Robert A. Kole, President
Rob is the president and founder of Benefit Connections, Inc. In August of 2003, Rob left behind corporate America to pursue the “American Dream”. As he strolled downstairs to his home office on the morning of August 15, 2003 he thought to himself “oh no…what have I done!”
Prior to starting Benefit Connections, Rob spent time in the hospitality field; he worked for a major commercial roofing company; and also worked for a gas pipeline company. With dreams of “finding better health insurance” Rob decided to pursue a job directly with the health insurance company itself. This career change opened the door to a nine year career with the “Blues”, 7 years with Capital Blue Cross and 2 years with Highmark Blue Shield. Rob’s specialty is working with self-funded clients and school districts.
Rob is licensed with the state of Pennsylvania to sell life, accident, and health insurance. He is involved in the local business community through the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of Carlisle.
Volunteer work includes serving on several non-profit boards including Safe Harbour, Arthritis Foundation, and Community Aid. He volunteers time with St. Patrick’s Church leading and working with several ministries including the Pre-Cana Marriage Preparation, Tithing Ministry, and the Parish Finance Committee. He was appointed by the Bishop of Harrisburg to serve on the Stewardship Council. In January of 2010 he was named the Health Insurance Czar by the President. (lol)
Rob is an entrepreneur at heart and has ownership in several businesses including Benefit Connections Inc., Alexander Spring Professional Center LLC, Human Resources Connections LLC, Top of Carlisle LLC, Quail Development LLC, and The Golf Cave LLC.
On a personal level, Rob has been married to Pam since 1993 and continues to enjoy the extended honeymoon. He is the proud father of 7 beautiful children – Rosemary, Zachary, Madeline, Isaac, Monica, Dominic, and Elena. He claims that his grocery bill is higher than his mortgage!
Hobbies & Interests, As Free Time Allows (are you kidding me?)
Golf (Trying to break 90)
NFL and MLB Fan (football is my favorite)
Cards (Pinochle, Hearts, Spades, Cribbage)
Backyard Sports with the Kole Kids (Football, Kickball, Basketball, Dodgeball ) – My goal is to win without ending up at the ER!
Technology (I don’t think I could live without my iPad!)
My Bucket List, (Partial List)
Live The American Dream – Own a Business √ √ √ √ √ √
Visit Every State in USA
Hole in One!
Host a Radio Program √
Learn Scuba Diving
Write / Publish a Book
Take my kids to Disney World
Put my foot in the Pacific Ocean
Get to heaven (final item)
Michelle Grochalski, Vice President
Michelle joined Benefit Connections "in the beginning". Since that time, she has worn many hats within the company. She currently handles all daily business operations including, but not limited to: TPA administration, which includes HRA and financial institution administration, Section 125's, Compliance, etc.; public relations, customer service, sales, and employment. Michelle's contract stipulates her Fridays off for golf (and Rob thought he was the owner)!
Michelle is licensed with the state of Pennsylvania to sell life, accident & health insurance. Michelle's experience from working with a top insurance carrier, as well as a doctor's office, allows her to make well rounded decisions regarding our customers. Michelle continues to improve on how she can effectively help our clients. On a personal level, Michelle also owns Your Walking Partner - a company committed to bringing wellness to your workplace through walking programs. You will find articles written by Michelle in local township newsletters, as well as the Carlisle Chamber Pak. Please visit www.yourwalkingpartner.com to learn more about how we can help you get started on a wellness program for your employees.
Michelle volunteers with many community groups such as Carlisle Chamber's Health & Wellness Task Force Committee; Capital Area Personnel Association (CAPA); St. Patrick Church - Pre Cana Program; and the International Fellows Program through the US Army War College. Founded in 2009, Harvest Health 5K - a non-profit organization Michelle helped to organize, continues to strengthen community health and wellness awareness with raising funds for programs benefiting Project Share, Easter Seals Central PA, and Carlisle Area Health & Wellness Foundation. Please visit www.harvesthealth5k.com for more information. She has also been involved with Professional Referral Exchange as a Past President, Boiling Springs Touchdown Club as a Past Secretary, and many other community events.
Michelle and her husband, Bob, have been married since 1983. They have two children, Michael and Matthew. Michelle is best known for her ability to get things done. If you need proof just move your mouse over her picture!
Laurie Schoeller, Special Benefits Coordinator
Laurie joined our team at Benefit Connections in April 2007. She brought with her an 'eagle eye' for errors and misprints and quickly became our official company proof reader.
Laurie has been in sales her entire working career, selling a wide range of items and services, from Marine Corps uniforms to Pampered Chef products. Laurie has always taken pride in putting her customer's first, offering optimal customer service. It seemed a natural transition when she became our Individual and Medicare Sales Specialist in August 2008. Since that time Laurie has relied on her competitive nature to increase yearly sales goals. Although she wears many hats at Benefit Connections, Laurie particularly enjoys contributing to our annual drive for a new advertising campaign. Laurie is licensed with the state of Pennsylvania to sell life, accident & health insurance.
In her free time, Laurie enjoys the challenge of maintaining overall health and fitness, attending circuit training classes five days a week and walking when she can squeeze it in. Laurie and husband, Ralph, are members of Country and Town Baptist Church, actively serving in numerous capacities. Building off their desire to serve others, they most recently decided to become members of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team.
Laurie and her husband have been married for 22 years and have three children. Shannon is a police detective outside Philadelphia and deputy for the US Marshall Service. Adam, an active duty Marine is heading for his first deployment in Afghanistan this summer. Last but not least, Collin, a sophomore at Temple University, majoring in Tourism and Hospitality Management, hopes to, one day; see the world working aboard cruise ships. Laurie and Ralph hope he can sneak them on board too!
Laurie is looking forward to continued growth with our company and anxiously anticipates new opportunities in both the business world and her family life. "Someday we'll have time to start working on that bucket list. I just hope we're not too old to enjoy it!"