Company History

Group Alternatives was founded in 1989 to aid employers in establishing and maintaining high quality employee benefit programs.

Our objectives are:

  1. Providing proactive, objective solutions and strategies
  2. Providing the highest quality benefits at the most competitive price
  3. Exceeding clients’ expectations for customer service
  4. Embracing technology that enhances the employer and member experience

The employee benefit industry has changed significantly since 1989, and Group Alternatives has grown through it all. Our first client is just as important to us as our most recent. Proudly, our client average tenure is 11 years.

Meet the Team

Michael J. Baker

CEBS, President
As the President of Group Alternatives Inc., Mike leads our team to design and implement employee benefit strategies that minimize the employers’ costs while offering the highest level of benefits for their employees.

Mike spent nine years working at two major employee benefit insurance companies learning the employee benefit business. In 2003, he joined Group Alternatives as a consultant, and the company experienced tremendous growth. Mike became President in 2014.

Mike’s specialties include assisting with union negotiations and facilitating communication strategies for companies to better explain their benefits programs to employees.

He has enjoyed speaking for numerous groups, including the Great Lakes Area Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities Council, Regional Indiana School Business Officials, Society for Human Resource Management, Illinois Association for School Boards, and the Dupage Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents.

Luke J. Moo

Luke J. Moo

Senior Consultant
Luke joined our consulting team in 2017. He has over a dozen years in sales and consulting with a strong background in benefit technology and digital health. After many years working as a Disability and Life Insurance Specialist, Luke worked as VP of Sales for two different digital health solutions. Luke utilizes his technology experience and cutting-edge data mining to assist groups in controlling cost and enhancing the wellbeing of their employee population. Luke is a Wheaton College graduate who gives back to his community by serving at his church and coaching youth sports.
John T. McConnell

John T. McConnell

Consultant
John McConnell has been a consultant with Group Alternatives since April of 2014. His areas of expertise include implementing thoughtful and sustainable benefit strategies, as well as creating effective employee communication campaigns. John has been in the employee benefits industry for 14 years and has been a featured speaker at the Illinois ASBO Annual Conference. Prior to joining the Group Alternatives team, he worked three years for a national TPA and seven years with a major insurance carrier.
Mark J. Banach

Mark J. Banach

Director of Operations and Client Service
Mark Banach has been with Group Alternatives since 2008 as Director of Operations and Client Services. Mark brings over 25 years of industry experience working with clients of all sizes. In addition to managing special projects and our Future Steps program, he works alongside our consultants to provide proactive benefit solutions to our clients.
Kellie J. Pirkle

Kellie J. Pirkle

Manager of Client Service
Kellie oversees our client service coordinators and is our compliance manager. Before joining our firm, she spent four years as a CPA with a major firm. Kellie’s responsibilities include account management of public and private sector clients and she heads up our data analytic service for all our clients.