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2017BMC Sessions
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General Sessions

 Peer Interaction Sessions 



General Sessions

The Champion’s Code: Building Relationships Through Life Lessons of Integrity and Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World
Ross Bernstein, Inspirational Business Speaker & Best-Selling Sports Author, The Champion's Code

Ross' program is based on a series of books he wrote in which he was able to interview more than 500 professional athletes and coaches that all had one thing in common — they were all members of championship teams. In his research he concluded that the same metrics and characteristics that were common among champions in sports, were also common in peak performers in business. As he learned, champions have a very unique DNA — and his goal in this keynote session is to get audience members thinking about their own DNA — and about the DIFFERENTIATORS they possess which would ultimately lead customers to CHOOSE to do business with them. At the core of his message is the simple fact that we like to do business with people who we trust, who we like, and who just “get it” — CHAMPIONS. In an engaging, provocative, and visually entertaining style, Ross will use inspirational stories and poignant life lessons from the world of sports to show attendees how to:

  • Create a “culture of excellence” by giving extraordinary customer service
  • Generate momentum by utilizing the "currency of karma"
  • Follow their moral compasses to win "the right way," with respect and integrity
  • Be better leaders and create more "buy-in" by embracing change and failure
  • Evolve from "order takers" to "trusted partners" by enhancing the quality of their relationships

Applying the Global Metanarrative
Roger Arnold, Chief Economist, ALM Advisors, Inc.

The Global Metanarrative is an integral part of a comprehensive mental system of organizing data so that it may be remembered easily and recalled for processing into information by an individual. It is not an ideology and is not pro or anti anything.


The Metanarrative is made up of four main parts that represent the primary issues that are common to all countries, societies, individuals and humanity generally. Those four parts are energy, technology, debt and demographics.


The relationship between each of these is both synergistic and symbiotic. They exert both exergetic and entropic forces upon each other and are expressed in the decisions governments, businesses, other organizations, and individuals make proactively and reactively in an attempt to maintain order and advance group and individual goals. Exergetic forces are natural and man-made forces intended to produce order. Entropic forces are those that create disorder. These forces and their interaction are the basis for everything that we consider reality.


This session will include a discussion about the probable public policies that will be pursued by the next US executive administration and Congress, including monetary and fiscal policy, tax schemes, regulatory outlook, and the economic, political, military, and social relationships the US has with other countries.

Ditch the Pitch — Part 1
Steve Yastrow, President, Yastrow and Company

We all face the same challenge whenever we try to persuade others: Nobody wants to hear a sales pitch. The solution? Ditch the Pitch.


In this highly-interactive workshop, Steve Yastrow will adapt ideas from his book, Ditch the Pitch, encouraging attendees to “tear up their elevator speech” and, instead, learn how to improvise effective persuasive conversations that matter to clients and prospects. The workshop will provide concrete ideas that you can act on immediately to help you differentiate yourself and your company in the minds of people you want to persuade. Want to win more business? Ditch the Pitch!

Ditch the Pitch — Part 2
Steve Yastrow, President, Yastrow and Company

Participate in this follow-up session where Steve Yastrow will continue his workshop on how to adapt ideas from his book, Ditch the Pitch, and learn how to improvise effective persuasive conversations that matter to clients and prospects.

Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Top Talent
Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group, LLC


The key to successful TPA rests in its ability to hire and retain knowledgeable, skilled employees. The challenge is in finding the "right" person who can develop into a successful TPA. This session explores critical tips and techniques in finding and engaging your next A" player. Participants will learn:

  • Tricks and tips that recruiters use for identifying the perfect hire
  • Components of training and engagement that ensure your top talent stays with you
  • Practical take-aways that ensure you're hiring and management practices are best-in-class

The Critical Thinking Advantage
Prof. Risa M. Mish, Professor of Practice of Management, Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

Succeeding in any business leadership role requires you to think critically, and make quality decisions with and on behalf of organizational stakeholders, even in the face of challenges such as imperfect/incomplete information, changing and unforeseen circumstances, and, of course, human nature in all of its complexity and unpredictability. This workshop is designed to help participants recognize and avoid reasoning flaws and the forces that make us most susceptible to those flaws; approach business problems systematically and thoroughly; and produce a problem solution that is well-reasoned, likely to be well-received by clients and executive team members, and, most importantly, able to be implemented with a higher likelihood of successful outcome and impact.

The Memory Switch
Matthew Goerke, American Memory Master, Creator of The Memory Switch Program

Your profession demands that you remember a wealth of knowledge including client information, market data, presentations…and more importantly, names. A simple slip of the mind can result in thousands of dollars in lost sales or credibility.


Fortunately, there is a solution. Train your memory!


During this session, attendees can expect to:

  • Learn how to remember names, faces and key information shared by clients and staff
  • Learn how to make presentations without notes
  • Learn how to use their memory and the techniques shared to boost confidence and make a powerful first impression
  • Learn how to share information with clients and staff in a way that will dramatically increase the listeners' retention of key information

Peer Interaction Sessions

Applying the Global Metanarrative

Join fellow 2017BMC attendees for an opportunity to dig deeper into Roger Arnold's general session topic, Applying the Global Metanarrative.


Best Practices for TPA (Client Related)
This session will be a great opportunity to work with peers on some of the most critical aspects of your client management processes. Discuss what to include in your service agreements, how to prepare a fully documented business plan and how to track key performance indicators. Share best practices for charging client administration fees and how often you increase the TPA administration fees. Additionally, discuss how you keep your employees motivated and hear suggestions on how to maintain a superior level of service with a client.


Dealing with Non-Compliance
Dealing with non-compliance raises a host of issues for those involved in servicing the plan. How do our engagement letters, ethical concerns and proper reporting and disclosure requirements impact our engagements when things go wrong? How do we train our staff to know when to bring the issue to management, and when does management decide to bring in an attorney? How do we mitigate our own exposure to liability for plan errors? We all have those challenging times when EPCRS and the Fix-it Guide fall a bit short of providing us with these "soft-skills" that require judgment calls. We can all "top" one-another with an amazing story of non-compliance that's unique and perhaps even juicy! But, let's keep those for our memoirs and movie scripts and instead focus on the service provider's role in making a prudent decision in how to deal with the host of issues.


Marketing and Sales
This session is a BMC classic! Discuss your organization’s marketing and sales strategies, including tips for growing your company's revenue with simple, powerful, low and no-cost marketing techniques. Share how you receive sales support from strategic partners, sales employees’ experiences, sales compensation plans and how you generate leads. Find out what is working for other TPAs and how you can increase your sales.


Practice Management (Non-Client Related)
We all know the challenges of working ON our business versus working IN our business. How much time are you devoting to this important role, and how much time should you be devoting to this important leadership role? Are you reviewing your internal financial statements monthly, and are you sharing the results with your team? How you determine your marketing budget? Because different tasks are heavily weighted at various times of the year, like Form 1099-R production in January, or year-end census requests and engagement letter packages in December, how do you strategize to move employees around in various roles to cover these busy season items? Have you identified and empowered the team members who show strengths in this vital area? Let's spend some focused time ON your business, and collaborate on best practices. Find out what other TPAS are doing that brings value and efficiency to their practice, and come away with tips that you can put to use immediately.


People Management Challenges Facing Your TPA
This round-table session, facilitated by a Human Resources expert, allows participants to bring with them their most challenging people-management topics to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions. Participants should be prepared to bring their real-life people management or HR concerns and engage in an open conversation with their peers and onsite expert.


Succession Planning
Share your business goals with industry professionals and seek input from your peers on the benefits of selling your business to an outside entity or to your employees. Discuss the legal/technical assistance you engage to help in succession planning, timing of your goals and what your next steps should be once your business is sold. Talk with your peers about metrics used in valuing your business and how others have performed the valuation.


Open Space Conversation — Discussing Critical Issues Facing Your TPA in 2017
Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Affinity HR Group, LLC

This session enables BMC participants to engage with their peers on the critical issues that they face. This dynamic format enables participants to set their own agenda and their own level of participation. Attendees will:

  • Engage in valuable conversations with their peers
  • Learn from each other and share what they have learned
  • Network with peers around common topics and challenges
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