Member Spotlight, Sponsors

WIPN Q1 2022 Sponsor Member Spotlight

Marcia Dennis

Vice President, Integration Management at Ascensus

How did you know that a career in the financial services retirement industry was right for you?
I started my career at First Data in 1990 working with mutual funds. It wasn’t until I joined Ascensus in 2000 and pivoted to retirement savings that I was able to connect to what Ascensus calls our Noble Purpose which is helping people save for what matters – retirement, education and healthcare. Once I connected to a bigger purpose, it helped me see that I could learn new skills, change teams, move to new roles, and still contribute in meaningful ways to that client goal. The opportunities are endless, and I have been honored to do many diverse roles from managing operational teams to institutional relationship management to leading M&A integrations.

What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 – 10 years?
I am hoping that the next 5 years continue the trend toward flexible work schedules and arrangements that the pandemic has brought to many of our organizations. I think it enables us to work in a way that more aligns with our personal tendencies and personal values.

Please share a WIPN-inspired story that influenced your professional career.
I love the aphorism “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  That is how WIPN influences careers.  When one of us is successful, it benefits our entire community.  WIPN does this through so many different approaches such as mentorship, webinars on compensation differences, making each other aware of opportunities in our field, and just providing support.  No matter how well I do my job, thoughts of imposter syndrome always creep in.  Knowing I’m not alone in that I have the support of my network, and seeing others succeed lifts me up!

How did you discover WIPN?
I found out about WIPN from the amazing Roberta Hess who was starting the WIPN Philadelphia chapter.  She invited me to a networking event and I was so impressed with and welcomed by the group that I’ve been a member ever since. I would describe WIPN as industry networking with a splash of motivational therapy. I always feel energized after an event.

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry?
Being a role model is extremely important to me and I try to pattern behaviors that I want to see within my organization, our industry, or corporate America at large.  A sense of curiosity and positivity, demonstrating active listening and collaboration, providing opportunities and stretch goals, thankfulness for everyone’s contribution and so much more are all behaviors that make us all more successful.

Any other thoughts you would like to add?
I would love WIPN to have more referral campaigns. Send an email to current members, with a summary of what WIPN is and instructions to join, and make it easy to forward that email to 5 contacts.