Jane Armstrong, Esq.
Jane Armstrong is a partner at Phelps Dunbar LLP, a regional law firm that is headquartered in New Orleans. She has practiced exclusively in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation for more than 30 years. Jane has been listed in all editions of the Best Lawyers in America and "Louisiana Super Lawyers," and is listed in Chambers U.S.A. as a leading practitioner in the employee benefits field. She is a frequent speaker and author on retirement plan issues. Jane graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Thomas Clark, J.D., LL.M
Tom is Of Counsel with The Wagner Law Group, a law firm specializing in ERISA & Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, and Employment, Labor & Human Resources Law. His expertise encompasses all aspects of employee benefits programs, including the design, implementation and compliance of retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive and incentive compensation arrangements. He also has a robust practice assisting covered service providers in meeting their ERISA compliance needs.
Darren Conner, EA, QKA, QPA
Always keeping the end-user squarely in his design sights, Darren’s primary focus is in automating business processes and creating software that enhances profitability. No stranger to the TPA industry, Darren spent 10 years designing, developing, and supporting custom software applications with The Pension Alliance. He handled the full software life cycle for the firm’s custom practice management applications and understands what PensionPro Workflow™ clients need for seamless office technologies and greater profitability. At PensionPro, Darren leads the development team with front-line insight on how to ensure PPS maintains its enterprise efficiency edge.
Kevin Donovan, CPA, MSPA
Kevin is a shareholder in the accounting firm BeachFleischman PC, where he heads up the firm’s pension subsidiary Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC. Kevin is a CPA and an Enrolled Actuary. He is a founding member of the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA) and recently served as ACOPA's Vice President. In addition to being a member of NIPA, Kevin is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Kevin is a frequent author and lecturer on qualified retirement plans. He has spoken at numerous conferences sponsored by ASPPA, NIPA, the AICPA, ACOPA, the Conference of Consulting Actuaries. In 2015 Kevin was the recipient of the ASPPA Educator’s award.
Managing Partner, Ferenczy Benefits Law Center, LLP
President/CEO, Fortune Benefits, Inc.
Michael B. Fortune ( “Mike” ), is President of Fortune Benefits, Inc., an Atlanta based Firm he founded in 1992. Over the past 24 years, he has been a featured speaker on past and current pension law changes. Mike was one of 20 individuals selected to testify at the “1997 DOL Fee Hearings” under the Clinton Administration. He represented the small plan market and lobbied for full disclosure to all plan trustees and participants.
Business Owner, Professional Speaker, Coach, Consultant, KMG Enterprises, LLC
Karen Gridley specializes in helping companies and professionals who value work-life balance, personal leadership skills and high-performance. Utilizing her vast experience in service-based industries; combined with her background as a former scientist and a Recovering Excuse Maker™ herself; Karen gives practical tools to implement immediately for diverse teams and business professionals. Individuals and teams improve performance, decrease stress and know what they do makes a difference as they save time and increase the bottom line. Clients rave about her down-to-earth, matter-of-fact and humorous style as they gain insights and take action. She is the owner of KMG Enterprises, LLC.
Principal, ASC Institute
John P. Griffin, J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation), has more than 30 years of experience in the employee benefits field. Currently, John is a principal with the ASC Institute (ASCi). Prior to joining ASCi, John was a principal with the pension consulting firm Global Benefit Advisors, LLC (GBA), a Vice President with Pension Publications of Denver, Inc. (PPD) and a senior consultant with the benefit consulting practice of Coopers & Lybrand. Prior to entering private consulting, John worked in the Employee Plans Division in the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a Tax Law Specialist. John also has seven years of experience with the U.S. Department of Labor. John is a frequent lecturer and trainer in the employee benefits field. He has spoken at numerous NIPA Annual Forums.
Alan Gross is president of GSM Marketing, a marketing partner to TPAs, recordkeepers, and other service providers in the retirement space since 2009. GSM helps clients establish stronger brand identity, tell better stories and answer “Why Us” on everything from their websites to expert content delivered through video, whitepapers, webinars, and events.
William Grossman, APA, ERPA, QPA, GFS
William Grossman has been with McKay Hochman Co., Inc. for more than 14 years and has had various positions there including Director of Education and Communication and Senior Consultant. Bill is the mhco.com and E-mail Alert editor. Bill is the primary author of most of the mhco website articles and the firm’s three newsletters. Bill is an ERPA. Bill was Director of 401(k) Training for a major record keeper, and has over 20 years’ experience running a bank’s 1 billion small retirement plan and IRA business. Bill has a BA from New Jersey City University, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a graduate of the NY AIB where he served as an instructor for 17 years. Bill was NIPA’s Volunteer of the year in 2011.
Managing Director, DSTRS/McKay Hochman Consulting
Rich has been involved with employee benefits for more than three decades. He is Managing Director of McKay Hochman Consulting (a service of DST) which is nationally recognized in the plan document, consulting and training arenas. Rich is a frequent speaker at industry forums including those offered by NIPA and ASPPA, as well as the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting. He received an Educator of the Year Award in 2012. During his career he has authored articles on a range of industry topics and testified at Regulatory hearings in Washington, DC. He earned a BA degree in Political Science, a BS degree in Business Administration, an MBA and a JD degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
CEO & Founder, Public Speakers Association
Tonya is the CEO and Founder of the Public Speakers Association! She launched the organization in January of 2013 and now enjoys visiting her chapters across the US and Canada. She is well known and sought after across the globe as a Keynote, Motivational, Emcee, Trainer, Workshop Presenter or whatever it takes to meet someone new and change someone’s life! She has two rules for her organization and life… Only Nice People Allowed and Only Imperfect People Please!
Darren Holsey, APA, ERPA, QKA, QPA
Darren Holsey is an owner and senior consultant at Premier Retirement Plan Services in Wilsonville, Oregon. He is an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent, is a member of NIPA holding an APA designation and a member of ASPPA holding a QPA and QKA. Darren served on the NIPA education/examination committee for nearly a decade. He currently is on the NIPA Board of Directors and has been on the NAFE planning committee for many years as both member and chair. Away from retirement plans, Darren is an avid water sports enthusiast including wakeboarding, waterskiing, surfing and paddle boarding. If you’re in the northwest and want to play on the water, he’s always looking for an excuse to go out.
Customer Support, DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
Kristina draws on her 40 years of qualified plan experience to serve as a liaison between government agencies, DATAIR’s programmers and clients of DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc. Her primary responsibility is for DATAIR’s Pension Reporter system which includes 5500 Series, PBGC forms, 1099-Rs and 5300 Series forms. In 2008, Kristina was the recipient of NIPA’s Volunteer of the Year. She currently serves on the NAFE Planning Committee, the NIPA Designation Committee, the Great Lakes NIPA Study Group, and ASPPA’s GAC Reporting and Disclosure Committee.
Robert M. Kaplan, APA, CFP, CPC, QPA
Bob Kaplan is the VP, National Training Consultant for Voya. His responsibilities include web cast and live training for members of the TPA and Financial Services community as well as Voya personnel.
CEO, Economic Growth Pension Services, Inc.
Daniel began working at EGPS in 2003, where he spent several years learning the pension administration business from the many highly qualified pension specialists and actuaries. He qualified as an enrolled actuary in 2009. He has been a member of the Society of Pension Actuaries since 2010.
He became C.E.O. in November 2012. He loves leading the team of experienced actuaries, administrators and salespeople, and constantly developing and improving the client service experience. He lectures regularly on pension topics such as wealth accumulation in pension and 401(k) plans, overfunded plans, and defined benefit/cash balance issues, and is qualified to give CPE credits to CPAs.
Charles Lockwood, J.D., LL.M.
Charles D. Lockwood, J.D., and LL.M. (Taxation), has more than20 years' experience in the employee benefits field. Charles is currently a principal with the ASC Institute (ASCi). Prior to joining ASCi, Charles was a principal with the pension consulting firm Global Benefit Advisors, LLC (GBA). Prior to entering private consulting, Charles worked in the Employee Plans Division in the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a Tax Law Specialist. Charles also was a Vice President with Pension Publications of Denver, Inc. (PPD) and a senior consultant with the benefit consulting practice of Coopers & Lybrand.
Director of Education; Account Executive, NIPA; Bates & Company, Inc.
As the Education Director of NIPA, Kim Martin is responsible for the leadership and strategic management of the association’s educational programs. Kim is also an account executive at Bates & Company, Inc., providing administration and consulting services to clients.
Senior Counsel/AVP, Lincoln Financial Group
Wayne McClain is Senior Counsel / AVP for Lincoln Financial Group focusing his practice on retirement benefit plans. He has a 20-year background in tax, ERISA and compliance aspects of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans with special emphasis on retirement plans for tax-exempt and governmental entities.
He has extensive experience in both the national law firm and national insurance company settings, including as Senior Counsel for several American International Group (AIG) companies, including The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC) and SunAmerica Financial Group.
Lauren Okum, ASA, EA, MAAA, MSPA
Lauren is the founder of Premier Actuarial Solutions, an actuarial firm that specializes in the design and administration of defined benefit plans. She has practiced in the pension actuarial arena for more than 20 years. She currently focuses on the small and mid-sized markets, consulting with employers maintaining defined benefit plan as well as other third-party administrators that are looking to outsource their actuarial needs.
Robert Richter, J.D., LL.M.
Robert M. Richter, J.D., LL.M. is a Vice President with SunGard Relius in Jacksonville, Florida. Robert manages the consulting department and is instrumental in authoring and supporting SunGard Corbel's retirement plan documents. He is a frequent lecturer and author on matters involving qualified retirement plans and cafeteria plans. He has held numerous positions within the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), including President from October 2011 to October 2012. Robert is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is a member of the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA), the Florida Bar, and other organizations. Robert received a B.S., with a major in Finance, from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Florida State University, and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.
Mary Ann Rocco, EA, MSPA
Mary Ann started her actuarial consulting firm in 1987 in Huntington Beach, CA. Her firm provides actuarial services to pension administration firms with a specific focus on designing both Traditional and Cash Balance Plans intended to maximize benefits for business owners. Mary Ann was elected to the College of Pension Actuaries ("COPA") board of directors in 2006 and served as President of ASPPA's College of Pension Actuaries ("ACOPA") in the 2009-2010 year. She is currently serving on the Ed Burrows Award Nominating Committee as well as presenting at various conferences throughout the country.
Ary Rosenbaum, Esq.
Ary Rosenbaum is an ERISA/retirement plan attorney for his firm, The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. At a flat fee, Ary helps plan sponsors reduce their plan cost, facilitate administration, and limit their fiduciary liability.
Ary has authored articles for Long Island Business News, Financial Advisor Magazine, the National Institute of Pension Administrators, PlanSponsor.com, and for his newsletters that he sends to clients and financial advisors nationally. His blogs on retirement plans can be found at therosenbaumlawfirm.com.
President, Simoneaux & Stroud Consulting Services
Sarah Simoneaux is the founder and president of Simoneaux Consulting Services. SCS specializes in strategic planning, business consulting, qualified plan technology consulting, retirement plan services firms’ best practice development, and qualified plan technical and soft skills training. SCS’ nationwide customer base includes third party administrators, recordkeepers, financial institutions, financial advisors, broker dealers, and other service providers in the retirement services industry.
Charan Singh, APA
Charan Singh, APA is VP, National DB Operations Manager at United Retirement Plan Consultants in Los Angeles. A veteran of more than 15 years in the pension industry, prior to United Retirement, Charan was Vice President and Operations Manager at Union Bank (TruSource), Pension Consultant at Kravitz, and Chief Operations Officer at Cache Pension Services where he lead a total overhaul of operations over 15 months that resulted in a successful sale of the company. At United Retirement, Charan successfully led a multi-year, intra-company effort to reorganize operations along functional lines that led to improved productivity, boosted morale, and improved client retention. Charan specializes in building customer-centric operations processes, and training customer friendly pension administrators with top-notch consulting skills.
Charlie Steingas, EA, MAAA, MSPAOwner/Chief Actuary, Cash Balance Actuaries, LLC
Charlie is an enrolled actuary with more than 15 years of experience working on all types and sizes of defined benefit plans. For the last 5 years he has been the owner and chief actuary of Cash Balance Actuaries, LLC. CB Actuaries is based in Minnesota but has employees and clients all over the country. Charlie’s specialty is designing and explaining tax-focused cash balance and defined benefit plans to plan sponsors, TPAs, financial advisors, accountants, and attorneys in an accurate, easy-to-understand manner. He has been speaking to various industry groups about cash balance plans since 2009. Starting in 2016 he is one of the actuarial experts answering defined benefit questions for the Technical Answer Group (TAG).
Virginia K. Sutton, QKA
Virginia K. Sutton specializes in 401(k) defined contribution plans, helping clients regarding all phases of their qualified retirement programs, including plan design, investment selection and review, compliance, vendor assessment, plan conversions, employee education, and mergers and acquisitions. Virginia is a member of ASPPA’s government affairs DOL subcommittee and ASPPA’s affiliate NAPA, the National Association of Plan Advisors. She is past chair of ASPPA’s participant communications and chaired the 401(k) Plans Subcommittee (2003-2007). Virginia is an account executive/consultant for Johnson & Dugan Insurance Services Corp. Virginia is an Investment advisory representative of Global Retirement Partners, LLC, a registered investment advisor. She is a registered representative with LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Global Retirement Partners, LLC, Johnson & Dugan Insurance Services Corporation, and LPL Financial are separate and non-affiliated companies.
Vice President of American Funds, The Capital Group Companies
In challenging audiences to look at things differently, American Funds Senior Vice President Tom Warren draws on extensive experience as well as his diverse educational and professional background. The result is an insightful and refreshingly practical perspective on the retirement plan world. Tom’s roots in the retirement plan industry run deep, having joined American Funds in 1993 as an original member of its workplace retirement group. His programs are steeped in real-world experience, complete with stories and analogies aimed at helping his audience get results. Above all, he maintains a passion for helping working Americans prepare for their biggest financial challenge, retirement. After earning his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma, Tom worked for two years at the Mayo Clinic as a clinical microbiologist before joining his family’s oil and gas exploration business, where he helped originate institutional joint ventures. From there, Tom went on to Smith Barney’s Asset Consulting and Evaluation group, which helped pioneer the use of separately managed accounts. Tom lives in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife and enjoys boating, alpine skiing and four-wheeling.
Janice M. Wegesin, CPC, EA
Janice M. Wegesin is the president of JMW Consulting, Inc. in Petoskey, Michigan. She specializes in compliance matters associated with qualified retirement plans as well as employee welfare benefit programs, with an emphasis in reporting and disclosure. Janice is an Enrolled Agent, enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, and has earned the designation of Certified Pension Consultant from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). She is the author of the Form 5500 Preparer’s Manual (Wolters Kluwer).
CEO, Business Motivational Speaker, Owner, AdamWhiteSpeaks
Author of “7 Tests of Great Leadership” and “7 Keys to Overcoming Fear”, Adam White is a renowned speaker and authority on the psychology of leadership, organizational development, transformation and high performance. What started as a desire to help people transform the quality of their lives has grown into a lifelong passion as he is called upon by leaders of organizations, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, and individuals. Adam has spent years studying the DNA of Leadership and the psychology of what makes people and organizations succeed or fail. Adam has demonstrated leadership through entrepreneurship, owning a Subway Franchise, multiple investment properties and several business start-ups. Adam shares his message, tools, and strategies that are designed to improve leadership development and employee engagement that ultimately increases bottom-line profitability. When Adam comes to speak to your organization get ready for change and transformation.
David Witz, AIF, GFS
David J Witz, AIF®, GFS® is the CEO/Managing Director of FRA PlanTools a consulting and Software as a Service technology firm that delivers risk management solutions including performance assessments, benchmarking, revenue sharing data base, advisor qualification assessments, target date analytics, online document lockbox and fiduciary governance solutions. David has more than 33 years of industry experience in multiple retirement plan disciplines and has been published or quoted by numerous journals and magazines and is widely recruited to speak at national conferences. David is a 1981 graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Insurance, and Real Estate.