SPEAKERS

  • Leo Acheson

    Leo Acheson
    Senior Analyst, Manager Research, Morningstar Research Services LLC

    Leo Acheson, CFA, is a senior analyst covering multiasset strategies on Morningstar’s manager research team. He covers offerings from firms including JPMorgan, GMO, T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley, and Third Avenue. He also leads Morningstar’s 529 college-savings plan research effort and analyzes target-date funds. Before joining Morningstar in 2013, Acheson spent more than three years working for a Chicago-based investment consultant, conducting mutual-fund and asset-class research to help corporations manage their investment programs. Acheson holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

  • Anwiti Bahuguna

    Anwiti Bahuguna
    Senior Portfolio Manager, Asset Allocation Team, Columbia Threadneedle Investments

    Anwiti Bahuguna is a senior portfolio manager with the Global Asset Allocation Team at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.* She is responsible for asset allocation research and portfolio management of the asset allocation funds and separately managed accounts. Dr. Bahuguna joined one of the Columbia Threadneedle Investments legacy firms in 2002. Previously, Dr. Bahuguna worked at Fleet in its corporate strategy and development group, where she provided investment banking analysis on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions in all types of financial services companies. Prior roles have also involved strategic planning for restructuring and positioning the corporation and its components for growth and expansion. She has been a member of the investment community since 1998. Dr. Bahuguna received a B.S. in economics and mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Northeastern University.

  • Susie Bauer

    Susie Bauer
    529/UIT Manager, Senior Vice President, Robert W. Baird & Co.

    Susie is the 529/UIT Manager for Baird, where she has worked in UIT marketing since 1997 and 529 marketing since 2000. Susie leverages her expertise in client and prospect meetings discussing their 529/UIT needs with Baird’s Financial Advisors. Susie supports Financial Advisors in a marketing and training capacity, helping them understand the benefits of using 529’s and UIT in the planning process. Susie is also a trainer and conducts e-learning sessions and Continuing Education presentations for Baird associates. Since 2004, Susie has served as co-chair of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association's (SIFMA) 529 Working Group. Susie is also an active member of the SIFMA UIT Roundtable. Prior to joining Baird, Susie was the Artistic Director and Administrative Director of Educational Programming for Bauer Contemporary Ballet, Inc. from 1974 to 1996. In addition, she was an Administrative Director for the Creative Music Factory from 1993 to 1997. Susie earned a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master of arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 9, 10, 24, 51, 53 and 63 licenses. Commentary from Susie on a wide range of education planning topics has been featured in national, regional and trade media such as Biz Times of Milwaukee, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, HuffingtonPost.com, Investment News, Morningstar, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Worth, Yahoo News, WTMJ radio and Wisconsin Public Radio.

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    Suzanne Bertolett
    Senior Regional Counsel - Enforcement Department, FINRA – Florida District Office

    Suzanne Bertolett serves as Senior Regional Counsel with FINRA’s Enforcement Department.  In her current role, Suzanne provides legal guidance to staff and management in connection with FINRA investigations and examinations into potential violations of the federal securities laws and FINRA and MSRB rules.  Suzanne also represents FINRA Enforcement in formal disciplinary matters.  Prior to joining FINRA, Suzanne practiced law for ten years at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, where she represented broker-dealers in customer arbitrations and other litigation.  Suzanne obtained her Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained her Juris Doctor with honors from the University Of North Carolina School Of Law.

  • James Canup

    Jamie Canup
    Partner/Principal, Hirschler Fleischer

    Jamie Canup is the Tax Practice Chair at the law firm of Hirschler Fleischer. For close to 20 years, Jamie has advised states, program managers and records administrators with regard to both prepaid and college savings plans (529 Plans). He has worked on behalf of over two dozen 529 Plans concerning disclosure statements, compliance matters, RFPs, contract negotiations, renewals and terminations, legislative initiatives (both state and federal), private letter ruling requests, and training for staff, directors and boards of 529 Plans. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, USA Today, Investment News, Financial Advisor, Hedge Fund Alert, and other publications concerning 529 plans, ABLE and other tax-favored investments. Jamie is a past Chair of the Corporate Affiliates Advisory Board of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and is a frequent speaker on tax-favored education savings options. He has spoken at the major 529 conferences, including those sponsored by CSPN, Strategic Insight, the College Savings Foundation, savingforcollege.com and the College Savings Plan Summits (co-chair). He is an active member of the Legal and Regulatory Committee, Disclosure Principles subcommittee, Federal Initiatives Task Force, Strategic Plan subcommittee and Conference Planning subcommittee of CSPN. In addition to his 529 practice, Jamie has more than 20 years of experience representing corporations, real estate investment trusts, tax-exempt entities, governmental agencies, and individuals. His practice also includes, but is not limited to, corporate formation, liquidations and reorganizations, taxation of securities and financial products, forming and advising tax-exempt entities, and representing clients before the national office of the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Tax Policy at the Treasury Department. Jamie is recognized by Virginia Business as a member of Virginia’s “Legal Elite.” He serves on the Nonprofit Advisory Committee of the Community Tax Law Project and on the Richmond Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee. He received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Virginia, his J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of law, and his LL.M. (Taxation) from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a graduate-student advisor on The Tax Lawyer.

  • Kay Ceserani

    Kay Ceserani
    Managing Director, Pension Consulting Alliance, LLC

    Ms. Ceserani is a Managing Director and a member of the Board of Directors of Pension Consulting Alliance. She has worked in the investment consulting industry in various roles since 1993.  She has extensive experience in the development, execution and monitoring of investment programs for institutional clients, as well as expertise in performing due diligence on money management firms and their products. Ms. Ceserani currently serves as the lead consultant on several 529 College Savings Plans.  Prior to PCA, Ms. Ceserani was a Consulting Project Manager at Yanni Partners in Pittsburgh, PA for six years. Her responsibilities included quarterly analysis of client portfolios, asset allocation studies, asset transitions, manager selection and monitoring, and special research projects. Ms. Ceserani has also served as the Director of Operations at Greycourt & Co., Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA and the Director of US Equity Research and Consulting Manager at Ennis Knupp & Associates in Chicago, IL. She also spent six years at R.V. Kuhns in Portland, OR.  Ms. Ceserani earned a BS in Political Science at the University of Oregon.

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    Mark Chapleau, Esq.
    Member, Weston Patrick, PA

    Mark Chapleau, Member, Weston Patrick, PA Boston. Massachusetts. Mark is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the legal and business issues involved with tax-advantaged Section 529 college savings plans and Section 529A ABLE Plans.

    Mr. Chapleau provides consulting, counseling, representation, and training services to 529 and 529A program managers, state agencies, non-profits, law firms, and individuals on a wide range of matters. His goal is to make the laws and regulations surrounding tax-advantaged college savings and disability plans understandable so that stakeholders may take full advantage of these powerful financial tools.

    Mr. Chapleau is a recognized expert in the field of Section 529 college savings plans and 529A disability savings plans. He has advised clients for the last 15 years in connection with more than 33 separate Plans sponsored by 20 states. Mr. Chapleau is an active member of the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Committees of the College Savings Foundation and the College Savings Plan Network, which both educate the public on college savings plans and ABLE Plans. In addition, Mark is a frequent speaker on, and moderator of, panel discussions at college savings and disability savings plan conferences.

    Mr. Chapleau leverages his extensive experience to (i) navigate Plan clients through applicable tax, securities regulatory, and other legal issues; (ii) draft and negotiate required contracts; and (iii) prepare program offering documents and other marketing disclosures. He is the former President and General Counsel of Upromise Investments, one of the nation's leading Section 529 college savings program managers. Upromise Investments was subsequently sold to Ascensus. Prior to Upromise Investments, Mark was a Senior Legal Counsel at Fidelity Investments.

    Mr. Chapleau is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Clearway School in Newton, MA. Clearway is a small, private, non-profit day school for students in grades 6 to 12 with language-based learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, dyslexia, and other similar special needs. 

  • Paul Curley

    Paul Curley
    Director of College Savings Research, Strategic Insight

    Paul Curley, CFA, is Director of College Savings Research at Strategic Insight, where he oversees data, research, consulting, media and events on 529 savings plans, 529 prepaid plans and ABLE accounts for institutional clients. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the 529 Dash e-newsletter and 529 Insiders website for advisors, accountants and estate planners.

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    Marc Dextraze
    Executive Director - Head of Mutual Fund & ETF Product Management, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

    Marc has been with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management for 15 years and is currently the head of product management for mutual funds, money markets, ETFs and 529 College Savings Plans.  He leads a team of product managers that are responsible for supporting more than $650 billion in assets under management across these product categories.  The team’s primary responsibility is to identify opportunities to develop new products and services that are designed to enhance the product offering, improve client experience and increase efficiency.  Prior to his current role, Marc was the head of mutual fund and ETF due diligence for the group.  During his tenure with the firm he has also held positions with Alternative Investments, Corporate Retirement Services and Risk Management.  Marc earned a B.S. in Finance from St. Thomas Aquinas College.

  • Jim Diskin

    Jim Diskin
    Director, Institutional Stable Value, Prudential

    Jim Diskin is part of the Institutional Stable Value Product Team at Prudential Retirement. In his role, Jim leads a team responsible for executing new business transactions, maintaining the in-force book of business, and the development and implementation of new products. Prior to this role, Jim led the Stable Value Strategy and Planning Team, responsible for strategic initiatives as well as financial and operational planning efforts. Jim earned a BA in English from Seton Hall University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Rutgers University. Jim is also a CFA charterholder.

  • Jim DiUlio

    Jim DiUlio
    Director, Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program

    Jim is the administrator of Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Program which includes the Tomorrow’s Scholar advisor-sold and RIA   plan, the Edvest direct-sold plan and the legacy Tuition Units plan; the program is now celebrating twenty years of higher education savings. He also directs compliance and is the investment officer for the $5 billion of assets held in trust for families nationwide. Previously a Series 24 FINRA-registered principal, he led 403(b) retirement plans for public school and college professionals, and early in his career placed families in then-brand-new college savings accounts.   For the past six years Jim has served on the Executive Board of the College Savings Plan Network (CSPN), the national association of 529 plan administrators and is its current Vice-Chair. He is also active in pre-college volunteer work with the Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He earned a degree in biology and social sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and is a frequent speaker, panelist, and podcast guest on program governance, asset allocation, financial literacy and wellness topics.    

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    George DuCasse
    Head of Relationship Management-SVP, Ascensus

  • Daniel Durazo

    Daniel Durazo
    USA Director of External Communications, Allianz Global Assistance

    Daniel Durazo is Director of Communications for Allianz Worldwide Partners USA, a global leader in consumer specialty insurance. Paris-based Allianz Worldwide Partners Group has operations in 35 countries with more than 17,000 associates and is a unit of Munich-based Allianz, one of the world’s largest integrated financial services and insurance companies. Allianz Worldwide Partners covers more than 25 million Americans each year with travel insurance, tuition insurance event ticket protection and registration protection products. The company’s products are offered to consumers directly and via partners that include most major U.S. airlines, leading online travel agencies and ticketing and event companies. Dan has nearly 20 years of public relations experience, focusing on media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. He has spent most of that time in public relations and integrated marketing agencies working for clients that include Coca-Cola, Target Stores, Honda Motor, Anheuser Busch, Toshiba and many others. For Allianz Worldwide Partners, he manages all external communications, which includes media relations, reputation management, opinion leader and blogger outreach and more. Dan developed and manages the Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, which is used by travel media as a barometer of the health of the travel economy. Dan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College of Journalism.

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    Mark Edblom
    Associate Product Manager - Mutual Funds and ETFs, RBC Wealth Management

    Currently the product manager for mutual funds, 529 plans, exchanged-traded funds and closed-end funds for RBC Wealth Management. Created and launched FACTS 529 Plan (Oregon) for US Bancorp Asset Managment in 2002 Created and launched Tomorrow's Scholar (Wisconsin) for American Express Financial Advisors in 2000.

  • Pamela Ellis

    Pamela K. Ellis
    Associate General Counsel , Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB)

    Pamela Ellis is Associate General Counsel for the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. She provides legal expertise and support associated with the development of regulations governing municipal market professionals, including dealers and municipal advisors. Before joining the MSRB, Ms. Ellis was counsel at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP (Sutherland), where she worked for more than 15 years. At Sutherland, she advised financial institutions on the organization and operation of Section 529 college tuition savings plans; she also advised financial institutions on the development, disclosure, and administration of innovative life insurance products, including variable, indexed and fixed products. Further, Ms. Ellis served on the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Investment Management. Ms. Ellis earned an A.B. from Wellesley College as a Wellesley College Scholar with Honors in Political Science and a juris doctor from Vanderbilt University School of Law. About the MSRB The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a Congressionally-chartered, self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Richard Ellis

    Richard Ellis
    Sr. Dir. For Compliance, Communications & Finance, Utah Educational Savings Plan

    Mr. Ellis is the Senior Director for Compliance, Communications, Finance and Investments at Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP). His day-to-day responsibilities include oversight of all marketing, regulatory compliance, finance and investment functions for UESP. He joined UESP in November 2015. Prior to that, he served seven years as Utah State Treasurer. Mr. Ellis has served as a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board since October 2012. Other professional experience includes serving as Chief Deputy State Treasurer, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and Executive Director of the Department of Administrative Services for the state of Utah. Mr. Ellis served on the board of trustees for the Utah Retirement Systems and chaired the Utah Council for Financial and Economic Education. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University where he taught investments and cash management. Mr. Ellis was actively involved with the National Association of State Treasurers having served as the association’s president in 2014. He received the NAST Harlan Boyles/Edward T. Alter Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the Jesse M. Unruh Award in 2015. He received his MBA from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Brigham Young University.

  • Andrea Feirstein

    Andrea Feirstein
    Managing Director, AKF Consulting Group

    Andrea Feirstein is a Managing Director with AKF Consulting Group, which she formed in March 2002. Over the last fifteen-plus years, Ms. Feirstein has advised thirty-six public administrators on a wide-range of college savings, prepaid and ABLE matters, including among others, overall program strategies, product design, program launch and implementation, legislative and regulatory developments, creative marketing review, marketing best practices and compliance, and marketing performance evaluations. Her most recent business initiative includes program consulting on state-run retirement plans for private sector employees.

    In all, Ms. Feirstein has approximately 33 years of experience in the municipal finance industry. From 1999 to 2002, she managed the proprietary 529 business for Citigroup Asset Management, with overall responsibility for engagements with Colorado and Illinois. Previously she was an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney’s Municipal Securities Division (1987 to 1999), and she was a bond lawyer with Brown & Wood (1984 to 1987, now Sidley Austin LLP). Ms. Feirstein is active in the National Association of State Treasurers (“NAST”), where she chaired the Corporate Affiliate Advisory Board (2014 to 2016), and she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Public Finance, a joint venture between the NAST Foundation and Pepperdine University.

    Ms. Feirstein graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Tax Review. She is an SEC-registered, MSRB-licensed Municipal Advisor (Series 50), and was previously a FINRA-licensed Registered Representative (Series 7), Municipal Principal (Series 53) and Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63). She is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (the “IDA”), Build New York City (“BNYC”), and the Randalls Island Park Alliance (“RIPA”). She chairs the Finance Committees of the IDA and BNYC, and she serves as Treasurer of RIPA, where she also chairs the Finance Committee and previously chaired the Audit Committee.

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    Alisa Ferguson
    Associate Counsel, Virginia529/ABLEnow

  • John Finch

    John Finch
    ABLE Director, Florida Prepaid College Board

    John Finch serves as the Director of ABLE United at the Florida Prepaid College Board. John is helping facilitate the development and successful implementation of ABLE United including day to day operations, contract, financial, and communications management. Previously he served at The Arc of Florida in various capacities including Director of Dental Services which seeks to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive much needed emergency dental care. With experience in both the non-profit social services field and financial sector, John continues to strive to make a difference in people’s lives.

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    Nathan Ganousis
    Product Leader – Managed Investments, Edward Jones

    Nathan Ganousis is the St. Louis-based product leader of the Edward Jones Managed Investments department. He is responsible for leading and coordinating product strategy, providing branch teams and clients with a broad offering of quality managed investments that reflect client needs and are aligned with advice and guidance, and maximizing the capabilities of product partner relationships for the benefit of clients and branch teams. Ganousis graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO with a B.S. in Finance and earned his MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He is a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Chartered Life Underwriter.

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    Ben Gibbons
    Director of Marketing, Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

    For twenty one years, Ben Gibbons has promoted, advocated for, and shared the story of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority and CollegeAdvantage, Ohio’s 529 Savings Program. Ben now serves as the Director of Marketing, overseeing marketing, digital and strategic communications and outreach, for one of the oldest, largest and best regarded 529 college savings plans in the country. During his time with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, Ohio’s 529 Plan has grown from approximately 50,000 customers with $250 million invested in 1996, to over 637,000 customers with assets under management of $10.74 billion today. Ben is a native of Dayton, Ohio and received his undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on public policy and higher education issues, from Miami University.

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    Peter M. Greenberger
    Director, Mutual Fund & 529 Plan Product Management, Raymond James and Associates

    Peter Greenberger, CFA®, CFP® is the Director of Mutual Fund & 529 Plan Product Management at Raymond James. In this role, he is responsible for due diligence, selection, and oversight of both the mutual fund and 529 plan platforms. Prior to this, he led the research, selection, and monitoring of individual mutual funds that are part of the firms Highly Recommended Funds list. Additionally, he has put in place processes that have standardized and institutionalized the research of the team. He publishes a regular market commentary report entitled “Eye on the Market,” and is a member of the firm’s Investment Strategy and Asset Allocation Committees. He is also a committee member for the Financial Service Institute’s Due Diligence Council and is member of the Investment Company Institute’s Research Committee. He began his career with Raymond James in 2007 as a research analyst on the international equity team, focusing on both developed and developing market equity managers. From 2002 to 2007 Peter worked at AllianceBernstein L.P. in New York. His responsibilities included developing investment policy statements for trusts, endowments, foundations and ultra-high-net-worth families, including asset allocation and investment decisions. Prior to this he served as the manager for the firm’s executive compensation accounting team. Peter holds a B.S. and M.A. in organizational psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and Columbia University, respectfully.

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    JJ Hanley

    JJ Hanley is a parent-advocate and professional who has dedicated much of her career to creating innovative programs that foster economic and community participation by people with disabilities.  After a career in financial services, JJ changed personal and professional direction when one of her children was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She conceptualized and produced the multiple award-winning PBS documentary, “Refrigerator Mothers,” about the generation of mothers who were unfairly blamed for supposedly causing autism in their children through cold mothering. She founded JJsList.com, a yelp.com-style review platform where businesses promote their brands and disability-aware features to the disability market, with a blog that ranks in the top 25 disability blogs on the Internet. She also founded and directed the Disability Awareness Players, who have trained more than 7000 staff of corporations, non-profits and schools in how to interact comfortably and confidently with employees and customers who have disabilities. JJ created and launched Internet safety and workplace skills training programs for teens and young adults with disabilities, as well as a public transportation training program with large public transportation company that has so far reached more than 3000 Chicago-area students and teachers. JJ serves on the steering committee for Equip for Equality’s Illinois ADA Project and is a member of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College, has two wonderful sons and lives in Chicago.

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    Alex Heuer
    National Account Executive, PeachJar

    Alex Heuer is the National Account Executive at Peachjar. He is based in San Diego and is a graduate from UW-Milwaukee.

  • Peter Hugnan

    Peter Hugnan
    Sales Director, College Savings, John Hancock Investments

    Peter Hughan is 529 Sales Director, College Savings for John Hancock Investments. Mr. Hughan is Peter Hughan is 529 Sales Director, College Savings for John Hancock Investments. Mr. Hughan is responsible for leading a team of 529 Sales Specialists, working with the Education Trust of Alaska as state sponsor and T. Rowe Price as the program manager. Mr. Hughan also partners with the National Accounts team from John Hancock Investments to work with the home offices of our broker dealer partners to increase knowledge and exposure for college savings plans. Prior to this role Mr. Hughan was an Internal Sales Manager working with the Wirehouse and Independent Financial Planner channels and an Internal Wholesaler responsible for the distribution of retail investment products, separate accounts and retirement services in Georgia and South Carolina.Mr. Hughan joined John Hancock in 2003. Prior to assuming his role with John Hancock, Mr. Hughan worked with MFS Investment management. Mr. Hughan is Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 51, 63 and 65 licensed. He is also a Certified Investment Management Analyst, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and holds is MBA from Babson College. Mr Hughan lives in Norwell, MA with his wife Allison, son John who is 7 and daughter Emmeline who is 3. He enjoys golf and boating in the summer on Cape Cod with his family and skiing in Vermont in the winter.

  • Doug Jackson

    Doug Jackson
    Deputy Director of STABLE Account, Ohio State Treasurer

    Doug Jackson has been dedicated to the field of developmental disabilities for over 18 years and works with a passion to serve people with disabilities and their families through improving the support system and the support staff. Doug’s experience includes managing the services of a direct support agency, executive administration in Ohio’s County Board of DD system, teaching human services classes at Wright State University, and guiding a state-operated developmental center as the Superintendent. Doug joined the Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State to help administer Ohio’s STABLE Accounts, a financial plan for people with disabilities.

  • Jeremy Kelley

    Jeremy Kelley
    Alumni Manager, Buffalo Bills

    Jeremy Kelley, Alumni Manager for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League, serves in the player engagement capacity, embracing, educating, and connecting former NFL players to each other, their former organization, and the league. He regularly assists Alumni in their transition from their NFL experience, while addressing various aspects of life. Jeremy is responsible for distributing the necessary resources and information to former players regarding medical, emotional, social, and financial wellness. The Buffalo native and former NFL Receiver, is a graduate of the University of Maine where he obtained his BS in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics, and Business Administration.  

  • Ernesto A. Lanza

    Ernesto A. Lanza
    Senior Counsel , Clark Hill PLC

    Ernesto A. Lanza is Senior Counsel in the Washington, DC office of Clark Hill PLC and is co-lead of the firm’s Investment Management team. He provides advice on the securities law of public finance, with a particular emphasis on underwriting and municipal advisory compliance matters, new issue and continuing disclosure, conflicts of interest, secondary market trading, and market structure issues, including in the context of SEC and FINRA oversight activities. His clients have included broker-dealers, municipal advisors, state and local governments, investors, trade groups, not-for profit organizations, industry vendors and other market participants on a broad range of municipal bond, 529 college savings plan and related market matters. Previously, Ernie was the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Legal Officer of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). While at the MSRB, Ernie led the design, development and initial launch of the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website. He also led the MSRB’s 529 plan regulatory activities and drafted the initial broker-dealer rules for the 529 plan market. Ernie received his law degree in 1988 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. degree in Government from Harvard University in 1985. 

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    Kathleen McGrath
    Founder, KF McGrath LLC

    Kathleen McGrath, Esq., is the founder of KF McGrath, LLC, a firm providing legal and consulting services with the goal of advancing 529 college savings and ABLE programs.  Ms. McGrath started the firm in 2017 upon leaving her position as the Bureau Director for the PA Savings Programs where she had served since January 1998.  She has overseen both Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Savings Plan (similar to a prepaid plan) and its Investment Plan -- guiding the plans through numerous changes, conversions, and expansions. Since 2014, Ms. McGrath has been actively engaged in legislative and regulatory matters regarding ABLE -- both at the federal and Pennsylvania state levels.  As the Chair of the ABLE Regulatory Working Group of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), an affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers, on behalf of that organization, she presented testimony to the U.S. Treasury Department on the proposed ABLE regulations; and, oversaw the drafting and submission of several NAST comments to Treasury that resulted in favorable policy changes. At the state level, she helped draft Pennsylvania’s ABLE legislation and oversaw its implementation and launch.  She was also instrumental in the creation of the multi-state consortium through which numerous states provide their ABLE programs. Ms. McGrath is an active member of CSPN, having served on its Executive Board,  as its Treasurer, and as the co-chair of its Legal and State Affairs Committee. Ms. McGrath holds a Master in Law, with Distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center; a J.D., Cum Laude, from Dickinson School of Law; and a B.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University.

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    Joe Messinger
    Partner & Director of College Planning, Capstone Wealth Partners

    Joe Messinger began his financial planning career in 2001. After nearly a decade of working for some of the largest firms in the industry, Joe concluded; “The only way to deliver truly comprehensive, unbiased advice with no conflicts of interest is to operate as an independent fee only Registered Investment Advisor." In 2009 Joe co-founded Capstone Wealth Partners to do just that. Joe is committed to a lifetime of learning and constant selfimprovement. He has completed the advanced financial planning course work necessary to qualify him for the professional designations of: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant* (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter* (CLU), In 2010 Joe was appointed to the Ohio Commission on Personal Financial Education (OCPFE) by the Ohio Attorney General and in 2013 he was awarded the Columbus Business First Forty under 40 award for his career achievements and community involvement. Through his work as CEO of Capstone College Partners™ Joe is on a mission to end the student loan crisis one family at a time. Joe is recognized as a trusted authority in the area of college planning and funding, and is frequently asked to speak to parents and financial professionals to demystify the college funding process with his unique College Pre-Approval™ program. He has been quoted and interviewed by the likes of The Journal of Financial Planning, XYPN Radio, Bloomberg News, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Business First, Columbus Parent Magazine, and WBNS 10tv. In addition to his work with Capstone, Mr Messinger is actively involved with a number of local non-profits. “As a firm, we feel it is our duty to give back to the community that has given us so much." He is currently a board member for his local Financial Planning Association, is a regular volunteer with Junior Achievement, and I Know I Can (a college access program offering financial support and guidance to enable Columbus City School students to earn a college degree). Joe is a proud graduate of Penn State University, with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management. His passions outside of work include travelling, cooking, reading, music, and spending time with his puppies Roxy and Bobby.

    *A professional designation of the American College.*

  • Lael Oldmixon

    Lael M. Oldmixon
    Executive Director, UA College Savings Plan

     Lael Oldmixon is the Executive Director of the Education Trust of Alaska, which offers the UA College Savings Plan, the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan, and the John Hancock Investments Freedom 529. Lael began her career in higher education administration in 2000 and has steadily gained expertise in admissions, recruitment, college access and attainment, and college savings. Lael is actively involved in Alaska's Post-secondary Access and Completion Network, Greater Fairbanks Chamber Education and Workforce Development Committee, and recently joined the Executive Board of the College Savings Plan Network (CSPN). She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Saint Michael’s College and an M.Ed from the University of Vermont.

  • Kaprel Ozsolak

    Kaprel Ozsolak
    Founding Partner, Spectra Professional Services

    Kaprel Ozsolak is one of Spectra’s founding partners. He brings 23 years of experience to the organization. Previously, Mr. Ozsolak was the chief financial officer for Legg Mason mutual funds, overseeing all treasury, shareholder reporting, board reporting, vendor oversight and a wide range of other fund administration functions. He was active in the firm’s successful launch of several innovative and complex new products. Prior to joining one of Legg Mason’s predecessor firms as controller in 1996, Mr. Ozsolak spent seven years at Ernst & Young, providing assurance services to clients, primarily specializing in financial services and asset management firms. Mr. Ozsolak has served at the ICI Accounting and Treasurers Committee as well as Accounting Policy Subcommittee. He has also helped plan ICI’s annual Tax and Accounting Conference and was a speaker on several panel discussions speaking on a variety of subjects. Mr. Ozsolak received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in finance and accounting from Bogazici University in 1989.

  • M Padin

    Maria Padin
    Program Director, Intuition ABLE Solutions

     

    Maria moved to the United States to pursue her undergraduate studies at Rollins College where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She spent the early years of her career in public higher education administration. As Assistant Financial Aid Director for the University of Maryland at College Park, she had oversight of the financial aid professionals responsible for a student population of 24,000 students and $166 million in federal, state and institutional financial aid. She transitioned to the private sector and into the education financial services field. For the past twenty years she has held various managerial positions with Nelnet – a student loan and education financial services conglomerate, and with Intuition, LLC -- student loan and 529 college savings divisions. She specializes in the areas of Implementation and Onboarding, Operations, and Client Relations. Most recently, after the establishment of Intuition ABLE Solutions (IAS) in 2015, Maria developed and successfully executed a start-up plan implementing a turn-key ABLE program management solution supporting the newly enacted 529A federal law. Under her leadership, IAS launched the first national and state ABLE programs in the country in 2016.

     

  • Tom Pappas

    Tom Pappas
    Vice President, Advertising Regulation, FINRA

    Thomas A. Pappas is Vice President of the FINRA Advertising Regulation Department, which regulates the advertisements, sales literature and correspondence used by FINRA member firms. His responsibilities include rule development, management of the filing and surveillance programs and related enforcement activities. He served in the same role at NASD before its 2007 consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation, which resulted in the formation of FINRA. He was previously registered with Davenport & Company LLC. He received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Richmond and an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Rob Pervical

    Rob Percival
    Senior Vice President, Strategic Products, Ascensus College Savings

    Rob has over 20 years of financial services experience, having served 6 years at Fidelity Investments before joining ACS in 2002. In his current role, Rob leads the Strategic Products line of business, with dedicated focus on developing the firm’s ABLE strategy and implementation.

    Prior to this role, Rob led the Operational Risk Management & Analytics team since its inception in 2012. Under his leadership, the team facilitated all aspects of operational controls and audit, client service training and quality assurance, and data analytics. During his tenure at ACS, Rob has been responsible for business development analytics, project management, and served as relationship manager for the states of Arkansas and North Carolina.  

    While at Fidelity, Rob was a Reporting Manager in the 529 College Investment Trust, Client Service Manager in the Variable Annuities Group, and a Product Manager in the Legal Product Group. While in the 529 group, Rob was actively involved in the initial implementation of plans for New Hampshire and Delaware.  

     Rob holds a B.A. in Economics and Communication from Stonehill College, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in Finance, Accounting and Economics, as well as FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses. 

  • Richard Polimeni

    Richard Polimeni
    Director of Education Savings Programs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

    Richard Polimeni is Director of Education Savings Programs for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this role, Richard is responsible for managing Merrill Lynch’s $13 billion 529 College Savings business. Merrill Lynch is one of the largest distributors of 529 plans to consumers and is the program manager for one of the country’s largest 529 plans, Maine’s NextGen College Investing Plan, as well as the distributor of 19 other state 529 programs. Richard is also Chair of the College Savings Foundation (CSF), a leading nonprofit helping American families save for higher education. Previously, he served in other leadership roles on the CSF Executive Committee as both Vice Chair and Secretary. Additionally, Richard has contributed to the organization over the years as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, the Conference Committee, and the Media Committee. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2002, Richard spent 15 years with Smith Barney/Citigroup where he helped launch two of the country’s first 529 college savings programs for the states of Colorado (Scholars Choice in 1999) and Illinois (Bright Start in 2000). During his 30 years of financial services industry experience, Richard has held various sales, marketing, operational, and management positions supporting retirement and education savings products. Richard is Series 7, 63, 66 and 53 registered (Municipal Securities Principal) and earned a degree in Business Management from Brookdale College.

  • Rachel Ramos

    Rachel Ramos
    Product Manager – Investment Services, American Funds

    Rachel Ramos is a product manager for American Funds, part of Capital Group, responsible for the product development and management of American Funds’ education savings product suite, including CollegeAmerica®. She has 19 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. Earlier in her career at Capital, she contributed to the firms’ marketing, conference and overall independent broker-dealer strategy, and distribution and service center efforts. Rachel is based in Los Angeles.

  • Chuck Ranney

    Chuck Ranney
    Vice President, Mutual Funds and 529 Plan Distribution, Ameriprise Financial

    Chuck Ranney is Vice President of Mutual Fund & 529 Plan Distribution within the Wealth Management Solutions organization at Ameriprise Financial. He oversees the product offering, distribution strategy and relationship management of asset managers with a focus on developing and implementing sales strategies for partner firms to drive business results.Chuck has been with Ameriprise Financial for 17 years, spending the first four years working in the Service Delivery organization before joining the External Products Group as a Product Analyst in 2004. A year later he became a Product Manager working with mutual fund partner firms and has had oversight of all mutual fund and 529 plan product/relationship management since 2009. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Economics.

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    Dan Rauenzahn
    College Savings Product Manager, T. Rowe Price

    Dan Rauenzahn is currently the Product Manager for College Savings at T. Rowe Price. In this role, Dan develops and executes projects that support and advance the College Savings business strategies across T. Rowe Price's direct and advisor 529 sold plans. Dan started at T. Rowe Price in 2010 holding progressive roles in Distribution Services Operations, Marketing, and Product teams. Dan completed his M.B.A. at the Sellinger School of Business, Loyola University Maryland and completed his B.S. in Finance from Pennsylvania State University. He holds his FINRA series 6, 63, 7, 66, 24, 4, and 53 licenses. Outside of work Dan enjoys travelling with his family and running. He also volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America and Back on My Feet.

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    William Reilly
    Director, IRA and 529 Plan Associate Product Manager, UBS Financial Services, Inc.

    William (Bill) Reilly is a Director of UBS Financial Services Inc. and is the firm's Associate Product Manager for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 529 college savings plans. Bill is responsible for developing sales campaigns, policies, procedures, IT programs, Financial Advisor training, client marketing materials, and account documents/forms to support the firm’s IRA and 529 business. He ensures UBS Financial Advisors, clients, and the firm remain in compliance with the intricate complexities of IRS rules for these products. Additional responsibilities include monitoring legislative and regulatory changes involving these products. Bill earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Seton Hall University and holds Series 7, 66, & 24 FINRA securities licenses. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Certified IRA Specialist II.

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    Tamara Salmon
    Senior Associate Counsel, Investment Company Institute (ICI)

    Tamara K. Salmon is an Associate General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute. She has been with the Institute since 1993. Her work at the Institute involves responsibility for a variety of legal and regulatory issues relating to mutual funds, broker-dealers, and investment advisers, including issues relating to 529 plans. Prior to joining the Institute, she served as Assistant Director of the Florida Division of Securities. In her eight years with the Division, she oversaw the Division’s registration and examination functions, filed and settled enforcement proceedings, testified frequently as an expert witness, drafted and analyzed statutory and rule changes, and handled various cabinet issues for Florida’s Comptroller. Prior to joining the Florida Division, she was an attorney with the Commerce Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where her duties included drafting and analyzing legislation relating to the financial services industry. She graduated magna cum laude from Salem Women’s College and magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Florida State University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association as well as the bar associations of the State of Florida, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Martha Savery

    Martha Savery
    Director, Public Affairs, Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority

     Martha Savery Director, Public Affairs Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority For over thirty years, Martha has distinguished herself as an expert in financing higher education helping countless students and families successfully navigate the complex and challenging journey to — and through — college. Martha has held numerous leadership positions across financial aid and admissions departments at leading public and private institutions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Harvard Graduate School of Education where she spent a number of years. In her role as the Director of Public Affairs at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, Martha is responsible for the Authority’s external relations and outreach activities working with colleges, high schools, community based organizations and the Commonwealth’s College and Career Web Portal – Your Plan for the Future. Martha is regularly quoted in the financial and education press and is a frequent presenter at state, regional and national conferences and seminars.

  • Tricia Scarlata

    Tricia Scarlata
    Executive Director , J.P. Morgan Asset Management

    Tricia Scarlata, executive director, is the 529 program marketing director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. In her role, Tricia is responsible for the overall integrated marketing strategy for the firm’s 529 college savings business. She partners with sales, marketing, service, investments and public relations to gain alignment and ensure the 529 marketing strategy and program is continuously on the radar and promoted internally and externally. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Tricia spent over 12 years as a marketing consultant for college savings plans, retirement plans and separately managed accounts at Oppenheimerfunds, Bernstein Investment Management, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She started her financial services career in 1996 at PaineWebber as an internal sales consultant for the Managed Account Services business, eventually managing a group of 25 internal sales consultants nationally. Tricia holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Fordham University. 

  • Chris Stack

    Chris Stack
    Managing Consultant, Savingforcollege.com

    Chris Stack, Esq. Managing Consultant, Savingforcollege.com, is a nationally recognized 529 authority and experienced in educational finance. He has been a practicing attorney for over 25 years, licensed in New York & Pennsylvania, with experience in finance, investments and law relating to tax-advantaged products, including Section 529, since it became federal law in 1996. As a partner at a major New York law firm, Chris advocated to his state clients the benefits of 529 programs and, beginning in 1997, served as the principal or participating author for a number of states’ legislation establishing 529 programs and continues to author state law modifications. He advised several of the largest mutual fund companies on successfully entering the 529 industry and assisted several states implement their 529 investment programs which now service over $15B in assets. He has been spearheading Savingforcollege.com LLC consulting and educational services since 2001. He is intimately familiar with the provisions of Section 529 itself, as well as the various state programs. Currently, Chris advises and consults with several major investment companies and presents nationally to financial advisors, as well as accountants, attorneys, employers and actual investors on 529 plans. He has been interviewed and has been quoted by national and local media. Chris is a graduate of Fordham College and Fordham University School of Law, located in New York City. He has participated in 529 programs for his two boys since 1997. Savingforcollege.com is widely acknowledged as a leading independent authority and resource on Section 529 and the various 529 college savings programs. Savingforcollege.com hosts a website that is the most often cited source of comprehensive information on 529 plans and developments concerning the industry. Its founder, Joe Hurley, CPA, is frequently quoted by the national and financial media and is also author of the book, “The Best Way to Save For College – A Complete Guide to 529 Plans”.

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    Mark Struthers
    Founder, Sona Financial

    I am a fee-only RIA out of Chanhassen, MN that specializes in helping families plan and pay for education.

  • Russell W. Sullivan

    Russell W. Sullivan
    Partner, McGuireWoods Consulting

    Russ, a former staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, provides strategic counsel to the firm’s clients, offering comprehensive solutions from an administrative, regulatory and legislative perspective to some of their most complex matters. He brings a unique perspective to a wide variety of issues facing a broad range of industries, including tax, healthcare, energy, pensions, transportation, education, trade and economic development, as well as matters involving the nonprofit and for-benefit enterprise sectors. In addition to providing strategic legal counsel, Russ advises clients on strategy and business planning as a senior advisor to McGuireWoods Consulting, the firm’s public affairs subsidiary.

     

    Russ began working on Capitol Hill in 1995 and joined the Senate Finance Committee staff in 1999. He served as the staff director to the committee from 2004 until his retirement from the Senate in 2013. During his tenure, many of the most complex issues facing the business community came before the committee. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Russ graduated from Baylor University and received his law degree from the University of Texas. He is active in the community, and serves on the board of Capital Area Reach, a mentoring program for students in the Washington, D.C. area.

  • Winnie Sun

    Winnie Sun
    Managing Director and Founding Partner, Sun Group Wealth Partners

    Winnie Sun is the Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners, a trusted award-winning financial consulting firm providing financial planning services to small business owners, senior executives, celebrities, tech elite, and established families throughout the West Coast. With over 200K followers on Twitter, Winnie is one of the most followed financial advisors on social media today. With more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, Winnie has been selected as Investment News' Twenty Women to Watch, is frequent speaker at national events, appears on CNBC’s Closing Bell, Fox Business News, and Cheddar TV as a market commentator, is a regular contributor to Forbes, NerdWallet, Influencive, MoneyTips, ModernMom, Galtime, Bloomberg’s AssetTV, is the host of TuneIn radio’s business show Renegade Millionaire, host of the Renegade Mom TV show, appears on CBS as a finance expert, and is quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, ABC, The New York Times, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, HuffPost LIVE, theStreet TV, USA Today, TheStreet show, Rep Magazine, OnWallstreet Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, FA Magazine, AdvisorOne Magazine, GreersOC, Orange County Business Journal, Orange County Register, OC Metro, OC Family, and many others. Winnie was previously First Vice President of Wealth Management, Senior Investment Management Specialist, and Lead Financial Advisor for the Sun Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Her exemplary young team was a premier leader in managing client portfolios and providing professional customized service. Winnie began her investment advisory practice with Salomon Smith Barney where was awarded their highest honors for success with her membership in the elite Blue Chip Council (2001-2004), Century Council, and President’s Council throughout her tenure*. Winnie was also an advising member of the Smith Barney Asian Advisory Council. Prior to entering the financial planning industry Winnie was an entrepreneur. She owned and operated CH Entertainment, which was headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Her firm was a leading television audience production company, with many high profile clients including America’s Funniest Home Videos, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and Judge Judy. Winnie participated in over 350 television taping productions, and was a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmys).As an independent wealth advisor, Winnie is regularly called upon to educate large corporate and nonprofit groups on planning strategies. Winnie has been honored with invitations to the Barron’s Winner’s Circle for Top Women Financial Advisors beginning in 2006 to present, named Investment News’ 20 Women To Watch, and coined "The Wealth Whisperer" in OC Metro's “40 under 40” recognition, and awarded first place in Rise Ranking’s 2017 Women in Finance Power 100 list.

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    Rob Tirrell
    529 Business Development Specialist, Voya Investment Management

    Rob Tirrell is a 529 Business Development Specialist for Voya Investment Management, responsible for growing new business as well as transitioning existing plans to the Voya 529 plans. Rob was an Internal Wholesaler with Voya, covering Wisconsin and Chicago since 2011 before moving in to his current role in 2013. Prior to joining Voya, he was a Relationship Manager with MassMutual Financial. Rob began his career with MassMutual in 2007 helping service the top 75 Advisors within the MassMutual Advisor network. Rob received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Westfield State University. Rob holds the FINRA Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.

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    Michael Whitehurst
    Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, Retirement Benefits Consultant

    Michael worked for IBM in Los Angeles before joining Merrill Lynch in 1995. With the Collins Whitehurst Femat Group, he concentrates on offering advice and guidance to clients on the potential benefits of the wide range of products and services offered by Merrill Lynch. As a Retirement Benefits Consultant, Michael also assists businesses in enhancing and implementing their corporate retirement plans and he offers access to commercial lending facilities through Bank of America. He is passionate about helping these clients educate their employees about wealth management strategies and investing for their future. Michael received his Bachelor's of Business Administration degree from Texas Christian University, with a major in marketing and a minor in psychology. He also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., as well as the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) , Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM (CRPS®) and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA). Michael is married and has three daughters. He is a board member and soccer coach for the Catholic Youth Organization, a past auctioneer volunteer for KLRN TV San Antonio (a local PBS affiliate), past board chair of Catholic Charities and of TCU San Antonio Alumni Association, past board member of American Lung Association of Texas, member of Missionary Oblate partnership, a 2005-2006 Leadership San Antonio class graduate, a 2006 graduate of the Alexander E. Briseño Leadership Development Program and a Community Education Leadership Program graduate.

Sponsorship Information:

Austin Ulep
617-913-0571
austin.ulep@strategic-i.com

General Information:

Carol Popkins
203-595-3282
carol.popkins@strategic-i.com