About

Leadership

Meet our leaders
in the health revolution

Delivering healthcare the way it should be takes a dedicated team with vision, experience, and a shared commitment to improving lives through better health.

Our executive team and board of directors is composed of experts in the medical, financial, health care technology, health care administration, clinical operations, human resources, and business operations fields. Together, they are a passionate and formidable force for change in the healthcare industry. Learn more about each member of our leadership team below.

  • Executive Team

    • Sarah Cole

      Chief Financial Officer
    • Sue Ferbet

      Chief Clinical Operations Officer
    • Jennifer Sargent

      Chief Commercial Officer
    • Ryan Schmid

      President & CEO
    • Ashley Smith

      VP People Strategy
    • CJ Venkataraman

      Chief Digital Officer
    • Kevin Wang

      Chief Medical Officer
  • Board of Directors

    • Ryan Schmid

    • Kent Johnson

    • Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE

    • Jared Kesselheim, MD

    • Harry L. Eichelberger

Sarah Cole

Chief Financial Officer

Sarah Cole, Chief Financial Officer, leads Vera’s Finance, People Strategy, and Learning and Development teams. She works closely with Vera’s sales and customer success teams to provide strategic perspective to contract development and believes that careful research, thoughtful partnership, and disciplined planning helps Vera to align with customers to achieve their goals.

Sarah previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, T-Mobile, and in economic development.

Since 2009, Sarah has been involved with Friends of the Children, as both Board President and a Board Member, and most recently as an avid supporter.

Sarah is a CPA and holds a B.A. in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Washington and an E.M.B.A. from Seattle University.

Sue Ferbet

Chief Clinical Operations Officer

Sue Ferbet is Chief Clinical Operations Officer and leads Clinical Operations, Clinical Management, Compliance and Quality, and Facilities and Supply Chain teams.  Sue believes that strong patient-provider relationships are the foundation for helping people reach their personal goals.

Sue previously held the role of Chief Nurse Practitioner and Senior Director of Health Care Initiatives and Health Care Clinics at Walgreens Health Care Clinics where she helped Walgreens grow their footprint from 25 to 400 clinics over three years. She practiced as an FNP for seven years and as an RN for nine years.

Sue received an M.S.N. as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Missouri at St. Louis after attending Goldfarb School of Nursing.

Jennifer Sargent

Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial Officer, Jennifer Sargent leads the Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams at Vera, matching and aligning Vera’s healthcare solution with business partners who understand the importance of investing in their people. Jennifer believes that trust is earned, and that open, honest, and healthy relationships with customers are key to transforming a broken healthcare system.

Jennifer previously worked as Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions at Optum where she drove growth in national accounts. She has held roles in sales, customer management, marketing, and product management at a variety of health-focused organizations including Life Time Fitness, US Preventive Medicine, and Matria HealthCare.

Jennifer holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology, an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of North Dakota.

Ryan Schmid

President & CEO

Ryan Schmid, Co-founder, President and CEO of Vera Whole Health, is set on transforming our reactive sick care system into the life-giving, life-empowering industry it was meant to be. He believes that health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a “... state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” And he believes that at the foundation of this new, transformed healthcare system is empathy.

Ryan is also the co-founder of Hope Central Pediatric and Behavior Health and Rainier Health and Fitness, non-profits dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people in low-income areas.

Ryan earned an M.B.A. at Seattle University and holds a B.S. in Business, with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Management, from the University of Oregon.

Ashley Smith

VP People Strategy

Ashley Smith is Vice President of People Strategy and leads Human Resources, Learning and Development, and Recruiting. Core to her role is building and developing a clinical care team with the right fit for both Vera and the customer’s organizational culture. Ashley believes that investment in an organization’s workforce is the key to unlocking true business potential.

Ashley holds over 15 years of experience in Human Resources with an emphasis on organizational growth, change management, and process improvement. She spent 10 years at Alere Wellbeing (a behavioral change healthcare organization now part of Optum), leading the development of performance management and coaching tools for staff development.

Ashley is a Certified Professional Coach. She holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from Eastern Washington University and is pursuing a Leadership Executive M.B.A at Seattle University.

Ashley invests in the local Seattle community as a board member of a nonprofit and as an Advisory Board Member of the HR Management Certificate Program at the University of Washington.

CJ Venkataraman

Chief Digital Officer

CJ Venkataraman is Chief Digital Officer at Vera, leading our Product Management, Business Operations, and Digital teams.  CJ believes that putting customers at the center of Vera’s efforts is the only way to build trusting, successful partnerships.

CJ’s previous roles included Chief Information Officer of Delta Dental of Washington, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of the Systems and Technology Group at Intellectual Ventures, Director of Technology Architecture and Development at Corbis, and various lead engineering roles at Microsoft. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Washington State chapter of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and a Board Director at the Seattle University MSBA program

CJ holds an M.B.A. in Technology Management from City University of Seattle and an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Madras in India.

In his spare time CJ lives a soccer life vicariously through his kids and is also on a very long journey to perfect his golf game.

Kevin Wang

Chief Medical Officer

Kevin is Chief Medical Officer at Vera, leading our Quality and Provider teams.  Central to Kevin’s role is enhancing the Vera Whole Health clinical roadmap and improving quality, patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and clinician satisfaction.   

Kevin has previously worked at DaVita Medical group, Evolent Health, and Huron Consulting Group where he successfully designed and implemented population health clinical interventions across diverse healthcare landscapes including health plans, academic medical centers, employer-based clinics, integrated delivery systems, large physician groups, and independent community hospitals. 

Kevin’s training was in the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  Kevin holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from New York Medical College.

Ryan Schmid

Co-founder, Vera Whole Health. Co-founder and chairman of the Board, Hope Central Pediatric and Behavior Health Clinic. Co-founder Rainier Health and Fitness, a nonprofit health and fitness center.

Kent Johnson

Chairman of the Board, Vera Whole Health. Managing Director of Aebig & Johnson Business Resolutions, LLC, Managing Director of Alexander Hutton Venture Partners, Adjunct Professor, Seattle University, Director of several private and public companies.

Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Virginia Mason Medical Center, a nonprofit regional healthcare system with 6,000 employees, a 334-bed acute care hospital and a 450-physician clinic. Sarah has been in healthcare administration for over 30 years and has helped lead the design and implementation of Virginia Masons' lean production system to eliminate waste, improve quality, and ensure patient safety.

Jared Kesselheim, MD

Co-founder and Managing Partner of Leerink Transformation Partners and co-leader of the firm's growth equity investing in healthcare information technology and services. Prior to forming LTP in 2016, Jared was a Partner and the leader of the healthcare investing practice at Bain Capital Ventures. Jared also completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Harry L. Eichelberger

Founder of Archimedes Health Investors, a healthcare-focused private equity firm. Harry has been an investor in healthcare companies for 13 years, including companies such as SmartPak, Physician's Oncology Services, AccentCare Home Health, Accretive Health, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and RainTree Oncology Services. He has also led interactions with health policymakers in Washington as a past board member of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.

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