About Us

Howard Danzig

Founder and President

I started out a small business owner. I was in a family business involved in retail gas stations, photo shops, and airport parking. Like you, I know taking care of employees is not only the right the thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do – keeping good people a long time is a component of a successful business model. My experience with group health insurance, frankly, pissed me off!

Having an accounting and cost management background, I was always uncovering waste. So when group insurance agents couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me what the underlying costs of medical services were, I tried to find answers. I learned that smaller businesses did not get the institutional discounts large companies got – I was being made to pay retail while the big boys paid wholesale!

So rather than get mad, I got even and founded ECCHIC. Today we have helped hundreds of employers stabilize their programs. Most haven’t had their benefit levels change during the last five or 10 years. Let’s talk and see what we can do for you.


Howard in Action on phone

Heather Ambro

VP of Administration Services

I started working with The ECCHIC Group in 2002, and worked my way up from part time data entry to Vice President of Administration. I enjoy the challenges and learning something new all the time. Working with The ECCHIC Group and getting to be creative with health insurance has been rewarding, especially when seeing what clients have been able to achieve and the savings they have been able to accrue.  In 2014 I began sitting on the board for the St. Louis Health Underwriters, becoming president in 2018.   

My other passion besides working is my family, husband Darren and two daughters Renee and Maisie. We also enjoy camping, spending time with friends and brushing up on our Martial Arts skills.


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Luke Phelps

VP of Business & Marketing Development

I am licensed in Property/Casualty Insurance in McLeansboro, IL. I’m graduated with an Associates of Science and Associates of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL with a B.A. in Economics. I started working with Howard and Heather in, and bringing the ECCHIC method to clients, particularly in Illinois, has been a truly rewarding experience. Speaking of rewarding, my wife and I reside in Eldorado, IL with our two children, Laban and Leah.



Luke Photo

Lon Bernstein

As a health care consultant with Ernst & Young, and later working with the BJC Health System in the late 90s, Lon Bernstein witnessed large employers buying medical benefits differently than small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Larger companies accessed medical coverage for their employees much more cost-effectively. There was undeniable value in educating SMBs about how they could implement the same cost management methods being used by larger companies to benefit their businesses and employees.

In 2001, Lon formed Health Star Consulting and began educating SMBs on how to purchase their health plans using the same cost management methods as large employers, and he has worked with hundreds of employers doing just that. Most of these employers end up saving  20% to 40% on their insurance costs compared with the prior year. Additionally, the reduced plan costs often last for several years at a time with unchanged benefit levels.

In 2018, Health Star Consulting integrated with ECCHIC. However, the firm’s mission has not changed: We’re dedicated to educating SMBs about the rapidly changing insurance system and to introducing common-sense cost management solutions.


Lon Bernstein new
Team ECCHIC Shot

Contact the ECCHIC Team

Howard Danzig President Theecchicgroup@ecchic.com
Heather Ambro Vice President of Administration Hambro@ecchic.com
Luke Phelps Vice President of Business Development luke@hcsolutionsonline.com
Britny McClenahan Executive Administrative Assistant Bmcclenahan@ecchic.com
Georgeanna Cowan Office Assistant Gcowan@ecchic.com
Sarah Smith Office Assistant Ssmith@ecchic.com
Faith Chasen Claims Manager Fchasen@ecchic.com
Trudy Bonacorsi Claims Administrator TBonacorsi@ecchic.com
Tom Lecroy New Client Liaison MLecroy@ecchic.com
Theodore Guarino New Client Liaison TGuarino@ecchic.com
Sandi Anthony ECCHIC Claim Review Services Santhony@ecchic.com
Lon Bernstein Partner


Andre Thomas Associate