Our passion is to help people with serious medical conditions live better.

Meet the team:


Steve Wardle

CEO & Co-founder

Steve is a technology innovator who co-founded Iris Plans in 2015 to improve the quality of life for people living with serious illness. After beginning his career in investment banking, Steve transitioned to digital finance where he helped extend access to financial services for millions of poor and low-income customers across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He also launched and ran an $8m Impact Investment Fund, led a turnaround of Haiti’s largest financial institution, and served as Regional CEO for Grameen Foundation’s operations in Africa. During his time in Africa, Steve oversaw the expansion of digital health solutions now active in 15 countries and developed a passion for utilizing technology to extend the reach of healthcare services. He received his MBA and Health Sector Management certificate from Duke University. 


Stephen Bekanich, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-founder

Stephen is a palliative medicine physician who has started and directed several palliative care programs across the country including University of Miami's Medical Center, University of Utah’s Medical Center and Ascension Health’s largest palliative care program, Seton Palliative Care. He was the CEO of one of the country's most successful Accountable Care Organizations which included over 2,300 physicians and produced successful outcomes across their government and commercial relationships. Dr. Bekanich is the recipient of awards for medical leadership, innovation in health care, teaching, and patient and family satisfaction. He and his works have appeared throughout the medical and popular media as well as at national events.  Read a letter from our doctor.

Stephen is not practicing medicine with Iris Plans. For more information please click here.


Andrew Chen

Chief Product Officer & Co-founder

Andrew has been a technology innovator across multiple disciplines spanning e-commerce, social media analytics, artificial intelligence used in healthcare, and enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS).  He has held Product leadership roles in some of the fastest growing software companies in Austin.  Andrew has extensive experience vetting prototypes, piloting new concepts, and leading both Product and Engineering teams. He holds several issued and pending patents. Prior to co-founding Iris Plans, he managed digital health products aimed at helping patients and clinicians manage chronic conditions.   Andrew earned his Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. 

sam (1).jpg

SAm willcoxon

Executive Chairman

Sam brings a wealth of expertise, having served in a variety of senior management roles in both Fortune 500 and privately funded healthcare services companies. He joins the Iris team after successfully founding and leading Concerto Health (previously Fidelis SeniorCare) where he served as Chairman, President and CEO. He started his career at Baxter International as a sales representative, and rose over 14 years through a series of sales and marketing and general management positions. In his final position at the Baxter subsidiary Caremark, he created and led its physician practice management division and was part of the team that spun Caremark out of Baxter International. He moved on to pursue venture backed opportunities and successfully led four healthcare services companies, in addition to Concerto,  since then.

Liz Link

Director of Marketing & Communications 

Liz brings over a decade of nonprofit and for-profit marketing and communications experience to the team. She has led several organizations through rebranding campaigns and received national recognition for her work in aligning dispersed work teams to improve customer experience. With a passion for improving community health and wellbeing, Liz serves as a board member for two nonprofits, Partnerships for Children and Seton Cove. She was also named a 2018 Community Health Champion for Austin's Central Health and is a certified yoga instructor. Liz earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Texas. She also holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree with a focus on nonprofit management from Harvard University.



Vice President of Member Activation

Phil’s experience spans a leading global consulting firm, a boutique investment manager, the halls of the U.S. Congress, and a handful of startups. He began his career in Accenture’s business consulting practice and later served as an advisor in the United States Senate. Before joining Iris Plans, Phil led business development and then customer engagement for startup EVgo, building relationships with consumers and also some of the nation's largest retail, real estate, and healthcare companies. Phil holds a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University and a B.A. from Indiana University.

Elaine Cannizzaro

Vice President of Member Operations

Elaine has more than a decade of experience in advance care planning --opening the door to widespread facilitation of these meaningful conversations for those who need it most. Her expertise is in outreach, service design, and training. Elaine has focused her career on start-up operations in various fields including technology and healthcare. Elaine earned her Bachelor's degree in Communications from William Paterson University and her Master's degree in Psychology and Counseling from Goddard College.


Daniel McPherson

Senior Engineer

Daniel is a full-stack software engineer with experience building scalable and distributed web applications in a variety of team structures, company phases, and software development methodologies.  He has built his career alongside many Austin tech teams, including Bazaarvoice, RetailMeNot, and Indeed. Daniel holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.



Dima Tochilovsky

Vice President of Data Security & IT Operations

Dima is a skilled Security & Network Architect and team leader with over 15 years experience with I.T. security practices, security tools and regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI, GLB and NIST. He is also well versed in cloud infrastructure management, security countermeasures, security best practices and implementation. Dima earned a Master’s degree in Telecommunication Networks and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Brooklyn.