Posted by: danielrashke | March 22, 2021

Hate Ends Here

I am appalled at the vicious attacks sweeping our country over the last couple of years. These attacks aren’t new. Racism isn’t new. Attempts to justify these horrific acts aren’t new. Our country has a deep- rooted history in violence and racism. The time for these actions to be brushed under the rug or deemed acceptable or encouraged is over. It’s been over. These injustices must stop and those responsible must be held accountable. It’s time we call these crimes what they are. Hate crimes.

There have been over 3,000 attacks reported against Asian-Americans between March and December 2020. A massive spike from the 216 attacks that were reported in 2019 according to FBI statistics. The blatant disrespect by people from all walks of life, including influential figures who know the effects their words have, to encourage hate and ignorance directed at a specific group of people is unacceptable and it’s un-American. There is nothing patriotic about racism and ignorance.

One of the recent attacks included the cold-blooded murder of six Asian-American women. If that wasn’t horrific enough, a response by local law enforcement excused the behavior by saying the killer “was having a bad day.” This is unacceptable. Words have consequences. Just like actions. We must hold both accountable and understand that the slang terms and off-hand remarks bear as much responsibility and can have as horrific a consequence as pulling the trigger.

Change starts with me. It starts with you. It starts with all of us. The buck stops here. This hate and this violence have no place in this country. I’ve been there; We have all been there. We’ve made ignorant comments, heard and reused slang terms from 5, 10 or 40 years ago. We have been conditioned to use derogatory terms in a joking manner or to explain a situation.

What can we do?  

Be open to constructive feedback regarding our choice of words or action. Accountability needs to be not only you holding those around you accountable but being open to being held accountable yourself. I have experienced this and although an uncomfortable situation, I am grateful for the callout. We need to fight the urge to be defensive in our reaction. Be thankful and reflective when you get called out and asked to re-think your choices to benefit everyone including yourself.

The accountability is on each of us to give feedback and in turn to accept it and do something with it. Put in the work to be better. It’s on each of us to do the homework, to use our voices to speak up and to think before we speak or act.

We need to lean in, have tough conversations and use our voice. We have to hold ourselves, our friends, family and co-workers accountable for their words and their actions. Unity is possible but we have to have the courage to speak up for it and demand it of those around us.

As for TASC, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We need to stay focused on creating and maintaining and anti-racist workplace and influencing and taking action more globally to ensure that our communities are advancing anti-racist ideals and policies and driving to a more equitable experience for all. Equity and justice is not for some, it is for all.  

We can all do our part. We can all be accountable hold others to the same. Here are a few ways you can be a part of the solution.

  1. Stand alongside those in pain. Don’t try to fix. Just be there.
  2. Use your voice. Talk about it. Have the courage to say what is on your mind.
  3. Be informed. Read and do your research from credible sources, not sources that simply agree with your view.  I encourage you to check out the Netflix documentary “Social Dilemma”. Knowledge is power and it opens doors to even more ways to initiate actions that can bring about positive change.
  4. Find the courage to reframe conversations that don’t feel right.
  5. Commit every single day to building an equitable and just society by refusing to accept racism and discrimination of any kind in your bubble.

To be silent is to be complicit. We must speak up and stand up. TASC and myself will continue to evolve our practices, be accountable and hold others accountable. I implore you to do the same. Too many lives are being lost, too many excuses are being made and too many people are silent. Speak up, stand up and let’s join together to unite for what’s right.

Posted by: danielrashke | February 25, 2021

Leveling the Playing Field; Maryland’s Digital Advertising Tax

Lawmakers from Maryland have introduced and passed the first tax on revenue from digital advertisements sold by tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon in the country. The state legislature passed the measure, it was later vetoed by the Maryland Governor. Both the Senate and the House have voted to override that veto.

Revenue from this new tax could generate up to $250 million in the first year alone. Funds from the tax will go toward schools in the state. Now that Maryland has successfully pushed through legislation on this, other states are likely to follow suit. New York and West Virginia previously had similar bills but they were unable to garner necessary support to pass into law. Now that a bill has successfully passed In Maryland, similar legislation is likely to pop up across the country.

While this new bill has garnered a lot of criticism, the root of this legislation is about investing in the communities your business is serving and leveling the playing field with other companies offering services or goods.  Companies will be required to self-report revenue earned from ads on devices linked to a Maryland IP addresses or devices known or suspected to be used in Maryland. While a tax like this is new for the US, several other countries have implemented similar tax. For example, two European countries have already passed similar laws regulating America’s tech giants. France has a 3 percent tax on some digital revenue and Austria taxes income from digital advertising at 5 percent.

TASC has customers in all 50 states and US territories and employees in 42 states. TASC files and pays income, sales, franchise, and other taxes in 36 states based on specific requirements set by each state; such as physical presence, employees, sales and more.

Lack of tax requirements for companies whose services are based online causes a division and a financial advantage for said companies. Imposing tax on digital advertisements is a step in the right direction for creating parity between large and small companies with an online only presence and companies like TASC who are serving customers in all 50 states and have been paying taxes for years. This also prevents large companies establishing a corporate headquarters or a part off their business outside the US where tax requirements are less stringent. This will bring the necessary resources into local communities versus pulling these resources into narrow geographies and/or overseas. 

For years, the internet has been viewed as the wild-wild west. Internet companies have operated with a different set of rules. Because of their virtual jurisdictions passing new laws was tough and enforcing those laws was even tougher when it came to interactions and transactions over the web. But, even in a virtual world, businesses need to be invested and interested in their communities. It’s important that companies invest in the communities where they reside. That includes being taxed and an expectation that they invest in other ways such as through philanthropy and involvement.  

The move to impose taxes on these companies is central to the debate regarding the economic power yielded by tech companies and the lack of regulations imposed on them. According to an article in the New York Times, in the United States, law enforcement agencies brought multiple antitrust cases against Google and Facebook last year.

One argument from those who oppose this new Maryland tax and others like it say this is an attack on these companies because during the pandemic business has been booming for internet-based organizations while local stores have flailed, hurting states tax revenues. This legislation reflects the collision of two economic trends. Large web-based tech companies have had milestone financial performances.

Proponents argue that laws like the one passed in Maryland would cause companies to pass the increase to their clients and customers, when in truth, it’s the businesses that pay the taxes. Businesses like TASC pay taxes in a lot of states, whereas some of these web based companies do  not pay the same taxes. This law changes that. Laws like this do nothing other than level the playing field and tax accordingly.

The tax is intended to apply to large technology-based and online companies with advertising-based revenue models (as opposed to companies with subscription-based revenue models).  Thus, pending the outcome of expected legal challenges, such companies, as well as their owners and sponsors, will need to consider the impact of the tax on their business models and their potential tax obligations to Maryland. In addition, to protecting any and all refund opportunities should any of the expected legal challenges prove successful.    

The new Maryland tax applies to revenue from digital ads that are displayed inside the state and are based on the ad sales a company generates. A company that makes at least $100 million a year in global revenue but no more than $1 billion a year will face a 2.5 percent tax on its ads. Companies that make more than $15 billion a year will pay a 10 percent tax. Facebook’s and Google’s global revenues far exceed $15 billion. The tax structure is conservative and is imposed on a graduated rate scale, based on the taxpayer’s global annual gross revenues, as follows:

  • 2.5% for companies with global annual gross revenues of $100 million through $1 billion,
  • 5% for companies with global annual gross revenues greater than $1 billion through $5 billion,
  • 7.5% for companies with global annual gross revenues greater than $5 billion through $15 billion, and
  • 10% for companies with global annual gross revenues exceeding $15 billion.  

While some states apply a sales tax to some digital goods and services when they are bought by customers, the Maryland tax is the first to be applied solely to the revenue a company earns from digital advertising in the United States. Tech companies have, for years have earned billions of dollars from the lack of tax regulation. Meanwhile, companies like TASC pay taxes all over the United States even though we are only physically headquartered in one state. This move, and more like it will serve to level the playing field.

This isn’t singling out a specific industry. This is the price we all pay for doing business. No matter your size, or jurisdiction, businesses should be taxed like every other business providing a service.

Posted by: danielrashke | January 28, 2021

Hank Aaron. Remembering The Man And That Home Run

As a kid born in 1964 in Milwaukee Wisconsin and moving to a farm in 1965 in central Wisconsin I was not only a sports fan, but a baseball fan and of course a Milwaukee Brewers fan. But I loved the sport of baseball as a whole and watching Hank Aaron.

Hank Aaron was one of my many idols as a kid and as I grew up. I did not idolize him like any kid does, I had a tremendous amount of respect for him. When I would hear him speak and watch how he carried himself, I didn’t just respect and look up to his athleticism but the man himself and the person he was.

As a kid, we did not have much in the way of television; we only had two channels. But I was able to watch him that day on television when he hit that 715th home run.

It was a high fly to deep center field. Watching that ball soar over the fence, the crowd erupted, the fireworks exploded.

“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.”

Vin Scully

He was met at home plate by his entire team and his parents. And as he circled the bases, the Dodger players surrounding the infield shook his hand.

What an amazing moment for our country. Two men, playing America’s game. So different in background, appearance and personality were brought together by one sport, one swing of the bat, one homerun. 

This man, Henry (Hank) Aaron, from Mobile Alabama shattered barriers. I was saddened to hear of his passing. Not only was he a great baseball player, he was a great man. He withstood endless racism and hatred from the very people who cheered him on and celebrated him when he hit that homerun.

He was a quiet, stoic man. After he hit that homerun his words were, “I thank God it’s all over.” The cheers drowned out the fact there was triple the normal security at the ballpark that day and many including Aaron’s own mother worried about snipers as he crossed home plate.

He changed baseball; he changed a lot about America. We still have a long way to go but I will never forget watching that black man from Mobile Alabama swing for the fences and crush Babe Ruth’s home run record.

We are excited to continue working with the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management, and their Workplace Giving Program. Our mission is offering operational services that give customers peace of mind and innovative solutions. It is an honor to be selected to continue this great work with The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and look forward to working together to advance the important work of this program even further.

The Give Back Foundation is a §501(c)(3) that encourages more people, giving more, more often, to more charitable organizations.  With access to more than 1.5 million IRS approved charities, the Give Back Foundation helps ensure that the generosity of its patrons goes where they expect and will make a difference.

CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, raising millions of dollars each year by Federal government employees. Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season (September to January) support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

Five years ago when TASC was selected by the Give Back Foundation for the first contract, the CFC program was a paper based system that was underutilized and in need of an upgrade to a more streamlined, user friendly platform.

TASC was able to help evolve the 50-year old paper-based system into an innovative, tech-enabled Workplace Giving solution that is more focused on the employee giver. To do so, TASC became the only government contractor to integrate across all Federal agencies and departments. The platform architecture we used is certified for security and financial integrity over several lengthy government third-party audits.  

New enhancements and features will drive additional charity and consumer engagement. Some of these include mobile enhancements like text-to-give and additional funding sources that promotes cashless giving at charity, fundraising or disaster based giving events. In addition, this new contract, for the first time, brings the ability to facilitate Disaster Relief Campaigns and a solicitation period outside of a campaign year.

The OPM’s confidence in TASC and the Give Back Foundation lead to the decision to add an additional 5 year to the contract. Attested by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), TASC’s financial life-cycle management passes transparency and accountability expectations. The Give Back Foundation, TASC and the CFC are excited to continue their partnership creating new innovations with data-driven decisions that will increase donor participation, decrease the cost of the program, and increase the amount of funds donated to charities.  

TASC as a third-party administrator, offers a unique service benefit offering solution called Universal Benefit Account. An employer benefit account offering providing employees access to funds and universal benefits such as health care in addition to workplace giving.    

Posted by: danielrashke | January 8, 2021

Our Democracy is at Stake

There is no place for the deliberate disregard for our democracy that occurred on the steps of the United States Capitol this week. Leadership comes with responsibility. Freedom comes with responsibility. We all must uphold truths, seek facts and defend the will of the people. Our electoral system is not without its issues, but that system is the power of the people.

Our elections in this country are sacred. The power of the people lies in our ability to exercise our right to vote. The will of the people is the breath of the United States. When the sanctity and validity of that power is called to question and terrorized without merit, that is to question the legitimacy and the sanctity of our greatest treasure.

The events over the last two months culminating in the violence and destruction of this week are a direct assault on the rights of our citizens.  

I strongly condemn the shameful acts perpetrated on the United States Capitol. The time is now to stop saying, “this isn’t who we are as a nation” and realize that there are those in this nation who are a threat to the fundamental principles of our democracy. Leaders from across the country must stand up and voice our condemnation for these acts and the attacks on our democratic processes.

The destruction and lawlessness on the steps and in the halls of our United States Capitol is disgraceful. I am horrified at the chaos that erupted and saddened by the blatant disrespect for our constitution and the peaceful transition of power within our highest leadership offices that was decided by the people, for the people.

There must be accountability for the actions at the U.S. Capitol and the words and actions that compelled this assault.

We are better than this and we must demand those around us be better as well. We must hold accountable those who are working to topple our democracy and discourage the will of the people. We have reached the point where it is no longer a choice but a responsibility to come together and call for unity, peace and order.

Our democracy is revered as the most exceptional in the world. We stand now, on the world’s stage vulnerable and exposed. These events challenge the very ideals and moral fibers that thread our nation together. We cannot accept the insurrection of these few to define the work and will of the many. The foundations of our democracy are at stake.

We must end this. We must put a stop these lies and attacks on our electoral system and attempts to disenfranchise the American voters.

It is our responsibility to hold accountable those we put in leadership positions and those seeking to disenfranchise the will and power of the people. I stand against attacks on our democracy both foreign and domestic and will use my voice to stand for what is right and just.

The double standard in the minds and actions of Americans regarding the acceptability of this mob carrying out an attack on our Capitol and our democracy yet condemning peaceful protests calling for equality and justice for millions of Americans is unacceptable. There is no comparison. The fallout of this tragedy shows the bias and systemic racism and injustice that runs deep in the veins of this country.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done. I will continue to push the boundaries in my company and in my life to stand up for what is right and just and I implore you to do the same. Our democracy is at stake.

Posted by: danielrashke | December 21, 2020

Lessons From the Last Recession

2020 has been a year of challenge and uncertainty and we are bracing for more in the new year. It’s important that we look to the lessons of the past to help prepare ourselves and our clients for the future.

TASC has weathered a few storms in our 45-year history. We’ve seen highs and lows; recessions and booms and we’ve endured them all. We know that following this unprecedented situation, the end won’t come with a vaccine. We will be dealing with the economic fallout of this for years to come. We are both looking to the past and relying on our innovative visions to prepare our organization and our clients for the future.

The recession and the pandemic are impacting the economy and the country in vastly different ways. From 2007 to 2009 our country faced the most significant decline in our economy since the 1930’s. The great recession hit everywhere and everyone. Financial institutions were among some of the hardest hit and the housing bubble burst, leaving millions in a lurch.

TASC saw an uptick in notices of clients canceling because they were shutting their doors. As a result of the number of clients shuttered, we felt it on our top line with an approximate two-point difference in our revenue.

During the recession, TASC stood resolutely with other individuals and businesses knowing we could, and we would weather this storm. We saw several bankruptcies devastate our clients; companies fell behind on claims as they struggled to stay afloat. One of the major repercussions of the recession for employees who retained their jobs were their benefits suffered. Companies had to cut costs and that often-included fringe benefits and benefits deemed “unnecessary”.

We worked hard to make the benefits that our clients and their employees valued and needed accessible and available so that companies could continue to offer them, and employees could rest easy knowing they were getting the benefits they not only needed but that were also helpful.

The pandemic has also affected everywhere and everyone. It has changed the way many businesses are managed. The industries that are hardest hit are far different from previous economic challenges. Those affected today are small businesses, brick and mortar companies and hospitality, not a typical TASC client. Because of that, we as a business, aren’t feeling the strain at the same rate as it relates to our top line.

However, we had to change and adapt to the shifts in our environment and adjust our way of doing business internally. Our employees have been hit at home and in life and we needed to evolve our business to accommodate that and help our employees thrive. That being said, our business was not as negatively affected as unfortunately many others were and are. 

Ironically, the recession has had no bearing on the consumption of things like daycare or medical care other than the economic change. This time, we have seen a material change in the consumption of both those things. This is impactful to TASC because the transaction value, the account management and the card utilization lead us to stand up TASC Responds.

TASC Responds included specific account offerings that were targeted where people were being hit hardest and the need to plan for the unexpected. We were driven to adapt our services to the market needs that could then be absorbed into our overall service model.

We will do everything in our power to continue to build a sustainable organization so that we can continue to offer fair prices to our customer. With that said, we are not going to move away from making sure that we continue to extract the value for our organization that is commensurate with the value we are delivering. We are valuable in a down market and an up market.  

Taking calculated risks has allowed us to excel during high points and challenging times that have tested our business.  

During the recession TASC looked after our clients and looked at attracting new business when it seemed impossible and we took risks. We know that after surviving and thriving following the 2007-2009 recession, TASC is poised well to take on the challenges we will face in the wake of this pandemic.  

This is a difficult time. Whether you are a business owner or an employee. There is uncertainty, confusion and the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of challenges ahead. TASC can take them on. We are looking out for the security of our employees, our clients and our participants and whatever we will face in the next year and beyond, TASC will confront it with strategic intention. We will move forward and we will take risks to help our company and our clients whether the storm.

Posted by: danielrashke | December 1, 2020

Giving Tuesday

This holiday season, the biggest thing we can give is our love, our time and our heart. This season is different because though we may not be able to physically join together to give back it has never been more important to find ways to help those in need and the organizations that support them.

No matter where you are or what cause you champion, this Giving Tuesday and for the remainder of the year find ways to give back. We heal through giving. We unite through giving and in this, the season of giving, I want to encourage you to find your spirit of giving.

On this Giving Tuesday, I reflect on the year we’ve had and look forward to the year ahead. There is no doubt that 2021 will bring its own unique set of challenges but I am proud of our organization for stepping to the plate in 2020 and make giving a priority during this difficult time. It brings me hope for the future; that we can come together to help those in need even when faced with our own challenges.

Giving back is engrained in who we are at TASC. Our support aligns to our communities’ needs, harnesses our employee’ passions, and supports the TASC Mission. It is our goal to lead by example and inspire others to make a difference in their own communities and the causes that are close to their hearts.

We encourage employees to give back in a variety of ways. In addition to drives held both virtually and in person, employees can request TASC support for organizations in which they are actively involved. TASC also accepts requests from nonprofits and organizations helping to better our communities.

Providing a wide variety of options for employees to take part in and ways to become involved, means that more people are likely to participate. This allows us to support diverse efforts across the country for a variety of causes that our employees are passionate about. From environmental, health, seniors, children, hunger, animals, social justice and more, TASC is broadening our horizons with giving.

Through August 2020, 269 TASC employees utilized 3,606 hours of our Paid Volunteer Time Off program. Each TASC employee receives up to 40 paid annual volunteer hours to serve their communities during business hours. We’ve seen entire TASC departments work the evening rush at a local food pantry, participation in national disaster relief efforts, and some who have even started their own charitable organizations.

This year we expanded the program to go beyond traditional 501c3 organizations to provide additional opportunities for our employees to help and want to be involved. TASC encouraged involvement in social justice causes and organizations and we also encouraged our employees to support local bipartisan election efforts including working at local polling places.

The employee participation in our Paid Volunteer Time Off programs is valued at over $115,000.

The TASC Dollars for Doers program encourages employees to volunteer during non-working hours. For every hour of volunteering outside of work hours, TASC donates money into their giving account that can then be re-gifted to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. In 2020, 1,921 hours has been attributed to Dollars for Doers as of August. 53 employees participated in the program.

From 2016 through August 2020, TASC has dedicated $2,135,444 in total giving through our giving programs. This includes Dollars for Doers, Paid Volunteer Time Off and other giving focused programs. As an organization whose employees are spread throughout the United States, that’s a lot of communities impacted by TASC employees.

We are proud to be an organization dedicated not only to our business endeavors but to investing in the communities we live, work and play. On this Giving Tuesday and for all of December, I encourage you to take the time to give back to your communities and encourage your employees to do the same. We are at our best when we give back.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 24, 2020

Leadership in a Remote Workplace

Remote work is the new normal around the world. Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to transform, there were nearly five million remote employees across the globe. From 2005 to 2017, remote work opportunities saw a 159% increase.[i] Prior to the onset of coronavirus, just 3.4% of the U. S. population worked remotely. That number has certainly increased in the wake of the current circumstances with estimates of 33% of the US workforce moving to remote work.

According to a PWC report, a majority of CEOs surveyed (78%) say the shift towards remote collaboration is enduring, a nod to the momentum building around flexibility. More than half of the respondents (54%) believe the trend away from traditional employment and towards the gig economy is here to stay.[ii]

A remote workplace brings about the need for a new type of leadership. Leading remotely. Leadership and management must adapt to fit current and changing circumstances. Right now, we need leaders who can motivate, inspire, and drive in new and unique ways. One thing is for certain, communication is the key to effective leadership especially in a remote workplace.

Even TASC, whose workforce was 75% remote prior to this shift, needed to adapt to the fully remote work model. We had to increase our communication with employees to support them. We set up weekly video conference company meetings to keep morale up and maintain engagement in the company. These meetings helped keep us on track with company goals, personal goals and working as a unit. After all, employees need to know what is expected of them and any change in process in order to be set up for success. It’s even more important when you can’t see them in person.

Managers shoulder the responsibility of setting measurable goals and expectations that are specific for the company, the team and the individual and working diligently to ensure understanding. We’ve found regularly revisiting and updating goals and expectations ensures everyone is remaining on track even without in person meetings

Encouraging and fostering collaboration and team building is crucial. One way to do that is emphasizing the importance of giving back and engaging in unique ways with the community. It is important not only for those being serve but for individual and team morale. Everyone can be an Everyday Philanthropist and what better way to bring your employees together than through remote philanthropy. Fostering a culture of giving within your organization boosts morale, increases pride for your organization and encourages team members to work together for the community, even if it’s in a remote capacity.

A corporate culture of giving has been shown to increase employee engagement and make a positive impact on the community. To help businesses learn more about what can work for your organization, TASC has a list of programs that can easily be implemented. You can view that list and learn how they can work for your business, employees and community here.  

TASC has a number of ways to encourage employees to give back. From a Giving Savings Account that provides employees the opportunity to put money into a savings account earmarked for a charitable cause of their choice. A Crisis PTO Account that can be made available to other employees in their time of need or a Donor Advised Fund Individual Giving Account offering employees a simple way to give to any of thousands of 501(c)3 organization through a giving account. Encouraging service to the community helps employees feel bonded to the organization and instills a sense of investment and comradery with the organization.

Communication, advocacy, and creating an inclusive environment despite remote challenges is key to providing crucial leadership in a remote workplace. Keep your employees engaged and connected to each other and the organization to keep your business thriving in times of change.


[i] Reynods, Weiler Brie. 159% Increase in Remote Work Since 2005. Flexjobs and Global Analytics Report. Flexjobs. 2020.

[ii]How Business Can Emerge Stronger. CEO Panel Survey, p. 8. https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-agenda/ceo-panel-survey-emerge-stronger.pdf.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 16, 2020

Calling on Leaders to Unite This Country

We are the United States of America. But at this point in time, we are far from united. We are a nation divided. How did we get here and how do we heal?

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His words came during the throes of the Great Depression. He continued with “This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.”

President Elect Joe Biden on Friday, November 6 said in his acceptance speech, “For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,” Biden said. “I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.”

Even in the darkest times and facing the steepest challenges, Americans are known for our strength and resilience and it’s time to come together and bring positive change to this nation. We all must work collectively to overcome the challenges in front of us. Leaders need to bring unity to our entire country. We can’t work just for the people who agree with us, but instead must work for the greater good for all of us.

The recent election brought home the chilling reality that our country is not okay and we have a lot of work to do. So, let’s get to work.  

It’s time to forge a path that acknowledges, addresses and overcomes the challenges we face. We can no longer brush them under the rug and act like our problems don’t exist. This year and this election have exacerbated our issues and it’s time we face them.  

We need leaders from around the country, in every industry, from every walk of life, to come together with messages of unity not division. Leaders who will acknowledge and address the problems America is facing, not turn away from them.

People crave leadership. They want to be inspired.

The role of a leader is not to take everything on alone. Lead the charge in gathering your community, whether it is your business community or your social community and empower them to stand up, speak out and act.

Oftentimes, the best place to turn is those who are disenfranchised. How can you help others? What can you do to lead the charge in bettering your community and the communities crying out for help? Helping others can help you find your own focus and re-center your priorities.

Let’s take a look at some key components leaders need to embrace that are crucial in driving us down the road toward unity. 

7 Key Ingredients to Leading Towards Unity:

Vision: Establish your vision for unity, share the vision with those in your organization and those outside your organization who can help bring that vision to fruition. Create a plan to implement your vision.

Integrity: Stand by your words. Follow those words with appropriate actions. Be accountable for your mistakes and the learning process you went through to get where you need to be in this unity process.

Focus: Be clear to your organization and your community that everyone will be accountable for unity. Moving forward together is not only the right path but the only path. Present your plan as an empowering opportunity for individuals to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Engagement:  In 2020, engagement has taken on a new form; especially in business. It’s important to connect with your organization and your community in new ways to effectively communicate expectations.

Empathy: Acknowledging our division is important. Understanding where people with varying viewpoints might be coming from is even more important. We can’t come together until we understand what and where other people are coming from. We all have a different story. Leaders need to try to understand varying viewpoints to know what is best for everyone not just what you think would be best.

Resilience: Life isn’t only about success. Sometimes we have to tumble before we can climb higher. As a leader, it’s okay and even encouraged to be open and honest with your organization and your community about the trials it has taken to be successful. Honesty about resilience enables those around you to be positive about their journey.

Flexibility: I’ve never met a leader who focuses on only one thing at a time. Leaders must be able to pivot, adapt and see the big picture. 2020 is the biggest example of leaders who have been successful by being flexible in circumstances out of their control.

By embracing these traits and using them to lead your community, your business, maybe even your family toward unification, we can change the direction this country is going. We can bring about greater achievements by inspiring unity than we can by encouraging division. The traits listed above are essential to this path.

You are stronger than you know and when we work together for the common good we are stronger than we ever thought possible.

Posted by: danielrashke | October 12, 2020

TASC Votes

If you want your voice to be heard and you want to be a facilitator of change, vote. As an employer, I am taking action to empower my employees and providing them opportunities to make voting easier, which in turn, will hopefully encourage more to vote. That’s why myself and TASC leadership have decided to offer ways for our employees to vote and take the time they need to do so.

The most effective way for a company to impact the political process and empower employees is by whole-heartedly encouraging and providing opportunities for employees to vote and be involved in the election process.

TASC is excited that our organization will be affording our employees paid time to not only vote but also to get involved in their community election process by volunteering at the polls. TASC will be expanding our Paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program to include volunteering for bi-partisan election purposes.

The TASC VTO program affords TASC employees 40 hours of paid time to volunteer with an organization they are passionate about. This program encourages community engagement and involvement and allows employees to take time out of their workday to give back and get paid for it.

Earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program By expanding the program beyond 501(c)3 organizations, we enabled our employees to use their annual 40 VTO hours for activism, standing up for change and getting engaged with organizations and causes that were meaningful to them beyond an official 501(c)3 organization.

This expansion also includes time for voting and assisting others to vote. Employees can use some or all their VTO hours to get community members to the polls to vote and/or assist in their local community by working in the election, as a poll worker.  

For election day, TASC will also be making a concerted effort to have a ‘no-meeting’ day to avoid congested schedules and allow employees every opportunity to get out and vote.

In addition, TASC has joined forces with over 1,300 other companies from all over the United States in a movement called Time To Vote. One of the frequent reasons given by registered voters who didn’t vote is the lack of time to do so between demands of work and life. Time to Vote is a commitment by these organizations to encourage employees to vote and be afforded time to do so. It’s great to see companies all over the country providing the opportunity for employees to get engaged this election season to ensure a safe and fair election. We are excited to join the movement.

TASC is dedicated to change for the better and encouraging our employees to use their voice and their time to get involved and be the change they want to see in this country. We have pledged to be a part of the solution and be a leader in changing the way we do business, view our employees and engage in our communities. One way we can do that is by getting out the vote and encouraging others to do the same.

There is a shortage of poll workers this year due to COVID-19. Generally, poll workers are over the age of 60 and those people are considered higher risk for the current situation and it’s up to the younger, lower risk generation to become empowered and step during this election season.

We took the opportunity during a recent all company webinar to discuss the importance of volunteering at the polls and becoming engaged in the election in that way. We had two TASC employees who serve as election officials discuss the work involved and the logistics of serving at the polls.  

These individuals are responsible for ensuring election protocol is followed for in-person voting, counting ballots at the end of the night, issuing ballots, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment and more. Training is required but varies by state. The election process is different for every state.

For anyone who is unsure about the integrity of our country’s voting process, we encourage them to volunteer and participate to get first-hand experience and insight into the process. If you are interested in learning more about and becoming an election official for this year’s election, visit the U.S. Election Assistance Website.

This year, concerns surrounding COVID-19 makes planning for how you will be voting more important than ever. There are several states allowing early voting, voting by mail, or absentee voting. What’s important if you are planning to vote through one of these methods is knowing the deadlines in your area for voter registration.

For specific voting information for all 50 states vote.org is a great resource to make sure you are up to date in voting laws including those that have been changed for 2020. This is especially important for companies like TASC who have employees all over the country (40+ states, 500+ polling locations). It ensures that your employees have the information they need regardless of where they are to vote and make sure their vote is counted.

According to the U.S. Census only about 67% of Americans are registered to vote. Who you vote for matters and is crucial in determining the path this country takes. Providing resources to employees about registering to vote is the first step to empower them to be a part of the process and have a say in the direction this country goes. USA.gov is a terrific resource to get started.

Make sure you’re registered to vote and encouraging your employees to do the same. Share communications with employees with information about voter registration deadlines. Headcount.org is a great source for finding voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.  It’s important to remember not every state allows you to register on election day.

TASC is committed to fostering a culture where employees feel valued and want to give back and be a part of the change we are dedicated to. Voting, encouraging others to vote and helping the process is a terrific next step for our organization to connect with our communities and be actively involved in the change we are striving to be a part of.

In the words of New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan, “only 60% of (us) voted in 2016, that’s not gonna get it done. We can’t win if we don’t play.” So, let’s do it. Let’s play to win. Commit to vote and be engaged for the upcoming election. We’re in. Are you?

Click here to see NBC15’s coverage of local businesses making efforts to encourage voting.

Posted by: danielrashke | October 5, 2020

Innovative Benefit Solutions with The TASC Card

For more than 45 years, TASC has been a leader, an innovator and a partner to employers committed to ensuring the health, wealth, and well-being of their employees and their employees’ families and community. We are a driven and visionary company.

We’ve set our goals and we know what we need to accomplish to meet and exceed them. Those goals include remaining the leader in third-party benefits administration in the markets we serve, achieving double-digit growth every year with positive returns and low debt and being a high-performance, engaged, and community-minded workforce.

How do we get there? Innovation and providing our customers with solutions that make their benefits easy to access and manage.

In uncertain and strained times, I know how important it is for people to easily access their money and manage their benefits. That’s why we have the TASC Card®. We have always been a leader in healthcare cards and our TASC Card continues to be the evolution of that.

The TASC Card is provided to participants to easily purchase qualified items from merchants and pay using funds from their benefit account. With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the list of eligible expenses for FSAs, HSAs and HRAs to include OTC drugs and medicines as well as menstrual care products. That means there now are thousands of additional qualifying healthcare items. This allows participants save even more money by using their pretax benefit funds to purchase these items instead of using out-of-pocket funds. When you know that U.S. households spend an average annual of $442 annually on OTC items1, you see how impactful the potential savings can be.

The expansion led the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS) to release a list of over 20,000 newly eligible OTC items that should now be recognized as healthcare qualitied in merchant Point of Sale systems. With these additions, SIGIS now has over 109,000 items that are included as covered expenses.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 and the change to include eligible over-the-counter expenses was made retroactive to January 1, 2020 meaning that expenses that were accrued since January 1 are eligible are reimbursable.

The TASC Card makes purchasing OTC items simple and quick because the card recognizes qualifying expenses for approval.  Should participants not use their TASC Card, receipts reimbursements can be submitted.

The CARES Act restores the ability to use HSAs, FSAs and HRAs to purchase certain OTC drugs and medications, like aspirin and other pain medications, allergy medication, etc., without a doctor’s prescription.

For the first time, menstrual care products are considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA, FSA or HRA. Both provisions for OTC and menstrual products apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020 and are ongoing without an expiration date which means that at the end of 2020 this will continue and be available for those who need it.

What could this mean for you? Over the counter medications that would not have qualified previously are now eligible expenses on your My TASC card. Pain relievers, Athletic and orthopedic braces and supports, reading glasses, sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher and much more. It’s easier than ever to get the items you need and get reimbursed for them. Simply swipe your card and the OTC eligible items that are eligible will automatically be paid from your benefit funds.

As many of us start end of year planning, it’s important to point out that starting in 2020, a permanent increase for health FSA carryover has been implemented. Traditionally, this number was $500 but has been increased to $550. Stay tuned because we don’t believe this is the end of this carryover increase discussion. We expect a more realistic number could possibly be in the works that could really go a long way in helping with additional health expenses at the beginning of the year and allows more of your expenses to be utilized for additional qualifying expenses.  

Here at TASC we constantly monitor TASC Card activity for insights which improve a participant’s experience. TASC has observed an almost 100% increase in the number of approved TASC Card healthcare transactions at IIAS merchants which were not prescription related.  This increase occurred over a short time period as merchants updated their point-of-sale (POS) systems for the new items. 

The TASC Card and our TASC Mobile are just more examples of how we make benefits smart and easy. Benefits that feel like benefits.

For more information on the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related items check out TASCResponds.com. For specific information related to CARES Act and Over The Counter changes see our info sheet Here.

1- CHPA, “The Value of OTC Medicines to the U.S. Healthcare System”, March 2019.

Businesses don’t have to reinvent the wheel to work more effectively and efficiently. At TASC, we combine our own innovations and best practices with those from other leaders in their industries to create the best work environment and protocols for our business. Let’s dive into a few examples of best practices concepts from other industries that TASC has adapted to meet our own customer and business needs. 

Mass Customization

When people think of this concept the idea of a mill comes to mind and for many that isn’t a positive correlation with streamlined, efficient work. But, the work of a mill is to break down rough pieces until they become a finely milled product that is then put together into something useful and good like baked bread or a piece of furniture. TASC is working to mill our products down until they become fine-tuned, efficient and effective offerings that our clients can use in everyday life or can easily access when needed. We are breaking away the rougher pieces to create plans that easily work for our clients.

Right Touch

At TASC, we work hard to provide what we call Right Touch service to our clients. This means we want to get them where they need to be and talking to who they need to talk to as quickly and efficiently as possible. TASC serves the needs of both high-tech and high-touch customers. When high-tech is desired, TASC meets that need with our mobile and web applications. When the situation warrants high-touch TASC can do that as well with its Benefit Advantage Premium Services, a division of TASC and/or its dedicated client account management services. During the current situation this can be likened to what many restaurants are doing in order to provide service to their customers during unprecedented times when “normal” restaurant interactions are not possible.

For places that can’t offer services in their dining rooms, restaurants have gotten creative and are offering extended patio services. Tables that are set 6 feet apart, parking lots turned dining locations, expanded and creative take-out ideas and locations. Providing the right touch service to make customers feel safe, secure and welcome while complying with enhanced health and safety regulations.

Manufacturing mindset

Manufacturing mindset is the process of streamlining, standardizing, and speeding up processes across the board. Taking processes and making them more efficient for employees and for customers. TASC uses manufacturing mindset to set processes and procedures that help our organization work faster and smarter. It’s been shown that applying a lean manufacturing mindset to processes can reduce cycle time, paperwork and errors. We pride ourselves on accuracy and quick, reliable service and implementing manufacturing mindset processes help us to do that.

Other companies who utilize manufacturing mindset include Boeing and Amazon. Boeing used manufacturing mindset to streamline their assembly processes. By adapting new, more efficient protocols they were able to cut assembly time in half.

Amazon has adapted a manufacturing mindset for several areas of their business model. Enhancing their already sophisticated distribution processes they were able to streamline the entire customer experience; search, purchase and delivery.

TASC will continue to enhance employee processes, customer experience and innovation using a manufacturing mindset.

Fast Pass

In 1999, The Walt Disney Company introduced the Fast Pass system. This was an innovation for guests to skip the standby lines for some of their favorite attractions. The Fast Pass system is still in use today at both Walt Disney World and in Disneyland. Today, guests go through a separate queue for the same attraction. This is called a Fast Pass line. In Disneyland, guests wishing to use the Fast pass service pay an additional fee on top of their theme park admission.

TASC has adapted the Disneyland Fast Pass system for our own customers. For those customers who meet a condition that grants them the add-on Fast Track Service, there is a component to that service called priority queuing. Whenever they call or one of their employees call with any type of inquiry, TASC’s system recognizes that they have added on that service. The TASC system moves that call into priority queuing. Those calls receive faster resolution, transaction and service.

We are using the best practices of other industries combined with our own innovation and creativity to improve and advance TASC systems and processes. Employee benefits are complex; we strive to simplify the information and systems for employers and employees to provide the best service possible. This is all based on applying a Functional Work Design with strategic exceptions, coupled with context based workflow where work is contextualized and routed to the appropriately skilled resource. The underpinnings of this is all based on the core design of TASC’s benefit account management service model working in concert with the core design of TASC’s compliance service model. We didn’t become a leader in third-party benefits by reinventing the wheel. We build upon the successful systems of our industry and others. We improve upon our own ideas and constantly strive to be better and be open to improvement. 

If you are interested in learning about how we put these best practices into action for our clients and their employees click HERE.

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