Thought Leaders

One of ASPPA’s many impacts within the retirement industry and on Capitol Hill is the ability to provide access to a wide array of thought leaders who can speak about the many intricate issues facing ASPPA members and American workers trying striving to save for retirement.

Below is a list of some of ASPPA’s most knowledgeable and experienced thought leaders, each with several years experience in the industry. Many of these people attend and speak at ASPPA’s yearly conferences, have developed (and in some cases published) work regarding their expertise and share a passion for continuously making this organization better at representing its membership.

If you’re a member of the press and would like to submit and informational inquiry or set up an interview, please visit the contact page.

Brian Graff, Esq., APM

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Brian H. Graff began serving as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) in November 1996. In this capacity, Graff oversees ASPPA’s operations, is a member of ASPPA’s Executive Committee and, working with ASPPA’s Board of Directors, chart the strategic direction for the organization. ASPPA is a national organization of more than 16,000 retirement plan professionals who provide consulting and administrative services for qualified retirement plans covering millions of American workers. In addition to representing the interests of ASPPA’s members and its affiliates before Congress and federal regulatory agencies, ASPPA annually conducts more than a dozen industry conferences, and annually administers more than 5,000 examinations leading to various industry-related professional credentials.

Brian spearheaded the creation of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the Council of Independent Recordkeepers (CIKR) and forged a partnership between ASPPA and the National Tax-Shelter Accounts Association (NTSAA).  He has testified multiple times before Congress, the Department of Labor and has served as a White House delegate for the National Summit on Retirement Savings.  The American College of Employee Benefits inducted Brian and he is listed as one of the top 5 most influential people in the 401(k) industry.  Brian received his doctoral degree in law, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting with distinction from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Judy Miller, MSPA

Executive Director – ACOPA and Director of Retirement Policy for the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

 Judy joined ASPPA after serving as Senior Benefits Advisor on the staff of the Senate Finance Committee (May 2003 through November 2007). Before joining the Finance Committee staff, Judy provided consulting and actuarial services to employer-sponsored retirement programs for nearly 30 years.  She was a shareholder in Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., providing consulting services through its affiliate, Employee Benefit Resources, LLP (EBR) in Helena, Montana.  Prior to joining EBR, she was Vice President of Hendrickson, Miller & Associates, Inc. for 15 years.  Judy began her actuarial career in New York, working for what was then George B. Buck Consulting Actuaries.

Judy is an MSPA, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and an Enrolled Actuary.  She received her B.S. in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Craig Hoffman, APM

General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Craig is the General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs for the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). Craig has previously served ASPPA as President, Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Political Action Committee.

Prior to joining ASPPA, Craig served for over 20 years as General Counsel for SunGard Relius LLC., and before that, was in private practice, specializing in the areas of taxation, ERISA and employee benefits. He received both his Juris Doctor degree and his Master of Laws degree in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Craig has spoken at numerous meetings on the subject of qualified pension and retirement plans, including the ASPPA annual meeting, the Society of Actuaries annual meeting; the Enrolled Actuaries annual conference; the American Law Institute/American Bar Association seminar in Scottsdale, AZ; the New York Employee Benefits Conference; the Creative Pension Seminar sponsored by the Ohio State University College of Law; and the UMKC Law School Annual Employee Benefits Institute. In addition, he was an expert speaker at the first Saver Summit, jointly sponsored by the White House and Congress.

Presently, Craig serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Pension Benefits (Panel Publishers) and the Journal of Pensions Management (Henry Stewart Publications). He was a charter member of the first IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities.  He is also a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Craig’s articles have been featured in numerous publications, including The Pension Actuary, Journal of Compensation and Benefits, Journal of Pension Benefits, Pension and Benefits Week, Pension World, and RIA Pension Alert.

David Lipkin, MSPA

President, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

David’s term as ASPPA’s President runs from October 2013 to October 2014.

After receiving a B.A. in Mathematics from Hamilton College, David Lipkin began his career in 1977 with Aetna Life and Casualty. In 1983, he moved to William M. Mercer, in Pittsburgh, where he served on the Actuarial Committee and acted as senior actuary and consultant to a variety of clients, including a number of Fortune 500 companies. He founded Metro Benefits, Inc. in 1986. Metro’s commitment to provide clear, comprehensive and worry-free service has made it one of the region’s fastest growing companies in the field.

David continues to spend a significant amount of time working with clients. He is actively involved in the profession and has been asked to speak on a variety of topics, including the professional responsibilities of the actuary. He has published numerous articles in professional publications. He has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to serve as an “Independent Fiduciary” for many orphan/abandoned plans; and was elected in 2005 to the Board of Directors of ASPPA. He also served as a Co-chair of ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee from 2006 until 2010.

Steven Dimitriou, AIF, AAMS, PRP

President, National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA)

Steven Dimitriou is a Managing Partner at Mayflower Advisors, LLC. His primary duties involve working with companies and their employees with the design, implementation, and operation of their defined contribution retirement plans.

Steve has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plan industry, with a particular focus on participant directed plans. Prior to forming Mayflower Advisors, he was a Managing Director at H. C. Wainwright & Co., Inc. responsible for the Retail Products division, which included the Retirement Plan Services and Mutual Fund Research departments. From 1995 to 1999, he was Vice President at BT Alex Brown, overseeing all aspects of acquisition and service for the Midwest and Northeast Corridor for the Retirement Plan Services group. Previously, he was one of the original members of the Retirement Sales Team at Massachusetts Financial Services (MFS), Inc. in Boston.

In 2009, Steve was named PLANSPONSOR Magazine Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year, after previously being honored as one of the “Best of the Best” Retirement Plan Advisors by the publication in 2006.  In 2010, Steve was named one of the 40 Most Influential Advisors in Defined Contribution by The 401kWire and was a Semi-Finalist for the 2010 ASPPA-Morningstar Leadership Award. In 2011, Steve was inducted into the inaugural class of the PLANADVISER Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the retirement plan industry and was again named one of the Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisors in the country by Plan Adviser magazine. In 2012, he was again named one of the 50 Most Influential Defined Contribution Advisors by The 401kWire.  In May 2012, Steve was also named President-Elect of the National Association of Plan Advisers (NAPA), after previously serving as a member of its Leadership Council.

Marcy Supovitz, CPC, QPA, QKA, AIF, ChFC, CLU

Past President, National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA)

Marcy L. Supovitz is the founding President of the National Association of Plan Advisors and Principal of Boulay Donnelly & Supovitz Consulting Group, Inc. Her term as President runs through March 2014.

She has enjoyed nearly 30 years in the retirement industry, including 10 years as Executive Vice President of Pioneer Investments and 15 years in senior roles within the insurance industry. She was also an adjunct faculty member of Purdue University where she taught courses on retirement plan topics.

Recognized industry-wide as the architect of innovative retirement plan strategies, Marcy most recently pioneered the Uni-K plan concept, which became the first IRS-qualified 401(k) plan for owner-only businesses. The Wall Street Journal Advocate describes her ideas as “nothing short of groundbreaking.”

Tom Finnegan

President, ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA)

Tom is a principal of The Savitz Organization in Philadelphia, PA, and holds a bachelors degree in mathematics from St. Joseph’s University. Tom is an actuary with over 25 years experience working with all types of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. Prior to joining The Savitz Organization, Tom served as a senior actuary for a major employee benefits consulting firm and the director of retirement plan services for a mid-sized regional consulting firm.

Tom a past President of ASPPA and serves as senior advisor to the DB Subcommittee of ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee. He is also an ex-officio member of the ACOPA Leadership Council. In addition to his involvement with ASPPA, he is a fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

He is a frequent speaker at regional and national benefit and actuarial conferences and has authored articles for national actuarial publications as well as regional newsletters. Tom has also taught semester-long EA exam preparatory classes at Temple University as well as ASPPA exam courses.

Sue Diehl QPA, CPC, ERPA

President, National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA)

Susan D. Diehl, the President of PenServ Plan Services Inc., is a preeminent retirement plan and benefits expert. During her career Susan has served on renowned committees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) including the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities, where she contributed to the formation of the IRS’ 403(b) liaison group that provides support to employers and financial institutions dealing with 403(b) plans. In addition, Susan has been appointed to and proudly participated in various committees at the Department of Labor including the ERISA Advisory Council, and the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee. As an authority on retirement plans, Susan continues to testify before the IRS and DOL on retirement plan regulatory issues. Currently, in addition to being a member of ASPPA and NTSA, Susan serves on the Leadership Council of the NTSA, and is the President elect of that Council. Her term will begin in 2014. In addition, she divides up her time as Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee at ASPPA, and as an active member on NTSAA’s Tax-Exempt/Governmental Entities Committee and ASPPA’s Legislative Relations Committee.

While Susan is in high demand by the industry, her commitment and devotion to PenServ’s clients, keep her in direct contact and conversation with them on a daily basis. She draws her inspiration from clients, and deeply values their input. Despite her status in the industry as a premiere authority in all things retirement, she remains dedicated to complex plan design, and consulting in highly intricate matters.

Susan has earned the IRS designation of Enrolled Retirement Plans Agent, (ERPA), enabling her to appear on behalf of clients before the IRS. In 2012, Susan was honored with the Bob Schiller Meritorious Service Award for her years of service to and support of NTSA. As a leader among women, she was awarded the Athena Award for promoting women in business and was inducted to the Athena Hall of Fame in Michigan. Sue was also awarded the 2013 Outstanding Citizen Award at the Upper Dublin Medals Reception and Ceremony for her exemplary charitable service, volunteer work and long-term community involvement.

In her spare time she volunteers as a host coordinator with the Interfaith Housing Alliance, sheltering and assisting homeless and displaced families find permanent housing.

David Blask, CPC, TGPC

Past President, National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA)

David’s term as NTSA President runs through December 2013. He is the Senior Pension Consultant for Lincoln Investment Planning Inc. and specializes in 403(b), 457 and 401(k) plans. He has worked with all types of retirement programs for over 30 years and played a key role in the development of new standards at Lincoln Investment for maximum allowable contribution calculations and in educating financial representatives and employers on the rules governing 403(b) contributions.  He has spoken to a variety of groups, including school business officials and CPAs, explaining the impact of the Internal Revenue Service audits on retirement plans of governmental entities and the final 403(b) regulations. David’s views on the changing world of 403(b) plans have been quoted by The Wall Street Journal and Defined Contribution & Savings Plan Alert.

David has earned the American Society of Pension Actuaries designation of Certified Pension Consultant and is an Enrolled Agent entitled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service.  He is also holds the designation of Tax-Exempt & Governmental Plan Consultant from the NTSA. David received his BA with honors from Franklin and Marshall College in 1972.

Chris DeGrassi

Executive Director, National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA)

Chris leads the National Tax-deferred Savings Association with core responsibilities for membership development and government relations. Since joining the NTSA as Executive Director in January of 2012, Chris has a strategic membership initiative that has tripled NTSA membership from 800 to 2,400 members nationwide. Chris has also developed NTSA’s government relations and advocacy capabilities focused on state legislation.

Chris has 18 years of experience in the financial services and retirement plans industry, including his most recent position with Security Benefit as head of strategy and business development for education markets.

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