(Registration limited to 50 attendees only)


Facilitated by LBG Advisors, LLC the Firefighter Benefits Leadership Conference has been designed for fire organizations interested in learning how to better manage and run their own benefit plans. Key information will be presented to understand the components of all healthcare plans as well as the process to propose and implement a successful carve out. The conference will show attendees how to design and incorporate cutting edge programs while addressing how to maintain benefits and control costs more effectively. Proven case studies of what's possible will also be presented.


Hosted in the beautiful Pacific Northwest at the Vancouver Firefighter's Union Hall (local 452).


Vancouver WA Fire Fighter Local Union Hall


2807 Fruit Valley Rd,

Vancouver WA 98660


September 24-25, 2017

  • The conference kicks off Sunday night with a reception and dinner starting at 6pm (details will be provided upon registration)
  • Conference will begin at 8AM in the union hall on the 25th and end at 3PM (meals provided)


Presented in a collaborative workshop format by fire representatives at various phases of their own plan management. Designed to engage and share information to help decide if a plan carve out is the right approach for you.


Featured Speakers & Topics*:


Negotiate a Successful Carve Out 

Mark Johnston, President IAFF Local 452 & VFFU Health & Welfare Trust Chair

The Vancouver Fire Fighters Union negotiated a stand-alone ERISA regulated Health and Welfare Trust with the City of Vancouver in September of 2011. Mark took a pivotal role in helping Vancouver Fire Fighters secure the agreement that allowed his organization to take control of their medical plan management. They haven’t looked back since, maintaining better coverages at lower costs than their former arrangement within the City.


The State Of Healthcare From Fire’s Perspective- The Uncommon Results Possible When You Take Control 

Karl Koenig, President IAFF Local 1159

Clackamas County Fire District in partnership with IAFF Local 1159 successfully transitioned their plan from a fully insured arrangement to a partially self funded plan 7 years ago enhancing benefits, controlling costs (virtually flat since 2010 ), and implementing a variety of creative approaches to engage members.  Karl was a key driver in the setting up the current arrangement, educating local members, and leading the plan moving forward.  Karl continues to challenge the benefits status quo, and incorporate new ideas with vision.  This approach has made their plan a model for other districts across the nation.


Dealing With The Challenges/Roadblocks Of The Carve Out Process 

Roy Minor, IAFF Local 3726

East Fork Professional Firefighters local 3726 is currently involved in negotiations to carve out their benefits.  Roy will speak to the process, the challenges that can occur, and techniques they are currently using to garner support for a potential move. Locals that have challenges with chiefs, HR, or other employer representatives will appreciate Roy's presentation and learning from this local's experience.


Maintaining The Win-Win Between Employer And Labor During The Carve Out Process

Michael Glynn, President IAFF Local 440

Michael will discuss addressing concerns that can arrive with city staff (i.e. HR department, City Legal, City Managers) during the discussion of the carve out process. In addition, Michael will address political concerns from elected officials that can arise and impact the ability of a local to carve out of an employer plan.


Managing A Trust:  How To & What To Expect

Joel Schwarz, IAFF Local 3390, GHFFU Health & Welfare Trust Manager

Joel currently functions as the Trust Manager for the Gig Harbor Firefighters Union Health and Welfare Trust (GHFFUHWT). He is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Union Trust. This involves managing the self-funded Health plan, the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and relationships with

Third party administrators. Significant functions of his position are the communications and the education that goes with keeping members informed and served through the Trust. Joel lead his Local (IAFF 3390) in establishing their ERISA Trust in 2012 after negotiating the carve out from the employer. From its inception, the trust operated, one of the, if not the, first fully self funded fire based medical plans in Washington State. First as Trustee, Trust Chairman and then as manager, he has been involved in all aspects of its budgeting, compliance, evaluation, and annual renewal negotiations. Joel hopes to provide first hand experience and to show the risk and effort it takes for the reward.


 *Speakers and topics subject to change

Mark Johnston
Conference Bio Sheet Mark Johnston.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 749.5 KB
Karl Koenig
Karl Koenig BIO SHEET.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 476.3 KB
Roy Minor
Roy Minor BIO SHEET.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 280.9 KB
Michael Glynn
Michael Glynn BIO SHEET.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 262.4 KB
Joel Schwarz
Joel Schwarz BIO SHEET.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 286.3 KB

Save the date for the 2018 LBG Advisors' Benefits Symposium March 11-13, 2018

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