Meet our 2019 Broker of the Yearfinalists, Kareim Cade, Seth Denson, Tim Doherty, Doug Hetheringtonand Wanza Schweiger.

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Our Broker of the Year awards give us a chance to provide muchdeserved attention to benefits advisors who are doing thingsright.

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This year's finalists offer a snapshot of some excitingdevelopments occurring in benefits. They are adapting to thesweeping changes taking place in our country and the subtle nuancesin their unique local markets.

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BenefitsPRO editor-in-chief PaulWilson highlights this year's crop of standout brokers.

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Kareim Cade grew up in thebenefits world. He even worked at his mom's brokerage before, well,she fired him. Cade taught school for a few years before returningto benefits. “I learned how to listen in the classroom,” he says.Cade works to adapt and find solutions for his clients, largely inthe public sector and labor unions. “Those organizations have afiduciary responsibility to look at all the options,” he says.Luckily, Cade knows a thing or two about education.

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Seth Denson's outside-the-box thinkingdoesn't go over well with everyone, but it serves him perfectly ashe rethinks health insurance. He has a podcast and is a regularcommentator in the national media. “Health isn't based on politicalopinion,” he says. “Until we understand that and work together, wearen't gonna fix it.”

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• When Tim Doherty saw changesweeping through the industry, he made a decision. “We spent a lotof time reimagining the role of the broker and what the marketplaceneeded,” he says. Doherty noticed that CFOs make data-drivendecisions in all areas but one: benefits. “They don't know what thebig cost drivers are.” As Amazon and other outside disruptors eyehealth care, Doherty embraces the change. “There's a hugeopportunity for those who want to disrupt. So to survive, we needto be able to adapt.”

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Read more about ourfinalists in BenefitsPRO's April magazine issue.

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Doug Hetherington asks a lotof his clients. “If you want me as your fully insured broker, youwill hate me,” he says. “My role is to educate my clients as anadvisor.” Using a unique reference-based pricing captive model, hehas helped clients achieve very impressive results and recentlylaunched a venture to teach other advisors. Interested? He's onlylooking for those “who want to solve the problem.”

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• By finding the perfect niche and taking advantage ofchange, Wanza Schweiger has helped herbrokerage remain innovative and nimble. She says innovation comes“from not being afraid to share information and collaborate withothers.” Daughter Danielle is an “up-and-coming broker” in her ownright, ensuring the family's positive impact on the industry willcarry on.

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Meet some of our previous Brokers of theYear: 

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the editor-in-chief of BenefitsPRO Magazine and BenefitsPRO.com. He has covered the insurance industry for more than a decade, including stints at Retirement Advisor Magazine and ProducersWeb.