CEO at Greenwald Research
How did you get started in the retirement industry? I grew up in the industry. In 1985, my father founded Greenwald Research which specializes in retirement, benefits, and health insurance research. My first internship/job was with the American Council of Life Insurers. After my desired career in PR/advertising failed to take-off, I joined Greenwald in late 2003 to “try it.” I’ve grown from a research assistant to the company’s CEO.
What opportunities or changes would you like to see for women in the retirement industry in the future? I think the lack of diversity in the financial advisor/agent community – not enough younger people, not enough women, not enough people of color, not enough LGBTQ+ — is a critical issue. It goes somewhat unaddressed in the research world, and I’d like to change that. Younger generations of Americans are increasingly diverse, and the retirement industry needs to rise to meet that demand.
How did you discover WIPN and what sets WIPN apart from other women’s networking associations? I do A LOT of research with financial advisors, specifically among advisors with significant DC plan business. I found WIPN when I was searching for an organization that may have members qualified and willing to do some of our research. What I found was a bit different – a group that really seems to support women across different roles in the industry that is focused more on personal development. Lucky find for me!
Is there a specific event, program, or interaction within WIPN that stands out as a memorable experience for you? I just participated in my first WIPN event at the end of August, and I can’t wait for more. What stood out for me was the candor and “realness” of the women I met. I’m someone who likes to professionally tell it like it is, or as I see it, and the WIPN women seemed to be of a similar ilk. I really appreciate that because I go to so many conferences where everyone has their game faces on. It was nice to be at a welcoming event where I could let my guard down and have some fun.
How do you envision inspiring the next generation of female leaders? How can WIPN help facilitate that? At the WIPN event I attended (where we were ironically getting our make-up done), there was some conversation about what people like to wear to different meetings and events, with several saying they’ve ditched suits or heels, etc. As I’ve grown into a leadership role, I think it’s critically important that we stress to professional women that it’s OK to just be themselves – be comfortable and know your stuff!
If you are in fact in an advisor role (wealth management or DC plans) and would like to participate in valid industry research, please email Lisa and her team to learn more at [email protected].
Regional Sales Consultant
Retirement Plans for Ameritas
How did you get started in the retirement or financial services industry? I was covid grad back in 2020 and began my time in the work force working in a chemistry lab. I realized shortly after time in the lab, I wanted to pursue a career where I was working directly with people and helping them. I landed my next role at a general insurance agency where I learned the ins and out of group health insurance and individual insurance products. After two years in the insurance industry, I was lucky enough to land my position as an internal wholesaler at Ameritas in the retirement plan division. I am looking forward to continuing to grow and expand my knowledge of the retirement plan industry to assist the clients we work with.
How has WIPN had an impact on you and your career? WIPN has given me the ability to meet and network with so many inspiring women who were once in my shoes just starting out in their career. WIPN has encouraged me to embrace being a woman in a male-dominated space and how it can truly be leveraged as a superpower and ultimately lead to success.
What opportunities or changes would you like to see for women in the retirement industry in the future? As one of the five women on the sales team at my organization, I’d love to see more women in the retirement industry to be in sales positions. Women truly excel in the ability to build strong, trust-based relationships which are crucial in sales. Women in sales roles can bring unique perspectives and insights to sales situations, which can lead to more creative problem-solving and a deeper understanding of customer’s needs.
I hope to find that with more representation of women in the financial services/retirement industry, there will be an increase in financial literacy programs tailored to women to help them make informed retirement planning decisions.
How do you envision inspiring the next generation of female leaders? How can WIPN help facilitate that? As someone who is Gen Z, I hope to inspire younger women of my generation to not overlook the career opportunities within the retirement industry. I want to emphasize how empowering it has been to have the knowledge of planning for retirement and how I have taken that knowledge and applied to my own life.
I also hope to continue to change to narrative of this industry being man’s world and that we as women also have a place in this space and can be successful. WIPN can help facilitate that by providing opportunities such as mentorships to younger women and provide networking opportunities to connect members with potential future jobs.
How did you discover WIPN and what sets WIPN apart from other women’s networking associations? I discovered WIPN because my mother, Tami Ledger is the co-chair of Nebraska Chapter. I am SO lucky to have such a fantastic role model so close to me who shared the positive impact the organization has had on her and her career. What sets WIPN apart from other networking associations is the diverse backgrounds women come from and how accessible they make events to their members.
Is there a specific event, program, or interaction within WIPN that stands out as a memorable experience for you? The opportunity to be a part of the DEI committee and planning the upcoming Annual DE&I Summit. I love that I can be a part of something outside my own organization and work with such a creative group of women who care about a topic that is extremely important in our industry.
How did you get started in the retirement or financial services industry? I fell into the retirement industry. I had worked at my first job (See’s Candies) for 6 years and wanted to try an office environment instead. I started with an entry level position as a retirement recordkeeper in the new business department.
How has WIPN had an impact on you and your career? Before WIPN, I didn’t really know there was a community out there for women in our industry. I had moved to the advisor side of the business. I was hired by another woman advisor, and that was my first experience feeling a mentorship relationship with someone at work. In that role, I was encouraged to get out and network, and that’s when I found WIPN.
It was a very transitional time for me, as I had just left my job at the recordkeeper due to an unsafe situation with a male superior. When I landed in my new role, I was working for a supportive, kind, inspiring woman. And then my eyes were opened to a whole community of like women with WIPN. It couldn’t have come at a better time, and I think it’s a special part of our industry.
If you could describe WIPN in one word – what would it be and why? Supportive. I see that in all aspects – sharing professional opportunities, mentoring, listening, giving back to the community…etc. It’s a very supportive energy.
How do you envision inspiring the next generation of female leaders? How can WIPN help facilitate that? I feel like I’m still a little early in my career to be considered a leader. But I hope future female leaders will support their fellow women by showing compassion and sharing opportunities & successes. I think that women have historically been led to believe that there aren’t enough seats at the table for all of us. But that isn’t true. We all have a place, and we can help & encourage each other to find it.
Is there a specific event, program, or interaction within WIPN that stands out as a memorable experience for you? My first WIPN event stands out the most. It was just a meet-up at a coffee shop in downtown Portland (pre-pandemic). I am not naturally extroverted so I was a bit nervous to have to talk to several strangers in a professional capacity. But it just ended up being really fun, and I knew I wanted to join the group after that.