2022 Group & Worksite Benefits Conference Agenda

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Meet & Greet

2:00 pm - 3:15 pm - Welcome & General Session

The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work

When Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley wrote The Adaptation Advantage (April 2020, Wiley), they did not realize how prescient their advice would prove when the pandemic required an immediate and dramatic shift in work, learning, and leading.  Overnight, companies remapped supply chains, pivoted product lines, and transformed to remote-work organizations. Heather will share her vision of what the future of work looks like and how we can apply it to our industry, companies, and culture. The virus has accelerated our future of work, expedited our human transformation to digital creating, and placed an even greater burden on leaders to inspire and motivate human potential. Even when the virus subsides, many of our new ways of working will remain, and we will be the better for this accelerated transformation.

Heather McGowan - Future-of-Work Strategist

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm - Break

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Concurrent Sessions

Mental Health & the Future of Work

Moderator: Mark Devine, Head of Product Development, Guardian Life
Kristin Tugman, PhD, CRC, LPC, Vice President, Customer Analytics & Consultation, Prudential
David Campbell, Senior Vice President, ComPsych

The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized millions of people’s mental health. The industry has responded by developing benefits and programs designed to support holistic wellness. This session will offer perspectives and trends related to mental wellness concepts, and the engagement strategies that are most effective in helping people take advantage of these important programs.

The Rise of the Whole Employee: 20 Years of Change in Employer-Employee Dynamics

Vince Branchesi, Director, Group Benefits Center of Excellence, MetLife

For 20 years, MetLife’s annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study has examined what workers want and how employers can respond meaningfully to shifting workforce dynamics. This year’s research confirms the new power dynamics in the “era of the whole employee”.

MetLife research explores:

  • The rebalancing of power between employers and employees
  • Understanding holistic well-being for a heterogenous workforce
  • Enabling a holistic employee experience

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm - First Timers' Reception

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Reception

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

7:30 am - 8:15 am - Breakfast

8:15 am - 9:30 am - General Session

View From the Top

Moderator: Jessica Vanscavish, Vice President & Head of Customer Solutions, Prudential
Yanela Frias, President, Group Insurance, Prudential
David Healy, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits, Sun Life US
Harry Monti, EVP, Benefits Division, Symetra

Every year at our event, industry leaders share their thoughts about today's most important topics. This is your opportunity to hear what's on the minds of these executives as they focus on our role in the future of work.

9:30 am - 9:45 am - Break

9:45 am - 10:45 am: Concurrent Sessions

Market Differentiation — What Does It Really Mean?

Moderator: David Polen, AVP, Product & Market Development, Colonial Life
Lou Pantalone, Executive Vice President, Voluntary Benefits, Aon
Cindy Nevers, National Sales Leader, VB, Unum
Brian Carragher, Principal, Mercer Voluntary Benefits


As the workplace benefits market continues to evolve, the keys to success will evolve as well. While carriers look to stand out with enhanced products, digital capabilities, and superior service, the questions remain: What does it take to differentiate offerings in the marketplace and create unique value? What truly separates the great from the good?

In this session, brokers and carriers will share their thoughts on how the market is changing, what is resonating in various market segments, and what makes a difference in winning an opportunity. You will hear how to set your organization apart and become the provider of choice.

True Impacts of COVID and Trends for the Future

Moderator: Kellen Stokes, Vice President, Private Sector Product Strategy, American Fidelity
Michael Prendes, Assistant Vice President, Business Analysis and Planning, Voluntary Benefits, Unum
Jordan Jordanov, Vice President, Group Product Director American Fidelity

There are too many impacts of COVID-19 on our industry to list, so this session will center on changes to product distribution, claims and pricing, and customer behavior. We’ll focus on understanding the negative impacts, the positive trends that emerged, and what we should consider on as we move towards a new normal. This session will discuss both quantitative and qualitative factors that can guide us into the future.

10:45 am - 11:00 am - Break

11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Concurrent Sessions

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion – How do we offer products & solutions that are relevant to all?

Moderator: Jessica Vanscavish, Vice President & Head of Customer Solutions, Prudential
Kaia West, Inclusion & Diversity Leader, Mercer  
Anthony Smith, Vice President Project Management, Prudential
Kristina Kishbaugh, Manager-Strategy, Governance & Enablement, Guardian

As an industry, we have adapted internally to the cries for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’ve adjusted our hiring and retention practices and continue to improve the performance of our companies. However, are we moving fast enough to challenge our long-held beliefs and adapt our products and services to remain relevant and meet the demands of our customers?  If we don’t, will we survive? The speakers will share strides in hiring and retention practices, evolving products and solutions, and philanthropy, and highlight how they lead to a business imperative of competing in a world where the stakes are higher than ever. 

Compliance & Regulatory Update: What's on the Minds of Chief Compliance Officers, General Counsels and Senior Business Executives for 2022?

Moderator: Michael R. Khoury, Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, Texas Life Insurance Co.
Yueying LaFleur, Assistant General Counsel II, Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Co.
Joe Spada, Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, Life & Annuity, Lincoln Financial Group
Joanne Spruill, Vice President — Compliance Workplace Solutions Group, Prudential Financial

Recent times have brought on significant increases in state and federal regulations as well as unprecedented policy reform change in Washington. These trends will most certainly continue in 2022. Attend this session to understand the key compliance and regulatory changes that your company should be focusing on. 

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Concurrent Sessions

Transforming Within: Utilizing Technology and Innovation to Enhance Your Operations and Value Proposition

Moderator: James A. Ocampo, Executive Vice-President, Wellfleet Workplace 
Moderator: Jennifer Clyburn, Senior Manager, Aflac
Samantha Chow, Global Market Lead for LA&H, EIS
Diana Steinhoff; SVP Aflac Group Dental and Vision

While many companies are operating with legacy technology, the world continues to advance when it comes to administration systems. But the desire grows to transform into an agile environment and an integrated benefit administration system for ease of doing business. Companies must find ways to shift their value propositions; reduce expenses through investments, technology fees; and product changes; and still balance multiple systems while being innovative. Hear from individuals on where technology is going and how your company can grow.

The LDEx Standards: Purpose, Positioning and Potential

Moderator: Tim O’Connor, AVP, Partner Integration, Voya
Kellie Benson-Bray, Director, Member Relations, LL Global
Mark Kozielec, Director, Data Exchange Solutions, Prudential
Adam Wood, Product Owner, Enrollment Technology Solutions, Allstate Health and Benefits

Join the conversation with industry experts about streamlining data partnerships and the LIMRA Data Exchange (LDEx) Standards. We will take a comprehensive look at why the standards were created, current contributors and consumers of the standards, and how we envision they will be enabling the future of our industry.

2:10 pm - 3:00 pm: Bonus Sessions

Follow the BEAT! Debuting LIMRA’s Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker

Kimberly Landry, Assistant Research Director, Workplace Benefits Research, LIMRA
Mary Lesch, Associate Research Director, Workplace Benefits Research, LIMRA

As the Great Resignation offers employees more leverage regarding working conditions, compensation, and benefits, it is critical for the workplace benefits industry to stay attuned to shifting employee wants and needs. Join us for the world premiere of LIMRA’s BEAT (Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker) study, a new annual survey monitoring employee attitudes and opinions about employment in general and benefits in particular. You will learn about employee:

  • Attitudes toward work and factors they look for in a potential employer
  • Opinions, understanding, and satisfaction with benefits
  • Preferences for benefit communication and enrollment

Tech Talk

Leading solution providers showcase the latest technological advances and innovative solutions in the Group & Worksite Benefits space. This session will consist of a few different solution providers to share with the audience their product or present a “tech talk” surrounding their exercise in the space.

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm - Break

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm - Becoming a ShiftThinker

Our work, communities, and families have all been impacted by the pandemic in ways never expected — and we’re caught right in the middle. With the right mindset, though, times like these can lead to opportunities we would not have had otherwise. A shift in thinking is required to create massive breakthrough results. Based on two decades of research and presenting to over one thousand organizations around the world, Kevin Snyder will introduce a ShiftThinker™ mindset to help us endure, bounce back, and grow amidst the unprecedented adversity we’re experiencing. The principles within this program will empower us to rethink current challenges and effectively navigate a new course for the competitive journey ahead. The future will only continue to shift, so we must shift our thinking to prepare. Will you be ready?

Kevin Snyder, Ed.D. - Best-Selling Author

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Reception/Dinner

Thursday, May 5, 2022

7:15 am - 8:00 am - Breakfast

8:00 am - 9:00 am: Concurrent Sessions

Gig/Non-Traditional Workforce: Who Are They and How Can the Group Benefits Industry Help Them?

Moderator: Todd Dzen, AVP Product Management, LAD & Select Benefits, Symetra 
Colin Nabity, CEO & Co-Founder, Breeze
David Polen, AVP, Product & Market Development, Colonial Life
Anita Potter, Assistant Vice President, Workplace Benefits Research, LIMRA

This panel discussion will focus on the growing numbers of gig/non-traditional workers with the objective of better understanding the following:

  • Who makes up this unique and growing market?
  • What are their needs and challenges around insurance benefits?
  • How can the group benefits industry meet their needs while also capitalizing on the opportunity represented by their growing numbers?

The Future of Insurance Technology and the Customer Experience

Moderator: Tom Davenport, Senior Director, Product Development, USAble Life
Meg Collins, Chief Growth Officer, Vericred
Stephen Brandt, Senior Vice President, Sales, Vitech
Krystie Dascoli, VB Practice Leader, Marsh Mclennan Agency

Insurance companies have a vested interest in creating a robust customer experience, but a strategy is difficult with legacy systems and the use of various enrollment platforms. Learn about the future of the insurance customer experience, from customer engagement to real time integrated API’s.

9:00 am - 9:15 am - Break

9:15 am - 10:15 am - Employee Benefits Legislative Update: Politics, Process and Policy

James A. Klein, President, American Benefits Council

Attend this session to understand the big things coming our way that may impact employee benefits.

10:15 am - 10:45 am - Break

10:45 am - 12:00 pm - Harnessing Growth in Workforce Benefits

The war for talent continues to intensify. Increasingly, employers are using a robust and modern benefits package as a competitive differentiator. As such, the workplace benefits market represents a growing opportunity and an area of intense competition for carriers, where experience, products, services, and technology can provide competitive advantage. However, traditional sales and service models are under pressure. Increasing complexity, an evolving ecosystem, intense competition in the third-party landscape, and other transformations all confront organizations looking to succeed in this market. Based on new research conducted by EY and LIMRA, this session will examine the rapidly changing dynamics of the workplace benefits landscape and explore how carriers must adapt to harness profitable growth in this market.

Patrick T. Leary, M.B.A., LLIF - Corporate Vice President, Workplace Benefits Research, LIMRA

12:00 pm - Adjournment