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25 Rising Stars of Retirement Under 40

By 2040, there will be more than 80 million retirees in the United States, and most will need help from our industry to ensure they have a financially secure retirement.  Who are the rising stars in retirement helping our members connect with consumers?

LIMRA is pleased to present the winners of the 2016 Rising Stars of Retirement. These individuals represent talent across many areas of financial services in the retirement market, showcasing the best in management, product development, sales, marketing, customer engagement, and more.

Winners are under age 40 and were selected from the nominations received from LIMRA member companies.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU — AND THANK YOU FOR DRIVING US FORWARD!
  • Christopher Adams

    Investment Product Specialist
    Prudential Retirement
    “Chris provides product development, product management and oversight associated with underlying investment offerings to retirement products. He works tirelessly to maintain strong relationships to cross-departmental teams to positively influence outcomes for all that hope to retire someday.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Bill Bainbridge

    Vice President, Head of Annuity Product Development
    Voya Financial
    "As vice president and managing actuary, Bill is responsible for product development and in-force product management. In 2015, he was instrumental in the launch of Voya’s Wealthbuilder Plus Annuity, which has outperformed expectations and positioned Voya as an innovator in the fixed indexed annuity market.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Rachel Barrow

    Director, Guardian Individual Markets
    Guardian Life Insurance Co.
    “Rachel is a leader in her field. She has made a significant mark on our client communities with her online, gamified tool, My Retirement Walk. By offering clients thoughtful education and easy to use tools, this campaign strives to take the fear out of the process while emphasizing the importance of starting young.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Matthew Bryan

    Assistant Vice President, Head of Distribution Marketing
    Guardian Life Insurance Co.
    “Matt is an innovator with a passion for representing the voice of the customer. He has championed a groundbreaking research study on the various mindsets brewing around retirement.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Jared Christensen

    Vice President, Participant Guidance Solutions
    Fidelity Investments
    “Jared works with the some of the world’s largest firms to ensure their employee retirement programs offer the right platforms to access Fidelity’s guidance. As a result of Jared’s efforts, over 70,000 of his clients’ participants used Fidelity’s guidance and education offering in 2015.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Kellie Desrosiers

    Assistant Vice President, Head of Relationship Management & Planning
    Voya Financial
    “Kellie is a leader who brings energy, enthusiasm and a sense of accountability to everything she does. While delivering great value to our customers, she cut our customer attrition rate in half in just one year and created a capability being leveraged by other business units across the firm.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Travis Gavinski

    Regional 401(k) Sales Director
    Lincoln Financial Distributors
    “In his role as regional 401(k) sales director, Travis is responsible for the distribution of qualified retirement plan solutions through financial advisors and third party administrators in Wisconsin and Michigan. He sets himself apart by the experiences he creates, the value and support he provides, and his unparalleled commitment to his clients.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Rob Goodman

    Assistant Vice President, Program Management Office and Strategic Alignment,
    Retirement Solutions Division
    Pacific Life Insurance Co.
    “Rob has been instrumental in crystallizing senior management’s mission, vision and strategy, creating a clear message for leaders to effectively cascade to all employees throughout the division.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Elizabeth Griffith

    Senior Vice President, National Sales Development
    Jackson National Life
    “Elizabeth leads the largest sales desk in the annuity or asset management industry. As senior vice president, she directs the efforts for 225 internal wholesalers via her sales management team of 20. Elizabeth also helped launch Jackson’s Women & Business Network, the New Parent Mentor Program, and the New Manager Leadership Program.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Jennifer Harmer

    Assistant Vice President, RPS Customer Experience
    Lincoln Financial Group
    “Jennifer was integral in developing the strategy behind the new participant experience, which resulted in a clean, easy to navigate, mobile-enabled portal for Lincoln’s participants. Thanks to the work of Jen and her team, participants can now see how saving more is one of the most critical elements impacting their retirement income.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Jaron Havens

    Assistant Vice President, Implementation,
    Retirement Plan Services
    Lincoln Financial Group
    “Jaron Havens is dedicated to building strong relationships with plan sponsors, intermediaries and advisors. Thanks to Jaron’s leadership and commitment, thousands of participants across the country are better positioned for retirement.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Alexandra Henry

    Internal Sales Supervisor
    Allianz Life Financial Services
    “Bold. Dynamic. Impactful. These are just some of the words used to describe Alexandra. As sales desk manager of a new division, she supported the growth of eight new territories and helped take sales from almost nothing to $330 million. With 15 years of experience, Alex is the model of hard work and getting results.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Dylan Huang

    Senior Managing Director, Head of Retail Annuities
    New York Life Insurance Co.
    “Dylan is an innovative leader in product development and sales for New York Life. As senior managing director and head of Retail Annuities, he is responsible for leading all aspects of New York Life’s retail annuity business across the company’s career agency, third-party and direct distribution channels.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Jonathan Kreider

    Assistant Vice President, Investment Products
    Great-West Investments
    “Jonathan leads the stable value /general account fixed interest product management team and a number of product development initiatives, with over $35 billion under management. Jonathan also contributes to the public policy issues facing our industry, standing up for the interests of plan sponsors, advisors and participants.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Meredith Kroger

    Regional Director
    Protective Life
    “Meredith is one of the leading retirement income planning resources in the Midwest. She possesses a deep knowledge of annuity and investment products. Her holistic approach to retirement planning has differentiated her as a truly valuable partner with the financial professionals with whom she partners.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Kim Lisella

    Head of Distribution and Retirement Solutions
    Legal & General Retirement America
    “Kim has been essential to L&G's rapid growth. Currently head of Distribution and Retirement Solutions, Kim leads business development and client solutions — leveraging her technical experience to develop a stronger, more effective distribution model for service providers and achieve better outcomes for clients.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Renée Markiewicz

    Director, Product Development
    Prudential Retirement
    “Renee leads the team who develops and delivers new innovative products/services for our retirement and retail customers. She consistently demonstrates the ability to think strategically about our business while executing flawlessly. Renee is always focused on delivering well-thought-out customer experiences, taking the complexity out of the process wherever possible.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Luke Schroeder

    Relationship Manager
    T. Rowe Price
    “As a relationship manager, Luke provides consultation and leadership to plan sponsors and their advisors. By combining powerful data with a clear understanding of his clients’ businesses, he partners with advisors to help plan sponsors strategically leverage DC retirement programs to help meet their corporate objectives." — excerpt from nomination
  • Katie Taylor

    Director of Thought Leadership
    Fidelity Investments
    ““Katie helps to shape and define Fidelity’s point of view on workplace retirement trends by working closely with employers, employees, policymakers and the media. Her ability to bring the power of Fidelity’s thought leadership in the areas of plan design, investments and employee communication helped drive relevant content to employers.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Ketul R. Thaker

    Director, Consultant Relations
    MassMutual Financial Group
    “Ketul consistently raises the bar as he immerses himself in his role, always focused on the end game of driving retirement readiness and better outcomes for plan participants. Working with a high level of integrity, Ketul always drives activity and achieves results. Ketul is the future of our company, and he is building his legacy.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Michelle Tortorella

    Communications Consultant, Institutional Marketing
    VALIC
    “Michelle has keen insights into the plan sponsor and plan participant audiences. She is a strong advocate of plan sponsors and easily uses this strength to develop marketing and education campaigns and plans that help plan participants become more retirement ready. She has unrivaled passion for what she does every day for the company.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Tony Truax

    Senior Internal Retirement Consultant
    Allianz Life Financial Services
    “In partnership with his external wholesaler, Tony has contributed close to $1 billion in annuity sales over the span of his career – helping financial professionals and their clients to address retirement needs for the future. Tony represents the best of what Allianz has to offer in support of the financial professionals who address the complex issues facing today’s retirees." — excerpt from nomination
  • Brandon Willett

    Financial Advisor
    OneAmerica
    “Brandon is rapidly rising to the top of OneAmerica’s leader board with the work he is doing to help Main Street America create and enjoy a worry-free retirement knowing they have improved income, liquidity, and legacy.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Lindsey Wills

    Marketing Manager, Retirement Plan Services
    Lincoln Financial Group
    “Uber-organized. Innovative. Perceptive. These words have been used to describe Lindsey, product marketing wunderkind in Lincoln Financial’s Retirement Plan Services group. Business partners know they can rely on Lindsey to provide recommendations, information and marketing materials that best meet their clients’ retirement needs.” — excerpt from nomination
  • Martin Woll

    Head of Institutional Savings
    AXA U.S.
    “Since joining AXA, Martin has exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit. He spearheaded the launch of AXA’s first insurance-backed escrow solution for the M&A market in late 2015, which offers full principal protection, an opportunity for higher yields, daily liquidity for claims, and no direct fees.” — excerpt from nomination










Happy 100th, LIMRA!

A Happy Birthday Wish

100 Birthday Wish
    From left to right: Jean Pelletier, Joe Krukas, Carolyn Burton, Paul McClain, Rita Baccaro, Frank Santa-Donato, Reba Nassau, Tom Fahey, Gene Mayfield (with spouse Sue), Arch Edgar, Kent Jamison, Don Kauke, Jim Mitchel, Barbara Norton, Dave Logie, Ram Gopian, John Donahue, Bruce Hamstra.