President, Great-West Retirement Services®
Charlie Nelson joined Great-West in 1983 and currently is the senior officer responsible for all aspects of the retirement business’s defined contribution and defined benefit programs. He oversees the government, healthcare, nonprofit, 401(k) and FASCore institutional lines of business. Nelson is responsible for the management of the business, including recordkeeping, administration, operations, marketing, sales, products, financial results and broker-dealer services. 401(k) Wire’s 2011 Most Influential ranking lists Nelson as the third most influential player in the 401(k) market. Nelson is a graduate of Whitman College with a degree in chemistry and economics. He was appointed to the Whitman College Board of Overseers in 2008. Professionally, he has completed numerous continuing education courses to further strengthen his position as an industry expert in retirement plan communication and administration.
Senior Vice President, Defined Contribution Markets
Chris Cumming heads several departments within Great-West Retirement Services. He is charged with growing the corporate 401(k) business at the larger end of the market and with overseeing all types of defined contribution plans, including 403(b)s, for the healthcare, church and education lines of business. Cumming also manages the marketing and request for proposal response teams. He has more than 30 years of experience in the retirement plan industry and holds Series 6 and 26 securities registrations. Cumming is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Miles Edwards is responsible for all of Great-West Retirement Services’ defined contribution plan administration and operations functions. He has served in this capacity for 14 years. Within Edwards’ responsibilities are the participant call center, plan sponsor account managers, transaction processing, plan implementation, plan compliance, financial control and institutional relationship management. Edwards also oversees Great-West Retirement Services’ operations in Milwaukee and Regina, Canada, and its defined benefit operations in Boston. He’s responsible for Orchard Trust Company’s operations as well. Prior to joining the organization, Edwards was with Deloitte & Touche for 12 years. He is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and Vanderbilt University.
Senior Vice President, Bank Services Group
Joe Kerrigan joined Great-West Retirement Services in 2006 and has more than 20 years of retirement experience within the banking industry. Kerrigan oversees the bank channel for Great-West Retirement Services while developing relationships with new banking partners and strengthening and expanding relationships with existing partners. Prior to joining Great-West, he was the vice president and national sales manager for retirement plan services at Fifth Third Bank. He is a graduate of Xavier University and holds Series 6, 26 and 63 securities registrations.
Senior Vice President, Executive Benefits Markets
Ron Laeyendecker’s primary responsibilities include business line management in the Executive Benefits Markets for Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. Laeyendecker graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1986 and joined Great-West as an actuarial assistant. He has over 20 years of experience in the life insurance markets, 17 of those directly working with the Executive Benefits Markets. He is a fellow in the Society of Actuaries (FSA), a registered principal and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
Senior Vice President, Government Markets
Gregg Seller is the senior officer responsible for managing Great-West Retirement Services’ business in the government market, where it ranks first in state government 457 plans and second in the overall government market when measured by plan participants. Seller is a member of the boards of directors of FASCore, GWFS Equities, Advised Assets Group and EMJAY Corporation, all of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in business and has been with Great-West since graduation in 1975. Seller is the co-editor of Focus on 457, a leading technical newsletter for governmental defined contribution plans that has been published since 1987. He has 35 years of experience in the governmental pension market, and is a founding member of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc. (NAGDCA).
Vice President, Client Relations
Stephanie Bendrick leads the national field service force for 401(k) at Great-West Retirement Services. She joined the organization in 1997 as a compliance analyst, after working for a third-party administrator firm and a trust company. After a series of promotions, Bendrick began to build a dedicated 401(k) client relationship team. Her career includes experience in compliance and plan design, new plan implementation, new sales underwriting, and field service. She received a bachelor’s degree in financial services from Wright State University. Bendrick also has an Accredited Pension Administrator designation through the National Institute of Pension Administrators and holds Series 6, 26 and 63 securities registrations.
Vice President, FASCore Administration
John Fellin has more than 20 years of experience in the retirement services industry. Since joining FASCore in 2004, he has been responsible for the institutional relationship management team as well as the mass conversion group. The institutional team manages key relationships with financial institutions and banks to provide private label recordkeeping services. Recently, his responsibilities expanded to include the government service team. Fellin attended La Salle University and has a degree in accounting. He also holds Series 6 and 26 securities registrations.
Vice President, Corporate 401(k) Market
Bill Harmon oversees the field distribution of the 401(k) product. Harmon joined Great-West in June 1988 and in those 20+ years has been in field sales, field sales management, and in his current position since 2002. He received his bachelor’s of business administration degree with an emphasis in marketing from Loyola Marymount University. He also holds Series 6, 26 and 63 securities registrations. Harmon serves on the board of directors for Adam’s Camp, a nonprofit organization that provides intensive therapy for children with special needs. Harmon and his family are also very involved in the Mile High Down Syndrome Association, Special Olympics and Junior Achievement.
Vice President, Advised Assets Group, LLC
Dave McLeod is the senior officer of Advised Assets Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. He joined the Investment Division of Great-West in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1985 and has held a number of positions in the investment area. McLeod is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, and is a Certified Management Accountant.
Mutual Fund Wholesaler
Mark Branish joined Great-West Retirement Services in 2009 and brings with him more than 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, specializing in the asset management field. He serves as the mutual fund wholesaler for Great-West Retirement Services, driving communications and sales efforts for the organization’s mutual fund product offerings. Branish is a graduate of the University of Denver where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management. He holds Series 7 and 63 securities registrations. He also is a Certified Investment Management Analyst and is actively involved in the Investment Management Consultants Association.
Senior Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Marilyn Collister is an employee benefits attorney specializing in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans. Her areas of expertise include the unique rules applicable to governmental and church plans, and tax-sheltered annuities. Collister is a contributing author of the 401(k) Answer Book published by Aspen Publishers, a division of Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, and co-editor of Focus on 457, a leading technical newsletter for governmental defined contribution plans that has been published since 1987. She is a member of and serves on the Legislative Committee for the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc. (NAGDCA). Collister has also served as a member of the Government Relations Committee and as chairwoman of the 403(b) Task Force of the Society of Professional Asset Managers and Recordkeepers (SPARK). Collister received the degrees of juris doctor and master of laws in taxation from the University of Denver College of Law.
Senior Director, National Regulatory Policy
Joan McDonagh is an ERISA attorney specializing in 401(k) plan operational and fiduciary issues. She joined EMJAY Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, in 1988. McDonagh received a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, in 1985. She is a member of the Society of Professional Asset Managers and Recordkeepers' (SPARK) Government Relations Committee and of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Managements' (DCIIA) Public Policy and Legal Committee. She is a co-author of the 401(k) Answer Book published by Aspen Publishers, a division of Wolters Kluwer Law and Business. She also authors the technical newsletters
401(k)omminique and Focus on 401(k) to help Great-West's 401(k) customers keep abreast of legal and regulatory developments affecting 401(k) plans.