Retirement National Accounts Manager
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career or industry?
WIPN is an amazing organization to be a part of. In a male-dominated industry, WIPN showed me that I had women to the left and right of me at all times. I know they are all cheering me on and want me to succeed.
Prior to joining WIPN, how difficult or easy was it to find networking/mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry?
I have been very lucky; I have always worked for leaders who provided unlimited access to their time and helped me develop professionally. What WIPN provided for me was additional opportunities to meet with influential leaders of our industry outside of my organization. Without WIPN, I am not sure where I would have met these amazing women. Special shout out to some special WIPN members that have made a difference in my career– Angela Achatz, Sharon Mossman, Kathleen Roche, Donna Wong!
My first job in the retirement industry was as a DCIO wholesaler in the NE territory at Ivy Investments and my current job is as the National Account Manager at Ivy Investments.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? Is WIPN a force for change?
I think it is very important for all of us, including myself to help the next group of women coming into our industry. I want to show them that although it feels like a male-dominated industry, there are so many women kicking butt in it, and they are not alone! I want to show them that they can do anything they want, not what they are told they should do. I think WIPN really helps bring all that together.
My favorite quote is … “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” –Mother Teresa This reminds us that that life is short, spread love and happiness and make someone smile when they think about you.
My Edmonds, CFP®, CIMA®, AIF®
My first job in the retirement industry was … working with one of the largest institutional teams in the country as an investment specialist reviewing, analyzing and building investment menu’s and portfolios for institutional clients including defined benefit, defined contribution, and foundations & endowments. My current job is as Vice president leading an amazing team at Institutional Fiduciary Solutions (IFS) group at Raymond James.
Tell us about a WIPN-inspired success story that influenced your personal or professional career. My mother just passed away a few days ago and, though not a WIPN-inspired story, hers, upon reflection, is a success story that has influenced me more than I had ever acknowledged. She emigrated to America as a Vietnamese refugee, with no money, speaking little to no English, and her only belongings being her four children all under the age of six. Our family was sponsored by a local Atlanta Baptist Church where she raised us living in a little house on the church campus while working as a housecleaner at the church during the day. She was grateful and worked hard, was dedicated and passionate, and never asked for anything in return neither recognition nor promotion. My three older brothers’ and my own personal and professional success are achieved through her instilled values.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? Is WIPN a force for change? WIPN is absolutely a force of change. The entire financial industry, including retirement, is often touted as a male-dominated industry – maybe so, in the quantity. In my experience, women have often been the silent movers and shakers who not only are the supporting foundation, the implementers, but also the leaders of positive change and innovation. It’s important for me to be a role model to both women and minorities because it’s too easy to only keep our heads down, be dedicated, and work hard for the team. These are worthy values, as my own mother represented, but I’d like to use these values as building blocks to promote, highlight, and elevate all of the women who make this industry work. WIPN is not only a great avenue to do this but also a great network of movers and shakers of which I’m proud to be a member.
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment in your career? Working together with the awesome IFS management team and staff has truly been an opportunity of a lifetime and has been the most rewarding accomplishment, thus far, in my career. We have developed an industry-leading ERISA 3(38) program, a first-mover Secure Act solution, as well as implemented programs and structures to support our advisors and their clients with best practices.
My favorite quote is … the world is full of good intentions. I think I’m just quoting myself here but I say it all of the time because it’s very easy to have an abundance of great ideas and thoughts. But it’s up to each one of us, both individually and collaboratively, to make good, even great, things happen.
J.P. Morgan Securities
Tell us about a WIPN-inspired success story that influenced your personal or professional career. Women in Pensions Network has given me many opportunities to develop different professional skills and to pursue different passions. During my three years as a co-chair of WIPN NY, the quarterly gatherings I organized and hosted with my co-chair profoundly influenced my vision to intersect financial services with positive social change.
Past WIPN NY events included three annual charity boat cruises and the “Women in Finance Delivering Social Impact” panel at a restaurant which donates 100% of its profits to charity. My current exploration of ESG funds within 401(k) plans is largely due to the success of such gatherings which align profit-seeking and social-improvement endeavors.
Prior to joining WIPN, how difficult or easy was it to find networking/mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? WIPN provides a wonderful avenue for women to collaborate within an industry traditionally dominated by male decision-makers. Before joining WIPN, I only attended gatherings that reflected such dynamic. I am grateful that I have an association and network of supportive peers where my gender does not define me as a minority.
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career or industry? Is WIPN a force for change? WIPN has positively influenced my career given its ability to effectively unite and mobilize the vast retirement fund industry. WIPN has a clear mission to bring gender equality to the industry. Its ability to draw deep support from its members and resources from large sponsors empower women to further the retirement industry’s goal of providing a comfortable retirement for Americans.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? I cannot be where I am today without older, wiser individuals, including women, who cared enough to support me and my career. Without having role models, younger individuals, including women, do not have a reference point to base their decisions. It’s very important for me to serve as a resource for younger women who are uncertain about navigating the retirement fund industry.
My favorite quote is… “We can do no great things; only small things with great love” … because the quote reminds me that often times, in the day-to-day trenches of adulthood, it’s hard to visualize the greater purpose of our circumstances. The quote provides a reality check – the ability to control all aspects of my life and the larger society is an illusion. But most importantly, the quote is a profound reminder that my actions toward the small tasks and people in my immediate environment can be meaningful and serve a loving purpose.