Posted by: brucestein | November 23, 2016

National Directors Institute

ndi-executive-exchangeRecently, I was honored and pleased to join a panel discussion addressing Board Committee Structure, Responsibilities, and Composition.  This Chicago-based event was sponsored by the National Directors Institute’s (NDI) Executive Exchange, a forum for business leaders looking to explore the latest developments in the corporate finance and governance landscape.

I thank Attorney Steve Barth of Foley & Lardner for asking that I participate. Moderated by Attorney Anne Ross, the discussion also featured Ann Wenzel, Assistant Secretary, Associate General Counsel at American Family Mutual Insurance Company. Attendees with widely diverse experiences joined us from a variety of industries and organization large and small.

As you can tell by the title, we focused on utilizing boards in the corporate world. Because TASC is privately held, I’m allowed a certain freedom in designing our board, a looseness not afforded to officers in a publicly traded company. While the TASC board focuses on strategic planning, our governance and protection are that of a publicly held organization.

At TASC, our board philosophy is one that stresses “throughput” and simplicity. I use a scale to illustrate the span between protection and planning, a span that our board addresses via oversight and development—for myself, for my leadership, and for the entire organization. To achieve desired outcomes, “TASC Forces”—our spin on the more traditional committee—focuses on five components to achieve desired outcomes: financial audit, non-financial audit, governance, strategy for TASC, and strategy for our holding company.

It was certainly an honor to sit on this panel. Yet, with all the knowledge in the room, I wish I’d been able to learn more about what these movers and shakers were innovating within their own organizations. On the other hand, the audience had some great questions for me.

I was asked how TASC achieves cross-pollination between our different committees. My answer: committees are chaired by board members, and committee participants include at least one additional board member. Together these individuals bring key findings and questions to the full board each quarter. When asked how we keep TASC committees fresh, my answer was simple: board members have staggered term lengths. By maintaining a good mix of turnover we keep ideas and viewpoints fresh. And this strategic timing also helps us maintain consistency because our entire board doesn’t turn over at the same time.

The topic was very interesting and the discussion was excellent. I am happy I could be part of the Executive Exchange and heartily encourage others to attend this worthwhile event.

Click on this graphic below for more information about the NDI Executive Exchange.

foley-lardner

Posted by: danielrashke | October 27, 2016

On the Campaign Trail

totalGreen Bay. Denver. Minneapolis. No, these aren’t the stops on a political campaign. But then again, they just might be. You see, after 41 years in business, TASC is at a crossroads of sort. We can stay as we are today and most likely continue to experience consistent growth. At least for the time being.  And while staying the course wouldn’t hurt us in the near future, I believe the time is right to take a new direction at TASC. One that, hopefully, will help ensure long-term growth for TASC. I’ll write more about TASC’s “Total 2020” in a future blog…

I admit that it’s quite an undertaking to get nearly 1,000 employees, in more than 60 locations, all heading in the same direction at the same time. That’s why I am on the campaign trail to create excitement and build support for this new direction. I am hitting the road to bring this message to TASC’s employees who work outside of our corporate headquarters.

It started with our officers and executives at a Strategy Retreat in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was in late September.   It continued in front of our entire Sales Team, some 150 strong from all across the country, in Denver, Colorado. That was last week. Next, we were on to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a large number of TASC’s team resides. And I expect many more campaign stops along the way. We will repeat this presentation wherever we can pull a sizeable group of employees together efficiently without disturbing TASC’s day-to-day operations.

I believe strongly in this new direction. So strongly, that I am willing to make the commitment to spend this time traveling to our employees, to take this time to explain our new direction, to ensure complete understanding, and to get everybody on board.

By presenting this information in person to our remote staff, we’re taking a completely new path in the way we’re disseminating new ideas. Meanwhile, staff in the corporate headquarters will view the presentation via videotape. (To give them insight into and appreciation of the remote experience.)

We value our remote teams. At TASC, this personal approach is just one indication of how serious we are about maintaining and engaging our remote staff.

Vote for TASC in November!

Posted by: brucestein | July 29, 2016

It’s who you know.

BIC_PayAwards2016Sometimes in business, it really comes down to who you know. Or at least, who you do business with. A few years ago we had the opportunity to join forces with the worldwide leader in payment cards, MasterCard. We reaped the benefit of this partnership right away. Working with this industry leader has made us stronger and better equipped to bring the latest innovations and service offerings to our clients and to the market.

As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, with MasterCard’s support and nomination, TASC was awarded “Best in Category” in the 2016 Best Health Benefits Delivery Pay Awards program. This prestigious worldwide award honors the best use of a business or corporate funded prepaid card to deliver health care benefits, including FSA, HSA and HRA programs. TASC was selected by an expert panel of judges who in recognizing the TASC Card said “when it comes to health benefits delivery, the cardholder experience and ease of use are paramount. The card that rose to top of this category is the one that offers a means to pay for eligible expenses and a separate purse for unrestricted spending of reimbursement funds.”

That is high praise indeed. Equally as gratifying is the message that Elaine Harkins, Vice President, Healthcare Business Development, MasterCard, U.S. Market Development sent to us. “We’re so proud to submit your nomination for this award, and even prouder to be your strategic partner!”

I feel exactly the same way about MasterCard. With their assistance we are able to deliver multiple purses, including the MyCash purse, which holds reimbursement funds for eligible purchases made with a payment method other than TASC Card. These funds in the MyCash purse can be spent where MasterCard is accepted, withdrawn at ATMs, or transferred to bank accounts. Additional cards are available for spouses and dependents, and cardholders pay no card-related fees. Our innovative MyCash has proven to be a true market differentiator for TASC, with MasterCard a partner in this process.

Thank you to MasterCard and the team that works with us. We are happy to have you as part of the TASC team, helping us drive our innovation forward. With MasterCard’s help we are not done innovating, not by a long shot. I am convinced that with everything in the works at TASC regarding our card program, the best is yet to come.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 13, 2016

Where Life Leads You

bcccc-logoWe never quite know where life is going to lead, or where we may make an impact. Our communities offer a wide variety of open doors, and through the years TASC has been fortunate to walk through some of those doors and support many causes and organizations all across this great nation.

Recently, TASC has joined the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. Now, in full disclosure, the Center came on our radar because my daughter just finished her freshman year at Boston College. But that doesn’t distract from the good work this organization does.

As a membership-supported organization, the Center combines the most valuable aspects of a professional network with the resources of a leading academic institution.  It provides research, professional development, executive education, and networking opportunities for employees of more than 440 member companies.

The Center was established with a clear and simple goal: to serve corporate citizenship professionals seeking information and insights that will help their companies achieve maximum business and social value from environmental, social, and governance investments. Each year the Center engages more than 10,000 individuals via corporate citizenship certificate programs and regional programs, timely research, issue briefs and best practice updates, and a quarterly magazine. Their annual conference addresses the challenges that corporate citizenship professionals face.

Finally, the Center’s online community is a great resource for learning, collaborating, and connecting directly with peers. Approximately 2,000 corporate citizenship professionals from around the world log on to discuss challenges, share best practices, and build valuable connections with their fellow members.

Obviously, membership in this organization is very worthwhile for TASC, with benefits available to us that are undeniable.  Benefits made possible because of an open door.  As I stated at the start of this blog, you can never tell where life is going to lead you and what opportunities will be open to you. The secret, I believe, is to keep yourself open and tuned in to whatever comes your way. What opportunities await you? Just look around you. I am sure you will find something worthwhile to get involved in and a place where you can make a difference.

Posted by: danielrashke | May 6, 2016

TASC and Innovation

The Greek philosopher Aristotle is known to have said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” And while I know he wasn’t talking about TASC, that philosophy certainly rings true here. Without a doubt, our continued success has been possible thanks to the combined efforts of our separate “parts.”

Pivotal to our team of innovative thinkers and doers is Chief Development Officer (CDO) Pam Reynolds. Most recently are her efforts and involvement in card technology and innovation. For the second time in three years TASC has been recognized by our industry for continued innovation and transformation. In 2014, we were recognized as an Innovator by the Institute of Healthcare Consumerism (IHCC). Specifically, Pam was recognized for outstanding leadership and innovative healthcare benefit solutions.

Director of PR Bruce Stein, CDO Pam Reynolds and Service Model Manager Maureen Maddox with TASC’s Paybefore Award.

Just this year, Paybefore honored TASC with the 2016 Best-in-Category award for Best Health Benefits Delivery. Once again the award judging panel recognized our work on the forward-thinking TASC Card. It’s a multi-purpose revolution… Paying for eligible healthcare expenses takes a simple swipe of the card. And Flexible Spending Account (FSA) reimbursements—for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses paid without the Card—are deposited automatically in the card’s separate “MyCash” account, to be used for non-FSA purchases anywhere. This unique double feature has already been expanded to accommodate participant donations to their favorite charities. When bestowing the award Loraine DeBonis, Paybefore editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel, remarked “We’re proud to recognize TASC’s contributions to advancing electronic payments.”

Innovation is at the very core of the way we do business at TASC, and has been since our conception back in 1975. Doubters said we couldn’t bring tax deductible health benefits to the self-employed. Our response? We developed AgriPlan and BizPlan, and both are still going strong. And while our many innovations through the years are too hefty to list in this blog, it bears noting that in the 1990s we were the very first to process FSA (flexible spending account) claims on a daily basis…

Yes, we process claims. Of course we adjudicate health benefit transmittals. Of course we make sure our customers are compliant with IRS rules and regulations. We do all of these things, and the doing is of utmost importance to us. But we bring an innovator’s mindset to what we do. We are constantly searching for new methods and new services to help protect our customers’ business, improve their bottom line, and foster their peace of mind. And we will never stop.

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