The Women in Retirement Conference (WiRC) is the only conference of its kind, with content built by women advisors and TPAs for women. WiRC brings together business owners and managers in the retirement plan service industry to focus on five key areas: leadership, marketing, practice management, advocacy 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:
Our core attendees are Advisors and TPAs (compliance only), but we also welcome women who are in client (plan sponsor) facing roles, including: Actuaries; Broker-Dealers / RIA Home Office; Plan Sponsors / HR Professionals. Core attendees should qualify in one of these categories. To ensure the best possible experience for our conference attendees and sponsors, ARA reserves the right to limit attendance from non-sponsoring companies who do not qualify as core attendees.
Many WiRC participants are members of one or more of the American Retirement Association’s (ARA) sister organizations: American Society of Enrolled Actuaries (ASEA), American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA), and Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA).
What Happens at WiRC
Day One: January 12th
Be prepared to do the WiRC!
We believe that there is more to life than numbers and find value in both formal and informal networking opportunities.
Evening one of the Women in Retirement Conference starts with an opportunity to grow your network. WiRC kicks off with a networking reception leading to a dinner with a group you definitely want to be in the room with! The welcome dinner will be followed by “After-WiRC”, a “Choose Your Own Adventure,” night of fun with options to enjoy out on the town or on property for a quiet evening indoors. You choose!
4:00pm – 6pm
4:30pm – 6pm
Hosted by the Women in Retirement Planning Committee
6pm – 8pm
“WiRC”-ing Welcome Dinner
Let’s make the most of our time together by being intentional about our networking! It’s one thing to be in the room and another to connect in a meaningful way. You’ll never know if your next mentor, advocate, or business opportunity may be in this room! Join us for this opportunity to maximize relationships and transform the way you network.
After WiRC - Choose Your Own Adventure
So much to do and so little time! After dinner, join the planning committee for a memorable night of fun with options to enjoy out on the town, or on property for a lively evening indoors. You choose!
Day Two: January 13th
Day Two is all about developing skills to aid in planning for your personal and professional growth, developing a leadership resume to help map out your career path, and service to other women in the industry. The day starts off with a “NetWiRCing” breakfast, followed by opportunities to connect with your peers in small groups. We’ll also have general sessions, hear BIG ideas from our sponsors, and an “After-WiRC” unique “Ladies Night Out” that you won’t want to miss!
7am – 4:30pm
7:45 – 9:00am
8am – 8:10am
8:15 – 8:30am
Sponsor BIG Ideas
8:30 – 8:55am
Break in the Sponsor Lounge
9am – 9:50am
General Session 1: Helping Executive Women Achieve Their Biggest Dream
You grow in the direction of your goals. However, with a global pandemic and a lot of uncertainty, it can be challenging to get in the right mindset to set goals that actually matter.
This session will give you the tools to get clear about the goals that really matter to you.
L’areal Lipkins will share her phenomenal insights around exactly how to manifest your biggest goals and most audacious dreams- let’s just say she goes WAY beyond making an annual vision board. L’areal is a master sales trainer, consultant, and speaker who specializes in teaching small to medium-sized businesses on how to convert big prospects into paying clients.
Speaker: L’areal Lipkins, MBA, CEO, A Woman with Vision
10am – 10:20am
Sponsor BIG Ideas
10:20am – 10:55am
Break in the Sponsor Lounge
11am – 11:50am
Connecting and Collaborating: Executing Your Vision Workshop
There’s a lot that happens in between setting and goal and making it happen. During this hands-on workshop, attendees will:
- Learn how to break your goals down to mini-milestones, so you stay motivated, focused, and on track.
- Create a step-by-step roadmap and routine to confidently execute your goals easily, even while juggling multiple responsibilities.
- Identify potential roadblocks up-front so you don’t get derailed.
Facilitated by: L’areal Lipkins, MBA, CEO, A Woman with Vision
12pm – 12:50pm
Net “WiRC”-ing Lunch
1pm – 1:50pm
General Session 2: Pathways to Leadership & Navigating Growth with the ARA Council for Women
The ARA Council for Women listens to women’s needs and provides solutions — events, leadership, mentoring, education, and advocacy — that are designed to support, strengthen, and educate industry professionals who work with ARA on matters impacting women.
In 2021, the ARA Council for Women conducted a survey of its members to get an understanding of the members awareness of current programs available and to help them shape future programing. One of the loudest and clearest messages was back was: “help us grow into leadership professionally and within the ARA.” We heard you and help is here!
Join the ARA Council for Women in a panel discussion to learn how they navigated their path to association leadership and opportunities for your growth in the industry by leveraging ARA educational programs, current volunteer opportunities, and networking opportunities to build your own pathway to leadership.
- ASEA: Lynn M. Young, EA, MSEA, partner/consulting actuary, Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC.
- ASPPA: Shannon M. Edwards, ERPA, QPA, QKA, APA, APR, president, TriStar Pension Consulting.
- NAPA: Nicole Corning, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF®, managing partner, Buckman & Corning Financial Strategies Group, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.
- NTSA: Kristine J. Coffey, CPC, CPFA™, CRES, executive vice president, CPE Associates, Ltd. SOUTHWEST and MIDWEST, International Consulting.
- PSCA: Michelle R. McGovern, CPSP, director, Strategic Operations, People and Culture; director, Human Resources and Operations, American College of Surgeons.
2pm - 2:50pm
Connecting and Collaborating: How Do You Take Your Next Step on Your Professional or Personal Path
Join one of the following three break-out sessions to discuss and explore how to take your next step on your professional, philanthropic or personal path:
Break-Out 1: Asking is having—how do you ask for advancement, more responsibility, or for investment in your professional development? This break-out will focus on how you can describe the benefits your firm will receive when they invest in you!
Break-Out 2: Create a volunteer resume and discuss how to land a board position. Have you ever wondered: how do I ascend to a board-level position? This break-out will help you develop your resume and action steps to create opportunities to be seen and heard at a leadership level.
Break Out 3: The role of a mentor: This forum will discuss the benefits of being a mentor or how to ask to be mentored. Mentorship can be formal or informal. Sometimes it doesn’t work. This session is intended to be an open forum to learn more about ARA’s Thrive program, as well as how to seek other mentoring opportunities professionally and personally.
3pm – 3:20pm
Sponsor BIG Ideas
3:20pm – 3:55pm
Break in the Sponsor Lounge
4pm – 5pm
General Session 3: SupportHER—Elevating Others
Whether a myth or reality, it is believed that women have a tendency to rise in ranks and earn a seat at the table, but then move as if success is a solo sport. Join this session to learn how to create a balance by reaching back to bring others with you and how to avoid competing with other women in the room. You will learn simple strategies to address this scenario and actions steps needed to coach, mentor, or develop others and support other women “at the table.”
Are you interested in learning how to change this tendency? Do you want to pour into others and be able to identify “girl on girl” infringements—not supporting other women, not reaching back to help another woman rise, and more? To be a better leader and team player for yourself and other women in the retirement industry join this session.
Speaker: Darlene Flagg, Vice President, National Life Group, NTSA President
6pm – 9pm
After WiRC - Ladies Night
Day Three: January 14th
Our third and last day together begins before the sun hits the sky with a Sunrise “WiRC-out”. You’ll need the energy as we spend our last day together building our marketing, practice management, and advocacy muscles. You’ll be happy you stayed until the end to participate in our final lunch Q & A with a member of the 117th Congress to hear firsthand the difference our voice often makes in a room.
Our time together will inspire you and help you to execute your strategies to help you achieve your biggest dreams.
6:15am – 7:15am
Sunrise “WiRC”-out (yoga)
7:00am – 12:00pm
8:00am – 8:30am
8:30am – 9:20am
General Session 4: Intentional Human Resources programs and initiatives that encourage a meaningful culture and a strong company.
In this session you will learn how to identify and implement programs that measure culture, inform human resource initiatives and ensure that your team members are having a positive experience while creating a meaningful impact.
- Measure and better understand your company’s culture and demographics.
- Assess and determine what employee engagement programs will work best for your company, from new employee orientation, to training and mentoring, from employee appreciation to employee offboarding.
- Identify and create policies, processes and programs which reflects the unique culture of your company.
- Understanding why it is important to ensure that your company’s culture and demographics are represented in your programs.
- Gain buy-in, from top leadership and your co-workers, of your recommendations and encourage understanding of the value and positive impact a strong human resource program can establish.
Learn from Human Resources expert Gabrielle Turner, CPSP and member of Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) who brings years of experience with recommending and implementing culture driven human resource programs for companies of all sizes and in various industries.
Speaker: Gabrielle Turner, CPSP™, Human Resource Expert, PSCA Member
9:30 – 9:50am
Sponsor BIG Ideas
9:50am – 10:25am
Break in the Sponsor Lounge
10:35 – 11:25am
General Session 5: The Power of Persuasion
It’s time for women to create our own destinies. Better communication and public speaking give us the ability to seize every opportunity and aspire to new heights. So, whether you are interviewing for a job, delivering a talk at a conference, raising money for a favorite non-profit, running for public office, or communicating one-on-one, women of all ages can become a powerful force when you learn to speak with authenticity and confidence.
Speaker: Deborah Shames, Co-Founder, Eloqui
11:30am – 1pm
General Session 6 and Working Lunch: Your Voice Matters: Supporting Women Owned, Veteran Owned and Minority Owned Business through Advocacy
This is your opportunity to learn what we as women can do to effectively become involved in and be effective in advocacy and public policy. As we know women are a powerful voice in the advocacy and legislative process. As influencers, it’s important to know how to use our advocacy voice to help close the wealth gap for women and communities of color. Join us for this lunch and Q & A with a member of the 117th Congress to hear firsthand the difference our voice often makes in a room.
Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar (Invited)
The conference is designed to offer up to 9 hours of ASPPA/NAPA/NTSA CE.
To request approval for a specific type of credit, please click here. All requests must be made by December 1, 2021.
Meet the 2021-2022 WiRC Committee
Megan C. Crawford, ERPA, QPA
Megan Crawford, ERPA, QPA, 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.
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.
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.
Linda M. Chadbourne, APR, APA, QKA, PFC
As a previous TPA Owner who recently merged Beacon-Benefits, Inc., Linda brings over 25 years of experience in the Retirement Industry. In her current role as Managing Director, she is passionate about increasing the retirement readiness of business owners and their employees. She has been a member of the ARA family for over 20 years, assists with the Government Affairs Committee, a Contributing Author and Committee Member for ASPPA’s Plan Consultant Magazine. She finds pride helping young women find the strength, courage and empowerment to reach their goals. When not working she enjoys time with her family and dog, traveling, golfing and photography.
Nicole Corning, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF®
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
Kirsten L. Curry, APM, CEO
CEO, Attorney & Founder, I Champion Closing the Retirement Savings Gap for Women and Minorities.
Michelle Engle, Suncoast Wealth Solutions, Saint Petersburg, FL
More Than Just A Financial Advisor. Customizing Investments While Helping Your Dreams & Goals Come True!
Erin Hall, CPFA, managing director, Strategic Retirement Partners, Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Helping 401(k)/403(b) plan committees expect more and gain confidence they’re doing the right things with 3 essential ingredients.
Leah M. Hill, CPC, QKA, QPA, director, Retirement Plan Service, Shepherd Financial, Carmel, IN
Amanda R. Iverson, APM, COO, Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC, Tucson, AZ
Amanda Iverson is a partner at Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC, and the firm’s chief operating officer. Amanda is responsible for managing the firm’s internal operations including accounting, human resources, growth strategy, strategic planning, and efficiency analysis. Amanda speaks nationally on topics related to firm management and has published several articles in leading industry publications. Prior to her time at Pinnacle, Amanda spent a decade as an C.P.A. Auditor in public accounting auditing various industries and specializing in the audits of Employee Benefit Plans. Amanda serves as an elected at-large member of the ASPPA Leadership Council. She is a graduate of the Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) program, which promotes community and civic leadership and has served as a Board member and Treasurer for GTL. She has served as a member of the Society of Human Resources of Greater Tucson’s (SHRM-GT) Programs Planning Committee. In 2019, Amanda was selected as one of Tucson’s 40 Under 40 honorees. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Pacific University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium
Renee Scherzer, CPFA, 401k Resources, Scottsdale, AZ
Virginia Krieger Sutton, QKA, QPFC, consultant, Johnson & Dugan, Redwood City, CA
Melissa Terito, partner, Sentinel Pension, Baton Rouge, LA
Kathleen J. Tompkins, EA, MSPA, MAAA
Kathy is a co-founding partner of Shore Tompkins Actuarial Resources, a Chicago-based TPA firm that specializes in retirement plan design & compliance administration for 401(k), 403(b), profit sharing and cash balance plans. She started her career in the retirement industry right out of college and has been actively involved ever since. She enjoys navigating the challenges & opportunities that constantly come with the everchanging landscape of our industry. Kathy is an enrolled actuary with a specialized background in 401k administration, and has been a member of ASPPA for over 25 years.
Gabrielle Turner, CPSP™, Director of Human Resources at Caroo.
The WIRC Conference is designed for industry members who are in client (plan sponsor) facing roles, including:
- TPAs (compliance only)
- Broker-Dealers / RIA Home Office
- Plan Sponsors / HR Professionals
Core attendees should qualify in one of these categories. To ensure the best possible experience for our conference attendees and sponsors, ARA reserves the right to limit attendance from non-sponsoring companies who do not qualify as core attendees.
Relive Past WiRC Experiences
Conference Venue & Hotel Information
Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach
321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort offers everything you need to feel renewed and enriched. Settle in to one of our redesigned rooms and suites, many of which offer ocean views; satisfy cravings with the healthful options from our 24-hour in-room dining menu and sleep well on the iconic Westin Heavenly® Bed. Additional amenities at the resort include the peaceful Heavenly Spa by Westin™, as well as Mexican fare at Pablo Salas’ Lona Cocina Tequileria, a hearty breakfast at Tinta and poolside dining at Waves Bar & Grill. Stroll across our skywalk to the beach and shop on Las Olas Boulevard while you’re there. An empowering experience awaits you.
Room Rate: $269
The 2022 Women in Retirement Conference will comply with large event safety protocols consistent with the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Broward County, and CDC guidelines in effect in January 2022. Operational adjustments to these protocols may occur, so please check back here for the most updated information.
Face coverings are not currently required by the City of Fort Lauderdale or Broward County. Attendees are welcome to wear face coverings to suit their comfort level.
Enhanced Cleaning and Safety Protocols
Please click here to learn more about the Westin Ft. Lauderdale’s multi-pronged approach to meet the health and safety requirements of their “Commitment to Clean” standards. Signage will be visible throughout the hotel to remind guests and employees to practice good hygiene.
All attendees must complete a Covid waiver in order to attend the event. Waivers will be emailed to attendees prior to the conference. If the waiver is not signed in advance, attendees will be prompted to complete it before collecting their badge onsite. If an attendee does not complete the waiver, they may not attend the event.
Personal Responsibility Acknowledgement
Prior to the event, all attendees will be asked to self-attest that they are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or will have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of attending the conference. If an attendee does not meet these criteria, they may not attend the event. This is a self-attestation (attendees should not submit supporting documentation).
Stay Safe Together
Any attendee who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending the event, has COVID-19 related symptoms, or for any reason believes they have been exposed to COVID-19, should not attend the conference, including if these conditions emerge while they are in Fort Lauderdale. In addition, ARA may immediately remove or prohibit an attendee from in-person activities at the conference if they exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if fail to comply with any safety procedures stipulated by ARA or the event venue.
Registration Refund Policy
Requests for refunds should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15. A refund of the conference fee, minus a $100 processing fee, will be given for cancellations received by that date. No refunds will be granted for requests received after this date. Please note that refunds will not be given for no-shows.
Substitution of registrations is permitted prior to the conference. Only one substitution is permitted per original registrant. The individual submitting the substitution request is responsible for updating any contact information. Requests for substitutions should be submitted to email@example.com by January 5. No substitutions will be accepted after this date.
Attendees who register in advance may pick up their badge and onsite materials at the Registration Desk during conference hours. If you do not check in at the Registration Desk to pick up your badge, you will be deemed a no-show and continuing education credit will not be issued. Attendees are not permitted to pick up other attendees’ badges/materials.
Covid Waiver & Safety Protocols
By participating in this conference and any associated events, you acknowledge and understand the highly contagious nature of Coronavirus/COVID-19, and that current medical knowledge of the virus, including its transmissibility and risk remains uncertain, particularly in light of evolving variants of the virus. There is not a cure for the virus, and those with certain medical conditions may be at high risk for contracting the virus and/or experiencing significant and life-threatening complications.
You understand and acknowledge that neither ARA nor the event venues are able to provide a guarantee against transmission of the virus, infection and/or illness and that they are not responsible for any potential exposure to COVID-19 and injuries related thereto or other infectious disease which you may experience in connection with the conference. As such, you assume all risks related to COVID-19, even if arising from the negligence or fault of ARA and you release and hold harmless the ARA, its officers, employees, agents, representatives, affiliates, legal successors, and all persons acting pursuant to its authority from any and all liability for damages for exposure to and/or infection with COVID-19 in connection with or on account of my participation in the conference.
If you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the event, have COVID-19 related symptoms, or for any reason to believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you will not attend the conference. In addition, ARA may immediately remove or prohibit you from in-person activities at the conference if you exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you fail to comply with any safety procedures stipulated by ARA or the event venue.
If the event is canceled, ARA will refund your registration fee. ARA is not responsible for individual airfare, hotel or any other travel expenses that may be incurred.
Consent to Use of Photographic Images
Your registration and attendance at, or participation in, the event and other affiliated activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to grant ARA permission to use photos taken of you at the event for news, promotion and similar purposes.
Solicitation of business by anyone other than ARA exhibitors and sponsors is strictly prohibited. Please report any violations to the registration desk.
By making a reservation in the conference hotel room block, you agree that the hotel can share with ARA basic information about your stay, including your name, arrival, and departure dates.
The views and opinions expressed by speakers or others who have provided materials to and for this conference are not necessarily those of ARA or its affiliate organizations. ARA, and its affiliate organizations assume no responsibility for, nor endorse, any of the comments, recommendations or materials that are provided.
Event Code of Conduct
The American Retirement Association, the umbrella organization for the individual membership organizations: ASPPA, ASEA, NAPA, NTSA and PSCA (collectively the “ARA”), is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants at ARA events. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, service providers and ARA staff members, and all others are expected to abide by this Events Code of Conduct. This policy applies to all ARA events (in-person and virtual), including all meetings and conferences, as well as events sponsored by organizations other than ARA but held in conjunction with ARA events. Read the full Event Code of Conduct.
The American Retirement Association, the umbrella organization for five affiliate organizations, ASPPA, ASEA, NAPA, NTSA and PSCA (collectively the “ARA”), assigns the highest priority to full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of antitrust laws and it is vital that any ARA meetings be conducted in a manner consistent with this policy. Read the full Antitrust Policy.