April 2020 Member Spotlight

Kim Zook

Head of DCIO Field Sales
T. Rowe Price

I love the retirement industry because … the work we do helps others.  Our industry is filled with tremendously talented professionals who care deeply about the financial well-being of clients. For the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to work alongside Advisors, TPAs, Recordkeepers and DCIO’s, and we all share the same collective goal of helping others retire with confidence. When you’ve been at this as long as I have you appreciate and admire the level of commitment and passion of our industry and it’s energizing.

How do you see WiPN affecting positive change in your career or industry?  I joined WiPN in 2011 and have been serving on the Sponsorship Committee since 2014. Through this volunteerism I have met exceptional women who lead various retirement- related organizations and we have leveraged our collective networks to create strategic partnerships. WiPN members are some of the highest profile executives in our industry with tremendous influence. In the past, WiPN introductions have helped me turn prospects into clients and afforded me access to decision makers at top firms. The national and chapter events have been instrumental in helping me connect with clients and execute on my strategic business plans.

My first job in the retirement industry was …  as a regional compliance coordinator in a field office of Aetna Financial Services. I was a quick study and was promoted to Client Relations Manager and Bilingual Enroller and relocated from California to Texas. I went back to CA to become a 401k Plan Wholesaler for several years and eventually ran a Marketing & Sales Training division. I am now Head of DCIO Field Sales at T. Rowe Price and am responsible for a team of highly experienced sales professionals who work with retirement plan advisors. I’ve always loved the performance-based measurement of sales. When I was 25 years old, I was the youngest and only female 401k wholesaler in Northern California. I was underestimated in the marketplace and when I outworked the competition, I let the results speak for themselves.  Nothing energizes me more than being a part of a winning sales team and in my new role at T Rowe Price, we are lucky to have other WiPN leaders like Michele Giangrande contributing to our success.

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry?  I’m passionate about helping other women thrive in this industry.  I feel a tremendous responsibility to contribute to unleashing the potential of our future female leaders.  I have personally benefited from male and female mentors who influenced my career by challenging me to take ownership of my career, think differently, and find the opportunity in every situation. I was lucky to have these mentors as I didn’t have an organization like WiPN back then to meet industry leaders.  I’m proud to volunteer at WiPN and help other women because I recognize some of them won’t be as fortunate as I was to have mentors invested in their success. Its positive effect.  I recently joined T. Rowe Price’s WAVE group with the mission “to support the firm by increasing its ability to attract, develop, advance and retain talented and principled women”.  Both WAVE and WiPN are forces for positive change. WiPN is the best way to invest in our future and I’m all in!

My favorite quote is … “Work Hard and Be Kind” because it has served me well throughout my life and is my secret weapon!

Kim Zook

Christy A Poe, CIMC®, C(k)P

Vice President, Regional Retirement Consultant
American Century Investments

I love the retirement industry because … of the people!  I have developed lifelong business partnerships and true friendships.  I have enjoyed spending my career with a group of professionals who share similar goals and passion around helping Americans save for retirement.

How do you see WiPN affecting positive change in your career or industry?  WiPN is becoming a force!  It’s impressive to see the WiPN chapters launching across the country.  The growth of WiPN has been fast and impactful.  To witness groups of like-minded women banning together to celebrate each other is very inspiring.

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? It’s humbling and an honor to be considered a role model within this industry. I look back on my career and have great memories of the mentors who paved the way for me and offered support to help me advance my career. My goal is to do the same for others, either formally or informally. Everyone is unique with their skill sets. I always offer the same advice – embrace your unique style and show your authentic self.  Only by being authentic will you be able to enjoy your work and your life.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment in your career?  Working for American Century Investments for my entire 27 year career!  I have been extremely fortunate and appreciative of my career at American Century.  I started with the firm in 1989 as a college intern, accepted a full-time position after graduation in 1993 and have established myself as a DCIO Regional Consultant for the past 22 years.

My favorite quote is … The more you can be authentic, the happier you’re going to be, and life will work itself around that. – Melinda Gates

I love this quote because it is an excellent reminder for all girls and women, regardless if their profession is outside the home or at home.  If you can truly be yourself, you’ll be surprised at what can be achieved.

Christy Poe