Paul Curley is Director of Savings Research at ISS Market Intelligence, where he oversees data, research, consulting and events on 529 savings plans, 529 prepaid plans and ABLE accounts for institutional clients. He is also the Editor of the 529 Dash e-newsletter and 529 Insiders website for advisors, accountants and estate planners.
Mary G. Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529, the largest tax-advantaged education savings program in the country with its direct Invest529 and advisor CollegeAmerica programs; Virginia529 launched tax-advantaged disability savings program ABLEnow in 2016 and ABLEAmerica in 2018. She directs and manages the operations, resources, and investments of Virginia529 and is involved in state and federal legislative and governance issues relating to the 529 and ABLE industries. Mary is a lawyer and spent many years in private practice specializing in tax, public finance and securities matters. In the public sector, earlier in her career she served as a Virginia Senior Assistant Attorney General for Tax and Finance and later served a term as the Treasurer of Virginia.
Mary earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Law and Taxation from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. She is active in both national 529 organizations, the College Savings Foundation, where she is a former Board Chairman and member of the Media Committee, and the College Savings Plans Network where she serves as Chairman of the Federal Initiatives Committee, a member of the Board and a member of the National Association of State Treasurers Legislative Committee. Mary is a member of the board of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) and a former member of the board of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia (JACV). She is a member of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) and the Virginia State Bar. Mary is a frequent national speaker on education savings, the future of higher education and workforce training and disability savings.
Rachel Biar joined the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office in January 2005 and serves as the Assistant State Treasurer for the Nebraska College Savings Program and the ABLE Savings Program. Prior to her current position, she worked in the Director’s Office of the Nebraska Health and Human Services System and as a speechwriter in the Mayor’s Office of the City of Lincoln, Nebraska.
As Assistant State Treasurer, Rachel is responsible for the administration, marketing and oversight of the state’s NEST 529 College Savings Plans. Her knowledge and experience with 529 plans provide Nebraskans with a unique perspective on topics such as; determining the best college savings vehicle for parents and grandparents, marketing 529 plans, federal and state tax benefits, gift-tax benefits, estate planning advantages, and strategies of 529 plans. Her expertise in college savings plans is a benefit to Nebraska residents who are ready to begin saving for their loved one’s higher education. Rachel serves as Vice Chair of the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board, Chair of the Member Engagement Committee, and is on the College Savings Foundation Membership Committee.
Rachel is also responsible for the Nebraska Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program. Nebraska’s Enable Savings Plan allows people with disabilities to create tax-advantaged savings accounts. Rachel works closely with Program Manager First National Bank of Omaha to administer the savings program to address the unique needs of account owners, keeping in mind convenience, ease of use, and cost. Rachel was instrumental in developing the Enable Savings Plan Alabama through a partnership agreement with the Alabama State Treasurer’s Office and Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office.
Rachel has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She serves as a mentor to the Nebraska Wesleyan University Advancement and Alumni Departments and as a Career Center Student Advisor. Rachel enjoys spending time with family, traveling the country in her classic Mustang, reading and gardening.
Head of Relationship Management
A senior leader in TIAA’s dedicated Education Savings business, Vivian leads the unit’s Relationship Management and Field Consulting teams and is responsible for State relationship management, including contractual compliance oversight, ensuring client satisfaction, and driving plan growth and strategy across eight State-sponsored 529 college savings plans representing more than $30 billion in college savings. Prior to joining TIAA in 2014, Vivian spent nine years with BlackRock in sales and product management roles. Vivian began her career in financial services in the wealth management businesses of Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, and has worked in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Taipei, Los Angeles and New York.
Vivian has been involved in the education savings industry since 2007 and is currently the Chair of Board of the College Savings Foundation. She is a Certified Investment Management Analyst and a Certified Private Wealth Advisor and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Vivian holds FINRA Series 7, 66, 24, 31, 51 registrations.
Part of ISS Market Intelligence, the 529 & ABLE Solutions deliver 529 and ABLE market data, research, events and digital products and services for institutional organizations. Services include proprietary data aggregation and analysis of 529 savings plans, 529 prepaid plans and ABLE accounts as well as weekly, quarterly and annual business intelligence publications covering the college financial planning market.