2018 SPARK Forum - The Breakers - Palm Beach, FL


Conference Speakers

Veronica Bray

Veronica Bray
Retirement Plan Consultant,
RPAS

Veronica Bray is a 15-year veteran and thought leader of the retirement plan industry, specializing in consulting for qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. Veronica has worked with over 1,000 retirement plan sponsors to improve their retirement plan benefits. Veronica is also a sought out speaker and thought leader asked to attend and speak at national industry related conferences and provide content for industry related national publications. Following 9 years of providing retirement plan services to institutions for the largest Third Party Administrator (TPA) and Record Keeper, Veronica worked for 2 nationally recognized "Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisory firms in North Carolina" by Plan Adviser Magazine. During her tenure, Veronica consulted with institutions as their Plan Consultant, and functioned as the primary relationship manager for dozens of clients.

Now, as the founder and managing partner of Retirement Plan Advisor Search, an independent retirement plan Request for Proposal service for organizations in the US, Veronica assists plan sponsors with evaluating their retirement plan service providers fees, reviews plan documents to educate plan sponsors on the operations of their plan, and consults with and coaches retirement plan advisors. Veronica also works as an expert consultant on retirement plan related litigation cases. Veronica received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Veronica has held her Series 6 and 63 securities licenses and North Carolina life insurance license. Veronica holds her Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC) designation from the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers and her Certified Financial Consultant (CFC) designation from the Institute of Financial Consultants. Veronica is very active in her community, currently serving on the Board of the Human Resource Management Association of Greensboro as their 1st Vice Presidnet, Vice Chair for the the Board of Directors of Community Housing Solutions, member of the Society of Human Resource Managers, and member of the Greensboro Airport Rotary Club. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters and husband, teaching Religious Education at Our Lady of Grace and volunteering as her daughter's Girl Scout Troop Treasurer.

Diane Gallagher

Diane Gallagher
Vice President,
American Century Investments

Diane Gallagher is vice president, Client Marketing for American Century Investments. She is responsible for developing content and value-add programs for clients and is also a spokesperson on retirement investing. Diane originally joined American Century Investments in 1995 and developed communication programs for clients of J.P. Morgan/American Century Retirement Plan Services.

Prior to returning to American Century in 2012, Diane was vice president, Retirement Insights for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Previously, she led product marketing for J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services and directed the participant communications and education department. Prior to 1995, Diane served as media relations manager for the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA). She also worked in Corporate Communications and Marketing for Sinai Health Care System in Detroit, Michigan. Diane earned a bachelor's degree in communications, magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit.

She is accredited by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has earned many awards for her communication programs. She is a Board member of the Hands & Hearts Auxiliary for Children for Children's Mercy Hospital and is a member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's Centurions Leadership Program, class of 2019. She is Past-President of the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City and currently serves on its Advisory Board. In 2007, Diane was named one of Kansas City's "40 Under 40" leaders by Ingram's magazine. A frequent conference speaker, she holds Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses.

Chris Gaston

Chris Gaston
Senior Policy Director,
Davis & Harman LLP

Chris Gaston is Senior Policy Director of Davis & Harman LLP. Chris has more than a dozen years of Capitol Hill experience and he represents clients on a wide range of issues before Congress, particularly retirement and savings policy.

Prior to joining Davis & Harman LLP, Chris served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) who was a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

After growing up in Central New Jersey, Chris initially started with Rep. Holt as an intern and over the next twelve years, worked for Rep. Holt in a number of congressional and political positions. For more than five years Chris served as Rep. Holt's Legislative Director where he helped establish an ambitious legislative agenda and advised him on a diverse range of legislative issues. In that capacity, Chris was responsible for all of Rep. Holt's work on the Education and the Workforce Committee, including his legislative initiatives to promote retirement savings. Chris also led Rep. Holt's efforts to raise concerns about the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal.

Chris graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with a Public Policy Focus from The George Washington University and received a M.A. in International Law and Politics from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Molly, have two active kids, Max and Clare, and one hyper active Border collie, Ace.

Mike Hadley

Mike Hadley
Partner,
Davis & Harman LLP

Mike Hadley is a partner in the law firm Davis & Harman LLP. He practices in the area of employee benefits, advising clients on the full range of tax, ERISA, and other laws affecting benefit plans. He has a particular focus on helping financial institutions that sell products to defined contribution and defined benefit plans, IRAs and similar plans navigate the special rules that govern those plans. He also provides clients with strategic advice, plan design, counseling, and compliance assistance for qualified plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, non-qualified executive compensation, employment agreements, and health and other welfare plans.

Mike was formerly Associate Counsel for Pension Regulation at the Investment Company Institute, the national association of U.S. investment companies. His responsibilities included advocating for the Institute's membership before Congress, the Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, and the Securities Exchange Commission on retirement security issues and assisting ICI members and staff in understanding tax and ERISA rules. Among other duties he managed ICI's work implementing the Pension Protection Act and responding to 401(k) fee, investment advice, and fiduciary developments in Congress, DOL, and the courts.

Prior to joining ICI, Mike was an associate with Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, provided advice on ERISA litigation, and assisted with pension and benefits issues in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions.

Mike is a frequent speaker on the latest retirement savings policy developments coming out of Congress and the regulatory agencies and has testified before Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor. A sampling of articles he has authored or co-authored: ERISA Compliance for Investment Advisers: A Q&A Guide To DOL's 408(b)(2) Disclosure Regulation, Investment Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 7 (July 2013); The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2010 ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 17, No. 4 (June 2011); and 401 (k) Plans: A 25-Year Retrospective, ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Nov. 2006).

Mike was a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Tjoflat, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was Notes Editor of the Virginia Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his B.A., cum laude, from the College of William and Mary.

Todd Levy

Todd Levy
Chief Investment Officer,
Ingham Group

As the Chief Investment Officer at Ingham Retirement Group, Todd Levy has over twenty years of industry experience. For the past sixteen years he has been pursuing his passion working with plan sponsors to create successful retirement plans with the singular focus on helping plan participants accumulate enough money to live a dignified lifestyle in retirement. Throughout his career, Todd has been an active advocate within various fiduciary circles and keenly focused on outcome oriented plan design strategies and technological innovations.

In his role at Ingham, a Miami based producing TPA firm, Todd is responsible for the design, oversight and implementation of the firm's asset allocation views. Todd's unique experience working for a Recordkeeping, TPA and Actuarial firm affords the firm's clients a true and measurable value. This perspective regularly affords Todd the ability to problem solve or develop real solutions for his clients in real time, often before plan sponsors recognize a concern. Todd takes pride as a consultant to the firm's diverse group of plan sponsor clients whereby he enjoys the challenge of humanizing "401(K) speak" and investment jargon into real world communication to empower plan sponsors' active role in decision making on behalf and in the best interest of their plan participants.

Todd holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Syracuse University and has achieved ASPPA's Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.

Rich Linton

Rich Linton
Executive Vice President,
Empower Retirement

Rich Linton oversees all aspects of recordkeeping and plan administration operations for Empower Retirement, including the participant and plan call centers, compliance, conversion and implementation services, client services, and financial controls.

Rich joined the organization in 2016. Managing all aspects of the defined contribution business, he has more than 25 years of retirement industry experience.

Rich spent two decades at Fidelity Investments, where he gained deep experience running a major part of the operations organization. He served a variety of leadership roles in operations, sales, product, marketing and client services before becoming Executive Vice President in the advisor retirement business. From there, he went to Bank of America, where he served as Managing Director of the business retirement solutions group.

Before joining Empower, Rich served as President of large corporate markets and retail wealth management for Voya Financial. There, he oversaw sales and marketing, relationship management, product development, platform management, field representative service, brokerage operations and strategic planning.

Rich serves on the board of directors of both the American Benefits Council and the Expect Miracles Foundation. He is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned degrees in economics and mathematics.

Peter Lohri

Peter Lohri
Partner,
Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc.

Peter Lohri has more than 20 years of experience in the Financial Services and Management Consulting Industries primarily leading retirement plan recordkeeping, Insurance and annuities, and strategic sourcing organizations. He has an extensive operational, process re-engineering, product management and compliance background and has led multiple teams in line implementation, transformation and business readiness and adoption rules.

In 2016, Peter joined the Enterprise Iron leadership team as a Delivery Partner. Prior to his arrival, he spent 14 years with TIAA in a wide range of assignments including: leading the recordkeeping and trade settlement for all Defined Contribution Pension plan assets for Qualified and non-qualified plans across Annuity, Mutual Fund and Real Estate separate account product families, leading the PMO for the lean management transformation of Individual and Institutional Operations and building out new business capabilities for client on-boarding and benefits office outsourcing.
Peter is results-driven and versatile servant leader having led teams of > 200 employees across multiple domestic and international locations, consulting teams responsible for the policy development and execution of strategic sourcing, BPO, off-and-near shore initiatives and as an individual contributor serving C-Suite executives during cost management, operational efficiency and digital transformation programs.

Peter earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Operations Management from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA and an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps. He is a Project Management Professional and a former FINRA-licensed Securities Professional. Peter lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Cambria and 3 children, Emma, Bella and Jack.

David Morrell

David Morrell
Director of University Benefits,
State University of New York

David Morrell is currently employed by the State University of New York as the University-Wide Benefits Administrator and by Empire State College as an adjunct instructor for International Programs and the Center for Distance Learning. He is the Chairman of the State University Benefits Advisory Committee and Retirement Operations Committee, and serves on the New York State Personnel and Training Councils. He has previously worked as a Human Resource Administrator for Empire State College and for the Research Foundation of SUNY.

Mr. Morrell holds a Bachelor's in Human Development and a Master of Arts in Labor and Policy Studies from Empire State College, where he also serves as President of the Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors.

He is also a professional photographer, consultant, not-for-profit administrator, and international entrepreneur.

Chris Riggio

Chris Riggio
Managing Director,
Strategic Insight

Chris Riggio oversees sales performance forecasting, sales strategy and execution management across the Simfund, Market Metrics, and BrightScope products and solutions. Responsible for the alignment of sales goals with the strategic objectives of the firm, Chris leads the global sales team's development, training and execution initiatives. Chris started his career in 1998 at Chase Manhattan Bank and held senior roles at TheStreet.com, SmartMoney, Dow Jones, and most recently Interactive Data where he managed a team of Sales Executives and Account Managers.

Chris received his bachelor's degree in Economics from State University of New York College at Oneonta.

Tim Rouse

Tim Rouse
Executive Director,
SPARK Institute

Tim has over thirty years of experience in the financial services industry mainly within retirement services of large mutual fund companies.  For the past twenty-five years Tim has worked with major plan sponsors in state and local governments, corporations, Taft-Hartley plans, nonprofit hospitals, colleges and universities.  Over his career Tim has worked with Voya Financial, Fidelity Investments, ICMA Retirement Corporation and The Vanguard Group. 

Tim is a former President of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators' Industry Board and a graduate of Villanova University.

Jessica Sclafani

Jessica Sclafani
Director, Retirement Practice,
Cerulli Associates

Jessica leads Cerulli's U.S. Retirement practice and oversees three annual research reports, consulting engagements, and the quarterly issues of The Cerulli Edge -- U.S. Retirement edition.

The Retirement practice focuses on trends related to the DC plan market and retail IRA channel, including: Migration of assets from the DC market to the retail IRA channel with an emphasis on retirement income, Detailed sizing of the DC market by plan type -- 401(k), 403(b), 457, and 401(a), Impact of increasing oversight and regulation on the retirement industry and DC plan participant and IRA owner behavior and investing preferences.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Jessica was an Analyst at Wellington Management Company, LLP where she communicated with plan sponsors on a range of investment-related issues, including strategic asset allocation, performance analysis, and client channel trends. Jessica graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College and holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.

Scott Smith

Scott Smith
Director, Advice Relationships,
Cerulli Associates

With more than 20 years of financial services industry experience, Scott leads Cerulli's research efforts focused on investor behavior and advisory relationships. In his time at Cerulli he has authored more than two-dozen in-depth reports on topics ranging from wholesale distribution to digital advice platforms. His research helps Cerulli's clients understand how to optimize their platforms given the evolving demand for financial advice.

Scott, who received his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in Economics and his M.B.A. from Bryant University started his career wearing a headset at Putnam Investments, before moving to product roles at MFS and then to Cerulli.

 

 

Don Trone

Don Trone
Founder & CEO,
3ethos

Leading authority on leadership and its integration with regulatory and professional standards of care.

Past Sponsors