Liazon Awarded Small Business of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 11, 2009

Liazon Awarded Small Business of the Year

(BUFFALO, NY) – On May 6th at the SBA Small Business Week Awards Luncheon held downtown, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership presented local healthcare benefits company Liazon with the Small Business of the Year award. Since 1963, the President has proclaimed a National Small Business Week to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of the country. The local awards ceremony honored the area’s top small business owners and advocates of the year for 2009.

This distinguished award reflects Liazon’s accomplishments as a new national company founded in Buffalo that is creating jobs, has developed an innovative approach to healthcare benefits, and that has partnered with local chambers and associations to align efforts with business development organizations in the region.

Liazon was founded in February 2007 by Tim Godzich and Ashok Subramanian, two Buffalo repatriates. Tim, a BS and MBA degree graduate from UB, was formerly a co-founder and Senior Vice President of Definity Health, the pioneer company to offer a consumer-driven healthcare program, later acquired by United Health Group. Tim moved back to Buffalo from Minneapolis in 2004, having led the efforts to consolidate Definity Health’s service center operations and create 750 jobs in Western New York.

Ashok, a graduate of Princeton University and MA and MBA graduate from Stanford University, was formerly an Associate Principal in the New York office of McKinsey and Company, serving as a leader in the firm’s healthcare, financial services, and private equity practices. Born and raised in Western New York, Ashok returned to the area in 2006.

As the largest business advocacy and development organization in Buffalo Niagara, the Partnership’s mission is to offer programs, products and services to help individual businesses grow and improve their bottom-line, and work to grow the regional economy by improving the business climate. Since one of the most important issues small businesses face is the affordability and availability of health insurance and other employee benefits, the Partnership has a long tradition of offering health insurance options to members.

In the past few years, the options available to small businesses have become less palatable.  Therefore, the Partnership set out to totally re-invent its benefits program to make it a more valuable offering to small businesses in the region. Through a search, the organization discovered Liazon, a new, locally-based, national benefits trendsetter who has already won awards for their innovative approach to small business benefits administration. The Partnership joined forces with Liazon to offer Bright Choices™, a program that brings small businesses the real benefits innovation demanded in challenging economic times. Liazon’s Bright Choices™ program increases benefits choices, lowers costs and makes it easy for one to buy the employee benefits they need.

“We are extremely honored to be selected for this award,” said Tim Godzich, Liazon CEO. “And we are proud of our association with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Small businesses are the life-blood of our economy and Liazon is committed to helping each one of them save money and make their employees more satisfied with the employee benefits.”

About Liazon

Liazon is benefits-innovation company headquartered in Buffalo, New York, that provides small and mid-sized businesses throughout the U.S. with a realistic way to control long-term benefits cost and empower employees to personalize and easily manage their benefits. Founded in 2007, Liazon’s goal is to transform the employer’s role through a defined contribution funding strategy for all benefits that lets them predict and control benefits costs. With Liazon, employees choose and manage all their benefits – health, retirement, disability, life and the rest – using an innovative consumer-centric system, the Bright Choices™ portal.  And Liazon handles all benefits administration, including enrollment, eligibility and carrier connectivity.

ABOUT THE BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the region’s private sector economic development organization and regional chamber of commerce, representing nearly a quarter of a million employees in the Buffalo Niagara region. The Partnership’s work has three main focuses: advocacy, business development and convening. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara.


For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at gloomis@thepartnership.org or 716-541-1736