NSSTA 2021 Annual Business Meeting & Conference
May 5-7, 2021

NSSTA 2021 Annual Business Meeting & Conference

(All Times Listed Are Eastern Time)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021:

2021 NSSTA Annual Business Meeting

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Welcome:

Eric Vaughn welcomes NSSTA members to the 2021 NSSTA Annual Business Meeting and introduces Michael Goodman

NSSTA President’s Remarks:

Michael Goodman, NFP Settlements

NSSTA Awards: 

NSSTA Leadership Award

NSSTA President’s Award

NSSTA BOD Service Awards

NSSTA Committee Reports: 

Education Committee: Jeff Klugerman

Innovation Committee:  Ann Marie VonBank

Legal Committee:  Steve Harris

Legs & Regs Committee:  Joe Loseman

Marketing Committee:  Ryan Christen Oliphant

Membership Committee: Paul Marshall

NSSTA PAC:  Colin Finn

NSSTA BOD Candidate Speeches

Special Annual Meeting Session: “New NSSTA Women’s Caucus”

Panelists:

Paula Rubinstein, NFP Settlements

Erin Eddy, Ringler

Christine Logan, Logan Settlements

2021 NSSTA Annual Business Meeting Adjourn:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021:

2021 NSSTA Annual Meeting

1:10 PM to 2:50 PM

Session #1:  Structured Settlement Industry Stakeholders Discussion:  “The Current Status and Future Expectations for the Settlement Industry” 

Session Description:  The National Structured Settlements Trade Association represents an impressive and dynamic collection of skilled and professional stakeholders—all working together to deliver to long-term financial security to personal injury claimants and their families.  This unique panel session will highlight the enormous range of skills and professional competence required to meet the ever more demanding responsibilities structured settlement consultants have to their clients.  Separate and aside, this panel session will focus on the current state of the settlement industry and what to expect for the rest of 2021.  For the very first time in NSSTA history, one panel session will feature industry leaders representing structured settlement consultants, life insurance companies, MSP Advisors, Trust companies and new, innovative products that compliment traditional structured settlement annuities. 

Moderators:  

Michael Goodman, NFP Structures

Eric Vaughn, NSSTA 

1st Stakeholder Discussion: Structured Settlement Annuities:

Panelists: 

Geoff Kissel, Pacific Life

Michelle Caine, Prudential

Jordan Bossler, American General

Eric Mikulaninec, USAA

John Arendt, Berkshire Hathaway

Betty Gregware, Mutual of Omaha

Jimmy Atkins, Independent Life

2nd Stakeholder Discussion:  Workers Comp/Professional Administration:

Panelists: 

Johnny Meyer, Ametros

Krista Johnson, Ametros

Joe Anderson, Medivest

3rd Stakeholder Discussion: Complimentary Products: 

Panelists: 

Greg Micoletti, American General: Interest Rate Linked Structured Settlement

Ravi Vaswani, Pacific Life: Index Linked Annuity Payment Adjustment

Henry Strong, JMW Settlements: Asura Trust

Serena Fitchard, Structures

4th Stakeholder Discussion: Trusts:

Panelists: 

Peter Wayne, Forge Advocacy Trust

Mary Hagan, NDC Advisors

Christi Fried, Continental Trust

Nathan Schnackenberg, Secured Futures

5th Stakeholder Discussion: Structured Settlement Consultants:

Panelists:

Chris Harlan, Summit Settlements

Dave Hickey, Brant Hickey Associates

Spooner Phillips, Forge Consulting

Buster Joyner, Atlas Settlements
Kathryn Criswell, Alliant-Mesirow

Jim Beatty, Arcadia
Cindy Chanley-Ringler

3:00 PM to 3:50 PM:

Session #2: “Critical Elements of a Successful Structured Settlement Conference in a Virtual World.”  

Session Description:  This session will highlight the “new normal” challenges and opportunities structured settlement consultants face during settlement conferences in today’s virtual meeting world.  This session will present members with a live, virtual settlement conference with a focus on challenges facing both plaintiff and defense counsel and plaintiff, defense structured settlement consultants and the Mediator.  The session will explore how counsel and consultants work together in a virtual platform to address a complex fact pattern and reach a settle in a personal injury case.

Moderator: Connie Klingler, Alliant-Mesirow

Panelists:

Christine Logan, Logan Settlements

Len Milcowitz, Milcowitz & Lyons, PA

Anne Marie VonBank, Ringler

John Stanford, Atlas Settlements

Kelly Ramsdale, Summit Settlements

Day One Adjourn:

Thursday, May 6, 2021:

2021 NSSTA Annual Conference

11:00 AM to 11:50 AM:

Session #3: Annuitant Story:  “Fourteen Years Post-Settlement:  The Harmons’ Personal Journey.”  

Session Description:  During this session Kris and Kevin Harmon will tell their story.   Their daughter, Perri Harmon was born with cerebral palsy.  They litigated and eventually settled their medical malpractice case in 2007.  During the question and answer period led by Michael Goodman, the Harmon’s will discuss various aspects of the settlement process.   They established a special needs trust and structured settlement for their daughter.   They will discuss the mediation process and its aftermath.   It has been fourteen years since their settlement.  They can now look back and provide advice to lawyers  and consultants about what was successful and what they would change with hindsight.  The Harmon’s story will make you proud to be a structured settlement consultant. 

Moderator:  Michael Goodman

Speakers: Kris and Kevin Harmon

12:00 PM to 12:50 PM: 

Session #4:  Special Keynote Presentation:  “The Importance of Maintaining Your Mental Health and Wellness”  Dr. Lucy McBride

Session Description:  We all know how important it is to stay physically fit, even if we don’t always do things like eat right and exercise regularly. However, many of us underestimate just how important mental health is to our overall wellness. Our emotional state of being influences so much of our lives. When we have a strong hold on our state of mental health, we can deal with everyday problems better. We’re more resilient and have closer relationships. Good mental health may even have an influence on our physical well-being. Taking care of your mental health can even benefit your financial health. It’s not unusual for individuals who suffer from undiagnosed and treated mental illness to fall into poverty. Reasons for arriving at such a state can include leaves of absence, losing a job or having to depend on disability income, among other things.  Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. Your mental state plays a strong role in how you feel and function physically. High emotional stress and other fallout from mental health conditions can lead to significant medical issues. Problems you may face due to an untreated condition can include lowered immune function and poor sleep, but research has also shown a connection to increased risk of cancer and heart disease, among other serious diseases.  Simply put, you’ll live longer and be happier when you care for your mental health needs. When mental issues are controlled, health risks go down. You’ll also be able to work more productively, interact in healthy ways with others, be more resilient and maintain emotional stability.

1:00 PM to 1:50 PM:  

Session #5: “A New Year, a New Administration and a New Congress—The Disability Rights Agenda in America.” 

Session Description:  Five of the most accomplished leaders in the disability rights community will provide our members with a comprehensive overview of the major agenda objectives of organizations such as the American Association of People with Disabilities in dealing with the 117th Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration.  This Panel Session will focus on securing the following key objectives for people with disabilities:  1). Ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities in federal policy development, 2). Enforce the civil rights of people with disabilities,  3). Promote efforts to guarantee access to high quality and affordable health care, 4). Expand employment opportunities, 5). Ensure access to educational programs and 6). Expand access to affordable housing, transportation and assistive technologies. 

Welcome Remarks:  Ted Kennedy, Jr., Chair of the AAPD 

Moderator:  Maria Town, AAPD President

Panelists:  

John Register, The New Mindset Warrior

Fred Maahs, Founder and President,  FJM Solutions 

Joyce Bender,  President, Bender Communications

2:00 PM to 2:50 PM:

Session #6  “ABLE Accounts: An Opportunity, a Problem and a Proposed Solution.” 

Session Description:  Since the ABLE Act created IRC 529A in 2014, ABLE Accounts have become popular financial and settlement planning tools for qualifying disabled individuals. Structured settlements would seem to represent a perfect potential funding source for ABLE accounts. Unfortunately, because no specific legislative or regulatory authority currently exists, “direct funding” of structured settlements into an ABLE account could disqualify a beneficiary from receiving SSI, Medicaid, and other means-tested public benefits. To address this issue, NSSTA has formed a Task Force and forged a partnership with the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST).  This session will brief NSSTA members on the current ABLE market, the legislative and regulatory challenges our industry faces, and our strategy to solve the “direct funding” problem.

Moderator:  Joe Loseman, Ringler

Panelists: 

Pat Hindert, Independent Life

Ken Brown, Former Assistant Director, Social Security Administration

John McCulloch, Arcadia

Eric Ochmanek, Office of the Ohio State Treasurer

Doug Jackson, Director, STABLE Funds

3:00 PM to 3:50 PM:

Session #7:  “Beyond Social Media: Marketing Your Business”

Session Description:  Everyone knows that social media can increase your business brand’s reach to consumers. In the world of B2B, it’s not just about Tweets, Instagram memes or TicTok videos. It’s about educating and building relationships. So, what’s working and what’s new?  This panel will highlight examples that drive engagement with the right audience to help build your business.

Moderators:  Lu Ann Reeb, Boston Media Consultants
Jim Rothwell, Pacific Life

Chris Chan – Ringler

Paulette Jacobsmeier – Arcadia Settlements 

Dan Finn- Brant Hickey & Associates

Gina McCall- AIG

Adjourn Day Two

Friday, May 7, 2021:

2021 NSSTA Annual Conference

11:00 AM to 11:05 AM:  NSSTA BOD Election Announcement

11:05 AM to 12:30 PM:

Session #8 “Ethical Behavior: The Foundation of Structured Settlements”

Session Description:  Almost every company now has a business ethics program. In part, that’s because technology and digital communication have made it easier to identify and publicize ethical missteps. To avoid the negative implications, companies are devoting more resources to business ethics. In one survey of accountants, for example, 85 percent said they believe the importance of business ethics will continue to grow in the next three years. In addition to establishing formal programs, companies are creating ethical workplaces by hiring the right talent. “High integrity and honesty” is the second-most important skill for business leaders, according to a recent survey. This session will focus on the fact that today’s business professionals 

must understand the link between business ethics and business success.  By definition, business ethics refers to the standards for morally right and wrong conduct in business. Law partially defines the conduct, but “legal” and “ethical” aren’t necessarily the same. Business ethics enhances the law by outlining acceptable behaviors beyond government control.

Panelists:  Eric Vaughn, NSSTA

Len Blonder, Arcadia

Mike Casey, Ringler

12:40 PM to 1:25 PM:

Session #9:  NSSTA CSSC and MSSC Programs:  “Professional Educational Certification and Professional Ethical Standards for the 21st Century.”

Session Description:   “Where in the World are the CSSC and MSSC Programs?”  This is the question the CSSC/MSSC Committee is working to address.  After nearly 30 years with the University of Notre Dame, NSSTA’s CSSC and MSSC programs are looking for a new home as the concept of Executive Education Certification evolves nationally.   This dedicated Committee is tirelessly researching new University locations for the training and continued education of the structured settlement industry’s coveted Certified Structured Settlement Consultant® and the Master’s Certificate in Structured Settlement Consulting® designations.  In addition to scouting new locations, the CSSC/MSSC Committee is also reinventing the educational portion of both programs based our continuous improvement model.  The Committee’s goal is to make sure that the education received from these programs is timely, relevant and useful to the professionals in our industry.

Panelists:  

Chris Shumate, Arcadia

Karen Meyers, Little Meyers

Jordan Bossler, American General

Geoff Hunt, Ringler

1:30 PM to 2:20 PM:

Session #10: “Life Company Portfolio Managers Speak”

Session Description:  Life Company Portfolio Managers: Insurance Industry Forecasts and Forecasting:  This session will allow members hear directly from the life company investment professionals as they discuss the current rate environment and factors that may influence the near term economic future.  This session will also focus on current market conditions and factors that are influencing fixed income yields. 

Moderator:  Ryan Jandreau, Arcadia

Panelists:

Brian Curran, Prudential Global Portfolio Management Director

Christina He, Pacific Life Portfolio Manager

Jim Stevens, MetLife Portfolio Manager

2:25 PM to 3:15 PM

Session #11: Congressional Address: “Challenges Facing the 117th Congress on Capitol Hill and Across America”

Senator Rob Portman, R- Ohio (Invited) 

Congressman Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts (Invited)
Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas (Invited)

3:20 PM to 4:00 PM

Session #12:  The NSSTA Board of Directors: “Working Together We Will Enhance and Grow the Structured Settlement Industry”

Panelists:

Kerri Poe, Atlas Settlements 

Jeanette Hernandez, Ringler

Tacker LeCarpentier, Summit Settlements 

Adjourn: