About Us

What We Do

Smola Consulting is a full service benefit and wellness consulting firm located in Rochester, NY. We offer review, analysis, and sound recommendations of current benefit programs, in addition to implementation lead or support for new programs.

As our client, Smola Consulting will review and recommend industry leading programs as well as assist your Human Resource team with day-to-day issues, including billing, claims, membership, education, and open enrollment.

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate and consult with our clients to ensure that they are making the best benefit decisions possible. Smola Consulting strives to be an extension of the organizations we work with by becoming part of their corporate culture and personally knowledgeable of their insurance needs.

MCCCSmola Consulting Raffle tent

Our Philosophy

Smola Consulting believes in a “Pay It Forward” philosophy.
The hope is that the recipient of the good deed will pay forward a good deed to others, and that this philosophy will spread.

Company founder, Steve Smola, believes that we as a company and each employee can support organizations and charities that contribute to human health, happiness and hope.

Who We Are

Smola Consulting is comprised of experienced healthcare professionals. Our team has over 200 years of combined experience in the insurance industry. Our experience ranges from medical plans, ancillary plans such as Life, DBL and Long Term Care insurance, as well as wellness and health promotion. We have experience working with all major carriers, both local and national. We have lead projects such as, dependent audits, government opportunities for available funding (ERRP), and selecting a vendor for on-line enrollment.

Our extensive knowledge and experience enables us to coordinate and implement creative solutions for our clients.
We care about the success of our clients and are also always available to assist with day-to-day issues, including billing, claims, membership, and education.We are trusted and accessible consultants complemented with a broad range of products and services.

WIN speakers web

Our Team

Steve 150

Stephen Smola

Owner

About

Steve has worked in the insurance industry for over twenty years. He started Smola Consulting in March 2006. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Mathematics/Statistics) from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Steve completed his Master of Science degree in Management from Roberts Wesleyan College.

He worked for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in Rochester for fifteen years, where he held the position of Director of Rating & Underwriting within Actuarial Services. Steve also held the position of Vice President of Underwriting & Analysis at a local consulting firm for two and half years before starting Smola Consulting.

Steve holds his New York State Life, Accident & Health license.

Steve is also NYS Exchange -SHOP Certified and Individual Marketplace Certified .

Steve is on the Board of Directors for the Italian American Coalition for Kids and 2015 Co-chair for the Mary Cariola Children’s Center Walking on Sunshine Event. He is also actively involved in fundraising for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes and Lollypop Farm.

Steve enjoys his 2 sons, family, two dogs, baseball and hockey. He enjoys coaching his two sons and going to the many sporting events his boys are involved in.  Steve also enjoys participating in many philanthropic opportunities in our community.

Denise 150

Denise Colaruotolo

Consultant

About

Denise has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree (Business Administration) from Rochester Institute of Technology . She worked at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in various capacities, including Sales Director and Director of Integrated Delivery Systems, where she worked with two provider systems to develop their own HMO products. She was also Senior Director for Sales and Marketing for MedAmerica, a long-term care insurance company affiliated with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

She was also Senior Director of the North American Sales Team at ElementK – a leading IT technology training company.

Denise holds her New York State Life, Accident & Health license and a certificate from the National Management Development Institute from Northwestern University, JL Kellogg School of Management.

Denise is also NYS Exchange SHOP Certified.

Denise enjoys playing tennis, cooking, traveling and spending time with family.

Sandy 150

Sandy Smith

Consultant

About

Sandy has worked in the insurance industry since 1997. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Baldwin-Wallace College and her Master’s in Applied Statistics from Bowling Green State University.

Sandy’s work experience includes a longitudinal study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she was a data manager. She spent two years at Financial Indemnity Company, a property/casualty insurance company, where she worked in the actuarial department. She was responsible for calculating rates, preparing rate/relativity comparisons, and developing rate filings which were submitted to various insurance departments. Sandy also worked for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in the Rating & Underwriting department, as well as in the actuarial services department for ten years. She developed rates for experience rated groups, produced New York State Insurance Department regulatory filings, estimated reserve levels, prepared rate submissions for various products, and analyzed drug data to determine drug trends.

Sandy has passed two Actuarial exams and holds her New York State Life, Accident & Health license.

Sandy enjoys playing the flute, walking her dog, biking and spending time with her family.

Dan 150

Dan Justis

Wellness Consultant

About

Dan has been working as a wellness consultant since 2017. He has implemented worksite health initiatives, programs, and policies across a broad range of client groups. He prides himself on finding creative wellbeing solutions that support individual, worksite, and community health.

Dan earned a B.S. in Kinesiology from George Mason University and an Associates in Health Care Administration from The Community College of the Air Force.

Dan is a member of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). He is currently certified through the Chapman Institute as a Wellness Program Coordinator and through the American College of Sport Medicine as a Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist. Dan is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and has 600hrs of education in yoga, mindfulness, and yoga therapy.

Prior to working for Smola Consulting, Dan was a Wellbeing Strategist at MVP Health Care. While at MVP he worked simultaneously with multiple accounts as the lead Wellbeing Strategist. Before MVP, Dan worked as a Health & Wellness Specialist at the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) where he developed and created wellness programs, events, and resources for veterans nationwide. Prior to WWP, Dan worked as an Exercise Specialist at Patriot Sports Medicine in Alexandria, VA, where he coached patients of all ages, abilities, and phases of life. Dan was active duty in the Air Force and worked primarily in the Aeromedical Evacuation pipeline, where he was responsible for the transportation and care of wounded servicemembers returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan. Throughout his work experience Dan has continued to teach yoga classes and workshops.

Dan is resolute in his commitment to worksite and community health. He believes in a holistic, integrated and strategic approach to wellness: That by integrating the many variables of wellness in thoughtful small doses, the little things we do each day can have a profound impact on our quality of life. Along with his passion and dedication to the field of workplace health enhancement, Dan has an ability to connect with people while thinking strategically, often resulting in lifechanging health benefits.

Lexi 150

Lexi Ginther

Wellness Coordinator

About

Lexi joined the Smola Consulting team in February of 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wellness Management with a minor in Nutrition from SUNY Oswego. Lexi has always been interested in health and wellness and the role it plays in people’s everyday lives. She holds a New York State Life, Accident & Health license. She enjoys spending time outside in her garden and going for walks with her dogs.

Joyce 6

Joyce Ellis

Operations Manager

About

Joyce joined Smola Consulting in January, 2021, after working for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for over 20 years. Her roles there included Manager of Enterprise PMO Operations, Project Manager in the areas of Information Technology, Quality, and Medical Services, and Regional Manager of Broker Programs and Sales Performance. She most recently worked as a Special Projects Manager in Business Efficiency.

Joyce earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from Rochester Institute of
Technology. She holds her New York State Life, Accident & Health license, and a Project Management Professional certification (PMP).

Being active in the community, Joyce has volunteered for various charities, such as Willow Domestic Violence Center, formerly Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW), and Bivona Child Advocacy Center. She also served on the Board of ABW and was twice the Event Chair for their annual fundraiser.

Joyce enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and family, especially their four young grandchildren.

Joe 3

Joseph Hamway

Consultant

About

Joe has worked in the insurance industry since 2003. He earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Rochester. He holds a Master of Applied Finance degree from the Newcastle Graduate School of Business in Newcastle, Australia, where he later earned his Doctor of Business Administration degree. Joe was a member of the Rating & Underwriting team at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield during 2003 and 2004.

He holds his New York State Life, Accident & Health license.

He is also NYS Exchange SHOP Certified and Individual Marketplace Certified.

Joe has enjoyed his many years in Rochester in various student, volunteer, and work roles, including a year serving the Rochester community through the Rochester AmeriCorps National Community Service Program.

Joe enjoys spending time with his wife, playing with his children, and watching them discover new things every day.

website pic 150

Shelly Avery

Consultant

About

Shelly has been working in the insurance industry for over 10 years. She earned her Bachelors of Business Administration with a dual major in Risk Management & Insurance and Human Resources from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

While in college Shelly interned in the HR department of a Property & Casualty insurance company, PMA Insurance Group in Blue Bell, PA. Post-graduation, she began working at ACE USA in Philadelphia, PA. During her time on the underwriting team, she underwrote for a multitude of products including AD&D, Business Travel, Study Abroad Insurance, Defense Base Act Insurance, and War Risk Insurance. In 2007 she moved to Rochester taking a position with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. In her first three years she worked for the Rating and Underwriting team and spent her last 5 years as an Information Consultant (IC) in the Finance Department. In her IC roll Shelly presented to her clients utilization patterns, market and health care trends, and health management and wellness initiatives.

Shelly holds her New York State Life, Accident & Health license and has passed two Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) exams.

Shelly participates in various events for national charities including Bright Pink, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society. She has also served as a committee member of the inaugural Roc City Roller Derby (RCRD) while also participating as one of the founding skaters.

Rick 150

Rick Amundson

Wellness Consultant

About

Rick joined the Smola Consulting Team in December 2016 after working for Excellus BCBS for nearly 5 years as a Health and Wellness Consultant. Rick holds BS, MS and CAS degrees from the College at Brockport in Physical Education and Administration. He is also an adjunct professor in the department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

Rick worked in public education for 34 years most recently serving as the Superintendent of Schools in Lyons. Previous to that, he was the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics for the Webster School District.

Health and Wellness is a passion for Rick. He holds professional health and wellness certifications from the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research, the American College of Sports Medicine and Rochester Institute of Technology. Also, he is a Past President of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Rick and his wife Diane enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren at their Keuka Lake home. He also enjoys kayaking, biking and experimenting with whole food plant based recipes.

Jen 150

Jennifer Noce

Analyst

About

Jennifer started at Smola Consulting in June, 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Psychology/Elementary Education) and a Master of Science in Special Education from St. John Fisher College.

Jennifer’s work experience includes 18 years for the Diocese of Rochester at St. Lawrence School, teaching children grades 3-6 for 18 years.  She holds an NYS license in Special Education, birth through age 21, as well as Elementary pre-k through 6th grade.

Jennifer volunteers her time within the community working with children who need extra support as well as enjoying the outdoors with her family and friends.

MIke 150

Michael Smola

Office Manager

About

Mike has been with Smola Consulting since January 2009. He is responsible for managing all of the day to day operations of the Smola Consulting office. Mike had previously worked in the printing industry having been with GLC Business Services and IKON Facilities Management, overseeing the print and production department for the Rochester Chamber of Commerce/ Rochester Business Alliance (RBA) for over 15 years.

Mike has organized parties for the residents and staff at the Mary Cariola residence in Greece for over 20 years, and participates in many charity runs and bike rides, particularly The Ride For Missing Children).

Mike resides in Webster with his wife Karen where they enjoy babysitting their grandchildren as the family grows.

Let our team handle all of your insurance and health promotion needs

About Us

Smola Consulting is a full service benefit
and wellness consulting firm

Our mission

Our mission is to educate and consult with our clients to ensure that they are making the best benefit decisions possible

Contact Us

585-777-4080

smola@smolaconsulting.com

1 South Washington St. Suite 520 Rochester, NY 14614