How long have you been in your current position and how does it relate to the deferred compensation/defined contribution industry?
I have served as Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (MDCP) since May, 2017, following a six-month term as the Plan’s interim Executive Director. MDCP, an active member of NAGDCA for many years, is a voluntary plan available to City of Milwaukee employees and a few Milwaukee agencies and serves as a companion retirement benefit to the City of Milwaukee’s pension plan. Serving in this capacity provides me with a direct connection to the deferred compensation industry and its complexities and best practices, and has also allowed me to learn more about defined contribution plans.
What leadership positions have you held within the deferred compensation/defined contribution community, as well as with other organizations (professional or volunteer), that have bearing on potential NAGDCA leadership responsibilities?
In additional to my current role, I served on our Deferred Compensation board and currently serve on the Retirement Committee of the Milwaukee Public Schools Retirement Plans. Additional leadership positions I have held include: Deputy Director of the City of Milwaukee Employees’ Retirement System, Treasurer of the Association of Municipal Attorneys of Milwaukee, Steering Committee Member of the Marquette University Volunteer Legal Clinic, graduate of Future Milwaukee, Course Facilitator in Medical Ethics and Palliative Care Course (Medical College of Wisconsin), Coach and Facilitator with Milwaukee Mosaic Partnership, and Advisory Committee Member for the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System.
What special skills or training do you possess that would benefit the association?
As an attorney by trade, I am a trained problem solver, collaborator and effective communicator and am knowledgeable in fiduciary, regulatory and governance matters. My “360 experience” career within the industry (e.g., general counsel, as a DB and DC administrator, and recently appointed trustee of a 403(b) plan) and provides a unique vantage point for understanding a variety of perspectives that our NAGDCA community shares and experiences. I am a mission-driven team player, and an independent thinker who understands the larger picture and goals of the association and can identify the roadmap and work required to achieve them.
What has been your previous experience with NAGDCA? (First year of participation, specific contributions to association such as newsletter articles, committee service, conference presentations, etc.).
My first year as a NAGDCA member was 2011. I have served on the Legislative Committee and Research and Content Advisory Committee, and on the Plan Sponsor Advisory Council for PRRL. Conference involvement: moderator of a Government Breakout Session (2019), panelist of “Data-driven Solutions: Exploring and Utilizing Data Sources to Solve for Retirement Plan Goals & Concerns” (2021), and moderator and panelist of “Designing and Implementing Financial Wellness Programs” (2022). NAGDCA Connect Conversations presentations: “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: Temporary Waivers Explained” (March, 2022) and “Using Auto Features to Close Savings and Participation Gaps” (July, 2023).
Why do you want to be Board Member? What are your goals for NAGDCA and how can your involvement contribute to execution of the strategic plan?
As a local municipal plan administrator, I would represent the unique aspects and voice of local governmental plans. Goals: broaden our impact and reach for retirement preparation and financial wellness via leveraging best practices and research data to better understand trends, gaps and opportunities; continue providing helpful resources; foster a collegial atmosphere of collaboration and inclusivity; strengthen and broaden our stakeholder connections and collaboration (e.g., NAGDCA members, legislators, industry partners, other retirement industry associations). My previous experience of working with these stakeholders, fresh perspective, willingness to learn and listen, and overall passion will all contribute to execution of these goals.