July 12, 2013
By Nevin Adams, EBRI
Next week, Major League Baseball will showcase its best and most popular in the “Midsummer Classic,” better known as the All-Star Game. Purists can (and have) taken issue with the involvement of the fan vote, the intermittence of the designated hitter rule, and the impact that this contest can eventually have on the home field advantage in the World Series. Still, even casual fans of the game can relish the opportunity to see so many great players together on the field for one special night (those who don’t care about baseball can perhaps relish the fact that for a couple of days, there won’t be any baseball games or scores with which to contend).
It has been my good fortune to have had the opportunity to spend my entire career working with employee benefits, in a widely varied range of capacities. It has also been my great pleasure over those years to meet, and in some cases, work directly with, some truly talented people—who care deeply, passionately, about helping others enjoy better lives and retirements. Most, I am happy to say, could look back on their careers and find numerous examples where they made a difference, sometimes in the betterment of a single individual’s retirement prospects, and often across a broader spectrum. Some have had—or made—the opportunity to impact and influence thousands of lives during the course of their career.
In a couple of months the Employee Benefit Research Institute will announce the recipient of the 2013 Lillywhite Award.¹ The award was launched in 1992, the year that Ray Lillywhite, for whom the award was named, retired. Lillywhite, a pioneer in the pension field for decades guided state employee pension plans, and helped found numerous professional organizations and educational programs. He retired from Alliance Capital at the age of 80 after a 55-year career in the pension and investment field. Throughout that career, Ray exemplified not only excellence, but also innovation in lifelong achievements, teaching, and learning.
I recently was looking back over the list of Lillywhite Award recipients (available online here), remembering some old friends, some newer acquaintances, and recalling the contributions of some I never had a chance to meet—individuals like Stanford University’s Bill Sharpe, CalSTRS’ Jack Ehnes, Pension & Investments’ Mike Clowes, Russell’s Don Ezra, to name a few. It brought to mind the contributions of others not yet on that list that I’ve met along the way—individuals who have had an impact, influenced the direction of employee benefits, and over the course of their careers helped make things better for others, whose “outstanding service enhances Americans’ economic security.”
Next week’s All-Star roster may well represent the best baseball has to offer at present, a roster that includes some that may one day be regarded as the best in their field, who may change the outcome of a particular contest, and who—in rare situations—can even transform the nature of the game itself.
EBRI’s Lillywhite Award acknowledges the best of the best in the investment management and employee benefits fields. I’m betting you know some of these individuals, these game changers—and perhaps someone whose contributions warrant this kind of recognition.
If so, I’d encourage you to nominate them for this prestigious award—today.
¹Nominations for the 2013 EBRI Lillywhite Award are scheduled to close on July 31. The winner will be announced shortly after Labor Day, and will be presented during the Pensions&Investments West Coast Defined Contribution Conference, October 27–29 in San Francisco.
The nomination form for the 2013 Lillywhite Award is available online here.
More information about the award is available online here.