I had the pleasure of interviewing Brendon Kensel, Chief Executive Officer at PrimaHealth Credit.
Mr. Kensel is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PrimaHealth Credit, and is responsible for charting the company’s strategic direction, overseeing product and platform innovation, scaling operations, and leading day-to-day management. Mr. Kensel’s experience in building a medical services organization which managed orthodontic offices in Southern California helped to develop his point-of-view on elective care finance and brought to light the opportunity to disrupt the space with innovative technology and financial products.
Previously, Mr. Kensel was the President of MediaShift, a next-generation ad tech company that monetizes WiFi networks. He led the company into commercialization and generated first year revenue of $7.6 million through both organic and acquisitive growth and was responsible for advertising revenue, strategic partnerships, channel development, M&A, and the development of all mobile and PC-based ad products.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Kensel was EVP and division President at eSynergies, a diversified digital marketing services company, and co-founder and CEO of Salesmation, a leading rich media online advertising company that was acquired by eSynergies. Prior experience also includes marketing and management posts at El Pollo Loco, a national quick-service restaurant chain; Alcone Marketing Group, an Omnicom Group agency; and the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
Mr. Kensel received a B.S. from Central Washington University and a M.B.A. from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. He studied global enterprise management at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, and leader development at the U.S. Army War College.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Prior to founding PrimaHealth Credit, I built a medical services organization which managed orthodontic offices in Southern California. It was during this time that I saw first-hand how patients struggle to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, particularly credit-challenged and underbanked consumers. I founded PrimaHealth Credit with the vision to help more patients access the healthcare they need by offering affordable monthly payment options.
Today, PrimaHealth Credit picks up where other finance companies leave off and enables most patients — even those with credit challenges — to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. We also help healthcare providers solve the challenges of assessing a patient’s ability to pay, collecting recurring payments, and managing accounts receivable.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I regularly listen to Dr. Michael Gervais’s podcast “Finding Mastery” where Michael actively explores the psychology of high performance. As a former collegiate athlete, I appreciate Dr. Gervais’s frequent exploration of translating high performance in sport into high performance as an entrepreneur.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
Our vision is to help more patients access the healthcare they need by offering affordable monthly payment options. We also want to empower healthcare providers to offer alternative payment solutions at the point of care so they can serve more patients.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
As a startup we must continuously adapt to adversity. COVID-19 is just the latest obstacle we have to navigate. Remaining focused on our goals is key to driving alignment and performance within the team. As an example, a question I’ve challenged our team with is, “what do we want our company and products to look like when we exit this crisis?” We have identified several key initiatives we are pursuing that we believe will help our clients as they try to recover. This focus on execution and goal achievement has helped to keep the team engaged even though we are all working remotely.
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
During the first several weeks of quarantine it felt as though every day was a partial holiday. As it became apparent that separation and social distancing was the new normal, I realized it was imperative to bring structure to our new routines to keep the family on track.
Can you share a few of the biggest work-related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Our team normally works together at our headquarters in Newport Beach, so we had to adapt to running a company remotely in a short period of time, like a lot of other businesses. Thankfully there are an abundance of work tools and apps out there that we have been able to utilize to keep working and communicating effectively with our team. Video calls and open communication channels have really helped keep us motivated and supported during these times.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
These are certainly anxious and stressful times for a lot of people. I try and focus on the silver linings, whether it’s the extra time you’re getting with your kids, a new appreciation for local businesses or the extraordinary acts of kindness we see almost daily.
Obviously, we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
A lot of successful businesses were started during times of economic hardship — WhatsApp, Venmo, and Microsoft for example, so hopefully we’ll see a similar instance of new businesses being launched to create change and better solutions for areas that need it.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
I believe more people are going to become comfortable using technology as a result of the COVID pandemic. As a technology founder and CEO I’m excited to find new ways to utilize technology to help the people and the businesses we serve.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
An increasing number of Americans are becoming credit-challenged because of the current economic crisis, which may leave many to forgo needed treatment such as dental, orthodontics, LASIK, cataract surgery and addiction treatment. Our goal is to help these patients get the care they need. We’ve been ramping up our efforts to connect with as many providers as possible to ensure they’re in a position to accept as many patients as possible, once their doors reopen.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
Support small businesses where you can.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
As a Seattle Seahawks fan I’m going with Russell Wilson’s quote of, “The separation is in the preparation.” This isn’t just about being prepared for a business meeting or an athletic contest. This is about how you prepare yourself every day — your daily routines including diet, fitness, personal or spiritual development, and nurturing relationships. These routines help set the table for high performance in business and leadership.
How can our readers further follow your work?
Visit www.primahealthcredit.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @PrimaHealthCred or like us on Facebook @primahealthcredit