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The 2016 Excellence & Innovation Awards

Publication Date: October 31, 2016

A prominent theme among the six winners of the 2016 Excellence & Innovation Awards was the use of technology to improve participantsí financial education and contributions, and the use of targeting strategies to achieve the same goals.

Feature story

6 honored for excellence, innovation in DC plans

A prominent theme among the six winners of the 2016 Excellence & Innovation Awards was the use of technology to improve participants' financial education and contributions, and the use of targeting strategies to achieve the same goals.

A change in focus for the Innovator Awards

Now in its fifth year, the program that began as the Innovator Awards got a new name for 2016.

Profiles of the winners

Dana Hammonds: Showing young pros how to keep their money secure until they retire

Dana Hammonds won an Excellence & Innovation Award for helping a unique population: young professional athletes who must plan for retirement in their 20s or 30s because their careers can be quite short.

Erika Kirchner: Giving older workers a real choice managing their 401(k) investments

Erika Kirchner won an Excellence & Innovation Award for giving 401(k) plan participants a choice.

Katie Nedl: Using videos to empower Gen X, Gen Y employees on retirement goals

Concerned that employees weren't taking full advantage of retirement savings opportunities at BlackRock Inc., Katie Nedl orchestrated an interactive video campaign to encourage greater participation and investment.

Sheila Rowaily: Offering workers a way to invest without compromising religion

Sheila Rowaily, head of investment management at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., developed the Idikhar Savings Plan, which enables these employees to pursue more options while remaining faithful to Shariah investing principles.

Neil Saxton: Creating high-tech campaign to target different audiences

Communication, convenience and cost prompted Neil Saxton to take a high-tech approach to encourage greater participation and engagement among participants in the Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia.

Shirley Zabiegala: Redesigning a financial program to customize investment message

Shirley Zabiegala, director of savings and retirement for Nestle USA Inc., won an Excellence & Innovation Award for redesigning a financial wellness program that caters to different participants' interests and skills.

In their own words

2016 Excellence & Innovation Awards: A talk with BlackRockís Katie Nedl

Excellence and Innovation Award winner Katie Nedl, COO of BlackRock Inc.'s U.S.-Canada defined contribution group, shares how a unique, interactive video helped drive understanding of 401(k) savings strategies and increase participant contribution levels among the money managerís 6,788 eligible employees.

2016 Excellence & Innovation Awards: A talk with HESTAís Neil Saxton

Excellence and Innovation Award winner Neil Saxton, executive-engagement strategy at HESTA, outlines the superfundís digital-first approach to communication that arose after research showed that plan participants were primarily engaging with HESTA through their mobile device. That led to the launch of a digital membership card.