The Women in Retirement Conference (WiRC) is the only conference of its kind built by women advisors and TPAs for women in the retirement plan industry. WiRC brings together women in the retirement plan service industry to focus on four key areas: leadership, marketing, practice management, and personal growth.
WiRC is designed to address the challenges and opportunities of women in the industry, both personally and professionally. This event — which features keynote speakers, as well as intimate roundtables and workshops — is designed to inspire women in the retirement services industry to seek their highest level of personal and professional growth.
Who Can Attend WiRC
Our primary attendees are TPAs and advisors, but we also welcome advisor firm home office staff and closely-related job functions (ERISA attorneys, client service staff, relationship managers, etc.). We believe that this event can be an introduction to new career paths for many women in the financial service industry.
What Happens at WiRC
Day One: January 15th
WiRC begins on day one with a networking reception and dinner, followed by a night of fun on the town, better known as “AfterWiRC.” We believe that there is more to life than numbers and find value in formal and informal networking opportunities!
4:30 – 6 pm
Registration & Welcome Reception
6 – 8 pm
“WiRC”-ing Welcome Dinner
8 – 10 pm
Day Two: January 16th
Thursday kicks off with a “NetWiRCing” breakfast, followed by general sessions covering Growth, Leadership, and Service, interspersed with opportunities to connect with your peers in small groups. The first general session will kick off with author Kelly McDonald tackling the often-touchy subject of diversity. We’ll also have an update from the Hill, general sessions, and BIG ideas from our sponsors you won’t want to miss. AfterWiRC consists of a uniquely local Ladies Night out at the New Orleans School of Cooking!
9 – 10:30 am
General Session 1
How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You
Diversity in the financial services industry is a hot topic. Many companies are under pressure to make sure their employee base is diverse, inclusive and representative of the customers they serve. The most progressive organizations value diversity because they realize that it improves the bottom line, in part because it leads to better decisions and solutions and innovation. However, a diverse workforce doesn’t just refer to hiring employees with different racial and ethnic backgrounds; it can also mean diversity of thought.
We are ALL dealing with people “not like us,” which can cause misunderstandings and frustration, but these reactions are not inevitable.
How do you work alongside someone who may be quite different from you, respect those differences and be effective in your role? And what about leading a diverse team? How does one motivate and lead groups of people who come from different backgrounds, may be motivated by different values and view the world and work through different lenses?
This session takes the topic of work and leadership to a new place — one that is getting more attention every day and will continue to do so.
10:30 – 10:55 am
Sponsors at WiRC — BIG Ideas
presented by WiRC Sponsors
11 – 11:20 am
Refreshments in Sponsor Lounge
11:30 – 12:20 pm
Breakout Session 1:
Connecting and Collaborating: How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You
Each attendee brings her own knowledge, experiences and lessons learned to share. Connect and go deeper on the concepts learned through small group discussions.
12:30 – 1:20 pm
General Session 2
Net “WiRC”-ing Lunch: Updates from the Hill
As many recent headlines remind us, the workings of our government can be complex! Add retirement policy to the mix you might find yourself wondering how Congressional and regulatory actions could impact day-to-day operations for you and your clients. Watch out for unexpected consequences! Join Allison Wielobob for an Update from the Hill and Beyond. She will deliver the latest information and perspectives on a variety of topics, including:
- The SECURE Act
- MEPs & PEPs
- State Laws & Legislation
1:30 – 2:20 pm
General Session 3
Tell Me More: How Our Challenges Became Our Strengths
How often do you get the opportunity to engage in authentic conversations? In the office, and at home we can’t always address the issues and challenges we face as women in the industry. We’ll tackle these topics at the ARA Leadership panel with Janine J. Moore, Kyla Keck, Patricia Wenzel, and moderator Nicole Corning. Don’t miss this session, which will feature:
- Frank conversation about rebounding from adversity along our professional journeys.
- Stories of revelations and growth from female leaders in our industry.
- Real talk about how we navigate and thrive in the retirement plan industry, in our professional relationships, and in our personal challenges.
Join us for this opportunity to talk with top women in leadership at the American Retirement Association and your co-WiRCers. Have a burning question you’d like the panel to address?
2:30 – 2:55 pm
Sponsors at WiRC — BIG Ideas
presented by WiRC Sponsors
3 – 3:20 pm
Refreshments in Sponsor Lounge
3:30 – 4:20 pm
General Session 4
How to Serve and Build Wealth with Communities of Color
Chloe McKenzie, Wealth Literacy Expert & Leader for Wealth Justice
What narratives are available to marginalized groups that structure their relationship with money and wealth? How do we perpetuate those narratives? How can we subvert them? How can we fight for wealth justice and improve the wealth literacy of these communities? Learn how using educational programming that fosters discussion and teaches consumers how to build real and lasting wealth can help historically marginalized people to take financial control of their lives.
4:30 – 5:20 pm
Breakout Session 2:
Connecting & Collaborating with Women Rocking Wall Street
Join us for a live recording of The Women Rocking Wall Street podcast, with host Sheri Fitts and special guest Chloe McKenzie. The Women Rocking Wall Street podcast focuses on empowering women to survive and thrive in the financial services workplace. This session will help attendees dive deeper into the topics of Serving and Building Wealth with Communities of Color and the concept of the Activist Investor.
6 – 9 pm
Ladies’ Night Out
Bring your appetite for good food and good company for a ladies’ night out at the New Orleans School of Cooking – 2018 Traveler’ Choice, Trip Advisor – Voted #6 experience in the world, #2 in the United States.
Day Three: January 17th
On our last morning we’ll have a Sunrise “WiRC-out,” come together for one more NetWiRCing breakfast, and spend our last day building our marketing and practice management muscles. We’ll top it off with a daring and inspiring workshop – led by returning speaker & Dare to Lead™ Certified Facilitator Mary Proctor Trane – you won’t want to miss!
6:15 – 7:15 am
8:15 – 9 am
Breakfast & Welcome Day 2
9 – 9:50 am
General Session 5
Digital Persuasion: How Can your Sales Team be as Persuasive Online as They Are in Person?
In today’s skeptical, saturated, ad-blocker installed social world, it’s never been harder for a brand to be seen or believed. If your social media content isn’t driving the conversations or conversions it used to, that’s because it’s not enough to just tell a great story anymore. Persuading others to engage with you, your brand, your product or service on social media requires a strategy for not just WHAT story you are telling: but WHO is telling it.
Welcome to the era of the “influencer.” Yes, it’s an eye-rolling buzzword. Yes, it’s a Halloween costume. And yes, 92% of us trust their recommendations over anything a brand says about itself (Nielsen). Persuasion power no longer belonging to brands but to micro, customer and employee influencers. These authentic voices influence perception and affect how we learn, feel and take action. So how can you leverage this complex movement to improve your social media performance?
Igniting the transformative power of influencer marketing requires answering one big question. Whether you are an individual marketing team of one or at the helm of a Fortune 100 brand, Erin will equip and empower you to answer that key question — so you can start to attract attention, increase influence and sell smarter in today’s social media marketplace.
10:00 – 10:25 am
Sponsors at WiRC — BIG Ideas
10:30 – 10:55 am
Break w/ Sponsors
11 am – 12:30 pm
General Session 6
Dare to Lead + Living your Values Workshop (Part 1)
Mary Proctor Trane
In this engaging and interactive session, participants will leave understanding the necessity of Courageous Leadership in today’s world, and what comprises the 4 skill sets of Courage. They will have the opportunity to identify their core values, the behaviors that support these, so they can recognize when they’re acting from a place of integrity. They will learn the daring leadership skills that help guide tough conversations including giving and receiving feedback.
12:30 – 1:30 pm
1:30 – 3 pm
General Session 7
Dare to Lead (Part 2)
3:30 – 4:20 pm
Wisdom at WiRC – Putting It All Together. Growth, Leadership, Service & Practice Management
By the end of this session, you’ll leave with a story and new NetWiRC, not just a souvenir. Cultivate it, draw on it and expand it. And plan to join us again, with new WiRCers in tow and prepared to meet other newbies, next January. WiRC to grow and help us grow WiRC!
The conference is designed to offer up to 13.6 hours of ASPPA/NAPA/NTSA CE.
To request approval for a specific type of credit, please click here.
Meet the 2020 WiRC Committee
Janine Moore has over 25 years of experience in financial services. She co-founded Peak Financial Group in 2002 and served as Principal until the HUB International acquisition in 2019. Prior to Peak, she served the retirement planning needs of clients with MassMutual Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Insurance. In addition, Janine also proudly served her country as a Staff Sergeant with the Ohio Air National Guard where she was honored with the Air Force Achievement Medal. Among her many awards, her team is part of NAPA’s Top DC Advisors and she has received recognition as a Financial Times Top 401 Retirement Advisor and NAPA Top Women Advisor All Star and Captain. Janine has led and contributed to a number of professional and non-profit organizations committed to improving the lives of others and promoting women in business. She is the current Co-Chair for ARA’s upcoming Women in Retirement Conference.
Janine has a BA degree in Journalism and Public Relations from The Ohio State University. She holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 26, 63 and 66 registrations through LPL Financial. In addition, she is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and also holds Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) and Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) designations.
Janine’s faith and family are her first priority, and she is very intentional about spending meaningful time with them. She and her husband, John, have two millennial sons and enjoy keeping up with their active pursuits. To exercise her creativity, Janine appreciates writing, photography, event planning, dancing to Zumba/Refit and singing in her church choir.
Shannon formed TriStar Pension Consulting in 1999. Throughout her more than 25 years in the industry, Shannon has achieved multiple awards and accolades, and is recognized as a proven leader in the retirement plan industry.
Shannon has been a credentialed member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) since 1996. She is also a credentialed member of the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA). Shannon’s professional credentials include: ERPA (Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent), QPA (Qualified Pension Administrator), QKA (Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator), APR (Accredited Pension Representative), and APA (Accredited Pension Administrator).
Shannon currently serves as a board member on the American Retirement Association Board of Directors (ARA) and is the co-chair of the Women in Retirement Conference. She has been a speaker at the ASPPA national conference as well as the Women in Retirement Conference and several other state and local conferences and meetings.
In 2009, Shannon was honored by OKC Business Magazine as one of Oklahoma’s “40 Under 40” award winners. She is also passionate about giving back to her community and has served on several committees and supported several non-profits locally such as Infant Crisis Services, Make a Wish and Cleats for Kids.
Julie Altig, QKA, QPA, ERPA is Vice President of Operations for Atlantic Pension Services, a non-producing Third-Party Administrator. Julie helps small and mid-size business owners create a meaningful retirement for their employees through complex plan design and annual administration. After working for almost a decade with Associated Pension Consultants in Sacramento, California, Julie moved across country in 2007 and began working for Atlantic Pension Services.
Julie is native Californian and a graduate of the University of the Pacific where she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Ecuador. Having the experience as an exchange student herself has inspired Julie to open her home to exchange students from all over the world. Julie has cared for exchange students from Japan, Italy, Finland, and most recently Spain. Julie also enjoys home improvement and dabbles in Real Estate flipping and home rehab projects. Julie is a huge animal lover. Her husband and two children help her care for their current menagerie including three dogs and three cats.
Sheri Alsguth, EA, MSPA, CPC, QPFC is an Enrolled Actuary, focused on the design, implementation and ongoing administration of defined benefit plans. Sheri, along with fellow actuaries Kevin Donovan and Lynn Young, authored the 2016 – 2018 Editions of the Defined Benefit Answer Book, published by Wolters Kluwer. As an enrolled actuary, Sheri specializes in actuarial consulting and third-party administration of defined benefit retirement plans. Her 27+ years of retirement plan experience make her a valuable asset to the Pinnacle team. Sheri is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Sheri is a native Texan. She loves BIG sporting events, having gone to a World Cup Match, the Atlanta Olympics, Game 7 of an NBA Championship and the World Series! While reading is her first hobby, she also has a rusty Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a Certified Diver. She and her husband Carsten love to travel. Sheri is not your usual actuary, she loves to laugh and have fun!
Megan Crawford, ERPA is a principal at Williams Benefit Consulting, LLC where she has gained unparalleled experience over her 10 years in the retirement plan space. Megan is known for helping, educating, and supporting clients and their employees as they plan for retirement. Outside of the office, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She is also passionate about fundraising for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Nicole Corning CFP®, CRPC®, AIF® is a Partner and Fundamental Choice Portfolio Manager at Buckman & Corning Financial Strategies Group. She has been part of the finance and banking industry in Scottsdale, Arizona since 2001 and currently serves as a Financial Advisor with the Buckman and Corning Financial Strategies Group. Nicole is one of nine voting members of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) leadership committee, and was named one of the 2018 Top Women Advisors by NAPA.*
Prior to coming to Arizona, Nicole worked in Washington D.C. and had the honor of working on two presidential campaigns as well as several senatorial and congressional campaigns around the country. Nicole is also a published author. She is active in the Scottsdale non-profit community and sits on the board of Cortney’s Place. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has two young sons, three loyal rescue dogs, and has been (mostly) happily married since 2001.
*NAPA Top Women Advisors were nominated and voted on by industry peers and selected by a NAPA panel of judges based on information about their practice, experience and accomplishments as provided by the nominee. Investment performance is not an explicit component CAR 1218-02457
Jeanne Fisher, CFP®, CPFA is a Certified Financial Planner™ with ARGI, a comprehensive wealth management firm. She serves as a 401(k) and retirement plan specialist, and designs and manages a range of employer-sponsored retirement plans. Jeanne is a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor from the National Association of Plan Advisors, and was honored to be selected as an Ambassador for the CFP® Board. She is frequently interviewed for national publications, including Forbes, USA Today, TIME Magazine, NPR, Asset TV and many others. Jeanne is a published author, speaker, active on social media and host of the YouTube Channel “Financial Jeanne.”
Amy Koch, CRPS®, CPFA, Vice President, joined B. Riley Wealth Management in early 2014. Previously, Amy was a Relationship Manager with John Hancock Retirement Plan Services where she provided guidance to a diverse group of corporate retirement plans. She has experience helping Plan Sponsors and Administrators manage plans in an efficient and compliant manner. During her career, Amy has worked extensively with plan sponsors and participants and has demonstrated a record of increasing participation and contributions. Amy earned industry recognition when she was named among the 2015 MVP List of Top Women Advisors by the National Association of Plan Advisors.
Amy is a life-long Memphian, a graduate of Christian Brothers University with a B.S. in Business Administration. She is very active in the community and is a Board member and current President of the Memphis Civitan Club, a volunteer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and occasionally coaches competitive youth volleyball. In her free time, she enjoys spending time, usually outdoors, with her husband and 8 year old step son.
Leigh Lewis, QPA, QKA has been with Metro Benefits, Inc. since June, 1999. A native of Pittsburgh, Leigh is a graduate of La Roche College earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. Since joining Metro, she has obtained the professional designations of QKA and QPA through the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). She is a Managing Consultant at Metro Benefits, Inc. and oversees a defined contribution team while also being responsible for bringing in new clients to the firm. She enjoys providing plan design and ongoing administration to a number of clients. She is an active board member on the ASPPA Women’s Business Leaders Forum and the WiRC. Effective February 1, 2012 Leigh became an owner of Metro Benefits, Inc.
Alicia Malcolm, CRPC ® began her career in the financial services industry in 2010. Based in Buffalo, NY, Alicia is a Financial Advisor at UBS Financial Services and a partner on The D’Aiutolo Investment Consulting Group. Their team provides comprehensive wealth management services to high net worth clients and their families and provides services to 60 ERISA clients, representing in excess of $2.4 Billion and 35,000 working Americans. Alicia has an integral role amongst her wealth management practice and with the team’s institutional clients.
In 2012, Alicia joined her Mother’s Wealth Management practice at UBS. Her passion for financial planning and helping people obtain their goals has been integral in the expansion of their wealth management business. Alicia is committed to helping her clients’ achieve and sustain their financial and life goals. The basis of Alicia’s practice begins with a comprehensive financial plan. The financial plan allows her to gain a complete understanding of her clients’ current financial situation and their future goals. By understanding each client’s unique situation, she can utilize the breadth of resources, research and ideas that UBS has to offer along with proactive client service in order to navigate each client in the right direction to achieve success.
Quickly after joining UBS, Alicia was introduced to their team’s strategic partner and now formal business partner, Paul D’Aiutolo, the team’s lead Fiduciary Consultant to ERISA retirement plans.
Alicia helps drive their institutional practice by bringing in new clients and serving as the lead relationship manager to many of their existing clients. Her combined experience in financial planning and in working with 401(k) plans has driven Alicia to continuously better the 401(k) participant experience. Alicia meets with hundreds of participants nearing retirement every year to help educate them as the idea of retirement starts to transition into their reality.
Alicia graduated from The University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Marketing. She holds FINRA Series 7, Series 66 and Life, Health and Disability Licenses and just recently obtained her designation as a Certified Retirement Plan Counselor, CRPC®. Alicia was recently married. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing golf, running, and doing anything active outdoors.
Emily Minnich, CFP® has over ten years of experience in investment management and retirement plan consulting, with an expertise in financial planning and plan participant education. She joined with UBS in 2005 after having spent three years at the Prudential/Wachovia joint venture. Emily emphasizes asset allocation and total portfolio management, including structures for education funding, charitable giving and estate planning. She focuses on assisting clients with fiduciary compliance, manager and vendor searches, fee analysis, and benchmarking and overall client experience.
After receiving a B.S. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing from Bowling Green State University, Emily went on to earn an extensive list of professional credentials, including the Series 7, 66, life and health insurance licenses and the prestigious Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation. Emily has been recognized by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) as one of the Top Women Advisors in 2015, and the Top 50 Under 40 for two consecutive years (2015 & 2016).
Outside of the office, Emily enjoys staying active and is an indoor cycling instructor in Westlake. She is also an active alumna at St Joseph’s Academy and a member of the Women in Pension Network. Emily and her husband make their home in Westlake, OH.