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Spring Seminar - April 4, 2019

  • 04 Apr 2019
  • 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Washington Athletic Club


  • Registrations received by April 1, 2019.
  • Registrations received by April 1, 2019
  • Discount of 10% extended when a member of either association for registrations received before April 1, 2019. Be sure to use word "BOTH" to receive discounted price.
  • Discount of 10% extended when a non member of either association registers before April 1, 2019. Be sure to use word "BOTH" to receive discounted price.

Registration is closed

The Western Pension & Benefits Council, Seattle Chapter's focus with our 2019 Spring Seminar is to provide benefits professionals with tools, knowledge and new ideas to help pension and benefits plan participants. This year’s Spring Seminar will continue to offer key industry updates necessary to stay current as benefits professionals.

Our luncheon speaker is Seattle Seahawks, Director of Pro Personnel, Nolan Teasley. He will "kick off" the afternoon session with a look at"Managing Change and Maintaining a Winning Culture".

Immediately following the last session, plan to stay and visit with colleagues, speakers and sponsor representatives at the hosted cocktail reception.

Schedule of Events

11:00 - 11:45 Registration and seating for lunch

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch / Keynote speaker

1:00 - 2:00 Breakout Session 1A | Breakout Session 1B

2:00 - 3:00 Breakout Session 2A | Breakout Session 2B

3:00 - 4:00 General Session

4:00 - 5:00 Sponsors' Reception

Select a Session to View Details

Nolan TeasleyNolan Teasley, Director of Pro Personnel, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Director of Pro Personnel, Nolan Teasley will share his perspective on the upcoming season, as well as a behind the scenes looks at the Seahawks approach to managing change and maintaining a winning culture. Common to all organizations is the need to attract and retain the best talent, and to manage that talent to achieve the best talent, and to manage that talent to achieve the organization’s mission. But few organizations do that more publicly than a professional sports team.

Nolan’s tenacity and work ethic, that have led to his rapid growth within the Seahawks organization is an inspiring story. A prior college football player, Nolan left his career in corporate marketing to follow his passion, taking an entry-level position as an intern with the Seahawks in 2013. He was soon promoted to Pro Scout, and spent his time evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of professional football players across the NFL. Last year, in his sixth season, Nolan was promoted to Director of Pro Personnel, with primary responsibility for acquiring and contracting with players to fill gaps and create the depth of strength needed for the Seahawks’ success. Nolan is an engaging speaker, and will welcome your questions.

Credits: NA

Thank you to the Employee Benefits Planning Association (EBPA) for co-sponsoring our keynote speaker.

Michael GarrettMichael Garrett, Principal,

Plan sponsors typically have five percent of their population that accounts for 50% of the health care costs. There is a need to better understand this population, so that effective strategies can be deployed for early interventions that result in reduce costs, improve quality and access, and improve the member experience.

This presentation will identify best practices in proactive population health management strategies that can achieve these aims. Health plan and healthcare systems are using technology, data, and care teams to improve the interventions necessary to efficiently identify patients at risk, so that timely and effective interventions can be made with patients and families. Plan sponsors must ask that their health plans and healthcare providers deploy innovations along with multidisciplinary care teams to address the cost trend.

Michael Garrett possesses more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in care/case management, chronic condition management, healthcare quality, and population health management services. His experience includes developing and implementing new care delivery models, such as patient centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. He is currently a Principal at Mercer where he is a part of the Total Health Management specialty practice.

Michael is a Certified Case Manager, Certified Vocational Evaluator, Nationally Certified Psychologist, and a Board Certified Patient Advocate.

Credits: Insurance Credit

Liz Deckman
Liz Deckman, Partner,
Dorsey Whitney

Andrew Holly
Andrew Holly, Partner,
Dorsey Whitney

Employers that sponsor company retirement plans have many fiduciary responsibilities involving the ongoing administration of the Plan and the obligation to manage the investment options offered to plan participants. A typical best practice for plan sponsors is to establish a benefits committee to manage the administrative processes including the selection and monitoring of the investment options in the plan. The members of the committee are designated as fiduciaries to the plan and must carry out their responsibilities consistent with ERISA Fiduciary Standards. Liz Deckman, partner at Seattle law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP, will provide insights and best practices for committees and overall plan governance.

Liz Deckman has extensive business law experience in employee benefits and ERISA, including design and implementation of all types of tax-qualified retirement plans and trusts; drafting, implementing, and advises employers on health and welfare plans; and advising clients on the effect of new laws on plans. She also assists clients in the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

Liz was named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Employee Benefits Law by Best Lawyers, 2013-2019, and has been on the WP&BC Board since 2011.

Andrew Holly has extensive experience as lead counsel defending fiduciaries, sponsors, and insurers in ERISA fiduciary class actions, including cases involving company stock, 401(k) plan fees, defined benefit plans, pension age discrimination claims, Taft-Hartley pension plans, prohibited transaction claims, claims for plan benefits, executive compensation claims, and other fiduciary and plan investment matters.

Andrew also represents clients in complex tax litigation in federal and state courts. He has handled dozens of jury and court trials, arbitrations, regulatory matters, and other evidentiary hearings.

Credits: Retirement Credit

A panel of plan sponsors and vendors with extensive backgrounds in relationship management will share their perspective on creating and maintaining strong, collaborative sponsor/vendor relationships. The relationship is fundamental in designing and managing effective benefit plans that align with the sponsor’s goals and challenges. The quality of the relationship can impact cost, employee satisfaction, compliance and regulatory risk. The panel will address topics such as finding the right match through an effective RFP, techniques for making improvements when the relationship falls short of expectations, and tips for maintaining an already great relationship.

Plan Sponsors

Molly Rudd, Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator

Over 20 years of experience in human resources, retirement plans and vendor management.

Wendy Rittereiser, HR Benefits Manager
City of Renton

Over 25 years of experience with Health and Welfare and Retirement plans, in both the public and private sector.

Credits: NA


Rocco Piccone, Relationship Executive

Over 20 years of experience in client-facing leadership roles, overseeing Vanguard’s full-service DC, DB and NQP recordkeeping clients.

Jane Orenstein, Director and Corporate Counsel
Delta Dental of Washington

Over 30 years of experience as a government attorney as well as in-house counsel to both private and public companies in a variety of businesses.

Hunter Ferguson
Hunter Ferguson, Partner,
Stoel Rives

Jim Cheng
Jim Cheng, Information Security Lead, JP Morgan Chase

Hunter Ferguson is a partner in Stoel Rives’s Litigation group and has a broad range of experience with all phases of litigation in state and federal courts. Hunter devotes considerable time to counseling clients on information privacy and cybersecurity issues, including strategies for securing personally identifiable information (PII), data breach incident response, and litigation. He also focuses a substantial portion of his practice on appeals and has prepared merits and amicus briefing and petitions for review and certiorari at every level of state and federal courts.

Jim Cheng is an experienced information security professional with 11 years experiences (out of his 16 years' of technology experience) in various industries. In his experience, he has been an auditor, consultant, engineer, and process owner in different domains from engineering to governance and compliance. Jim Cheng currently works at JP Morgan Chase in its Third Party Oversight function overseeing suppliers' security in cloud computing. Prior to that, he worked for two Big4 firms for 8 years at the U.S., Canada and China.

Credits: Insurance, Legal, and Retirement Credit

Rich Birmingham
Rich Birmingham, Partner,
Davis Wright Tremaine L.L.P

Erin M. Riley
Erin M. Riley, Attorney,
Keller Rohrback L.L.P

Litigation Update: Two Perspectives. Join Rich Birmingham and Erin Riley as they walk you through the cases to watch and the latest developments in ERISA litigation, including: mental health parity; actuarial assumptions; 3rd party service provider litigation, recent fee dispute victories; stock drop disputes; suits against defined benefit plans; the fiduciary rule, enforceability of arbitration clauses and other limitations on ERISA lawsuits as well as the burden of proof on damages for a fiduciary breach. Erin represents employees and retirees. Rich defends employers. Together, they bring a unique perspective to address current ERISA litigation, new legal theories, and best defense strategies.

Rich Birmingham has over 30 years of experience in both employee benefit consulting and ERISA litigation. He is one of the few lawyers listed in "Best Lawyers in America" in two both ERISA law and ERISA litigation. His command of both the substantive and litigation areas of ERISA enable him to give practical proactive advice to clients and to obtain early dismissal or settlement when litigating ERISA matters. Rich is a frequent speaker at employee benefit seminars and has published numerous articles and client advisories on a wide variety of employee benefit issues.

Erin Riley’s practice has focused on representing employees and retirees in ERISA actions involving defined contribution, defined benefit, and health benefit plans. She has successfully litigated ERISA breach of fiduciary duty cases including cases filed against Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch and WorldCom.

Erin has been actively involved with the Employee Benefits Law (Bloomberg-BNA), serves as a Co-Chair of the Board of Senior Editors of the treatise, and formerly served as Plaintiffs’ Co-Chair of the Civil Procedure Subcommittee and as a senior editor.

Credits: Insurance, Legal, and Retirement Credit

This year we are pleased to announce a partnership with Employee Benefits Planning Association (EBPA). They will hold their regular breakfast program in the morning. For details, click here. For those who choose to attend both events, we are offering a discount.


Early Registration (by 3/25/2019) Member* Non-Member
WP&BC Event Only (11-5) $180 $300
EBPA Event Only (7:45-10:45) $65 $85
Both Events (10% discount) $221 $347


Registration after 3/25/2019 Member* Non-Member
WP&BC Event Only (11-5) $200 $325
EBPA Event Only (7:45-10:45) $80 $100
Both Events (10% discount) $252 $383


*Members of either organization receive the member rate and a 10% discount if attending both events.

No refunds after March 25, 2019.

Please feel free to reach out to WP&BC with any questions.

Direct Questions To:

WP&BC Seattle
(206) 653-7259 - Phone


WP&BC - Seattle Chapter
1402 Lake Tapps Pkwy SE, Ste. F104-133
Auburn, WA 98092

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