Member Spotlight

November 2020 Member Spotlight

Tina Schackman, CFA

Principal, Senior Retirement Plan Consultant
Benefit Financial Services Group (BFSG)

What compelled you to step forward and join the WIPN Board for 2021?
WiPN is aligned with my passion to help women succeed in their careers so I jumped at the opportunity to deepen my relationships with members and have a broader impact.

What is your vision for the role in 2021?
As the Head of Membership, I’d like to see us find new ways to engage our members both virtually and in-person and attract new ones from all across the industry.  I have been so inspired by the connections I’ve made through WIPN and would like to see our community continue to grow and thrive.

Tell us about a WIPN-inspired success story that influenced your personal or professional career.
I had the opportunity to participate in WIPN’s mentoring program and was paired up with an advisor in another state. We became fast friends and are continually supporting each other and learning from one another. That is just one example of how I’ve been able to benefit from this valuable network.

How do you see WIPN affecting positive, tangible change in the retirement planning industry?
WIPN has the ability to develop future leaders for our industry in a manner that promotes diversity, inclusion and equality which will benefit everyone.

Tina Schackman

Rosalyn Brown, CRPS

VP, Regional Director at Newport Group

What compelled you to step forward and join the WIPN Board for 2021?
In 2019 I was asked to help further our diversity efforts within WIPN. It meant a lot to me knowing how far WIPN has come for women overall but recognizing it has a long way to go in being as deliberate in working to reflect the diversity of the world around us. Many of our 2020 diversity plans changed due to COVID and the new board position as DEI chair is important in pushing the goal ahead pass awareness to progress.

What is your vision for the role in 2021?
In 2021 I want to push past the notion of just having a more diverse people at the table. I want there to be more diverse voices and influences at the table. We are past the point of simple photo ops and representative diversity. We must now understand the need and value of having a workforce of views that better represent the people we serve as well as a more engaged workforce that can truly bring their whole self to the workplace.

Tell us about a WIPN-inspired success story that influenced your personal or professional career.
Being a part of an acquisition is never easy and last year I was in for significant change as my company sold its retirement arm to a new organization. Not only did WIPN ladies reach out to me before I even knew all the details, but they also reached out to share what they knew about my new organization and worked to help me in my transition.

How do you see WIPN affecting positive, tangible change in the retirement planning industry?
WIPN has come a long way in creating a community of women to share our experiences and most importantly create solutions. Providing mentorship and guidance as women figure out their path in a male-dominated industry is key to helping elevate women in the industry as well as retaining women in the industry. So many organizations focus on simply networking but WIPN turns that networking into career advancement and changing the way we serve the community around us.

Rosalyn Brown

Ivana Polonijo, AIF®

Vice President, Client Success
Fiduciary Benchmark

What compelled you to step forward and join the WiPN Board for 2021?
I have been grateful to find a community that has directly spoken to my passion for advocacy and promotion of women’s voices in our industry. I am amazed at how much WiPN leadership has already accomplished through purely volunteer work and with modest resources, and I wanted to increase my personal commitment to those efforts.

What is your vision for the role in 2021?
WiPN chapters exist at the very heart of our network. This is where all the initiatives come to life. Building on the strong foundation that’s already in place, my co-lead Pam Brooks, and I can now create a reliable architecture for the Local Chapters and their members so that their WiPN experience is smooth and optimized.

Tell us about a WiPN-inspired success story that influenced your personal or professional career. This would be a book! For instance, an industry colleague was promoted because her WiPN efforts were noticed by a male advocate. Another one was able to tap into our network immediately upon losing her job due to the pandemic which gave her a sense of calm when she needed it most. The list goes on!

How do you see WiPN affecting positive, tangible change in the retirement planning industry? WiPN is a vibrant space where women in our industry can come together to form, nurture and benefit from deep, trusted relationships. Networking is a crucial part of growing one’s career but research shows that while men benefit from building broad networks, women need to supplement those same activities with creating deeper, smaller inner networks of women they are close with. This helps to find opportunities and also receive advice that would be specific to the unique challenges we face. Despite significant strides towards complete and consistent equality, we still have ways to go before closing many difficult gaps that manifest for women in the workforce. I believe that for women in our industry, becoming a WiPN member is a crucial step in the direction of closing those gaps.

Ivana Polonijo

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