BRMS Executive Team

Matthew Schafer,
Chief Executive Officer

  • Matthew was co-founder of Benefit and Risk Management Services, Inc. (BRMS) and is now the sole owner. He is an authority on managed healthcare, self-insured medical plans and automated administration of employee benefit plans with over 30 years of experience administering employee benefit plans.
  • Prior to starting BRMS, Matthew founded Self Assurance Company, Inc. The company, a third party administrator (TPA), specialized in the development and administration of self-insured employee benefits. As president of the company, he oversaw management of hundreds of self-insured and fully insured programs.
  • Matthew was also one of the original founders of an Internet based/ASP model provider of HR, Benefits and Payroll administration services. He is a member of the Society of Benefit Administrators, the National Association of Life Underwriters and the Sacramento Area Health Underwriters. In 1997 he served on the Health Care Financing Administration's task force, which studied criteria for privatizing Medicare.

BRMS Executives

Paul Schafer - VP of Sales
  • Paul Schafer was named Vice President of BRMS in January 2010. He is responsible for sustaining continued sales growth nationwide through strategic business partnerships, broker channels and existing clientele. He serves on the BRMS executive committee and is a key contributor to the overall direction of the company.
  • Having spent the last 8 years working in Implementation, Client Management and Sales, Paul understands all aspects of our business and utilizes these skill sets in maintaining current relationships and acquiring new business.
  • Paul graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, Management, Marketing and Real Estate. Paul is an active member of the Society of Professional Benefits Administrators (SPBA) along with a number of other professional organizations.
Luke Schafer — VP of Sales
  • Luke Schafer was named Vice President of BRMS in January 2010. His key focus is driving the growth of the company through business development and new sales. Luke started his career at BRMS 10 years ago and, through his diverse positions within the company, has become an industry expert in employee benefits administration and technology.
  • Luke graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He attended a prestigious Sacramento High School, Jesuit High.
  • He is a member of the Society of Professional Benefits Administrators (SPBA), the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Self Insured Institute of America (SIIA), and Health Care Association of America (HCAA).
  • Luke is also an avid philanthropist sitting on the advisory committee for Hope Productions Foundation, which helps support local youth charities, and implemented Work for A Cause within BRMS.
Vanessa Pahlberg – VP of Finance and Operations
  • Vanessa is responsible for leading BRMS financial functions and future financial strategies. As VP of Finance, she directs all accounting, finance, treasury, budgeting and tax activities. She serves on the BRMS executive committee and is a key contributor to the overall strategic direction of the company.
  • Vanessa has 15 years of experience providing senior financial management for high growth international companies. Most recently she was in the International Finance Department for Home Depot in Atlanta.
  • Vanessa has a degree in Finance and International Business from Georgia State University.
DeAnn Prefling – Director of Client Administration
  • DeAnn's 17 year experience in medical and health claims processing is the backbone behind our superb customer support team. Her skills and knowledge in medical contracts, auditing, fee schedules and Medicare guidelines enforce BRMS’ exemplary standards of knowledge, accuracy and cost-savings.
  • Prior to joining BRMS, DeAnn served at Blue Shield, Health Net and another third party administrator (TPA).
  • A seasoned supervisor, DeAnn's responsibilities include overseeing Customer Support, Claim Processors, and the Eligibility Specialists.
Lisa Simpson — Director of Client Services
  • Lisa has 20+ years experience in the insurance industry including extensive experience in claims administration, eligibility, marketing, sales, and brokerage of employee benefits.
  • Lisa graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Finance and Economics. Lisa began her career in the processing of SMC claims for the state of California retirees. She is currently pursuing her CEBS credential.
Stephen Whelan - Director Of Information Technology
  • Over the course of Stephen’s 12 year career in the Health & Welfare outsourcing industry, he has had the opportunity to work with a variety of dynamic, innovative and complex clients of varying size. Much of Stephen's experience was spent with Hewitt Associates, where he worked with a multitude of fortune 500 companies, successfully delivering benefit administration system solutions. As Director of Information Technology at BRMS, Stephen is responsible for overall planning, organizing, and execution of all IT functions.
  • Stephen has a BS in International Business and minor in German from California State University, San Bernardino. Prior to university, he attended both Munich International School and Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills.
  • Stephen is a current participant and co-founder of the Lunch Bunch program. A program designed for adults in the community to mentor kids at risk, by being a positive role model and representing the opportunities created by staying in school.