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Niels Eskelsen, MBA, CPA, brings over 35 years of experience in the health and human services industry as an executive and consultant to the OPEN MINDS team. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, managed care organizations, business development, organizational re-engineering, information technology solutions, and rate setting and financial management. Mr. Eskelsen currently serves as Chief Business Officer for Partners Behavioral Health Management, a managed care organization (MCO), based in Gastonia, North Carolina.

Prior to joining Partners, Mr. Eskelsen was the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Business Operations for Piedmont Behavioral Health (now called Cardinal Innovations), a North Carolina Medicaid 1915 (b)(c) waiver demonstration project.

Previously, Mr. Eskelsen served as the Vice President Shareholder for Criterion Health, Inc., a management services organization, based in Redmond, Washington. Mr. Eskelsen co-founded Criterion and was responsible for the development and implementation of all operations and business development for the company. In this role, he designed and implemented all performance-based compensation systems, led the strategic planning process, and conducted market feasibility studies to guide new product/service line development. In addition, Mr. Eskelsen developed cost reduction strategies, conducted managed care system reviews, completed actuary studies for alternative reimbursement, contracting methodologies and administrative structures, and led merger and acquisition activities.

Mr. Eskelsen began his career managing a variety of organizations and product lines, focused on increasing overall organizational profitability including General Manager roles for AVITA Health & Fitness Products and later, Terra Technology Corporation. Prior to working with Terra Tech, he served as the Finance/Administrative Officer for Northwest Behavioral Services, Inc. where he directed finance and administrative departments for behavioral health services agency for the public and private markets.

In addition to his corporate roles, Mr. Eskelsen has served as an independent consultant and assisted numerous organizations with projects related to mergers and acquisitions, executive training, product marketing, and financing.

Mr. Eskelsen earned his Master of Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from Seattle University and his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington. In addition, Mr. Eskelsen holds a CPA license in Washington State.

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