Bates & Company, Inc. - 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
3063 Hartley Road, Suite 3
Jacksonville, FL 32257
phone: (904) 727-7539
fax: (904)725-1054

Clearwater/Tampa, FL
25400 US Highway 19 N, Ste. 152
Clearwater, FL 33763-2150
phone: (813) 336-8105
fax: (727) 330-2660

Our Affiliations

ASPPA Member

NIPA - National Institute of Pension Administrators

Bates & Company Brochure
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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.

Marketing Staff 

Mike HarveyMike Harvey
Regional Sales Director

Mike joined Bates in April, 2013 with over twenty years of experience in the retirement plans industry, as well as an in-depth knowledge of DC plans, DB plans and non-qualified plans. As Regional Marketing Manager, Mike consults with financial advisors and other service professionals to deliver creative retirement and benefit solutions to plan sponsors. Prior to providing plan consulting services, Mike held a variety of positions over a 13 year period with ING Retirement Services in both the corporate headquarters and the field. Mike has a BS in Economics with a Concentration in Mathematics and has held multiple FINRA Registrations, Life Health and VA licenses and Certified Fund Specialist designation.

Mike enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and two young sons. He plays hockey and golf and is an avid fan of all the Tampa teams.

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.

Technical Staff 

Susan Norton - Account ExecutiveSusan Norton, ERPA, QPA, QKA
Director of Operations
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 beloved dog Logan and his feline siblings Dakota, Ripley, 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 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 trust accounting and 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.

Effie ClarkEffie Clark, QPA
Senior Account Executive

Effie Clark joined Bates & Company in January, 2016 with 36 years of experience in the retirement plan industry.

She started her career in 1980 when she went to work for Corbel & Co. in Jacksonville and continued when her husband was transferred to Orlando in 1984. There she gained her qualified plan experience working for several outstanding TPA firms, including Bates & Co. Effie returned to Jacksonville in 2007, and was employed by Sungard Relius where she worked in the language department, until her re-employment in 2016 with Bates & Co. in their Jacksonville office.

Effie is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), and has earned the Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) designation.

Effie's responsibilities as a Senior Account Executive include preparation of plan documents and amendments as well as  full service annual administration, including calculation of contributions, trust and financial reconciliation, compliance testing, and preparation of Form 5500 series for Defined Contribution plans.

Effie was a "Navy brat" and traveled extensively with her family before settling in Jacksonville, FL.  While Effie enjoys travel (Rome is her favorite place in the whole world) she much prefers staying home with her husband and two dogs, Brandy and Scarlett, watching Seminole sports and spending time with family and friends.

Dawn M. Harris, MBA, QKA - Account ExecutiveDawn M. Harris, MBA, QKA
Account Executive

Dawn joined Bates & Company, Inc., in October 2011 with over 19 years of experience in Retirement Plan Administration. Her most recent experience includes working as a Conversion Specialist for a third party administration firm in North Carolina, where she was the client communications liaison during the implementation process. She also held roles as Compliance Specialist and Account Manager for several mid to large sized TPA firms from the Midwest to the Southeast coast.

Dawn obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Minnesota State University at Mankato, and a Masters' Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix, with a concentration on Human Resources. She is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) with a Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator (QKA) designation. 

As an Account Executive with Bates & Company, Dawn's responsibilities include handling the annual administration for a block of clients, including financial reconciliation, compliance testing, and preparation of 5500's, along with providing outstanding customer service to every Bates and Company client.

Dawn enjoys spending time at antique car shows with her husband Rod. She also enjoys biking, cooking, entertaining, traveling and listening to Jazz.

Kathy StevensKathy Stevens, CFP®
Account Executive

Kathy joined Bates & Company, Inc. in January 2015. She has 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 the CERTIFIED FINANICAL PLANNER™ certification in February 2000 and the Retirement Plan Fundamentals Certificate in 2012.

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

Kathy enjoys reading, knitting, and stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Brantley. She and her partner Robert like to go to the movies and spend time with their Newfoundland dog Skye and cats Simon, Dusty, and Luna.

Ronda TrepagnierRonda Trepagnier, QKA
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 an 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. 

Nicole CelsoNicole Celso
Junior 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.

Operations and Administration 

Donna Swenson - Administrative AssistantDonna Swenson
Administrative Assistant

Donna joined Bates & Company, Inc. 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, Inc. include front desk reception, 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.  

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