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Featured Speakers

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Susan K. Neely
President & Chief Executive Officer, American Council of Life Insurers

State of the Industry

Susan K. Neely is President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), whose mission is to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. ACLI’s member companies represent 95 percent of industry assets and provide financial security products and services to 90 million families.  In her role, Neely has forged groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships on tax and retirement security policy, including passage of the SECURE Act in 2019, the first retirement security legislation passed in a decade. Under her leadership, ACLI launched the Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative to tackle issues like addressing systemic inequality and closing savings gaps. Life insurers are championing the adoption of enhanced protections that act in consumers’ best interest.  Neely is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in association leadership. She is a two-time trade association CEO of the year, one of Washingtonian’s “most influential people” and “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.” A native of Iowa, Neely holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and French civilization from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. She is the mother of two adult children, Eve and Ben.

Greg Heidrich
Chief Executive Officer, Society of Actuaries

SOA Leadership Insights

Greg Heidrich has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) since 2007. He serves as chief executive for the organization and provides management oversight and direction to the full range of the Society’s activities.  Before joining the SOA, he served as Senior Vice President, Policy Development and Research, for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). At PCI, he worked with member insurers to develop public policy positions and research on issues facing the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry. He began his career in 1983 with the Alliance of American Insurers, serving as staff economist and director of research before serving in a variety of management roles. From 2011- 2017, Greg served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Portico Benefit Services, a non-profit organization providing employee benefits for employees nationwide of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). During his term on the Portico Board, he served as Chair of the Investment and Executive Committees and as Board Chair from October 2015 – 2017.  Greg currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association Forum of Chicagoland as Secretary-Treasurer and is a member of the Key Professional Associations and Key Global Associations Committees of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).  Greg earned his MA-Economics from the University of Chicago in 1983 and his BA- Economics (Highest Honors) from the University of Oklahoma in 1981.

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Donna Brazile
Veteran Democratic Political Strategist, Adjunct Professor, Author

General Session: Keynote Speaker: Fireside Chat with Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile is a veteran political strategist, Senior Advisor at Purple Strategies, New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today, The Hill and theGrio. She became the first African American woman to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, running the campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.  She previously served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.  She is a current member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.  She is author of the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics and the 2017 New York Times Bestseller Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump In The White House. She is a co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, which won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction. Ms. Brazile is a contributor to the recently published 400 Souls:  A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. She serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and served as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University and as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. She has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics. She is the proud recipient of more than ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater Louisiana State University. In October 2017, Ms. Brazile was the recipient of the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in African American studies.  Ms. Brazile was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Program, Good Morning America (2016-2017) in connection with her work with ABC and she was a member of the Peabody Award-winning “Best Political Team on Television” on CNN during the 2008 election cycle. She moonlights as an actress and is especially honored to have made three cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife, and two cameo appearances on Netflix’s series House of Cards. She also appeared as herself on BET's Being Mary Jane. Most recently she played herself in the Zack Snyder film Army of the Dead. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.

Mariana Gomez-Vock
Senior Vice President of Policy Development, American Council of Life Insurers

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Mariana Gomez-Vock is Senior Vice President of Policy Development. In her role, Mariana provides strategic guidance and oversight of a variety of public policy issues, with a special focus on financial regulatory issues and reinsurance. Her leadership and subject matter expertise were critical as ACLI worked to achieve group capital regulatory frameworks at the state, federal and international level that preserved life insurers’ ability to provide American families with long-term financial protection and retirement securities products. Mariana has represented the life insurance industry at Congressional hearings and appeared before a variety of standard setting bodies, at the state, federal, and international levels.

Prior to joining ACLI, Mariana served as counsel at a trade association representing the 100 largest financial services firms in the United States and as a government relations staffer for a large property-casualty insurer.

 

A California native, Mariana earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley and her law degree at American University. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her family.

 

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Dale Hall
Managing Director of Research, Society of Actuaries

Welcome and Opening Remarks

R. Dale Hall, FSA, CERA, MAAA, CFA is Managing Director of Research for the Society of Actuaries in Schaumburg, Illinois.  In his role, Dale coordinates the SOA's strategic research partnerships, oversees SOA practice research and experience studies, and directs the SOA's data-driven research initiatives.  He is a frequent speaker at insurance and retirement industry meetings, including presentations to the actuarial task forces of the NAIC and highlighting the breadth of SOA research to international audiences. Dale has appeared on behalf of the SOA in a variety of media outlets including coverage on C-SPAN and National Geographic's BREAKTHROUGH television series, and hosts the weekly Society of Actuaries Research Insights Podcast.  Prior to joining the SOA, Dale spent over 20 years in the US insurance industry, and was an active volunteer for the SOA, AAA and ACLI actuarial committees.

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