NAGDCA Connect is an online learning series consisting of webinars and interactive discussion sessions. These virtual engagement events are designed to provide opportunities for members to connect in an online setting, and to deliver insight from industry professionals about the issues directly impacting public sector DC plans right now — and how to manage them moving forward. Check out our upcoming events below or access the webinar archive to find past presentations.

Upcoming Events

Trends and Considerations for ESG Investing in
Governmental Defined Contribution Plans

Tuesday, June 29 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Join us on Tuesday, June 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET for a discussion on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment trends and considerations for public DC plans. The panel will discuss research, data, demographic trends, and implementation options for public DC plan sponsors. Learn about real world examples of ways plan sponsors have incorporated ESG into their programs, and the shared common challenges.

The panel will also share information about new resources developed by the 2021 NAGDCA Publications Task Force that plan sponsors can use to evaluate the ESG and sustainability practices, policies, and initiatives of their DC plans’ investment management firms. Register today to save your seat!



Mikaylee O’Connor
Vice President, Senior Defined Contribution Strategist

Christina Elliott
Executive Director
Ohio Deferred Compensation

James Gorrell
Assistant Vice President, Institutional Sales

Emily Wrightson
Principal | Financial Advisor

Mikaylee O’Connor, Vice President, Senior Defined Contribution Strategist, PGIM

Bio coming soon!

Christina Elliott, Executive Director, Ohio Deferred Compensation

Bio coming soon!

James Gorrell, Assistant Vice President, Public & Taft-Hartley Client Group, Nuveen

James is an Assistant Vice President for Nuveen’s Institutional Advisory Services team, focused on delivering Nuveen’s investment capabilities to public pension and employee retirement plans as well as Taft-Hartley pension plans.

James joined Nuveen in 2009 and has held roles in sales & client service, business strategy, and operations.

James graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyan University and a M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a member of The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA), and The International Foundation for Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).

Nuveen manages more than $1.2 trillion on behalf of clients across equities, fixed income, and alternative investments.

Emily Wrightson, Principal | Financial Advisor, CAPTRUST

Emily has over 13 years of experience in providing retirement plan consulting and advisory services to retirement plans across the country including states, state systems, cities, counties and special districts. Emily partners with clients in all aspects of the due diligence process, including investment analysis, plan design, compliance, regulatory, and process changes. She joined CAPTRUST in early 2021 from Cammack Retirement Group – a leading national, independent retirement plan consulting and investment advisory firm where she served as a vice president leading the firm’s public market practice. Emily received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond and holds a Series 6, 63 and 65 securities licenses.

P2P Exchanges

Government Members Only

Join fellow government members for virtual small group discussions that provide an opportunity for plan sponsors to connect in an informal setting to discuss challenges, ideas, and lessons learned. Beginning in April, NAGDCA will host a P2P Exchange session every other month for the remainder of 2021 and we encourage you to participate in as many sessions as you’d like.

Have something in mind that you’d like to discuss with your peers? Submit a topic or question on the registration form.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect virtually with your peers – click on your preferred dates below to register!

NAGDCA Connect | P2P Exchange
Wednesday, June 23 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

CLICK HERE to register.

NAGDCA Connect | P2P Exchange
Wednesday, August 25 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

CLICK HERE to register.

NAGDCA Connect | P2P Exchange
Wednesday, October 27 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

CLICK HERE to register.

NAGDCA Connect | P2P Exchange
Wednesday, December 15 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

CLICK HERE to register.

Recent Events

A Closer Look at Federal Legislation to Improve Outcomes for 403(b) Plan Participants
Thursday, February 11 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Join us for a conversation to explore the Public Service Retirement Fairness Act endorsed by NAGDCA which would amend IRC Section 403(b) to permit the inclusion of Collective Investment  Trusts (CITs). CITs enable 403(b) plan sponsors to provide a more robust array of investment options at lower costs, providing the potential for increased retirement asset growth for plan participants. Congressman Panetta (D-CA), who introduced the bipartisan Act, will share his thoughts with attendees via a recorded statement.



Matt Petersen
Executive Director

Sandy Blair
Director of Retirement Readiness

Angela Montez
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer

Aron Szapiro
Head of Policy Research
Morningstar, Inc.

Sandy Blair, Director of Retirement Readiness, 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.

Angela Montez, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer, ICMA-RC

Angela Montez serves as ICMA-RC’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer.  In this capacity, Ms. Montez oversees ICMA-RC’s Legal Department, managing and coordinating the internal Legal staff and external legal counsel to address all legal and regulatory matters for ICMA-RC its subsidiaries and affiliates.

As the Corporation’s lead employee benefits lawyer, she has primary responsibility for legal advice and guidance provided in this key area to ICMA-RC’s business units and senior management.  As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, she plays an active role in strategic planning for the Corporation.  She focuses substantial attention on the Corporation’s governance and advises the Corporation and its subsidiaries regarding governance issues and best practices.  She also leads ICMA-RC’s mission-based advocacy efforts to advance federal and state legislative and regulatory changes beneficial to public employee retirement savers.  She serves on the Advisory Board of the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Recordkeepers, the Executive Steering Committee of the Coalition of Collective Investment Trusts and is a member of the Savings Preservation Working Group.

 Before joining ICMA-RC, Ms. Montez was an associate with Groom Law Group, Chartered, where she specialized in title I of ERISA, counseling private plan clients on a variety of issues, including fiduciary responsibility, participant rights, investment and health care issues.  While in law school, she interned in the Office of the City Administrator of the District of Columbia, Mr. Robert Mallett.  Prior to law school, Angela worked as a Special Assistant to the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman William H. Gray.

Ms. Montez received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Aron Szapiro, Head of Policy Research, Morningstar, Inc.

Aron Szapiro is head of policy research for Morningstar. Szapiro is responsible for developing research reports on policy matters, coordinating official responses to regulatory proposals, and providing investor-focused comments on policy issues to clients and the press. He also chairs Morningstar’s Public Policy Council. His research has been covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Journal of Retirement, and on National Public Radio.

Before assuming his current role in July 2016, he served as Morningstar’s associate director of policy research and as policy and finance expert at HelloWallet, a former subsidiary of Morningstar. Previously, he was a senior analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), specializing in retirement security issues and pension plan policy. He also worked at the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office.

Szapiro holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Grinnell College and a master’s in public policy from Johns Hopkins University.