Bates & Company - Retirement Plan Administration & Consulting

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Winter Park, FL
1201 South Orlando Avenue, #202
Winter Park, FL 32789
phone: (407) 645-401K
fax: (407) 647-8377

Jacksonville, FL
phone: (904) 727-7539
fax: (727) 330-2660

Clearwater/Tampa, FL
phone: (407) 645-401K
fax: (727) 330-2660

Our Affiliations

ASPPA Member

NIPA - National Institute of Pension Administrators

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About Us

The Founding of Bates & Company

Joyce Bates founded Bates & Company in May, 1987, establishing the business first in Orlando, then moving to Winter Park, where the company has been located since 2003.

To learn more about Joyce, click here.

“A local, retirement plan administration and consulting firm, providing high quality personalized and professional services for businesses and their advisors.”



John D. Laskowitz - PresidentJohn D. Laskowitz

John holds an MBA degree from Northeastern University and a BS in Business Administration – Accounting from Merrimack College.

John has more than 25 years of experience working on strategic, operational and financial issues. His experience includes public accounting, management consulting and benefit plan consulting. John worked for more than 3 years in Europe while based in Wiesbaden, Germany. He oversaw finance and accounting for more than 20 offices for a global management consulting firm. His experience also includes auditing large benefit plans, including 401(k)s and Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

John has consulted with various organizations at the ownership level, helping with corporate strategies in order to enhance growth opportunities, as well as attract and retain employees through implementation of effective retirement programs. John's experience in the design and implementation of retirement plans helps insure the right plan is implemented to suit the needs of any specific organization. He also has experience in administering non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

John is currently a board member of the ASPPA Benefits Council of Central Florida and is a member of the American Society of Pension Professional and Actuaries. In addition, he is involved with various groups focused on qualified retirement plans.

John is married and enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 young children. He enjoys golf, boating and fishing.

Technical Staff 

Susan Norton - Account ExecutiveSusan Norton, ERPA, QPA, QKA
Managing Director
Senior Account Executive

Susan Norton joined the Bates & Company team in March of 2005, with over 8 years of retirement planning experience.

In 2013 Susan achieved the designation of Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPPA) given by the Internal Revenue Service. This certification allows her to represent clients before the IRS. Susan is also a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), where she earned her designations of Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) and Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator (QKA).

As an Account Executive with Bates & Company, Susan provides quality customer service and client communication. Her responsibilities include preparing proposals for prospective clients, implementation of new clients and preparation of plan documents and amendments. She also provides full service annual administration, including calculation of contributions, trust and financial reconciliation, compliance testing, and preparation of Form 5500 series for both 412(e)(3) Defined Benefit plans and Defined Contribution plans.

Susan holds an Associate's Degree from Broward Community College, with studies emphasizing accounting and finance. Susan is a fifth-generation Floridian and is a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan. In her spare time, Susan enjoys golfing, bowling, camping, fishing and spending time with family, her Black Labrador Retrievers, Nitro and Storm, and their feline siblings Dakota, Chase & Gabby.

Darla McLaughlin - Account ExecutiveDarla McLaughlin
Director of New Business and Compliance
Senior Account Executive

Darla joined Bates & Company in March 2011, bringing on board more than 24 years of experience in the Retirement Plan Administration and Accounting fields. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA. She successfully completed ASPPA PA1 and C1 courses and has participated in numerous Retirement and Accounting seminars.

Darla's previous experience includes custodial administration of self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts, design, implementation and full service third party administration of Qualified Retirement Plans, as well as extensive accounting and tax work. Her responsibilities with Bates & Company include oversight of onboarding processes for new business, ERISA compliance and full Qualified Plan Administration.

Darla and her husband, Brian, share their home with their beloved felines. They enjoy music, entertaining in their backyard sanctuary, gourmet dining, boating and traveling.

Phyllis NelsonPhyllis Nelson
Senior Account Executive

Joining Bates and Company in February of 2016, Phyllis had over 35 years of prior experience working with all aspects of pension and 401(k) plans. Originally from Pennsylvania, she received her Associate in Science degree earned from Mount Ida College in Massachusetts. As an Account Executive with Bates & Company, she is responsible for the full service annual administration, including calculation of contributions, trust and financial reconciliation, compliance testing, and preparation of Form 5500 series for her plans.

Phyllis left the cold weather of Pennsylvania to enjoy the Florida sunshine year round. She still visits family up North, especially her daughter who is married and lives in New Jersey. Phyllis has traveled to almost every state in the U.S., and her love of American history spurs her to visit historical sites and museums on her trips.

Ronda TrepagnierRonda Trepagnier, QKA
Senior Account Executive

Ronda Trepagnier joined the Bates & Company team in November 2015 with their acquisition of Pension Plan Professionals, Inc. She has over 10 years of experience in Third Party Administration and previous experience in Personal and Commercial lines insurance. She earned an Associate's Degree from Florida Community College at Jacksonville where she graduated with high honors. She is certified as a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA).

Ronda's responsibilities as a Senior Account Executive include A to Z administration for a block of clients. This includes compliance testing, contribution calculations, financial reconciliation and preparation of form 5500 series filings. The excellent customer service she provides stems from always putting the client first.

A Jacksonville native, Ronda lives with her husband, Stephen and 3 children. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, reading and quilting.

Kathleen StevensKathleen Stevens, QPA, QKA
Senior Account Executive

Kathy joined Bates & Company in January 2015. She has over fifteen years of experience as a financial planner and previous experience in accounting and financial reporting. Kathy graduated from Bethany College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She received her designations as a QPA and QKA in January 2018.

As a Senior Account Executive with Bates & Company, Kathy reviews census data, reconciles plan assets, and prepares financial statements and Form 5500's.

Kathy enjoys an active lifestyle of stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Brantley, working out at the gym, and is a Disney World annual pass holder. She likes to go to the movies and spend time with her Newfoundland dog and two cats.

Robin Mullins
Robin Mullins
Account Executive

Robin Mullins joined Bates & Company in August of 2016, with 10 years of prior experience in Human Resources and varied office work, she is a great asset to the company. As an Account Executive, Robin’s responsibilities include assisting with work for Defined Contribution plans including financial reconciliation and preliminary compliance testing.

Robin has two grown children and seven grandchildren, and enjoys spending time with them. Her son is serving in the United States Navy, and she enjoys talking to him whenever she can. As a proud member of a military family that spans generations, she is also on the Board of Directors for a non-profit veterans organization that is very active in community involvement.

Nicole Celso

Nicole Celso
Account Executive

Nicole joined Bates & Company in June of 2015. Born and raised in Florida, Nicole received a Bachelor of Science degree from UCF in 2012.

Nicole is assisting with both Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans and is currently studying for her QKA. Her past experience in customer service is another asset she brings to the company.

In addition to spending time with her family, Nicole enjoys bowling, the beach, taking cruises and playing with her dog, Harley.

Cait BreezeCait Breeze

Cait joined Bates & Company in July of 2017, and brings with her over eight years of experience servicing qualified retirement plans. Her prior experience and pleasant demeanor enable her to provide detail oriented work and excellent customer service to clients. As an Analyst, she performs a variety of duties ranging from census collection to preliminary calculations and assisting with various company projects. In addition to possessing a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, she has successfully completed ASPPA courses PA1, C1 and C2, contributing valuable insight to the company’s vast knowledge base.

Cait spends her leisure time relaxing with her husband, their two grown children, and the family cat. As an Orlando native, she also enjoys reading, playing trivia with friends, and enjoying the less well known offerings of the Orlando area.

Operations and Administration 

Donna Swenson - Administrative AssistantDonna Swenson
Administrative Assistant

Donna joined Bates & Company in June of 2012. She has 29 years of experience in the financial industry with 17 years in banking and 12 years with a financial planner. Her responsibilities at Bates & Company include trust accounting and assisting in other projects.

Donna has two married children and two grandchildren. Her daughter and son-in-law are in Washington, DC and she enjoys going to visit there as much as possible. Her son's family and grandchildren live here, so that's where she spends a lot of her free time.

Originally from Minnesota, Donna grew tired of the long, cold winters and moved to the sunshine state in 1988. She enjoys walking, biking, traveling and spending time with her family and many dear friends.

Marketing Staff 

Fred JohnstonFred Johnston
Regional Sales Director

Fred, who joined Bates in April, 2015, has more than 35 years' experience working in the Retirement Services and Institutional Trust business. He worked in both the relationship management and plan administration side of the business for 15 years before making the transition into retirement plan consulting and new business development. Fred spent most of his career working for some of the largest bank trust companies in the Southeast before focusing his career in plan consulting and third party administration in 2012.

Fred is a graduate of Gannon College in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and was elected into Omicron Delta Epsilon, an International Economics Honor Society. While at Gannon, he was the captain of the university's baseball team for two years.

Fred is a member of ASPPA Benefits Council of Central Florida and the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.

Fred and his wife Sandy reside in Orlando and have two daughters and six grandkids. They enjoy leisure time at the beach and are frequent visitors to California wine country.

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