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2017 Retirement Rising Star Winners

LIMRA is pleased to announce the winners of our contest to recognize this year’s Rising Stars of Retirement under 40 in the financial services industry. The contest searched for talented and passionate young professionals who are successfully and creatively navigating all the changes in the retirement industry to keep workers financially optimistic and prepared for retirement. 

Charles Boline

Senior Product Line Director

"Charles is an outstanding marketing professional at Allianz life who possesses a unique combination of valuable talents. In his role, he has successfully developed and executed marketing, product and corporate strategies, uncovering and articulating compelling insights from market and customer data sources." — excerpt from nomination

David Bone

Senior Competitive Intelligence Analyst

“David is an integral part of the Guardian Retirement team, who has demonstrated his passion for educating financial reps and other intermediaries on retirement income products and the value they can offer their clients.” — excerpt from nomination

Dawn Borent

Director, Information Technology Product Consulting and Strategy

“In addition to Dawn’s deep understanding of proprietary and leveraged technologies, market place trends and capabilities as well as what things are coming in the future, she has a comparably profound understanding of the retirement business and Prudential Retirement’s customers. ” — excerpt from nomination

Chris Butler

Senior Vice President, Private Client Group Investment Products

“Chris’ broad and in-depth background makes him uniquely qualified to manage the wide variety of products and platforms at Raymond James.” — excerpt from nomination

Brian Cosmano

Vice President Strategic Product Initiatives

“Brian is expanding the concept of managed accounts at Great-West Investments.  Leading the effort to create fully integrated solutions, he is helping to dramatically improve the participant experience, address broader financial wellness at all life stages, and focus on the process of asset decumulation and income protection. ” — excerpt from nomination

Graham M. Day

Chief Sales Officer, Individual Annuity Business
Senior Vice President and Managing Director

“Graham is a disciplined sales officer who uses data mining, and market metric tools to promote efficiency among his top performing wholesaling team at AXA.” — excerpt from nomination

Joseph Duronio

Vice President, Strategic Planning and Research

“Joe has led several efforts within AIG regarding the impact of the student loan crisis on retirement readiness. AIG filed a patent of Joe’s invention for connecting the payment of student loans through payroll deduction to retirement plan account savings. ” — excerpt from nomination

Emily Holbrook

Director, Personal Markets

“Emily’s leadership has successfully increased promotion and positioning of retirement planning into the young, medical and multicultural markets to encourage people to plan for retirement earlier and to extend retirement planning into underserved markets.” — excerpt from nomination

Justin Fitzpatrick

Head of Trust and Private Wealth

“Justin is responsible for innovative distribution strategies to enhance customer connections at Jackson National Life Distributors. He most recently launched and now leads Jackson’s trust and private wealth channel team, which is the industry’s first team of specialists dedicated to serving the needs of trust companies and private banks.” — excerpt from nomination

Ryan Gladysz

Director, Digital Strategy

“Ryan designed and executed the first direct multi-channel distribution program to prospects at scale in AXA’s company history.” — excerpt from nomination

Sarah Goedken Kool

Associate Director, National Participant Education

“Sarah drives educational experiences for some six-million participants in retirement plans serviced by Principal. She focuses on tools and experiences, like My Virtual Coach, which help participants save enough so they can live the lives they want in retirement.” — excerpt from nomination

David Hanzlik

Vice President, Wealth Management

“David has been responsible for revamping the annuity product line at CUNA Mutual Group and managing the company’s product portfolio lifecycle, which includes pricing and annuity business profit & loss.” — excerpt from nomination

Marc Howell

Vice President, Custom Retirement Solutions

“Marc is the brains behind a number of innovative plan design offerings at Prudential Retirement, which are changing the way companies think about and offer their defined contribution plans, including DC OptimizationTM and PruNOWTM.” — excerpt from nomination

Sean Kelley

Assistant Vice President and Director, Retirement Pricing

“Sean works tirelessly and passionately with our marketing, sales, product, and operations teams to deliver Voya’s services and capabilities, which provide retirement readiness and financial security to millions of Americans at a fair price and high value.” — excerpt from nomination

Steven Kofkoff

Assistant Vice President, Retirement Services, Defined Contribution Finance

“Steven was instrumental in the creation of the company’s 2017 – 2020 Enterprise Strategic Plan. This plan was designed to achieve key results for OneAmerica’s insurance, retirement, and employee benefits divisions.

Tom Layton

Vice President, Product Management

“Under Tom’s supervision, Raymond James’ sales in the structured product area have grown from literally nothing to over $1.5 billion per year. This year alone, sales of Raymond James’ structured products have grown 150 percent.” — excerpt from nomination

Jeff Lindeman

Regional Director

“Jeff’s innate ability to connect with advisors on issues most important to them makes him an invaluable resource in the retirement planning process. Jeff is widely recognized throughout his territory at Protective Life for his deep industry knowledge, tireless work ethic, and passion to help consumers plan for retirement.” — excerpt from nomination

Bret Martin

Manager, LTC Sales Desk

“Bret is passionate about long-term care and helping advisors serve their retirement-age clients. He works tirelessly to improve his own understanding of the industry and his sales acumen, and transfers that knowledge to his team at Pacific Life, so they too can help advisors position the product correctly.” — excerpt from nomination

Joseph T. Mieras

Assistant Vice President, Participant Information Center

“Joe is leading MassMutual’s efforts to better serve Spanish-speaking customers to make it easier for them to plan and save for retirement. The ability to speak with someone who speaks fluent Spanish greatly enhances the customer’s experience and gives them a feeling of confidence.” — excerpt from nomination

Nick Pagano

Vice President, Senior Retirement Sales Consultant

“Nick is proud of the work he does every day helping advisors solve the retirement needs of American workers.  He understands the work he does makes a difference in many people’s lives, which motivates him to go the extra mile to do the right thing for his customers.” — excerpt from nomination

Nick Porcaro

Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, Retirement Plan Services

“Nick’s focus on strengthening T. Rowe Price’s position as a reliable, top-tier leader of workplace retirement solutions makes him a valuable member of our company.  He strives to understand his clients’ businesses and their needs, then works to provide superior value for cost, and to build strong relationships.” — excerpt from nomination

Mary Romano

Assistant Vice President, Client Management,
Head of New Business Implementations

“Under Mary's strong leadership at MassMutual, year-over-year her teams deliver a best-in-class conversion experience. She keeps an eye on what is happening in the marketplace and always elevates the experience to stay ahead of the pack with thoughtful strategic and tactical management.” — excerpt from nomination

Matthew Settergren

Director of Innovation and Implementation

“Matthew has demonstrated his commitment to the retirement industry with a strong focus on leadership, innovation, and financial excellence. He is a dedicated leader at Allianz Life, focusing on helping retirees to live their lives with confidence.” — excerpt from nomination

Stacy Sponseller

Regional Director

“Stacy helps advisors and their clients by delivering holistic retirement planning advice. Her expertise spans industry trends, retirement product features and knowledge of all elements of retirement planning. She is widely recognized as a caring, compassionate and thoughtful business partner with all of the advisors whom she supports.” — excerpt from nomination

Bill Sutton

Public Relations Manager

“As the communications lead for Voya’s Annuities and Individual Life businesses, Bill has delivered outstanding results that have helped raise industry awareness about the important retirement issues and helped Voya’s businesses advance their priorities.” — excerpt from nomination

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