2017 Conference Speakers

JASON VITUG
Author and Founder of Phroogal

The 2017 keynote speaker and founder of the financial education start-up and lifestyle brand Phroogal, Jason Vitug strives to empower millennials to live their dream lifestyles through financial knowledge. 

Jason is a bestselling author, money blogger, millennial topic expert, motivational speaker, and social impact entrepreneur. He is best known as a financial motivator and lifestyle engineer helping millennials achieve their life and financial goals through financial storytelling.

Jason promotes ‘The Smile Lifestyle’ movement, an online and social community of millennials who are living and making informed financial decisions to stop wasting money, and focus on the things that matter. The movement is based on a belief that experiential and purposeful living can be achieved through sound financial decision making.

In 2015, Jason created the award winning project – The Road to Financial Wellness – a cross country and social campaign to break the taboo about money and empower a generation. To date, the road trip team has successfully completed 91 events attended by 14,600+ people in over 80 locations across 46 states.

In 2016, Jason wrote You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life which is an international bestseller. The book redefines the millennial mantra into a process of money mindfulness that stresses the importance of sound financial decision making to create a lifetime of moments.

DIANE OAKLEY 
Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security

In January 2011, Diane Oakley was named executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. With the Board of Directors, Oakley leads the organization’s strategic planning, research, and education initiatives.

Before joining NIRS, Diane served as senior policy advisor to Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who represented the state of North Dakota.  There, she worked in a bi-partisan fashion with diverse groups to achieve policy solutions. Oakley played a key staff role in formulating legislative strategy on a range of tax, pension, Social Security, financial services, and workforce issues.

Prior to her service on Capitol Hill, Diane held leadership positions with TIAA-CREF.   During her 28-year tenure with the organization, she held a number of management, public policy, and technical positions, including vice president for special consulting services and vice president for associations and government relations.

JASON ASHLOCK
Founding partner, Frontier Press

The shared architecture of our lives is story. As leaders and teammates, salespeople and customers, creators of strategy and engineers of comebacks, we are first and foremost authors of stories. In all of our endeavors, across our pasts and presents and futures, we build meaning from the narratives we shape and share.

Jason brings to life the powerful logic of storytelling for ourselves, our tribes, our companies, our partnerships, and our customers. Explore how customer service transformation in companies around the world is being driven by fresh understanding of a customers' narrative experience. Discover how sales teams across industries are fashioning reinvigorated strategies with storytelling at their core. Learn how leaders and change agents of all kinds are winning influence and increasing stakeholder buy-in through the precise use of narrative logic. And learn how to surface and broadcast stories of your own to connect, motivate and persuade.

JASON HINER
Global Editor in Chief, TechRepublic

Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet at CBS Interactive, Jason Hiner is an award-winning journalist and editor. 

Passionate about the future of media and its role in society, Jason is a digital media innovator thrilled to live during "the greatest revolution in communications in human history."   

Jason has written in-depth features about Apple's first employee Bill Fernandez, Israel's cybersecurity juggernaut, Ford's rise as a tech company, and the emerging revolution in 3D bioprinting. He also knows a thing or two about Indiana basketball as a journalist and historian of IU basketball. 

RUSS RHEA
Vice President of Media Services, Hahn Public Communications

A graduate of the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Russ is one of Texas’ most effective media relations practitioners. His 20 years of experience in covering multiple sides of public issues as a reporter has equipped him to gather opinions of community leaders and stakeholder groups and identify potential issues. Russ’ expertise in media relations has connected Hahn Public clients with publications such as Business Week and The New York Times, as well as broadcast networks including CNN and NBC.

Russ also helps clients get the most out of their media interviews by leading Hahn Public’s well-recognized spokesperson message training workshops. Russ travels throughout the country and conducts more than 100 media training workshops per year for clients such as Whole Foods Market, Tesoro, ONEOK, Whataburger, and Baylor Scott & White Healthcare. Russ also oversees the firm’s’ video production and interactive media department and has produced award-winning video news releases and other video projects for clients used for marketing and internal relations.

In Addition:

Dianne Patrick of the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association presents InFRE pre-conference session entitled Fundamentals of Investing - CRC 2
Bobbie O'Neil of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System provides a Member Showcase on Customized Generational Communication
Robert Klausner, Esq. provides the national Pension Case Law Update
Tom Lussier offers The Washington Update
NPEA member systems share best practices and programs in breakout sessions