Meet Our Team at Lake Norman Benefits
David C. Contorno, Agency President
David C. Contorno is President of Lake Norman Benefits. David is a native New Yorker and entered this field at the young age of 14 doing marketing for a major life insurance company. His customer focus, passion for his work, technology experience and performance plunged David into what would become a career of success.During his 19 years in the insurance business, David has engaged in providing group insurance in various types of markets and industries ranging from manufacturing companies to privately held investment management companies. He has received numerous levels of recognition. To name a few: In 2004, he received a broker spotlight and was recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield as an outstanding broker of service and in 2005 through 2014, United Healthcare honored him with the Echelon Award reserved for the top 1% of agents nationally. David is a licensed agent in multiple states.
David serves on the Board of Directors for Healthreach Community Clinic. He also serves on the NC Insurance Commissioners Life and Health Agent Advisory Committee, as well as participating in the Technical Advisory Group that helped with the Market Reforms required under the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina. He is an active member in the Lake Norman and Moorseville-South Iredell Chambers of Commerce, and is also a member of the National, North Carolina, New York and Long Island Associations of Health Underwriters. In addition, he enjoys being a part of Rotary International, part of the membership drive for the United Way, assisting the local Habitat for Humanity Chapter, The Dove House Child Advocacy Center and participating in networking functions.
David’s background and visionary experience reflects his commitment to offer the finest access to affordable group benefits to all types of employer groups. When he is not working he enjoys boating, traveling, and being with his wife and their two children, Hannah and Ethan.
Joe Cacciatore, Director of Sales
Joe Cacciatore is originally from Long Island, NY and graduated from Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY) with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology.While working his way through college as a personal fitness trainer, Joe learned the value of client relationships and the importance of knowledge and expertise in your profession.Joe began his career in insurance April of 2002 with UnumProvident (now UNUM),a Fortune 500 life, accident, and health insurance company. His corporate training started with individual insurance policies and he quickly moved into group sales, working with consultants and employers in the 10 – 2,000 lives market. One of those consultants was David C. Contorno, CEO of Lake Norman Benefits (formerly Contorno & Company, Inc.)
In 2006, Joe formed JMC Benefits, Inc., operating out of Patterson, New York and built a loyal client base that is still with him to this day.
Joe was offered and happily accepted the opportunity to join the team at Lake Norman Benefits in January 2013 and has since relocated to North Carolina along with his wife Lisa, and two daughters Sydney and Ciara.
Heather Contorno, Director of Services and Administration
Heather Contorno is originally from Long Island, NY. She attended the State University of New York. Upon graduation Heather was employed at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network for eight years where she started as a receptionist and escalated to manager of the policy owner service department. This department was responsible for maintaining relationships with clients whose agents had left the firm.Heather and David Contorno married in 2007 and were blessed with the births of their daughter Hannah in 2009 and son Ethan in 2011.
In her spare time Heather enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Jada Cannon, Director of Finance
Jada Cannon is originally from Hickory, NC. She attended Lenoir Rhyne College where she graduated Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. She then went on to successfully pass the North Carolina Certified Public Accountants exam and is a licensed CPA for the state of North Carolina.
Her back ground includes 25 years as the controller for Carolina Construction Company, a family owned business. Her duties included all accounting and financial reporting, human resources and employee benefit management.
She joined the Lake Norman Benefits team in June 2014 where she oversees all accounting functions and financial reporting. She enjoys reading, the sun, water activities and most importantly spending time with her daughter Macy.
Beth Cusimano, Assistant to the President
Beth Cusimano is originally from Jamestown, New York. She attended Jamestown Community College and went right into the Banking world as a Commercial Teller for Chase Lincoln First. In 1992, the career move was to be a stay at home mom for her daughter Alexandria and four years later her daughter Madison. In 2005, Beth wanted to start back into the work force. She started as a substitute teacher for her daughter’s school system and also retail sales where she became manager within a year. Needing more opportunity in her career path, Beth went on to working at Lowe’s Home Improvement and later, the ideal career opportunity came along – being an Executive Assistant to Agency President for Lake Norman Benefits, Inc.
In her spare time she loves cooking and spending time with her Fiancé, daughters, stepsons and family.
Audrey Cremasco, Health Claims Advocate
Audrey was born and raised in Connecticut. She went to work for CIGNA right out of high school as a processor for medical and disability claims and has now been involved in claims for over 34 years. She has worked in a hospital setting as a medical biller and as a supervisor in the billing department. In addition, she worked as a billing/coding specialist and as a business office coordinator for an outpatient endoscopy center.
In February of 2012, Audrey and her husband, Rick, decided they had seen enough of the Connecticut winters and moved to Mooresville, North Carolina. In her spare time, Audrey enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and spending time outdoors with her husband and their two dogs, Bella & Faith. She loves to watch UConn Huskies basketball (both men’s and women’s teams). She has two grown stepchildren that live in Mooresville. She also has 2 granddaughters and 3 grandsons!
Laura O’Dea, Retirement & Executive Benefit Specialist
Laura is originally from Lexington, Kentucky and moved to North Carolina in 1998 to accept a position with Pacific Life Insurance Company as a Regional Vice President for North and South Carolina. Laura has spent 25+ years in the financial services industry working for national life insurance companies focusing in the advanced planning area. In her role, she has worked closely with financial planners and their clients to design and implement creative strategies to achieve their financial goals. In 2013 she decided to focus her career in the financial planning and retirement areas and recently completed a 2-year program at Queens University in Charlotte to become a Certified Financial Planner, CFP®. She brings both practical experience and technical knowledge to assist clients in designing plans that complement the traditional benefits in the workplace and provides a comprehensive planning strategy to business owners. Laura and her husband, Ken live in Charlotte and are avid Kentucky Wildcat Fans.
Teresa Gutierrez, Account Executive
Teresa C. Gutierrez is a certified Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). Teri brings over 25 years of experience in group health, self-funding, disability, life, and voluntary benefits for mid-size businesses. Her professional achievements include two Seabury & Smith Director’s Council National Awards.
Teri was appointed to represent all North Carolina health insurance agents and brokers on the North Carolina Health Benefit Exchange and Insurance Oversight Workgroup and sub-group on NC Navigators as mandated in the PPACA law. She has served as North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters (NCAHU) State President and State legislative chair.
Over the last seven years, Teri has been active in advocating for sensible healthcare reform during visits to Washington DC meeting with members of congress concerning and their staff on issues impacting North Carolina consumers and employers. She participated in the US Chamber of Commerce event on health reform in Washington DC.
Teri graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Business Administration with honors Magna Cum Laude from Barton College, NC.
Michelle Satterley, Senior Partner Relationship Manager
Michelle Satterley, Senior Partner Relationship Manager for Lake Norman Benefits,started in the business in 1997 as an Administrative Assistant and realized that this industry was her true passion. Now, with over 14 years of experience helping clients manage their health insurance and employee benefits, she is continually looking to help people navigate the complicated health insurance world.
Michelle is married to a loving supportive husband and has 2 small children. Her career traits carry over to her personal life. Her favorite quote is “The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do – but do it well”. Michelle has continued her education with necessary courses to do her job professionally. She is very proud of all the computer applications she has learned over the years in the industry. Her biggest accomplishment was obtaining the New York State Health Insurance Broker License. After receiving her license Michelle flourished as an excellent Customer Service Manager.
Emerald Small, Partner Relationship Manager
While on the track to becoming an RN, Emerald found her real passion for helping people was more on the administrative side than the clinical side of the industry. After 8 years experience working in various doctors’ offices and the emergency room, she was led to the insurance industry. In November 2008 she received her health, life, property & casualty insurance licenses in the state of North Carolina. Emerald worked with State Farm Insurance as a Sales/Account Manager in all aspects of the industry including underwriting, explaining benefits, processing claims and reviewing coverages. She happily joined our team last year to incorporate her knowledge and experience with our steadily growing company. Emerald is originally from Philadelphia but has called Mooresville, NC home since 2010. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, photography, writing, and taking her kayak out on the lake. Her favorite phrase is “Esse Quam Videri” which in Latin means “To be, rather than to seem”. Although this saying meant a lot to her prior to moving south, it hit a new level once she learned this phrase was the motto for North Carolina and is written on the state seal.
Danita Morrison, Partner Relationship Manager
Danita is a lifetime resident of North Carolina. Although she moved all over the state as a child, she calls Lincolnton her current home. Danita has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Wingate University. It is her love of people that brought her to the customer service side of insurance in 2006. Danita enjoys reading, watching sports and spending her spare time with her husband Tracy and daughter Andrea. She loves being involved in her church and loves outings with her friends.
Lauren Sullivan, Partner Relationship Manager
Joan Brady, Benefit Administration Systems Specialist
Joan is a North Carolina native. She has over 30 years of experience in administration and accounting. It is her love of numbers that brought her to Lake Norman Benefits as an Excel Specialist. She is currently working as our Employee Navigator specialist. Joan enjoys spending time with her husband, Alan, and her two grown children, Patrick and Jennifer, as well as her two granddogs, Duke and Pumpkin. She also enjoys camping and working puzzles.
Candace Lovett, Benefit Administration System Specialist
Candace is originally from Hot Springs AR, but has called North Carolina home since 1984. She’s moved around the state several times but is happy to have called Mooresville home for the past 11 years. Candace has had along and diverse career in customer service, banking and Home and Auto Insurance, where she’s worked for companies such as American Express, Bank of America and MetLife. After taking several years off to raise her kids, she is excited to join the benefit side of insurance. She is passionate about helping people and will always bring a smile to your face. People always tell her: “it’s hard to have a bad day with Candace around”. When not working, Candace can be found around the area soccer fields with her husband of 25 years, watching her youngest daughter play soccer, or on the lake enjoying the sun and water. Candace also has an older daughter studying Exercise Physiology at East Carolina University who one day aspires to be a Physical Therapist.
Judy Brooks, Eligibility Specialist
Judy grew up in Charlotte and has always lived in the surrounding area. She graduated from Kings College and was employed at a real estate company. She then became a stay at home mom, eventually, to three children. As her children grew older, she went back into the workforce as a real estate appraiser. After years of running her own appraisal company, she decided she no longer wanted the responsibility of “doing it all” and then went into banking for several years. When the opportunity to join Lake Norman Benefits became available, she was happy to do so, and has been with us for over three years. She is now our Eligibility Specialist, which is a great support to our Partner Relationship Managers. Her duties include managing our enrollments and terminations and making sure they are handled promptly and efficiently.
In her spare time, Judy enjoys reading, walking, and spending time with her family, which includes three grandchildren.
Madelin Collado, Installation Specialist
Madelin Collado joined the Lake Norman Benefits team in March 2016 as a receptionist and was promoted to Installation Specialist in August 2016. She has Accounts Receivables, Customer Service and Collections background in the Money transfer and Utility industry. Madelin is fluently bilingual (Spanish & English) and will be available as an interpreter when needed.
She is very friendly and courteous. In her time off she enjoys spending time with her significant other and her three children. She loves swimming, have get together with friends and family and absolutely loves to help others in need.