Meet VBA

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Our Mission

We make the healthcare experience better for everyone.

How We Achieve Our Mission

Our secure, scalable solutions provide critical information in a timely manner, positively impacting member outcomes while reducing administrative costs. The healthcare system is complex, but with the functionality and interconnectivity of our solutions, VBA makes it simpler and more efficient for everyone.

Who We Are

We’re a team of innovators, creators and problem solvers who are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. While technology is important, we understand that what our clients do with our technology is what really matters. We are constantly on the move, challenging the status quo and focusing on what’s next so we can deliver solutions that exceed expectations. Most of all, we like to have fun and work as a team to deliver exceptional service and support for our clients.

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Our Leadership Team

When you partner with VBA, you’ll have access to our executive leadership team at every step along the way. We are dedicated to your success, and you’ll experience our ‘whatever it takes’ attitude from the first meeting.

Michael Clayton

President & CEO
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"I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." – Steve Jobs

Michael Clayton

President & CEO

Joined VBA: 2013

Professional History

Mike joined VBA as the CEO and 12th employee in February 2013. Today, VBA has over 125 employees and continues to grow rapidly. Mike has day-to-day operational responsibilities for all aspects of the business, full profit and loss responsibility, and leads the overall strategic plan development and execution for VBA. Mike was elected to the VBA Board of Directors in 2020.

Prior to joining VBA, Mike was a partner in The Capital Executive Group (CEG), LLC. As part of CEG, Mike was the Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman for Woods Equipment Company with a broad set of responsibilities including ongoing post-acquisition operational integration, business development and strategic planning.

Previously, Mike held various positions in finance, distribution, marketing, business development, and general management, both domestically and abroad. His prior employers include well-regarded companies such as at Textron’s Jacobsen Division, Deere & Company (Germany), Case Corporation/CNH Global NV, and Ford Motor Company.

Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and his MBA from Pennsylvania State University. He is also a graduate of Wharton’s Executive Management Program and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business Mergers and Acquisition Program.

Mike is a respected leader in the industry and currently serves on the VBA Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA).

Personal History

Mike is an avid marathon runner, having completed over 20 marathons to date including Chicago (14x), Boston (2x) and New York City. He is also passionate about cycling. Each summer, Mike bikes across the State of Iowa in an event known as RAGBRAI and a one-day event (235 miles) across Wisconsin called RAW. Mike has his eyes set on biking across the U.S.

Mike is active in multiple charity events and organizations, including fundraising for the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Children’s Hospital, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through some of his marathon and biking events. Mike also enjoys spending time with his two great children, hunting, watching movies, woodworking, and cooking.

Rich Pierce

Chief Technology Officer
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“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Rich Pierce

Chief Technology Officer

Joined VBA: 2001

Professional History

Rich began his career with the US Air Force in 1995 where he earned the Honor Graduate commendation during basic training, a recognition only awarded to 7 percent of graduates. After basic training, he was stationed in Biloxi, MS, where he received his initial training in software development and design at the Air Education Training Center (AETC).

Upon honorably exiting the Air Force in 1999, he took a role with GlyThor Consulting where he developed inventory tracking systems and websites for several clients. While at AWHN, Rich entered the healthcare space when he designed and developed a provider network application for the credentialing of physicians according to NCQA requirements.

In early 2001, Rich left AWHN for a software developer position at KeyLink Solutions, a third-party administrator and a sister company of what would eventually become VBA. He quickly advanced in the organization while continuing to grow the core functionality of the claims administration application. In 2009, Rich completed development of the next-generation software solution, VBASoftware, and became a partner and owner in VBA.

Over the next several years, he would be responsible for the development of a robust flex administration platform, process automation, offline remote perpetual adjudication and real-time claims payment, and VBA has experienced tremendous growth as a result of these efforts.

In 2013, a new leadership team was formed, and Rich was promoted to Chief Technology Officer. In this role, he has continued to oversee the growth of the core products while working with AWS on developing a new services platform that will continue VBA’s role as a technology leader in the healthcare space for years to come.

Personal History

Rich’s hobbies include watching NBA Basketball, playing hoops, video games and movies!

Joe Richlen

Chief Revenue Officer
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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Joe Richlen

Chief Revenue Officer

Joined VBA: 2024

Professional History

Joe joined VBA in 2024 as the Chief Revenue Officer. He is responsible for demonstrating the value proposition of VBA solutions in the market and achieving the company’s strategic growth objectives. He oversees the sales, marketing and account management functions.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in sales leadership to this role. Prior to joining VBA, he served as the Vice President of Sales for ONE, a financial technology company. He also led the sales division at Mineral, formerly ThinkHR, where he played a pivotal role in turning around the company’s financial trajectory and growing it eightfold. Joe was also a national sales consultant at Wisconsin-based Zywave during the company’s rapid growth phase.

Through his leadership, Joe has helped technology companies grow revenue, drive sales and foster team collaboration. He has also led significant strategic transformations and rebranding initiatives.

Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Personal History

Outside of work, Joe enjoys hiking and watching movies with his pugs. He is constantly in search of the perfect slice of pizza.

Rachel Lanser

Chief Client Officer
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“Life is not a race - but indeed a journey.” ― Bonnie Mohr

Rachel Lanser

Chief Client Officer

Joined VBA: 2003

Professional History

After joining KeyLink Solutions in 2003 as a Customer Service Representative, Rachel worked in various roles within the TPA and was promoted to Operations Manager in 2007. The TPA business was sold in 2009 to focus solely on VBASoftware. At that time, Rachel worked closely with Rich Pierce to rearchitect VBASoftware as a cloud-based solution that focused heavily on configuration options rather than custom development requirements.

With her entrepreneurial spirit and refusal to fail, Rachel supported numerous client implementations and trained new team members as the organization grew. In 2020, she was promoted to Chief Client Officer, responsible for overseeing our Client Experience Team and ensuring our clients receive the highest level of service in both their onboarding and ongoing service needs. Rachel strives to build teams that share the same spirit and determination that she has exhibited throughout her career.

Rachel has a passion for solving problems. She can hear the details of a problem and immediately begin to form paths for resolution or best practices. She prides herself on her ability to connect with others authentically and with honest intent. As a seeker of continuous improvement, Rachel looks for opportunities to positively impact our clients and further develop the talented group of VBA employees whom she works with on a daily basis.

Personal History

Rachel adores her family and friends and spends as much time with them as possible outside of work. She seeks opportunities to pull everyone together whether it be for weekend breakfasts, holiday meals or a ride in the car to talk and sing along to whatever song fits the mood. When asked, she’ll tell you she is most proud of the life she has created with her husband Ryan and their children, Mason and Madison. Their life has been guided by faith and assurance that we are passengers on a ride we did not design, and we’re just blessed to live it.

VBA at a conference

Our Industry Presence

VBA has joined leading industry associations to stay up to date on the latest regulations and market trends. There is nothing more powerful than face-to-face conversations to build trust and understanding. That’s why VBA maintains a strong presence at industry conferences and events where we can hear firsthand about the needs of payers and benefit administrators, connect with potential partners and demonstrate how we can be part of the solution for the industry’s most pressing challenges.

Watch for us at upcoming industry conferences and events. We’d love to meet you.

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Join Our Team

Ready to jump in and start making an impact with an industry leader? VBA is growing fast, and we are looking to expand our team of talented individuals. Onsite, hybrid and remote positions are available.