Our Team

LevelFunded Health is a national, tech-enabled, direct to employer distribution platform focused on level and self-insured benefit programs for small to mid-sized employer groups. For businesses with employees ranging from 50 to 1,000, it can help to immediately save these businesses anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million per year on healthcare costs, while simultaneously improving benefits.

Russ Carpel


Russ is a serial entrepreneur with more than 14 years of experience in marketing, business development, management and private equity fundraising. His experience cuts across the media, advertising, professional services and insurance sector. Most recently, Russ founded and ran ForeverCar.com, a national direct-to-consumer retailer of vehicle service contracts. Prior to starting Forever Car, Russ spearheaded national advertising revenue for multiple top-tier, national media brands in the U.S. including; The Economist, Crain Communications and Investing Channel.  Before his stint in the national media business, Russ was Director of New Business Development for Robert Brandt and Associates, a full-service advertising and public relations agency, based in Chicago. Russ earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bradley University and has completed coursework towards a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University.

Rich Corbin


Rich has over 16 years of investment analysis and operational experience with early stage companies. Prior to Level Funded Health Partners, Rich was the CFO of ForeverCar, a venture-backed start-up focused on improving and bringing transparency to the automotive service contract industry. Prior to ForeverCar, Rich performed financial analysis on capital raises with early stage private and public companies while at Daybreak Special Situations Fund. In addition, Rich is the managing partner of Corbin Capital LLC, an entity focused on investing in early stage and established high growth private companies. Rich holds a BBA from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

Alex Horvath

Director of Benefits Sales

Alex has over 13 years of professional inside and outside sales experience serving both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets. Alex started his sales career in mortgage brokerage, as a senior loan officer at InBank, a boutique retail-bank located in Chicago. Alex led his division in production for 3 consecutive years during his tenure with InBank.  Following his stint in banking, Alex became licensed as a Life, Health, Property and Casualty Insurance Producer.  After leaving the banking industry in 2009, Alex spent the last 6 years in the insurance sector, working primarily within property and casualty with both State Farm and Nationwide Insurance. Alex holds a B.S. in Marketing from Bradley University.

John McDarrah

Director of Operations & Client Relations

John brings a relentless work ethic and entrepreneurial edge to his position as Corporate Benefits Advisor with LevelFunded Health. He is motivated by customer service and ethics when working with his clients. He enjoys being a benefits broker because he feels there is always a solution to an employer's health benefits needs. John's mission is to put all of his clients in a better position after working with them. Prior to LevelFunded Health, John worked for Liberty Mutual as a home, auto, and life agent. During his tenure with Liberty, John successfully implemented over 500 new client accounts. Most recently, John was a commercial insurance broker with 235 Insurance in Chicago where he predominately focused on commercial property and casualty policies within the construction, real estate and professional service sectors. John is a former wrestling team captain and research assistant. In his free time, John enjoys spending time with his wife Brianna and son Trace. His hobbies consist of writing, watching movies, sporting events and daily workouts.

Advisory Board

Carl L. Herrmann, Jr.

Mr. Herrmann, Jr. is the Chairman of CCCC Growth Fund and Chairman and majority owner of WNC Insurance Services.  Prior to acquiring WNC in 1989, Mr. Herrmann, Jr. was President of Transamerica Financial Systems and Concepts, a position he held for five years after he sold his company, Insureco to Transamerica Insurance Group in 1984.  Mr. Herrmann, Jr. founded Insureco in 1969, and formulated a unique insurance concept now called Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI) that was specifically designed for auto finance lenders and its borrowers.

Patrick M. Blandford

Mr. Blandford is the Managing Director at CCCC Growth Fund and leads their investing activities. He also serves as the Managing Director of Strategy & Finance for WNC Insurance Services, Chairman of Source-44 and Gibraltar Capital Holdings and is a member of the board for Grandcare Health Services, WNC Insurance Services, Alert Alarm of Hawaii and ESCO Holdings. Previously, Mr. Blandford was a Managing Director of Frontenac, a private equity firm. Mr. Blandford graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame, began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Ben Walter

Ben Walter is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hiscox USA, the US arm of the global specialty insurer.  Ben joined the company in early 2011 as COO and served in that post prior to taking his current position in April 2012.  Prior to joining Hiscox, Ben was a Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, where he focused on global strategic and operations issues.  He joined BlackRock via its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, where he held a similar position.  Ben’s previous experience spans a wide range of industries and functions.  He ran the credit and loyalty business for Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic brand, worked with leading financial services and fintech companies as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and served in a number of strategy and marketing roles at Continental Airlines.  Ben has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.  Ben is a member of the New York City chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and he serves on the boards of the Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Parris Foundation and Level Funded Health.

Chacko Kurian

Mr. Kurian is an entrepreneur in information technology and related services. He serves as President of JPN Associates, Inc. of Warrenville, IL. He is also President of Complete Health Systems, LC of Wichita, KS, a company that provides information technology software and integration services to administrators of self-insured health plans. For over twenty years he has been a member of the Self Insurance Institute of America (SIIA.org) and serves on its International Committee. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Benefits Resource Association (DBRA.org). He has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from NITT, India and an MBA from the University of New Mexico.

Chad Nitschke

Chad is the Co-Founder of Insure.VC, an angel fund focused exclusively on providing capital to early stage insurance ventures.  In addition to his role at Insure.VC, he is also Co-Founder & CEO of Bunker Ventures, a mentor to the Startupbootcamp insurance accelerator in London, and an advisor to several insurance-related startups.  He has over 15 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles at Travelers Insurance, CUNA Mutual, and AXIS Capital.

Joel LeBendig

Joel LeBendig is an 18 year sales veteran with experience at small, medium and Fortune 500 companies in sales leadership, prospecting and closing, often targeting C level decision makers.. Joel is an expert in the consultative sales approach, having leveraged and developed or co-developed sales processes for two Fortune 500 organizations. He's an expert in team building, recruitment and coaching inside and outside sales forces ranging in size from 10 - 100 employees.

While at Assurant, Joel helped co-develop their Sales Process which helped win deals with Sony, Verizon, Bank of America, Discover, Citi, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Willis, BB&T, USI, Marsh & McLennan, Walmart, McDonald's, Staples and many others. Joel also led a team of 13 Regional Managers with 103 indirect reports selling to brokers and agents that consistently produced over $156,000,000 in annual premium.

He's proven time and time again that he can build and motivate a sales team to close record level revenue, year over year all while working in top heavy, matrix managed organizations. He's very familiar with the Level Funded space because of his experience with Assurant when it was a brand new product and they were the only organization in the country offering it to small businesses under 100 employees.

Joel is a producing leader that is relentless in his approach to closing deals, building teams that close deals, and is always working to solve for the hurdles that slow the sales process while maintaining concierge level service for clients and customers.

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“Small employers grapple with rising health insurance premiums”
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