Availity Senior Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
Russ Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Availity, a company that helps physician practices, hospitals and health plans run healthy businesses.
He leads Availity in its mission to empower health care professionals to make meaningful business improvements and build thriving organizations, by continuously extending the value of Availity's health information network with tools, technology and insights.
Prior to his appointment as CEO in March 2012, Thomas had been the company's president and Chief Operating Officer since 2008. He brings a strong background in health care technology and clinical information solutions to Availity. Formerly the CEO of Gold Standard, a drug information database and clinical knowledge solution, Thomas grew that company from a small start-up to a multi-sector leader in the health care market before selling the business to Reed Elsevier in 2006. He remained with Reed Elsevier as a senior executive in their clinical information business until 2008.
In addition to his current professional responsibilities, Thomas is active in industry and philanthropic organizations. He was a founding board member and past chairman of Hillsborough Kids, Inc., which provides oversight and resources for more than 4,000 disadvantaged children in Hillsborough County, Florida. He is active with United Way of Northeast Florida, where Availity has partnered with Ribault Middle School in the Achievers for Life Program.
Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife Claudia and their two children. He is an avid cyclist.
Chief of Staff and Head of Alliance Management
Sherry Anderson is Chief of Staff and Head of Alliance Management for Availity, where she serves as Chief of Staff to the CEO and also leads a team of alliance management professionals responsible for strategic engagement and portfolio management of Availity’s alliance partners. With 11 years’ experience in health care technology operations, she brings a significant background in strategic relationship management, technology integration and health plan implementations.
Anderson joined Availity in February 2002. She most recently served as Director of Alliance Management, where she was responsible for overseeing owner health plan relationships and driving the success of those business portfolios. During that time, Anderson was instrumental in the management of two alliance partner relationships and the launch of three additional alliance relationships resulting in significant revenue growth. Prior to her position in Alliance Management, she served in various leadership capacities within Availity’s operations.
Anderson is a graduate of the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Additionally, she holds a certificate of achievement from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. Anderson resides in Jacksonville, Fla. and is a volunteer mentor with the United Way of Northeast Florida.
SVP and Chief Revenue Officer
Jeff Chester is Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for Availity. Prior to joining Availity in 2010, Chester served as Vice President and General Manager of Sales for GE Healthcare IT Clinical Business Solutions, a $1.4 billion division of General Electric.
Chester began his health care career in 1993 with WebMD, where he was part of the original management team that merged WebMD with Healtheon, ENVOY and Medical Manager. He went on to serve as Vice President of Business Development at Next Ventures LLC, a venture capital accelerator for upstart health care technology companies. Additionally, he has served as Vice President of Strategic Account Development for Groupcast, a division of IDX Systems Corporation.
In 2002, Jeff joined IDX Systems Corporation as the Regional Sales Director for IDX Groupcast and was promoted to Groupcast's Vice President of Strategic Account Development in 2005. He was then assigned to lead the IDX/GE integration for sales, which led to his role as a Vice President and General Manager of Sales at GE Healthcare IT Clinical Business Solutions.
Chester graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife and two daughters.
SVP and Chief Technology Officer
Trent Gavazzi is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Availity, managing all aspects of the company's technology, health plan operations, and platform solutions.
Gavazzi joined Availity in July 2009 after serving as the CEO of QuickWaters Software, a startup software company providing risk management software products for C-level executives in investment banking and trading organizations. His 19 years of experience ranges from small, agile software startups, to mature corporations, where he managed large technology teams that supported sub-second transaction processing, online retail, and institutional trading technologies. He also has extensive experience with compliance and business continuity for highly regulated businesses.
Gavazzi started his career at Price Waterhouse where he consulted with the RTC savings and loan bailout, and later became a founding partner with Madison Consulting where he led major technology initiatives for several investment banking firms. Gavazzi began his career on Wall Street at Nomura Securities where he supported the equity trading, operations, and financial controllers. Gavazzi held several CIO roles for the Capital Markets Division of the Bank of Montreal, including the Harris Direct Online trading platform, which he helped migrate to E*TRADE. He was a Wall Street and Technology Gold Book Profiles in Excellence recipient in 2005 and 2006.
Gavazzi is a graduate of Buffalo State University where he received his degree in Computer Information Systems. He and his family reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
SVP of Provider Solutions
Scott Herbst is Senior Vice President of Provider Solutions, leading RealMed's and Availity's provider services groups and the partnership/vendor programs. Additionally, Herbst is responsible for overseeing the integration of RealMed and Availity.
Herbst joined RealMed in 1999 and has held various leadership roles at RealMed, including General Counsel and Senior Vice President of RealMed's National Sales and Support Team.
Prior to joining RealMed, he was employed by The CIT Group, Inc., and its predecessor, Newcourt Credit Group Inc., as the Chief Counsel of the Specialty Finance and Strategic Development units. While at Newcourt, he had the primary responsibility of drafting and negotiating the company's major vendor partnership agreements with the company's largest customers. He also was responsible for developing Newcourt's programs related to financing of software, insurance compliance, and corporate governance and licensing activities.
Herbst also has been an attorney practicing in the Merger and Acquisition area with Indianapolis-based Sommer & Barnard, PC, and Lord Bissell and Brook in Chicago.
Herbst earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Indiana University and his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law, where he was a member of the Indiana University Law Journal.
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Kathleen Hertzog is Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and brings to Availity more than 20 years of experience in marketing, business development, and sales to the company.
Prior to joining Availity in 2007, Hertzog was Director of Business Development for MEDai, an Orlando, Florida-based health care predictive modeling company. She facilitated the company's partnership efforts to establish MEDai as one of the country's premier analytical applications.
Prior to MEDai, Hertzog was a Senior Director with Optum, a business unit of UnitedHealth Group, focused on clinical applications and services. Hertzog was also Vice President of Business Development for National Processing Company (NPC), helping to create the company's health care financial services division and garnering national attention for its paperless remittance and payment solution. Before joining NPC, Hertzog held leadership positions at both Phycom, a care management solutions vendor, and ENVOY, now Emdeon.
Hertzog began her career with the real estate management firm of JMB Properties Company. She graduated cum laude from Jacksonville University with a bachelor's degree in communications.
Senior Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel
Karin Lindgren is Senior Vice President of Legal & Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel for Availity. In addition to overseeing legal, audit and regulatory functions, Lindgren serves as chief compliance officer and corporate secretary.
Prior to joining Availity in 2013, Lindgren was General Counsel for the Reed Group Ltd., a Boulder, Colo.-based cloud computing software and informatics services company. She has also previously served as a law firm partner at two firms, and as general counsel and chief compliance officer for the University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of academic medical centers.
A seasoned health care technology lawyer, Lindgren founded LindgrenLaw Group LLC in 2001 and continues to serve as managing partner. Today, the Boulder, Colo.-based practice focuses primarily on counseling emerging technology companies, investors and health care clients in cloud computing, health information exchange, informatics, electronic medical records and analytics.
Lindgren teaches in the graduate programs in medical informatics at Northwestern University and the University of Colorado. She is a frequent national speaker and published author on medical-legal issues, with multiple writing awards to her credit.
Lindgren is an active community advocate, serving on the board of directors for YWCA of Boulder County, on the board of advisors for Chico, Calif.-based technology company Sytrue and as an entrepreneurial advisor for Innovation Center of the Rockies.
Lindgren earned a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Ursinus College. She is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. She resides in Boulder, Colo. with her twin children and will be re-locating to Availity headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development
Ryan Miller is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development for Availity, where he is responsible for driving strategies for growth through core business scale and diversification. With 15 years' experience in strategy development, he brings a significant background in business development, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.
Miller joined Availity in April 2012 after serving as Staff Vice President of WellPoint, Inc., one of the nation's largest health benefit providers. While there, he led strategy development to improve provider engagement and was responsible for provider connectivity initiatives, vendor relationships, joint ventures and acquisitions. He co-founded WellPoint's provider connectivity group and led strategy development for provider portal functionality, administrative and clinical data exchange and other health information technology tools. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he spent nine years in its investment banking division.
Miller is a magna cum laude graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He resides in Indianapolis, Ind.
Mary Anne Orenchuk
Vice President, Platform Solutions and Health Plan Operations
Mary Anne Orenchuk is Vice President of Platform Solutions and Health Plan Operations, leading a team that includes health plan and partner connectivity and enterprise platform product solutions.
Orenchuk brings to Availity more than 15 years of experience in information technology and operations in both health care and the financial services industries. She was a leader of the initial team that launched Availity in 2001 with Florida Blue and Humana and later served as the executive sponsor for the Availity/THIN joint venture migration in 2006. Orenchuk has been instrumental in growing client and alliance relationships, including extending Availity's relationship with Health Care Service Corporation, WellPoint, Inc., and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Prior to joining Availity, Orenchuk was an Information Technology leader at Florida Blue. She also served in multiple product and technology leadership roles delivering office automation in retail banking at Bank of America. As Vice President in Bank of America's Information Management division, she led and consulted on organization-wide process engineering improvements and total quality management efforts.
Orenchuk holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
Kelly Heape Parsons
SVP and Chief Financial Officer
Kelly Heape Parsons is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Availity. In addition to more than 20 years' experience in finance and leadership, Parsons has extensive experience with international and high-growth companies. Her career hallmark has been in developing and driving operational, organizational and financial strategies to lead the transformation of businesses during significant inflection points in their life cycle.
Parsons joined Availity in August 2011, after serving as CFO for Mosaic Sales Solutions, a privately held marketing and merchandising company based in Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, she was CFO for Accenture HR Services, and previously had held finance leadership roles with Perot Systems. Parsons began her career at Arthur Andersen & Co., and after attaining her CPA certification, spent 10 years with PepsiCo in various financial roles in both domestic and international locations.
Parsons earned a Masters of Business Administration at Bellarmine College, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Texas A&M University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. She has completed Directorate training at the Northwestern University Kellogg Center for Executive Women.
Outside of work, Parsons supports children's education and animal rescue organizations. She has served as the Executive Director for Dallas' St. Anthony School and Community Center, an inner-city school serving at-risk youth, where she and her husband established St. Anthony's first instrumental music program. She works with the Dachshund Lovers of Texas Dachshund Rescue and is on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. She and her husband Philip, also a CFO, and their three dachshunds reside in Dallas, Texas.
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Susan Reece is Senior Vice President of Human Resources and brings to Availity 14 years of distinctive executive experience in human resources and corporate consulting, with specialized experience in performance coaching, organizational effectiveness and corporate strategic planning.
Prior to joining Availity, Susan was Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Streamlite Inc., an Atlanta-based privately held distribution company, where she created an integrated human capital strategy, designed incentives to align with strategy, and facilitated strategic planning. Prior to that, she was Founder and CEO of Dalton Spencer Consulting Inc. in Duluth, Ga., where she advised senior executives on leadership enhancement, organization effectiveness and business strategy development. Susan has also held executive roles at Unisource Worldwide Inc. and Leupold & Stevens Inc.
Susan created and co-hosted the radio show, "Simple Not Easy: Intentional Impact in a Chaotic World" and consulted on strategic planning for Rosie's Theater Kids, a project to inspire excellence and spark lifelong appreciation for the arts among children.
Reece is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist with a PhD from the University of Georgia.
She is based in Availity's corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
General Manager of Clinical Solutions
Jon Zimmerman is General Manager of Clinical Solutions for Availity and leads the strategic development, planning and delivery of clinical information exchange via the Availity® Health Information Network.
Zimmerman joined Availity in March 2011 as the company accelerated its development of clinical solutions for health care providers, health plans and information exchange partners.
Zimmerman began his career with IBM, earning numerous awards for innovation and engineering, and qualifying for the top sales honors at the company. Later, at Siemens SMS, he was instrumental in developing and operating HDX, an early leader in health care electronic data interchange. In partnership with colleagues there, Zimmerman holds a patent in Revenue Cycle Management. More recently, Zimmerman held executive management and product development roles at CareFusion, (a spin-off of Cardinal Health) and Ambulatory Solutions with Allscripts.
Zimmerman has participated on many boards of directors in the health information network industry, including the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA), eHealth Initiative; National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT), and GHX.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.