Discovering More About Alliance Benefit Group, ABG Retirement Plan Services
Blossom is president and CEO of ABG Retirement Plan Services, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, with branch offices in Chicago, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin and Sister Bay, Wisconsin. The firm serves more than 500 employer sponsored retirement plans with nearly $3 billion dollars in retirement plan assets.
John has been in the benefits field over 40 years. He is an MSPA - Member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA). He is a CLU and Life Member of the life insurance industry's Million Dollar Round Table. He is a founder of Retirement Advisors and Designers of America (RADA) a resource-sharing group of retirement plan professionals with a history of meeting for over thirty-five years.
Blossom earned the Professional Plan Consultant™ (PPC™) designation in 2006 through Financial Service Standards, LLC. In October, 2009 Blossom successfully completed the Cash Balance Consultant Certification Program and was granted the designation of Cash Balance Consultant (CBC). In April, 2012 Blossom earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation from Fiduciary360. The AIF® designation certifies formal knowledge in investment fiduciary responsibility.
Showing his commitment to continuing education, Blossom completed the ASPPA PFC-1 and PFC-2 courses in late 2013 and demonstrated his competency in a proctored exam to receive the Certified Plan Fiduciary Adviser (CPFA), formerly the Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC), designation from ASPPA.
Blossom is certified as a Registered Fiduciary™ by DALBAR, Inc. The Registered Fiduciary™ (RF™) designation identifies qualified financial professionals as knowledgeable fiduciaries that have achieved pertinent educational qualifications and licenses, learned required skills, and pass an annual background check.
John served as a member of the Steering Committee of the Society of Plan Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK), and The Charles Schwab Trust & Custody Advisory Board. He is a member of the Council of Independent 401(k) Recordkeepers (CIkR), working with retirement plan regulators and congressional legislative leaders.
Blossom attended the University of Colorado, majoring in economics and finance and earned the Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation in January 1995. He has served as a faculty member of several retirement plan education programs and as a speaker at many national and regional industry events.
Linda B. Blossom, AIFA®, PPC™, C(k)P® Executive Vice President of Investment Services, Chief Compliance Officer
Linda has over 30 years experience in the qualified retirement plan arena having started her career with the firm in 1974. Her past experience has ranged from defined contribution plan design to Participant communication services and now, investment services. She is a member of several profession/industry related organizations including Retirement Administrators and Designers of America (RADA), Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA), SPARK (Society of Professional Asset Managers and Record Keepers) and National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). She is a member of the firm's corporate Board of Directors serving as its Secretary and serves as Recording Secretary on the Board of Alliance Benefit Group, LLC (national organization).
Linda oversees the firm's experienced Investment Services Team as they assist defined contribution plan clients in meeting their fiduciary responsibilities to the Plan and Participants through the fund selection and regular monitoring processes. Specific due diligence criteria is applied as outlined in a written Investment Policy Statement developed and implemented for each client. Monitoring reports are provided quarterly and review meetings are scheduled at least annually.
Teresa has over 20 years of experience in pension administration having started her career with the firm in 1988. Her past experience has ranged from Client Relationship Manager to Sr. Vice President of Plan Services and Operations. She provides executive leadership in her role within ABG’s Executive Team and strategic planning for the firm. In this role, she is key to the firm staying in line with industry trends and implementing new technology.
In 2010, Teresa led her team in receiving the “RIIA Excellence in Communication” award in New Media sponsored by Investment News. The New Media piece presented for the award was ABG’s branded and integrated SmartPlan solution. The web design team Teresa leads allows ABG to customize the Participant, Plan Sponsor, and Financial Advisor web sites as needed; as well as orchestrate the many web resources available to Participants and Plan Sponsors.
Daphne has over 20 years experience with ABG Retirement Plan Services that has provided her with a variety of leadership opportunities including Chief Operations Officer. Through her tenure, she has developed an in depth understanding of both the technical and operational standards necessary to maintain the highest quality retirement services. Daphne's varied background in administration, recordkeeping operations, and consulting provided the perfect foundation for her recent transition into an executive leadership role focused on strategic expansion of services with emphasis on qualified and non-qualified retirement plan solutions including defined benefit, cash balance, ESOP, 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
Daphne is an active member in the American Society of Pension Plan Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), where she has served on various committees including Education & Examination. She also is active with Women in Pensions and periodically serves as a guest speaker on design and administration topics.
Erin joined ABG after graduating with a degree in Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University. Now with over 15 years of experience in the qualified retirement plan arena, her tenure has included roles as a full-service Account Manager, Compliance Specialist and an Enroller providing her an extensive background in hands-on administration. As an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA) and Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), Erin also serves as the senior technical advisor for plan design on Defined Contribution plans, specializing in advanced compliance issues. Attaining an ERPA designation is a feat that less than 60 others in the state of Illinois could achieve. She is enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service and is a registered tax return preparer with the ability to serve as Power of Attorney in representing client retirement plan cases before the IRS.
Erin is an active member of ASPPA, having served on the Plan Consultant Magazine (formerly known as The ASPPA Journal) committee for several years. Erin is also active in associate leading in-house training through courses designed by ASPPA and self-designed coursework.
Bev is no stranger to the retirement plan industry having spent over 25 years as a plan administrator, plan implementation and conversion manager, and a sales consultant which taught her the importance of delivery of service expectations. She enjoys coaching advisors and sales associates on the services to be delivered to Plan Sponsors and the importance of setting the service expectation standard. Bev has found that by managing the expectations you reap happy, long standing clients.
Bev is a qualified Pension Plan Consultant (PPC™), an Accredited Retirement Plan Specialist (ARPS), and an Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC). She has served her local community as a past officer of the Heart of Illinois Employee Benefits Forum and is now a founding member of a national organization, Women in Pensions.
Pat is no stranger to the retirement plan industry and has been working in the financial services industry for over 30 years as an investment advisor and retirement plan wholesaler with a focus in retirement plan marketing. Pat has specialized in working with financial institutions. Before joining ABG he worked for Lincoln National and Midwestern Bank Trust Department.
Pat is very passionate about helping plan sponsors adhere to their fiduciary responsibilities while helping their participants achieve retirement readiness.
Before joining ABG Retirement Plan Services in 1999, Anita worked for over 15 years for a diverse range of organizations, including Shell Oil Company and Uncle Ben’s Inc. in Houston, Texas. In these roles, Anita was responsible for computer programming for offshore drilling, large dollar draft distributions, and cost and plant manufacturing accounting.
Anita’s varied background in computer programming, cost accounting, and plant manufacturing accounting provide the perfect foundation for her role. Passionate about automation and its possibilities, Anita reviews procedures for continued enhancements and coordinates the annual SSAE 16 (Soc 1) Type II audit.
Michelle has more than 15 years of retirement industry experience and holds a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation from ASPPA as well as an Accredited Retirement Plan Specialist (ARPS) designation from SPARK. Joining the firm immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois, Michelle’s experience has ranged from Account Manager to Participant Services Manager. Her various roles at ABG Retirement Plan Services, have provided Michelle with in depth knowledge of both plan sponsor and participant needs, allowing her to anticipate the resources needed to keep ABG Retirement Plan Services competitive.
Michelle is an active member of ASPPA, serving on the ASPPA Plan Consultant Magazine and ASPPA asap Committees for several years.
Paul has a vast knowledge in Health Savings Account and Cafeteria Plan administration; he has been working in the employee benefits industry for over 15 years. Since 2004, he has specialized in the area of Consumer Directed Health Plan Strategies. He shows employers and employees how to take advantage of pretax healthcare benefits that could result in huge tax savings for both.
Paul enjoys working with employers and employees to help them put together employee benefits programs that provide for their needs today, and for their needs as they grow older.
Michele has over 20 years of extensive management experience with tremendous knowledge of payroll, tax, system conversions, compliance and customer service. In 2009, she received her American Payroll Association Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certification.
Michele’s varied background in computer programming, accounting and human resources has provided the perfect foundation for her role. Passionate about streamlining and its possibilities, Michele is constantly reviewing processes and modifying operational procedures to ensure payroll accuracy and the best possible customer experience.
In addition to her work with ABG Retirement Plan Services, she is the 2013-2014 Director of Illinois State Council of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). As the chief elected officer of the state council, she established policy, strategies and objectives consistent with those of SHRM, provided guidance to elected and volunteer members who are responsible for accomplishing state and SHRM objectives and established goals in support of the SHRM mission and objectives.
Cathy is a graduate from the University of Illinois Springfield with a degree in Management. She earned the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation in 2000 and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation in 2014. She also obtained a Certified Quality Improvement (CQIA) designation from the American Society of Quality in 2011.