What’s Next in Health and Benefit Card Payment Services

Evolution Benefits offers prepaid benefit cards for the employee benefits market, including solutions for health-related benefits accounts like Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and Health Savings Accounts. PYMNTS.com spoke with Lynda Godkin, Evolution Benefits’ new Vice President and General Counsel, about how this facet of the payments industry may evolve.


PYMNTS.com: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into payments and what it means to be Vice President and General Counsel at Evolution Benefits?


LYNDA GODKIN: Born and raised in New York, I moved to New England to attend Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. After practicing large in a large law firm in Hartford, Conn., I moved into the corporate legal environment. In this arena, I felt I could be involved as business plans were being generated and new opportunities were being explored. I was Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Hartford Life, Inc. when it became a publicly-traded company. After leaving The Hartford, I came to work at Women’s Health USA, Inc., which shares office space and certain administrative functions with Evolution Benefits, Inc. I was asked to run Evolution Benefits’ charitable program, TeacherDollars Cards, which gave me exposure to the payments industry.


As Vice President and General Counsel of Evolution Benefits, I am responsible for overseeing all of the legal issues that come before the company. Those issues run the gamut from corporate transactions to negotiating contracts with our customers.


PYMNTS: What was most attractive about Evolution Benefits, and what was the driving factor to join the team?


GODKIN: Evolution Benefits is a growing business with a bright future. I was attracted by the people, who are dynamic and energetic.


PYMNTS: PYMNTS.com is all about “what’s next” in payments. How will you, in your role, help Evolution Benefits define “what’s next”?


GODKIN: The senior management team is always on the lookout for new opportunities for growing the business and for making sure we are ready if the environment is about to change in a dramatic way. In my role, I stay abreast of emerging legal and legislative trends so that I may assist in spotting areas for potential growth and risk.


PYMNTS: Who or what has been your biggest influence in your career?


GODKIN: My husband, Ken Hickey, has been the biggest influence in my career. Through law school, my practice of law and our raising of our two daughters (now 27 and 21), Ken has always found ways to be a supportive and loving lifelong partner.



Executive Bio: Lynda Godkin currently is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Women’s Health USA, Inc. (“Women’s Health”), a business partner for physicians, which she joined in 2006.

Prior to Women’s Health, Lynda served in positions of increasing responsibility at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The Hartford) from 1990 to 2006.  Ms. Godkin joined The Hartford’s life and annuity subsidiary, Hartford Life Insurance Company, as Counsel.  At Hartford Life, Lynda was named Assistant General Counsel and Director of the Law Department in 1994, General Counsel in 1996 and Senior Vice President in 1999.  

In January 2001, Ms. Godkin was appointed Senior Vice President, State and Community Relations of The Hartford.  In that position, Ms. Godkin was responsible for an integrated strategy combining government affairs for the State of Connecticut, where The Hartford’s worldwide headquarters are located, and the Company’s philanthropy, volunteerism and educational outreach in all major employee locations.

In 1998, as a member of the Hartford Life Initial Public Offering (IPO) Team, Ms. Godkin was awarded The Hartford’s top corporate award, the Chairman’s Award, for Outstanding Business Achievement.  She also was one of the senior executives who rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange when the offering “went public.”  In April 2004, she won her second Chairman’s Award for leading the development of the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (“NINA”).  NINA is a consortium of The Hartford, Aetna, St. Francis Hospital, Webster Bank, ING and Mass Mutual which is dedicated to revitalizing the companies’ neighborhood of Asylum Hill in Hartford.

Prior to joining The Hartford, Ms. Godkin practiced law at CIGNA Corporation from 1985 – 1990.  She began her legal career in the Corporate Finance Department from 1981 – 1985 at Day, Berry & Howard (now Day Pitney LLP) in Hartford.

A native of Southampton, New York, Ms. Godkin graduated from Friends Seminary in Manhattan.  She earned her B.A Magna Cum Laude in Psychology and French from Mount Holyoke College where she also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She received her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law, where she was Editor of the Law Review.

Ms. Godkin continues as Chair of the Board of NINA.  She also is a Trustee of McLean, a continuum of healthy aging and 4200-acre Game Refuge in Simsbury and Granby, Connecticut, which were established by the will of the late U.S. Senator George P. McLean. She also recently joined the Board of the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

Since 2006, Ms. Godkin has overseen the TeacherDollars™ Program at Evolution Benefits, Inc.  Through the generous contributions of corporate, foundation and individual donors, special purpose debit cards called TeacherDollars Cards are provided to teachers in the Hartford Public Schools

(“HPS”) that have achieved significant increases on the HPS’ Superintendent education reform plan.  The teachers use the TeacherDollars Cards to purchase classroom materials that enhance their students’ learning.

Ms. Godkin resides in Granby, Connecticut, with her husband, Ken Hickey.  They have two daughters, Sarah DeLucia, who lives in Chicago with her husband, Chris, and is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Rachel, a senior majoring in bio-chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.  Lynda’s hobbies are skiing, golfing, cooking and reading.