We welcome women from all segments of the retirement industry and at all career stages. By affiliating yourself with the Portland OR Regional Chapter of WiPN, you will be able forge new connections at the local level and participate in professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year.
October 5, 2019 – Portland, OR Chapter: Alchemy of Flourishing with Lynette Xanders at Heaven and Earth Retreats
Enjoy! Watch “Welcome Friends” – a short video recap of our first WiPN Portland OR annual chapter retreat
How happy am I? How do I want things to be different? On an early October Saturday, Portland chapter members of Women in Pensions Network, were pondering these – perhaps uncomfortable – questions as we were driving out to foggy Banks, OR for our group’s 1st annual retreat, The Alchemy of Flourishing. As we settled into the amazing location – Heaven and Earth Retreats – we knew we would certainly be a little happier, if not a bit changed, by the end of the day. Lead by Lynette Xanders, CEO of Wild Alchemy, a brand strategy studio whose powerful client list includes brands such as Nike, adidas and Virgin, we were exposed to several “philosophy modules” as Lynette shared her wisdom, speaking from experience. Exercises she’s developed to help people move from “I’m struggling” to “I’m flourishing!”, encouraged us to learn about ourselves, and from one another, as we worked through a variety of activities, which resonated with each of us differently, based on our personal situations, which Lynette mindfully took into account.
Here’s an example of one activity, which had a transformative effect on our attendee’s life in the realm of priorities and goal setting:
“I’ve always struggled with prioritizing, inevitably finding myself being pulled in too many directions. This exercise has helped me better align my focus on what is most important right now. It’s also translatable to all facets of life.”
Many sound-bites of wisdom, some of which we’re sharing below, were unpacked and explored, as we cozied up in a communal space, which later transformed into a yoga studio. Led by instructor Ashley Paul, we enjoyed some much-needed deep muscle stretching. This helped us further benefit from the skillful massages we subsequently received from Stephanie O’Donnell-Peters of Massage & Yoga Portland.
- Be the voice of reason
- Fretting is not working
- Get really clear on what you really want
- Give feedback in the moment
- Pay attention to the power of writing things down
- Don’t underestimate mise en place
- Put yourself out as a luxury brand
- Life is editing
- Live artfully
And then – there was food. Chef Ruthanne Adams, the owner of the Retreats grounds, custom-built a menu specifically for our group based on our respective dietary needs, and prepared for us no less than three full home-cooked meals, enhanced by healthy (and chocolatey!) snacks available throughout the day. We had many questions for Ruthanne about her culinary skills and recipes, and about the fact that she is living her dream of a female enterpreneur creating abundance doing what she loves.
Lynette’s insights, Ruthanne’s delicious food, fresh-air, lingering sunshine, tall trees, birds chirping, Stephanie and Ashley helping us practice self-care… all coupled with delightful company, the day was a treat for all the senses. THANK YOU to everyone who attended – you all shared your presence, thoughts and feelings with the group so beautifully and authentically that there is no question we all learned so much from one another.
We deeply appreciate the support of our sponsors, Principal and New York Life, whose monetary support assisted in the creation of this very special WiPN experience.
Our July event was a lovely luncheon and conversation around “Life Happens…” The setting was casual, peaceful and perfect for a summer Friday gathering in Portland. Our panelists included Kristie Hill, financial advisor at NML; Karen Zander, national accounts leader at JPMorgan; and Abby Buchanan, LMT, holistic body worker. Facilitated by Andrea Nitta, the panel dove into topics around balance (and imbalance), expectations, curveballs and time management. The panelists as well as the audience shared personal stories, wins & losses, do-overs and successes. A fun thread to work towards each day was, “move a little and laugh a little.”
Thank you to our panelists, attendees and our sponsor JP Morgan. If you are interested in hearing what you missed, below is a link the recording.
Standing room only! Courageous leadership brought attendance to a new record at Hotel deLuxe in Portland, Oregon. An amazing panel of executive leaders and an industry expert moderator provided courageous discussion and conversation around personal challenges and successes in life and the workplace.
Many thanks to Ann Schleck who brought her thoughtful and talented voice for moderation and also personal input. Our panelists included Bonnie Treichel, senior consultant and chief compliance officer for Multnomah Group; Bridget McNamara-Fenesy, president of M Holding Securities, Inc.; Heather Hansen-Lyell, head of global privacy at Columbia Sportswear and Gretchen Reed, chief financial officer at Oregon Episcopal School. The panelists all shared insightful experience from career paths, current roles and life changes as well as perceptions around female leadership within our industry and general observations.
A few key takeaways include: own your voice, build and nourish your network, surround yourself with good people, build relationships, be ambitious, take control of your development and embrace change. The men in the room (there were several!) were included in the discussion and asked to acknowledge, amplify and sponsor.
Thank you to our sponsors – Nuveen, John Hancock Retirement Services, Wilmington Trust & Multnomah Group. The Portland regional chapter of WiPN thanks you for your support!
If you have missed the event, or simply wish to take in further the powerful messages brought up by the panel, we invite you to enjoy the recording of the conversation:
Ivana Polonijo, Andrea Nitta
Bonnie Treichel, Greg Koleno, Ann Schleck, Ivana Palonijo, Val Ferrara, Andrea Nitta
Bonnie Treichel, Val Ferrara
Ann Schleck, Ivana Polonijo
Andrea Nitta, Val Ferrara
Ann Schleck, Bridget McNamara, Heather Hansen-Lyell, Gretchen Reed, Bonnie Treichel
Ivana Polonijo, Val Ferrara
Bonnie Treichel with Multonamah Group
First Webinar in a Two-Part Series: Mindfulness@Work with Fred Barstein
Mindfulness and meditation are not common topics discussed at business meetings, especially in the financial services industry where the bottom line seems to be the most important and sometimes only goal. Yet, as we discussed on the webinar recently with Fred Barstein*, personal experiences point to a truth that mindfulness/meditation and professional careers may not only be compatible, they are inextricably intertwined. As Fred – perhaps surprisingly – highlighted for our group, he has found that over half of his many meetings and conversations with financial services professionals include spiritual discussions. We asked him why… Fred responded:
“Many of the people I meet and work with have achieved their initial material and professional goals: the houses, cars, European vacations, titles and financial security which they fought and worked hard for and thought would make them happy. Yet something is missing. Even good health and family relations do not fill that void.”
So what’s the answer? Fred says it starts with asking the right questions. As we explored on the call, almost everything in this world is impermanent – certainly all material things. The fact is that death, aging, sickness and deterioration of the body – in other words loss – is inevitable. It can be frightening. So where can you find lasting peace, joy and happiness, fulfillment? The first step, says Fred, is to stop looking where they are not: in daily pursuits of satisfying one’s ego, focused on acquisition of material possessions. That’s not to say that pursuing material and professional goals must be abandoned. On the contrary! But it’s about giving them importance relative to other values and priorities such as experience of real peace and happiness, calm, connection to one self, others, the World and, a profound sense of freedom.
Without much hesitation, Fred shared with us some details from his personal practice, explaining how these practices have helped him thrive not only in his personal life but in his career as well. In turn, he received some deep questions from the audience such as “what does it mean to be really mindful in professional situations, such as a client meeting?”; “how to quiet the busy mind – especially when it’s telling us that we are not doing enough, or that we are not enough?”; “how to mediate when you travel a lot for work”; “how often to mediate to achieve at least some noticeable results?”; “how to speak about mindfulness and even spirituality with colleagues in professional setting?”… You can hear all the details in the webinar recording!
Join us for Part 2 of the series, which will take place on Friday June 7th at 12pm Pacific time/3pm EST. We’ll bring the discussion deeper into the topic of how mindfulness can benefit us professionally, with specific examples from our industry.
*Fred Barstein is a very well-known name in the retirement industry. Since he started in the 401(k) space in 1996, Fred has been working with all of our industry constituents in many different capacities: he started a company which will eventually become 401kExchange; he launched The Retirement Advisor University; he partnered with ASPPA to help launch NAPA in 2011 – he founded NAPA-NET. We also need to highlight Fred’ work with plan sponsors – in 2013 He launched The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), and he started 401kTV in 2015. He is also a consulting editor for retirement News. Through all of these different channels and platforms, Fred has written and spoken about our industry, helping plan advisors grow their practices, mentoring industry colleagues and educating plan committees… He has presented at hundreds of events over the years. But what he is sharing with us in the mindfulness@work series is something he has not formally presented on before in the context of the retirement plan industry. Ever since he started his career, Fred has also pursued his passion to learn and practice mindfulness through a number of disciplines. It’s a passion Fred and Ivana share and have discussed over the years. Our Portland OR chapter is honored that Fred has agreed to share with us stories of his practice experience. As busy professionals, we thought it would be interesting, and perhaps and inspiring encouraging to hear how these practices have helped Fred thrive not only in his personal life but in his career as well.
January 25, 2019
We started the year with a lovely luncheon, sponsored by Oppenheimer. We were greeted with many new members and faces to the group as well as several returning from our inaugural event in November. With several new faces, introductions were key to get our meeting going. We briefly discussed the importance of networking from our resident expert, Andrea Nitta. Only recently did she realize many people saw her as a seasoned networker! Ivana and Andrea were able to provide a summary of their time together with the enthusiastic WiPN board and other co-chairs. Additional discussion was held around connections to WiPN national, our calendar of events for the year, other local industry groups and how a WiPN member is defined. We closed the meeting with brief discussion around providing service to our community and other ways members could engage. The Portland chapter is officially moving forward with connections, sharing and promotion!
Portland, OR Chapter Kick-off meeting – November 16
A lovely group of 15 joined for a casual luncheon as our first connection to the Portland, OR Chapter for WiPN. While we did enjoy some informal networking time, we focused more energy on round-table introductions, to help new chapter members become acquainted with one another and learn about various roles and years in our industry. After introductions, a brief history of WiPN was shared along with goals at the national and chapter levels. During our delicious lunch sponsored by Nuveen Investments, with beautiful views of the Portland Willamette river, an open and honest discussion was facilitated about expectations and ideas for the future of WiPN in Portland. Many good suggestions were shared around topical ideas, themes, and connections to the community. The group even considered the detail around how often and when to meet during the calendar quarters. All attendees seemed engaged and energetic, and there was a clear consensus in the room about the importance of creating this local WiPN chapter. We are excited for what 2019 has to offer for this group!
Chapter ChairsIvana Polonijo
VP - Client Success
Partner Relations Manager
Cetera Financial Group