Stephen’s knowledge of both qualified plan and executive compensation matters combined with his in-house experience at a large international public company uniquely positions Stephen to provide clients with advice and creative solutions that are both legally compliant and practical. This combination of legal counseling and experience in a large international public organization provides him with valuable perspective and insight, including understanding the importance of being efficient when working with clients.

Stephen has over 20 years of experience in counseling clients on compliance with health care reform, COBRA and HIPAA, including providing HIPAA training for employees. Prior to joining the firm, Stephen worked in-house at The Timken Company, a global Fortune 500 company, where he led the strategic planning, implementation and communication of global Total Rewards benefits including health, welfare and retirement benefits, as well as cash and equity compensation. He also created and implemented a global governance structure for the coordination of all non-U.S. benefit and compensation plans for 25 countries. He focuses his practice on the design, establishment, administration, maintenance and termination of:

  • tax-qualified pension, 401(k) and profit-sharing plans
  • non-qualified deferred compensation plans, change in control plans and agreements, equity compensation arrangements, and
  • health and welfare benefit plans, including flexible benefit programs and cafeteria plans.

Stephen also has significant experience in the employee benefits aspects of corporate acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, as well as employee communications regarding benefit plans. Additionally, he counsels clients on the compliance of qualified and non-qualified retirement and welfare benefit plans with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, and on the unique issues relating to multiemployer plans and multiple employer plans.

  • "COVID-19 and Return to Work Policies: Vaccination Requirements, Leave Requests, Workers' Compensation," Strafford Webinar, April 13, 2021
  • "One Size Doesn't Fit All: Ensuring Your Benefit Programs Support and Promote Inclusion and Diversity," Webinar, Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, February 11, 2021
  • Retirement Plans Update Webinar, Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Annual Legal and Regulatory Update, May 14, 2020
  • "Coronavirus in the Workplace: Responding to the Current Outbreak and Planning for the Next Pandemic," Strafford Webinar, April 5, 2020
  • "COVID-19 Implications: For Employers and Employees," Health Action Counsel, March 24, 2020
  • "COVID-19: Planning Considerations for Employers," Thompson Hine Webinar, March 10, 2020
  • "20/20 Vision: A Clearer Picture of the Retirement Plan Landscape in the Coming Year," Thompson Hine’s Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, November 12, 2019
  • "Preparing for 2019: Retirement Plan Opportunities," Thompson Hine Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, October 29, 2018
  • "Employee Benefits – The Trump Impact," Thompson Hine Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, November 8, 2017
  • "The Trump Impact – The Potential Effect on Law and Policy," March 1 and March 8, 2017
  • "Post Presidential Election Legislative Agenda," Health Action Council webinar, December 8, 2016
  • "Employee Benefits 2016 Grab Bag," Thompson Hine’s Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, October 27, 2016
  • "Hot Topics in Employee Benefits Law," Thompson Hine Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, November 3, 2015
  • "Private Exchanges II – Assessing the Employer Experience, A Consultant/Employer Panel" Moderator, The Cleveland Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Cleveland, Ohio, April 16, 2015
  • "Private Exchanges – What Employers Need to Know," Thompson Hine Annual Labor & Employment Seminar; November 5, 2014
  • "Private Exchanges – A Panel of Options," Moderator, Joint Program Sponsored by The Cleveland Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network and the Health Action Council, Cleveland, Ohio, April 2014
  • "Wellness Programs and Health Care Reform" and "HR Legal Update – Pop Quiz," Thompson Hine's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, November 2013
  • "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for Financial Advisors," CFA Society Cleveland, Cleveland, February 2013
  • "A Discussion of the Flurry of Guidance on Health Care Reform," Northeast Ohio Chapter – International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Cleveland, February 2013
  • "Ensuring the Legal 'Wellness' of Your Wellness Program," Thompson Hine LLP Hot Topics in Employment Law, Cleveland, December 2012
  • "Global Benefits Governance: Why It's Important and How It Can Protect Your Organization," Oswald's Global Benefits Symposium, Cleveland, June 2012
  • "Avoiding Pitfalls: A Checklist of Employment & Benefits Issues to Consider in Mergers & Acquisitions," Thompson Hine LLP Breakfast Briefings, Cleveland, Independence and Akron, Ohio, May 2012
  • "Traps for the Unwary: Fiduciary Responsibility in Everyday Plan Administration," The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Cincinnati Pension Conference, Covington, Kentucky, November 2011
  • "Tales from the Crypt X: To Insure or Self-Insure, That is Not the Only Question!", The Cleveland Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Cleveland,  October 2011
  • "Health Care Reform," Thompson Hine LLP Cleveland Labor & Employment Law Briefing, Cleveland, December 2010
  • "Welfare & Fringe Benefit Plans," The Cleveland Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Benefits Boot Camp, Cleveland, June 2010
  • "Share Plans and the Prospectus Directive: Tips, Tricks and Traps from the Non-EU Issuer's Perspective," Panel discussion at the Global Equity Organization annual conference, 2007
  • Listed in Legal 500, 2018
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits) Network