Sonus Benefits is comprised of genuine and passionate professionals devoted to giving you the best customer service you could hope to receive. A big part of creating a successful partnership with Sonus Benefits is our commitment to really understanding your unique needs. We believe it is key to strong communication that you are able get to know the members of our team as well.


Thomas G. Murphy

Managing Partner, Sonus Benefits
Thomas Murphy has been a partner with the MSMF team since 2005. In addition to his personal financial services practice, Tom manages Sonus Benefits, the Employee Benefits Division of MSMF. The team at Sonus works with employers with anywhere from 2 to over 5,000 employees.  Tom sits on numerous professional and charitable boards and routinely speaks to professional associations and employer groups on topics that relate to employee benefits and healthcare reform.

Tom holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational and Business Communication from Missouri State University. Upon graduation in 1986, Tom started his insurance career as Group insurance wholesaler and advanced to hold the position of Regional Vice President with a major insurance company and managed as many as 11 regional sales offices throughout the Midwest. In 2002, He made the transition to the Employee Benefit Consulting side and was a partner in at one of the largest independent employee health insurance brokerage firms in the St. Louis area. Tom is Past-President of the St. Louis Association of Health Underwriters and a past officer of the Missouri Association of Health Underwriters. Tom is a Member of Benefit Advisors Network, a premier network of credentialed independent benefit advisory and consulting firms.

Tom lives in Eureka with his wife, Dee Dee, and 3 daughters, Caitlin, Maddie and Emma. Other than his role as leading his great team at Sonus, his passion is spending time with family and friends.


Thomas F. Mengel, CLU, ChFC, MSFS

Tom is a principal and partner of MSMF, and has over 33 years of experience offering insurance and investment services to business and individual clients.  His extensive knowledge and experience allow him to adapt to the constantly-changing employee health insurance marketplace.

Tom earned a Master’s of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from The American College, and attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Missouri-Rolla.  He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.

Tom began his career in the financial services/insurance industry in 1979 with a major national insurance company, where he worked in both sales and sales management.  He has been active in the employee health insurance marketplace since 1980.  In 1990 he and Charles Surdyke formed the predecessor to MSMF.

Tom is an active member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors as well as Chairperson of the School Board.  In his spare time he enjoys numerous outdoor activities and spending time with his wife, Linda, and their children and grandchildren.

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Samuel Clifford

Chief Operations Officer
Sam has spent the last 15 years gathering skills in technical and business management, following his passion for operations. This has included a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Management & Finance, and advanced executive studies at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Sam is also an alumnus of General Electric’s leadership and executive development programs, and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. As COO at MSMF, Sam works closely with senior leadership to ensure smooth operations and first-class customer service. Sam has a wife, Stacy, and three children. In his spare time he enjoys sports, takes Tae Kwon Do, and still has a love for aviation and engineering.


Scott Schulte

Vice President
Scott began his career 1997 as an insurance wholesaler in St. Louis MO.  After 14 years running offices in St. Louis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh he joined the St. Louis office of a national brokerage firm and made the transition to the consulting/brokerage side of the business.  Although his focus was working with large employers across the country, Scott came to the realization that his passion was working with key stakeholders of companies where his experience and expertise could have the most impact and drive outstanding results.   A long-term professional relationship with Tom Murphy and his team at Sonus Benefits led to Scott joining them as Vice-President in 2016.

Scott is a Board Member of the Gateway Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and active within the Missouri Athletic Club.   He is a St. Louis native and currently resides in Kirkwood with his wife Tara and their four sons.




Jennifer Fuentes

Operations Manager, Employee Benefits
With over 10 years of experience in employee health insurance, Jennifer is integral to the day-to-day operations of Sonus Benefits.  In addition to her oversight of the Benefit’s team, Jen loves interacting with clients and providing world class service. She specializes in maintaining relationships, presenting client renewal materials, and delivering information to clients’ employees through enrollment meetings. Her dynamic approach to helping clients choose their ideal employee benefits package is highlighted by her passion for meeting new people. When Jennifer isn’t assisting clients, she can be found on her motorcycle traveling out to the wineries for live music and fun with her friends and family.


Betsy J. Mellon

Senior Account Executive
Betsy has over 25 years of experience in employee benefits. In her role, she is an advocate for our larger group clients and their employees. She proactively engages with our clients to help them resolve the various complications of employee health insurance and benefits. Betsy often meets with clients face-to-face, gaining a stronger appreciation for their needs and better positioning herself to ensure a client’s total understanding of our process. In her free time Betsy and her family are avid boaters; frequently setting sail during St. Louis’ warmer months.

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Joan Cochran

Client Account Executive
Joan’s 20+ years of expertise spans a wide variety of topics. She has worked on both the Insurance carrier side and the consulting side. From knowledge about medical, dental, life, and disability benefits to the day-to-day servicing of client needs, Joan actively builds relationships with our clients to help facilitate the success of their employee benefits programs. Joan is not only an active part of the Sonus Benefits’ team, but she is also constantly moving in her personal life as she enjoys biking, taking walks or traveling with her friends and family.


Jamie Robinson

Client Relationship Manager
With over 10 years of employee benefits experience, Jamie comprehensively manages every aspect of her Sonus Benefits clients’ needs. She takes special care to truly get to know her clients while fully educating them on our employee benefits process. Jamie enjoys spending time with her family and coaches competitive cheerleading; a skill set that compliments her ability to mentor our clients towards achieving their goals.


Julie Voss

Client Relationship Manager
With her 15 + Years of employee benefit experience, Julie is the primary resource for Sonus Benefits’ small group clients. She leverages her breadth of capabilities to assist clients seeking either individual or employee health insurance. Julie is genuinely motivated by the positive feedback she receives from our clients to provide unique solutions to their benefits needs. Outside of work, Julie delights in spending her time with friends and family snapping photographs and doing crafts.

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Melinda Young

Client Relationship Manager
Melinda has over 20 + years of experience in health and life insurance industry working on the Carrier side.  She just came to work at  Sonus Benefits in August, 2015 after 10 ½ years as New Business Representative at Anthem BCBS and 7 ½ years at GHP now known as Coventry, handling customer service initially, then retention and worked her way up to become an Account Manager handling the set-up of new groups and then renewing of those employer groups with Advantra Medicare HMO for their retirees.   Also, worked with Third Party Administrators to get large employer groups set up with Advantra Medicare HMO for their retiree’s, with employers such as Boeing, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis School Retirees, Southwestern Bell, IBEW Union, etc.   Melinda enjoys being able to work with our clients to help them understand and use their benefits.

Melinda has a positive outlook and big smile.  She loves our team environment and works to inspire herself and everyone to do their  best.  Outside of work  love to be outside walking, hiking, and spending any extra time with her twin sons and large family with 9 siblings.

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Tami Firsick

Benefits Administrator

Tami is a key component of Sonus Benefits efficiency and excellent customer service. She has a diverse range of skill sets that perfectly lend themselves to the various administrative duties she executes in support of the Sonus Benefits team. Her past career as an elementary school teacher makes her the ultimate defender of the details while always greeting our clients and the bigger picture with a smile. Tami boasts two years of experience in the employee benefits industry and delights in the team-centric environment of the Sonus Benefits workplace. When she’s not answering the phones, keeping our database in order, or saving the day, you can find her playing board games, cards, or reading.


Cindy Heard

Benefits Administrator

Cindy has recently joined the Sonus Benefits team after two years in the employee benefits department at Aflac. She enjoys developing personal relationships with her clients, and takes pride in helping and supporting families. Cindy will always greet you with a genuine smile and friendly hello, whether it’s in person or on the phone. She enjoys taking care of the details that make our team’s work flow smoothly, keeping them focused on their clients. Cindy enjoys working and interacting with a team, and she is always looking to expand her knowledge of the insurance industry. 

When she’s not supporting our Sonus Team and clients, Cindy enjoys camping, fishing, and Middle Ages reenactments, which she participates in with her two adult children. She gives back to the community by making baby blankets for Newborns in Need. 


Ken Schmidt, CLU, RHU, REBC

Senior Benefit Consultant
Ken, a native of St. Louis, began his insurance career in 1979.  Prior to joining Sonus Benefits, he worked as an Agent for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. 11-1/2 years, serving also as the Director of Agent Sales Training his last 2 years. Ken worked as an Account Executive and Assistant Vice President for Marsh Advantage America with expertise in individual and group life, medical, dental, disability, pension/retirement planning and annuities till June of 2004. Ken is currently a Benefits Consultant with Sonus Benefits by MSMF.

Ken graduated from Maryville University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and in 2012 from New England College with a Master of Arts in Public Policy.

Ken is a long-time member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and has held various legislative positions on the local, state, regional & national levels for 20 years. He  served as the NAHU Legislative Council Chair from 7/07 – 6/08 and currently serves as the Missouri Legislative Chair. Ken also  served as President of the Missouri Association of Health Underwriters (MOAHU) in 2010-2011. He was awarded the NAHU State Legislative Achievement Award in 2005 and 2011 and the NAHU Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and 2012.

Edward A. Tumbarello

Benefit Consultant
Ed has been in the insurance industry for over eleven years. Prior to getting into the employee benefits business, Ed worked in the accounting industry at Larson Allen, as well as customer service for the St. Louis Rams and Disney World. Ed has a degree in Communications from Southwest Missouri State and utilizes his education and past working history to help clients navigate the day-to-day challenges that arise.  Hard work, attention to detail, and a keen sense of business describe a few but valuable attributes of Ed Tumbarello. Ed resides in Ballwin with his wife, Noreen and 2 children, Mary and Eddie Jr. Ed enjoys spending his days either in manning a BBQ grill or coaching his children in their various sports.

Kyle Kozel

Benefit Consultant
Kyle Kozel has been affiliated with MSMF since 2009.  Kyle has worked in the Insurance industry for over ten years and has grown a very diverse client base ranging from 2-500 life employer groups.  Kyle also specializes on the Property and Casualty side, providing his clients with both Commercial and Personal Insurance needs.  Kyle attended the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, holds both CLCS and CWCA designations, and is a graduate of the Hartford School of Insurance.  Kyle is involved in many carrier focus groups, client seminars and continues his involvement in the community.  He resides in Kirkwood Missouri with his wife Sonja, and son Bryce.

Cape Girardeau Team:

Tom Viers

Regional Vice President
Thomas Viers, Regional Vice President at Sonus Benefits, recently joined the MSMF team managing the Southeast Missouri Region and is based in Cape Girardeau. He works with companies ranging from two employees to more than 700. He speaks to professional associations and employer groups on topics that relate to employee health insurance and health care reform.

Amanda Eftink

Benefits Consultant
Amanda is an account manager with 4 years of employee benefits experience, who specializes in assisting clients with claims adjudication issues. Amanda is also responsible for group renewals, presentations, and day to day office functions.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University. Outside of work, Amanda resides in Southeast Missouri with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys spending time with family and friends.