, she was involved with clients in the administration of their plan and assisting clients with claim submissions. Her ability to finesse the intricacies of client relations while overseeing the broader management of the office led Donna to the position of Office Supervisor at CIGNA. Combining her extensive experience, Donna’s role with Centric entails recording and processing commissions and overseeing the financial aspects of the company. Her duties further involve submission of paperwork for staff insurance licensing, tracking CE credits, completion of company and agent agreements for insurance carriers, report filing with the State of NJ, and preparing production reports for management.