WL Benefits Group, Inc. Announced as New Name for WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

WL Benefits Group Deepens Focus on Benefits Technology for Mobile Devices

BUFFALO GROVE, IL (PRWEB) December 18, 2014 – WestLake Financial Group, Inc., a leader in benefits administration technology, brokerage services and human resources consulting is proud to announce its new name: WL Benefits Group, Inc.
The renaming and re-branding follow a period of expansion for the company, including a new website and visual identity.

The announcement comes as the company has enjoyed great recent successes, including a number of new client acquisitions and being named one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™. Clients are coming to WL Benefits Group for their professionalism and personal client assistance, along with their cutting edge technology and solutions.

“After over 23 years in the industry, we felt as a company that our name did not properly reflect our mission and solutions,” said Founder and CEO Paul Burt. “We provide full benefit administration and online enrollment technology in addition to fulfilling clients’ TPA, brokerage, FSA and COBRA needs. The name WL Benefits Group, Inc. distinguishes us in our field and provides a more unique and memorable experience.”
The WL Benefits logo was designed to represent the company’s unique approach to technology-based benefits solutions and the personal touch it provides to clients.

“This is an exciting time for the company,” said President Christopher Clemmensen. “We have evolved tremendously since 1991 and our new name and brand identity reflect this new chapter for the firm. WL Benefits Group is expanding organically and through acquisitions to be a leader in mobile on-boarding technologies as we continue to distinguish ourselves as a company.”

About WL Benefits Group, Inc.

Established in 1991, WL Benefits Group is a recognized leader in HR consulting and employee benefits technology services. By utilizing technology and personalized expertise to provide clients with web-based solutions, claims administration, broker and consulting services, third party administration, and US-based call center support, WL Benefits enables clients to focus on core human resource activities. For more information, visit the WL Benefits Group website www.WLBenefitsGroup.com or call 1-888-937-8525.

Paul J. Burt Named to Board of Directors of Lake Forest Police Foundation

Burt One of Five Founders of New Non-Profit Organization

Lake Forest, IL (PRWEB) October 09, 2014 – Paul J. Burt, Founder and CEO of WestLake Financial Group, Inc. and co-founder of CERA Solutions, has recently helped found the Lake Forest Police Foundation, along with four other Lake Forest residents. He has also been named to the Board of Directors of the Foundation. Paul has been a Lake Forest, Illinois resident since 1991.

In recent years, the city’s general revenue has halted its growth while salaries and benefits continue to rise. Currently, about 85 percent of the annual police budget goes toward salaries and benefits. Because of this, there is less room in the budget for the continuation of certain programs such as the Rape Aggression Defense program offered for female residents and college students. Other programs that have been cut include a bicycle safety program for children and a police department awards function.

The goal of the Lake Forest Police Foundation is to generate funds for those programs through fundraising efforts.

“As city budgets continue to dwindle it is imperative that we continue to provide our police department with the tools and resources they need to protect our community,” said Paul J. Burt. “I am honored to join forces with a passionate team of Lake Forest business leaders to fill the gap and make sure our police force has what they require to meet the needs of the city of Lake Forest.”

The Lake Forest Police Foundation would also support upgrades in police equipment and technology. Police vehicles are equipped with defibrillators; however the devices are 13 years old. There is a dire need for an upgrade, but no space in the budget.

The Lake Forest Police Foundation plans to hold its first fundraiser this spring. Complete with donated food and drink from local vendors, the event assures to be an unforgettable night that greatly impacts the safety and well being of the Lake Forest Community.

About WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

Established in 1991, WestLake Financial is a recognized leader in HR consulting and employee benefits technology services. By utilizing technology and personalized expertise to provide clients with web-based solutions, claims administration, broker and consulting services, third party administration, and call center support, WestLake enables clients to focus on core human resource activities. For more information on WestLake and the services they offer, please visit www.westlakefinancialgroup.com

About CERA Solutions

CERA Solutions, LLC. specializes in emerging technologies with a focus on tablet and mobile computing applications. Taking the name from the ancient Roman wax covered tablets, called “Tablulae Cera,” that were used to record important transactions, CERA develops solutions for Apple and Android devices as well as wearable technologies, including Google Glass, to mobilize Fortune 1000 organizations. For more information on CERA Solutions please visit www.cerasolutions.com.

About the Lake Forest Police Foundation

The Lake Forest Police Foundation was formed as a 501(c)3 organization in 2014 to support the important work of the Lake Forest Police Department through the donation of funds, services and goods. The Foundation supports programs, initiatives and projects that are strategically focused to complement the Department’s policing strategies and ensure the highest level of police service to the Lake Forest community. For more information on the Lake Forest Police Foundation, please visit www.lakeforestpolicefoundation.com

Paul J. Burt Inducted into Lumen Institute

Burt to Join Corporate Leaders in Prestigious Faith-Based Organization

BUFFALO GROVE, IL – (July 7, 2014) – WestLake Financial Group, Inc., a recognized leader in voluntary benefits, human resources consulting, and employee benefits technology is proud to announce its Founder and CEO, Paul J. Burt, has been inducted into the esteemed Lumen Institute.

Lumen Institute is a Christian association of like-minded business and cultural leaders that has identified three specific areas where it seeks to strengthen its members: Character, Faith, and Leadership. The primary goal of the Lumen Institute is to help business leaders and members of Lumen to know what is truly best for them and their teams. This would include acquiring the habits of truth, goodness, beauty, and unity in business and personal life. Through Lumen, members strengthen their integrity of thought and action and become one person of character inside and out.

Paul is excited to deepen his faith through his involvement with Lumen. He will have the opportunity to participate in many activities including Leadership Circles, Spiritual Coaching Sessions, and an annual National Retreat, among others. “I have met like minded leaders with faith based leadership philosophies…and have gained friends, learned skills, and deepened my understanding of God’s message regarding the mentoring and leadership of others through my Lumen relationships,” said Paul J. Burt, CEO of WestLake Financial Group, Inc. and co-founder of CERA Solutions. “This is exactly what I was looking for”

Lumen places a high priority on each member actively working to round out their personal development by giving back to the community. Paul is extremely involved with the American Heart Association. Operating as the Event Chair for the recent Heart Ball in Chicago, he spearheaded the largest fundraiser in the history of the event, raising $2.6 million to save lives.

About WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

Established in 1991,WestLake is a recognized leader in HR consulting and employee benefits technology services. By utilizing technology and personalized expertise to provide clients with web-based solutions, claims administration, broker and consulting services, third party administration, and call center support, WestLake enables clients to focus on core human resource activities. For more information on WestLake and the services they offer, please visit www.westlakefinancialgroup.com.

About CERA Solutions

CERA Solutions, LLC. specializes in emerging technologies with a focus on tablet and mobile computing and applications. Taking the name from the ancient Roman wax covered tablets, called “Tablulae Cera,” that were used to record important transactions, CERA develops solutions for Apple and Android devices as well as wearable technologies, including Google Glass, to mobilize Fortune 1000 organizations. For more information on CERA Solutions please visit www.cerasolutions.com.

About Lumen Institute

Lumen Institute is an organization that provides highly personalized formation for leaders in corporate American including guiding, training, and educating each member in an integral way. The primary goal in guiding each member is to know what is truly best for him or her. This would include acquiring the habits of truth (in business and personal life), goodness (in thought and action), beauty (in respecting created things) and unity (by being one person of character inside and out). For more information on Lumen Institute please visit www.lumeninstitute.org.
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Janet & Paul Burt Raise Record Donations For Chicago Heart Ball

Burt Raises National Record of $2.6 Million as Chair of 2014 Heart Ball
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, June 12, 2014 – WestLake Financial Group, Inc., a recognized leader in voluntary benefits, HR consulting, and employee benefits technology is pleased to announce the record breaking results of the 2014 American Heart Association’s Chicago Heart Ball. Paul J. Burt, founder and CEO of WestLake Financial Group and co-founder of Cera Solutions, along with his wife, Janet, were the chairs of this year’s event.

For over 31 years the Heart Ball has been one of the premier fundraising events in Metro Chicago, bringing together corporate and community leaders for an inspirational evening of dinner, dancing, entertainment and live and silent auctions in support of the American Heart Association.

Cardiovascular disease takes the life of one person every 39 seconds in the US, and is the cause of death of 36% of Americans who pass each year. Since 1949, the AHA has invested over $3.3 Billion in heart research, and right now is investing more than $13.7 Million in Chicago area research studies to cure heart disease and stroke.

This year, through the efforts of Paul and Janet Burt along with the Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team made up of corporate executives from across the region, the Chicago Heart Ball raised $2.6 million. This record-breaking amount puts Chicago in the lead for money raised at a Heart Ball event across the country.

“We are honored to have been selected by the American Heart Association to lead such a great group of corporate leaders and luminaries to a record-breaking event for the AHA,” said Paul J. Burt, CEO of WestLake Financial Group, Inc. “The money raised will go to support the American Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

Congenital heart defects affect eight out of every 1,000 infants born each year, and the AHA funds more research on children’s heart disease than any organization outside of the federal government.

“The Chicago Heart Ball celebrates a cause very close to our own hearts. Our ten year old daughter, Sophia, was diagnosed with congenital heart disease in 2006, and survived open heart surgery in 2010,” said Janet Burt. “Sophia shared her personal story at last year’s event, thanking the crowd for their support and encouraging their continued participation in AHA fundraising activities.”

About WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

Established in 1991, WestLake is a recognized leader in HR consulting and employee benefits technology services. By utilizing technology and personalized expertise to provide clients with web-based solutions, claims administration, broker and consulting services, third-party administration and call center support, WestLake enables clients to focus on core human resource activities. For more information on WestLake and the services they offer, please visit www.westlakefinancialgroup.com

About Cera Solutions

CERA Solutions, LLC. specializes in emerging technologies with a focus on tablet and mobile computing and applications. Taking its name from the ancient Roman wax covered tablets, called “Tablulae Cera”, that were used to record important transactions, CERA develops solutions for Apple and Droid devices as well as wearable technologies, including Google Glass, to mobilize Fortune 1000 organizations. For more information on CERA Solutions please visit www.cerasolutions.com.

About The American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters working tirelessly to eliminate these diseases. The AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies and provides lifesaving tools and information to save and improve lives. For more information about the Chicago Heart Ball visit: http://chicagoheartball.ahaevents.org

CEO Paul J Burt to Serve as Panelist at Restore Illinois Summit

Paul J. Burt and Congressman Randy Hultgren to Participate in Session Evaluating PPACA

November 1, 2013 (Buffalo Grove, Illinois) – Paul J. Burt, CEO of WestLake Financial Group, Inc., along with Congressman Randy Hultgren of the 14th district of Illinois will participate in a session evaluating the implications of PPACA at the first annual Restore Illinois Summit. The summit, hosted by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, will include sessions across a myriad of topics – including social media, technology, and healthcare reform. The summit will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on Saturday, November 2.

Paul J. Burt, an expert in technology and benefits administration, founded WestLake Financial Group, Inc. in 1991. A pioneer in the field of human resources outsourcing and benefits administration, Burt redefined the delivery of benefit information to employees through WestLake’s cutting edge technology and value-added services. Burt’s insightful leadership and ideas have propelled WestLake Financial Group to the top tier of benefit technology, consulting, fthird party administration and brokerage services for mid to large organizations nationwide. In 2004, Burt was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, in recognition for his entrepreneurial achievements and lasting impact on Chicago’s business landscape.  Burt is the corporate chair of the 2014 American Heart Association’s Chicago Heart Ball.

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

Recognized as a leader in benefits administration for over 24 years, WestLake Financial Group, Inc. delivers leading edge solutions and programs to human resources professionals. A pioneer in internet-based benefits solutions, WestLake Financial Group has saved clients between 20% to 40% of their combined HR administrative time. Through the introduction of Dependent Eligibility Verification Audits, Spousal Disincentive Administration, Tobacco User Disincentive Administration, and other innovative programs, WestLake Financial Group assists clients in reducing costs while maintaining superior quality. For more information on WestLake’s full spectrum of benefit administration services, visit westlakefinancialgroup.com.

WestLake FG Names Christopher N. Clemmensen as President

WestLake Financial Group, Inc. Names Christopher N. Clemmensen as President: Burt Retains CEO  and Chairman of the Board Position

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WestLake Financial Group, Inc., a recognized leader in HR consulting and employee benefits solutions, announced today that Christopher N. Clemmensen has been named president.

“I believe that WestLake Financial Group’s suite of high quality solutions and technology will continue to help organizations optimize human resource benefits, especially during this dynamic time in the healthcare industry.”

Paul J. Burt, founder, will remain chief executive officer and chairman of the board for the company.

Clemmensen has held several leadership positions throughout his 27-year career. Most recently, Clemmensen served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Brickfish, a Chicago-based social media technology company. Prior to that he was vice president of marketing at Press Ganey Associates, Inc, a leader in healthcare performance improvement helping more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide – including 50% of all U.S. hospitals.

Clemmensen has also served as senior vice president of the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, now Truven Health Analytics, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, combining industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers.

Previously he held management roles at Kraft Foods, S.C. Johnson & Sons, and Caremark, where he repositioned the company and oversaw client and consumer communication to their customers and 29 million covered lives. Clemmensen started his career in the management training and fixed income sales program at Solomon Brothers in New York.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Management at the University of Virginia.

“It is an honor to join an organization on the cutting edge of HR consulting and employee benefits administration, brokerage services and benefits technology for the Fortune 1000,” said Clemmensen. “I believe that WestLake Financial Group’s suite of high quality solutions and technology will continue to help organizations optimize human resource benefits, especially during this dynamic time in the healthcare industry.”

“Further, I am fortunate to have such an experienced business partner in our CEO and company founder, Paul J. Burt, whose innovation has lead the industry in HR solutions,” Clemmensen continued. “I look forward to working with Paul and the entire WestLake Financial Group team to continue to deliver breakthrough solutions that drive efficient administration of our services.”

“We are delighted to have Chris Clemmensen join WestLake as president. He is the right person to guide the company through a very exciting time. WestLake’s state-of-the-art on-line enrollment application continues to revolutionize open enrollment, helping employees get the most from their benefits, while cutting costs in the end for the employer,” said Paul J. Burt, CEO of WestLake Financial Group. “WestLake is a leading company in the benefits administration industry and should play an even more prominent role under Chris’ leadership.”

About WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

Established in 1991, WestLake is a leading HR consulting and employee benefits solution provider. By utilizing technology and personalized expertise to provide clients web based internet solutions, claims administration, traditional broker services, consulting services, outsourced services and call center support, WestLake allows clients to focus on core human resource activities. For more information on WestLake and the services they offer, please visit www.westlakefg.com.

 

Baby Boomers live longer but are sicker (preaching to the choir)

Below find an important article that affects many of us and reflects our current reality. I’ve long preached that we may be living longer but are heavier and sicker than our parents ever were. We must get these areas of morbidity under control. I believe that studying our data is a key first step. Call me and I’ll discuss my ideas on data integration and an enrollment strategy. – Paul J. Burt

Baby boomers living longer — but sicker — than previous generation
By Bloomberg News Service

February 5, 2013

(Bloomberg) — Baby boomers have more chronic illness and disability than their parents even as modern medicine allows them to live longer, researchers found.
Baby boomers, the 78 million Americans born from 1946 through 1964, engage in less physical activity, are more overweight and have higher rates of hypertension and high cholesterol, according to a study released Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Monday’s study, among the first to compare the generations, shows that baby boomers aren’t as healthy and active as most would believe, says Dana E. King, the lead author. They become sicker earlier in life than the previous generation, are more limited in what they can do at work and are more likely to need the use of a cane or walker, the research found.
“The results of this study say you become sicker sooner and you are burdened with chronic disease and are taking medications yet you live longer,” says King, a professor of family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. “We are not as healthy as we think. There needs to be a new emphasis and continued attention to programs to improve healthy lifestyles in this age group.”
Researchers in the study analyzed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2007 to 2010, looking at baby boomers, and from 1988 to 1994, evaluating the previous generation. They focused on people ages 46 to 64 years during the survey periods. The researchers compared the two groups’ lifestyle, health status, presence of chronic disease and disability.
Almost 40% of the boomers are obese, compared with 29% a generation ago. Fifty-two percent said they got no regular physical activity versus 17% of their parents, according to the study.
The results are a “wake-up call,” says Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of AARP’s Public Policy Institute in Washington.
“We have to cherish the longevity we’ve been given as a gift,” she says. “We have to fight to live well not just live long. We’d like to believe that 60 is the new 40, but you can’t be that 40-something if you are just sitting on the couch.”
The mortality rate of those age 59 in 2005, the leading edge of the baby boom, was 14% lower than 59-year-olds in 1997, according to a previous study cited by the authors.
While fewer baby boomers were smoking or had emphysema than their parents’ generation, more had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and were taking medicines to treat those conditions, according to this week’s study. Reinhard says the cholesterol finding may be skewed because doctors didn’t routinely test for cholesterol 20 years ago.
King says more studies are needed to find how to improve the health of the boomers. Previous generations grew up in a time with fewer electronics and labor-saving devices, and walked or rode bikes more regularly.
“Do we need more availability of fitness classes at work, do we need more bicycle lanes in more cities,” he says. “What is the most effective way? We don’t have the answer to that question to both motivate and make an impact on the healthy lifestyle profile of this generation.”

IRS: Cheapest Obamacare plan will cost families $20k a yr

January 31, 2013

By Matt Cover

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.
The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.
The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.
“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.
Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.
In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.
To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.
In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.
Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.
For those wondering how clear the IRS’s clarifications of this new “penalty” rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:
“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.
“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.
“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).
“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”