Getting to Know Kristi Tawney, SMA Services 401(k) Administrator

August 22, 2023 // Southern Medical Association

Kristi Tawney began working in the 401(k) industry at the start of 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic occurring shortly after, she realized that may not have been the ideal time to change careers, but she has no regrets. “It was the perfect fit for myself and my family, Kristi recalled. “ I originally started with another company in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Working there taught me so much about the industry, but it taught me even more about what kind of role I wanted to play within an organization.”

Joining the SMA Services team in 2022, Kristi’s desire to help others complements her role as a 401(k) administrator perfectly.  “I have a passion for serving people as the individuals we are, which means we have different wants and needs in all walks of our lives,” she said. “In order to become that person I needed a company where they would allow me to grow and serve people the way I felt I needed to; SMA Services has allowed me to do just that.”  

Kristi’s commitment and dedication have not gone unnoticed by those she helps. 

“I had the good luck to get Kristi Tawney on the phone. She was so helpful in solving [my] problem.” said Carolyn Wieteler-Benford. “She went out of her way to get to the bottom of the problem and guided me through the solution to get it fixed. Her kindness and caring was much needed. After the early experience with a certain bank, getting someone smart and kind was such a pleasure. She is a great asset to your company.

The youngest of four children, Kristi has three grown children of her own – Lillian, Jacob, and Zachary. Living in Knoxville, Kristi’s blood runs orange for the University of Tennessee VOLS, and she loves to play games with her family. “We can get a little rowdy, but it makes for great memories, she said. “Time with family is what I cherish most in life.”

You can email Kristi at or call her at (800) 423-4992 ext. 108. 

Founded in 1984, SMA Services, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Medical Association that is a leading Third Party Administrator (TPA) providing all-inclusive plan administration, plan design, consulting and compliance services. The Southern Medical Association was founded in 1906 with the mission to improve quality of patient care through multidisciplinary, interprofessional education. 

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