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2020 Retirement Planning Seminar


We’re excited to bring together experts in both the financial and non-financial aspects of retirement planning to speak at our seminars.

While this year's list is being finalized, read below to see who some of our past attendees have included.

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Chief Executive Officer, RPB


About Michael

Michael has been the executive director of RPB since 2015, leading “the best team one could ever hope for.” Michael has overseen the addition of a number of new programs and features, including: self-directed funds, the Reform Jewish Values Fund, and daily fund valuation; a new, full-scale branding and communications program; and the redesign and launch of a new online portal for employers.

The Reform Movement has been Michael’s professional home since 2005, during which time he held executive positions with Union for Reform Judaism and Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City. Prior to 2005, Michael worked in the for-profit sector in finance and management consulting at firms that include Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen. He holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a BS from the University at Albany. He lives in the New York area with his wonderful wife and two incredible daughters.

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Director of Participant & Employer Services, RPB


About Robert

Robert joined RPB in 2016 as Director of Participant and Employer Services. Prior to that, 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. Before joining Credit Suisse in 2008, Robert spent nine years with Apax Partners, a global private equity firm with more than $40 billion under 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 a J.D. from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he began his career as a practicing attorney for over 12 years.

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Retirement Specialist, Vanguard Investor Institutional Group

About Alissa

For the past six years, Alissa has had numerous roles at Vanguard within its Retail and Institutional divisions. These roles include supervising contractor support and book of business management with Vanguard’s high net worth clients. In her current role as a retirement education specialist, she combines her two passions, learning and educating, to help people with their various financial goals.

Helen Dennis

Speaker and Author on Aging, Employment and Retirement

About Helen

Helen is a nationally recognized leader on issues of aging, employment and retirement; she 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—including senior corporate executives, mid-level managers, factory workers, university faculty and staff, physicians, engineers, and rabbis—prepare for the non-financial aspects of retirement. 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. In 2016, she was named one of the 50 influencers in aging by PBS Next Avenue.


Managing Partner, Peer, Gan & Gisler LLP

About Michael

Michael J. Gan 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.

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RJE, Retired Educator

About Sharon

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 Grandparents for Social Action. Its mission is to teach grandchildren to be philanthropists and social action activists. You can sign up to read the GSA newsletter at

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Social Security Administration

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