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Speaker Bios

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University

A social psychologist at Stanford University, Jennifer Eberhardt investigates the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime. Through interdisciplinary collaborations and a wide ranging array of methods—from laboratory studies to novel field experiments—Eberhardt has revealed the startling, and often dispiriting, extent to which racial imagery and judgments suffuse our culture and society, and in particular shape actions and outcomes within the domain of criminal justice.

Eberhardt’s research not only shows that police officers are more likely to identify African American faces than white faces as criminal, she further shows that the race-crime association leads people to attend more closely to crime related imagery. In one experimental study, for example, people who were exposed to black faces were then more quickly able to identify a blurry image as a gun than those who were exposed to white faces or no faces.

The race-crime association extends beyond the laboratory. Using an actual database of criminal defendants convicted of a capital crime, Eberhardt has shown that among defendants convicted of murdering a white victim, defendants whose appearance was more stereotypically black (e.g. darker skinned, with a broader nose and thicker lips) were sentenced more harshly and, in particular, were more likely to be sentenced to death than if their features were less stereotypically black. This finding held even after the researchers controlled for the many non-racial factors (e.g. the severity of the crime, aggregators, mitigators, the defendant’s attractiveness, etc.) that might account for the results.

Extending the sentencing research to juveniles, Eberhardt found that bringing to mind a black juvenile offender leads people to view juveniles in general as more similar to adults and therefore deserving of more severe punishment. Further, in a study with actual registered voters, Eberhardt found that highlighting the high incarceration rate of African Americans makes people more, not less, supportive of the draconian policies that produce such disparities.

Eberhardt’s research suggests that these racialized judgments may have roots deeper than contemporary rates of crime or incarceration. In a series of studies, she has unearthed evidence that African Americans sometimes become objects of dehumanization. Specifically, Eberhardt has found that even people who profess to be racially unbiased may associate apes and African Americans, with images of one bringing to mind the other.

The dehumanization finding may help to explain the dynamics that occur within the criminal justice context, where high profile controversies feature African Americans who are shot by police or citizens who feel threatened, even though the African American is unarmed. According to Eberhardt’s research, the implicit association between African Americans and apes may lead to greater endorsement of police violence toward, or mistreatment of, an African American suspect than a white suspect.

In on-going research, Eberhardt is investigating whether the African American-ape association is one example of a more generalized belief that African Americans are not as evolved as other people. This view may, ironically, be buttressed by the (erroneous) lay belief that black Africans developed earlier in the evolutionary process than did their white counterparts who are associated with Europe.

As daunting as are the problems Eberhardt illuminates, she has recently begun to work with law enforcement agencies to design interventions to improve policing and to help agencies build and maintain trust with the communities they serve. The problems associated with race are ones we have created, she believes, and they are also ones we can solve. Spurred by the innovation that is the hallmark of Silicon Valley, she aims to combine social psychological insights with technology to improve outcomes in the criminal justice context and elsewhere.

Jennifer Eberhardt received a B.A. (1987) from the University of Cincinnati, an A.M. (1990) and Ph.D. (1993) from Harvard University. From 1995 to 1998 she taught at Yale University in the Departments of Psychology and African and African American Studies. She joined the Stanford faculty in 1998, and is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology and co-director of SPARQ, a university initiative to use social psychological research to address pressing social problems.

SESSION SPEAKERS & MODERATORS: 

Executive Director, Deferred Compensation
Kentucky Deferred Compensation

Chris is an attorney with twenty years of administrative, regulatory, and civil litigation experience. Chris has been with the Kentucky Deferred Compensation Plan for over 10 years and has served as the Authority’s chief legal officer and selected by the Board of Directors in 2017 as Executive Director. In his current role as Executive Director, Chris oversees the daily business operation and compliance for the accounts of approximately 75,000 individuals with combined assets of $3 billion. In 2018, Chris was instrumental in passing auto enrollment legislation for all State new hires. Auto enrollment went into effect July 1, 2019. Skilled in Defined Contribution, Deferred Compensation, Tax Law, Securities, and Retirement Planning. Strong legal professional graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

AVP, Health Savings and Spending Accounts
Voya Financial

Nate Black is AVP for Voya’s Health Savings and Spending Accounts product line. In his role, Nate is responsible for the profitable growth of the Spending Accounts business. Prior to joining Voya, Nate was a leader in McKinsey & Company’s Health Systems and Services practice where he focused on strategy and operations topics. Nate previously led Corporate Development for Bloom Health, a benefits technology company. Nate holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from St. Olaf College.

NAGDCA President
Director of Retirement Readiness

California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Sandy Blair is the Director of Retirement Readiness for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). She rose through the ranks in CalSTRS after arriving in 2009 to a management position in CalSTRS’ office of Client Outreach and Guidance. She was instrumental in establishing the model of CalSTRS first Member Service Center in West Sacramento. Sandy administers the CalSTRS Pension2® personal wealth plan, which consists of 403(b), 457 and Roth 403(b) plans. Pension2 serves as a supplemental savings plan for all California school and community college employees.

Under her leadership, the CalSTRS defined contribution plan, Pension2®, experienced tremendous growth. It currently administers more than $600 million in assets on behalf of more than 10,000 plan participants. Sandy has extensive private sector experience in consumer banking, finance and tax preparation.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration finance from California State University, Sacramento.

AVP, Business Segment CISO
Nationwide

Patrice currently serves as the CISO for three Nationwide LOB: Nationwide Financial, Marketing & Enterprise Growth Solutions, and Corporate Technology.

Executive Director
J.P. Morgan

Patrick Carter, Executive Director, is a client advisor responsible for working with defined contribution clients and consultants in the areas of investment menu design, investment management, retirement income, and employee communications. An employee since 2012, Pat brings extensive experience to his role. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the defined contribution industry, and has worked with plan sponsors in numerous capacities.

Prior to joining JP Morgan, Pat was with Dimensional Fund Advisors where he helped to develop the firm’s defined contribution practice. He has also worked with the Merrill Lynch Retirement Group in a number of sales and management roles. He is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Executive Director, Deferred Compensation
City of Milwaukee

Ms. Cleary has served as the Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee’s 457(b) Deferred Compensation Retirement Plan since May, 2017, following a six-month term as the Plan’s interim ED.

Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of the City of Milwaukee $5+ billion pension fund, the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) one of three public pension systems in the state of Wisconsin. Prior to that, Ms. Cleary was an Assistant City Attorney for Milwaukee, where she served as general counsel to the ERS.

Ms. Cleary earned her BA from Creighton University; her MA in Bioethics from the Medical College of WI; and her JD and Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Marquette University Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Marquette Elder’s Advisor Law Journal.

Clinical Professor, Department of Gerontology, McCormack Graduate School
Co-director, LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston
Research Director, Center for Consumer Engagement and Health System Transformation, Community Catalyst

Managing Partner
Hyas Group

Jayson Davidson is a managing partner and the director of consulting services for the Hyas Group. He is responsible for providing a wide range of consulting services to the firm’s corporate, governmental, and non-profit defined contribution retirement plan clients. He also advises defined benefit pension plan boards, VEBA trusts, and other healthcare savings plan Boards. Mr. Davidson assists plan sponsors with a variety of functions including on-going investment monitoring and due diligence, vendor analysis, investment manager searches, fee analysis and negotiations, Request for Proposal (RFP) construction, investment policy statement development, global plan design, and legal/regulatory requirements. He frequently lectures at industry conferences on topics such as fiduciary responsibility, target-date fund trends, ideal plan design, and retirement plan fees and expenses.

Prior to joining the Hyas Group, Mr. Davidson served as a senior investment consultant at Arnerich Massena, Inc. During his six year tenure, he helped develop the firm’s corporate and governmental defined contribution plan practice, which served over 70 clients and $15 billion in assets. He also managed the majority of the firm’s vendor review and search-related projects.

Prior to that, Mr. Davidson served as Vice-President for the Western United States division of ICMA Retirement Corporation. He was responsible for new client relationships and vendor transitions for 401(k), 457, and 401(a) plans. Mr. Davidson began his career in 1996 as a defined contribution and benefit consultant for Howard Johnson & Company.

Mr. Davidson graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He has passed the FINRA Series 6, 63 and 65 exams and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Additionally, he is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute and the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA).

Senior Defined Contribution Strategist, North America Institutional Sales
Invesco

Marina Edwards is a Senior Defined Contribution Strategist for the North America Institutional Sales team at Invesco. In this role, she specializes in fiduciary risk mitigation strategies for plan sponsors and is a regular speaker at DC industry events.

Ms. Edwards joined Invesco in 2020 bringing 30 years of DC industry experience. Before joining the firm, she was a senior director of retirement in Willis Towers Watson’s Benefits Advisory and Compliance group, where she served as a national leader for DC fiduciary, compliance, plan design, vendor search, and fee benchmarking projects. She championed the firm’s DC cyber/fraud initiative and developed a related fiduciary tool kit for plan sponsors.  Ms. Edwards is also a frequent contributor to industry articles highlighting cyber-related issues and commentary on plan sponsor experiences and recent litigation.

Senior Vice President
PIMCO

Mr. Ferber is a senior vice president, account manager, and specialist in the defined contribution (DC) practice in the Newport Beach office. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2008, he was responsible for building the collective investment fund business at AST Capital Trust (now Wilmington Trust), where he oversaw the launch of approximately 100 collective funds. Before joining AST, he was head of sales, relationship management, and marketing for Morley Financial Services, an institutional asset manager focused on DC. Mr. Ferber is involved multiple industry organizations, including serving on the DCIIA Executive Committee and as co-vice chair of the DCIIA Investment Policy and Design Committee. He is a regular speaker and conference chairperson at DC and investment conferences and events. He has 36 years of investment experience and holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Senior Advisor
Northwest Capital Management

Scott T. Fisher is a senior advisor with Northwest Capital Management NWCM), an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm.  He consults with clients as a co-fiduciary on investment policy, asset allocation, manager selection, and performance measurement and analysis.

Mr. Fisher’s expertise includes defining and implementing investment policy that conforms with client objectives, ensuring plan investment structure conforms with policy, regulatory requirements and beneficiary needs, performing investment manager evaluation, selection and due diligence, and educating plan fiduciaries on their roles and responsibilities.

Scott has been an investment professional since 1985 and an employee benefits consultant specializing in retirement programs for over 30 years.  He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter in 1994.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bucknell University majoring in both Economics and Biology.  He speaks and writes frequently on the importance of having an enduring investment philosophy that aligns with ones objectives and values.

President and CEO
SLGE

Joshua Franzel is the President/CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE). He has been with SLGE since 2007, holding the positions of Vice President of Research and research associate.  Dr. Franzel leads initiatives on a range of public policy, finance, and management topics, often collaborating with organizations from the public, private, and academic sectors. He also is director of policy research for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) where he advises the organization on public finance, infrastructure, public health, and other related research projects.

Before his roles with SLGE and ICMA, he worked for both the Delaware and Florida Legislatures and was a Presidential Management Fellow with the International Trade Administration and the Office of Management and Budget.  His publications and research have focused on state and local government pensions, demographics, health care, workforce development, and innovation. For an abbreviated roster of his publications and research see: https://www.linkedin.com/in/franzel.

Dr. Franzel is an adjunct professor at American University, School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration and Policy in Washington, DC, where he has taught graduate level courses on state and local management and urban policy.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration (& Policy) from American University, an MPA from Florida State University, and a B.A. from the University of Delaware.

Benefits Program Manager
Public Utility District #1 of Chelan County

Beverly Freeman has been working in the benefits field since 1993. She currently administers all of the employee benefits program for Chelan County PUD 1 in Washington State. She is involved in strategic recommendations with regard to the district’s return on investment in employee benefits. She is also responsible for management of the district’s investment committee. She was appointed to the Select Committee on Pension Policy by the governor’s office in 2014. She also serves as a Trustee for an Public Employees VEBA trust. Beverly graduated from the University of Washington with a BA. She has two daughters, two dogs. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, and golf.

Managing Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
ICMA-RC

Mr. Hannah leads marketing for ICMA-RC brands, services and products. He oversees teams responsible for ICMA-RC digital marketing, corporate partnerships, advertising, PR, Social Media, client education programs, marketing acquisition and communications.

Mr. Hannah has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services and marketing industry. Before joining ICMA-RC in January 2005, Mr. Hannah was a Marketing Strategist and Client Supervisor for Hallmark Loyalty Marketing Group in Kansas City, MO, where he partnered with clients to develop strategic marketing programs designed to strengthen the connection between a brand and its customers.  Prior to Hallmark Loyalty Marketing Group, he was an Account Education Manager at Ameriprise (formerly American Express Financial Advisors) in Minneapolis, MN and was responsible for building customized employee financial education campaigns focusing on 401(k) plans, financial services, and retirement advice. Mr. Hannah started his career at McCann Minneapolis (formerly Campbell Mithun Esty), a top-tier advertising agency and assisted in day-to-day national brand campaigns and product development for Domino’s Pizza, Minnesota Public Radio and Ocean Spray.

Mr. Hannah is currently a Board member of the National Civic League and Center for State and Local Government Excellence. He is past Chair of the National League of Cities (NLC) Corporate Partner Committee and past President of the Industry Committee of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA). He has been a judge in education and communication competitions for various organizations to include the Insurance & Financial Communicators Association.

Mr. Hannah is a Registered Representative. Mr. Hannah earned his B.A. in Advertising at Southern Methodist University where he is currently Planning Committee Chair on the Alumni Board, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s General Management Program.

Chief Customer Officer
NCOA

Josh Hodges is NCOA’s first Chief Customer Officer. Hodges will develop a comprehensive and authoritative view of today’s older adult and serve as a consumer advocate as NCOA creates comprehensive experiences for them. He will plan, organize, and align NCOA’s programmatic portfolios and network activation strategy to enable NCOA to reach millions of individuals and empower them to enroll in benefits programs, prevent falls, and manage their health. Hodges comes to NCOA from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL) where he was Acting Deputy Administrator of the Center for Integrated Programs. In this role, he oversaw 11 aging and disability programs with a total portfolio over $110 million. He also oversaw the creation of the Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling and led the transition of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIPs) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to ACL. Prior to ACL, Hodges worked at Customer Value Partners where he designed and implemented a new enterprise portfolio management system, and for Grant Thornton, LLP where he provided direct support to federal government agencies.

Head of Institutional DC, Managing Director
Invesco

Greg Jenkins is a Managing Director and Head of Institutional Defined Contribution on the North American Institutional team. He and his team are  responsible for strategy, new business development and relationship management with plan sponsors and consultants.

Mr. Jenkins joined Invesco in 2010. Prior to that, he was with Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where he was responsible for institutional defined contribution relationships and consultant relations. Before that, he was vice president of defined contribution sales at Charles Schwab from 2001 to 2007. He has served on committees with the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA), and the Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC).

Mr. Jenkins earned a BA degree in economics from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute. He holds the Series 3, 7, 24, 30, 63, and 79 registrations.

Program and Outreach Manager
State of Delaware

Greg Jenkins is a Managing Director and Head of Institutional Defined Contribution on the North American Institutional team. He and his team are  responsible for strategy, new business development and relationship management with plan sponsors and consultants.

Dan joined the Office of the State Treasurer in 2012 and currently serves as the program and outreach manager for the Delaware’s deferred compensation plans and the State’s 529 education savings plan. He previously worked in the financial services industry for 14 years and held positions in sales, supervision, and training.

Deputy Director, Administration
City of New York

Beth Kushner is the Deputy Director of Administration for the New York City Deferred Compensation Plan, an umbrella program for two defined contribution plans, the 457 Plan and the 401(k) Plan, and a Deemed IRA, called the New York City Employee (NYCE) IRA. All programs offer both a Pre-Tax and Roth component. The Deferred Compensation Plan has approximately $23 billion in assets and over 230,000 participant accounts.

Beth started her career with the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations in 1988 where she conducted agency worksite meetings to inform employees about the City’s 457 Plan. In 1999, Beth was a recipient of The Hundred Year Association of New York Public Service Award for Career Civil Service Employees. She also served on the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators’ (NAGDCA) Executive Board in 2007 and 2008.

Beth holds a B.B.A. in marketing with a specialization in advertising from Baruch College, City University of New York

SVP, Human Resources
Voya Financial

Lisa is a Senior Vice President and Senior Human Resources Generalist at Voya Investment Management (IM) with over 20 years of HR experience within Financial Services. In her role, Lisa leads the HR function for Voya Investment Management Distribution, Product and Marketing teams in addition to previous responsibility for the Mutual Fund Platform and Legal & Compliance team. She is also responsible for the Diversity & Inclusion strategy and initiatives for Voya IM. Lisa joined Voya IM in August of 2010 from the New York office of Apax Partners, a global private equity firm based in London, where she served as HR Director for their India, Israel, Italy, Sweden and US offices. Prior to joining Apax Partners, Lisa spent seven years with AIG Investments and five years with Cantor Fitzgerald in increasingly senior HR roles. Lisa possesses a B.A. in Psychology from Lehigh University, an Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling and a M.A. in Organizational Psychology, both from Columbia University.

Head of Retirement Business Management & Customer Solutions
Prudential Retirement

Christine Lange is head of Retirement Business Management & Customer Solutions within Prudential Retirement, a business unit of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), and a leading provider of defined contribution, defined benefit, nonqualified deferred compensation plan administration, and institutional investment and risk management services.

Lange has been in the Financial Services industry for 34 years, most of that time spent helping Americans get ready to retire.  Lange has held senior positions across the industry where she was responsible for the vision, strategy and execution of many product innovations including a deep focus on digital properties.  Throughout her career she has been instrumental in leading a number of products, customer engagement and culture transformation efforts resulting in significant increase in customer financial wealth and retirement preparedness.

Prior to joining Financial Services industry, Lange spent five years working in the nuclear power industry.  Lange holds degrees from Northeastern University and Boston College.

She is a member of the Council for Women at Boston College and a member of Boston College Connections, a mentoring program for undergraduates.

President and CEO
EBRI

Lori Lucas, CFA, is the President and CEO of EBRI. Lori is responsible for leading EBRI in its mission to provide unbiased, fact-based research and data on retirement, health care, and other benefits that provide financial security for American workers. Formerly, Lori was an Executive Vice President and Practice Leader at Callan, where she led Callan’s DC business and developed research and insights into retirement trends for the benefit of clients and the industry.

In previous roles, Lori was Director of Retirement Research at Hewitt Associates, served as a Vice President at Ibbotson Associates, as a pension fund consultant at J.H. Ellwood & Associates, and as an analyst and product development leader at Morningstar, Inc. Lori received a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University and earned a Masters from the University of Illinois. Additionally, she earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Lori is the immediate past Chair of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and has served as the Vice Chair and Research Chair of EBRI. She is a former columnist for Workforce Management online magazine. She has testified before the Senate HELP Committee, the DOL, SEC, and ERISA Advisory Council.

Vice President, Communication Consulting
Lincoln Financial

Chris McCloy joined Lincoln in 2013 and has over 20 years of integrated marketing and communication experience. He is responsible for managing the communication consultant team; directing the overall strategic communication and education initiatives. It is his keen understanding of corporate vision, proven success in cultivating relationships with high-profile clients, strength in building teams and ability to instill dedication to team success that has made him so effective.

Chief Personnel Analyst| Employee Benefits Division
City of Los Angeles

Steven Montagna is a Chief Personnel Analyst with the City of Los Angeles Personnel Department/Employee Benefits Division. He has worked for the City of Los Angeles for over 25 years, and included among his responsibilities is operational and executive oversight of the City’s supplemental Deferred Compensation Plan. Steven has been in a leadership role with the City’s Plan since 1995.

Head of WI Employer Experience & Retirement Solutions 
Fidelity Investments

Bio coming soon!

Plan Administrator
City of Houston

Sherry Mose is Plan Administrator of the City of Houston Deferred Compensation Plan.  She is responsible for all aspects of this program, which is available to over 23,000 employees.

Ms. Mose serves as the Chairman of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System.  She holds the positions of Chair of the External Affairs Committee, Chair of the Investment Committee and Vice Chair of the Personnel and Procedures Committee.  Ms. Mose serves on the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement System’s (TEXPERS) Board of Directors where she previously served as the first vice president and currently serves as secretary. Ms. Mose currently also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), and is a member of Houston Organization of Public Employees (HOPE).

Ms. Mose served as President for the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) and is a frequent speaker at deferred compensation and pension conferences.  Ms. Mose has received her Chartered Trustee (CT) and Chartered Pension Executive (CPE) designations from the National Society of Pension Professionals, as well as Certified Retirement Administrator (CRA) and Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC) certifications from The International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE).  She has obtained certificates from the Program for Advanced Trustee Studies at Harvard Law School and has completed the TEXPERS Certified Trustee Training (CTT), an in-depth course on ethics, investments, fiduciary duties, actuarial matters and accounting matters.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana and completed her financial planning courses at the University of St. Thomas.

Ms. Mose received the Director’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, the City of Houston Communicator Award for excellence in employee communication, the NAGDCA Leadership Recognition Award, and the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) Joyce Johnson Award for outstanding leadership in advancing the ideals and principles of NASP and its mission to make a difference for minorities and women professionals in the securities industry.

Ms. Mose was involved in the School-To-Work program with the Houston Independent School District.  As a member of the Brentwood Baptist Church she served as President of the New Members Orientation Committee, and she currently volunteers as a kindergarten associate at Riverpointe Church.

Ms. Castillo-Rhodes serves in leadership roles with numerous non-profit organizations such as University of St. Thomas, St. Thomas High School, Medical Bridges, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association.  In 2016, Ms. Castillo-Rhodes was named Businesswoman of the Year and “Top 100 Women to Watch in America”.  In 2017, she was honored as an “Outstanding Woman in Banking and Finance,” was named the University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business Distinguished Alumnus and was a University of Texas at El Paso College of Business Gold Nugget Award recipient.  In 2018, Ms. Castillo-Rhodes was among the women honored as the 2018 ABC 13 Women of Dist

Managing Director, Head of Plan Strategy within BlackRock’s Retirement Group
BlackRock

Dagmar Nikles, CFA, CAIA, FRM, Managing Director, is Head of the Plan Strategy within BlackRock’s Retirement Group. She leads a team focused on helping plan sponsors and advisors improve participant retirement readiness via participant and plan level analytics, innovative tools and thought leadership for Defined Contribution. She is a member of the Retirement Group Executive Committee.  Ms. Nikles’ service with the firm dates back to 2003, including her years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Prior to her current role, Ms. Nikles was a senior investment strategist in the Defined Contribution business after serving several years as a portfolio manager with the Allocations and Solutions Group managing DC funds, including LifePath. Prior to joining BlackRock, Ms. Nikles was a portfolio manager with Zurich Scudder Investments / Zurich Insurance in Switzerland and San Francisco.  Ms. Nikles earned a BBA degree in business administration from the University of Applied Science, Switzerland, in 1996, an MS degree in finance from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1997, and an MS degree in financial planning from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, in 2010.

Chairperson, City of Austin Deferred Compensation Committee
City of Austin

AJ Padilla is a 16-year Lieutenant with the Austin Fire Department, currently assigned to the Fire Marshal’s office. He has been on the City of Austin Deferred Compensation Committee for 8 years, serving as Chair for the past 4 years.

Chief Information Security Officer
Empower Retirement

Doug Peterson is the Chief Information Security Officer for Empower Retirement. In his role, Doug is responsible for cybersecurity strategy as well as architecture development and global cybersecurity. He has enterprise-level responsibility for all cyber/data/information security policies, standards, evaluations, roles and awareness for all utilized technologies, services, vendors and partners. Doug is also responsible for business continuity and disaster recovery planning, testing and execution.

Doug, who joined the organization in 2015, has 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has also served as Chief Security Officer for Nationstar Mortgage and Aurora Bank and has held various leadership roles at Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. Prior to his corporate career, Doug served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 19th Special Forces Group.

Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in international business. He is a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) through DRI International, a Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) through the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) and an Information Security Systems Professional through Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC).

Managing Director
Wellington Management

As a relationship manager on the Americas Pension team within the Global Relationship Group, Jed is instrumental in establishing and developing partnerships with pension clients. He assists clients with long-term investment strategy and policy issues, evaluating portfolio risks and performance. He also plays an important role helping to build and manage the firm’s defined contribution business. Jed joined Wellington Management in 2005 and has held positions based in the US and Singapore.

Prior to joining the firm, Jed worked for Fidelity Investments as an investment consultant in their defined contribution business (1996-2005). Before that, he held positions at Scudder, Stevens and Clark (1990-1996).

Jed earned his graduate diploma of economics from the London School of Economics (1990) and his BS in accounting from Bucknell University (1987). Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Assistant Vice President, HR Retirement Services
NYC Health + Hospital

Mohammad Raihan is a benefits professional with significant expertise in Human Resource Benefits Consulting and Administration. As Assistant Vice President of HR Retirement Services at NYC Health + Hospitals, Mohammad is responsible for the TDA Plan (37,000 employees) and manages over $3 billion of assets.

Prior to NYC Health + Hospitals, Mohammad worked at the 1199 SEIU Benefit and Pension Fund and has worked with defined contribution plans at Time Warner Inc., Emblem Health and Hewitt Associates. Mohammad is an enthusiastic leader recognized for overcoming challenges and achieving desired results.

Senior VP, Public Sector Market Leader
Segal

Mr. Regan is the Public Sector Market Leader and a Senior Vice President in Segal Marco Advisors’ Boston office. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Regan served as Executive Director for the New York State Deferred Compensation Board, Assistant General Manager and Budget Director for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Vice President, Risk Governance and Strategy for Fidelity Investments. He also served as a state and local government appointee to the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities.

Mr. Regan is a co-author of NCPERS Best Governance Practices for Public Retirement Systems and author of Operational Risk for Defined Contribution Plans, among other publications. He is a past recipient of the IRS TE/GE  “Commissioner’s Award”, “Plan Sponsor of the Year” award recipient and serves on the IFEBP Investment Management Committee. Mr. Regan received his BSBA and MBA from Suffolk University and studied at Georgetown University.

Vice President
Nationwide Retirement Institute 

Kristi Martin Rodriguez currently serves as Vice President of the Nationwide Retirement Institute for Nationwide Financial, leading the teams responsible for advocating for and educating members, partners and industry leaders on issues impacting their ability to have a secure financial future.

In her current role, Kristi oversees an extensive network of knowledgeable professionals who provide hands-on consultation to develop client strategies and address the major concerns America’s workers face when planning for retirement.

Kristi has over 20 years of extensive experience in business-to-business and direct-to-consumer strategies and building high- performing teams. She joined Nationwide in 2015 as the Vice President of Marketing for Nationwide’s retirement plans business. Before joining Nationwide, Kristi held marketing and business leader roles at Aetna and United Health Group. Her experience includes functioning as the enterprise program lead of health care reform for United Healthcare. Additionally, Kristi led a business development team working with the public sector, labor and trust and national accounts as liaison to their sales organization. She has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University as well as a Series 6 and 26 securities registrations.

Solutions Strategist
LGIMA

Michael joined LGIMA in 2017 as a Solutions Strategist. He is focused on building our defined contribution solutions and product offerings.  Prior to joining LGIMA, he held several roles with the Blackrock defined contribution team both in New York and San Francisco. His most recent position was Defined Contribution Investment Strategist, Vice President. Prior to Blackrock, he was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in San Francisco as a Credit Analyst for their institutional technology clients. Michael is a CFA charterholder, a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and he is a CAIA charterholder. He holds a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkley.

SVP, Head of US Tax Exempt DC Research
Callan LLC

Ben Taylor is a senior vice president and head of tax-exempt defined contribution (DC) research. Based in Los Angeles, Ben serves as a lead consultant to DC plans and primarily focuses on public sector DC plans, ranging from 457(b) plans to single and multi-vendor 403(b)/401(a) and 401(k) plans. He also conducts specialized research for DC plans. Ben is a shareholder of the firm.  In his career, he has served as the consultant to the DC plans of 12 states, and many large cities and universities. He also taught economics at Harvard University, where he received an award for excellence in teaching. He is past president of NAGDCA’s Industry Committee and served on the NAGDCA Board. He serves as vice chairman of the Public Retirement Research Library and is vice chairman of the SPARK Data Security Oversight Board. Ben has been published by Oxford University Press and is one of the co-authors of The Disruptive Impact of FinTech on Retirement Systems.  Ben earned a BA from Reed College, a master’s of international political economy and development from Fordham University, and a master’s of public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

VP, Financial Wellness Tax-Exempt Markets
Prudential

Steve Toole is a retirement program executive uniquely qualified to serve America’s public servants. Steve has spent his entire career meeting the retirement needs of the public sector employee. Combining his private sector executive leadership with his tenure as Executive Director of the North Carolina Retirement Systems affords him a unique perspective to meet the needs of America’s public sector employees.

Steve is currently Vice President, Financial Wellness for Tax-Exempt markets for Prudential Financial. In this capacity he is tasked to deliver financial wellness strategies and solutions to the public sector, Taft Hartley, and not for profit industries.

During his tenure as the Executive Director for the North Carolina Retirement Systems Division, Steve and his leadership team were focused on securing the retirement readiness for their 450,000 active members. To that end, 57.56% of all active North Carolina public sector employees were on track to replace 80% of their income at age 62.

Steve was an active member of Nationwide Retirement Solutions’ executive leadership team running their public and private sector defined contribution business. Steve has served on various boards and associations representing the tax-exempt markets.

SVP, Senior Retirement Strategist
Capital Group | American Funds

Sue Walton is a senior retirement strategist at Capital Group, home of American Funds. She has 24 years of industry experience and has been with Capital Group for four years. Prior to joining Capital, Sue was a director at Towers Watson Investment Services. Before that, she was an investment consultant at Mercer Investment Consulting and Ellwood Associates. She holds an MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in finance and a bachelor’s degree in business administration majoring in economics and international business from Marquette University. Sue is based in Chicago.

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