Navigating the waters of retirement can be daunting but this April, we’re here to help you plan ahead. Join us for two days of presentations, discussions and personalized one-on-one meetings that will allow you to plan for a successful retirement.

What you’ll learn:

  • Financial retirement planning strategies from money management experts
  • How to handle the psychological aspects of aging, employment and retirement
  • Strategies for negotiating your retirement contract
  • What you need to know about Social Security retirement benefits
  • How the Reform Pension Plan works after you retire–what changes and what stays the same?

We’ll also offer personal consultations with RPB staff and Helen Dennis, a nationally recognized leader on aging, employment and retirement, as well as opportunities for informal networking

What prior attendees said about the seminar:

“Thanks to the RPB Retirement Seminar I feel that I understand how to prepare properly for a secure retirement, and that is a great gift!”

“The RPB was an enormous help in clarifying a financial and emotional path forward.”
“I strongly recommend that each colleague take the retirement seminar as early as possible. I found it an essential part of planning for the next phase of our lives.”

2017 Agenda

Interested in learning more? Below is last year’s seminar agenda. Click on the dates below to see the agenda for that day.

Sunday, May 21st

12:30 PM Registration
1:20 – 2:20 PM Welcome, Introductions and Seminar Overview
2:30 – 5:00 PM Concurrent Sessions:

  • Financial Planning for Retirement
    Herb Colley, ChFC® – Retirement Education Specialist,
    Vanguard Institutional Investor Group
  • Beyond Dollars: Non-Financial Aspects of Retirement
    Helen Dennis – Specialist on Aging, Employment and the New Retirement
5:00 – 6:00 PM Free time
6:00 – 6:30 PM Ma’ariv Service
6:30 – 7:30 PM Dinner (attendees and their guests)
7:30 PM Informal Networking

Monday, May 22nd

8:00 – 9:00 AM Registration, Daily Welcome, and Breakfast Buffet
9:00 – 11:45 AM Concurrent Sessions:

  • Financial Planning for Retirement
    Herb Colley, ChFC® – Retirement Education Specialist,
    Vanguard Institutional Investor Group
  • Beyond Dollars: Non-Financial Aspects of Retirement
    Helen Dennis – Specialist on Aging, Employment and the New Retirement
12:30 – 1:30 PM Luncheon (attendees and their guests)
1:00 – 2:15 PM Panel Discussion: The Realities of Retirement
Facilitator: Sharon Morton, RJE – Retired Educator
2:15 – 2:30 PM Session Break
2:30 – 4:00 PM Negotiating Your Retirement Contracts

  • CCAR Participants with Spouses/Partners
    Michael Gan, Esq. – Managing Partner, Peer, Gan & Gisler
  • ARJE, NATA, ECE-RJ, URJ Participants with Spouses/Partners
    Michael Kimmel – Executive Director, RPB
    Sharon Morton, RJE – Retired Educator
4:00 – 6:00 PM One-On-One Appointments with RPB Staff and Helen Dennis
Helen Dennis – Specialist in Aging, Employment and the New Retirement
Michael Kimmel – Executive Director, RPB
Robert Perry – Director of Participant & Employer Services, RPB
6:15 PM Dinner on your own

Tuesday, May 23rd

8:00 – 11:45 AM Registration, Daily Welcome, and Breakfast Buffet
9:15 – 10:15 AM The Reform Pension Plan – What You Can Expect From The RPB When You Retire
Michael Kimmel – Executive Director, RPB
Robert Perry – Director of Participant and Employer Services, RPB
10:15 – 10:45 AM Session Break
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM Introduction To Social Security Benefits and Medicare
David Gurzynski – Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration
12:30 – 1:30 PM Closing Session and Luncheon (attendees and their guests)


We have a range of experts in the financial and non-financial aspects of retirement planning that will be speaking at this year’s seminar.

Valeri Boclair, Senior Relationship Manager, Vanguard

Valeri is a senior relationship manager in Vanguard Institutional Asset Management. She is responsible for many of Vanguard’s largest investment clients in New York City and Florida. Since joining Vanguard in 1995, she has held positions in the Portfolio Review Group, where she was responsible for new fund development, and in Participant Services, where she supported full-service recordkeeping clients.

Valeri earned her M.B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University and her B.A. in economics from East Stroudsburg University. She holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.

Herb Colley, ChFC®, Retirement Education Specialist, Vanguard

Herb is a retirement education specialist in Vanguard’s Participant Education Department. His primary responsibilities include delivering educational meetings to plan participants on such topics as plan benefits, investment strategies, and retirement readiness. He is celebrating his 20th year anniversary with Vanguard and has worked in several departments providing investment guidance and retirement planning.

Herb served as a business consultant in Vanguard’s Small Business Services Group, providing investment expertise and guidance in retirement plan selection for new plan sponsors. In Vanguard Business Account Services, he worked as an investment consultant to investment committees of foundations and corporate clients. Herb has also worked as a retirement advisor in the Vanguard Institutional 403(b)(7) unit where he provided advice and gave presentations to employees of universities and hospitals throughout the United States.

Prior to joining Vanguard, he was employed by Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company as a pension underwriter and pension consultant for 16 years. Herb has a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) certification from The American College, Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA), Member of American Society of Pension Professionals (ASPPA) and holds FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses.

Helen Dennis, Speaker and Author on Aging, Employment and Retirement

Helen is a nationally recognized leader on issues of aging, employment and retirement and has received numerous awards for her teaching at the Davis School at USC’s Andrus Gerontology Center and contributions to the field of aging, the community and literary arts. Editor of two books, author of over 50 articles and popular speaker, she has helped more than 15,000 employees prepare for the non-financial aspects of retirement including senior corporate executives, mid-level managers, factory workers, university faculty and staff, physicians, engineers and Rabbis. As a weekly columnist, she writes on the subject of Successful Aging for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group reaching over 1.3 million readers. Helen is co-author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, Project Renewment, the First Retirement Model for Career Women. In her volunteer life, she has been president/chair of five non-profit organizations including Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach, CA. Most recently she was named one of the 50 influencers in aging for 2016 by PBS Next Avenue.

Michael J. Gan, Partner, Peer, Gan & Gisler LLP

Michael is a labor and employment law attorney and managing partner at Peer, Gan & Gisler LLP in Washington, DC, and has been representing labor unions and professionals in collective bargaining, litigation, and contract negotiations for 25 years. He also maintains a significant practice working with Reform rabbis and other Jewish professionals in a wide variety of employment matters. Michael’s essay, “Women Rabbis and the Gender Pay Gap: Lessons from the CCAR’s 2012 Landmark Study and a Call to Action” was published in the 2016 National Jewish Book Award-Winner, The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate, from the CCAR Press. Michael is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Boston University School of Law.

David Gurzynski, Social Security Administration

David began working in the Social Security Administration in 1981, after getting his Bachelor’s degree in History from the State University of NY in Buffalo. As a Field Representative, David gives presentations about Social Security and acts as an agency liaison with organizations in the lower Manhattan area. Prior to this, he was a Claims Representative in the Bronx, and a Benefit Authorizer in the Northeastern Program Center in Jamaica Queens.

Michael Kimmel, Executive Director, RPB

Michael Kimmel joined the RPB in 2015 and leads a terrific team in managing the retirement, life insurance and LTD programs for the Reform Movement. He has called the Reform Movement his professional home since 2005 when he first held executive positions with the Union for Reform Judaism as its Chief Administrative Officer, and then with Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City as its Executive Director. Before joining the RPB as Executive Director, Michael chaired the RPB’s Board of Trustees’ Administration Committee. Michael also served on the Board of the National Association for Temple Administration from 2012 to 2014.

Prior to the RPB, he held positions as a Senior Director of Finance with a global IT research and consulting organization, Consulting Manager with two global consulting firms, and a Senior Financial Analyst with a Wall Street firm. He holds an MBA in Management and Information Systems from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BS in Finance and Management from University at Albany.

Sharon Morton, RJE, Retired Educator

Sharon served as the educator at Am Shalom for 32 years. She is a former president of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE), a long-time trustee of the Reform Pension Board, representing NATE and is the chair of the RPB Education Committee. Sharon is on the Board of the Midwest Ave of the Righteous, the Past President of Ziknay Nate, and has been involved in numerous educational and social action activities throughout her career and in retirement. Most recently, she founded Grandparentsforsocialaction.org. Its mission is to teach grandchildren to be philanthropists and social action activists. Sign up to read the newsletter–it is important and hopefully helpful.

Robert Perry, Director of Participant & Employer Services, RPB

Robert manages the RPB’s participant and employer relationships. Prior to joining the RPB, he was the Director of Investor Relations and Fund Marketing for Thomas, McNerney & Partners, a healthcare venture firm focused on investing in life science and medical technology companies. Before joining TMP, Robert was a Director in the Alternative Investments group/Asset Management division of Credit Suisse AG and head of investor relations for private equity, which included DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and DLJ Investment Partners, as well as other regional and sector-focused fund groups. Prior to Credit Suisse, Robert spent nine years with Apax Partners, a global private equity firm with more than $40 billion under advice/management, as the Director of Investor Relations and Information Management for all US funds. He received a B.S. in Economics from Allegheny College and his J.D. from Temple University School of Law in Pennsylvania, where he began his career as a practicing attorney for over 12 years.


More information about the 2018 RPB Retirement Seminar will be posted on this page in the upcoming months. To be notified when registration opens, fill out our expression of interest form.


The 2018 RPB Retirement Seminar will take place in the Midwest. More information about the venue will be posted on this page in the upcoming months. To be notified when registration opens, fill out our expression of interest form.