Today, the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) hosted a virtual event celebrating its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The program recognizes nominees submitted by member organizations in two categories: Rising Star and Leader. During the event, all nominees were recognized, and the six Leader Finalists were revealed. These finalists were chosen by a DCIIA member-led committee that reviewed and discussed all Leader nominations and the six were selected for their demonstrated commitment to driving change in improving diversity and inclusion within their organizations, industries, and/or communities. The Finalists are:

  • Raynelle Grace, head of active equity product management, Vanguard
  • Lesley Nurse, head of North American consultant relations, Neuberger Berman
  • Hanneke Smits, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management
  • Carol Waddell, head of the retirement solutions group, Empower Retirement
  • Wendy Wattenberg, partner and global client manager, Mercer
  • Chris Weirath, senior vice president, global account management, workplace solutions group, Morningstar Investment Management LLC

“We are very proud and excited to host the inaugural DCIIA Diversity & Inclusion Awards and highlight the great work within our member organizations in this very important area,” said Lew Minsky, DCIIA’s president and CEO. “Shining a spotlight on D&I has been one of our top priorities over the last two years since we formed our member-led D&I Steering Committee to explore ways DCIIA should be engaging in this area. We have now hosted two dedicated live events (in 2019) and three virtual events in 2020 highlighting D&I topics and speakers. In addition, the DCIIA Retirement Research Center will have a specific focus on this area as we look ahead to 2021. Many thanks are due to our D&I Committee and all of our member organizations who have submitted nominees, participated in and hosted live and virtual events, and sponsored our awards program.”

To learn more about DCIIA’s D&I initiatives, including its Chief Diversity Officer Advisory Council, D&I Committee, and participation in the annual McKinsey / LeanIn “Women in the Workplace” study, please visit: Founded in 2010, the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) is a non-profit association dedicated to enhancing the retirement security of America’s workers. For more information, visit:

Contact: Karen Witham, DCIIA, or 202-367-1124