Executive Director - Health & Benefits

Executive Director - Health & Benefits

District Office

The Office of Human Resources is committed to being a strategic partner that provides the best possible services to faculty and staff to support its goals and objectives by delivering exemplary service and implementing innovative solutions that enable City Colleges to attract, retain, develop and reward a diverse workforce and empower employees to support City Colleges' vision.


Reporting directly to the Chief Talent Officer, the Executive Director – Health & Benefits is responsible for the administration of all employee benefits for City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). The position serves as a strategic partner in determining City Colleges’ competitive position in employee benefits, develops cost control procedures to assure maximum coverage at the least possible cost to the organization and employee, and is responsible for all leave management and SURS/Retirement processes. Performs related duties as required.

The Executive Director – Health & Benefits manages and directs the operations of the Benefits Office, with primary accountability for key aspects to include:

  • Administering CCC’s robust benefit programs, ensuring eligible employees and retirees understand and access the benefits available to them;
  • Administering leaves of absence programs and ensuring compliance with policies;
  • Advising CCC leadership of changes in the benefits market and strategies to ensure CCC offerings remain competitive and in compliance with state and federal laws;
  • Liaising with SURS and third-party benefits providers to ensure accurate and timely processing of transactions;
  • Ensuring accuracy of benefit records and contributing to the continual improvements/enhancement to benefit programs to attract and retain talent.


  • Administers CCC’s health and welfare benefit programs such as medical, vision and dental plans, and other voluntary benefit plans offered to eligible employees, retirees, and surviving spouses, ensuring that programs are executed within plan design and in compliance with state and federal regulatory laws and CCC policies.
  • Supervises Benefits staff engaged in providing customer service, assisting with inquiries and providing information related to benefits, retirement (State University Retirement System/SURS) and leave policies.
  • Establishes and documents procedures to ensure the accurate and timely processing of transactions within the Benefits Office; implements business processes that leverage available technology to improve processing of transactions and operations.
  • Manages day-to-day activities in the Benefits Office. Oversees enrollments, terminations to plans, monthly premium payments, and responds to inquiries and complaints. Ensures quick, equitable and courteous resolution of problems.
  • Manages all leave management processes for City Colleges of Chicago. Ensures that all CBAs are followed and appropriate documentation is secured.
  • Responsible for SURS / Retirement processes for City Colleges of Chicago. Works as liaison between CCC and SURS.
  • Evaluates and compares existing company benefits with those of other employers by analyzing other plans, participating in and conducting surveys, and utilizing other resources. Analyzes results of surveys and develops specific recommendations for review by management.
  • Working with key stakeholders, conducts research and analysis of industry trends, employee surveys and workplace best practices, and develops specifications for new plans or modifies existing plans that are competitive, compliant, meet employee needs and support organizational goals.
  • Prepares Request-for-Proposals to solicit potential benefit providers. Develops census data and solicits insurance companies for quotations. Evaluates vendors and participates in the selection and implementation of providers. Develops company cost information for new plans and makes recommendations to management concerning sharing of cost between employer and employee. Negotiates health benefits contract renewals by selecting carriers for benefit plans.
  • Develops constructive and effective working relationships with plan administrators, consultants, and vendors. Monitors and evaluates plan administration by third party vendors to ensure quality service delivery, fulfilment of contractual obligations and prompt resolution of problems.
  • Plans and conducts annual open enrollment at City Colleges of Chicago district-wide. Ensures that employees can change their health insurance plans; provides written material on health plans to all employees; develops and delivers benefits open enrollment presentations and workshops with staff at all campuses (district-wide), providing information, responding to inquiries, and ensuring employees understand CCC’s benefits offerings.
  • Develops and presents informational materials on CCC’s benefits programs for new employee orientation and open enrollment, ensuring employees understand CCC’s full range of benefits programs and offerings.
  • Prepares and executes, with legal consultation, benefit documentation such as original and amended plan texts, benefit agreements and insurance policies. Instructs administrative agencies outside CCC to effect changes in benefit program. Ensures prompt and accurate compliance.
  • Prepares and analyzes benefit plan utilization and financial reports. Ensures that Benefits revenues/expenditures are tracked on a monthly and annual basis. Provides recommendations to the Chief Talent Officer, Chancellor and the Board of Trustees regarding benefits costs as they relate to union negotiations, new benefit plans, renewals and the need for outside consultants.
  • Assists in the development of company bargaining proposals for employee benefits and analyzes union benefit demands. Provides census data for the preparation of cost data for CCC and union proposals and final settlements.
  • Maintains policy and plan documents, ensuring compliance with all benefits policies and plan documents as well as benefits related federal and state regulations such as HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA, FFCRA etc. Develops standard operating procedures and recommends and implements process improvements.
  • Actively works with City of Chicago and sister agencies to keep informed, support and work together on joint requests for proposals.
  • Continually and proactively keeps Chief Talent Officer apprised of any issues or concerns.
  • Ensures the implementation of new or updated benefit plan designs by working collaboratively with the Office of Information Technology, the Payroll Department and plan administrators.
  • Coordinates periodic workshops on new and existing benefit plans, retirement plans and savings/investment plans.
  • Adheres to CCC Customer Service Excellence standards.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Reports To Chief Talent Officer

Direct Supervision Benefits Specialists, Benefits Analyst, Benefits Manager

Qualifications :

  • Bachelors’ Degree from an accredited college or university in Human Resources, Business Administration, Accounting, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Eight years of progressively responsible benefits experience administering and participating in implementing benefits programs.
  • 3-5 years of experience working with a pension plan. State University Retirement System/SURS experience preferred.
  • Five years of management experience leading benefits teams.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing plan materials and interpreting and negotiating benefits contracts.
  • Proven quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Knowledge of HRIS and benefits administration systems.
  • Knowledge of benefits regulations such as HIPAA, ERISA and COBRA.
  • Knowledge of best practices for benefits communications.
  • Strong management and organizational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communications and presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to build and sustain key relationships with all levels of the organization.
  • Knowledge of labor and benefit laws including but not limited to ERISA, FMLA, and COBRA.
  • Ability to work in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Ability to handle all situations with tact, persuasiveness, and diplomacy.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).

Chicago residency is required for all full-time employees within six (6) months of hire.

We are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

Thank you for your interest in City Colleges of Chicago!

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