YPN Spotlight: Mike Gelin Employee Benefits Specialist with Seitlin Benefits

Posted:  December 5th, 2011 by:  YPN MIami comments:  0

Mike Gelin, a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and Insurance Advisor with Seitlin Benefits, has worked in the commercial insurance and employee benefits industry for ten years. As a Benefits Consultant, Mike is responsible for business development and client management which includes securing and retaining clients, routinely developing financial reports, marketing health and welfare plans, negotiating premium rates and benefits, organizing and planning open enrollment meetings and health fairs, and updating clients on the constantly changing federal and state rules and regulations affecting health and welfare benefits.

Mike’s professional success has largely been attributed to his involvement with various professional organizations. He currently serves as President of the South Florida Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists, HR Ambassador for the Human Resource Association of Broward County, and board member of the Youth Survivors Foundation, Inc.  He is also a past board member of the Cooperative Feeding Program and Treasurer of the Urban League of Broward County’s Young Professionals Network.  Mike is also a member of the Greater Miami Society of Human Resource Management, the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, the South Florida Compensation & Benefits Association, and other volunteer organizations.

Mike has recently been tapped to serve as an Advisory Board Member of YPN Miami as the Civic Engagement Chair.


1) You hardly meet anyone from South Florida. Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY, although my parents are from Haiti. So, I am a Haitian American and first generation American. It was difficult growing up in NY but the lessons learned gave me the strength and resiliency to be who I am today. Although I lstill love NY and enjoy my visits there, I prefer and enjoy being in South Florida. I have also spent some time living in Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, and spent time overseas in Ghana, West Africa and London, England. South Florida will always be home for my family.

2) What was your first professional job?

My first professional job after graduating from Morris Brown College was as an Energy Analyst for Enron Corporation in Houston, TX. Unfortunately, I was there for a year and a half before the company collapsed and was unemployed for 10 months after the bankruptcy. Although it was a difficult time, it is not an experience I fully regret. I met a lot of smart people there, learned a lot of tough life lessons that remain with me to this day, and always have a great story to tell. I still keep in touch with my friends from Enron.

3) What do you enjoy most about your current job?

My job, in essence, is to develop relationships with decision makers and bring in business. I really enjoy meeting new people, coming up with strategies to save my clients money, and engaging with employees to help them choose the right insurance programs for their family. I also enjoy the fact that my role is to be out of the office meeting and connecting with people.

A typical workday can be a breakfast meeting with a referral source such as a banker or lawyer, lunch with a client, dinner with a prospect followed by a Heat or Marlins game. That’s the fun part, but the stressful part is doing all that and still not winning the business. It’s difficult to go back to management and say I spent all this time and money with this CFO but he chose to work with another broker.

4) What do you do for fun?

For fun, stress relief, and to stay in good health, I try to stay active and enjoy competing in various sporting events including local 5k (3.1 miles) races, stair climbing events, and recreational basketball leagues. I enjoy basketball the most and play in organized and competitive men’s league’s 2-3 times a year. I also enjoy quiet time at home, the park, or bookstore my wife who I’ve been married to for about 4 years.

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