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 the Executive Director for Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Plan (Ohio DC) since May of 2020. It is a government 457b plan in which all state, local, and non-profit government workers are eligible to participate in.
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?
Executive Director for the California Secure Choice Board (now CalSAVERS) and the Executive Director for the California ABLE Act Board (CalABLE). Wrote and pushed through the state legislation to set up both of those program while also setting up the administrative structure. Volunteer for Junior Achievement which provides financial literacy education to K-12. Currently run the Ohio DC plan which has over $19.5B in AUM and prior to this role was Chief Executive Appointee for the CalSTRS in which I oversaw the 457b and 403b plan (Pension2), pension and benefits counselors statewide, the 403bCompare website, and the 403bComply program.
What special skills or training do you possess that would benefit the association?
I have 15 years of experience working on federal and state legislation focused on a variety of public policy issues. I have my Masters degree (MPA) in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California with a focus on Public Finance.
I am a proven leader that has successfully moved organizations through difficult changes and led new innovative projects.
I work well under stress and have a keen ability to rally teams and work through conflict effectively.
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.).
I have been a member of NAGDCA since 2017 and most recently serve on the NAGDCA Legislative Committee.
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?
Given the current retirement crisis hitting the global community, I think NAGDCA is well positioned to continue to effectively influence public policy on both a National and Global scale. I am excited for the progress seen at the federal legislative level and for the conversations taking place with leaders across the country. Given my background and education I think I will be well placed to continue to move NAGDCA into the national and global conversations around retirement income gaps, security, and be productive in influencing the market to create products that serve the underserved in the retirement space.
What do you see as the biggest impacts of COVID-19 on plan sponsors/DC plans and how can NAGDCA provide support?
Ohio DC experienced massive amounts of participants pulling money from their accounts due to COVID-19 related hardships. The loss of these funds will drastically impact their future retirement savings and of course the growth potential of their current savings. We collectively need to encourage participants to get back on track and celebrate them in their efforts. I also think participants are becoming more cognizant of the companies that they do business within their personal lives and plan sponsors have a unique opportunity in their participation in NAGDCA to have real world conversations with industry about how they behave ethically.