HealthPass, an health insurance exchange for small employers, has appointed Mark Kessler as its new director of strategic initiatives.

Kessler will assist HealthPass strengthen its position in the metropolitan New York City small employer health insurance marketplace and prepare for future health reform initiatives.

HealthPass executive director Vince Ashton said that Mark will play a significant role in expanding the network of contacts through New York City and State, and will be an important member of the HealthPass team as the company participate in the process of creating health insurance exchanges in New York under the new health reform law.

Earlier to HealthPass Kessler was vice president of membership and member services at The Business Council of New York State. From 1999 to 2007, Kessler held various management roles including interim president and CEO at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

In partnership with GHI (now Emblem Health), Kessler spent seven years developing Brooklyn HealthWorks, an health insurance product for small businesses in Brooklyn.