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Jen Friend is a Client Executive with Horton’s Employee Benefits Practice, responsible for delivering expert employee benefits consulting, bringing innovative ideas to clients, and servicing and retaining existing clients.

With 26 years in the insurance industry, Jen’s role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, from implementation and renewal processes to navigating contract intricacies, exploring benefit design options, staying abreast of legislative changes, and analyzing market dynamics.

On a day-to-day basis, Jen leverages her expertise to assess financial risks, provide tailored plan recommendations, handle complex inquiries, offer insights on regulatory mandates, explore diverse funding avenues, and monitor market trends. She meticulously reviews carrier documentation to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Jen’s extensive career includes 6.5 years at Jellyvision in various relationship management roles, promoting and supporting their ALEX open enrollment product. She spent five years in benefits consulting at Gallagher and JMB Insurance and began her career at MetLife, where she worked for 7 years. Her most memorable experience in the industry is delivering robust benefit plans that meet clients’ needs and budgets.

Throughout her career, Jen has brought valuable insights from previous employers to new roles, imparting knowledge within the organizations she’s worked with. Her prior consulting experience has laid the foundation for her role at The Horton Group, while her work at carriers and benefit SaaS companies has broadened her insurance network and provided insight into their operations and overall benefit strategies.

Known for her attention to detail and thoroughness, Jen excels at simplifying complex concepts through examples, data, and clear explanations. She believes client advocacy and customer service are essential pillars of benefit consulting, crucial for successful high-level strategies.

“I am passionate about working with clients and educating employees on their benefits,” Jen says. “I like being able to leave an open enrollment meeting where someone takes away something that they didn’t know before attending the meeting. I love seeing the proverbial light bulb go on – those ‘ah ha’ moments are the best!”

Outside of the office, Jen enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She has been married to her husband, Dan, since 2015, and they have two children, Josh and Hayley. Jen is an avid fan of tennis and volleyball, loves watching the Olympics, and was a figure skater for 16 years.

Fact File:

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL): Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Marketing
  • University of Phoenix (Online): Master of Business Administration – Marketing
Professional Designations & Licenses
  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) Fellow
  • Group Benefit Associate (GBA)
  • Retirement Planning Associate (RPA)
Professional Background
  • The Horton Group
    • Client Executive (June 2024 – Present)
  • HealthJoy
    • Partner Success Manager (2022 – 2024)
    • Strategic Operations Manager (2020 – 2022)

  • League Inc.
    • Senior Benefits Consultant (2018 – 2020)

  • Health Care Services Corporation (BCBSIL)
    • Senior Products Solutions Development Consultant (2018)
  • Jellyvision
    • Director of Key Accounts (Partner: Fidelity/Integration) (2015 – 2018)
    • Director of Key Accounts (Partner: Aetna) (2013 – 2015)
    • Implementation Expert (2011 – 2013)
Industry & Community Involvement
  • Volunteer at local Lutheran school and church
  • Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children