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Protecting what matters most

The Murray Group Client Portal

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Our Mission & Vision

Mission: 

To protect what matters most to our clients by eliminating barriers and providing guidance to ensure that our clients accomplish their goals for their business, employees, and communities.  


Vision: 

To be the leading insurance brokerage and benefits consulting firm in the region while serving our clients at the highest level. 

Our Values

TRUST – Making choices that foster confidence in our promise to always do the right thing for our clients, their employees and their families.

SERVICE – Finding a way to say “yes”, and taking advantage of opportunities to do more than is expected whenever possible.

KNOWLEDGE – Constantly seeking and providing information and tools that bring value to our clients.

RELATIONSHIP – Providing the talent, time and treasure necessary so our people are present, connected and sympathetic to the needs of our clients, their employees and their families.

Our History

Founded in
2004.

The Story of The Murray Group

The Murray Group is a full-service health and welfare benefits consulting firm. We provide benefits consulting to many public and private employers in the Northwest, mainly focused in the state of Idaho. We are locally owned by our President and CEO Chad Murray, are headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, and also have an office in Boise.   

Prior to the formation of The Murray Group, we were Helbling Benefits Consulting from 2004 through March of 2017. We pride ourselves on our role as a leading insurance brokerage and benefits consulting firm in the region, which we have maintained while staying locally grounded and independently owned.

Helbling Benefits Consulting / The Murray Group evolution:

  • March 2004 Greg Helbling purchased the group benefit business from Harris Dean Insurance. Thus began the formation of Helbling Benefits Consulting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. 
  • August 2006 Chad Murray joins HBC.
  • July 2009 Chad Murray becomes a partner in HBC.
  • October 2014 Chad Murray becomes President of HBC by purchasing 100% of the company from business partner Greg Helbling.
  • January 2016 HBC opens a Boise, Idaho office.
  • April 2017 Helbling Benefits Consulting became the Murray Group with Chad Murray continuing as CEO & President. 

The staff at The Murray Group have been involved in all facets of the industry. We use our multifaceted experience with insurance carriers in sales & marketing, in-house legal counsel, data analysis and underwriting, information technology, human resources, wellness, and independent insurance consultancy to do our best on behalf of our clients.


The
Murray
Group

Meet The Team

Chad Murray

Chad Murray

President & Consultant

Chad Murray is the President and Benefits Consultant of The Murray Group. Chad first joined the firm in 2006. Prior to joining, he worked with a large national insurance carrier for over seven years, gaining leadership experience and finding ways to streamline insurance processes to better serve clients’ needs. As a benefits consultant, his specialties are large group accounts, self-funding arrangements, and renewal negotiations. As a managing partner for the agency, he is passionate about maintaining an exceptional team which shares his focus on service and locally grounded expertise.

Chad and his wife Colette live in Coeur d’Alene with their two children, Kate and Ben. He serves on the TESH Inc. Board of Directors and on the Kootenai Health Foundation Board of Directors, and works with Leadership Coeur d’Alene to help introduce area citizens to local institutions and issues relevant to the community.

Education & Recognition

  • University of Idaho Bachelors of Science Degree
  • GBDS Certification
  • PPACA Certification
  • Idaho and Washington State Life and Disability Licenses
Nellie Armstrong

Nellie Armstrong

VP of Client Services

Nellie provides service to the firm’s largest clients. She is experienced with complex accounts and serves our account managers in an advisory role. Nellie has expertise in claims resolution, proposal and vendor management and complex carrier conversions. She has served as a project manager on multiple vendor implementations and system conversions, and successfully developed customized reporting packages for our largest clients. 

Nellie was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene. She has a wonderful husband, David, and two children, Elijah and Sofia, and enjoys traveling with her family.  Nellie volunteers with North Idaho Young Life and is involved with the River City Leadership Academy, helping young community leaders in Post Falls learn more about the area and providing them with personal development opportunities. She was also the Soroptimist 2012 Volunteer of the Year.  

Mark Woodworth

Mark Woodworth

Benefits Consultant

As a seasoned consultant with over 20 years of experience in the employee benefits market, Mark provides comprehensive insurance knowledge and extensive negotiating experience to the clients he serves.

Prior to joining TMG, Mark worked for over five years as a Senior Sales Executive with Regence BlueShield, seven years with a federally recognized and self-funded Association Health Plan and four years with Northwestern Mutual Life.  With his broad knowledge of carrier processes, he brings a full spectrum of experience and accountability to his work at The Murray Group.

Mark and his wife, along with their three children, enjoy calling North Idaho home. He is intimately involved in the community and understands the value of giving back. He currently serves on the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, is Chair of the North Idaho Young Life Committee, and leads his church middle school and senior high youth group at Hayden Community Church. 

Education & Certification

  • Registered Health Underwriter
  • Member Idaho Association of Health Underwriters
  • Member National Association of Health Underwriters
  • Self-Funding and ACA Certified through NAHU
  • River City Leadership Academy Graduate



Beth Edwards

Beth Edwards

Account Manager / Retiree & Medicare Specialist

With over 18 years of experience in the insurance industry, Beth brings knowledge and practical expertise to the work she does with our clients and their employees. She manages The Murray Group’s small clients, handling any client with under 50 employees.

Prior to joining The Murray Group, Beth invested ten years working for Group Health as a claims and customer service supervisor. Her knowledge of the inner workings of insurance carriers allows her to advocate effectively on behalf of our clients and their employees. Beth is a strong voice for members when navigating complex claim denials and appeals. She offers additional value to our clients with her knowledge of Medicare options. 

Beth lives in the Hayden area and is married with 2 adult children. She is involved with the North Idaho Association of Health Underwriters, particularly with their annual Christmas charity work, and also works with the Kootenai Health Foundation.

Certification

  • 2010 River City Leadership Academy Graduate
  • Idaho State Life and Disability Licenses Medicare CMS Certified 
Brandon Simon

Brandon Simon

Benefits Consultant

Brandon has been in the Employee Benefits field for nearly two decades.  In that time, he has gained valuable experience, insight and knowledge through his many roles at Micron Technology, Blue Cross of Idaho and as a Benefits Consultant with The Murray Group. He knows that each employer has unique needs, and excels at helping employers create and implement employee benefits strategies that best fit their goals.

Brandon helps HR and senior management teams navigate budgets, develop long-term cost containment strategies, optimize employee attraction/retention, ensure compliance and simplify benefits plan administration. 

Brandon lives in Hayden with his wife, Nicole, and two sons, Nathan and Collin.  Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family in the outdoors and at school and community events. He coaches youth soccer and basketball, serves on the board of the North Idaho Association of Health Underwriters, and is involved in local Chamber of Commerce organizations.

 Education & Certification 

  • Boise State University Bachelor of Science Degree 
Dave Larsen

Dave Larsen

ERISA Attorney & Legal Counsel

Dave’s passion for providing responsive and strategic solutions makes him a trusted, reliable adviser for our clients. Located in Boise, he comes with a deep knowledge and experience in employee benefits and employment law. He has represented many employee benefit plans trusts, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers with a focus on self-funded health plans. Dave’s previous background as an HR Professional for a Fortune 500 company and Benefits Consultant has equipped him with an extensive understanding of the world of employee benefits.

He has provided employment counsel to some of the largest and most diverse employers, which are routinely engaged in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, reductions in force, and other business activities that result in complex employment-related issues. In addition to Employment Law and Employee Benefits/ERISA, he specializes in Business Law and Commercial Litigation.

 Education: J.D., Brigham Young University Law School; 1997, with high honors B.S., Brigham Young University; 1994, with high honors

 Service Role:

As the ERISA Attorney and Legal Counsel for The Murray Group, Dave works closely with the benefit consultants and account managers to address complex health plan compliance or employment law questions as they arise. He also provides annual on-site compliance support as needed as well as provide his expertise to TMG clients in the following areas:

  • Regulations for: ERISA, PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA, ADA, IRS & DOL
  • FLSA, NLRA, ADA, FMLA, ADEA, Title VII, ERISA and EEOC
  • Stop-loss arrangements and contracts
  • TPA/vendor duties & arrangements
  • Required reporting to Federal and State agencies
  • Subrogation
  • Plan documents, SPDs, SMMs, and required notices
  • Non-compete, anti-piracy, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements
  • Employment & severance agreements
  • Executive agreements, compensation and deferred compensation
  • Employee handbooks, personnel actions, internal investigations, discrimination, and corporate compliance 
Kelly Berdar

Kelly Berdar

Account Manager

Kelly has over 20 years of experience working in the insurance industry, and has focused on group benefits for over a decade. Her diverse experiences working around Washington and Idaho provide her with multifaceted, grounded knowledge of the insurance field and a strong understanding of systems and their implementation. She brings this knowledge to bear by navigating sensitive, complex and confidential issues with care, allowing her to provide superior customer service to group administrators and the employees of TMG clients.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys working around her house, in the yard and on craft projects. She loves riding her motorcycle, and participates in local events like the Ride for Life and the Spokane C.O.P.S. Charity Ride. Kelly is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 486 in Coeur d’Alene, and of the North Idaho Association of Health Underwriters.

Certification

  • Idaho Life and Disability Producer License
  • Washington Life and Disability Producer License 
Greg Helbling

Greg Helbling

Benefits Consultant

As the Founder of Helbling Benefits Consulting, Greg brings 30 years of consulting experience to The Murray Group organization.

Greg has extensive background in carrier negotiations and decades of experience dealing with health care issues on the local and national levels.  He also serves as an advisory counsel to carriers and is a trusted resource for community leaders in health care. Greg is passionate about staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  When he is not training for Ironman, he enjoys spending time with his wife and his four kids, Brett, Brandon, Noah and KC. Greg is also certainly enjoying his new-found role as a Grandfather. He is deeply involved in the local community, serving on the Advisory Board of the local Salvation Army KROC Center in Coeur d’Alene and as a board member of The Village at Orchard Ridge. He also volunteers with North Idaho Young Life and the Coeur d’Alene Rotary.

Education & Certification

  • University of Idaho Bachelor of Science Degree
  • NIAHU and IAHU Member
  • 2013 Business of the Year Recipient
  • Life, Health and Disability Producer
Charity Brown

Charity Brown

Benefits Specialist

With over 10 years of experience in the insurance industry, Charity is committed to providing friendly and reliable customer service to our small group and individual clients.

Prior to joining The Murray Group in 2012, Charity invested 7 years working for NWMedstar/INHS as a Medical Billing Specialist and Patient Advocate. Her knowledge of the inner workings of how and when insurance claims pay, makes her an effective advocate for our small groups and their employees. Her problem-solving skills ensure that she quickly gets to the heart of claims issues, resolving problems to the satisfaction of our clients.

Charity is married, lives just outside of Farragut State Park and is passionate about outdoor activities, serving on the Coeur d’Alene Snowmobile Club and North Idaho ATV Club Committees. She also works with Kootenai County Search and Rescue, and the local Crisis Center for Women and Children.

Nancy Nelson

Nancy Nelson

Account Manager

Understanding our clients' needs is Nancy’s strength, and she works hard to offer the highest level of professionalism and customer service. At The Murray Group, Nancy serves as the account manager for 17 large employers, including 7 public entities. 

Nancy is a lifelong Idaho resident and when not following her son, Reid, to his many sports activities, she enjoys running, fly fishing and exploring beautiful North Idaho. She is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters, and serves as a member of the Coeur d’Alene School District’s Long Range Planning Committee. 

Education & Certification

  • University of Idaho Bachelor of Science Degree
  • Dale Carnegie Graduate 
  •  Idaho Life and Disability Producer License 
Rebecca Tristan

Rebecca Tristan

Account Manager

Rebecca is the Account Manager of The Murray Group’s Boise office, and serves our Southern Idaho book of business. Rebecca spent 16 years with a third-party health insurance payer based in Meridian. In that role, Rebecca advanced to head of the Student Business Unit, where she was responsible for the administration of health, accident and injury coverage for over 25,000 students from 24 separate university systems.

In addition to her extensive experience in large health plan account management, Rebecca offers TMG clients her expertise in plan design, vendor management, reporting and benchmarking, claim resolution, funding arrangements and implementation of new products and services. 

Privately, she also provides leadership and oversight of the preschool child care ministry at Capital Christian Center and has assisted in this role for over 17 years.

Education & Certification

  • Boise State University Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Boise State University, Minor in Spanish
Natalie Eckstein

Natalie Eckstein

Benefits Specialist

To our clients and their employees, Natalie’s commitment to providing friendly and prompt customer service makes her indispensable. And to her coworkers, her dedication to effective communication and her experience with our tools and technology position her as a valued team member. Natalie also drives the development of employee benefits communications and benefit enrollment solutions. She is dedicated to creating efficiency for our clients by delivering resources and solutions to meet their needs.  

When she’s not working, Natalie is usually chasing her active husband and two kids on a hike or bike ride. She is passionate about spending time with her family and exploring the outdoors in North Idaho.  Natalie volunteers with North Idaho Young Life, the Christian Center School, and the Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Thrift Store. She also works with the Heritage Health community clinic and Open Arms.

Sam Layson

Sam Layson

Benefits Specialist

Sam comes to us with 5 years of management experience and over 10 years of customer service experience. She studied accounting at Boise State and Lewis Clark State College. 

Sam was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son and can typically be found hiking or playing outdoors. Sam loves to play and watch sports and has previously coached club volleyball.

Kaia Barnes

Kaia Barnes

Benefits Specialist

Kaia’s 18 years of experience in customer service enable her to quickly find solutions for a wide array of issues. She came to The Murray Group with over seven years of experience with Regence as a Customer Service Specialist, and is dedicated to serving as an excellent partner for our clients and their employees.

Kaia is especially effective at explaining complex insurance concepts in a straightforward and simple way to employees who have questions about claims and carrier notices.

Kaia was born and raised in North Idaho, she enjoys cheering on the Vandals, being outdoors and keeping up with her two young daughters.  She serves as a Girl Scout Leader and as a sponsor for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Education & Certification

  • University of Idaho Bachelor of Science Degree
  • Idaho Life and Disability Producer License
Holly Bruner

Holly Bruner

COBRA Specialist

Holly Bruner is the lead administrator in the COBRA department at The Murray Group. She joined our team in 2010.

Prior to joining, Holly held the position of Client Service Specialist in COBRA Administration and Enrollment of FSA, HRA and HSA benefits.  She also has over 20 years of customer service experience.

Holly’s passion for providing exceptional customer service is apparent in her willingness to help employers and participants understand their rights and responsibilities under COBRA law. 

Holly has been married for 25 years and has three daughters and two grandsons. Holly’s free time is spent enjoying the outdoors with her family, friends and her German Shepherd, Drake. For years, she served as a youth group leader at the First Baptist Church of Coeur d’Alene, and has also volunteered for the Special Olympics. She stays involved locally by helping with many different community service projects and events.

Education & Certification

  • Clover Park Technical College – Customer Service Representative 
Jon Johnson

Jon Johnson

Technical Consultant

Jon has 30 years of experience in the realm of health benefits, 25 of which he spent with a large Idaho based health insurer. For 17 years, Jon managed their group retention business. At The Murray Group, he specializes in large group accounts, handling both those with standard funding arrangements and those who choose alternatives such as self-funding.

Jon lives in Meridian, Idaho. He enjoys spending time with his two grandchildren, playing golf and RVing.

Certification

  • Medicare CMS Certified
Colette Murray

Colette Murray

Technical Consultant

Colette joined The Murray Group in the fall of 2015. Prior to that, she worked for 13 years as a Senior Software Engineer at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Colette started her career working as a Technology Consultant for Accenture Consulting in Seattle, Washington.   At The Murray Group, she is a key team member in our benefits technology department, working on our benefits enrollment platform and data analytics platform. 

Colette is married to Chad and they have two children, Kate and Ben. They enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially at their family cabin in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Education

  • University of Washington Bachelor of Arts Degree

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Technical Consultant

Jonathan’s expertise in the employee benefits field has evolved since completing his MBA in 2009. Jonathan spent the two years following graduate school licensing and implementing employee benefits software to agencies across the mid-south before transitioning to use of those same technologies with our clients at The Murray Group today. 

He has been working with The Murray Group for over four years, providing technical support to many of our in-house data, benchmarking, underwriting, compliance and enrollment systems. Jonathan specializes in client technology, building and maintaining online enrollment portals, and creating compensation statements and claims analytics. His work provides a high level of transparency and detail to our clients, lending clarity and user-friendliness to complex information.

Jonathan is married to his wife, Kristin, and has two young daughters, Mia Isabella and Sophia Grace. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world, playing guitar and playing soccer. He volunteers as a youth soccer coach and serves on the Race for Grace 5K Committee. Jonathan also owns and operates family-friendly Halloween attractions in Tennessee and Texas.

Education & Certification

  • Harding University Bachelor of Arts Degree
  • Freed-Hardeman University Master of Business Administration Degree
  • Certified HealthCare Reform Specialist



Carla Redline

Carla Redline

CPA/Accountant

Carla joined The Murray Group in 2009.  Carla has 30+ years of accounting experience in various industries including public accounting, forest products, education, employee benefits and engineering.  She oversees the day-to-day accounting and financial reporting for The Murray Group.

Carla and her husband, Dan, live in Post Falls where they raised their four children, Libby, Charlie, Jackson and Sam. She serves on the St. Vincent de Paul Board of Trustees and on the Birthright of Coeur d’Alene Board of Trustees.

Education & Certification

  • University of Idaho Bachelor of Science Degree
  • Idaho Society of Certified Public Accountants 

 

Kayleen Florey

Kayleen Florey

Individual & Medicare Specialist

Kayleen serves as a Certified Medicare Specialist and assists retirees over the age of 65 with their Medicare selections. Prior to joining the Murray Group in 2016, she invested over 28 years working for Blue Cross of Idaho as a National Account Representative. With over 31 years of experience, she has extensive knowledge of the inner workings of Blue Cross of Idaho and the needs of statewide school retirees. All this is brought to bear when she provides outstanding help with membership issues and appeals for retirees that may require special attention. She also educates retirees on Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, and counsels them on how best to maximize their retirement health options.

Kayleen has lived in the Coeur d’Alene area for over 40 years with her husband Les. She is a member of the North Idaho Association of Health Underwriters and serves on the board of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

Certification

  • Idaho State Life and Disability Producer License
  • Medicare CMS Certified
  • Certified MA Agent



Adrian Washington

Adrian Washington

Underwriter & Data Analyst

Adrian provides underwriting and claims analysis services to our clients. He works closely with our consultants and account managers to track claims utilization, project future liabilities, and mine data for specific disease states within a group member base.

Adrian has 16 years of experience as an underwriter with national health and life insurance carriers such as Travelers, Cigna and AETNA, allowing him to provide excellent guidance for employers seeking ways to slow the increasing cost of providing health insurance to their employees. He handles analysis of carrier renewal calculations and claims data.

Adrian was born and raised in Spokane, WA. He and his wife, Kelsie, have four children. They love the Pacific Northwest and divide their time between Spokane and Kelsie’s family ranch in Pomeroy, WA. Adrian is a member of the North Idaho Association of Health Underwriters. He also coaches the two teams at the WA East Soccer Club, and served as a language instructor for Spanish-speaking families at La Casa de Amistad.

Education

  • University of Notre Dame Bachelor of Science Degree
Katie Huff

Katie Huff

Account Manager

Katie brings over 13 years of human resources and customer relations experience to her position as Account Manager.  Her technical expertise and creative problem-solving skills make her a particularly valuable resource to mid-size employers that may not have the resources of larger organizations.    

As the Account Manager, Katie acts as a liaison for administrators, employees and vendors.  She coordinates meetings and employee communications, including overseeing all aspects of the renewal process.  She also provides day-to-day support to our clients for billing and enrollment issues.   

Katie is a Northwest native and enjoys spending time with her husband, Alex, and their active young daughter. When not working, you will find Katie enjoying hiking, camping, photography and the great outdoors with her family.

Sara Reynders

Sara Reynders

Business Operations Manager

Sara joined The Murray Group in 2017 as the Business Operations Manager and oversees both the Coeur d’Alene and Boise offices.  In her role, Sara continually looks for ways to improve our processes and workflow, while supporting client’s needs through the account management and consulting teams.  Sara also works closely with TMG carrier and vendor partners. 

 Away from the office, Sara enjoys time with her children, cooking extraordinary meals and running.  She is passionate about traveling and speaks French and Afrikaans fluently.

Branden Campbell

Branden Campbell

Voluntary Benefits Consultant

Branden comes to The Murray Group from one of the largest voluntary benefits carriers in the country, where he managed both sales and training throughout the Northwest for over 5 years. 

Specializing in voluntary benefits, Branden understands the challenges employers face when it comes to offering a comprehensive and affordable benefits package to employees.  He believes voluntary benefits should be a part of any employer’s strategy to offer cost effective programs, while also bringing administrative savings and increased overall employee satisfaction. 

Branden holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Multnomah University in Portland Oregon.  He is married to his high school sweetheart, Katie, who stays busy with their young twin daughters. He currently serves on the local board of the Association of Health Underwriters and rotates on the board of directors for Ecola Bible College.   

Chad Murray

Chad Murray

President & Consultant

Chad Murray is the President and Benefits Consultant of The Murray Group. Chad first joined the firm in 2006. Prior to joining, he worked with a large national insurance carrier for over seven years, gaining leadership experience and finding ways to streamline insurance processes to better serve