James J. Wilk – CEO and Founder of Benefit Together
Prior to founding Benefit Together in 2010, Jim was Senior Partner and Chief Administrative Officer at J.D. Power and Associates. He served as the chief executive leading the company’s Healthcare, Hotel, and Travel practices, while managing and transforming all support functions to prepare J.D. Power for
successful acquisition by McGraw-Hill in 2005.
From 1990 to 1998, Jim was Health Net’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services. During this span, he provided senior management leadership through substantial organizational reconfiguration and evolution, including conversion to for-profit status and two mergers that resulted in his designation as the chief transition executive for the 1995 Blue Cross $6 billion mega-merger.
Jim’s strong passion for customer satisfaction and loyalty has driven organizational growth and excellence throughout his career, and resulted in Jim becoming Health Net’s Chief Loyalty Officer. In this role, he created and led the firm’s WellRewards program for 2 million healthcare members.
These healthcare related corporate roles were preceded by senior executive positions in Fortune 500 companies including: CitiCorp, Bell Atlantic, Johnson & Johnson, and Allied Chemical, now Honeywell. Jim lives by his strong principles of hard work, integrity, and making an impact, stemming from his Midwestern roots. He and his wife of 32 years, Barbara, have three sons and reside in Indian Wells, California with their two teacup poodles.
Why did you decide to build a business/blog within your industry?
To educate and help other on how to save money on health care and other services.
What is one productivity life hack that you use all the time?
“Live in the present moment.”
Walk us through a day in the life of James Wilk.
There is no typical day to describe. You have to be flexible and be able to do it all. An analogy in the airline business would be….”I sell the tickets, collect the bags, load the plane, fly the plane, serve the drinks, land the plane and thank you all for flying Benefit Together.”
However, if the airport is closed because of bad weather, I would have to say the following:
6:30am : Awake, have coffee, read overnight emails/reply to them. Prioritize daily activities.
8:00am – 9:00am : Initiate follow-up calls to prospective clients.
9:00am – 10:00am : Handling paperwork and creating content for new business ventures.
10:00am – 11:00am : Team meeting to discuss roles, responsibilities and deliverables.
11:00am – 12:30pm : Solve issues and problems identified earlier.
12:30pm – 1:00pm : Lunch
1:00pm – 3:00pm : Proposals, presentations and content development for business development.
3:00pm – 4:00pm : New client prospecting.
5:00pm – 6:00pm : Plan next day’s activities.
6:00pm : Cocktail time!
How do you organize your day? Lists? Post its? Schedule book?
The old fashion way…through a daily planner with priority lists.
What are your 3 favorite online tools and why?
1) Google – Because it sources “everything”.
2) LinkedIn – Is a most excellent networking business platform to locate new business.
3) Skype – A cost effective business communication bridge.
How do you monetize?
Strictly through subscriptions and memberships.
How do you market your site?
Through affiliate marketing, directing correspondences, personal relationships and relying on team members to pitch new business opportunities to customers.
What is your favorite business book and why?
The book serves as a model for future generations of leaders by showing how to build a company on trust and integrity through enlightened employees.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
My wife and partner for 35 years…Barbara.
She taught me how to be more aware, caring and compassionate. Barbara is a strong person to have your back in times of crises and as fun and loving of a person, in good times.
What is one book you recommend everyone to read and why?
In this world of distractions and electronics is to become more focused and real. “Your primary purpose” is to be here fully and to be total in whatever you do know.
How has your life been different than you would have imagined as a child?
Mostly realizing how quickly the life cycle churns and fast you go from 0 to 60!
How would you like to be remembered?
As a genuine person who:
1) Displayed “integrity”
2) Made an “impact”
3) Was “innovative”
Connect with James Wilk: