Biography

Dennis Ackley, president of Ackley Associates, is an expert in retirement education and employee benefits communication. He is known for his innovation, effectiveness and the “consumer-oriented communication approach” he invented. He has implemented hundreds of challenging retirement, benefits and pay projects for many of the country’s largest employers.

Consulting Experience with Sophisticated Employers
Before starting his firm, Dennis was a management consultant at leading firms including Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin. He planned and created employee communication campaigns for American Airlines, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, 3M Company, Temple-Inland, Pacific Gas and Electric, Apple Computer, Dell, Texas Instruments and many others including multiemployer plans.

Breadth of Knowledge – Techniques, Content, and Audiences
His award-winning communication programs – using all communication touch points (print, electronic/web and people-to-people) – have reached more than three million employees on topics such as retirement, investing, health care, stock options, pay and incentive compensation.

He specializes in conducting highly sensitive, complicated and ‘bad news’ employee communication. He is especially skilled in converting complicated, sensitive and technical information into easy-to-understand messages that support the organization’s business and people goals. He knows the details and complexities of retirement and employee benefit plans and pay programs .

Benefits Communication and Retirement Education Innovator
Dennis creates techniques and materials that make benefits and pay programs work well. His unique communication concepts and tactics are used by hundreds of organizations including the Department of Labor. His extensive background in retirement plans and adult education – plus his creativity – combine to help him invent high-impact retirement education tools. The hallmarks of his communication approach are clear messages from trusted sources.

Noted Speaker and Author
Dennis is a top-rated speaker at numerous conferences including ASPPA’s 401k Summit, Pensions & Investments, The Conference Board, 401k/Profit Sharing Council, Benefits Management Forum, WorldatWork Conference and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. He teaches the employee benefit communication section of the International Foundation’s Certificate Series. He is the only retirement education expert to speak at the PBGC. He delivers custom presentations for a variety of organizations that are hosting conferences for their clients and prospects. He also speaks to sales professionals to help them improve their skills in communicating retirement, health care and other benefits topics to clients, prospects and employees.

Dennis has written more than 50 articles for publications including HR Magazine, Benefits Quarterly, Plan Sponsor, Journal of Employee Communication Management and Communication World. Several of his articles are included in the topics on the right and can be found by searching the Internet for ‘Dennis Ackley communication’. Typical participant feedback from his presentations is HERE and a list of recent articles and speeches is HERE.

Educational Experience and Background
Before becoming a consultant, Dennis spent six years in educational research and instructional materials development. He holds a BA degree in public relations and a MA degree in communication. He attended the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.