Karie M. O’Connor, Vice President, Investment Advisor Representative
LPL Financial dba HPL&S Financial Services
My current job involves… providing strategic consulting and fiduciary guidance to assist plan sponsors in offering competitive retirement savings vehicles which assist their plan participants in successfully achieving their retirement goals, assisting employers in proactively monitoring the retirement plan investment offering and service providers, and assisting with proactive plan designs and education campaigns to engage employees.
My first job in the retirement industry was… providing third party administrative work including the annual and quarterly valuation processing and allocation of earnings, 401(k) contribution and loan repayment processing, compliance testing and customer service to plan sponsors. I started just before the market crash of October, 1987.
I love the retirement industry because… in my experience, those in the retirement plan industry have a strong, passionate desire to help others.
I first learned about WiPN when… a local ERISA attorney mentioned it to me and suggested that I join.
WiPN has had a positive impact on my career because… as a community WiPN fosters both mentoring and support which in turn personally drives a greater desire to succeed and help other women do so.
When I’m not working I am… connecting with family and friends, volunteering, biking, swimming, playing golf and traveling.
One thing every women should do at least once in their life is… take a brief sabbatical to focus on themselves, their strengths and what makes them happy
Amber Kendrick, CPFA, CRPS®, Vice President, Retirement Plan Consultant
Procyon Partners, LLC
My current job involves… Helping America’s workforce retirement on their terms.
My first job in the retirement industry was… as a retirement plan education specialist. I was completely thrown to the wolves right out of college. I started working for a large qualified plan producer in the Southeast who was an amazing mentor. I was licensed at 22 and within a year I was conducting education meetings for some of our largest clients, including Dale Earnhardt Inc. You can only imagine how interesting that was!
WiPN has had a positive impact on my career because… I can learn from other like-minded retirement professionals. Women face unique challenges in general and being able to have a support system as it relates to my career is tremendously valuable.
I’d love people to ask me about… what it is like being a female in a male-dominated industry. I find it is both challenging and rewarding at the same time.
When I’m not working I am… practicing mindfulness, supporting local restaurants, and playing an active role in my stepchildren’s lives.
Karen Zander, Executive Director, DC Investment Solutions National Accounts
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
My current job involves… cultivating and advancing our relationships with key partners in the DC industry – recordkeepers, retirement specialist groups at broker/dealers, TPAs – to promote JPMorgan investment strategies and deliver retirement insights.
My first job in the retirement industry was… around 2006 my firm decided to create a DCIO team, I was one of 3 people assigned to the group, and JPM had just launched its first suite of target date funds. As our DCIO team evolved over time, my role in DC national accounts has evolved as well. Now our team includes over 50 field, internal, and national accounts client advisors focused on advisor-driven retirement plan sales and service, and JPM’s target date funds’ assets have surpassed $89BLN as of 2/28/18.
I first learned about WiPN when… two terrific women in the industry approached me about the organization. After I joined, I gained the opportunity to network with even more talented women in the retirement space, both at local WiPN events in NY and Boston as well as national conferences.
Other women should join WiPN because… of the quality of its membership! Participating in the regional and national networking events provides me with an opportunity to learn from leading industry professionals, and I always walk away from it with a new idea and/or a new friend. WiPN events are good for the soul and the career!
When I’m not working I am… spending time with family and friends. For the past 2 spring seasons I’ve begun gardening, just some plants, herbs, tomatoes. The first year it was terrible, hardly anything grew; 2nd year yielded some parsley and tomatoes. This is my third year, and I hope the improvement in my gardening skills continues. After all I’m a “city-girl” at heart, but I do try to get out of my comfort zone from time to time to experience something new.