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BENEFIX, an AveNew Solutions company, is on the front lines of getting America back to work and helping struggling organizations thrive in this challenging environment. While there are many insurance brokers in the market space, we are different – really different.


First, our co-founder, Rick Bender, has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He walked away from a heralded position as the head of national underwriting for one of America’s largest insurance companies, where he received the coveted award of being #1 in the nation. But after 20 years he just couldn’t take it any more when his efforts to deliver real value to clients – without the exploitation that insurance companies are reviled for – were quashed by senior management. That’s when he founded his legacy company, Bender Benefits, on the core principle that providing benefits is a long game and when you put the clients first, everyone wins!


Barbara Maynard, Rick’s partner, is new as an insurance broker but her experience fighting for quality employee benefits is decades-long (and she comes from a family of insurance professionals!). She has spent the last 25+ years negotiating employee benefit contracts on behalf of California’s largest labor unions and she has seen first hand how manipulative many brokers in the employee and voluntary benefit spaces are, preying on both employers and hard-working employees. When she met Rick and his team at Bender Benefits – they shared a mutual client – it was immediately clear that his values were in alignment with hers and a partnership was formed.

Together, Rick Bender and Barbara Maynard are proud to introduce you to AveNew Solutions, LLC, and our benefits division, BENEFIX.

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Meet The BENEFIX Team


Cherri Murray

Director, Client Services

Cherri has deep experience in the employee benefits industry and is committed to excellence in customer service. She inherently understands that the member is the single most valuable asset an organization can have and is driven by the unrelenting pursuit of client-driven focus. Ms. Murray oversees the implementation and support systems that our clients use to operate and manage their benefits. She has a wide range of responsibilities including technology, accounting, and business management.


Favel Jens

Director, National Engagement

Favel joins the BENEFIX team with 30 years of project management experience that includes implementing strategic partnerships, legislative policy work, and community and civic engagement programs. Favel’s diverse background allows her to seamlessly step into any role and offer expert strategy advice and professional leadership. Raised in the Midwest, Favel worked on the West Coast for 25 years and happily calls both California and Missouri home. Favel received her BA in Public Relations and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.


Carri Bender

Director, Administrative Services

Carri lives each day seeing that what she does – and what our team does – at AveNew directly impacts working families in the most meaningful and positive way. "Because we provide them with truly affordable and comprehensive benefits, they have security, which I see firsthand when I’m working with a member who is on disability or a daughter who is submitting a life claim for her mother. I am happiest when I’m serving others and am thankful my work offers me that opportunity. Compassion and responsiveness are what drives me."

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Trish Summers


Trish is a highly accomplished business executive with over two decades of experience in accounting and business management. Among her many skills are budgeting and forecasting, financial modeling and reporting, cash flow and payroll management. Prior to joining the AveNew team, Trish served in a series of finance roles, including Controller, Financial Systems; VP, Finance and Accounting; Global Controller; and Finance Manager.

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