Company Capabilities

Principals/Owners/Key Leadership Team

Cindy Heine


With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Cindy has held administrative and executive level positions with some of the Gulf South's most prominent faith-based healthcare entities, first with Mercy Medical in Daphne, Alabama, and later, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL) Health System headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA. Cindy gained invaluable experience during her tenure as FMOL's Vice President of Mission Integration with leveraging an organization's history as well as its core ideology - its mission, vision and core values - to better inform current day realities. Such current day realities are often complex issues facing organizations and business owners alike. A prime example is how to fairly and creatively establish a strategically relevant and affordable "people" focus. This includes everything from group health insurance offerings to wellness benefits to developing an organization's talent. The need to identify and address such concerns serves as the foundation for the solutions Associated Benefits provides today.

Cindy has served on the board of Associated Benefits since the company's creation in 1998. In 2007, she began full time employment with Associated Benefits as its Vice President, Operations and was named President of Associated Benefits Consulting in 2009. She holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Louisiana State University, as well as a designation as a Group Benefits Associate from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business in conjunction with the International Foundation of Employee Benefits. She is a member in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (CEBS).

Marcie O'Dwyer
Vice President, Business and Development


Marcie earned a Master in Health Sciences from LSUMC and spent her early career working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and certified case manager (CCM). After earning her dual insurance licenses (LHA, P & C), she began working as a healthcare consultant.

Marcie has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, and has worked in all aspects of the industry from health insurers to association health plans and brokerages to create endorsed offerings and generating non-dues revenue. Her success in negotiating, cultivating and marketing these endorsed offerings uniquely qualifies Marcie for her role as Vice President of Business and Development.

Susan Ellender

Vice President, Client Relations


Susan began her career in the human services field working with individuals to create long term, healthy mentoring relationships and has brought that same ability to forge partnerships to associations and their members for over 10 years. Her experience working with brokers, carrier representatives, association leaders, members and individual employees allows for comprehensive needs assessment and fulfillment. For the past 5 years, Ms. Ellender has served as the primary consultant for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's (LABI) endorsed insurance plan.

A board member of Associated Benefits Consulting since 1998, Susan graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Ecology in 1992. In addition, she is a licensed life, health and accident agent with a certificate in Health Care Reform Studies from The American College of Financial Services.