About Our Advisors


As advisors specializing in the senior insurance market our advisors help retirees and their families make informed decisions regarding healthcare coverage. With the shifting political landscape, rising Medicare costs along with plan changes, and uncertainty about a constantly evolving healthcare system, retirees need expert advice more now than ever.

Our advice doesn’t end with healthcare. We analyze the most important elements of our client’s financial affairs, from senior insurance coverage options to income planning, from asset protection to wealth transfer, along with tax minimization strategies. Whether a client is considering retirement, or already there, our purpose is to exceed your expectations allowing you to confidently carry on building your life and legacy.

 

Click on an Advisor’s Name Below To Go Directly to Their Bio

Kachele Aleshire John Bako Christal Block Shawn Graff
Nicole Hardy Lee Millson Phyllis Nizer Sharon Sass
Jacob Shade Kathy Shoemaker Karen Simundson Fay Slaughter
Andrew Thomas

More Bios Coming Soon!

 


Kachele Aleshire

Favorite quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? I am an active advocate for the American Diabetes Association who wants insulin to be more affordable and accessible for everyone. I’m proud to support the Insulin Price Reduction Act which will help reduce costs by providing incentives for manufacturers to revert to the 2006 prices.

What do you do at Senior Benefit Services, Inc.? I develop highly personalized relationships with all of my clients taking great pride in reducing the amount of confusion and information regarding Medicare rights and entitlements. Being easily accessible to my clients is a top priority.

What are your industry credentials? I have been a licensed insurance agent since 2013 specializing in the Long-Term Care market helping my clients protect their hard-earned assets.

What’s your background? I grew up in Funkstown, MD around the block from almost all of my relatives. Being raised in a very tight-knit family instilled in me a strong commitment to family values. As a child I enjoyed fishing, crayfish catching, tubing, and wading in the Antietam Creek with my brother and sisters.

What values drive you? Integrity and ethics are two values my parents instilled in me from a young age. Author C.S. Lewis said it best, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”. I am fulfilled when my clients remind me of the ways that I have helped their families.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I have a profound love for music; it is comforting to the soul! I play the guitar, although I’ve got so much more to learn. Puzzles??? I love all kinds from crosswords, jigsaws or sudoku. I’m naturally curious researching just about anything. Since I was a child I have always wondered about the sky and stars, staring and watching celestial events like meteor showers, super-moons and eclipses. I also love animals especially my three cats and three dogs. And, finally my faith guides me and my family each day.

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John Bako

Favorite quote: “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.” Joe Paterno

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? After helping my aging parents and my in-laws navigate similar decisions for years I am confident I can assist my clients who have the same questions as they did. Turning 65 can be a confusing and difficult time and the information regarding healthcare options is absolutely overwhelming. It is my goal to help clients find clarity and peace of mind allowing them to live out their retirement years in confidence.

What are your industry credentials? My Chemical Engineering degree gave me the ability to solve problems and my MBA gave me the knowledge to understand financial situations. The ongoing research and study required to stay relevant in this industry in combination with those advanced degrees guides the advice I impart to each of my clients.

What’s your background? I spent 28 years as a Chemical Engineer and a Purchasing Manager at Westvaco/Mead/Verso before changing careers and partnering with Senior Benefit Services. I grew up in Johnstown, PA and have degrees from Penn State University and Frostburg State University.

What values drive you? The most important value in life is honesty. It is important to be clear and transparent when discussing a client’s needs, options, and potential outcomes. Sometimes advising client’s to doing nothing is the best advice I can give.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? In the fall, my family spends Saturdays at Penn State Football games. The rest of my time is spent supporting my two daughters (Cara and Jillian) in music, basketball, cross country, and tennis. We also enjoy bike riding, swimming, hiking and camp fires at home.

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Christal Block

Favorite Quote: ““If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? Dealing with the stress and anxiety of retirement can be overwhelming and exhausting stealing the joy out of life’s most anticipated time. The retirement planning puzzle needs to be built thoughtfully and strategically. Each individual’s puzzle is different and so I work very hard to help answer the tough Medicare, supplemental benefits, and retirement income questions that work for a lifetime.

What are your industry credentials? I entered the financial services industry 25 years ago working in the marketing department for a regional brokerage firm. My experience evolved over time leading to sales and management positions in the life and health insurance sector. Additionally, my background includes mortgage lending and retirement sales within banking institutions.

What’s your background? I was raised in small town Pennsylvania where I attended a private Catholic school eventually settling in Maryland while attending college for degree in nursing.

What values drive you? I derive my faith from a higher power, the constitution, the foundation of family, diversity, and the freedom of choice.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? When I am not at work I enjoy time spent with family and many outdoor activities including fishing and hiking. I commit many hours volunteering with Christian and community organizations and as an ordained minister a favorite activity is officiating weddings!

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Shawn Graff

Favorite quote: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? The cost of medications for seniors is exorbitant and for those with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, getting the best drug coverage each year is major issue. I help my clients work through those specific challenges using exhaustive research and study about the plans and coverages that work best for their situation.

What are your industry credentials? In my previous career as a paralegal I learned to study and investigate cases. This instilled in me a great attention to detail and preparation. Additionally, working in the criminal division taught that considering various perspectives is a key component to fully understanding individual situations.

What’s your background? I had a very simple upbringing in Cascade, MD. My family did not have a lot but I certainly never felt lesser for it; always food on the table, clothes on our back, and a great many friends with which to explore and play. At the age of 20 I took a big step towards adulthood going to work for a criminal defense attorney in Frederick, finally making the change to Senior Benefit Services in 2009.

What values drive you? My father always reminded me that “work never killed anyone but it will build character”. My 15-year old self hated hearing that as I was helping him lay brick! But today, I realize that hard work, persistence, and honesty are what he was really teaching. Each day I need to feel productive and helpful or things just don’t feel right with the world.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I enjoy anything outdoors except… pulling weeds. I begin each day with a morning run. I love experimenting with new recipes and eating healthy foods! I have two teenage boys who no longer think I’m fun to hang out with, so, I decided to get two dogs. Both love hanging out with me especially when there’s food around… kind of like the teenage boys.

 

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Nicole Hardy

Favorite quote: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; its who is going to stop me” -Ayn Rand

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? It is important to me to change the perception of industry professionals. I am comforted by the close personal connections I have with my clients who know they can call on at any time for any reason.

What are your industry credentials? I have had my life and health licenses since 2017. My initial start in the Senior Market started with a nationally known corporation until my switch to Senior Benefit Services, Inc. in 2019. I made this career change when I learned that my grandmother had been over charged by her agent for nearly 40 years. I challenge myself daily to ensure that my clients never have to endure this kind of situation.

What’s your background? Selling is in my blood! At 16 years of age The Baltimore Sun Paper hired me as a door to door salesman helping me to earn college savings bonds. In March of 2003 I started an in-home own daycare business all the while working in network marketing and direct sales. Each presented different challenges but along the way I learned how much I love helping and engaging people.

What values drive you? I grew up just outside of Baltimore City at a time when the community was very close knit. Life was so much simpler back then! The life lessons I learned from those days; perseverance, community, and commitment have defined who I am today and are the cornerstone of the lessons I have passed on to my own children.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? My family is my priority and is my favorite thing to do outside of work. I have been married for close to 20 years and have three kids, two grandchildren. During the summer months we go camping just about every weekend enjoying bonfires, smores, and the outdoors. We also enjoy the beach opting for destinations in the south and Caribbean during the winter months.

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Lee Millson

Favorite quote: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? It has always concerned me that the government has made something as essential and required as senior healthcare so complicated. I want my clients to enjoy their golden years, helping them to remove the stress and anxiety caused by the complexities of Medicare and their insurance coverages.

What are your industry credentials? For the last 10 years I’ve worked diligently to fully understand Medicare and the Senior Insurance Market. I’ve helped my clients enroll in Medicare, defer their Medicare for the right reasons, and even reinstate their Medicare. Although each client’s situation is very different the accumulation of those experiences better prepares me for the next.

What’s your background? My parents owned a small craft store so I spent many days in the shop helping in every possible way. As a result, I spent 30 years working in retail. The lessons learned about running a business, understanding inventory and product, and helping meet our patron’s needs were invaluable lessons that are still with me today. I am thankful for those lessons as I now apply them to my daily work at Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

What values drive you? Integrity is most important to me. Doing what should be done when no one is looking tells me a lot about people. I want my clients to understand that our interactions come from a sincere desire to help make their retirement years easier.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I have a deep love for my family and friends and look forward to spending as much time as possible with them. We often hear that if we enjoy our work, it really isn’t work at all. I’ve learned that if I have meaningful family relationships it helps me to understand and create meaningful professional relationships as well.

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Phyllis Nizer

Favorite quote: “Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most” – Buddha

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? Although I believe that Medicare is a great program prescription drugs must be affordable to all. I would also like to see The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services be more proactive advising people of the timeline for coverage.

What are your industry credentials? I have been in the health care industry over 10 years and am appointed with all the major health insurance carriers. I truly love my clients and career.

What’s your background? I started working behind the candy counter at G.C. Murphy at the age of 15 and have been in sales ever since. I have sold everything from hydraulic hoses, fittings, pumps, and motors, to owning a floor covering store. However, my greatest accomplishment has been raising my granddaughter from the age of three and is now a nursing student at Hood College.

What values drive you? I grew up in a small community in Eastern Baltimore County. Nearly all the residents worked at Bethlehem Steel or General Motors. Hillary Clinton once said, “it takes a village to raise a child” and that’s just how my neighborhood operated. Being accountable to the community from such a young age taught me respect for both home and community.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I enjoy family time and sharing meals with the people I love and cherish the most. I am naturally curious and make time to travel to new sights, taking on new experiences and learning new things. I do not consider my job to be work as it’s greatest benefit is meeting new people every day sharing life’s greatest gift, time.

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Sharon Sass

Favorite quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”— Henry Ford

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? For some, the excitement of retirement quickly turns into confusion and frustration. Navigating Medicare is not easy as seniors are bombarded with misleading mail and media that makes it even more difficult to understand. My top priority is helping my clients understand Medicare benefits and options while reducing confusion and anxiety.

What are your industry credentials? I have spent many years in the hospitality industry, where I focused on customer care and service. My strong background in the service sector has given me the ability to transition to a lifetime career specializing in senior products. In 2017, after helping my own parents navigate through Medicare options, I recognized I would be an excellent fit for the Senior Insurance Market.

What’s your background? I was raised in a small rural town in NW New Jersey. I have four sisters and two brothers which made for a very fun, but large and noisy family. I truly loved spending time with my beloved aunts and grandparents enjoying their stories of simpler times.

What values drive you? All of my relationships, professional or personal are built on trust, honesty and compassion with my work ethic being an extension of these values. Each client has different individual needs and concerns that are important to me and I always put their priorities first.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I enjoy spending my free time with my husband and two teenage daughters. On the weekends we love to hike, camp, swim and kayak. We also take family trips to the beach every chance we get including the occasional visit with family and friends in Florida. I love animals, especially our kitten Ollie who runs the show at our house these days!

 

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Jacob Shade

Favorite quote: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffett

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? There is so much misinformation from less than reputable sources when it comes to the Senior Healthcare industry. My focus is to create a custom solution for each unique situation making the process easy to understand while educating clients on their options and solutions.

What are your industry credentials? We are a well-known name in the community and a local resource for those who prefer a very personal experience. I think that will always set us apart. This part of the relationship is especially important as we navigate the complex details of Medicare planning.

What’s your background? I’ve been in the insurance industry since 2015 partnering with Senior Benefit Services in 2017. I have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland College Park.

What values drive you? I treat every client the way I would want my family or friends to be treated. Each client deserves the peace of mind that comes only from a personal approach and time spent getting to know our client’s families.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? Outside of work I enjoy running, biking, tennis, travel, reading history and the Wall Street Journal, researching investments, and all things outdoors. I’m an avid fan of everything Washington Redskins, Maryland Terrapins, and Rock n’ Roll!

 

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Kathy Shoemaker

Favorite quote: “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” – Voltaire

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? Not all professionals or even family members, act in the best interest of others. I am always going to do what benefits my clients first working to protect them as best I can.

What are your industry credentials? I have spent the better part of my working life in the healthcare industry with experience as a flight medic and in cardiac care. Additionally, my son was born at 25 weeks with chronic health impairments. These experiences have reminded me that people’s lives can change in the blink of an eye and eventually at the urging of my sister I decided I could help others protect their families.

What’s your background? I grew up in Kensington, MD in a neighborhood that was filled with sports, lifelong friends, love, and lots of laughter. Prior to Senior Benefit Services, Inc., I ran a cardiac center and was a partner in an independently owned a cardiac monitoring practice.

What values drive you? I am a true humanitarian, philanthropist, and environmental nerd. Be it an animal, human or our planet, I believe in always doing right by “them”; always understanding human values and various situations. I believe in and demand responsible business practices at all times.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? I am an animal rights supporter and keep busy by supporting organizations who raise awareness for domestic animals and for wildlife and aquatic creatures. I am an avid scuba diver and adrenaline junky that truly cannot get enough of the outdoors. Traveling unknown territory, continually researching, ferociously reading, music and film are just a few of my pleasures in life. Recently, I have become a MasterChef, yet, and I hate to cook!

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Karen Simundson

Favorite quote: “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock” —Thomas Jefferson

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? Our industry is littered with misleading mail, email and commercials. The result is that the consumer makes decisions out of panic rather than understanding. I work very hard to reassure each client that I am working in their best interest by explaining all available options and then turning over to them the decision-making power.

What are your industry credentials? I have a BS in Accounting with a minor in Finance from Mt St Mary’s University. The decisions I help my clients make are financial rather than emotional based. Having been a licensed agent for 20 years has given me a lot of experience. I’m an avid reader and researcher of our industry, it’s products and trends helping me to stay current and take more enjoyment from the business.

What’s your background? I grew up in Kensington MD. Great neighborhood then and now; many of my childhood friends still live there. There was a swim club where kids of all ages played and the families got to know each other in what was and still is a very close community. Still being friends with kids from when I was 5 is pretty cool.

What values drive you? Always doing my best and giving my all to my clients. Everyone has a different situation and story. This is not a one size fits all/one stop shop kind of business. I love putting together a plan that works and hearing my client’s children tell me how much their parents love and depend on me; that I’ve never steered them wrong.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? In my spare time I am very active in veterans’ organizations. My husband is retired Navy so supporting veterans is something we both enjoy. We are very active volunteering and fundraising for many different causes. I also love to cook and entertain trying out new ideas out on my guests. When possible I enjoy traveling seeing new sights and experiencing different cultures.

 

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Fay Slaughter

Favorite quote: “You know all those things you want to do some day? Do them now” – Anonymous

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? I would love to see faster turnaround times in underwriting and more communications from companies about rate and application changes.

What are your industry credentials? I have worked in the insurance industry for 36 years, I have been a trainer, manager, benefit coordinator, and most recently sales.

What’s your background? I grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody and families took care of other. I had a wonderful childhood with many relationships continuing to this day.

What values drive you? I believe in helping seniors protect themselves with the right insurance products that fit their individual needs.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? In my spare time I enjoy hunting, fishing, and gardening. Mostly though I count the time I have with my grandsons as a true blessing.

 

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Andrew Thomas

Favorite quote: “The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation- the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.” – Michael Jordan

What is something within the healthcare industry you want to fix? I would love to see the Social Security Administration communicate better with people regarding Medicare especially when it comes to understanding Parts A and B as many people are still working beyond age 65 and need to understand specifically when to enroll. Also, when it comes to part D there is a great deal of confusion from people approaching Medicare eligibility and enrollment.

What are your industry credentials? I have been working in the Senior Market and retirement planning for 28 years and truly enjoy helping clients manage their healthcare plans. Over the years I have learned so much about this profession and I work constantly to stay current with the changes and challenges with my client’s needs and goals always in mind.

What’s your background? I grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland and hold a BS in Math Education from Shippensburg University. I taught High School math in North Carolina before entering the financial services industry. You can turn Medicare into Rocket Science if you choose, but that’s not my approach. I take great pride in simplifying the specifics of Medicare putting them in layman’s terms for the benefit of my clients.

What values drive you? Honesty and integrity are the two values that drive my work each day. I work very hard to take care of my clients responding to texts, emails, and voicemails as quickly as possible.

What activities do you enjoy doing when not at work? In my spare time I love being outdoors; golfing, running, gardening, and relaxing on the deck of our home with my wife and kids have made for the best memories. I also enjoy dining out with family and friends and the church is an also integral part of my life.

 

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