• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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    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.

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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.

  • Patrick Noonan

    Patrick R. Noonan
    Advanced Planning Consultant, Commonwealth Financial Network®

    Patrick is an advanced planning consultant for Commonwealth Financial Network.. In this role, he acts as a resource for advisors on issues involving stock option strategies, as well as education, retirement income, social security, estate, and business planning. Prior to Commonwealth, he worked for Advest Inc., Merrill Lynch, and then Janney Montgomery Scott. Patrick is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, has his FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations, and holds a life and health insurance license. He earned his BS in finance from Fairfield University. Patrick enjoys spending time at his house in Cape Cod, cooking, reading, and traveling.

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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.

  • Kolby Smith

    Kolby Smith
    Wealth Management Associate, Plante Moran Financial 

    Kolby Smith, CFP® is a manager in the wealth management practice at Plante Moran. He is known for helping high-net-worth individuals and families develop wealth management strategies that help them meet their short- and long-term goals. He specializes in portfolio construction, retirement planning, tax optimization, estate planning strategies, and higher education planning. Kolby also holds a BS in finance from Taylor 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”.

Sponsorship Information:

Austin Ulep

General Information:

Carol Popkins