Big Shoulders: Heather Holmes, CEO and Founder, Genivity

 |   Adam J. Hecktman

Data around a person’s health has become common-place. Between electronic healthcare records, wearable fitness devices, exercise equipment and programs, and consumer hereditary tests, we are almost inundated with data about our physical well-being. Financial data has long been a mainstay of our lives. We use it to create our budgets, prepare for retirement, and do our estate planning.

Heather Holmes made a bet. She bet that by connecting health and wealth planning, advisors and their clients could create more effective and realistic plans while turning the process into a “family collaboration.” And she was right. She created Genivity. She positions Genivity as a family-engagement platform for financial advisors. providing advice on health risks and care costs to help retain clients and their next generation heirs.

I met Heather at a breakfast for a co-hort of WiSTEM participants out of 1871 Chicago. WiSTEM creates a space for women founder. It brings some of the best and brightest of female founders in Chicago together. It is one of the many programs that amazes me with every passing cohort.

When you first meet Heather, you are taken by her command of individual and family health, genetics, and medical records. Then she hits you with her depth of knowledge of how estate planning works, and how it can go horribly wrong. I asked her if her background was in genetics or finance. “Neither,” she tells me matter-of-factly, “I was a TV news reporter”. Of course! Obviously, there is a fascinating story here. See my interview with Heather and how Genivity takes the scariness out of two scary domains.

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Adam J. Hecktman
Adam J. Hecktman

You may recognize Adam. He’s a regular on TV, you can hear him on the radio, he’s penned numerous articles and is the co-founder of the Chicago City Data Users Group. But some of Adam’s most important work is done behind the scenes in his role as Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Engagement for Chicago. Tech giants, universities and government leaders turn to Adam for guidance on all matters technology, and he happily obliges, helping Chicago overcome challenges and capitalizing on new, exciting opportunities.