Cindy Heine: Strength Through Generosity
Conventional wisdom tells us that change is necessary, and we must work toward acceptance. But change can also be terrifying, and our instinct is to resist. Today’s guest found a way to not only accept sentinel change in her industry, but to adapt and capitalize on that change to build a business helping others navigate the new lay – and law – of the land.
Cindy Heine founded SyncStream Solutions in 2013 to combat mounting confusion among employers about how to navigate and comply with emerging Affordable Care Act regulations. SyncStream builds intuitive software that helps employers understand and fulfill their obligations under healthcare reform policy. Based in Baton Rouge, the company seeks to be a thought leader, educator and innovator for clients.
Heine got her start in the healthcare industry as a hospital chaplain before working her way up to middle management and finally executive roles in the faith-based healthcare system. She had been on the board of her father’s employee benefits consulting firm since its inception in 1998, and succeeded him as President in 2009. When the ACA went into effect, Heine led her team in learning as much as they could about the new law. One employee developed a software curriculum, and SyncStream was born – first as the marketing arm for the product, later purchasing a controlling interest in the company. Without the benefit of outside venture capital, SyncStream has grown to 30 employees and 10,000 customers.
Listen in as Heine shares her journey in the family business, honoring her father’s legacy while making the firm her own. She also offers a unique perspective on the current political debate around health care.
Key Interview Takeaways
View change as an opportunity. When the ACA came along, Heine dove in and developed SyncStream Solutions in response to the changing landscape of the healthcare system.
Work as a team to assure a smooth succession. When Heine took over for her father as President of the employee benefits consulting business he founded, some difficult conversations took place. Together they were able to plan and implement a smooth transition, and her father still functions as a ‘recliner consultant’ for the firm.
Generosity and kindness are not the same as weakness. Heine’s father taught her that it’s better to have a small piece of a larger pie, as opposed to the whole pie. Working with people you love who have the same kind of energy but complementary skills is good business sense. ‘You can always get more pie.’
Control what you can control. The current political climate around the ACA is turbulent; however, it remains the law of the land. Continue to comply by doing your best to report what you know, and remember that any further reform would be subject to the Administrative Procedures Act process.
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