Kevin D. Smallen
Chief Information Officer
Kevin has more than three decades of experience in the field of information technology, as a consultant and in-house manager for many companies. A well-rounded IT specialist, his background includes hands-on experience in technical management, systems architecture, program and project management, network design and deployment and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) methodologies. His previous employers include Kratos Defense, Advisors Asset Management, Peak Wireless and Microsoft.
At PenChecks Trust, Kevin will oversee the Information Services and Technology division while coordinating infrastructure and service delivery across the company. His responsibilities will include supporting all enterprise applications, data, communications, and information security. Additionally he will continue to see that the PenChecks Trust system remains on the leading edge of distributions technology by developing new applications and ensuring a stable and scalable infrastructure for information security. Kevin holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University.
Information technology can be a real strength for a company – or a source of vulnerability. Fortunately, there are people like Kevin Smallen who have a real passion for data security and who devote themselves to protecting the companies they work for and their clients.
Before joining PenChecks Trust, Kevin worked mostly for large organizations like Microsoft and Kratos Defense, He also served as a consultant and in-house IT manager for many companies – including PenChecks Trust, where he assisted with system maintenance, data security and other IT tasks. When company president Peter Preovolos offered him the position of Vice President of IT in early 2016, he came aboard full-time.
“I was looking for a management position with a smaller company that would allow me to feel part of the family rather than just a cog in a huge corporate machine,” says Kevin. “I knew from my consulting relationship with PenChecks Trust that it was the type of company I wanted to work for, and the position seemed like a perfect fit.”
While Kevin still oversees system maintenance and other IT tasks, his most important challenge is keeping the company’s technology systems at the forefront of the retirement distributions industry. As with any financial services firm, this starts and ends with data security. Accordingly, Kevin’s top priority involves making sure PenChecks Trust uses the latest security technologies, including data encryption on the company’s servers and other internal protection systems.
To ensure the highest standards of security, Kevin’s first task was to develop new policies and procedures that enable PenChecks Trust to maintain its SSAE 16 certification. Created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ auditing standards board, SSAE 16 is an industry regulation that defines how financial services companies report on their data security and other compliance controls. This certification will become increasingly important as PenChecks Trust expands it product and service offerings into new areas.
Enabling Client-Friendly Technology
Ensuring that PenChecks Trust technology is easy to use – both for internal staff and clients – is also high on Kevin’s list of priorities.
“I believe the role of technology is to support people in doing their jobs more efficiently and effectively,” he says. “The challenge is making the data as secure as possible yet easily usable by both staff and clients. Our goal is to make it simple for our clients to interact with us through the technology and allow them to do what they need to do online in a timely manner.”
As part of this goal, Kevin is focusing on developing new enhancements to PenChecks Trusts’ P3 web portal, which streamlines and simplifies online distribution processing for plan providers, plan sponsors, and TPAs.
Planned upgrades include making the interface more intuitive and easier to read, providing more data for clients to access, and increasing reporting capabilities. Introducing new multi-factor authentication requirements will also enable clients to feel more secure when using the site.
A devoted husband and father, Kevin has been married 25 years and has two sons, ages 24 and 21, both of whom played baseball in college. A former baseball player as well, Kevin now participates in adult softball leagues. He also likes to spend time in the great outdoors, shooting at firing ranges and engaging in hunting and fishing.
Meet the Team:
> Peter Preovolos, APA, RIA, AIFA, PPC / President and CEO
> Spiro Preovolos / Vice President, Business Development
> James Hensel, CPA, CVA, CFA / Chief Financial Officer
> Mike McWherter, JD / Chief Compliance Officer
> Kevin D. Smallen / Chief Information Officer
> Bryan Pruden, MBA / Chief Operating Officer
> Wendy Henderson / Vice President / Director of Operations
> Scott Okrasinski / Vice President/National Sales Director
> Steve Wagoner / Vice President of Institutional Sales
> Tom Drosky / West Regional Vice President
> Mark Russell / Eastern Regional Director
> Chip Davis / Southern Regional Director
> Paul Kociuruba / Central Regional Director