With decades of experience in the Insurance and Financial Services industries, our accomplished leaders are committed to delighting every NEOS client and to helping propel their business into the future.
Ernst Renner started NEOS in 2000, and is responsible for the vision and direction of NEOS Holdings LLC, NEOS and Vgo Software, whose focus areas are business and IT optimization and modernization. NEOS core practice areas are business consulting, data management and strategy, and technology modernization.
Since founding the business, Ernst has grown the companies to provide a focus on holistic modernization solutions for complete business and IT transformational offerings.
Ernst’ professional background spans more than 20 years of executive management and leadership in national and international business and technology. Prior to starting NEOS, Ernst was the CIO at MeTV Networks, Inc. where he drove the company’s IT strategy and product development, while leading the company through several rounds of investment financing. Prior to MeTV, Ernst held various leadership positions at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., where he led the information architecture and technology efforts for the individual annuities, group annuities, mutual funds and life insurance business units.
Since 2000, Ernst has focused his efforts on the insurance, financial services and media industries. Ernst has worked directly with executives at all of NEOS’ clients.
Ernst is continuously recognized for his leadership. While at The Hartford, Ernst received The Hartford Insurance Groups Chairman’s Award, The President’s Award twice and The Hartford IT Excellence Award four times. He was also recognized as a Connecticut “40 under 40″ award winner for his professional accomplishments and public service. Ernst was a board member of The Connecticut Technology Council and in 2011 was selected as the Connecticut IT Forum Chairman. Due to the company’s success, The Connecticut Technology Council granted NEOS the “Business Growth” and Connecticut’s “Business to Watch” awards.
Ernst holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Eastern Connecticut State University. He has spoken on modernization topics at conferences throughout North America and Europe.
Rob has multi-disciplinary technical skills throughout enterprise architecture technologies. His business expertise includes financial services, media and pharmaceuticals where he has worked with companies such as The Hartford, Nielsen Media and Pfizer, Inc. At those companies he has worked on key projects, specializing in internet and intranet applications.
Rob leads the technology drive for the company and is the visionary behind the NEOS product set including the development of Vgo Software. Rob’s work on the Vgo product set started when he realized that a small consulting firm like NEOS needed a tool that could give them a competitive edge. His keen insight into existing patterns and intense dislike of tedious redundant work, that can be prevalent in IT shops, led to the creation of Vgo. As an in-house development aid, the tool helped NEOS win project work and keep client’s technology moving forward.
The usefulness of the tool and the cost savings led to the vision expanding to a point where Vgo would become part of the NEOS toolset. Rob led the expansion effort to turn the in-house development to into a ready-for-market development tool. As the needs of NEOS’ and Vgo’s clients changed, Rob has helped evolve the companies from purely technical solution companies to become trusted business solution providers.
Rob’s concentration has always been on practical real-world technologies and tools. He has written white papers on the realities of code re-use in Java and the benefits of Model 2 architectures in Web applications. The work that NEOS has done on Equilibrium in the past and currently on Vgo reflect that experience.
Rob holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has contributed to several technology modernization books and a sponsor of the Connecticut Java Users Group.
Rob maintains the JavaHair blog, and posts regularly on upcoming tech trends, Java, Oracle technologies, music and the occasional restaurant or good movie tip.
Carla brings over 25 years of consulting experience in the business process management, organization development and operations efficiency spaces. Since joining NEOS in 2011, Carla has established and currently leads the Business Consulting practice area. She is also responsible for internal operations, engagement delivery and execution, and client relationship management.
Before joining NEOS, Carla owned Forward Motion Coaching and Consulting, a small business focused on helping individuals and small business owners strategize, plan, and create structures for success. For InSource Consulting (now a wholly owned division of Virtusa Corporation), Carla led the Business Process Management (BPM) practice where she established the BPM methodology, trained consulting staff, and acted as a subject matter expert across BPM projects and opportunities.
Prior to InSource Consulting, Carla spent 10 years at The Hartford Insurance Group working in both the International Division and the Individual Annuity Division. As the Director of International Operations Effectiveness, Carla spearheaded global business process reengineering efforts and trained business analysts in the International BPM approach. As the Director of Organization and Employee Development, Carla was responsible for employee training, organization design, and business process improvement efforts. Carla began her career with the global consulting firm Accenture, where she focused on human performance in the financial services industry.
In 2012, Carla was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Executive of the Year Business Services category in the annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business for creating new, adaptive business processes and a predictable management structure. Carla holds a BA from the University of Connecticut and is a certified professional Executive and Leadership Coach. She is also certified to administer the MBTI personality type indicator.
As a Senior Principal at NEOS, Eric Truntz is responsible for positioning and implementing progressive technologies. Possessing a deep and diversified knowledge of the industry, he established and currently leads both the Data Science & Engineering and Emerging Technology practice areas at NEOS and is particularly passionate about enabling business users to make better decisions with high-quality and well-managed data assets.
Eric brings over 20 years of experience in IT strategy, delivery, and operations with an emphasis on data strategies and related technologies in the financial services industry. Prior to joining NEOS, Eric led successful Enterprise Digital Commerce and Mobility teams, as well as Architecture Practice teams, where he delivered strategic, business-critical digital properties and mobility assets for Mutual Funds, Global Annuity, Group Benefits, Retirement Plans, Individual Life, Property Casualty, and Corporate divisions of The Hartford.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Hartford.
Eric Fairchild joined NEOS as a Senior Principal in 2017 to lead the Project and Program Management practice area. He and his staff use modern methodologies and project management practices to design and deliver our clients’ most important and difficult change initiatives. With over 25 years’ experience in insurance, healthcare, and enterprise program management, he is passionate about leading and motivating teams, understanding and enhancing customers’ experience, and driving successful change across an organization.
Prior to joining NEOS, Eric held leadership positions at Cigna for 10 years running large program, project, and portfolio management teams, directly leading significant change initiatives and running a 400-person provider service operations organization. He also spent 15 years with Accenture running large scale change initiatives for clients in the insurance and financial services industries.
Eric is an honors graduate from Cornell University, holding both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering.
Nikki joined NEOS as Senior Vice President of Global Business Development in 2017 to amplify the NEOS brand and promote the firm’s services and solutions to new clients around the world. Chartered with showcasing NEOS’ unique value propositions and differentiators, she integrates a strong digital infrastructure with targeted content to connect clients with services that will help revolutionize their data and business strategies.
Nikki has a passion for defining NEOS’ success through the success of its clients. With over 15 years of marketing and leadership experience, she most recently served as Vice President of Marketing at Carousel Industries. Prior to Carousel, she directed global campaigns, field marketing, communications, channel, and sales training programs at EMC (now Dell EMC) and webMethods (now SoftwareAG). Nikki’s 5 years in financial services, having led teams at both Aetna Financial Services (now Voya) and The Hartford, formed the basis of her ability to drive organizations through high growth while delighting clients and delivering positive outcomes.
Nikki holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Iwona Olszewska is the practice leader of NEOS’s Global Financial Services group which serves asset and investment managers across the insurance, banking, pension funds, and mutual funds segments. She is responsible for all services to clients in these segments and for the vision, strategy, and financial performance of the group.
Prior to joining NEOS in 2018, Iwona held several senior leadership roles at SS&C Technologies. As the head of their institutional business consulting practice, she helped transform some of the world’s leading financial institutions with original operational and technology strategies, business models, and pragmatic delivery programs. Prior to SS&C Technologies, Iwona held various leadership positions at MassMutual Financial Group.
She brings in years of practical experience in front-middle-back office systems and operations with a focus on investment operations and accounting arena, financial reporting, performance measurement, enterprise data management, technology and software management, and business process outsourcing. She is an expert in delivery services and has a long track record of leading large technology, software development, and business teams through complex modernization and data conversion initiatives.
Iwona holds a Bachelor’s in Physical Education and an MS in Physiology from the University of Poznan and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Chris Dickinson is a strategic business and IT leader with over 25 years’ experience in the financial services and insurance industries. His team is responsible for assisting clients with business and program leadership, executive relationship management, business and IT liaison, product management, and operational management. His diverse experience enables him to help clients overcome strategic and tactical challenges–ranging from change management and product design to eBusiness and digital capability development. He excels at leading and motivating teams, understanding and enhancing the customer experience, and implementing sustainable change across an organization.
Prior to joining NEOS in 2017, Chris spent nearly 20 years in executive leadership positions at The Hartford, where he ran operations, digital, and marketing teams. Having managed both startup teams and those with 200+ personnel, Chris led with a focus ranging from digital innovation to new market entry platforms. He began his career with the global consulting firm Accenture, where he focused on human performance in the financial services industry.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science from Trinity College, has been Series 6/99 licensed, and participates in various industry groups such as the Securities Industry Association, LIMRA/LOMA, and InsurTech Hartford.
As a Principal, Eric Plasse is responsible for the legacy modernization practice at NEOS. With a strong focus on delivering business value to our clients, Eric brings over 15 years’ experience in technology solution delivery across the insurance, financial services, manufacturing, and energy industries.
Prior to joining NEOS in 2018, Eric was the VP of Enterprise Solution Delivery at National Life Group. There, he restructured project delivery across the enterprise, significantly increased customer satisfaction while reducing expenses by 45%, and delivered $20 million in accumulated savings. Additionally, he held leadership positions at both MassMutual and CIGNA where he led cross-organizational teams of up to 250 and was accountable for project portfolios exceeding $35 million annually. Eric brings a deep expertise in software development (including Agile), project management tooling and methodology, enterprise resource planning (ERP), policy administration platforms (PAS), and customer relationship and supply chain management applications.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Saint Michael’s College and recently completed an Executive Leadership Development Program from New York University, achieving a certificate in Strategic Thinking and Transformational Leadership. He also completed both Scrum Master and IT Service Management training.
Darrell is a seasoned financial services professional with demonstrated ability to lead strategic business delivery leveraging strong business, technical, and executive relationship management experience. Darrell has a proven ability to establish high performance teams that drive process and technology improvements, offering practical yet creative solutions that overcome barriers to success.
Previously working for companies such as DST, Vertex, and MassMutual Darrell has re-engineered the strategic relationship with a Tier 1 insurance carrier client ($25MM annual revenue) resulting in $4MM in new annual revenue while reducing client licensing fees by 45% over the new term. He has also established a new business vertical focused on BPO in the insurance domain and successfully led the design and build of a new retirement income platform for annuity products. Darrell has provided business leadership in the successful conversion of 4 life administration systems with 3 service providers and representing over 3 million policies and has assumed BPO operational leadership of a “lift & move” of nearly 700,000 policies including back office operations, call center, claims, reinsurance administration and financial controls, resulting in $45MM annual operational savings to the client while significantly improving all measurable SLO’s.
At NEOS Darrell focuses on leading his team in the areas of Business & Program Leadership, Executive Relationship Management, Business – IT Liaison, Product Management and Operational Management.
Amanda Muro joined NEOS in 2014 to integrate business strategies into HR priorities including management development and effectiveness, succession planning, talent acquisition, onboarding, and employee development which includes our employee experience program. With over 20 years’ experience, Amanda has been passionate about putting people to work in the field of IT, engineering, education, retail, and banking.
Before Joining NEOS, Amanda built and sold several companies, founded a non-profit to support single parent families and consulted as a strategic partner in the private education and retail industries. Her expertise in creating and leading innovative businesses, with a proven track record of increasing profits and customer loyalty, allows her to quickly understand project needs and place candidates that match not only the technical requirements but the company’s philosophical ideals as well.
Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology – Secondary Ed and holds certifications as a Six Sigma Lean Professional (SSLP), Change Management Specialist (CMS), and Human Resource Assistant (HRA).
As NEOS’ Director of Marketing, Afton Lucente is focused on strengthening the NEOS brand in the marketplace and helping grow the business. Afton is responsible formulating and managing NEOS’ marketing strategy, brand, advertising, content and digital marketing, global campaigns, events, social media, corporate communications, industry analyst and media relations, and all other demand generation activities.
Prior to joining NEOS in 2018, Afton served as the Director of Field and Channel Marketing at Carousel Industries where she was responsible for conceptualizing and managing all field and channel enablement and demand generation activities. She also spent 10 years in the staffing industry and was the VP of Marketing and Communications at TRC Staffing Services where she was responsible for creating, implementing and measuring the success of all marketing and communications activities for both TRC brands. She is a dynamic marketing professional and leader focused on accelerating sales pipeline and revenue growth and delivering value by strategically aligning business drivers to key solution offerings.
Afton holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University. She is also Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.