Leadership

Executive Leadership

BJ Schaknowski
Chief Executive Officer

BJ Schaknowski

Chief Executive Officer

BJ Schaknowski is a seasoned software industry executive, with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles across a wide variety of operating functions. Before joining symplr, BJ served as the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Vertafore, the world's leading provider of insurance technology. Prior to that, BJ spent four years at LexisNexis Software Solutions in progressively ascending roles, culminating as its SVP Marketing, Sales & Services. He held numerous senior and global leadership roles earlier in his career at CA Technologies, Intuit, and Sage Software.

BJ brings his dedication to creating balanced value and outcomes for employees, customers, and shareholders to the symplr community. Deeply committed to philanthropic efforts, BJ was recently appointed to the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors, joining an elite group of nearly two dozen executives from various industries who help govern and advise Komen, which is the world’s leading non-profit breast cancer organization. He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Data Management. BJ earned a BA in Communications from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his MBA at the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business. Schaknowski also served in the United States Marine Corps infantry as an enlisted reservist for 8 years. He lives in Denver with his wife, Heather, and two children.

Hugo Doetsch
Chief Financial Officer

Hugo Doetsch

Chief Financial Officer

Hugo Doetsch is a seasoned financial executive with over 20 years of operational, investment banking, and strategic finance leadership experience and has been instrumental in helping software companies grow and scale. Before joining symplr, Hugo served as the Chief Financial Officer at NetDocuments, a leading provider of cloud-based document and content management software for legal professionals, where during his tenure, he was named 2022 CFO of the Year in Utah. Previously, Hugo led Finance, Strategy and Corporate Development, and Investors Relations at Ping Identity where he led the Company’s 2019 IPO. He also spent considerable time in New York City working for organizations such as Citigroup and Citadel Securities.  

 Hugo earned a BS in Business and a BA in Economics, as well as a minor in Biochemistry, from the University of Colorado. He lives in Park City, Utah with his wife and three children, and enjoys skiing and mountain biking.  

David Arnold
Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel

David Arnold

Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel

David Arnold brings 23 years of legal experience to the symplr team. As the head of symplr’s legal department, Mr. Arnold works with symplr’s executive team and its team of contracts professionals to provide strategic legal advice and to help symplr scale its contracting practices. Prior to joining symplr, Mr. Arnold was the Chief Legal Officer at Omnitracs, LLC, where he managed the Omnitracs legal and contracts teams after the sale of the business by Qualcomm Incorporated to Vista Equity Partners.

Before Omnitracs, Mr. Arnold held leadership roles within the legal department of Qualcomm Enterprise Services, a division of Qualcomm Incorporated. Mr. Arnold holds a B.S.B.A in General Business from the University of Denver and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. He is a member of the California Bar Association, the San Diego County Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Transportation Lawyers Association.

Brian Fugere
Chief Product Officer

Brian Fugere

Chief Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer, Brian Fugere leads all product management and user experience (UX) design efforts in the company. During the past two years, he also served as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and led the engineering organization. Bringing almost 30 years of go-to-market experience in software companies of all sizes, Fugere was most recently the CMO of Virence Health, a carve out from GE Healthcare. Prior roles include President of The Estimating Edge, Chief Operating Officer and CMO of RemitDATA, and leadership positions at Belo Interactive, Stryker, and America Online.

Fugere has deep experience in executive leadership, marketing, product, sales, and operations across public, private equity, and venture-backed companies. He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Data Management. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, an MBA from George Mason University, and has completed a leadership and business program at Harvard Business School.

Kirstie Gentile
Chief Human Resources Officer

Kirstie Gentile

Chief Human Resources Officer

As the Chief HR Officer, Kirstie Gentile leads symplr’s HR people strategy. Kirstie drives the company’s HR strategy around talent management, organizational design, workforce planning and employee development in alignment with symplr’s overall business plan.

Kirstie brings over 15 years of experience working in human resources at dynamic transformative companies to symplr, with 2.5 of those years with symplr building the HR Business Partner team and Employee Relations team. Prior to symplr, Kirstie held HR leadership roles at FieldRoutes Software and Omnitracs. While much of her career in HR has been in private equity and software, she is well versed in employment law and holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a BA in Communications from the University of California at San Diego. She is based in the Dallas area with her husband, and their two boys. 

Jeffrey Peterson
Chief Technology Officer

Jeffrey Peterson

Chief Technology Officer

Jeffrey Peterson is responsible for developing and executing the company’s technology strategy as well as for managing software development and cloud system operations. He brings 27 years of innovation and engineering operations experience to symplr.

Prior to joining symplr, Jeffrey was a Sr Director of Engineering at GE Healthcare and, before that, led all engineering efforts for API Healthcare. He holds a BBA in Information Systems from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Lubar School of Business.

Joe Remington
Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff

Joe Remington

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff

Joe Remington is symplr’s Chief of Staff where he provides strategic guidance to the CEO and executive leadership team to accomplish the company accomplish its goals by maximizing resources, expanding capabilities, and improving operations.

Joe brings to symplr extensive experience in the software industry across multiple private equity-owned companies. Previously, Joe was VP of Finance, Corporate Development and IT at Aspect Software.  Before to that, he was Chief of Staff and oversaw product operations at Vertafore.  Prior to that, he led operations innovation at Davita, one of the largest providers of kidney care health services.  He holds a degree in Finance from The University of Colorado-Boulder.

 

Nicole Rogas
President

Nicole Rogas

President

As President, Nicole Rogas is responsible for driving symplr’s revenue growth strategy and overall customer experience providing oversight and vision for the Sales, Client Success, Support and Services teams.

A recognized healthcare IT and revenue cycle management leader, Nicole is focused on fostering a high-energy, high-performing culture putting the employee and the client at the center. Prior to symplr, Nicole spent 19 years at Experian Health, formerly Passport Health, where she successfully held numerous leadership positions, most recently as its Chief Commercial Officer. In this role, she oversaw the National Sales Team, among other cross-functional teams that focused on customer health and driving growth throughout all healthcare channels.

Nicole also is a recipient of the 2019 Women in Sales Awards - North America and has been an advocate for women and working parents through her career. She also is a Fellow of the American College of Health Data Management. Nicole earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing from Marquette University and her Master’s in Business Administration from Benedictine University. She lives in Elmhurst, Illinois with her two children. For more on Nicole, please visit her LinkedIn profile.

Kristin Russel
Chief Marketing Officer

Kristin Russel

Chief Marketing Officer

As Chief Marketing Officer, Kristin Russel drives the development and execution of symplr’s comprehensive marketing strategy, overseeing all branding, digital and product marketing, sales enablement, public relations, community outreach programs, channel partnerships, and business development.

Recently named one of Becker’s top 100 women in healthcare, Russel is a tenured leader and a visionary in the healthcare technology industry. She also is a Fellow of the American College of Health Data Management. Before joining symplr, she led marketing at Quest Analytics and Carrot Inc. and drove revenue and new growth initiatives through strategic partnerships and marketing at Humana, Cerner, and Omnicell. She is also a successful entrepreneur, having founded fin-tech company Anachron, which was ultimately sold to ING Bank. Russel has a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University in Canada, an MBA from École Supérieure de Commerce in France, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Carleton University in Canada.

Key Leadership

Todd Bennett
Managing Director of Compliance, Quality, and Safety

Todd Bennett

Managing Director of Compliance, Quality, and Safety

With over 20 years' experience working with providers and payers to improve outcomes and make healthcare safer and more efficient, Todd shares his passion for healthcare innovation by leading cross-functional teams in the creation and delivery of technology enabled services, analytics, and applications.

Prior to symplr, Todd held market strategy and product leadership roles at Cotiviti, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Change Healthcare and began his career as a Field Artillery officer in the US Army. Todd earned a BS in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from Georgia Southern University.  Todd lives in Nashville with his wife, Kori, and their four children.

Patrick Birmingham
Executive Vice President, Credentialing Operations

Patrick Birmingham

Executive Vice President, Credentialing Operations

As Executive Vice President of Credentialing Operations, Patrick Birmingham leads all Credentialing Operations including Access Management Background Screening, symplrCVO - Credentials Verification Organization, Payer Enrollment and State Medical Licensure Services.

Patrick is a healthcare industry veteran, with approximately 30 years of experience in management and executive roles. He has a wide range of experience in hospital, managed care, payer and physician practice operations. Prior to joining symplr, Patrick was Chief Operating Officer at MedKinetics, a leading SaaS provider credentialing, privileging, quality and performance improvement company, and the founder of Payor Enrollment Services, the industry’s leading solution for accelerated and accurate payor enrollment. Patrick previously served in roles as the National Director for Credentialing and Enrollment Services at HCA Inc., Director of Managed Care at HCA Physician Services as well as held senior roles within hospital administration, national PPO and HMO organizations.

He holds MBA from the Millsaps College Else School of Management. Patrick lives in Franklin TN with his wife and daughter.

William Christy
Managing Director of Provider Data Management

William Christy

Managing Director of Provider Data Management

Bill Christy is the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of symplr’s Provider Data Management Solutions. In this role, Bill oversees the product vision, development, and go-to-market strategy to deliver solutions that help payers and providers improve healthcare outcomes. A seasoned healthcare operations leader, Bill previously was Chief Customer Officer at symplr, and he continues to be a strong champion for the customer experience. Bill began his career as a biomed technician in the U.S. Air Force. After a successful career serving his country, Bill moved on to GE Healthcare, where he spent nearly 19 years holding vital leadership roles, such as Customer Operations Manager and Enterprise Services Director.

Bill received a BS in Business Administration degree from University of Maryland Global Campus and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland University College. He lives in Rochester, New York with his wife Cathy and four children.

Austin Dirks
Managing Director of Contract and Supply Management

Austin Dirks

Managing Director of Contract and Supply Management

Austin Dirks is a Managing Director, Senior Vice President within symplr’s Contract and Supplier Management Pillar. Austin is the former CEO and Founder of GreenLight Medical leading the company from inception to acquisition by symplr in March 2022. Before founding GreenLight Medical, Austin worked as a cardiac medical device sales representative for St. Jude Medical (acquired by Abbott), as well as for Thoratec Corporation, working on merger and acquisition opportunities within the Business Development team.

Austin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, Austin was a member of the Track and Field team as a pole vaulter. Austin resides in Nashville, TN but is originally from Lincoln, NE. He patiently awaits the next Nebraska football national championship.

Karissa Fuller
Managing Director of Workforce Management

Karissa Fuller

Managing Director of Workforce Management

Karissa Fuller is Managing Director, Senior Vice President over symplr’s Workforce Management pillar. She has over 20 years of healthcare experience both in the payer and provider space. Karissa is driven by inspiring and empowering her teams to create a first class customer experience with positive business outcomes.        

Prior to this position Karissa held leadership roles at symplr, HealthcareSource, NaviNet and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. She received a BS in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. Karissa lives in South Kingstown, Rhode Island with her husband Mike and their two daughters.

Dion Gee
Chief Information Officer

Dion Gee

Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Officer, Dion Gee leads symplr’s information technology, infrastructure, and security efforts across our corporate platforms. A highly skilled leader in emerging technologies and integrations, Dion has spent his 20-year career focused on achieving the top priorities of his internal and external customers with IT solutions. Before joining symplr, Dion served as the Director of IT Infrastructure and Technical Services, and the HIPAA Privacy Officer for Abbott's toxicology division. His expertise in acquisition change management has proven invaluable as symplr continues to grow its portfolio. Dion earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and he is also an INROADS alum.

Alexis May
Chief Administrative Officer

Alexis May

Chief Administrative Officer

Alexis May is Chief Administrative Officer for symplr, leading the continuous improvement of internal operations in service to our customers and team members to make doing business at symplr, simpler. Alexis brings deep expertise in building and leading business, revenue and customer operations  teams for software based companies.

Prior to this position Alexis has held leaderships roles at symplr, Vertafore, Webroot now a part of OpenText.

Josh Taylor
Chief Growth Officer

Josh Taylor

Chief Growth Officer

Josh Taylor is a seasoned go-to-market leader with a successful track record of delivering consistent results, leading teams and developing trusted relationships. As Chief Growth Officer, he drives the company’s sales organization, leading our account, product sellers and solution consultants as well as our sales operations team. Josh brings his extensive healthcare industry experience and positive mindset to lead these high-performing teams.  Since joining symplr in 2019, Josh has steadily taken on larger roles with increased responsibility to deliver record-breaking results driven by purpose, preparation and customer relationships.  

Prior to joining symplr, Josh spent nearly nine years at Cerner Corporation in various positions, primarily in business development and client relationships within its largest markets. Josh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Missouri- Kansas City where he was a Division 1  golfer. Josh lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.  

Saeed Valian
Chief Information Security Officer

Saeed Valian

Chief Information Security Officer

As Chief Information Security Officer, Saeed Valian drives the development and execution of symplr’s comprehensive Information Security strategy, overseeing product security, cybersecurity, data privacy, customer security, governance, risk, and compliance.

Saeed is recognized as a thought leader in the security industry, with 20 years of strategic and execution experience in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, and consulting. Valian’s proven record in proactively confronting and resolving technology, risks and business challenges have earned him several recognitions, including “10 Most Influential CISOs”, “10 Best CISOs”, and “Ingram’s 40 Under Forty”.