Defined Contribution Institute - Chicago

Nov 5th - Nov 6th 2020
Four Seasons Hotel

What's Past is Prologue: Retrospection on the Last 30 Years, Contemplation on the Next 30

The 2020 Defined Contribution Institute - Chicago event marks the Institute’s 30th anniversary, and at the end of a tumultuous year, our agenda will focus on the past, present and future of the defined contribution industry. We will gather DC plan sponsors to reflect on past successes and failures to chart the way forward on a wide variety of emerging topics, from implementing the retirement income solution of the future to designing personal and customized experiences for participants to evolving DC into a holistic financial wellness package. We will feature expert speakers, plan sponsor-led panels, case study-centered workshops and discussion tables to help these trends of the future materialize. Unlike other conferences in the field, the DCI Chicago event will be intimate, free of overt marketing, and with no topics off-limit as we ponder on, debate over and actively shape DC for the next 30 years.



Bernie is currently Head of Global Benefits, Corporate/Total Rewards with AECOM, a professional technical and management support services offering planning, consulting, architectural and engineering design, and program and construction management. AECOM has 90,000 employees in over 100 countries worldwide. He is the Global Benefits COE Leader responsible for health care, retirement, group, voluntary, lifestyle, perks and wellness/well-being benefit plans and benefits communications, compliance and M&A globally.

Previously, he was Sr. Director, Global Benefits & Mobility with Yahoo!, in Sunnyvale, CA and Vice President, Strategic Benefits with ACS, A Xerox Company, in Dallas, TX, He was also Senior Director, Global Benefits with Hilton Hotels and Senior Vice President, Benefits with Countrywide Financial/Bank of America, both headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Bernie was also Senior Director, Global Benefits/Total Rewards with Gap Inc. headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Previously, he was Senior Manager, Global Benefits with Accenture, headquartered in Chicago, IL. Prior to that, held Benefits Leadership positions with Morton International, CT&T, Continental Bank and AM International all located in Chicago, IL.



From 2009 to January 2017, Mark served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement & Health Policy, with legislative, policymaking, rulemaking, and other regulatory responsibilities with respect to pensions, retirement, savings, health care (including legislative and regulatory implementation of the Affordable Care Act), other employee benefits, and related tax policy.

He has provided policy advice to numerous federal and state legislators (Democrats and Republicans) and five Presidential campaigns. He has been recognized as one of the world’s “30 top financial players” (Smart Money magazine), “Investment News 20” (20 individuals expected to have a major influence on the financial services industry), number 3 among the “100 most influential people in 401(k)” (401(k) Wire), etc., and has received awards for achievement, leadership, and innovation from the Insured Retirement Institute, American Payroll Association, Retirement Income Industry Association, Pension Rights Center, Small Business Council of America, ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries), the US Treasury Department, and the IRS.


2020 Advisory Board 

The Defined Contribution Institute was created to serve DC plan sponsors, and we rely upon an Advisory Board of plan sponsors to help conceptualize and guide each event’s agenda. We sincerely thank this year’s Advisory Board as well as everyone who has provided — and will continue to provide — input to ensure that the topics we are addressing are current, practical, and pertinent.

Tracy Brewer, Total Rewards Manager – Retirement Plans, Accenture

Bernie Knobbe, Vice President, Global Benefits, AECOM

Margaret Flynn, Pension & Post Retirement Investment Manager, American Water Works Company

Suzanne Carroll, Director, Treasury, Amgen

David Lewis, Director of Investments, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Paul Mele, Global Head of Benefits, BlackRock

William Bercek, Director, National 401(k) Program & Compliance, BlueCross BlueShield Association

Jamey Sharpe, Executive Director & Chief Investment Executive, BlueCross BlueShield Association

Sandy Blair, Director, CalSTRS

Lynna Soller, Benefits Manager, City of Chandler

Paulette Clark, HR Program Manager, County of Monterey

Johnny Liang, Senior Director, Compensation & Benefits, Dolby Laboratories

Paula Stafford, Finance Director, Global Defined Contribution, Dow Inc.

Anthony Tomich, Head of Pension Investments, Farmers Insurance Group

Colin Orr, Associate Director, Retirement Benefits, Genentech

Charles DeSantis, Associate Vice President and Chief Benefits Officer, Georgetown University

Terence Chan, Benefits, Finance & Analytics, Google

Patin Ma, Compensation Manager, Google

Edward Adams, Director – Global Defined Contribution Plans, IBM

Jason Naskiewicz, Americas Investment Manager, Mars Incorporated

Debra Roberts, Director of Finance, Maryland Supplemental Retirement Agency

Stephen McCaffrey, Senior Counsel for Plans, National Grid USA

Sue Rutherford, Retirement Plans Manager, Northwestern University

Ron Shaw, Financial Wellbeing & Retirement Manager, Paychex

Joanne Arneal, Director, MD Benefits, The Permanente Medical Group

Thomas Foster, Director, Pension & Trust Investments, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

Jack Miller, Advisory Committee, Presbyterian Board of Pensions

Diane Kaiser, 401(k) Plan Manager, Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho​

Laura Booth, SVP, Total Rewards & People Insights, Tapestry | Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman

Craig Daniels, Director, Traditional Investments, Trinity Health

Carl Gagnon, Assistant Vice President, Global Retirement Programs, Unum Group

Plan Sponsor Registration

Only qualified defined contribution plan sponsors may register to attend this meeting, but there is no registration fee to attend for those who are qualified. If you are not a DC plan sponsor but are interested in learning more about joining our membership, please submit this form and a member of our team will be in touch.


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About the DC Institute
DC Institute

The Defined Contribution Institute is a private membership organization for the nation’s DC plan sponsors as well as supporting members from the industry’s leading asset management firms, providers, and consultants. Members and supporting members come together for meetings which foster idea exchange and the achievement of common goals. The environment at these events is collegial, collaborative and confidential in accordance with Chatham House Rules. Built by plan sponsors for plan sponsors, the agenda for each DC Institute meeting draws heavily on an incomparable well of industry insight contributed by our plan sponsor and expert attendees. Each program addresses the issues most relevant to the nation’s plans.


Four Seasons Hotel

120 East Delaware Place
Chicago, IL 60611
+1 312 280 8800

Located steps from the Magnificent Mile and North Michigan Avenue's best shopping — and just minutes from Chicago's business and financial centres. The Chicago Hotel's unrivalled guest-room views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline will leave you breathless.


For more information, please contact:

Jon Ljekocevic

Deputy Director, Investor Relations
+1 212 224 3479  

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