Meet the Collective: Marianne Holt, Director of Benefits Innovation



Meet the Collective is our series highlighting the great people who make up Collective Health. Today, we’re sitting down with Marianne Holt, our Director of Benefits Innovation.

Where are you from?

I bounced around a lot when I was younger, so it’s sometimes difficult to say! But the majority of my years growing up were spent in the Bay Area. I now live in the Portland area.

What happened in your career that led you to Collective Health?

I’ve been in the benefits world running benefit teams and programs for companies for almost 20 years. I got introduced to Collective Health about five years ago as a customer. When I heard Ali and Rajaie’s story, I was immediately so excited about what they had built and were trying to do with respect to transforming and revolutionizing health insurance. I implemented Collective Health at that company and was able to see the impact it had on not only members but also on myself and my team as benefits professionals.

The fact that Collective was able to simplify how we administered benefits programs in addition to providing data and insights impacted the way that we were able to strategize on our programs and helped us gain credibility within the business. And so, as I was looking for my next professional opportunity, I kept thinking about my meeting with Ali and Rajaie years ago. I’m so passionate about what Collective Health is doing and such a believer in the change we are trying to bring about in the health insurance world, so I decided to reach out to Ali and here I am!

What excites you most about where Collective Health is going?

So many things! Collective Health is just getting started. More and more companies are catching on, and it really is changing the way that people are experiencing health insurance.

Health insurance is one of those complicated beasts that people never fully truly understand. It’s always such a burden to try to navigate. And so, I think what Collective is doing is incredible in the sense that it’s really transforming that employee experience and contributing to workplace culture. Because if it’s a good employee experience, it’s going to lead into that employee culture at a company. It brings all of the benefit programs together — kind of one-stop shop where you can connect all of your benefit programs, which makes it easy to use.

The platform is also really helping benefit professionals gain credibility as true business partners. It enables an all-in-one benefits dashboard, giving benefits professionals the kind of real-time insights they haven’t had before. I’m just really excited to see the impact it’s going to be able to have as more and more companies bring it on to their platform.

What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?

Always take time for yourself. I think it’s really important to get into the practice of taking time for yourself so that you can bring your best self to work and do great work.

And it’s not just for yourself, but it’s also for your teams. I’m always hypersensitive to making sure the people around me are also taking time for themselves so that they are living balanced lives.

What’s your favorite thing to do?

Travel is at the top of my list. I’ve been doing lots of travel to the Middle East, to South America, to Europe. I usually try to get to untapped destinations before they’re filled with tons of tourists. I try to take at least one or two big trips a year. Next on my list is to go on a safari.

On the athletic side, I’m a big runner. I got into Ragnar races, which are team relay races that cover 200+ miles over 32 to 36 hours. I just recently did the Hood to Coast relay.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and how does that inform what you do today?

As a kid, I loved the show “The X-Files” and really, really wanted to be an FBI agent. But as I learned more about what that actually constituted, that idea kind of fizzled out. I’m not quite sure how it impacts or kind of led to what I do today, but maybe my investigative nature led me to searching for a better way to manage benefits.

Do you have any irrational fears?

I have a fear of elevators. Every time I’m in an elevator, I have this fear that it’s going to drop.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Re-set, re-adjust, re-start, re-focus. As many times as you need to.”

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