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Don Mayes Leadership Award

2016 Recipient
Amanda Bjornson, Principal Financial Group

Amanda Bjornson of Principal received the 2016 Don Maye Leadership Award for her leadership in increasing NADP’s outreach to key audiences including brokers, consumers and health care organizations such as the March of Dimes and American Heart Association.

2016 Professional Biography

Amanda is assistant director of product management at Principal. She currently manages the dental and vision product lines, which reside in the company’s Specialty Benefits Division. 

Amanda joined Principal in June of 1999 as a Sr. Specialist on the Rating & Analysis actuarial team in the Health Division. After working on the medical actuarial team for two and a half years, she transitioned to the Dental/Vision Product Management team to begin focusing on product development for the two products, conducting industry research and assessments as well as coordination and delivery of both internal and external training. Her current role as an assistant director focuses on the strategic development and positioning of the products. In addition, she oversees team activities, communication and decision making.

In recent years, much of Amanda’s focus has been on the legislative and regulatory environment and the Affordable Care Act’s impact to pediatric dental benefits as well as the ancillary benefits market in general. Amanda has also been focusing on member engagement initiatives with a focus on enrollment for voluntary benefits.

Under her leadership as chair of the Communications WorkGroup, Amanda formed a collaborative relationship with the IHC Forum to expand outreach to the broker community. This resulted in publications of several broker articles in their monthly magazine. She also contributed content to HIU Magazine, the official publication for the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and provided direction regarding NADP’s exhibit booth in the NAHU Annual Convention. All this was accomplished with a very small workgroup consisting of six volunteers.

When the Communications WorkGroup was charged with expanding its outreach to consumers, Amanda led a highly successful volunteer recruitment campaign that added talented individuals to the WorkGroup. With this added strength and expertise, she has led the WorkGroup’s development of a dedicated Consumer Resource section of the website to include an industry glossary and a growing library of educational and promotional content targeting consumers and brokers. Under her leadership, the group has promoted the value of dental benefits by publishing the Oral Health Infographic in American Heart Association and March of Dimes newsletters. In addition, she proposed a daily Twitter campaign to promote the important role dental benefits play in maintaining good oral health. Today, NADP has more than 3,700 Twitter followers and more are added daily.

Amanda has been on the Communications WorkGroup since its inception, first as vice chair from 2008-2010 and chair from 2011 to the present. She also served on the Communications Task Force in 2007 for which she received the Star Award for her work on an employer white paper promoting the value of dental benefits.

In addition to her service on the Communications WorkGroup, Amanda serves on the Dental Network Sub-group.