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PenChecks NIPA Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) Designation Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship Recipients! 

 May/June 2018 Testing Window

Marilyn McDonald of Gorrelick, Tievy & Abacus

Marilyn McDonald is a Pension Administrator at Gorrelick, Tievy & Abacus in Rockville, MD. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with an Accounting major and Actuarial Mathematics minor. After graduating, Marilyn worked in Human Resources which fortified her affinity for helping others. An interest in numbers and love for solving problems led her to the pension field. As a newcomer, Marilyn has grown and learned so much in the past year at the TPA firm and is excited to face any new challenges to come. She is grateful to have been given this opportunity to enhance her career and further understand this expanding field.


Marilyn comes from a large Caribbean family and is part of the first generation to graduate from college. In order to give back to her community, she tutors math and enjoys coaching volleyball to children. She believes that working with adolescents is the best way ensure a bright future. Her willingness to work hard and dedication to education stems from her desire to make her family proud. Marilyn's biggest dream is to become a successful business owner, just like her father.


Jeremy Beasley of Gorrelick, Tievy & Abacus

Jeremy graduated from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2007, with a B.S. in Financial Economics.  After graduation he started his first job in the retirement industry with T. Rowe Price.  Taking an immediate interest in the Retirement Planning sphere, he has continued his career in the industry for over 10 years and running.  Currently, as a Retirement Administrator for Gorrelick, Tievy and Abacus, Jeremy is looking forward to continuing his professional growth and is excited for the opportunity to pursue his APA designation through NIPA.

Tara L. Coghlan of Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc.

Tara is a Retirement Plan Data Specialist and a Loan/Distribution Specialist at Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc. in their Jackson, MS office. She is a graduate of Northwest Mississippi Community College and has a background in the Finance Industry. Tara began her career in the Retirement Plan Industry after an abrupt and unexpected move to Mississippi from Illinois in 2016. Tara was hesitant of the decision she had made to join a completely new industry; however, it did not take long until she realized how much she loves this industry and wants nothing more than to succeed and be considered a valuable asset to not only the company she works for, but also the ERISA and retirement industry as a whole. The Retirement Plan Industry has become a major factor in her life, as well as the clients and platforms that she works with on a daily basis. Tara looks forward to obtaining her APA designation and becoming an involved member of the NIPA Association. 


Rebecca Magnuson of SuperiorUSA Benefits

Coming soon!


November/December 2017 Testing Window Recipients


Iwona Zamiejska-Wilt of Retirement Plan Resources, Inc.

Iwona joined Retirement Plan Resources, Inc. located in Peabody, MA as an Administrative Assistant in 2015. Having originally emigrated from Poland to work in the United States and to improve her proficiency in the English language, Iwona chose her career path. While raising her young family, she earned a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Northeastern University, and was previously employed be a law firm. With her legal experience, mentoring by her peers, and the completion of Pension Elements courses, she quickly advanced to the position of Third Party Administrator, responsible for her own caseload. Undaunted by the challenges of the industry, she is looking forward to continuing her education. She is excited and thankful for the scholarship and the chance to earn the APA professional designation through NIPA. Iwona is fluent in three languages, an avid reader, and enjoys camping and hiking with her family. 


Susan Marques of Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc.

Susan has over ten years of financial services industry experience which precipitated her interest in the retirement planning field. Susan has been working at Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc. since June of 2016 as a Pension Analyst and is currently in the process of transitioning over into the Pension Administrator role. Susan’s dedication and strong will to learn have always resulted in better career opportunities. Her determination and past work experience as a Retail Investment Specialist and Senior Account Executive in the financial services industry have proven to be valuable resources in the advancement of her career.

Susan is truly grateful to NIPA and PenChecks for selecting her as one of the recipients for the APA scholarship award. She looks forward to the challenge at hand and is pleased that she will be able to increase her knowledge and expertise in the Pension Administration field where she desires to build her career.


Dylan Schultz of Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc.

Dylan Schultz is currently a Retirement Plan Specialist at Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc. He has been with this firm for only a few months and has excelled greatly. Dylan’s background is in mechanic work, with a degree from Hinds Community College. Dylan made a drastic change in careers, and has made a huge impact at Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc. already. Dylan is always looking to learn more in this field and this scholarship and opportunity is the perfect start. He is very grateful for this chance to obtain this designation and learn more from here on out. 


August 2017 Testing Window Recipients


Heather Lantagne of Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc. 

Heather has been a Pension Administrator at Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc., since August of 2014. Heather graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 2002 with a Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources. Since then, she has worked building a solid foundation in the retirement plan industry as a Relationship Manager, a Distribution and Contribution Processing Specialist and a Pension Administrator.


Heather enjoys interacting with clients and assisting them in the day-to-day operations of their pension plans. Heather is always eager to learn. She is very grateful for the NIPA and PenChecks scholarship that will give her the opportunity to further her career in the retirement industry.


Tracy L. Crosby of Pentegra Retirement Services 

Tracy is a Senior Daily Account Manager at Pentegra Retirement Services in their Greenville, SC office, and has worked with them for over 5 years. In this position, she not only handles the Third Party Administrator day-to-day operations but also the challenge of consulting her clients and working with the Pentegra Daily Platform. Prior to that, Tracy held the position of Assistant Vice President and Employee Benefit Operations Team Leader at BB&T in Greenville, SC for 12 years. While she enjoyed the management position and smaller case load, she missed having the relationship with her long term clients. She currently holds both the CRPS and QKA Designations.


Tracy has experience with multiple types of retirement plans including both sides of Balance Forward and Daily Recordkeeping. She enjoys the everyday challenges of working with her clients and her various types of plans as well as their 3(16) serviced plans. Tracy wants to increase her knowledge of plan design, cash balances plans and the continuing changes in the IRS regulations in all areas. She feels that this will assist her ability to improve her communication and educating her clients and help them with any questions about their plan or IRS rules and regulations.


Tracy feels that obtaining her APA designation will be a worthwhile challenge and she is looking forward to studying and accomplishing another goal. She is very appreciative for the NIPA and PenChecks scholarship that will provide her the opportunity expand her knowledge and to further her career within this industry.





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