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Silicon Valley Fall Conference

  • September 19, 2012
  • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Cadence Design, San Jose, CA


  • Chapter Sponsor Passes must be obtained ahead of time to use this registration type. Please check with your Chapter Sponsor representative.
  • Only applicable to individual members who have renewed there membership before Aug 10, 2012. You can use your guest passes for this meeting.
  • This registration is only for paid registrants that have a unique code that allows you to bring one non-member guest to this event.
Silicon Valley Fall Conference

Sponsored by:

Cadence Design
2655 Seely Avenue, Building 5
San Jose, CA

8:00 - 8:30  Registration
8:30 - 8:35  Welcome
8:35 - 9:20   Session 1: "Building Better Defined Contribution  Plan Line-ups"
9:30 - 10:15  Session 2:  "Employee Benefits - Challenges Faced by a Plan Sponsor"
10:25 - 11:10  Session 3: "Legal Update"
11:20 - 12:00  Session 4: "Account-Based Health Plans"

8:30 - 8:35 Welcome

8:35 - 9:20 Session 1: "Building Better Defined Contribution Plan Line-Ups”

The defined contribution investment and regulatory landscape has become drastically more complex. Plan sponsors are increasingly under scrutiny to ensure that they fulfill their legal obligations and act with responsibility for the prudence and suitability of participant investment decisions. Despite the significant advancements of the DC industry over the past 30 years, the typical core investment menu continues to fall short in meeting the needs of vast majority of plan participants.  In this session, Maddi Dessner will discuss how fewer, yet more sophisticated, investment choices can potentially increase participant engagement and substantially narrow the range of extreme investment outcomes.  Ms. Dessner will explore an effective way to help close gap by applying the concepts of greater diversification and maximizing risk-adjusted returns for participants who desire a more active role in their investments.

Ms. Dessner, CFA, executive director at JP Morgan, is a portfolio manager in the Global Multi-Asset Group, based in New York. An employee since 1995, previously Maddi was a client portfolio manager in the Global Emerging Markets Group. Prior to joining the GEM group in 2000, Ms. Dessner spent four years in the Foreign Exchange sales and trading group. Maddi obtained a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a CFA charterholder and holds NASD Series 7 and 63 licenses. 

9:20 - 9:30 BREAK

9:30 - 10:15 Session 2“Employee Benefits – Challenges Faced by a Plan Sponsor”

Companies face many challenges in designing  health and welfare and 401(k) plans for their employees.  Additionally, these are different depending on whether they are a startup company, publicly traded entity or a firm growing via mergers and acquisitions.  And what does health care reform really mean?  How do you balance employee satisfaction with regulatory compliance requirements?  Allen Chin will address these and other issues in this session.

Mr. Chin is currently the Vice President of Human Resources at Evans Analytical Group, a leading global provider of high value expert analytical and testing services.  In his 26 year career in Human Resources,  Mr. Chin has held senior level HR positions with companies such as OLIN Corporation, Franklin Templeton, Federal Reserve Bank,, San Francisco Housing Authority and Vitria Technology.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley.

10:15 - 10:25 BREAK

10:25 - 11:10 Session 3: "Legal Update”

Eva McComas will provide an update on key legal developments affecting employee benefit plans, with a focus on recent regulations and guidance concerning tax-qualified plans and health and welfare benefits.  Ms. McComas also will discuss the impact of judicial decisions on employee benefit plans, as well as significant proposed legislation affecting them.

Ms. McComas has more than 20 years of experience counseling clients in the employee benefits area.  She currently serves as Counsel in the Employee Benefits practice at Miller & Chevalier Chartered.  She is an adjunct professor in the LL.M. Taxation program at the Golden Gate University School of Law.  Ms. McComas received her J.D. degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law, and her LL.M. in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

11:10- 11:20 BREAK

11:20 - 12:00 Session 4:  “Account-Based Health Plans.”

Account-based health plans provide employers with the promise of health and productivity gains, cost containment and other benefits. In the program’s final session, Tonie Bitseff will discuss various aspects of these plans, including their design and implementation, the compliance considerations they raise and their potential traps.

Ms. Bitseff is a member of Nixon Peabody LLP’s Labor & Employment practice group.  She advises clients on health benefits, pension plans, and other forms of compensation and employee benefits. Her experience includes welfare plans, 401(k) plans, cafeteria plans, benefit outsourcing, defined benefit plans, ERISA fiduciary liability, ERISA claims procedures, prohibited transactions, appeals, and government audits. Ms. Bitseff received her law degree from Seattle University, and her undergraduate and LL.M. in taxation degrees from the University of Washington.

FREE PASSES - Chapter Sponsors may use their free member tickets and guest passes for this meeting. Advance registration is required - email names to

REGISTER EARLY to secure your place. The cost is $45 for WP&BC Members, $85 for Non-members, if you register in advance. At the door, the cost is $55 for WP&BC members, $95 for Non-members (space permitting!). No refunds after September 17th, but substitutions are permitted at any time.

CONTINUING EDUCATION - CEUs are available for ASPPA, HRCI, CPAs, Actuaries, Attorneys, and others. The WP&BC San Francisco Chapter is a State Bar of California approved provider.

Easy ways to register: WEBSITE - your credit card number is secure (and you can follow with a check) when you register on-line.

Note: for your security we do not maintain credit card information in the office. To pay by credit card, you must register via the website. Confirmation receipts are generated immediately. NOTE: credit card charges will appear on your statement as "Governing Board," the WPBC Governing Board of Presidents.

Questions? Contact our office at (415) 561-6274 or email

More information and online registration: WP&BC San Francisco Chapter 

Please feel free to reach out to WP&BC with any questions.

Direct Questions To:

Frank McDonald, MBA, Chapter Administrator


Western Pension and Benefits Council - San Francisco Chapter
1540 River Park Drive, Suite 211
Sacramento, CA 95815-4608

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