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The Cowan Team

Cowan employs a team of more than 80 highly qualified professionals with extensive experience in insurance underwriting, benefits brokerage, finance and human resources. Our experts stay current on industry trends and legislation to best serve you and are committed to continuous professional growth.

Executive Leadership

Matt Cowan - President

Matt Cowan has 32 years of experience in employee benefits brokerage and consulting, 22 of those years spent leading Cowan to its place as a premier consulting firm. He was formerly vice president with Johnson & Higgins of Tennessee.

Matt Cowan

Matt has devoted the entirety of his career to excellence in the insurance industry. He has more than 30 years of benefits consulting experience with large groups in Tennessee, and founded Cowan Benefit Services more than 20 years ago.

He's an expert in health care reform, brokerage services, benefit plan design, financial analysis, underwriting services, and plan administration. 

Matt enjoys running a business whose main goal is to help people. His first goal is to provide a healthy place for people to work, and then to work side by side with the staff to solve the complex problems Cowan's clients face. He has helped employers with 10 to 250,000 employees tackle their benefits challenges.

Robert Frutchey - Vice President and CFO

Bob Frutchey has 17 years of healthcare and insurance experience and has served Cowan for nine years. He is a certified public accountant and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Business.

Robert Frutchey

Robert is passionate about business and finance and applying fine-tuned strategies to produce growth. He's been involved in health care and health insurance for more than 17 years. He is a certified public accountant and has an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Business.

After completing his MBA and CPA certification, he took his love of business and finance to a Big Four accounting firm before pouring into a number of startups. Robert finds it very exciting to work with small entrepreneurial companies, taking the opportunity to invest in their growth, and developing a small staff into more than 1,000 employees.

Robert loves getting to work alongside wonderful people who bring their best each day. He greatly enjoys having the opportunity to work for a leader who has great vision, unflappable integrity, and an appreciation for those who help further his vision for the company and its clients.

Aeron Lucas - Vice President and COO

Aeron Lucas has 20 years of experience in employee benefits brokerage and consulting and has been with Cowan for 18 years. He was formerly an account manager with Aetna.

Richard Girdler - Vice President, Brokerage

Richard Girdler has 27 years of experience in employee benefits brokerage and consulting and has been with Cowan for 18 years. He currently serves on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Regional Advisory Council and on the State Board of the Tennessee Association of Health Underwriters. 

Richard Girdler

Richard's areas of expertise include funding, employee communication/motivation, and brokerage/consultative services. He especially enjoys working with employers of all sizes by helping them make sense of the consumer driven and wellness claims saving opportunities that present themselves today.

Formerly, Richard was Marketing Director for two local HMOs and started with a leading benefits insurance company. He also serves on various industry boards

A graduate of Auburn University with a BBA in Finance, his education has continued and includes a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation through the International Foundation of Employee Benefits and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Richard also participates in other professional and continuing education courses to provide the best service possible for Cowan's clients.

Kirsten Spruill - Vice President, Process Improvement & Systems

Kirsten Spruill has 21 years of employee benefits experience and has been with Cowan for 18 years. She worked previously for Vanderbilt University's employee benefits department. 

Kirsten Spruill

For more than two decades, Kirsten has been involved in all aspects of employee benefits and related technology. She believes that working at Cowan means being part of a visionary team that cares about its people and its clients.

At Cowan, Kirsten leads a team that interacts with clients’ human resources information systems (HRIS), from consulting and advising clients to designing and maintaining entire HRIS solutions. As vice president of technology services, she also manages Cowan’s internal IT department and the technology solutions the company uses to further business goals.

Kirsten loves technology and how it can be used to solve problems or accomplish tasks more efficiently. She's energized by great ideas and appreciates having the opportunity to find a way to make them happen.

Greg Sherrod - Vice President, East Tennessee

Greg Sherrod has five years of benefits experience. He was previously with Ameriplan Benefit Corporation. 

Greg Sherrod

Greg has spent the past five years developing an expertise in insurance and benefits that he now uses to serve clients for Cowan Benefit Services. As vice president, he oversees all aspects of operations and business development for the East Tennessee office.

Greg received his degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and currently serves as a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters. He enjoys meeting the people who seek out Cowan's services and finds it very fulfilling to provide top-notch service that directly impacts their lives and businesses.

Jeff Owen - Vice President, Employer Services and IT

Jeff has been with Cowan for over 9 years. Previously, he spent time as a software analyst and network support specialist for a Nashville Business Journal Top 100 company, followed by an extended term as IT Manager for a company recognized as a Music City Future 50 company. 

Jeff Owen

As Vice President of Employer Services and IT, Jeff manages all operational and technical resources that are involved in Cowan’s day-to-day business activities. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, network design and security, HRIS, HIPAA e-compliance, and process improvement and implementation. Jeff oversees Cowan’s Information Technology department along with the Employer Services team, which includes Benefit Administration, COBRA administration, Billing reconciliation, and HRIS Client System Services.

Jeff has been with Cowan for over 9 years. Previously, he spent time as a software analyst and network support specialist for a Nashville Business Journal Top 100 company, followed by an extended term as IT Manager for a company recognized as a Music City Future 50 company.

Jeff graduated from Austin Peay State University with a B.S. in Computer Science and received his MBA from Bethel University. His industry certifications include Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator and Engineer: Windows 2003 (Security), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Vista and Windows 2008, and Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Windows 2008 (Enterprise Architect).