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Burnham Benefits Expands Into Sacramento Area, Hires New Vice President to Lead Local Growth Initiatives

IRVINE, CA and SACRAMENTO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/04/14 -- California-based employee benefits consulting and brokerage firm, Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, Inc. is pleased to announce its growth into the Sacramento area and the addition of industry veteran and business development expert, Steve Vilas who has been hired on as Burnham Benefits' newest vice president tapped to spearhead expansion efforts in the region. Vilas will be instrumental in establishing a new office in Sacramento; hiring strategic employees to support new and existing business in the area; and contributing to the development of other company-wide initiatives.

As one of the few insurance brokerage firms to specialize solely in strategic employee benefits consulting and brokerage services, Burnham Benefits headquartered in Irvine, Calif., has grown 20 percent year-over-year for the last 10 years, including expansion of its physical footprint into strategic locations throughout California such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

The organization's calculated move into the Sacramento market is a logical step along the company's impressive growth trajectory, and will help it better serve existing and new clients in the area, including a targeted focus on significant local market segments such as the public sector, transportation and distribution industries.

Vilas' more than 20 years of management and industry experience made him Burnham's ideal candidate to keep this momentum going, and to establish a thriving presence in the region. "Steve's proven ability to manage both the financial and day-to-day operations of a brokerage firm is a perfect fit for the direction we're headed," says Michael Michalski, Burnham Benefits' Northern California regional president.

Vilas will work closely with Michalski and company CEO and president, Kristen Allison, to meet the needs of Burnham clients by helping them navigate the Affordable Care Act and other changes in the industry. Because the privately held company doesn't have outside shareholders to answer to, it is able to focus on true specialization -- investing in the resources, infrastructure, technology and employees -- needed to best serve its clients, versus focusing solely on the bottom line.

"I'm pleased to be joining such a forward-thinking team that is dedicated to guiding customers through the changing employee benefits landscape," says Vilas. "It's an exciting and challenging time to be in the insurance business, with tremendous opportunity to help our clients like no other company can. At Burnham, we're in a position to be a true advocate, not just a benefits coverage facilitator, for our clients -- and that is something I am extremely proud to be a part of."

Burnham executives chose Vilas based on his successful background in launching new office sites, recruiting added staff and expanding market share, in addition to his extensive experience in overseeing new initiatives including development of industry-specific marketplace exchanges, captives and special programs.

Vilas' first order of business is to expand Burnham Benefits into the Sacramento market. This includes building a team of high-quality consultants who can offer customized plans to mid-size clients in the area. Burnham Benefits plans to expand aggressively by hiring new staff members throughout 2014 with a goal of quickly becoming a Sacramento marketplace force.

"I'm proud to build an organization that attracts top talent, where the first-rate work we do speaks for itself and has allowed for our company's continued expansion and growth," said Allison. "We're so pleased to welcome Steve to our growing team and we look forward to watching his contributions flourish into future successes in the region."

For more information about Burnham Benefits, its products, services and team members, please visit www.BurnhamBenefits.com.

ABOUT BURNHAM BENEFITS INSURANCE SERVICES: Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, Inc. is an independent, full-service employee benefits consulting and brokerage firm headquartered in Irvine, California. The firm is one of the largest in California and one of the few to specialize solely in strategic employee benefits consulting and brokerage services. The privately held group provides client-first health and wellness programs, and through its strategic partnership with Burnham Gibson Financial Group, it also provides retirement planning and wealth management services. Burnham Benefits effectively manages more than $1 billion in premiums for more than 300 clients, while maintaining a more than 98 percent client retention rate and a 20 percent annual growth rate. Because Burnham does not have outside shareholders, it can create customized solutions that fit clients' best interests -- investing in the tools and resources needed to provide the specialized level of service today's challenging climate demands. Its team of more than 70 highly skilled industry professionals include in-house underwriters, compliance officers, healthcare reform consultants, communications specialists and wellness experts. Burnham Benefits' footprint currently spans offices in Orange County, SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, Calif. as well as satellites in Oregon and the Washington D.C. metro area. Burnham Benefits holds national recognition as one of Business Insurance's #1 Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013 and Best Place to Work by the Orange County Business Journal three years running. For more information, visit www.BurnhamBenefits.com.

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