Why Clients Choose Us

Since launching in 2002, we’ve built a next-generation system that can integrate any type of employee benefit from any carrier – core, supplemental, or voluntary, group or individual – and seamlessly manage the benefits administration. Our proprietary technology is not only highly robust, efficient, and scalable but it also eliminates enrollment and timing errors associated with voluntary products. The end result is that employees, employers, and carriers are united.

The Benefit Harbor Advantage

Our unique combination of experience, diligence and expertise will help you to offer the optimal benefit portfolio for every employee. Strong programs that help employees fortify their financial well-being. Clients choose Benefit Harbor over the competition.

Committed to Our Values

Agile – Nimble and responsive, we anticipate the needs of our clients and partners and we can change directions quickly as needed.

Reliable – Clients trust us to build things that work and we take that seriously. Our team will overcome obstacles, find solutions and deliver results.

Genuine – We operate with transparency, integrity and honesty.

Collaborative – Working together with our clients and partners to focus on successful outcomes for all.

Innovative – Our passion challenges us to constantly develop solutions to complex and evolving problems.

Knowledgeable – We provide relevant and meaningful information to employees, improving their financial protection and well being through technology.


Mike Lester

Mike Lester CEO, Co-founder, and Board Member

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Mike Lester
CEO, Co-founder, and Board Member

Mike Lester was named CEO of Benefit Harbor in 2000. His responsibility is to set the long-term strategy, initiate strategic opportunities, and manage outside financial resources.

Mike has substantial experience in the financial services industry including retail and wholesale investment management, investment banking, private equity and investment management. He began his career in 1983 as a securities broker with Prudential-Bache Securities serving institutional clients and large retail clients through the Ft. Worth, Texas office. In 1997, Mike formed a Registered Investment Advisor, Bledsoe Lester Corporation, which eventually became Summit Advisor Solutions and was sold to a publicly held investment management company in 2016. From 1999 to 2015, he was the President and COO of Summit Alliance Financial, LLP, which grew to become one of the largest life insurance general agency in the country.

Mr. Lester was born in Peoria, Illinois and graduated with a B.S. in Business from Bradley University in 1983. He holds a Series 3, Series 7, Series 24, Series 27 and Series 63 license and registration with FINRA and the Texas State Securities Board. He also currently holds a Group I life and health insurance license in all 50 states.

Bill Lester

Bill Lester President, Co-founder, and Board Member

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Bill Lester
President, Co-founder, and Board Member

Bill was named President of Benefit Harbor in December 2000. He’s responsible for setting the company’s overall strategy, fostering strategic partnerships, and delivering compelling services that meet the needs of Benefit Harbor’s current and future customers.

Bill has extensive business experience working in private and public companies, focusing on the healthcare, insurance, and financial industries. Before joining Benefit Harbor, Bill worked on large emerging technology projects for Southwest Airlines, where he led project teams that focused on security initiatives, on-time performance, and flight schedule optimization. He had previously worked for Bank One Capital Partners, where he was responsible for analyzing business plans for mezzanine investments.

Bill holds a Master of Arts degree in applied economics from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Texas Christian University.

Yaser Amarneh

Yaser Amarneh Chief Technology Officer

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Yaser Amarneh
Chief Technology Officer

Yaser joined Benefit Harbor as Chief Technology Officer in November 2000. He oversees all of Benefit Harbor’s systems engineering, architecture, and e-commerce initiatives.

Yaser has a broad range of experience in software development languages and environments. Before joining Benefit Harbor, he led enterprise-scale development teams at companies including IBM, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, MCI, Southwest Airlines, Federal Express, and Sabre. While at Sabre, Yaser participated in the design and implementation of AAcorn, a product that allowed agents to complete a number of transactions simultaneously, increasing customer satisfaction and saving American Airlines time and money. At Southwest Airlines, he designed and implemented Web-based applications. At Barrett Burke Wilson, Yaser designed and implemented an Oracle-based system for lawyers to track bankruptcies and litigation cases.

Yaser received a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer sciences from the University of North Texas. He has received special training in EJB, Java, UML, Sybase System 11, and SilverStream.

Mary Anne Caputo

Mary Anne Caputo Chief Operating Officer

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Mary Anne Caputo
Chief Operating Officer

Mary Anne joined the Benefit Harbor team in September 2009. Mary Anne has held several key positions at Benefit Harbor including roles requiring implementation of new strategic business initiatives from the ground floor. Mary Anne’s hands on experience in several roles over her tenure at Benefit Harbor has afforded her the ability to streamline and improve processes at the team level as well as the overall organization. Mary Anne built several teams within the organization enabling the company to grow and continually service our clients.

As COO, Mary Anne is responsible for overseeing the operations team which includes: benefit administration, implementation, auditing, data transmissions, training, call center enrollment and customer service. Mary Anne and her team have enhanced the productivity of the operations department by working closely with sales and the information technology department to optimize Benefit Harbor’s processes. Mary Anne will provide continued leadership, management and vision, as she helps guide Benefit Harbor in the execution of growth-focused strategies

Mary Anne brings with her over 20 years of benefit administration experience as well as general human resources experience. Mary Anne has worked for large privately held companies as well as large corporate entities.

Mary Anne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Widener University in Chester Pennsylvania.

Mark B. Richison

Mark B. Richison Chief Financial Officer

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Mark B. Richison
Chief Financial Officer

Mark Richison was named Chief Financial Officer of Benefit Harbor in 2012. His responsibility is to direct the accounting/reporting, treasury, economic strategy and forecasting, as well as the legal and human capital aspects of the company.

Mark has extensive accounting, finance, and tax experience working in private and international public companies. Prior to joining Benefit Harbor, Mark was Director of Finance for Nice Systems, LTD where he led the accounting and finance functions for the Workforce Management Division as well as the Central and Latin America region. Previously, he worked for Insight Enterprises, Inc. where he held various roles in accounting and corporate tax. Mark also has controllership experience with private companies in the manufacturing and oil and gas industries.

Mark holds a Master of Science degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Mark is a Certified Public Accountant.

Austin Michelsen

Austin Michelsen SVP of Sales and Service

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Austin Michelsen
SVP of Sales and Service

Austin joined the Benefit Harbor team in November 2010. Austin has held several key positions at Benefit Harbor including roles requiring the implementation of new sales distribution methods from the ground floor. Austin’s experience in several roles during his tenure at Benefit Harbor has generated the ability to expand new sales processes and distribution methods at the team level as well as the overall organization.

As SVP of Sales, Austin is responsible for overseeing the sales and distribution teams along with enhancing the long term goals of Benefit Harbor in the marketplace. Austin and his team have enhanced the productivity of Benefit Harbor’s sales and marketing efforts by working closely with operations and the information technology department to streamline the Benefit Harbor sales process. Austin will provide continued leadership, management and vision, as he helps guide Benefit Harbor in the execution of the growth-focused strategies.

Austin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Southern Methodist University.


Careers at Benefit Harbor

You are hardworking, creative and bold. You are looking for a company to apply your unique skills while being surrounding by an inspiring group of innovators. You should apply at Benefit Harbor.

Job Openings

Install, configure, maintain, and administer server environments; gather and analyze infrastructure requirements; and customize automation testing frameworks. Requires proficiency in VMware, AWS, Windows, SQL, SAN, NAS, PowerShell, iSCSI, Nagios, Azure, and PCF. MS or equivalent in CS, CIS, relevant engineering field, or closely related field and two years of relevant experience. Will accept BS and 5 years in the same.

Send resume to Hr@Benefitharbor.Com and reference job # 300 for consideration.


As a member of the Benefits Administration team, the Data Analyst II is responsible for interacting with Carriers and the Client payroll team implementing and maintaining EDI files. Additional responsibilities include documentation, quality assurance tasks, completing assigned tasks, and assisting your Account team on day-to-day administration and issue resolution and other special projects.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Data Analyst confirms all external and internal data transfers/files are sent on a daily basis and report back any issues to the Account Team and Carriers/Clients.
  • Analyze client escalations; research and trouble shoot from initial contact, sourcing internal partners as needed and maintaining ownership through resolution.
  • Works with various file types, layouts, and understands complex data mapping
  • Lead Carrier and client payroll team calls for new file implmentations or changes to existing files.
  • Works with Carrier/Client file contact and IT to test, quality review and implement into production new files or changes to existing files.
  • Work with Developers to test and solve any Carrier/Client issues that arise.
  • Maintain and update File Status Implementation Log, Data Transfer Detail Specifications and other required documents to adhere to SOCII documentation requirements.
  • Setup internal tasks (This includes data transfers, defaults, invoices, audits.)
  • Request extracts from carriers, vendors and employers for regularly scheduled audits
  • Perform quarterly/monthly audits, document results and deliver back to the Account Team.
  • Meet expected timelines and assigned due dates for files and tasks.
  • Continuously look for process improvements for clients and the organization such as automation and functionality enhancements.
  • Assist System Administrator with any tasks that may arise with data transfers, products, reports and case builds.
  • Build strong relationships with BH employees (Operations Team and Developers)
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Required Qualifications:

  • General Knowledge, Experience, Technical, and Problem Solving Skills
    • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office
    • Must have Intermediate Excel, Access
    • Must have health and welfare knowledge
    • Strong analytical skill-set and ability to use data to define and resolve issues
    • Competent in basic personal computer skills and knowledge, including keyboard skills, electronic folder/file organization and management, and email usage
    • Database function knowledge preferred, but not required
  • Communication Proficiency:
    • Strong Written and Verbal Communication Skills with the ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical personnel; ability to listen, clarify and respond well to questions
    • Excellent listening skills and the ability to ask probing questions, understand concerns and overcome objections
  • Customer/Client Focus
    • Demonstrate ability to provide superior Customer Service
    • Must possess strong follow up and follow through skills with sense of urgency and attention.
  • Leadership
    • Experience in working collaboratively with teams
    • Strong work ethic and self-starter, able to effectively manage multiple clients and adapt to change within a fast-paced high intensity business setting
    • Must possess integrity, reliability and responsibility with strong organizational skills
    • Logical problem solver with excellent follow through, high attention to detail and trouble shooting skills

Other Positional Details

  • Minimum Required Qualifications
    • Bachelor's degree or related experience in business, preferably in case or product implementation
    • 5+ years demonstrated experience with complex projects in the benefits industry (preferably Health & Welfare), or other related experience
  • Work Environment
    • The work is typically performed in a normal office environment on site at Benefit Harbor Home office in Plano, TX or Remote worker.
    • Very limited travel may be required.

Suggested Schedule

This is a full-time exempt position. General hours of operation are Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm with some flexibility to support teams throughout the continental US.

  • Must be able to work overtime during peak periods

Send resume to pmehta@benefitharbor.com