Columbia Benefit Solutions has been serving the Portland metro area since 1990 and is led by Kathy Gadinas and Jill Pedersen. We specialize in guiding employers and individuals in benefit designs and insurance plans without a sales pitch. Licensed in both Oregon and Washington, we take pride in being an effective and reliable local resource for our clients with unbiased advice. We have over 35 years of industry experience and are here to serve your unique insurance needs.

 

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Meet Kathy

Kathy Gadinas, CLTC is a licensed agent in both Oregon and Washington and partner at Columbia Benefit Solutions (CBS). For more than three decades, she has been assisting employers with navigating complex Federal and State healthcare legislative changes from HIPAA to the PPACA.  Kathy earned her B.S. in Business from George Fox College in Newberg, Oregon.

She is an active participant in her industry association, the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). She is a past Oregon Chapter President and the Oregon Legislative Chair and continues to be an active member of the Legislative Committee. She was also invited to participate in the Regence BCBS or Oregon Agent Advisory Committee where she was able to make meaningful recommendations to leadership. She also serves on the Oregon Health Forum (OHF) Committee that selects industry speakers to educate community leaders on relevant topics each month.

Kathy’s area of expertise is employer benefits for large employers. She is a relentless advocate for her clients and brings a depth of knowledge to assist them in their efforts to offer competitive benefits at a competitive cost. She is especially passionate regarding ERISA responsibilities and raising awareness with employers.

Born and raised in The Dalles, Kathy learned her strong work ethic on her family cherry orchard.  She is a proud mom of her son who attends OSU on a presidential scholarship. In her spare time, she enjoys attending Duck games with her partner Mike and enjoying the outdoors at their home in Sherwood with her cat, Tony.

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Meet Jill

Jill Pedersen, REBC is a licensed agent in Oregon, Washington and Arizona and partner at CBS.  Jill is well versed in health care reform and presents on a wide variety of complex issues to employers and individuals. She is passionate about finding creative solutions for small employers and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the complex world of retirement.

A strong believer in education, Jill has received her REBC (Registered Employee Benefits Consultant) which designates industry professionals who have a strong understanding of employee benefit programs.  She has also received multiple certifications including ACA, Medicare and Wellness. In addition, she is serving as the NAHU Professional Development Chair on the National Board of Trustees (2019-2020).

As an active participant in her industry association, NAHU, she has served as past President of both her Local and State Chapters in addition to numerous leadership roles. She remains an active member of the Legislative Committee and continues to advocate for consumers in Salem and Washington DC.

She enjoys serving in her community and is currently on the CASA of Clackamas County Board which advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. She also volunteers annually at the Clackamas County Fair as a taste tester.  

In 2019, Jill was recognized as a Portland Business Journal Women of Influence Nominee. She also received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award in 2019 which honors NAHU members who have contributed significantly above and beyond what is normally called for in connection with association volunteer service at the local, state and national level over an extended period of time. The nominee’s commitment of time, talent and finances to the advancement of the association and the health insurance industry are considered exemplary. The award is given once a lifetime.

Jill and her husband spend their time traveling to visit their three adult sons and walking their Miniature Schnauzer, Murphy, along the trails in Oregon City. 

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Meet Karin

Karin Hoffmann-Burns joined our team as our Account Manager in October 2019.  She began her insurance career in 2003 and her experience working with employee benefits and individual insurance products is a tremendous asset to CBS. As an accomplished employee benefits professional she saw the need for educating employers and individuals on disability insurance.

She enjoys consulting with employers on long-term strategies and educating employees on their insurance benefits in a down-to-earth and understandable way.  Her sharp eye for detail and vision for organization are the back-bone of every great Account Manager. 

She is an active participant in our industry association, NAHU, and is serving on the Oregon Legislative Committee. She has traveled to both Salem and Washington DC with her colleagues to advocate for employee benefits and consumers.

Karin is a lifelong Oregonian, an OSU alum, and busy wife and mother to two small children. In her ‘spare time’ she enjoys spending time with her family and her two cats.

 

Meet Charity

Charity joined CBS in September 2019 as our Account Representative. Her health insurance experience dates back to the onset of the ACA in 2014 when she helped individuals enroll during the Cover Oregon days.  She has a diverse background which gives her the ability to find common ground with everyone she meets.  She was recently employed at Nordstrom – the brand known for their legendary customer first environment – where she sharpened her already stellar customer service skills.

She is a prior small business owner of her own hair salon in Portland.  As the economy took its toll on her business, she realized that her creative side would need to step aside to the practical demands of life.  She is passionate about people and helping them find joy in their day-to-day life.

Charity is a NW Native and grew up in Spokane, Washington. She is an avid reader and a believer in empowering others.  In her down time, she heads to the gym, hangs out with friends, dabbles at drawing and chases down her 3 cats and fish!

 

Charity Smith