December 2018 Member Spotlight

Katy Albers

Strategic Sales Leader

MassMutual

My current job involves… strategy development and execution specific to the finals process, with a focus on communications and education. When one of MassMutual’s institutional reps is invited to a finals meeting, I pick up the project, working with my internal partners to determine the right players to attend the meeting, develop the right strategy to help us win, and prepare the team so that they’re ready to deliver the right solutions clearly and concisely when they have that opportunity to be in front of a prospect. No two days are the same, and most days present new challenges as well. It never gets stale!

My first job in the retirement industry was… in a call center – certainly not a glamorous start but I learned the industry from the ground up. I moved to an education role fairly quickly, and it came as a huge surprise to me when I discovered that presenting is my passion. I majored in Spanish and English in college so this industry was never where I thought I would end up, but I was fortunate to find something that I love to do! I relish the challenge that each day brings; my goal is to simplify complex topics and develop confidence in the MassMutual team’s ability to deliver on our promises.

I first learned about WiPN when…I received a complimentary membership through MassMutual in 2016. Living in Boston at the time, I participated in several local events before moving to North Carolina later that year. I recently rejoined when the Carolinas chapter opened. It’s been such a positive and easy way to meet other women in the area who have a similar focus.

I love the retirement industry because…there are so many opportunities for people with different skill sets to excel, and all while helping people make good decisions that positively impact their futures. This is never where I would have expected to land, but I’m so grateful that I did.

When I’m not working I am….spending time with my husband, daughter (3 ½) and son (1 ½) – you’ll find us on the swings at the park, exploring the library, and reading lots of stories to our “buddies.”

Cheri Belski

Head of Retirement, US Intermediaries

T. Rowe Price

My current job involves… creating the strategy for and leading a team of DCIO, VA, and subadvised sales and relationships managers to drive results, client advocacy, and presence in the marketplace. In addition, I am the Global Chair of our Women’s Business Resource Group, WAVE, where I lead a group of men and women across the globe in our quest to identify, recruit, attain, develop, promote, and retain highly engaged and qualified women. Our highest desired outcome is to drive better equality of representation at the most senior levels of the firm.

I first learned about WiPN when…Daniela Moiseyev introduced me to it when she realized I was attending my first ever NAPA conference and I had the chance to join a session.

I love the retirement industry because… retirement touches everyone. We are helping people throughout their lifetime of savings, investing, accumulating and receiving income to hit milestones that matter most to each of them.

I’d love people to ask me about…my career path and how I think about developing others, as my path has been unique and different from many of my peers with whom I work. I do not come from a traditional “retirement” background but have been able to leverage capabilities over time to apply them uniquely and learn the business at the same time (and have had a ton of success as a result). As such, I’m always interested in sponsoring or mentoring others to help those with a passion for retirement.

When I’m not working I am….spending time with friends and my family. I have two small children that are highly active in local sports and so you can often find me on a soccer field or basketball court on any given weekend! If not doing that, I’m likely reading the latest and greatest non-fiction book (my latest is The Healing Self by Deepak Chopra) or a bestselling fiction (The Women in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware). Finally when I can find extra time, I enjoy traveling to new places and meeting new people.

Mikayla Hartl

Audit Senior Manager; Colorado Office ERISA Specialist

Eide Bailly LLP

My current job involves…auditing employee benefit plans, where as a CPA I helping clients identify instances of noncompliance and best practices. I am fortunate enough to specialize nearly 100% in the ERISA employee benefit plan audit industry for Eide Bailly LLP. In addition to managing many employee benefit plan audits, I oversee and develop local and national training events on ERISA audit topics and lead the Colorado employee benefit plan audit practice.

I love the retirement industry because…I have a passion for helping others, and by auditing an employee benefit plan I see a direct connection to helping employees maximize their retirement savings goals. Auditing, in reality, is becoming a commodity, but it is the relationships I have with my clients that have continuously reminded me why this industry is so important. Employee benefit plan audits may be a regulatory requirement and necessity like other audits, but connecting with my clients and partnering with them as they navigate our changing retirement world “feels” less like something I am coming in to do because I have to and more like something I am coming in to do because I want to help and I want to ease the burden of the human resource and financial personnel I work with. I see the difference I make in my chosen career and in my contribution to the retirement industry, and that is my number one professional goal.

Other women should join WiPN because… it is an exciting group dedicated to helping women grow together with a common passion for the retirement industry. Because the WiPN chapter in Denver is new, it is fun and represents infinite opportunity. When women join together for a common cause they can move mountains. I can’t wait to see how it will help the women here grow and expand both personally and professionally and I would love to see more women become a part of what WiPN has to offer.

When I’m not working I am….usually hanging out with my kids and husband. I am a boy mom through and through with two full-of-energy sons, 9 and 3. Our weekends are usually filled with baseball or basketball games my older son is playing in. When we aren’t at a game, we find ways as a family to make memories with spontaneous trips to the mountains or volunteering together to give back to the community. Over the years we have participated in a lot of community events together to give of our time and it has been amazing to watch my older son’s heart overfill with empathy for those who are less fortunate, and pride in how he personally can help them (my younger son will no doubt follow in his footsteps).

One thing every women should do at least once in their life is…let fear go by the wayside and try something out you have always wanted to try before it’s too late. From the time I was a young child into adulthood I always wanted to try out martial arts. A few years ago, I joined a Taekwondo class with my son. Fast forward to today and I am a first-degree black belt. It initially began as a way for me to connect with my child, but he quickly found out it wasn’t for him. It became something I did truly on my own, just for me, for the first time in a long time. I learned so much on that journey about perseverance, what I really can do, and how much fear truly is a liar.