Stay up to date on important industry topics with these helpful classes and webinars.
Speaker Bios
Elizabeth Allen, J.D., RPA, GBA
Vice President, Benefits Compliance
Elizabeth joined NFP in June 2014. As part of the Benefits Compliance team, she advises employers and brokers on employee benefits compliance issues. Prior to joining NFP, Elizabeth spent five years as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. As an investigator, she reviewed health and welfare and pension plans for compliance with ERISA, and she worked with employers, service providers and other regulatory agencies to bring employee benefit plans into compliance. She also served as the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) coordinator from 2012-2014. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She’s also a member of the State Bar of Texas.
Jeni Aris, J.D., PHR
Regional HR Business Partner (HRBP), NFP – Midwest
Jeni Aris serves as both an internal HRBP to NFP offices across the Midwest and a strategic HR consultant and expert in the HR services space. Prior to joining NFP, Jeni’s experience over the past 12 years included general practice and employment law; sales and operations management in the fitness industry with Curves and Equinox fitness clubs; management and employee development, wellness, benefits and compliance management with Educational Alliance in New York City; and human capital management consulting to business executives with a large HR/payroll organization. Jeni is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
K.C. Barner, J.D.
Assistant Vice President and Counsel, Benefits Compliance
K.C. joined NFP in December 2014. As part of the NFP Benefits Compliance team, K.C. advises employers and brokers on employee benefits compliance issues. Prior to joining NFP, K.C. worked as an insurance regulatory attorney with Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., where he provided legal advice related to insurance company formations, admissions, product filings, and mergers and acquisitions to clients ranging from small start-up companies to multi-national financial service providers. He also practiced corporate and contract law with a strong focus on legal services related to both life/health and property/casualty insurance regulatory matters. He has handled various multistate research projects on insurance, compliance and corporate governance issues. K.C. holds a bachelor’s in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. He’s a member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association and the Austin Bar Association.
Sarah Borders
VP, NFP Benefits Compliance
Sarah is the Assistant Vice President of NFP Benefit Compliance . As part of NFP’s Benefits Compliance team, Sarah advises employers and brokers on employee benefits compliance and regulatory issues. Prior to joining NFP, Sarah worked in the Austin area on the broker side serving employee benefit clients for more than 10 years. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of the Incarnate Word, a Masters of Business Administration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, life & health license with the Texas Department of Insurance, and several professional designations in employee benefits. She’s also a member of the Legislative Council for the Texas Association of Health Underwriters and is on the Board of Directors of the Austin Association of Health Underwriters.
Pat Bradley
Principal & Account Manager, LTCI Partners
Pat has responsibility for accounts affiliated with NFP, LTCI Partners’ parent company. He’s also the company’s Compliance officer and heads up internal training for LTCI Partners associates. Pat’s expertise in long-term care insurance encompasses both traditional and the rapidly growing asset-based product category. He’s a certified trainer for the Financial Services Specialist programs that cover insurance products, financial sales training, planning fundamentals and key industry products and services.
Jill Brooking, CEBS
CEBS, Vice President, Benefits Compliance
Jill has been with NFP since 2005, advising employers and brokers on compliance issues related to employee benefits and human resources matters. She has over 15 years of experience in the employee benefits and insurance industry and is familiar with all aspects of it, having worked for United Healthcare on the carrier side, the Texas Department of Insurance on the regulatory side and in human resources and benefits administration on the employer side. She is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS).
Steve Cain, Principal and National Sales Leader
Long-Term Care Solutions, NFP
Steve has over 16 years of long-term care insurance industry experience, from retail sales to working for a TPA to leading sales and distribution efforts at a national employee benefits consulting firm. With experience that ranges from the home office and retail sales to the brokerage market, Steve has valuable insight on all aspects of the industry. He’s been quoted in USA Today and Wall Street Journal. He’s also authored many articles in publications such as Financial Planning, InvestmentNews and National Underwriter.
Chase Cannon, J.D., LL.M.
VP, Counsel, Deputy CCO, NFP Benefits Compliance
Chase joined NFP in 2010. He currently works with firms, employers and brokers to help solve their employee benefits-related compliance, regulatory and legal issues. Prior to joining NFP, Chase worked as an attorney at the IRS, Office of Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C., where he advised agents and attorney litigators and drafted taxpayer guidance, including federal income tax regulations and private letter rulings, on issues relating to health and welfare benefits plans. He also spent two years as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Stephen Swift of the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C. Chase holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Utah, a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, and he’s a member of the State Bar of Maryland.
Mary Chaput
CFO and Chief Compliance Officer, Clearwater Compliance
Mary serves as chief financial officer and chief compliance officer for Clearwater Compliance, a company that develops solutions, software and services to help organizations identify and manage their information security and HIPAA compliance risks. She oversees the protection of 500 terabytes of health data for over 40 million Americans. Her 35 years of international and domestic business experience spans the health care, information services, manufacturing and venture capital consulting industries. A graduate of the General Electric Financial Management Program, Mary earned her M.A. in mathematics from Russell Sage College and MBA from State University of New York, Albany.
Roberta Chevlowe
Senior Counsel, Proskauer
Roberta Karen Chevlowe, a senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department, practices in the field of employee benefits law. Roberta counsels employers and other benefit plan sponsors on a broad spectrum of issues relating to the establishment, administration and continued legal compliance of all types of employee benefit plans. She advises clients regularly with regard to ERISA’s reporting and disclosure requirements and fiduciary duty provisions, health care reform compliance, COBRA administration, plan qualification issues arising under the IRC and the requirements imposed by numerous other federal and state laws affecting employee benefits. In the past few years, Roberta has spent a great deal of time advising clients on benefits issues relating to domestic partners and same-sex spouses of employees. Roberta also frequently assists clients in connection with employment agreements and severance arrangements, and in drafting employee communication materials. She provides guidance in connection with plan audits, investigations and lawsuits involving benefit plan participants, fiduciaries and regulatory agencies. Best known for her work in COBRA compliance and administration, Roberta also is a co-author of The COBRA Handbook, a major legal treatise on COBRA, and has advised clients on virtually every conceivable COBRA issue that might arise for an employer or benefit plan administrator.
Ford Darger, J.D., LL.M.
Vice President and Counsel, Legal & Compliance
Ford, part of the NFP Benefits Compliance team since 2012, advises employers on benefits compliance issues including issues arising under cafeteria plans, COBRA, FMLA, ERISA and health care reform.. Prior to joining NFP, Ford worked as a senior associate at Ernst & Young LLP in New York City. He was a part of the Transaction Tax team and specialized in state and local tax due diligence. In addition, he assisted high net worth individuals through New York state income tax audits. Ford holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in economics, a Juris Doctor from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of New York.
John Deem, CEBS
Vice President of Business Development, NFP/Pontomac Basin Group
John Deem leads a team of licensed insurance professionals who consult with employers regarding all aspects of their employee benefit plans. He is an expert on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. John assists NFP Potomac Basin Group's clients with understanding the health care reform law, evaluating the law's impact on their businesses, and developing strategies for navigating through the law's complexities. He joined NFP/Potomac Basin Group in 2008 as an employee benefits consultant. In May of 2011, he received the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. In January 2012, John was promoted to director of Business Development and, in May 2013, he received the title of vice president of Business Development. John attended University of Maryland's College of Business and Management, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance.

As one of the largest full-service insurance agencies in Maryland, NFP/Potomac Basin Group serves clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and is wholly owned by NFP, the eighth largest insurance brokerage in the country.
Laura Fant
Associate, Proskauer
Laura Fant is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Disability, Accommodations & Leave Management Group. She frequently counsels on matters involving the ADA and FMLA, including disability accommodation in the workplace and public accommodations. She is experienced in conducting accessibility audits and providing ADA and accessibility training for clients in a variety of sectors that include retail, sports and not-for-profit. She also handles general employment counseling, as well as wage and hour, discrimination, and class and collective action litigation. Laura serves as secretary of the New York City Bar Association Disability Law Committee and is a contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace Blog. Before Proskauer, Laura was Assistant General Counsel to the City of New York's Office of Labor Relations, law clerk to Judge Jose L. Fuentes of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division and a judicial intern to Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In law school, she served on the Seton Hall Law Review executive board as symposium editor. Laura is vice president of the board of directors of Jersey City Ties, a not-for-profit organization based in Jersey City, NJ, that provides young professionals with networking and volunteer opportunities in the community.
Melinda Figeley, SPHR
Vice President, HR Services, NFP
Melinda Figeley, SPHR is vice president of NFP HR Services, which partners with firms and clients to provide a broad range of cost-effective human resources consulting, support and project management services. Melinda has over 20 years of human resources, financial management and leadership experience in a variety of industries, including insurance, financial services, technology, health care and manufacturing. She has also served as vice president of HR for companies such as Broadwing Communications and RenewData Corp. In her most recent position prior to joining NFP in 2013, she was vice president and consulting principal for Human Performance Strategies, an international management consulting firm based in Austin, Texas.
Sarah Harrington
PHR, NFP Corporate Services
Sarah Harrington is a regional human resources business partner of NFP HR Services, which partners with firms and clients to provide cost-effective human resources consulting, support and project management services. Sarah has over 15 years of human resources experience in a variety of industries, including insurance, hospitality, technology, transportation and manufacturing.
Michelle Kauppila
Associate, Greenberg Traurig
Michelle has more than 15 years of employee benefits experience and focuses her practice on employee benefits and compensation plans. She has broad experience in employee benefits, including designing and drafting tax-qualified retirement plans, welfare plans and cafeteria plans; drafting employee communications, non-discrimination and coverage testing for retirement and welfare plans; plan and trust administration and reconciliation; performing compliance reviews of tax-qualified plans; reviewing third-party service provider agreements and providing employee benefits support in corporate transactions. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Michelle worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the global human resource solutions practice. She also spent time working for a highly-regarded boutique benefits/ERISA law firm.
Karen Kirkpatrick
Senior Compliance Advisor, Infinisource
In the 15 years Karen Kirkpatrick has worked with Infinisource, she has gained a national reputation for being one of the foremost experts on human resources (HR) compliance, COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA, consumer-driven health plan options, health care reform and other benefits laws. During her tenure at Infinisource, she has conducted more than 1,000 seminars, webinars and executive briefings on numerous federal insurance laws, human resource compliance and consumer-driven health care. She has written or contributed to several publications, including HIU, the magazine of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU); Thompson Publications; and the National Health Information's Consumer Driven Health Care. She also speaks at national and regional conferences, including NAHU and Society for Human Resource Management events on benefits- and HR-related compliance topics. Karen brings Infinisource the valuable expertise of many years of marketing and professional development experience with several prominent financial, insurance and restaurant institutions, including Northwestern Mutual, Shearson Lehman and DFR.
Ekaterina Kuznetsova
Assistant Vice President and Counsel, Unum
Ekaterina (Katya) Kuznetsova joined Unum, the leading provider of disability benefits in the U.S., in 2006. Since then, she has served as legal counsel for a number of operational areas, providing extensive research and advice in ERISA, tax, insurance law and regulatory matters, including producer licensing, contracting, compensation and disclosure, and third-party administrator compliance. Currently, she serves as a member of Unum's Business Operations Law Group, which provides creative and solutions-based legal support to Unum's sales, service and underwriting organizations and shares its knowledge and experience with Unum's external partners, including customers and prospects as well as their brokers and consultants. Prior to her in-house position at Unum, Katya served as a contract attorney for Unum's privacy area and consulted for the international energy and utilities practice of a leading law firm in the Portland, ME, area. Katya holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Southern Maine and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.
Elizabeth Patterson
Managing Consultant
Elizabeth is an integral part of Charon Planning, with over 20 years of experience in the employee benefits industry. A member of the management team, she has oversight of the firm’s compliance and communications departments as well as much of the employee benefits consulting practice. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker regarding the topic of health care reform, at events all over the east coast, including the Career Services department at Arcadia University, PEBA, SHRM and The LTC HR Roundtable. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Tech and a Master of Arts in English from Arcadia University. Elizabeth joined Charon Planning in 1999.
Mark Rieder
SVP, Benefits Integration Group, NFP
Mark joined Benefits Partners in January 2011 as senior vice president of the newly established Benefits Integration Group. The Benefits Integration Group assists firms and their customers with the assessment, recommendation and implementation of Web-based solutions that maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the benefits and HR process. Prior to joining Benefits Partners, Mark spent the previous nine out of his 15 years in the employee benefits industry as CEO of an NFP owned firm. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in finance with an emphasis in economics from The Pennsylvania State University and currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife and three children.
Geoff Seibel
Actuarial Services
Joining NFP in 2012, Geoff provides actuarial services, including analysis and valuations of employee benefit plans. Geoff is an actuarial analyst and is working toward completing the requirements to become an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA). Prior to NFP, Geoff was a middle school and high school math teacher and coach and owner/vice president of Advanced Benefit Solutions, a small employer benefits agency. He has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Texas State University, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Suzanne Spradley
Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, NFP
Suzanne oversees Benefits Compliance at NFP, which provides consulting services on all aspects of employee benefits compliance to NFP Benefits Partners firms and their clients. Suzanne and her team continually monitor regulatory and legislative developments to provide compliance updates in the form of white papers, biweekly newsletters, webinars and speaking engagements. Additionally, they design and develop compliance tools to assist employers and plan sponsors with maintaining compliance in an ever-evolving regulatory environment. Prior to joining NFP, Suzanne worked in the Health Law and Insurance Regulatory sections of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm. She attended the Southern Methodist University School of Law, graduating cum laude in 2000. She was awarded a Rising Star designation in the "Super Lawyers" edition of Texas Monthly magazine.
Dan Taylor
Senior Relationship Manager, Infinisource
Dan Taylor is well versed in employee benefit administration and compliance issues. In the seventeen years that Dan has worked at Infinisource, he has conducted hundreds of compliance training sessions for both human resources and insurance professionals. He has also written articles for several publications. As a senior compliance advisor and relationship manager, Dan has many years of sales experience and extensive product knowledge. He is responsible for presenting seminars and webinars that educate brokers and employers on complex health insurance and human resource issues. He also assists in presenting and selling all of the Infinisource solutions — Human Capital Management, COBRA, HIPAA, FSA and HRA administration, HSAs, online enrollment and eligibility products, and payroll. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Dan lives in Coldwater, MI, with his wife, Sheila, and their two children.
Jessica Watts, PHR, MS HRM
Vice President, NFP Benefits Compliance
Jessica joined NFP in 2009, providing compliance and regulatory support for all aspects of employee benefits compliance, including health and welfare and retirement. A contributing author of the biweekly Compliance Corner newsletter, she regularly presents on employee benefits matters, including health care reform. Previously, she administered and performed nondiscrimination testing for qualified retirement plans. Jessica has a Bachelor of Business Administration in financial services and planning from Baylor University, and a Master of Science in human resources management from Tarleton State University. Jessica served as president of the Westlake Speakers chapter of Toastmaster's International and serves on the Legislative Council for the National Association of Health Underwriters, where she co-chairs the Compliance Corner working group.
Ali Winslow
Director of Employee Health Promotion and Productivity, NFP Corporate Services (NY)
Ali Winslow came to NFP Corporate Services (NY), LLC in the fall of 2012 and has been working in the field of health and wellness since 1996. Her career began at Fitness Facilities in the New England area, helping individuals achieve their weight management and fitness goals. Ali established the EMPOWER team at NFP Corporate Services and works on wellness strategy and program implementation, particularly with clients in health care and higher education. She also directs the Norwell office's internal wellness program, which was recognized as the area's 2013 Healthiest Employer by the Boston Business Journal. Ali has a Bachelor of Arts in human biology from MIT, a Master of Science in nutritional anthropology from Harvard, and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Sciences in personal training and integrated flexibility.
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National Financial Partners (NFP) and its subsidiaries do not provide legal or tax advice. Compliance, regulatory and related content is for general informational purposes and is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. You should consult an attorney or tax professional regarding the application or potential implications of laws, regulations or policies to your specific circumstances.

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