Dennis Ackley is a semi-retired 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.
Experience with 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
His award-winning communication programs – using all communication touch points (electronic/web, print, and people-to-people) – have reached more than three million employees on retirement, investing, healthcare, stock options, pay, and incentive compensation topics.
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.
Dennis creates techniques that make benefits and pay programs work well. His 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 & 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 is the only retirement education expert to speak at the PBGC. In addition, he delivers custom presentations organizations that are hosting conferences for their clients and prospects.
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 menu on this site 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.
Education & Background
Before becoming a consultant, Dennis spent six years in educational research and instructional materials development. He holds a BA in public relations and an MA in communication from Central Missouri University. He attended the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.