Speaker Bios

Margaret Meister
President & CEO
Symetra Financial Corporation
Leadership in the Heart of Bellevue


Margaret Meister is president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial Corporation and president of its insurance subsidiaries. She is also a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Margaret joined Symetra in 1988 as an actuarial student. She was appointed chief actuary in 2004 and chief financial officer (CFO) in February 2006, assuming responsibility for the company’s financial strategy and operations. She became president and chief executive officer in February 2018.

As a member of the company’s executive leadership team, Margaret played a principal role in Symetra’s initial public offering in 2010, as well as its successful acquisition by Sumitomo Life in 2016. In addition to her responsibilities as CFO, she served as chief information officer from 2014 to 2016, leading the Information Technology department during the transition of the company’s data center. She also has had responsibility for Symetra’s brand strategy development through her oversight of the company’s marketing, advertising and communications programs.

Margaret is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She graduated from Whitman College with a bachelor’s degree in math. She serves on the global board of directors of LIMRA and is a member of the United Way of King County board of directors.


David T. Downey
President & CEO
International Downtown Association
Key Trends Shaping the Future of U.S. Downtowns


A 20-year association professional, David is an accomplished not-for-profit leader in the community building industry. At IDA, David provides overall strategic direction and drives success toward the organization’s vision to build a world full of vital and livable urban centers. Prior to IDA, David served as the Managing Director of the Center for Communities by Design at the American Institute of Architects and as Executive Director for the Michigan Society of Planning.

David has been a city advocate since 1989 receiving his degree in Architecture and Design with a focus on Urban Design from Lawrence Technological University. David and his wife Margie live in northern Virginia with their three sons Connor, Liam, and Declan.

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