National Leadership

Cynthia Ballantyne

Managing Director, West Region
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As Managing Director, West Region, Cynthia Ballantyne works closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders to enhance growth activities, resulting in new opportunities for colleagues and an improved experience for our clients. The West Region includes 18 offices, 36 locations and more than 600 colleagues across California, Arizona and Nevada. Cynthia joined Alera Group in 2023 after serving as an area president for Gallagher.

Cynthia is a graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business. She is certified as a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and a Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC).

William Corrigan

Chief Operating Officer
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William (Billy) Corrigan is the Chief Operating Officer of Alera Group. Prior to joining the firm, William held the position of Chief Financial Officer for the International Division at Marsh. He was responsible for the financial results of Marsh’s $3B business outside of North America. William also served as Chief Financial Officer of Marsh & McLennan Agency, which, when he joined, was a newly formed company within Marsh to focus on growing U.S. middle market business primarily through acquisitions of independent agencies.

William earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Caledonian University located in Glasgow. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Michael Ferreira

Chief Sales Officer
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As Chief Sales Officer for Alera Group, Michael Ferreira partners with our regional managing directors in providing leadership for achieving strategic growth in line with the company’s vision and values. He brings over 25 years of sales leadership experience, most recently as Executive Vice President, Sales and Distribution, at Propel Insurance, an Alera Group Company, where he continues to lead several sales initiatives.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration. He also holds the professional designation of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and is active in numerous professional and civic organizations.

Matt Kistler

Vice President, Business Development
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As a Vice President and the Director of Business Development, Matt is a critical part of Alera Group’s continued growth. Matt brings more than 15 years of insurance experience to Alera Group and has been nationally recognized as being one of the “Rising Stars in Advising” by Employee Benefit Advisor Magazine. Matt was the former Vice President of Business Development at United Benefit Advisors (UBA) where he worked with the leadership of insurance agencies across the country as a strategic industry consultant. In 2016, Matt joined LHD Benefit Advisors in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he helped CFOs, CEOs and human capital executives navigate the complexities of their employee benefits program.

Matt attended Taylor University in Indiana and graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies.

Robert J. Lieblein

Chief Development Officer
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Robert J. Lieblein is the Chief Development Officer for Alera Group. With more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, Robert has been involved in more than 150 M&A transactions throughout his career. Most recently, Robert served as executive vice president on the Mergers & Acquisitions team for Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. He was responsible for a wide variety of activities relating to deal execution on the buy side and sell side of M&A transactions. He is an expert in acquisition analysis, transaction valuation and structuring, acquisition strategy, due diligence, negotiations, and post-acquisition consulting.

Robert earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, Mathematics, and Computer Science from Shippensburg University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and maintains his Series 62, 79, and 63 FINRA Registrations.

John Mollica

Chief Information and Innovation Officer
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John Mollica serves as the Chief Information and Innovation Officer at Alera Group, overseeing the vision, strategy and operations for the firm’s technology across the United States. Mollica is an accomplished industry executive with over 20 years of experience in Financial Services. Before joining Alera Group, he held senior management and product roles in insurtech. He has also previously held senior finance and transformation roles at Citigroup, AXA XL, and Marsh & McLennan.

Mollica graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, Operations and Strategic Management from Boston College.

Richard Silberstein

Managing Director, Mid-Atlantic Region
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As Managing Director, Mid-Atlantic Region, Richard Silberstein works closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders to enhance growth activities, resulting in new opportunities for colleagues and an improved experience for our clients. He has more than 40 years of industry experience, with a focus on providing innovative, cost-effective employee benefits solutions. Before assuming his regional role, he served as managing partner of SIG, an Alera Group Company, which he founded in 1999.

Richard is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In addition, he holds the professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). He also serves as an officer or board member of multiple Baltimore-area business and civic organizations.

Jim Blue

President
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Jim Blue is the President of Alera Group. Previously, Jim served as the CEO of Marsh & McLennan Agency, New England, where he led exponential growth efforts and developed global resources. In his role with Alera Group, Jim focuses on leading revenue growth, integrating new firms within the national culture, and developing and executing strategic initiatives.

Jim is a graduate of Boston College (Finance and Marketing focus) and has his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) designations. He serves on a number of boards and is very active fundraising for numerous community non-for-profits.

Mark Dennis

Managing Director, Northwest Region
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Mark became Alera Group’s Managing Director, Northwest Region, in 2023 after 17 years in leadership positions with Propel Insurance, an Alera Group Company. He previously spent 20 years in various roles at Allstate. In his current position, he leads a region that includes 16 locations and more than 700 colleagues while working closely with senior leadership, national practice leaders and fellow regional directors to develop new business opportunities and improve client experience.

Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from California State University, Chico.

Christopher Hayes

Managing Director, Southeast Region
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Christopher Hayes became Alera Group’s Managing Director, Southeast Region, in 2023 after two years in a similar role with Propel Insurance, an Alera Group Company. Prior to that, he spent 29 years in senior leadership roles at McGriff, a national insurance brokerage firm. Rooted in a strong relationship-driven belief system, he brings his extensive experience to further spur Alera Group’s growth and collaboration across the Southeast Region.

Chris is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a double-major of finance and risk management/insurance.
Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from California State University, Chico.

Adam Leber

Chief Compliance Officer, Wealth Services & Retirement Plan Services
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Adam serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for Alera’s financial services divisions, Alera Wealth Services and Retirement Plan Services. He is responsible for building and maintaining the compliance program, including updating and maintaining policies and procedures, assessing risk, and advising the firm on governance and regulatory matters.

Adam has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Alera Group, Adam was the Chief Compliance Officer and Director of Operations at GCG Financial, an Alera Group Company. Prior to GCG, Adam was the Director of Central Wealth Compliance at BMO Harris where he led a multi-jurisdictional Wealth Management and Asset Management compliance department.

Education: Master of Legal Studies, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law; B.S. Management, National Louis University

Investment Advisory Services offered through Alera Investment Advisors, LLC. Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC., Member FINRA/SIPC. Alera Group, Inc. and Alera Investment Advisors, LLC are not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.

Christian Mango

Executive Vice President, Retirement Plan Services
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As the national Practice Leader for Alera Group’s Retirement Plan Services division, Christian is responsible for growing the practice line and fostering innovative, collaborative solutions for plan sponsors and participants. Christian’s areas of expertise include supporting plan sponsors through plan design, employee education, investment analysis, benchmarking, fiduciary plan governing and aligning retirement plans with broader corporate goals and objectives.

Education: BA in Economics from Lehigh University; MBA from Boston College

Gary Piantedosi

Managing Director, Northeast Region
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As Managing Director, Northeast Region, Gary Piantedosi works closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders to enhance growth activities, creating new opportunities for colleagues and an improved experience for our clients. Gary brings over 30 years of industry experience, most recently as a senior partner within Alera Group.

Gary is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. His professional licenses and certifications include Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and Certified Insurance Consultant (Life and Health).

Bill Brown

Managing Director, South Central
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Bill Brown serves as Managing Director, South Central Region, covering Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas and Kentucky. His responsibilities include oversight of employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, wealth services and retirement services across the region. Working closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders, Bill is focused on enhancing growth activities, creating new opportunities for colleagues to improve client relationships and produce meaningful outcomes.

One of the founding partners of Alera Group, Bill has over 20 years of industry experience. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics.

Mark Englert

Executive Vice President, Property & Casualty
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Mark Englert is an Executive Vice President and the Property & Casualty Practice Leader for Alera Group. In this capacity, Mark is responsible for leading the development of world-class Property & Casualty solutions for Alera Group clients. He works closely with firms across the nation to enhance client experiences, build out new capabilities and coordinate services and resources between firms.

Mark brings over 25 years of insurance industry and related experience to Alera Group, most recently as Managing Director at USI Insurance Services. Prior to that, he was Managing Director and leader of Wells Fargo Insurance Services’ Metro Partnership.

Mark holds both a BBA and MBA from St. John’s University.

Tina Hohman

Executive Vice President, Wealth Services
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Tina Hohman, Executive Vice President, is Alera Group’s National Practice Leader for Wealth Services, which includes services offered through investments, financial planning and individual insurance. She oversees both the operational platform and the practice’s expansion through organic growth and acquisitions.

Tina brings more than 25 years of experience helping advisors thrive. Her broad-based experience across client service, operations, compliance, marketing and communications gives her an edge when building and growing best-in-class platforms. Tina’s philosophy is that only a highly integrated approach can give advisors what they need to reach and retain clients—and that communication is the key to success.

Education: B.A., International Business and Spanish, Illinois State University

Alan J. Levitz

Chief Executive Officer
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Alan J. Levitz is the Chief Executive Officer of Alera Group and has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry. He most recently served as chief executive officer of GCG Financial, Inc., providing visionary and strategic leadership to the firm. Under his leadership, GCG Financial, Inc. grew into a multi-dimensional insurance and financial services company providing benefits, property and casualty, risk management, and wealth management products and services to thousands of individuals, families, and businesses.

Alan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado and has since earned several industry designations, including Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). Alan has been published in many industry journals on topics ranging from management issues to retirement planning and has been called on to serve on advisory boards for several financial services product providers.

Peter Marathas Jr.

Chief Legal Officer
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Peter Marathas serves as the Chief Legal Counsel to Alera Group. Peter is one of the nation’s leading employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers with close to 25 years of experience in the industry. He has earned a solid national reputation as being among a short list of employee benefits attorneys who can guide his clients through complex federal and state benefits, compensation laws and tax, securities, ERISA, and corporate governance issues.

Peter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree from Bradley University. He also graduated magna cum laude from University of Illinois with his Juris Doctor degree. Peter is a prolific author, writer, and active speaker on all employee benefits matters. He is licensed in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Florida.

Sally Prather

Executive Vice President, Employee Benefits
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Sally Prather is an Executive Vice President and the Employee Benefits Practice Leader for Alera Group. In this role, Sally focuses on the continued development of Alera Group’s employee benefits practice, including platform expansion and resource coordination. She works with firms across the country to strengthen the Alera Group value proposition through unparalleled benefits resources and strategy.

Sally has more than 25 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Alera Group, Sally served as Vice President, Paychex Insurance Agency. Before that, she was the Head of Employee Benefits Business at Marsh & McLennan Agency.

Sally graduated from Marietta College with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management.

Brian Caracciolo

Chief Financial Officer
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Brian Caracciolo is the Chief Financial Officer of Alera Group. Previously, Brian held the position of Director of Finance at Baxter. Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Accounting Officer at Hub International and was formerly a Senior Manager at PwC, where his clients included a variety of public and private companies in the insurance industry. Brian is a CPA in the state of Illinois.

Brian holds a Masters of Accounting, BBA, which he earned from the University of Texas at Austin.

Eric Eschliman

Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis
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Eric Eschliman is the Vice President of FP&A at Alera Group. Prior to joining Alera, Eric was an investment banking Associate at Robert W. Baird in the Technology & Business Services Group. At Baird, Eric provided analytical support and insight on mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings and other financial advisory services. Prior to Baird, Eric was in the Industrials Group at Brown Gibbons Lang.

Eric graduated from Miami University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Jeff Smedsrud

National Specialty Practice Leader for the Individual Market, Employee Benefits
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Jeff Smedsrud is the National Specialty Practice Leader for the Individual Market. In this role, Jeff is focused on the growth of the individual insurance segment with an emphasis on health insurance-related products such as Medicare, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance and ancillary benefits.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Jeff has founded and led multiple companies – most recently HealthCare.com and Pivot Health – all with the aim of providing products and services that enable consumers to obtain the insurance coverage they need at an affordable price while navigating a complex healthcare marketplace. He has lent his health insurance expertise to many national media outlets as an author or commentator for print and digital publications, as well as multiple TV and cable networks.

Jeff is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies/mass communications.

Rick Levitz

Managing Director, Midwest Region
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Rick Levitz has held several senior leadership roles within Alera Group, including serving as a managing partner for the past six years. In his role as Managing Director, Midwest Region, he provides leadership to 13 Alera Group offices comprising about 600 employees. In addition to overseeing the region’s overall performance and growth, his responsibilities include setting strategic initiatives for the region, relationship management with managing partners, directing key producers and staff, and providing input on talent acquisition and retention.

Rick is a graduate of the University of Denver, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and the University of Illinois College of Law, from which he graduated magna cum laude. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Rick is passionate about supporting organizations that help teens with financial assistance for higher education.

Debra Martinez

Chief Human Resources Officer
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Debra Martinez serves as the Chief HR Officer of Alera Group. In this role, Martinez leads the strategic direction of all aspects of talent management, including training and development, diversity & inclusion, employee compensation, benefits and retention and M&A integration efforts. Her expertise lies in aligning HR processes and programs with ongoing business goals, along with developing effective recruiting, development and retention programs.

Martinez holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Roosevelt University and Bachelor of Arts from Chicago State University. She is based out of Houston, Texas.

Kathy Seabold

Senior Vice President of Marketing
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Kathy Seabold serves as Alera Group’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, where she plays a critical role in supporting continued acquisitions and organic growth by forging collaborative partnerships with the sales organization, practice leadership and the many subject matter experts across the organization. Responsible for corporate brand management and development of marketing strategies that drive growth and enhance the client experience, Kathy oversees all organizational communications, digital marketing, public relations and creative services teams.

Kathy holds an MBA in International Marketing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

Cynthia Ballantyne

Managing Director, West Region

As Managing Director, West Region, Cynthia Ballantyne works closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders to enhance growth activities, resulting in new opportunities for colleagues and an improved experience for our clients. The West Region includes 18 offices, 36 locations and more than 600 colleagues across California, Arizona and Nevada. Cynthia joined Alera Group in 2023 after serving as an area president for Gallagher.

Jim Blue

President

Jim Blue is the President of Alera Group. Previously, Jim served as the CEO of Marsh & McLennan Agency, New England, where he led exponential growth efforts and developed global resources. In his role with Alera Group, Jim focuses on leading revenue growth, integrating new firms within the national culture, and developing and executing strategic initiatives.

Bill Brown

Managing Director, South Central

Bill Brown serves as Managing Director, South Central Region, covering Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas and Kentucky. His responsibilities include oversight of employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, wealth services and retirement services across the region. Working closely with Alera Group’s senior leaders, practice leaders and fellow regional leaders, Bill is focused on enhancing growth activities, creating new opportunities for colleagues to improve client relationships and produce meaningful outcomes.

Brian Caracciolo

Chief Financial Officer

Brian Caracciolo is the Chief Financial Officer of Alera Group. Previously, Brian held the position of Director of Finance at Baxter. Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Accounting Officer at Hub International and was formerly a Senior Manager at PwC, where his clients included a variety of public and private companies in the insurance industry. Brian is a CPA in the state of Illinois.

Brian holds a Masters of Accounting, BBA, which he earned from the University of Texas at Austin.