In 2016, BeniComp moved its headquarters to Tampa from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The catalyst? Water Street Tampa, the 56-acre mixed-use project in downtown - and its focus on promoting health. Doug Short, President and CEO of BeniComp, lives and breathes healthcare - and he says BeniComp is disrupting the healthcare industry just like iconic, ubiquitous companies like Netflix, Uber or Airbnb. As one of the most influential topics in the upcoming presidential election and one-sixth of the nation's GDP, Short believes healthcare is ripe for disrupting.
Years in St. Pete
7 years in Tampa Bay, 38 years with BeniComp
Organizations involved in
Churches and philanthropic aspects of the church.
What gets you out of bed every day?
What motivates me has a lot to do with who I am and what I do. What I do has a lot to do with the health insurance system, probably the #1 social impact, #6 domestic product, it’s larger than education and military probably combined. It’s growing, it’s crippling for people. We have created an innovative way that an employer can build a health policy around prediction – individually. And we’ve created something for the social fabric of the country. Having a vision helps you get out of bed in the morning, and it really helps our employees.
Why St. Pete?
(Tampa Bay). Our primary operation is in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We’ve been there since 1962, many of our employees are still there. Tampa was in the eastern time zone and a destination location. Fort Wayne is a great town, it’s a hometown, it’s a place to raise your kids. But it’s not really conducive to California flying in, Tampa is. We like the growth that Tampa is going through and we housed ourselves in the innovation district downtown.
What is one habit that you keep?
I am very addicted to my grandchildren. I have tried to start my days really early – maybe 5 or 5:30, in order to go eat lunch with a different grandkid. They’re really little. But I hope they remember that grandpa jumped out for lunch most days.
Who are some people that influence you?
Companies: Netflix, Uber, Airbnb – companies that went in to a legacy business and said that there could be a better way. Healthcare is probably the largest legacy business in America right now.
People: Elon Musk
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
Like Elon Musk, the definition of success has more to do with your ability to stay the course – or survive. That might be the missing link. Books: Big fan of The Bible, especially the book of Ecclesiastes; modern day: “Who Moved My Cheese?”
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
That’s a very interesting time frame, because what you had is the beginning of social healthcare with Obamacare. I didn’t realize that there was a change afoot with the presidential election.
We are in full launch mode. We are right now harnessing all of the licenses, power, software that makes us act and feel more like Uber than an insurance company. We believe that we’re an innovation company. Bringing all of that innovation to the table, seeing other markets, we are the same as that but on a bigger scale – to 1/6 of the GDP. We have rebranded ourselves to BeniComp Health Solutions, instead of BeniComp Insurance.