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View More Press Releases by NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

Press release:

NIPA Announces Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Education and Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients at the 2017NAFE

Issued by: NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

Date: June 1, 2017

Chicago, June 1, 2017 — The National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA), the only organization focused exclusively on providing resources for TPA business owners to successfully navigate the lifecycle of their business, announced the 2017 award recipients at the NIPA Annual Forum & Expo (NAFE) at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. On May 23, recipients of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017 Excellence in Education Award and 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Award were recognized during the annual awards ceremony.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a NIPA volunteer who has significantly contributed to the association and industry over several years.

  • Steven Hart, APR, CEBS, CMFC, CRS, is a TPA regional vice president for Voya Financial, covering the Midwest region.

    Steve is a long-time NIPA volunteer and has directly supported NIPA’s growth for more than 20 years. Steve was president and co-founder of NIPA’s Chicago Chapter in 1998 and currently serves on the board of the NIPA Great Lakes Chapter. Steve also served on the national NIPA board in various roles from 1999 to 2010, including vice president of education and president in 2005-2006.

The Excellence in Education Award recipient is chosen based on their substantial improvements and contributions to NIPA’s educational programs.
  • Ilene H. Ferenczy, J.D., CPC, APA, is the managing partner of Ferenczy Benefits Law Center, an employee benefits law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. She advises clients on all types of employee benefit plans, particularly focusing her practice on qualified retirement plans, benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions, and advising third-party administrators of employee benefit programs on technical and practice issues. Having become an attorney after more than 10 years as a third-party administrator, she brings a unique and practical approach to her advice.

    Illene is a nationally known speaker on benefits issues and has authored more than 100 articles for publications such as the Journal of Pension Benefits (where she is the co-editor-in-chief) and The 401(k) Advisor. Her book, Employee Benefits in Mergers and Acquisitions, an Aspen publication, is now in its 17th edition.

    Illene shows her support for education in NIPA in various ways. She is a reoccurring speaker at the NAFE, has presented webcasts for NIPA and presented at NIPA’s Business Management Conference (BMC).

The Outstanding Volunteer Award recipient is selected based on their notable contributions toward the association.
  • T.J. Orr, ERPA, QKA, QPA, is a partner at Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC, heading up its DC practice. Since joining the firm in 2002, T.J. has played a significant role in making Pinnacle a recognized leader in retirement plan design and administration. Her commitment to quality and streamlined 401(k) plan operations have equipped her with the skills and working knowledge that help ensure each Pinnacle client receives the personalized service they value and deserve. T.J. attended Loyola University of Chicago and currently serves on the board of directors of the Western Pension Benefits Council – Phoenix Chapter.

    T.J. has made significant contributions to NIPA. From serving on the BMC committee to support the association, her volunteerism has benefited countless NIPA members.

“The dedication and contributions of these award recipients have made a tremendous impact on NIPA and the industry,” said NIPA Executive Director Laura J. Rudzinski. “It was a pleasure to honor and recognized them in front of their peers at this year’s NAFE, and we thank them for their ongoing support of the association.”

For more information on NIPA and the NAFE, visit

About NIPA
The National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA) is a national association that serves TPA business owners by creating environments with world-class education, best practices exchanges and deep peer-to-peer relationships. As a result, our members’ revenue grows dramatically, processes are streamlined, productivity increases and life-long relationships are developed.

For more information, visit


View More Press Releases by NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

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