Arleatha Williams, RICP ®
Sr. Financial Advisor
Harbour Bridge Wealth Management Advisors
Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network
I started my journey in retirement planning … in the early 1990s after being asked to do retirement seminars for a Fortune 50 company. I realized consumers needed more assistance in addressing longevity issues including, how to put all of the pieces together in the most beneficial manner, what to do after work and estate investment planning. These challenges required a more in depth knowledge than discussing year-over-year returns and I used this input to earn the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation.
I first learned about WIPN from the financial publication Investment News about 10 years ago. I attended a seminar about 8 years ago sponsored by a Third Party Administrator. There, I met another woman of color who worked for a Third Party Administrator in New York City. She also told me about WIPN and when I attended her seminar, I learned that WIPN was having a seminar in NYC later that month, which I also attended.
It is very important to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women. I have always comported myself to be a role model for not only my younger relatives but also for the generations coming behind me. I was taught from an early age to always do your best and you should always reach back and bring others along. There is an African proverb my parents and teachers always quoted to me as a child: “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.”
My favorite quote is by James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This reminds you that change is constant and one must be flexible enough to adjust to change without losing oneself.
Rosalyn Brown, CRPS ®
VP, Regional Director at The Newport Group
My first job in the retirement industry was … as a Business Development Officer at BB&T working with start-up plans to 3M in assets. Today I work for Newport as a Regional Director working with plans of all sizes on their recordkeeping needs for a multitude of retirement solutions
I love the retirement industry because … it is a topic that impacts so many yet understanding is so low. I find joy in knowing my part in the process will allow some people to control their future and retirement on their own terms.
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career or industry? WIPN has the ability to connect women in the industry and strengthen our voice. We come together with other like-minded women that motivate each other to reach their full potential in their career but also allow more women to be visible in an industry that is significantly male. With more and more of our decision makers being women there is a value in amplifying the voice and needs of women across the industry.
Prior to joining WIPN, how difficult or easy was it to find networking/mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? Many networking events are just information on legislative updates, new products, and the exchange of business cards. WIPN promotes the build of relationships where members become vested in your passions, struggles, and advancement.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? It is imperative! The value that women bring to the industry cannot be under shadowed. The workforce is more diverse than ever and making sure the advocate on the other side of the table understands you help ensure the client is heard, their needs are met, and they are understood.
Janine J. Moore, AIF, CPFA, CFS
SVP, Retirement Practice Leader
Peak Financial Group, a division of HUB International
My entry into financial services came from a diversity initiative by a major insurance company. I started with the 457 retirement division of Nationwide Insurance. As a young minority female, I was on display as an Affirmative Action success story. It was challenging and stressful to be representing your race in every meeting and interaction but I had a wonderful mentor who taught me the ropes. After three years and four promotions, I was asked to relocate to Houston for a sales position. After a short stint as a financial advisor, my two partners and I formed Peak Financial Group and later moved to LPL Financial. Over 17 years later, our firm was acquired by HUB International and I now serve as one of two Retirement Practice Leaders for HUB Texas.
I love the retirement industry because … I still find great joy in helping a young person get started on their savings journey as well as helping my long-time participants transition into retirement. I believe that we truly have one of the best jobs in the world!
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career or industry? Throughout the years, I’ve been a part of several women’s organizations including the National Assoc. of Women Business Owners, Federation of Houston Professional Women and Northwest Houston Business & Professional Women. Although these are not specifically advisor-focused, it did provide the sense of community that I was looking for. Most recently, I co-chaired the ARA’s Women in Retirement Conference after serving on several panels. WIPN was not yet started in Texas but I was exposed to it on a national basis at the NAPA 401(k) Summit conferences. As soon as the Texas chapter started last Fall, I joined and participated in the inaugural networking event, benefitting Dress for Success. Our industry is full of dynamic women leaders and WIPN seems to attract the best!
Prior to joining WIPN, how difficult or easy was it to find networking/mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? There was literally nothing like WIPN in the Houston area – the opportunity to connect with like-minded women advisors is priceless.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? At this point, I do consider myself a role model and have shared my story in several public venues. As a black female veteran in a white male-dominated industry, I have had to suffer through many ignorant conversations by people who have absolutely no clue about what it is like to be a person of color in America. Although I was a partner in my firm for 17 years, there was still an assumption that I worked for my partner and many still direct decision-making questions to him. Rather than getting defensive, I am extremely outgoing and do my best to make everyone in the room feel comfortable. I strive to lead by example and have been working to change perceptions regarding race and gender my entire career.