The President and COO of BeniComp is trying to change healthcare, one individual at a time

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Steve Presser is president and chief operating officer of BeniComp, a health technology company that is reshaping employer health insurance with prevention and technology at its core. Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, he has an artist’s vision and a thirst for invention. He is the individual for whom the term “outside the box” was coined.

Presser attended DePauw University as a Management Fellow and Presidential Scholar, where he earned a degree in arts and economics. He later attended the prestigious Savannah School of Art and Design, where he studied 3D animation and earned a Masters in Fine Arts. Never one to sit idle, Presser and his brother headed west after graduation to enjoy the warm weather and sunny beaches of San Diego. Here he started his first company, New Medical Web, a web design and multimedia company. Presser had a large client base that spanned the country, which he managed for over 19 years.

“I asked myself, ‘What do I want to do with my life? “What am I going to work on?” I categorized things and came to the conclusion that I wanted to work in healthcare, education and technology; and have an impact on society,” Steve mused.

One of Presser’s first clients was BeniComp. He developed a strong relationship with CEO Doug Short and felt passionate about his vision. “They wanted to give people the ability to use health data. BeniComp could work with companies to prevent and reverse chronic diseases, which account for 75% of our nation’s healthcare spending. This personalized approach is not the same as the one-size-fits-none model that healthcare companies offered in the early 2000s,” he said.

A few years later, Steve, his wife Cynthia (native Brazilian) and their two children were looking for the perfect place to raise their children. They wanted to live in a city where they could be close to the beaches, which were a big part of his wife’s childhood, and be in touch with the culture. They decided Tampa was the perfect place. “Miami was too busy. In Tampa you have pro sports, beaches, a family community and a growing health technology presence,” he explained. Unbeknownst to him, it was also the perfect location for Doug, who had just opened a second office in the heart of the city, inspired by the burgeoning “Well District.”

When Doug and Steve reunited right here in Tampa, the distinct synergy between their missions became undeniable. “I found Doug revolutionizing the health care system through prevention and inventing the technology and resources needed to help people and manage population health.”

Doug and Steve quickly became business partners and began growing their innovation team in Tampa, which became BeniComp’s new headquarters. BeniComp’s operations team is still based in Fort Wayne, IN, where the company was founded 58 years ago. “The separation between the two offices gives us a chance to be creative,” Presser said. “We’re constantly inventing and building new software applications to better run the business, and then we’re training employees in Indiana.” He admits it’s unusual for a company of their size to keep operations and innovation separate, but it gives them a unique format for growth.

Presser continues to be inspired by BeniComp’s mission and Doug’s support in creatively solving projects and championing new business approaches. Speaking of Doug, Presser beams. “He’s such a dreamer. He would never suffocate anyone’s dreams. He’s hands off, but he’s willing to educate himself while letting you run things. He has kept this company alive for nearly 40 years because he is open to new discoveries.”

One of the most important aspects of Presser’s business is the company culture. “You can read things about what the company culture should be, but you can’t actually tell people what it is,” he said. BeniComp fosters an innovative, performance-based culture with a strong work ethic. They celebrate their victories and are excited about building new things. They don’t expect their employees to stay in the office for long hours, knowing that they all have families and lives outside the workplace. “BeniComp is three generations old. It is built on family. Doug and I are family men. Our motto is work hard, play hard,” Presser said.

Steve Presser will continue to use his innovative and artistic vision to grow BeniComp. He knows that the future of healthcare is in the hands of the people, and he intends to continue to develop healthcare technologies and insurance products to manage the health of the entire population and empower individuals. “There are a lot of companies in our space, but absolutely no one is doing what we’re doing,” he said.

About BeniComp:

BeniComp stands for the “good side of healthcare” by addressing two of the industry’s biggest challenges: skyrocketing costs and the prevalence of chronic disease. BeniComp has redesigned employer health insurance with prevention and technology at its core. With a refreshing approach that leverages 58 years of industry experience with a team of software developers and preventive health specialists, BeniComp has a 96% participation rate in annual employee health screenings. This allows Pulse (their health technology platform) to analyze unique data about entire populations, uncover risks and empower individuals to prevent and reverse the root causes of disease. www.benicomp.com

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