Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Join NIPA
Community Search
2017BMC Sessions
Share |



General Sessions

 Peer Interaction Sessions 


General Sessions

Click on each speaker's name to read more about them.


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

The best-selling author of nearly FIFTY sports books, Ross Bernstein is an award-winning peak performance business speaker who’s keynoted conferences on four continents for audiences as small as 10 and as large as 10,000. He’s spent the better part of the past 20 years studying the DNA of championship teams and his program, "The Champion’s Code: Building Relationships Through Life Lessons of Integrity and Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World,” not only illustrates what it takes to become the best of the best, it also explores the fine line between cheating and gamesmanship in sports as it relates to values and integrity in the workplace. There are reasons certain teams win consistently, whereas others come up short, and Ross explains why — in an engaging and visually entertaining style that’s designed to improve productivity, morale and bottom-line profitability. Ross and his books have been featured on thousands of television and radio programs over the years including CNN, ESPN, Fox News, and “CBS This Morning,” as well as in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today. So, who are the champions on your team?

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. As he learned, champions have a very unique DNA — 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. 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.

Roger is the Chief Economist for ALM Advisors, Inc.; a Pasadena, California based money management firm specializing in the structuring and management of income portfolios for high net worth individuals and institutions.

In addition, Roger is a financial columnist for TheStreet, Inc., a New York City based financial media company, where he writes three columns weekly for their subscription services, Real Money and Real Money Pro, focusing on the outlook for the economy, and markets.

Roger is also a sought after public speaker for his ability to engage audiences as he explains the relationships between political, economic, and social systems, and how they are all reflected in the global financial markets; stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and real estate.

Roger is also the former radio host of the nationally syndicated, “The Roger Arnold Show”, for 15 years.



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.


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 + 2
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 session, 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 session 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!

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



The key to building a successful TPA business rests in its ability to hire and retain knowledgeable, skilled employees. The challenge is in finding the “right” employees. 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 takeaways that ensure you're hiring and management practices are best-in-class

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

Claudia St. John is president of Affinity HR Group, LLC, an HR and management consulting firm that provides human resources compliance, recruiting and organizational development support to small to mid-sized companies nationwide. Affinity is also NIPA’s endorsed HR partner, providing support with recruiting and managing TPA staff.


Claudia is also the author of Transforming Teams – Tips for Improving Collaboration and Building Trust, a “#1 Hot New Release” on


A frequent public speaker who is quoted often in national and industry press, Claudia is a regular contributor to numerous print and electronic publications on the topic of human resources. Her professional passion is in employee engagement, team development and workplace communications.


Claudia holds an undergraduate degree in employee benefits and labor relations from The American University and a master’s degree in business and public administration from The George Washington University, and numerous HR and behavioral science certifications.

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

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 session 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: 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.


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.


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 do 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 leave with tips that you can put to use immediately.


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.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal