There was a notable buzz in Dallas in September as advisers at EBA's 6th Annual Employee Benefit Adviser Summit learned and discussed the latest on helping clients handle costs, how health care reform will affect their business and the new line of interest in voluntary benefits.

The topics were covered in numerous breakout sessions and keynote addresses led by experts from across the country, including a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and a Harvard psychology expert. There was also lots of networking at social events and inside a full exhibit hall, which featured more than 100 exhibitors of leading benefits products and services.

In all, more than 1,000 members of the benefit industry gathered at the Hyatt Regency for the co-located Adviser Summit and 12th Annual Benefits Forum and Expo.

Be sure to join us next year at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix Sept. 9-11.

 

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(Photos taken by Sandy Marak)

Adviser of the Year Darrell Phillips accepted his award from Kelley Butler, the editor-in-chief of EBA's sister publication, Employee Benefit News. Phillips, of Manhattan, Kan.-based DPI Benefits, has made a career out of providing superior customer service.

 

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During the presentation of the Adviser of the Year and the 20th Anniversary EBN "Benny Awards," Phillips and all the award winners took part in improvised comedy sketches put on Dallas comedy troupe Four Day Weekend.

 

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Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach gave a keynote address on facing the challenge of building a strong team, then posed for photographs with attendees in the exhibit hall. One attendee brought a small football to catch for the legendary quarterback.

 

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At a kenote address by Harvard researcher and positive psychology expert Shawn Achor, the founder of corporate strategy firm Good Think Inc., attendees learned secrets to personal and professional happiness and productivity in a highly interactive and engaging discussion.

 

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Conference attendees were eager to ask questions of the renowned panelists and lecturers. Here Tracey Burke questions Staubach after his presentation.

 

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EBA Advisory Board member Beverly E. Beattie, chief executive of South Miami, Fla.-based Selden Beattie Benefit Advisors, poses with Juliana Nobel, senior vice president of Selden Beattie (center), and Heather Leck, chief executive of Corporate Benefit Advisors of Delray Beach, Fla.

 

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At the opening night cirque fantasy affair at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, attendees were treated to mystifying circus acts by performers and a variety of food and drink, allowing for great networking opportunities at a beautiful Dallas landmark.

 

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In a keynote address, Jennifer Benz, chief strategist and founder of Benz Communications, discussed the biggest benefits communications challenges and showed examples of the best practices at Fortune 500 companies.

 

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EBN Editor-in-Chief Kelley Butler presents Kevin Trokey, chief executive of St. Louis-based Benefits Growth Network, with a football signed by Roger Staubach. Trokey was selected at random from all attendees who shared conference news on Twitter using the #EBAS11 and #BFE11 hashtags.

 

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The early start of 6:30 a.m. did not stop a large group for coming out for Alere's pilates class and breakfast.

 

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Attendees made their way around the exhibit hall stopping at booths. If they filled up a card with a stamp from every booth, they were entered into a drawing for a trip to the Dominican Republic.

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