CEO and Co-Founder
Richard Wolfe co-founded Empyrean in 2006, building on his over 20 years of senior-level management expertise in HR outsourcing. Previously Empyrean’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard took over as CEO in 2011. Richard brings a wealth of expertise in business-process outsourcing, benefits administration, and systems implementation from his experience working with some of the largest firms in the industry.
Prior to founding Empyrean, Richard was Senior Director for outsourcing firm Synhrgy HR Technologies, where he provided significant business operation and product-development leadership. Synhrgy was later acquired by Mercer, where Richard served as Senior Operations Director and Principal, responsible for solution architecture and service delivery to large outsourcing clients. Richard also served as Senior Implementation Manager at Hewitt, implementing outsourcing services for large clients.
Richard has been named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist three years in a row, was recognized as one of Employee Benefit News’ Technology Innovators (2017), and was listed as one of Employee Benefit Adviser’s Top Benefit IT Power Players (2016). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance and Economics from The University of Pittsburgh.
Chief Operating Officer
Colleen Waymel has over 26 years of experience helping companies utilize outsourcing solutions to achieve strategic benefit goals. As Empyrean’s Chief Operating Officer, Colleen drives client satisfaction, supports growth and scalability, and operationalizes new products and services to better serve clients.
Before joining Empyrean in 2011, Colleen held several senior-level positions at Aon Hewitt. As Vice President, General Manager and Principal, she delivered outsourcing programs to clients across a range of industries, while helping lead an 800-person team focused on client retention and service growth. Colleen also served as North American Health and Welfare Operations Leader and Principal, where she developed and implemented best practices, measures, and delivery-model solutions to serve health and welfare-aligned clients. As Senior Client Delivery Leader and Principal, she provided implementation and project leadership to large outsourcing clients.
Colleen is a Certified Project Management Professional, and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from Trinity University.
Chief Technology Officer
Ted Sanft brings over 20 years of senior-level technology expertise to Empyrean. Ted is responsible for the design and development of all application platforms, as well as technical infrastructure and security.
Prior to joining Empyrean in 2014, Ted served as Senior Vice President of Operations and Technology for Fleet One, LLC. There, he helped the business achieve organic growth until its acquisition by WEX, Inc. Ted was also CTO for Change Healthcare, Inc., and was involved with all aspects of startups including concept, technical design, deployment, and branding. Ted was also Vice President of Network and Payment Systems at Alliance, where he planned, managed, and maintained switching capacity to support over 2.5 billion transactions per year.
Ted is involved in angel investing with a focus on healthcare and healthcare IT companies. He serves as President and Managing Partner at ParkIT Ventures, LLC, and Operating Partner at NueCura Partners, LLC.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Trey Noel is responsible for driving Empyrean’s strategic finance and accounting objectives. Trey has 25 years of financial expertise in the consumer goods, medical devices, and healthcare industries.
Prior to joining Empyrean in 2016, Trey was Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations at NextGxDx, responsible for capital raise, organizational design, development and customer operations. Trey also held senior leadership positions with McKesson for nine years. There, he managed large pharmaceutical relationships for specialty products, federal vaccine programs, hospital pharmacy management organizations, and traditional supply chain operations.
Trey is a financial entrepreneur and angel investor. He is a leadership mentor for several programs and serves on several advisor boards.
Trey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Chief HR Officer
As CHRO, Steve Campbell is responsible for developing the HR strategies, programs, and systems that support Empyrean’s solutions and services. Steve has over 30 years of HR experience with a large focus on talent management activities, including human capital planning, performance management, total rewards, and development.
Prior to joining Empyrean in 2009, Steve served as Principal and Global Talent Leader at Hewitt, overseeing talent acquisition strategy development and execution for the firm’s 4,400 associates. As Hewitt’s Principal and Global Line of Business HR Leader, Steve led the development and global delivery of talent solutions for Retirement and Health Management consulting. Steve also developed and led HR functions as Director of Human Resources for Information Consulting Group, a start-up IT consulting firm acquired by McKinsey & Company.
Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Systems Analysis from Taylor University.
Karen Bailey, JD
Karen Bailey serves as Empyrean’s Compliance Officer, focusing on ensuring all Empyrean solutions and services comply fully with the legal landscape governing health and welfare benefits. Karen’s responsibilities include HIPAA privacy and security matters, contract matters, and providing general legal and overall compliance support to Empyrean’s teams and clients. She also provides consulting services to Empyrean clients regarding health and welfare compliance matters.
Karen joined Empyrean in 2012 with over a decade of experience managing regulations surrounding health and welfare benefits. Her previous experience includes serving as General Counsel/ERISA attorney for Hewitt Associates, where she managed legal outsourcing delivery for defined contribution, defined benefits, and health and welfare practice areas. Karen also served as Health and Welfare Requirements Consultant at Hewitt and Health and Welfare Domain Manager at Aon Hewitt.
Karen holds a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award for Research Analysis, and Writing. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Paul Rafalowski is responsible for driving business growth objectives at Empyrean. Paul brings nearly 20 years of sales and executive management expertise, with a focus on growing fast paced global software companies.
Paul joined Empyrean in 2014. His previous experience includes serving as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Accruent, where he was instrumental in elevating the company to its leadership position in the retail and facility management software space. Prior to Accruent, Paul was with Intralinks in various roles and most recently Managing Director, Asia Pacific where he was a part of the executive management team.
Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Executive Vice President, Operations
Keith Wilson oversees business development and operations across all markets and through channel partner relationships. Keith has over 17 years of expertise focused on operations management across benefit administration platforms. His experience includes senior-level management of implementation, ongoing administration operations, corporate strategy, and channel partner relationship development.
Prior to joining Empyrean in 2007, Keith served as Principal and Operations Director at Mercer Human Resources Services. There he managed key service deliverables across the benefits administration practice and provided leadership across the operations team. Keith was also Senior Implementation Manager at Synhrgy HR Technologies, where he was responsible for implementing services for Health and Group administration.
Keith holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University.
Executive Vice President, Product
Jim Priebe oversees Empyrean’s product strategy and management efforts. Jim has 25 years of experience focused on developing strategy and leading successful teams within the insurance and employee benefits space, including senior-level leadership positions at leading healthcare and technology firms.
Jim served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer at Bloom Health, prior to its acquisition by Empyrean in 2016. Before joining Bloom, Jim served as Chief Growth Officer at Acclaris, where he developed strong partnerships with client executives and oversaw product, marketing, and sales for the company. Jim was also Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for UnitedHealth Group OptumHealth, and served as Executive Director for Mayo Management Services Insurance.
Jim served in the United States Army Reserves, where he earned an Army Achievement Medal for service during Operation Desert Storm. He holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Communication from Concordia University.