Ana X. Ceron
Member Services Representative
Ana started with VBA as a Member Services Representative in December 2017. Prior to joining our team, Ana spent nearly a decade working as a newspaper reporter in Florida. Switching gears, she then spent several years as a pastry chef, most notably at Bouchon Bakery in New York City. Ana earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida Atlantic University.
As a Member Services Representative, Ana is responsible for assisting members with questions regarding their coverage. She also helps handle reimbursement claims, and serves as the Spanish interpreter for our members.
Ana was born in Santiago, Chile and spent her early childhood in Caracas, Venezuela. When she was seven, her family moved to South Florida. As an adult, she has lived in six different cities, and has called Pittsburgh home for two years. Ana enjoys biking on local trails, indulging in a great dessert, and taking pictures.
Dr. Andrew Leitzel
Dr. Andrew Leitzel has over a decade of experience in the optometric industry. He is Owner/Partner of a multi-location primary eye care practice in central Pennsylvania. Dr. Leitzel is an active member of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and past president of the central Pennsylvania Optometric Association. In 2017, he was awarded by his peers the prestigious Pennsylvania Optometrist of the Year Award.
From 2008- 2012, Dr. Leitzel served as Director and Chairman of the Board for Tri-County Association for the Blind. While presiding over the board, he strategically planned, organized and successfully launched the Vision Rehab Center (VRC). VRC is a low vision rehab center that harmoniously unites the specialty care of a low vision center with social and occupational rehabilitation services to meet the needs of those who suffer from low vision. In addition, Dr. Leitzel played an integral role in the rebranding of Tri-County Association for the Blind. Today, it is known as Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania (VROCP).
Dr. Leitzel was elected to the PA Vision Foundation in 2014, and was named Executive Director of the PA Vision Foundation in January 2017. He is responsible for overseeing daily operations, program developments, strategic planning and board administration. Dr. Leitzel has a strong passion for serving those less fortunate and vast experience in the non-profit sector, which will help drive the success of the Foundation.
Dr. Leitzel resides in central Pennsylvania with his wife, two children and their dog, Lexie. In his free time, he enjoys boating, skiing, biking, sporting clays and of course, spending time with his family.
Senior Account Executive
In April 2018, Chris joined the VBA team with almost 19 years of experience in the insurance industry. As the Senior Account Executive for Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, Chris works diligently to educate new and existing clients and brokers about VBA vision and dental plans.
Chris earned his Bachelor Degree in Communications from West Chester University. He currently resides in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. In his free time, Chris enjoys anything involved with sports, in particular coaching his sons’ basketball, baseball and soccer teams.
Chad Cygnarowicz, ABOC-AC
Chad came to VBA in November 2015 with 15 years of experience in the vision and healthcare industry. He transitioned from his role as Underwriting Manager to his current position of Dental Account Executive in July 2017. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from California University of Pennsylvania in 2008.
As the Dental Account Executive, Chad educates new and existing groups about VBA dental plans. Chad has a relentless work ethic, a willingness to learn, and the aptitude to follow methodical processes and procedures; all of which help him excel at his position.
Chad grew up in West Mifflin, PA and he currently lives in the Robinson area with his wife and daughter. Chad has been a member of the Professional Bowlers Association since 2013. He enjoys spending time with family and doing yardwork.
Carrie came on board with VBA in April of 2016 with 10 years of experience in the vision industry. Prior to joining our team, Carrie was a store manager for Pearle Vision, where she increased comp sales and operating profit at four different locations. Carrie received her Bachelor Degree in Business from Slippery Rock University.
Carrie served as a Provider Relations Territory Field Representative for VBA from April 2016 to April 2017, when she transitioned into her current role as an Account Executive. Carrie is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with brokers and companies in Western PA, as well as Eastern Maryland.
Carrie was born and raised in Lower Burrell, PA, where she resides today. Her hobbies include CrossFit, bodybuilding, and spending time with her loved ones. She is likely to indulge in good cup of coffee & a great pair of shoes.
Member Services Manager
Deana joined the VBA team in 2015 as the Member Services Manager and was an excellent fit for the role. Previously, she spent 13 years as a Heinz Customer Service Manager for their Order Management Team, focusing on process improvement and streamlining operational efficiency. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from California University of Pennsylvania.
As the Member Services Manager, Deana is responsible for overseeing our seven-person call center for VBA members. Our Member Services department assists members with eligibility and benefit questions, locating an in-network provider and educating our customers on our vision benefits. She is also responsible for handing escalated issues and lens disputes, as well as managing our phone system administration, call statistics and creating new policies and procedures.
Deana has been a Pittsburgher all her life. She enjoys spending time at home with her husband and two kids, and of course their rescue bulldog. When she can, she likes to go skiing and shopping with friends.
Emily started at VBA as the Marketing Assistant in January 2016. She worked to create and maintain VBA’s blog, regulate all social media channels, and develop our e-mail marketing campaigns. Prior to joining our team, she was the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for The Catholic Cemeteries Association. Emily received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Pennsylvania State University in 2013.
In December 2017, Emily began her role as Marketing Manager. Her main responsibilities include day-to-day relationship management and project management of our strategic marketing initiatives, assisting in planning and implementing marketing objectives and continuing to develop needed marketing materials and branded collateral pieces.
Emily was born and raised in Pittsburgh and currently resides in McCandless Township. She enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family and, of course, cheering on the Nittany Lions.
Senior Account Executive
Jack has been with VBA for over 22 years. As a Senior Account Executive, Jack works with the large group market in 29 counties of central Pennsylvania, as well as parts of Maryland. He is responsible for establishing and maintaining excellent client and broker relations, and conducting educational meetings regarding benefits. Jack received his Bachelor of Arts from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and holds the PA Resident Producer licenses in Accident, Health, Life and Fixed Annuities.
In his free time, Jack volunteers around his community.
Jennifer is our newest Account Executive, but a seasoned VBA employee. Jennifer first started working for VBA in 1997 as the Marketing Coordinator. She held this position until June 2015 when she assumed her current role. Jennifer is responsible for cultivating relationships with brokers and educating them on all VBA has to offer.
Jennifer likes spending time with family, especially her husband and two kids.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Jessica brings her passion for process improvement and team building to VBA. With overarching responsibility for operations supporting VBA’s benefits administrators, brokers, providers, members and labs, Jessica is known for her strong work ethic and strategic thinking.
Since joining VBA in 2015, Jessica has grown the provider relations department to integrate the existing call center with newly created roles and processes, including network management, network development, credentialing, contracting, implementation and on-boarding. During her time at VBA, she led a team that expanded the vision provider network by 40% and increased the number of independent practitioners, as well as large retailers. In addition, she developed a marketing department, integrating outside agencies. She also rebranded VBA to include a new brand identity with improved messaging and imagery.
Jessica has been an integral part of information systems initiatives, serving as a product owner and subject matter expert on projects and enhancements. Jessica played a pivotal role in developing and implementing VBA’s strategic plan.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Westminster College, Jessica went on to earn a Master of Education in special education from Geneva College and a Master of Business Administration from Robert Morris University.
Jessica is an active member of the Optical Women’s Association, participating in the membership committee. She serves as an adviser for PowerLink and is a member of the American Marketing Association and Pittsburgh Young Professionals.
Jessica grew up in New Wilmington, Pa., and currently resides in Cranberry Township, Pa., with her husband and two dogs. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, riding her bike, playing pickleball, decorating her home and traveling.
Senior Account Executive
Kathy began working for VBA 40 years ago. She spent over 10 years working in the accounting department, and has worked in sales for 28 years.
In her role as a Senior Account Executive, she works with groups with less than 125 lives in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington D.C. Kathy is the exclusive Account Manager in Missouri.
Kara Walsh, ABOC
Provider Relations Supervisor
Kara came on board with VBA as a Provider Relations Coordinator in March of 2016, and began her role as Provider Relations Supervisor in August. She has been in the optical industry since 2011, and is an ABO Certified Optician. Kara has a strong passion for the industry and makes a point to stay current on new lens technology and fashion. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies, with a Communications focus, from Clarion University.
As the Provider Relations Supervisor, Kara is responsible for coordinating, training and providing ongoing support for participating providers. She also oversees and supports the Provider Relations department, manages medically necessary authorization requests and develops relationships with leading industry labs and providers.
Kara grew up just north of Pittsburgh and currently resides in the south hills of Pittsburgh with her husband, sons, and wheaten terrier, Annie. As an active member of her community, Kara serves on her community’s recreation board. She also loves to travel and enjoys the theater.
Senior Account Executive
Kingston began working for VBA over 25 years ago, and has worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years. In his role, Kingston’s main duties include developing and maintaining relationships with groups and brokers in Philadelphia, Delaware and parts of Maryland.
Kingston is a New Jersey native who enjoys spending time with family.
Vice President, Sales and Sales Support
Matt started at VBA in April 2015 with over 13 years of experience in the insurance industry. Before joining our team, he was a producer for Huntington Insurance and Rodgers Insurance Group. Matt received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Duquesne University.
As the Vice President of Sales and Sales Support for VBA, Matt oversees the sales and sales support team and is responsible for new business generation, retention and growth. Matt developed and now teaches continuing education courses about the vision health industry.
Among his colleagues, Matt is a respected leader and is known for being a great multi-tasker and always looking out for everyone’s best interest.
Matt is a Pittsburgh native and resides in McCandless with his wife, two children and dog, Minnie. When he isn’t busy helping VBA grow and develop, he enjoys coaching t-ball, playing golf and reading about early American history.