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Helping Families Access Parental Leave Benefits With Ease

Baby wrapped in a bath towel.

We believe in the importance of bonding time for all parents and their children. Employers benefit when employees can easily access the information they need to make informed decisions. Navigating the planning process for taking time away from work should be straightforward. We’re here to help. 


Our vision extends beyond parental leave benefits. We strive to empower employees at every workplace through cutting-edge technology and personalized solutions to confidently navigate the myriad of public, employer-sponsored, and private insurance coverage options to achieve financial well-being for millions of families.

Our parental leave planning tool helps families access their leave benefits with ease.

Our Story

Our parental leave planning tool was developed to help navigate the complex system of leave benefits.

was hatched in 2020 when first-time expecting mother Chengchen Li found herself struggling to navigate the complexities of planning her leave of absence.


Telecommuting in California and employed by a company in the Northeast, she needed clear and comprehensive information on the various leave options she had available to her. Unfortunately, she found no single resource that could help her coordinate her paid parental leave benefits.


Bouncing between three different parties - human resources, a third-party insurance administrator, and the California State Employment Development Department (EDD) - she spent numerous hours seeking answers to her questions about federal and state paid leave benefits and how they interacted with her employer’s disability benefits.

The idea for Penguin Benefits

Our Team

Chengchen Li, FSA, CLMS, MSx
Founder and CEO

Chengchen Li has a unique blend of deep insurance industry knowledge and the human-centric design thinking approach to innovation. With nearly 10 years of experience as an actuary, Chengchen (“CC”) understands the insurance product development process as well as modeling methods for financial contracts and regulations. The potential of using modeling, along with her personal experience navigating the complexity of leave benefits, sparked her interest in leveraging technology and innovation to address the complexity of leave planning.


Combining her professional background with a passion for solving pain points for working parents, CC founded Penguin Benefits with the goal of simplifying and streamlining the process of understanding and accessing parental leave benefits. Through the use of advanced algorithms and user-friendly interfaces, the platform provides employees with personalized guidance and support throughout the parental leave planning process.

CC’s vision for the company extends beyond parental leave benefits. She envisions a future where technology-driven solutions empower individuals to easily understand how to leverage a myriad of public, employer-sponsored, and private insurance coverage options to achieve financial well-being for their families. By harnessing the power of data and automation, CC aims to revolutionize the insurance industry and improve the lives of millions of families.

Chengchen Li, FSA, CLMS, MSx
Chengchen Li created the tool to help expecting parents navigate leave benefits.
Strategic Advisors

Rick Zhuang, Phd.

Seasoned CTO with skills in international product and engineering leadership.

Strong track record creating products and platforms which currently serve hundreds of millions of customers and generates billions in gross merchandise value.

Graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was a Sloan Fellow and achieved a PhD in Machine Learning.

Laura Burgess

Experienced HR leader specializing in early-stage startups and emerging growth companies.

Excels in navigating the challenges of rapid growth, establishing company culture, and developing policies to align with organizational goals.

Phil Bruen

Senior executive with a proven track record for driving revenue and earnings growth in the group benefits market from a variety of senior management roles in sales, product management and development, contracts and product compliance.

Deep expertise in paid leave and absence management, group life and disability insurance, as well as executive life and disability benefits.

A thorough understanding of the benefits and their interactions was important for planning my leave to ensure that all of my insurance claims were filed timely and correctly.


It was something I had to take upon myself to coordinate, and it was a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Chengchen Li

to her classmates while attending Stanford's Graduate School of Business Entrepreneurship Program. They researched the insurance and benefits needs of new parents. In the process, they spoke to hundreds of expecting parents and those seeking to adopt or foster children as well. They all shared the same struggle - there was no single resource for finding the information they needed to effectively plan their paid leave benefits.

Then Chengchen brought the challenge

As a result of her personal experience combined with the research during her class, the idea for the Penguin Benefits platform was born in 2020. Join us on the journey to make parental leave planning a better experience for all.

Liz Incze

Highly experienced and successful strategist, facilitator, and leadership coach with a focus on enabling high performance.

Deep expertise in the leave and disability insurance industry, and posseses a keen understanding of risk management.

Skilled in strategic planning, market development, operational strategy, and change management.

Stacy Varney

Growth-minded strategic sales, marketing and customer success leader.

Strong track record of helping companies grow by developing meaningful and lasting partnerships while delivering valuable products and services.

Multi-line insurance and insurtech professional and builder of strong and diverse teams to drive revenue.

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