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2018 WINNERS

Marco Merz and Arthur Guimaraes
University of California

In a sweeping series of plan design changes, the University of California, Oakland, cut fees by about 25%, simplified investment lineups for its three defined contribution plans and used a rare investment strategy to help achieve some of its goals.

2 from University of California get a hand from IRS in quest to reduce fees

Kerstin Aiello
Senior Benefits Manager, Synopsys

Seeking to increase participant engagement with an attention-grabbing strategy, Kerstin Aiello, senior benefits manager for Synopsys Inc., tried an interactive financial/retirement quiz for the San Francisco-based software company.

She challenged the workforce with strategy they couldn’t resist

Diana Winalski
Head of 401(k) Product Management, International Paper

Seeking to encourage retiring employees to stay in two International Paper Co.'s 401(k) plans and to ensure post-retirement income, Diana Winalski added two components to the plans.

Taking steps to make sure retirees had options needed to keep the income flowing

Tricia Miyoshi
Human Resources Manager, Package Pavement

Leaving nothing to chance, Tricia Miyoshi has made annual financial education sessions mandatory for employees at Package Pavement Co. Inc., Stormville, N.Y., where she is the human resources manager.

Leaving no stone unturned, she made sure participants received all their answers

Tobias Read
Treasurer and Chairman, Oregon Retirement Savings Board

OregonSaves is the first state-based automatic IRA program, and Tobias Read has been there from the beginning.

Oregon treasurer, in from the start, follows through on auto-IRA plan

Mary Nell Billings
Director of Global Retirement, Hilton Worldwide

Acting to alleviate employees' financial stress, increase their investing and savings knowledge and motivate them to make improvements, Mary Nell Billings orchestrated a multifaceted education campaign for the 63,000 U.S. workers at Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

Hilton uses a personal touch to get participants involved

Lisa Montalvo, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Michelle Ryan, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Retirement plan executives at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory liked the idea of a "financial fitness boot camp" so much, they did it again.

‘Financial fitness boot camp’ puts troops on the right road to retirement

2017 WINNERS

Deborah Goldberg
Massachusetts State Treasurer

Deborah knows the difficulties faced by employers of small non-profit organization in providing retirement plans for employees.

Plan aims to shrink burdens for small non-profits

Katie Archer
Director of Global Benefits, Alexion Pharmaceuticals

 

Katie Archer has taken to heart the time-honored saying: When it comes to investing, saving and planning for retirement, one size does not fit all. 
Striving to make a local presence for a global group of participants

Sandy Blair
Director of Retirement Readiness, CalSTRS

 

Sandy Blair of California State Teachers' Retirement System won an Innovation award for making a new idea even better

Web redesign eases the task of shopping for 403(b) offerings

Nora Alvarado
Manager of Health & Welfare Administration, Employees Retirement System of Texas

 

When Nora says "Stay in the Family," she wants participants in the Texa$aver 401(k) and 457(b) plans to consider keeping money in the plans when they retire rather than take a rollover into an IRA. 

Keeping participants in the family after retirement

Aimee Dodson
Thrive Director, Movement Mortgage

 

When it comes to administering her company's DC plan, Aimee Dodson says small improvements can lead to big numbersin retirement savings at Movement Mortgage.

Movement Mortgage takes steps to help employees shed debt

Kathleen Long
Vice President for Human Resources, The Farfield Co.

 

Kathleen Long says the best way to help participants understand the value of DC investment and design changes is to take the conversation to them diretly.

Being direct with staff to increase participation

Cliff York
Head of Pensions and Benefits, Americas, BP PLC

 

Cliff York believes wealth means health -- and vice versa -- especially when it comes to retirement savings.

Program puts health care on same level as financial goals

 


2016 WINNERS

 

Dana Hammonds
Senior Director of Player Affairs and Development, National Football League Players Association

Dana Hammonds educates players and former players on the need for financial planning.

Showing Young Pros How to Keep Their Money Secure Until They Retire

Erika Kirchner
Vice President of Human Resources, Bertelsmann Inc.

 

Erika Kirchner instituted a design change in the company's $1 billion-plus 401(k) plan that allowed participants 45 and older to continue investing in their traditional 401(k) plan's target-date fund.

Giving Older Workers a Real Choice Managing their 401(k) Investments

Katie Nedl
Chief Operating Officer, BlackRock

 

Katie Nedl orchestrated an interactive video campaign to encourage greater participation and investment.

Using Videos to Empower Gen X, Gen Y Employees on Retirement Goals

Sheila Rowaily
Head of Investment Management, Saudia Arabian Oil Co.

 

Sheila Rowaily developed the Idikhar Savings Plan, which enables these employees to pursue more options while remaining faithful to Shariah investing principles.

Offering Workers a Way to Invest Without Compromising Religion

Neil Saxton
Executive-Engagement Strategy, Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA)

 

Neil Saxton launched HESTA's "welcome series," a digital-based communication campaign using data analytics to reach specific audiences.

Creating High-Tech Campaign to Target Different Audiences

Shirley Zabiegala
Director of Savings and Retirement, Nestle USA Inc.

 

Shirley Zabiegala redesigned a financial wellness program that caters to different participants' interests and skills.

Redesigning a Financial Program to Customize Investment message

 


2015 WINNERS

 

Barbara Kontje
Director of Retirement for the Americas and Smart Saving, American Express

 

Barbara Kontje and her team created a global DC template for Amex's 28 markets.

Global Retirement Strategy Guides DC growth for American Express

Dina Pon
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, GEICO

 

Dina Pon created digital tools to encourage GEICO's younger workforce to save more.

GEICO Gets Personal with Millenials Using Digital Marketing Techniques

Janet Cowell
Treasurer, North Carolina State

 

Concerns over high fees spurred Janet Cowell's centralized program.

State-backed Program Helps Teachers Keep More Savings

Shelley Schueller & Tarna Hunter
Deferred Compensation Director & Legislative Liason, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds

 

Shelley Schueller & Tarna Hunter organized a grass-roots campaign to get women to save more.

Wisconsin Women Bridge Pension Gender Gap with EMPOWER-ing Program

 

 


2014 Winners

 

Rosemary Vilgan
CEO, Qsuper

Recognized for advocating a greater sensitivity to participants' needs.

Qsuper's Vilgan Worked to Manage Outcomes, Not Accumulation

Steven Grossman
Treasurer and Reciever General, Massachusettes State

 

Steven Grossman pushed a way to give employees of small organizations a 401(k) with big advantages.

Grossman Used the Power of a Giant to Help Small-Business Workers

Carol Sung
401(k) Product Manager, International Paper Co.

 

Carol Sung implemented a managed account program with a drawdown component for employees 55+. 

International Paper's Sung Launched a Program for Everyone to Stay in the Plan

Jeannie Lowe
Vice President of Human Resources, Buck Consultants

 

Jeannie Lowe implemented a feature that gives workers an action plan.

Buck's Lowe Setup a Tool to get Employees Involved in their Retirement

Georgette Gestely
Director, New York City Employee Benefits Program, Office of Labor Relations

 

Georgette Gestely used targeted forums to get more women to participate in the plan.

NYC Deferred's Gestely Borrowed an Idea to get More Women Into Their Plan

 

 

2013 WINNERS

 

 

David Zellner
CIO, General Board of Pension & Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church

 

United Methodist Chuch's David Zellner wanted to make sure retirees didn't deplete their savings.

United Methodist Church's David Zellner Offered Guidance on Wisely Spending Retiree Assets

Britt Huber
Vice President for Human Resources, Kiva Microfunds, Inc.

 

Kiva's Britt Huber came up with a big way to educate the young, using familiar technology.  

Huber Used Familiar Technology to Point the Way

Lois Osorno
Director of Human Resources, Aloha Petroleum Ltd.

Lois Osorno used a plain-talk approach to help employees understand features of Aloha's 401(k) plan.

Aloha's Osorno used Hawaiian Tradition to get the Message Across

Chad Ryan
N.Y.-based Director of Retirement Plans, PepsiCo Inc.

 

Chad Ryan sought to stress how 401(k) loans can hurt retirement.

PepsiCo's Ryan Gave Workers the Lowdown on Loans

Sophie Dmuchowski
Deputy Director, Office of Communications and Education, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

 

Sophie Dmuchowski helped illustrate lifetime income with one question: Will You Be Ready?

The Federal Thrift's Dmuchowski Asked a Simple Question to Illustrate Lifetime Income

Angela Buk
Head of Risk Management and Operations, Chrysler Group LLC

 

Angela Buk shepherded a massive re-enrollment of 55,000 Chrysler employees.

Buk Made Chrysler's Huge Re-Enrollment Look Easy

Philip White

 

Director of Racker Rewards, Rackspace Hosting Inc.

Philip White used different providers to create something unique for his financial wellness program. 

For Rackspace's White, Only a Customized Program Would Do

 


2012 Winners

 

Bernie Knobbe
Senior Director of Global Benefits and Mobility, Yahoo! Inc.

 

Bernie Knobbe used text messages, video, social media, and games to engage participants.

Innovator Award Winner: Bernie Knobbe

Barbara Kontje
Director of Global Retirement and Smart Saving, American Express

 

Barbara Kontje launched virutal financial fairs and educated families of participants.  

Innovator Award Winner: Barbara Kontje

Dan Holupchinski
Manager of Retirement Plans, Deluxe Corp.

 

Dan Holupchinski provided participants with replacements income of 90% at retirement.

Innovator Award Winner: Dan Holupchinski

Carol Cypert
Deferred Compensation Manager, City and County of San Francisco

 

Carol Cypert introduced a a large public plan of custom target-date funds with alternative investments.

Innovator Award Winner: Carol Cypert

Kevin Hanney
Director of Non-U.S. Pensions and Savings Plans, United Technologies Corp.

 

Kevin Hanney designed a program to offer a lifetime income option within its DC plans.

Innovator Award Winner: Kevin Hanney