Justin leader '05 & '07 

Justin Leader - Exercise Science success story.

Health Care In The Workplace

A bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in exercise science with a focus on wellness and injury prevention have put Justin Leader ’05, ’07 in a unique position. 

“Everybody these days needs a healthcare hero,” he says. 

He doesn’t wear a cape, but as vice president of business development for Benefit Design Specialists, Leader does provide a welcome guide for employers and human resources departments that are trying to navigate the ever-changing world of health care. 

“My job is to ensure employers can offer the best options to their employees at the best price,” he says. “Health care is (typically) the second-biggest expense for a company, so I try to mitigate that issue.” 

Leader was chosen by the Central Penn Business Journal for its “Forty Under 40 Awards 2017,” which honor young business leaders who are committed to business growth, professional excellence and community service. 

He credits his Cal U experience with preparing him for a job where both people skills and a scientific background come into play. 

“The moment I got to a human anatomy course at Cal U, I fell in love with science and changed my major to pre-med (biology),” Leader says. “I also was a Community Assistant in Longanecker Hall, where I was able to network and meet hundreds of fellow students. 

“From a scientific and people perspective, I can engage with businesses in a way that not everyone can.” 

He offers an example: If employees are filing claims related to repetitive-movement injuries, “maybe we can work together to find a more ergonomic way to conduct the work flow. If they need a knee replacement, let’s find a high-quality, low-cost surgical provider.” 

Leader credits his alma mater with opening doors.

“I look back to Cal U with a lot of appreciation. The other Community Assistants, the people in other organizations, they gave me a family structure. 

“Your college experience is what you make of it, but the atmosphere and opportunity allowed me to get where I am now.”