NAHU represents licensed health insurance agents, brokers, consultants and benefit professionals who serve the health insurance needs of employers and individuals seeking health insurance coverage.
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NAHU Self-Funded Instructors

Meet the Instructors

Michael Capaldo | Robin Frick | Craig Lack | Ruthann Laswick | Gary Looney | David C. Smith | Michael Stephens | Janet Trautwein | Denny E. Wright |


Michael Capaldo - Instructor

Michael Capaldo is currently principal of Michael Capaldo Employee Benefits. Michael brings three decades of innovation to his corporate clients and is considered an expert in the field of ERISA-regulated health and welfare plans. Michael’s practice includes analysis, design, implementation and administration of employee welfare benefit plans, employee engagement and benefit satisfaction surveys, employee benefit communications, plan documents and Affordable Care Act impact analyses. He has owned and operated several successful insurance agencies, held director-level positions at insurance carriers and served as the director of communications and training at the New York Liquidation Bureau, the court-appointed receiver of insolvent and impaired insurance carriers, where he assisted in the successful rehabilitation of a property and casualty carrier.


Robin Frick - Instructor

Robin Frick is an executive responsible for account management, compliance and corporate operations with Global Insurance Group, Inc., an employee benefit and risk management firm. Her position includes partnering with clients to develop and maintain benefit strategies for their employees and for expanding new business opportunities.

Robin has been an active member of NAHU since entering the insurance industry. She has served on the boards of the local, state and national levels of NAHU, including her current position on the Professional Development Committee, and prior served on the Legislative Council, which provides legislative advice, communication and policy positions to the membership, Congress and the Federal Administration.


Craig Lack - Instructor

Craig Lack is a nationally-recognized healthcare expert, bestselling author, speaker and CEO of ENERGI and Premium Reduction Strategies. He is the creator of Performance Based Health Plans ®, which Inc. magazine said is "The next big thing." He consults nationwide on establishing spousal incentive HRA/MERPs and negotiates partnerships with fully insured and excess loss carriers to provide extended term guarantees.

He has appeared in national media including Fast Company, USA Today, radio and America's Premier Experts, which aired nationally on the major network affiliates. He's a member of the National Academy of Bestselling Authors for achieving No. 1 bestseller status on Amazon.


Ruthann Laswick - Instructor

The president of Blue Water Benefits Consulting, Ruthann’s career in human resource and employee benefits spans 38 years working from both the consulting side of benefits and the employer’s side. As a compensation and benefits manager for a large international employer, she had first-hand experience working with compliance requirements in both the U.S., Canada and several European countries.

For the past few years much of her time has been spent working on healthcare reform. Since the passage of the PPACA, Ruthann has also been teaching courses for insurance agents and accountants on the components and impact of healthcare reform. A noted expert, Ruthann speaks throughout the country on the PPACA to employers and has partnered large insurance carriers to consult on healthcare reform. She currently serves on several PPACA advisory groups and is the PPACA compliance consultant to a number of national employer associations.

In addition to presenting courses on the PPACA, Ruthann has written and presents courses on ERISA compliance, Medicare, reform and risk management, and HIPAA/HiTech.


Gary Looney - Instructor

Gary is currently the senior vice president of Alamo Insurance Group. He has been a health insurance agent for more than 40 years. Gary has a background as an employee benefits manager working in the area of risk management and employee benefits consultation.


David C. Smith - Instructor

David C. Smith is vice president of Ebenconcepts, one of the Southeast's largest benefits consulting firms. He has nearly 20 years of experience in employee benefits with regulatory, business and industry perspectives. David has spoken extensively about wellness and its nuances and is always highly rated as a speaker before diverse audiences.


Michael Stephens - Instructor

Michael Stephens began his insurance/employee benefits career in 1982. In 1989 he became brokerage manager of a local health general brokerage agency and then joined American Medical Security (AMS) Insurance Company in 1992. Michael’s region encompassed Oklahoma, Northwestern Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Southwest Missouri. He was widely recognized as one of the top regional sales managers for the company during his 15-year tenure. The AMS individual plan ranked second in terms of total enrollment for the state of Oklahoma under his leadership.

In 2007, after AMS was acquired by United Healthcare, Michael contracted with Excelsior Benefits to startup their Oklahoma/Texas region and in 2010 he started Tallgrass Benefits as a regional wholesale brokerage specializing in employee benefits.

Michael has been a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and NAHU, where he has served as president of both the Tulsa Chapter and the Oklahoma State Wide Chapter. He also served five years on the NAHU Board of Directors as Region 6 vice president and is the current national chair of the Health Underwriters Political Action Committee.


Janet Trautwein - Author/Reviewer/Instructor

Janet Trautwein is the chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Washington, D.C. NAHU represents more than 100,000 employee benefits professionals involved in the design, sale, implementation and management of health plans all over the United States. Her responsibilities include oversight of all NAHU activities and primary representation of the association to the media, government agencies and elected officials at all levels.

Prior to becoming the CEO of NAHU in 2005, Janet served for many years as the head of NAHU's government affairs department, working with members of Congress, senior government officials, governors and state legislators, and directing the government and political affairs of the organization.

A frequent speaker on health policy issues, Janet’s expertise in issues related to the uninsured, health insurance pools, risk and reinsurance pooling, health related tax issues and both national and global health reform has been recognized throughout the industry. Janet has been asked to testify before Congress numerous times and has been published in major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs around the world.


Denny E. Wright - Instructor

Denny Wright has been in the TPA business for 28 years and is recognized by many of his peers as a leading expert in self-funded healthcare plans. Over his career, he has founded two different TPA organizations and built them into successful businesses. Denny currently is employed as vice president of new business development for Employee Plans, LLC, a subsidiary of Old National Insurance Group and a leading third-party administrator of self-funded employee benefit plans in the Midwest. Denny is a past president of the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters, a graduate of Indiana University and a Registered Health Underwriter. Denny has previously served two different terms on the Board of Trustees of the Health Underwriters Political Action Committee and currently serves on the NAHU Self-Funded Working Group.

Have Questions?

Contact Student Services with questions or comments at 844-257-0990 or professionaldevelopment@nahu.org.