Brenda Rynski, ARCP, CRPS
Sr. TPA Business Development Manager at Capital Group
My current job involves… working closely with our top TPAs to help these firms grow their businesses with American Funds proprietary retirement solutions — RecordkeeperDirect and PlanPremierTPA. We have over 60,000 plans using our solutions and over 97% of these plans are with an independent third party administrator. TPAs have always been a part of my retirement career path.
My first job in the retirement industry was… as a regional sales rep for Newkirk Products, Inc in Albany, NY which was acquired by DST and is now SS&C Technologies. I sold custom 401k OnDemand education systems to the largest banks in the Great Lakes region covering six states. This was an exciting time as it was my first external sales job. I loved the company and had a wonderful boss. I can’t thank him enough for his mentorship and putting his trust and faith in me to manage and cultivate this territory. Newkirk was a very family-oriented environment growing rapidly as innovators in 401k communications.
I love the retirement industry because… there are simply so many great people in our industry. It’s amazing that I can have a positive impact on people’s lives by helping them with their retirement. Knowing TPAs have very strong client retention rates, I enjoy working with them to develop messaging — whether it’s about our plan solutions or the benefits of target date funds — to help Americans with their retirement plan goals.
I first learned about WiPN… through my former boss, Laura Moskwa, who was the TPA Channel Director at Transamerica. She was involved ten years ago in the infancy stages of the WiPN organization.
What are the best things about being involved in WiPN? It’s a very inclusive environment with everyone cheering for each other. It’s also very diverse in representation of all aspects of our retirement industry which feeds into an incredible knowledge bank.
Jennifer Mulrooney, MBA, RPA, (FINRA) Series 6, 7 and 63
Vice President and Regional Sales Director for Prudential Retirement
My first job in the retirement industry was… as a call center representative at CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services which was acquired by Prudential in 2004. I responded to questions from in-bound callers about their 401(k) plan, pension plan and/or nonqualified plan(s).
I first learned about WiPN… from my colleague, Lisa Buffington who is a former President of WiPN (2014). She secured sponsorship from our employer, Prudential Retirement before most people even knew about WiPN. She continues to be actively involved and has been serving as the Hartford regional co-chair since 2018.
I love the retirement industry because… I truly believe that we are improving the lives of everyday people in retirement. I continue to be inspired by the work done by all of the very talented people in our industry who embrace the collective mission to help every American achieve their ideal retirement goals. We all have stories about people in our lives who were not able to enjoy retirement. In my case, my father attempted to retire at age 59 ½ and then ended up going back to work until he could collect social security at age 62. He retired in May 2001 and passed away 7 months later. He worked for 47 years and was only able to enjoy 7 months of retirement. Similarly, my godfather is 80-years-old and has owned his own barbershop for 40+ years. He still spends 10+ hours a day on his feet cutting hair, 6 day/week.
When I’m not working I enjoy… spending time with my family, traveling, spending time on the ocean and practicing martial arts. I am a second degree black belt in America’s Best Defense system of martial arts which combines both Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing. If you’re not familiar with Krav Maga, it is the form of self-defense created by the Israeli military by combining techniques sourced from almost every martial arts system. (Liam Neeson uses Krav Maga in the movie Taken to incapacitate his opponents as quickly as possible).
My favorite quote is… “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I find it to be empowering because I admire those people who choose action over complacency – – who strive to make a situation better rather than just talk about what is wrong or what they’d like to see done differently. I try to live by this mantra and lead by example.
Pam Brooks, CPFA
Sr. Client Manager, Retirement Plan Services
My current job involves… positively assisting clients with their roles and responsibilities as Plan Sponsors by establishing a prudent process and managing their fiduciary responsibilities. I also help them to enhance the retirement benefits they offer as well as improve employee education and participant outcomes.
I love the retirement industry… because it offers me the opportunity to significantly impact others. By working with plan sponsors to make sure they have the knowledge, tools and processes, I can help them to help their employees retire with dignity.
I first learned about WiPN … at a Plan Sponsor conference in Florida, 2016. I went to the WiPN wrap-around event and was instantly impressed. I realized that I had the connections and mindset to help. At the end of the event, I went to the host and told her I wanted to start a chapter in Ohio. Along with my co-chair, we started the N.E. Ohio Chapter in 2017 and are going strong today!
What are the best things about being involved in WiPN? There are so many to choose from, but I definitely say the people! I have met so many resourceful, positive people through WiPN. My network of connections in our industry has grown significantly. As a co-chair, I have had the unique opportunity to bring women in our industry together, helping them broaden their networks.
When I’m not working I am… spending time with family and friends, golfing, camping, going to concerts as well as to Cleveland Browns football games!
I wish that I’d known years ago… to stay true to oneself and that sharing your knowledge and experience can really help others to learn and grow.