Speaker Bios for Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dan Doonan, Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security

Dan Doonan is the executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. With the Board of Directors, Doonan leads the organization’s strategic planning, retirement research and education initiatives.

Doonan has more than 20 years of experience working on retirement issues from different vantage points including an analyst, consultant, trainer and even a plan trustee. In these various roles, the consistent theme has been his belief that Americans have a shared interest in creating and maintaining a resilient retirement infrastructure that provides adequate financial support in an efficient manner.

He comes to NIRS after serving as a senior pension specialist with the National Education Association. There he co-authored Characteristics of Large Public Education Pension Plans, a detailed report this is considered to be a definitive resource of information about large public education retirement plans.

Doonan began his career at the Department of Labor as a mathematical statistician. He then spent seven years performing actuarial analysis with Buck Consultants in their retirement practice. His experience also includes positions as a research director and labor economist.

Doonan holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Elizabethtown College and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.


Kim Prior, FPPTA Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Prior has worked with the Florida Public Pension Trustees Association for more than 25 years, serving in a variety of support and then management roles, as the FPPTA grew into a prominent state-wide educational organization for public pension trustees and administrators. She was named Deputy Executive Director, in 2002, and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer by the FPPTA Board of Directors, in 2007, before assuming the position of CEO in 2014.

Ms. Prior contributions to the FPPTA over the years have included management initiatives and firsts for every aspect of the FPPTA’s operations, from website setups to oversight of the organization’s financial, accounting and bookkeeping functions.  Her responsibilities have been wide-ranging and include all aspects of administration for all three educational conferences each year to include contract negotiations with host hotels, vendors, and service providers, as well as the oversight of FPPTA staff and service providers.

She helped develop and oversaw the implementation, in 1997, of the FPPTA’s signature program, the nationally recognized Certified Public Pension Trustee (CPPT) designation, of which she is a graduate; and she helped develop the annual Wall Street program for certified trustees.


Thomas R. Lussier

Tom Lussier is President of The Lussier Group (formerly Lussier, Gregor, Vienna & Associates, Inc.), a governmental affairs consulting firm based in Alexandria, VA.  The Lussier Group offers a full range of government-related consulting services and legislative representation primarily focused on public employee pension and health benefits.  In addition, the firm is actively engaged in the management of national coalitions in support of specific Federal advocacy objectives, including the Coalition to Preserve Retirement Security (CPRS) and the Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable.

Mr. Lussier previously served as Executive Director and CEO of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (MTRS).  For nearly 19 years, he was responsible for the administration of retirement benefits for approximately 110,000 active and retired teachers and school administrators of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Mr. Lussier has served as President of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR); Chairman of the Coalition to Preserve Retirement Security (CPRS); and President of the National Preretirement Education Association (NPEA).  He has been an instructor with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy (CAPPP™) in Employee Pensions and is a former member of the Foundation’s Public Employee Committee.

Prior to the MTRS, he served as the First Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Public Employee Retirement Administration and was elected to four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has the distinction of being the youngest person elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives; he was first elected in 1977 at the age of nineteen.  In 1976, Mr. Lussier was elected to the City Council in Pittsfield, MA.

Mr. Lussier is a former member of the Massachusetts Retirement Law Commission, and a former Trustee of the Methuen Contributory Retirement System in Methuen, MA.


Susan Marden, FPPTA Public Relations Consultant

Susan Marden is a business communications professional with more than 25 years experience as a writer, editor and public relations specialist. A graduate of Boston University, Susan has worked in the fields of broadcast and print media, as well as in advertising, marketing and public relations for both advertising agencies and corporate clients. Susan also has worked many years as a free-lance writer and magazine features editor with particular emphasis in the real estate and healthcare industries


Frederick H. Nesbitt, Phd., FPPTA Media Consultant

Frederick H. Nesbitt is the former Executive Director and Legislative Counsel for the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) retiring in 2006.  Now living in Florida, Fred has agreed to work with the FPPTA as an industry speaker. Prior to joining NCPERS, Mr. Nesbitt served for12 years as Director of Governmental Affairs and Political Action for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).  Previously, he served for nine years as Special Assistant to the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

He has been a lobbyist on Capitol Hill for over 25 years, lobbying on pensions, taxes and employee benefits for both federal employees, and state and local government employees.

Mr. Nesbitt comes from an academic background; he was a professor of political science and labor relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and St. Francis College (PA).  He earned his bachelor’s degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctorate from West Virginia University. He is the co-editor of Labor and American Politics.


Sean M. McKinstry, FPPTA Director of Research

Sean McKinstry joined the FPPTA staff in March of 2015. He had worked as a consultant for the FPPTA for a number of years before signing on full time. Sean maintains the Public Pension Institute website, assists with the FPPTA E-newsletter, and other FPPTA online educational initiatives, assists in the event coordination, and is a member of the FPPTA Education Committee. Prior to his work with the FPPTA, Sean held the title of Director of Communications and Research for Public Pensions, Inc. and as Senior Editor for Public Pensions Online. He is a graduate of Wheaton College just south of Boston, Massachusetts.


Mark D Meyer, FPPTA Education Committee

Mark D. Meyer, JD, FSA, is a Partner and co-leader of Aon Hewitt’s Public Sector actuarial practice. His primary responsibility is building the national practice into a premier provider of actuarial service in the Public Sector. He also serves as a client relationship manager and strategic consultant to public sector organizations.

Mark has over 30 years of consulting experience in pension and employee benefits in both the public and private sector. Mark has dedicated himself to improving the sustainability of public sector pensions by helping organizations develop a meaningful pension funding strategy. Some public sector clients during his career are Minneapolis Fire Relief Association, City of Fargo (General, Police and Fire), City of Minnetonka, Minnesota State Retirement System, North Dakota Public Employees Retirement Systems, Minneapolis Police Relief Association, Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Fund Association, Indiana University and Purdue University.

He has spoken at numerous events, including a recent presentation of Public Sector Pension Funding Policy at the national Government Finance Officers Association. He has also spoken at Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS), Conference of Consulting Actuaries, National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems, Financial Executives Institute and the Minneapolis Certified Employee Benefit Specialists chapter.

Mark strives to be a valued actuarial advisor who is strategic and persuasive. He is committed to explaining complex actuarial concepts in language that policy makers can use to draw their own conclusions. He combines his legal and actuarial skills to solve problems in unique and innovative ways.

Mark graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a degree in mathematics and actuarial science. He also graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and an Enrolled Actuary (EA). He is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS).


Phyllis Shaw, FPPTA Education Committee

Phyllis Shaw is an employee with the City of Hollywood for over 15 years.  She works as the Utilities Accounting Supervisor in the Department of Public Utilities.  Prior to the Department of Public Utilities, she works in the Department of Financial Services beginning in General accounting as an Accountant 3 and in Treasury as a Senior Accountant.  Phyllis is an elected trustee with the Hollywood Employee’s Retirement Board since 2012 and served as the elected Board Chair for the last five years.

She is a graduate from Florida Atlantic University with an Accounting Major and University of Phoenix with an MBA in Global Management


Kenneth R. Harrison, Sr., Associate Attorney
Sugarman & Susskind, P.A.

Ken Harrison holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Miami School of Law, a Masters of Science Degree in Management from Biscayne College (St. Thomas University) and a Bachelor of Business Degree accounting major from the University of Miami.  He is a founding member of the Florida Pension Trustees Association (FPPTA), currently serving as Director Emeritus and is a Certified Public Pension Trustee.  In 1991 Mr. Harrison completed a 27-year law enforcement career, when he retired from the City of Miami (Florida) Police Department as Assistant Chief.  For 16 years during his career in law enforcement he served as a trustee for Miami’s Police and Fire Pension Funds.  Additionally, for 10 of his years in law enforcement, Mr. Harrison was active in police labor organizations at the local, state and national levels.  Mr. Harrison completed over 30 years of military service in 2002 when he retired from the United States Coast Guard Reserve as Captain (Colonel).  Mr. Harrison has been with the Coral Gables law firm of Sugarman & Susskind since 1997.


Adam P. Levinson Esq., Klausner, Kaufman, Jensen & Levinson

Adam Levinson is an associate with the law firm of Robert D. Klausner, P.A. Upon graduation from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995, Mr. Levinson clerked for Chief Judge Alan R. Schwartz at the State of Florida Third District Court of Appeal. After completing his judicial clerkship, Mr. Levinson worked as a commercial litigator. Since joining the law firm of Robert D. Klausner, P.A., Mr. Levinson has specialized in the representation of public sector pension plans, with an emphasis on plan drafting, board counseling, and fiduciary responsibility in the area of pension investing. Mr. Levinson was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1970. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1995 and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Levinson graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan in 1992, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. Mr. Levinson received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and served as an articles and comments editor for the University of Miami Law Review .


Ronald J. Cohen, Lorium Law

Ronald J. Cohen heads the labor, employment and employee benefits practice at Lorium Law.  Mr. Cohen has an extensive practice representing public pension plans, employees and employee organizations.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Labor and Employment Law, indicating that he is a Specialist in those areas. He is also rated AV by Martindale Hubbell which is its highest rating and signifies that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. Ron is the long-time General Counsel for the FPPTA.