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Press Release

Virginia529 Adds Two New Board Members

Groundbreaking Disability Advocate, Global Investment Expert were Appointed this Fall

RICHMOND, Va. (October 26, 2020) – Virginia529, the state’s tax-advantaged education savings plan, announces the recent appointment of a key player in capital markets investments and a disability savings law champion to the plan’s board.

Catherine Beck is a tireless and passionate advocate for individuals with varying abilities. Along with her late husband, Stephen E. Beck, Jr., she lobbied the U.S. Congress for more than a decade resulting in the successful bipartisan passage of the Stephen E. Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, commonly known as the ABLE Act of 2014. This legislation enables individuals with an eligible disability to save money for qualified disability expenses in a tax-advantaged savings account without jeopardizing important federal and state benefits.  ABLE accounts operate similarly to 529 education savings plans.  

A Virginia resident for nearly two decades, Beck works as the procurement lead for the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. Through her position she is able to continue her advocacy work while contributing to the department's mission of protecting and improving the lives of all children, adults, and families through partnership, advocacy, outreach, and quality services.

Beck previously worked for 20 years in the private sector as a logistics specialist with industry giants Corning Incorporated and JC Penney. She is a Pittsburgh, Pa. native and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University.

Dante Jackson is a financial service industry executive with nearly two decades of experience. He is currently an independent capital markets consultant, and recently worked as a vice president at Bank of America where he was responsible for leading a team of professionals collectively managing more than $5 billion in assets within Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management Division.

Prior to Bank of America, Jackson worked as an investment adviser for BB&T Investments Services and held various leadership positions at American Express/Ameriprise Financial. He has served as a trustee and board member for the Virginia State University and Chesterfield County Education foundations.

Jackson earned his MBA from the University of Virginia-Darden School of Business, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting /finance from Virginia State University. He holds FINRA general securities representative (Series 7) and investment adviser (Series 63) licenses.

Virginia529 CEO Mary Morris directs and manages the operations, resources, and investments of the program, which includes Invest529 and Prepaid529, and reports to the board. Additionally, she oversees all operations for ABLEnow®, the leading independent ABLE savings program in the country.  

“Catherine and Dante bring valuable experience to the Virginia529 board," noted Morris. "Together with the rest of the board, they will guide Virginia529 as it continues to provide our customers with the best-in-class programs they expect and to further the agency’s mission to help make college more affordable and accessible to all Virginians.”

Virginia529 is governed by an 11-member board, including experts in finance, accounting, investment management, law, higher education, or disability advocacy. Four members serve by virtue of their positions as state officials and the remaining seven non-legislative citizen members are appointed by the Governor and General Assembly.

Learn more about Virginia529 leadership at https://www.virginia529.com/about/leadership/.

 

About Virginia529 College Savings Plan:

Virginia529 makes education more accessible and affordable for families and individuals. With more than $82 billion in assets under management and 2.8 million accounts as of September 30, 2020, Virginia529 is the largest 529 plan available. Two flexible, affordable, tax-advantaged programs–Invest529SM and CollegeAmerica®–and early commitment scholarship program SOAR Virginia® --assist students of any age in reaching their higher education goals. For more information on Virginia529’s college savings options, visit Virginia529.com or call 1-888-567-0540 to obtain program materials. These include information on Virginia529 programs, investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other important information; read and consider them carefully before investing. All investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.  Virginia529 encourages prospective participants to seek the advice of a professional concerning any financial, tax or legal implications related to opening an account. For residents of states other than Virginia: before investing, you should consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protections from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. ©2020 Virginia College Savings Plan. All Rights Reserved.

 

About ABLEnow

ABLEnow® is a national ABLE savings program for eligible Americans living with disabilities. Since its launch in December 2016, ABLEnow has grown to be the country’s largest independent ABLE program, with accounts in all 50 states. Call 1-844-NOW-ABLE or visit able-now.com to obtain information on the program. ABLEnow is administered by Virginia College Savings Plan. We encourage you to seek the advice of a professional concerning any financial, tax, legal, federal or state benefit implications related to opening and maintaining an ABLE account. Participating in these programs involve investment risk including the possible loss of principal. For non-Virginia residents: other states may sponsor an ABLE plan offering state tax or other benefits not available through Virginia529’s programs. ©2020 Virginia College Savings Plan. All Rights Reserved.

 

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