2017 Board of Directors

Christy L. Schwan


Stellarus Benefits Inc.

Christy has spent her entire career in the insurance industry. She’s been Director of Operations for a Northwestern Mutual general agency and Manager of Field Office Operations at NML headquarters where she led the team that delivered the first successful client management system (pre-Windows).

As an entrepreneur, she formed Schwan & Associates where she consulted nationally with leading financial representatives on their business operations. Back in the corporate arena, she was recruited by Anthem BCBS as Director of Organizational Development-National Business Division as Anthem was first merging Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky operations.

Christy was a founding partner of SEBS/Wisconsin and in 2012 purchased the Brookfield and Appleton operations, renaming the company to Stellarus Benefits Inc. In 2014, Employee Benefit Advisor magazine honored her as Most Influential Woman in Benefit Advising. 

Grant Garson, MBA

President-Elect (Thru 2017)

Colonial Life

Grant is the Agency Development Manager for Colonial Life ranking #1 in Wisconsin. He has 15 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry. He completed his MBA with a concentration in Finance graduating from UW-Milwaukee. 

 Grant worked at Strong Investments as an investment counselor for several years before moving to Morgan Stanley. After several more years of continued success, he was recruited by Northwestern Mutual to train financial advisors. 

His entrepreneurial spirit has shined through as he has built a successful agency at Colonial Life, which has been growing for 6 years and counting. Grant has a passion for sharing and volunteering his time. He spent 2 years on the steering committee for Common Ground Healthcare. He also has volunteered at Junior Achievement, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the Wisconsin Humane Society. A true animal lover at heart. 

Grant has been an active member for several years with the Greater Milwaukee Employee Benefit Council (GMEBC). He began working with WAHU in 2014 as a board member and was elected President for Southeast WI in 2015. He was re-elected in 2016. He is eager to bring his knowledge, optimism, and motivation to all aspects of WAHU.

Steve LeRoy

Vice President/Treasurer

Delta Dental

Steve LeRoy, Senior Sales Executive, has 15 years of experience in senior sales positions with large-group dental and health plans. He participates on a variety of committees at Delta Dental, impacting pricing initiatives and plan designs, and works closely with underwriting, actuary, and operations to continually develop the most competitive plans for his clients. Steve is frequently asked to teach Continuing Education courses and currently serves as Treasurer of the Wisconsin Association of Health Underwriters and has served on  board for 2 years.

Colleen Gransee


Dean Health Plan

Colleen has currently worked as a Large Group Account Executive with Dean Health Plan in Madison WI for the last 8 years. Previously, Colleen worked 22 years with Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Unity Health Insurance.  She spent 9 yrs in all aspects of managing operational areas including Customer Service, Claims, Enrollment and Administration before moving into Sales and Account Management. Additionally, spent 2 years with Central Life Assurance Company. 2  years with WPS Medicare and Champus Divisions. Her former WAHU positions were NAHU Region IV Membership/Retention Chair, South Central Chapter President, South Central Chapter BOD.

Live in Evansville, WI , Married to Chris for 35 years -  3 Children –Aaron of Mischicot, WI is a Crop Insurance Specialist with Investors Community Bank- Kelly – Evansville, WI, completed a 4 year tour of duty in the US Air Force in Okinawa Japan and Afghanistan and is an Account Manager at State Collection Service  and Adam –Air Traffic Controller at Reno/Lake Tahoe International Airport. Hobbies include:  Baking, Gardening, Canning, and Grandchildren.

Rob Deflieze

Board Director (Thru 2020)

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company

Currently works at Reliance Standard Life Insurance and previously served as a Senior Sales Representative for Assurant Employee Benefits for Wisconsin & the Upper Peninsula.  He has over 18 years of experience in the insurance industry working with brokers and payroll accounts. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. He also is a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corp from 1991 to 1998. Rob currently resides in Wauwatosa, WI and is married with two teenage daughters. In his spare time, you will usually find him training for his next Triathlon.

Michael Sugden

Board Director (Thru 2018)


Mike has more than 35 years of experience in the employee benefits field and is currently the National Sales Leader for National CooperativeRx.  Prior to joining National Cooperative Rx, Mike held sales executive leadership positions at several industry-leading organizations, including UnitedHealth Care and Humana. He has been a member of WAHU throughout his career.  Mike is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a B.S. degree in marketing. 

Dean M. Hoffman

Board Director (Thru 2020)

Dean M. Hoffman, LLC

Dean M. Hoffman, Owner/CEO of an employee benefit consulting firm, Dean M. Hoffman, LLC, has been in the employee benefit industry for more than 40 years with an emphasis in large group employee benefit plans. Mr. Hoffman has expertise in a broad range of employee benefits including prescription plan analysis and all funding arrangements including conventionally insured, minimum premium, retrospective, experience refund, stop loss, level funded and self-funding. His strategic leadership process is centered on providing solutions to employers seeking to maximize their healthcare benefits, enhance employee satisfaction while managing their healthcare expenditure. His consulting process will utilize his technical skills, advanced knowledge of ERISA plans, stop loss contracting and data analysis to meet the needs of the employer and employee. Included in his long term benefit model is the use of integrated lifestyle/wellness programs. Mr. Hoffman’s knowledge on selffunded arrangements has made him a favorite at many employee benefit and health care conferences around the country.

Todd Catlin

Board Director (Thru 2017)

Liberty Insurance Group, Inc

Todd has been in the insurance industry since graduating from college at Miami of Ohio in 1989 with a double management manager and a minor in marketing.  He is currently the owner of Liberty Insurance Group, Inc in Brookfield, WI which is a health insurance brokerage agency that specializes in the under 65 individual health market, the Medicare market, and small group market from 2-50 lives.  

Prior to purchasing Liberty Insurance Group, Inc in 1999 Todd held sales management positions from 1990 to 1999 with Employers Health Insurance (now Humana) in Los Angeles, CA and also American Medical Security (now part of United HealthCare) in both Davenport, IA and Milwaukee, WI.  Todd currently serves as the southeastern chapter President of WAHU (Wisconsin Association of Health Underwriters) which is a professional organization for benefits agents and brokers here in Wisconsin.

Todd grew up in Green Bay, WI and currently lives with his wife and two children in Nashotah, WI where they share their home with 3 Bernese Mountain dogs.

Chapter Presidents

Mike Dietz

Fox Valley Chapter President

Midwest Insurance Brokerage Ltd.

I have been in the health insurance industry since 2003.  I am passionate about helping businesses and individuals have medical coverage at the most affordable options for their situation.  

I am President of Midwest Insurance Brokerage Ltd. in Appleton Wisconsin.  We have 7 agents and customer service representative that work out of our office.  We service sub-agents offering them back office services to make their job as an agent simpler. 

I work on the front lines meeting with individuals, families, businesses and seniors.  It takes a lot of time to stay on top of the changing regulations and plan designs for individuals, groups and Medicare.

I have been a member of WAHU since I became an agent.  I have found valuable resources going to local chapter meetings as well as state conventions. 

Kerri Zastrow, RHU, MHP

North Central Chapter President

WPS Health Insurance

Kerri A Zastrow is an Agency Manager at WPS Health Insurance, specializing in the individual and senior market. She received her BA degrees in Philosophy and English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She also has earned her Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP) designations. Kerri has over 20 years of experience in the health insurance industry, working with agents as well as web vendors and private and retiree exchanges. She has been an active member of WAHU/NAHU since 2010.

Kerri resides in the Eau Claire area with her husband Scott. They enjoy cycling, being outside and spending time with family. She also enjoys photography, reading and gardening. She can be contacted at kerri.zastrow@wpsic.com.

Mary Basel, GBDS

South Central Chapter President

M3 Insurance

Mary Basel is a Senior Account Executive and Partner in the Madison office of M3 Insurance. With a focus on education and governmental entities and the construction and manufacturing industry, Mary consults with and advises clients about the design, implementation and management of their employee benefit programs. She has considerable experience working with union, non-union and self-funded groups and coalitions, as well as with resolving benefit-related conflicts using consensus building and participatory management techniques.

Mary joined M3 in 1992, coming with previous industry experience from her work in the Group Underwriting Department at Rural Mutual Life Insurance Company.


John Zuleger, ChHC, REBC, RHU, FICF, LUTCF, FSS,

WAHU Past-President

Zuleger Advisors Inc.

John D. Zuleger is president and founder of Zuleger Advisors, Inc., formally Wisconsin Benefit Consultants, Inc., and has 30 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry. Zuleger Advisors, Inc.  has offices in Appleton and Oshkosh WI. 

John was born and raised in the Fox Valley area. He started his career in the insurance and securities industry in 1982. John holds the Chartered Healthcare Consultant (ChHC), Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC), Register Health Underwriter (RHU), and Financial Services Specialist (FSS) designations from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He also holds the Fraternal Insurance Counsellor Fellow (FICF) from the National Fraternal Congress, and the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Currently, he is on track to earn the Charter Life Underwriter (CLU) designation through the American College in 2016.

Mark Zelinski

WAHU Past-Vice President

Benefit Advantage, Inc.

Mark S. Zelinski is President and Shareholder of Benefit Advantage, Inc., a national third party administrator (TPA) which provides Flexible Spending Account, Health Savings Account, Health Reimbursement Arrangement, and Cobra administration services. Prior to Benefit Advantage Mark served in numerous executive, operations, and marketing management positions totaling over 30 years in several industries. Mark was educated at the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management (MBA) and North Dakota State University (BA – Economics, Business Administration).

Charles A. Jaeger, CLU, ChFC, FLMI

Past President

Colonial Life

A 45 year veteran of the insurance industry representing Colonial Life since 2006. As a Leaders Conference agency, our team has ranked number one in annual premium every year since 2010 for the Wisconsin territory with over $5 million of inforce premium. The agency received the people development award in 2013. We provide Benefit Communication and Professional Enrollment Services including:
• Harmony, Online Enrollment System with a dedicated team of certified Benefit Counselors
• Dependent Audit and Verification 
• Total Compensation Statements 
• Benefit Booklets 
• Individual and group Voluntary Benefits including; Short Term Disability, Accident, Cancer, Critical Illness, Hospital Confinement, UL w/ Long Term Care and Life Insurance

For the past nine years Colonial Life has been voted the carrier who works best with brokers in the annual Benefits Selling Readers Choice Awards. In 2014 Colonial won all four categories relevant to our business.

Joanne Mueller

Board Member at Large (Thru 2016)

Johnson Insurance

Vice President at Johnson Insurance managing the Employee Benefits, Individual Health/Medicare and Life service departments since 2012.

Prior to working on the agency side, she was a top ancillary sales rep since 1980 working with various organizations such as UWG, Shenandoah Life, MetLife and Dearborn National.