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2020 40 Under 40 William C. Short

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

WILLIAM C. SHORT, 39

CHAIRMAN/CEO, AMERIFLEX HOLDINGS

William C. Short is one of the consumer healthcare industry’s leading experts on the administration of health care benefits and the development of health care payment technology.

He identified early the disconnect among the patients, the doctors providing the care and the insurance industry which created vast inefficiency and caused healthcare costs to continuously rise in the U.S.

“In 1999, Ameriflex pioneered the healthcare debit card which has since become an industry standard. … The idea was revolutionary and transformed the industry,” said nominator Dustin Hodges, who works at Ameriflex.

Ameriflex Holdings is a holding company that owns Ameriflex one of the nation’s largest and most well-respected health care payment processors, Work-ForceGO! and Accresa Health.

Short was honored in 2013 with the CEO Leadership Award by the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism. In 2014 and again in 2016, he was elected chairman of the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation in Washington, D.C., the industry’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the advocacy, education, advancement and innovation of tax benefit programs.

Short recalls a lunch 20 years ago with his late grandfather, a career military officer, who asked him what he wanted to be and how he would define failure.

Short defined failure as being broke. “The loss of pieces of paper,” his grandfather said. He went on the say he had kept a list over the years of those he knew personally “who gave their lives so you could just lose pieces of paper.” That’s a debt that can only be repaid by striving each day to be the best you can be and using our abilities to create and maintain productive communities, he said.

“This conversation pushed me through failure knowing that I had a duty to continue, to never give up, and no doubt has been the source of all my success,” Short said.

“Understanding that the worst thing that could ever happen to me is losing some ‘pieces of paper’ has freed me from the shackles of a fear of failure as my failure will never come close to those that never had the opportunity to succeed,” Short said.

In 2015, Short launched his third company, Accresa, a direct primary care payment platform that connects people to a primary care physician or concierge medicine service.

In 2017, Ameriflex achieved an important milestone of putting $1 billion dollars back into the pockets of American families by helping them save money on healthcare expenses.

Short is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, has a master of science degree in Computer Information Systems/Information Technology from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, and is a graduate of the OPM program at Harvard Business School.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

Colorworks In Kansas City, Missouri. I bound airplane operating manuals for a summer.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

The movie Gattaca, as it depicts the human spirit combined with a drive to achieve will conquer all when applied and executed by a motivated individual.

What other profession would you like to try?

Medicine/ medical research.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I am not sure I know today what I want to be when I grow up.

What is your favorite song?

Lo Hi, The Black Keys

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

One prop is the first article that I got published on health savings accounts and the other is copy of my book. I am a classic dyslexic and the mysteries of language, not to mention the written word, have always been and continues to be a challenge; therefore, my first published article from 2005 and then having the opportunity to publish a book in late 2015/early 2016 is nothing short of a miracle.

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