Lilly Executive Director/Vice President, Benefits & Wellness Human Capital Management Division, New York
I work in the Americas Benefits Group, which is part of the Reward function within the Human Capital Management (HCM) division. From 2000–2009, my primary responsibilities were in the Wellness area focusing on strategy and execution of our on-site U.S. based Wellness operations including fitness centers, back-up child care centers, physical therapy and health centers as well as implementation of Wellness programming. My current area of focus is within the Health and Welfare area within Benefits where I am responsible for delivery of firm provided U.S. employee health and insurance benefits including strategy and plan design, benefits administration, and service delivery.
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work side by side with so many talented individuals with diverse backgrounds in the Benefits and corporate Wellness field. I am surrounded by a fantastic team of individuals with backgrounds in health and welfare benefits, nutrition, exercise physiology, medical / physical health, rehabilitation, and mental health. We benchmark with our peers and competitors and attend and present at conferences, which allows us to form an extended network of colleagues in the field and keep up to date with new and exciting industry trends.
Since joining Goldman Sachs in 2000, I’ve been fortunate in that I have been able to take advantage of several short-term opportunities outside of my core function that have broadened my knowledge base and exposure to other areas within HCM. This has included living in London on two occasions supporting the EMEA Wellness team and working in a part-time capacity with the Investment Management Division’s HCM team and Firmwide Compensation team to assist with special projects and assignments.
Every day brings new and unique challenges and opportunities...
When working in the Wellness space, I spent much of my time focusing on facility-based projects and initiatives and working closely with our on-site partners and vendors to ensure operations were in alignment with our expectations and meeting the evolving needs of our employees. This includes providing strategic guidance, direction and oversight to our operations teams as well as facility design and development which includes conducting needs assessments for future facilities and overseeing renovations or other capital projects. I greatly enjoyed spending five years partnering with a team of design and development professionals including engineers, architects, designers, consultants and contractors across the firm’s Corporate Services Division to create the future vision, program and design of the Wellness facilities at the firm’s headquarters at 200 West Street in New York City. To ensure that operations within the facilities best meet the needs of the Goldman Sachs community, my team focuses on ensuring we partner with best-in-class operators to deliver our programs and services which requires close partnership with the firm’s Procurement and Legal teams on the selection and contracting processes and working with our vendor operators in the areas of staffing, marketing, operational policies, and customer service.
My background in Wellness operations has been helpful to promote and further the integrated delivery of Benefits plan strategy, design, implementation and Wellness offerings as my role transitioned to the health and welfare area. My main areas of focus continue to be vendor management, strategy and design, and ensuring exceptional client service for our employees. Many projects that I work on cross Benefits/Wellness and involve partnership with health plan carriers, consultants, and vendor partners to deliver a seamless, best-in-class integrated experience.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is receiving feedback from employees and their families about how valuable the Benefits and Wellness services are and how proud they make people feel to work at Goldman Sachs. We constantly and tangibly see the impact of our services and offerings, and how they help make life easier and improve the overall health of our employees and their families. I am proud of all the work that my team does in Benefits and our many broad initiatives, many of which touch people at various times in their personal or professional trajectory at the firm.
When I was a senior in college at Cornell University, I applied through campus recruiting for a two-year Human Resources rotational program. My undergraduate area of focus was Human Development and Family Studies within the School of Human Ecology. My first interview on campus was with Goldman Sachs, followed by an intense full day interview in New York. I was lucky enough to receive a job offer in December of my senior year. It was my first job offer, and I accepted on the spot over the phone – I remember exactly where I was when I received the call. I learned about the Wellness function during my full day interview and found it would be the best fit for my interests and background, and the rest was history.
I took part in the Firmwide Analyst Program back in 2000, with hundreds of other new hires. I was able to network and interact with individuals in other divisions, many of whom I still keep in contact with. I was very impressed with the firm’s focus on spending an entire week dedicated to educating new hires.
While working at the firm, I earned my Master’s Degree in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from New York University where I further enhanced my functional knowledge in Human Resources.
I hoped to be working in Human Resources within Financial Services but did not seek out a career in an area as specific as Benefits or Wellness. Now, I could never imagine another path for my career or a better course for my interests, background and skill set. I’m passionate about health, fitness and nutrition and having fun along the journey. I’ve ran four NYC Marathons and raised money for charity along the way with much support from my Goldman Sachs family – I believe you can follow your dreams and work hard at the same time.
To anyone considering a career within Financial Services, I’d advise that you ensure you have basic fundamental understanding of what drives your clients – whoever your clients are. For us, our clients are employees in all our divisions worldwide. We need to understand how they work and what drives them in order to best meet their needs. On a lighter note (but just as important) make sure your job makes you want to get up in the morning and that you love it. Everyone I work with at Goldman Sachs loves what they do – regardless of what area they work in, whether it be Tax, Banking, Equities, Human Capital Management or Legal. At Goldman Sachs, you will be given the tools and opportunities to experience tremendous growth in both your personal and professional trajectory.