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PenChecks NIPA Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) Designation Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship Recipients! 

November/December 2019 Testing Window

Amy Hamann of Acuff & Associates, Inc.

Amy has been a Conversion Analyst at Acuff and Associates in Brentwood, TN since 2018. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, she started in Los Angeles as a Benefits Specialist at a brokerage and moved to a Benefits and Contract Analyst position. She took a few years off to live abroad and returned to find herself in the retirement field again as a Retirement Plan Services Analyst before moving to Nashville in her current role. She loves learning about all aspects of the retirement industry and has become involved in Women in Pensions Network. Amy is an avid runner and is a member United Way race committee; and is finishing writing her master’s thesis. She is grateful to be a recipient of the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship and looks forward to becoming more involved in the NIPA Association.


Trevor Abel of Pension Plan Specialists, PC

Trevor has worked for Pension Plan Specialists, P.C. for 5 years, where he’s been able to learn from an incredible Third Party Administration team. After 4 years as a Plan Consultant, he has transitioned to a new role as Director of Client Experience. Trevor loves getting to help clients solve Plan issues and finding lasting solutions for each Plan’s administration. He’s honored to have been chosen for the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship and is looking forward to growing professionally from the experience. When he’s not in the office, Trevor loves to spend time with his wife and two daughters, exploring the Pacific Northwest.  


May/June 2019 Testing Window

Janette Barragan of All Valley Administrators

Janette has been working for All Valley Administrators LLC for 8 years. She began working for All Valley Administrators as a receptionist and moved her way up to the Distribution Department where she worked for several years. Janette later transitioned into hercurrent position as an Assistant Administrator to two wonderful Retirement Plan Administrators. She enjoys working in the retirement industry and learning about Third Party Administration. When Janette is away from the office she love spending time with her Fiancé and their amazing daughter. She is thankful to have been selected for the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship, and looks forward to obtaining APA Designation to further advance her career. 


Alex Phinney of Osborne & Associates, Inc.

Alex is an Administrative Assistant at Osborne & Associates, Inc. in Modesto, California. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Recreation & Tourism Management. She used that degree briefly while living in Hawaii, but felt it wasn’t the right fit long term. She worked at Osborne & Associates, Inc. off and on while in college, and started full time in the industry about a year ago through a great opportunity from a long-time family friend. Alex has really enjoyed learning all about the industry and the role of third-party administrators for the past year and looks forward to growing in her career. She is so excited and thankful for this opportunity to pursue her APA designation!


Erin Schmid of MGA Consultants, Inc.

Erin is an administrative assistant for MGA Pensions Consulting in Charlotte, NC.  After completing a career in the military, she attended college and received a Bachelors’ degree in Child and Family Development.  After college she was given an opportunity to work in the pension industry. As she began to grow and learn more about her new career she knew that she wanted to make the career change long term. Over the last year has enjoyed the continuous leaning that has helped her become a better TPA for her clients and her company. She enjoys working in the retirement industry and is thankful to be a recipient of the APA designation scholarship. When Erin is not at work she loves being outdoors, traveling, and taking photographs.


Greg Self of Acuff & Associates, Inc.

Greg has over 25 years experience in retirement plan administration, sales support, and plan implementation.  For the past 15 years, his focus has been plan sales support and implementation. Greg is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Business, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Organizational Behavior.


Greg works as a Conversion Specialist with Acuff & Associates in Brentwood, TN. assisting clients with setting up their retirement plans on Acuff’s systems. He is very exited about being a recipient of the PenChecks NIPA APA Designation Scholarship, and looks forward attaining that designation. 


Demetrius Zouboukos of Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates

Demetrius Zouboukos is a Retirement Plan Specialist at the TPA firm Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates. In 2017, Demetrius graduated from the University of Mississippi where he double majored in Banking & Finance and Managerial Finance, and double minored in Business Management and Psychology. He started working for Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates soon after graduation, and has been with them for nearly two years. During that time, Demetrius has been promoted twice and has been relocated to our Orlando, Florida office to help preform plan administration and client communication. Demetrius did not know much about the role of TPA’s before he got his job, but has since discovered a passion for the industry. He really enjoys it because it is like a puzzle. It is challenging yet very rewarding once everything has been pieced together.


Outside of work, Demetrius enjoys being active and spending time outdoors. His favorite activities include cycling, fishing on the beach, and sailing the Florida coast. He is very grateful to have been given the opportunity to pursue his APA designation through NIPA, and looks forward to continuing down the path towards a long and successful career in the Retirement Industry.


November/December 2018 Testing Window

Natalie Fults of Premier Retirement Plan Services

Natalie is an administrative assistant and distribution specialist at Premier Retirement Plan Services in Wilsonville, Oregon. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Latin American Studies-Spanish but found her way to the pension industry last year through a wonderful opportunity.  While she has only worked in the pension industry for about a year, she has enjoyed learning the role of third party administrators and looks forward to growing in this industry. Natalie aims to be a lifelong learner, especially while advancing her career and is thankful for this opportunity to pursue her APA designation. When she’s not in the office, Natalie spends time enjoying her passions of healthy cooking and staying active in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 


Alison Quesada of Atessa Benefits

Alison Quesada joined Atessa Benefits in 2014 as a Pension Analyst after moving across the country from North Carolina to San Diego. She was promoted a year later to her current position as ERISA Compliance Manager.  

Alison graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2005, where she obtained two degrees: one in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Science and the other in Finance with a concentration in Risk Management and Insurance, with a minor in Economics. In addition, she holds a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) designation.

She has been in the retirement industry for 12 years. After graduation, she was a retirement participant account services representative for two years, and then moved to the compliance arena, which has been her area of focus for the past 10 years. She thoroughly enjoys compliance because it is challenging and requires continuous learning and growth. “No two days are the same,” she explains. 

When she has spare time, Alison enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, and exploring beautiful San Diego. 

She is beyond excited to be selected for this scholarship to continue her education and add the APA designation to her background. Alison wants everyone to know that she is very grateful to NIPA and PenChecks. She truly appreciates it!


K. Bradley Helms of Acuff & Associates

Bradley is a plan analyst and marketing specialist with Acuff & Associates in Brentwood, Tennessee. After attaining a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, he returned home to Nashville to pursue a master’s degree in molecular biology with the ultimate goal being attending medical school. After deciding that the world of medicine was not the path for him, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps into the retirement plan industry. Although Bradley has only been working in this arena for a little less than a year, he has enjoyed learning a new world and is excited about contributing in the growth of Acuff & Associates through marketing and sales. He is thankful for the opportunity to pursue the APA designation, Bradley believes it will not only aid in overcoming the learning curve of the industry, but also enhance his value to his company.


Melanie Romer of Resource Benefits Administrators

Melanie has been a Client Service Specialist at Resource Benefits Administrators in Waco, Texas since July 2015. She started as a receptionist for the company in January 2015 and after 6 months she transitioned to the pension administrator role. Before she started working in the retirement industry she was a business owner for 10 years, then worked as a call center supervisor for 5 years. She loves working in the retirement industry and is excited to be a recipient of the of the APA designation scholarship. Melanie looks forward to becoming an active member of the NIPA Association.

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