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UP CLOSE: Joseph DiBella

Posted On: Oct. 19, 2008 12:00 AM CST

NEW JOB TITLE: Executive vp of the employee benefits consulting practice for Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Conner Strong Cos. Inc.

PREVIOUS POSITION: Senior vp for employee benefits and sales at Conner Strong.

GOALS FOR NEW POSITION: To build a world-class benefits consulting and brokerage operation that is unparalleled in our industry. We want to be world-class and best-in-class in everything we do for our customers. We want customers to look at us as business advisers so that they come to hear us, the advice and the counsel that we give them on benefits-related issues, knowing that the cost of employee benefits is an enormous element of the overall cost of their being in business.

CHANGES IN STORE: We are absolutely looking to raise the bar on services we provide for customers and what we expect from our consultants that handle our clients' businesses. We are reviewing all the services we are providing for our customers to ensure that we providing a one-stop level of service.

CHALLENGES FACING THE INDUSTRY: Cost is the greatest challenge. People in this economy are looking for ways to cut costs yet they don't want to diminish benefits to the point where it becomes a problem for them to attract and recruit the best talent. The challenge is finding the most economical deals for our customers. A second major challenge is the future of our industry from a regulatory standpoint. What's going to happen with who is elected president next? A third challenge is we have an epidemic, a crisis of an unhealthy population and chronic disease that continue to drive up health care costs.

FIRST EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY JOB MARKET: I was working for a Blue Cross-Blue Shield company. The industry was dramatically different. It was at the beginning of when managed care was beginning to cement itself in the industry. Now we are going through the same process with consumer-driven health care.

OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY, A DREAM JOB: This one could get me in trouble. A dream job is to be the governor of the state of New Jersey. I've always had an interest in politics.