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Gov. Baker Fills 2 Connector Board Seats

After sweeping out four Connector Board members, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday morning named insurance executive Mark Gaunya and business consultant Rina Vertes to serve on the Massachusetts Connector Authority Board.

Vertes and Gaunya were appointed minutes before a scheduled board meeting and the governor's office reported they plan to participate in that gathering in Boston.

Gaunya is co-owner and chief information officer at Borislow Insurance. Vertes is president of Marjos Business Consulting.

Baker during the 2014 campaign for governor complained that there had been no major personnel changes at the Connector Authority despite major problems with the rollout of an expensive website intended to help people comply with requirements of the new federal insurance law.

"Our administration believes these health care professionals with decades of experience will continue the turnaround effort of the Connector, and provide the people of Massachusetts with an efficient, well run exchange," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in a statement.

Gaunya is filling a seat reserved for a member of the broker community on the 11-member board, with Vertes taking a seat set aside for a health insurance actuary.

Gaunya has served as chair of the Healthcare Cost and Quality Transparency Taskforce for the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). He was president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters from 2009 until 2013.

Vertes previously worked as chief financial officer of Minuteman Health, chief actuary and chief underwriter at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and in the health care and investment divisions of CIGNA. At Blue Cross Vertes took the lead on a global payment and performance-based incentives contract, according to Baker's office.

In late February, Baker asked for the resignations of four Connector Board members and they all complied. The former board members are MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, independent actuarial consultant John Bertko, Spring Insurance Group CEO George Gonser and Massachusetts Nonprofit Network CEO Rick Jakious.

"I think our view on this is we desperately want to fix this," Baker said in February. "We have a lot of ideas about how to get from here to there and simply felt that the best way for us to do that would be to put as many people on that board who are part of our team as we possibly could."

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