Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Mace.
Peter, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After working for a large insurance company for 15 years, in various sales and sales leadership roles, I knew I was at a crossroads and needed to make a decision. I was going to either double-down and be a “lifer” – continue to enjoy a nice lifestyle and build up the pension – or it was time to branch out and start something new. Knowing that I could always go back to a similar sales position, with my old employer or another company, made it a little easier to go ahead and make the leap. It was risky, but in the back of my mind I knew there was always that safety net. Perhaps my toughest critic was my father-in-law who was never afraid to bring up the fact that I “married his daughter, got her pregnant, and quit my job” all in a period of 6 months. Looking back, maybe not the smartest decision, but it sure worked out okay.
As for the business, two things I really enjoy doing are helping people and solving problems. That’s exactly what my business partner, Greg Hodges, and I focused on when we started an employee benefits communications firm in 2004. We recognized the need to assist employees at large employers with making some really hard decisions every year as to what kind of insurance they should buy, how much of it, who to insure, etc. Bottom line, employee benefits are expensive and confusing and it’s getting more expensive and more confusing every year. On the employer side, they’re faced with similar challenges. The cost continues to rise and strategies to control those costs are more complex every year. Not to mention, that same employer is seeing declining employee appreciation and satisfaction each year.
So now, nearly 14 years in the making and through a combination of technology and support services, Hodges-Mace focuses on helping employees become smarter consumers of healthcare – from the time they choose their benefits to when they need to use their coverage. No two employers or employees are the same, so we offer flexible solutions that meet the unique needs of those consumers. We firmly believe that in order to ultimately control the increasing costs of healthcare, the individual has to be smarter and have better tools at their disposal. Individuals having better control, more information, and the power to make informed benefit decisions is a big part of the solution.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think running a business is ever a smooth road and never will be regardless of size or experience. We’re fortunate to have been cash flow positive from nearly day one, so we have not experienced some of those “Are we going to make it?” concerns. Our struggles have been more around ensuring a great client experience for each customer as we grow. In the early days, I knew everything that was happening with a client and was intimately involved. Now that we have more than 250 employees, I simply can’t be as close.
The good news is that we have a great team that is probably better than I ever was at serving our clients. We spend a lot of time and energy on hiring the right people to join our team and training them to serve our growing client base. Our clients deserve that as do our current employees.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Hodges-Mace story. Tell us more about the business.
The cost and complexity of employee benefits, especially healthcare, impact nearly every business and individual in this country. We know that people are busier, budgets are tighter, and the financial choices made today are more important than ever. But how can you be confident when navigating a journey that has so many twists and turns along the way? At Hodges-Mace, our mission is to breathe new life into employee benefits by empowering individuals to make smarter decisions for themselves and their families.
We help employers create a more meaningful employee experience, tailored for each workforce: whether it’s innovative technology that sits in the palm of the hand, a quick conversation with a benefit specialist, or even a deep discussion with one of our expert benefit counselors. We believe in the power and potential of a smart consumer, and we take pride in removing the barriers that stand in their way.
What makes us different in our space is our ability to deploy both technology and “people” to help individuals become smart consumers. We know that there are times where technology can do the job, but we also know there are times when someone needs that extra help and is not comfortable making an important decision without getting a few questions answered. We want to help that individual and are prepared to do so with an approach that meets their unique needs.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Like many others, I think when you put in the hard work, luck will find you. I feel very fortunate to have started nearly 14 years ago with great business partners, and have added more folks who I consider wonderful members of the team as well as great friends. Having grown up one of eleven children and paying my own way through college, I truly appreciate what we’ve been able to accomplish through this business.
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have the life I have – a great wife, 4 awesome children, terrific friends and a thriving business. And maybe, most importantly, I’m proud of the impact we’ve been able to have by sharing some of that success with others. We’re actively involved locally with Meals on Wheels Atlanta, Holy Innocents Episcopal School, Atlanta Youth Academy and Cristo Rey High School, and endow scholarships for children of large families at my high school in Wilmington, Delaware and college, SMU. We’ve only just begun.
- Address: 5775 Glenridge Drive
Building D Suite 350
Atlanta, GA 30328
- Website: www.hodgesmace.com
- Phone: 404-574-6110