The Retirement Learning Center is the independent thought leader in the retirement savings and income space. We provide multi-dimensional educational solutions, content development resources, and consulting expertise to the financial services marketplace to help firms establish and grow their retirement business.
Jennifer Kiffmeyer, J.D.
Chief Operating Officer
Jenny began her retirement services career with Universal Pensions, Inc. (UPI), in 1993 as an IRA and retirement plans technical consultant. At UPI she held the roles of Consulting Manager, Managing Editor, and—following BISYS’ acquisition of UPI—Manager of ERISA Content. Read More
Jenny regularly contributes articles to various industry publications and newsletters, and has served on several advisory boards for professional certification programs related to the retirement services industry. She is co-author of RLC’s book, Retirement Resource Guide: Essential ERISA Education & Best Practices for Financial Advisors, winner of multiple APEX awards for communication excellence.
She received her Juris Doctor in 2016, with an emphasis on ERISA law. She holds BA degrees in Communications and Anthropology from Luther College, and has completed graduate work in education at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. She maintains the PLANSPONSOR Retirement Professional designation from PLANSPONSOR Institute, and the Certified IRA Services Professional and Certified Retirement Services Professional designations from the Institute of Certified Bankers.
W. Andrew Larson, CPC
Director of Retirement Education
With 35 years of experience in the financial services industry, Andy is a respected authority, frequent lecturer and author on industry topics. Andy’s background includes managing and consulting with major recordkeeping platforms, extensive product design for plan sponsors and advanced sales support for intermediaries who work with plans. Read More
As a retirement industry executive, he ran the recordkeeping and consulting practice for Universal Pensions, Inc. (UPI), and headed the BISYS Corporate University. He has served as an adjunct professor for the Central Lakes College system in Minnesota, and provides expert witness services on numerous industry topics.
Andy is co-author of RLC’s book, Retirement Resource Guide: Essential ERISA Education & Best Practices for Financial Advisors. He is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and maintains a Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.
Melissa Barr, QPA
Missy Barr began her career in the retirement services industry at Universal Pensions, Inc. (UPI) in 1992 as a full service recordkeeping professional in the balance forward arena, and quickly worked her way into supervising a full service recordkeeping team. Read More
When UPI entered the 401(k) daily valuation market, Missy supervised a team in the compliance testing department, and later was promoted to manager of the compliance testing department, overseeing several teams that were responsible for providing compliance testing and Form 5500 services for approximately 4,500 employers.
When UPI was acquired by BISYS, Missy took on the role of ERISA Consultant, where she prepared document reviews, responded to ERISA technical questions, assisted clients with plan compliance issues, and oversaw a team that prepared complex employer compliance testing and contribution calculations.
Missy earned a BA degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University, and maintains a Qualified Plan Administrator (QPA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.
Cathy Bourassa, QKA
Joining the Retirement Learning Center in 2010, Cathy Bourassa has more than 17 years of experience in the retirement industry. She began her career at Universal Pensions, Inc. (UPI) in 1999 as a Compliance Specialist in the compliance testing department, preparing compliance testing and Form 5500 services for employer-sponsored plans. Read More
Cathy quickly moved into a Senior Compliance Specialist position in the department overseeing the training of new staff and the preparation of compliance testing, Forms 5500 and employer calculations. When BISYS bought UPI, Cathy took a position in the Information Service Group with a primary focus of explaining compliance testing and Form 5500 preparation to plan sponsors. In 2005, Cathy became an ERISA Consultant where she prepared document reviews, responded to ERISA technical questions, conducted training classes and assisted clients with plan qualification issues and corrective calculations.
As an ERISA consultant at Ascensus (formerly BISYS), Cathy helped plan sponsors complete correction programs to bring their plans back into compliance with the IRS and DOL regulations. This included submitting plan corrections to the IRS under the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) and preparing submissions to the DOL under the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).
Cathy maintains a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.
Judy began her career in the retirement plans industry with Coopers & Lybrand, LLC (C&L) in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1993 as an associate in the Human Resources Advisory Group. At C&L, she wrote and designed employee education materials for clients, as well as created tools for open enrollment for health and welfare and retirement plans. Read More
In 1997, Judy relocated to Brainerd, Minnesota to take a consulting position with Universal Pensions Inc. (UPI). At UPI, she answered 1-800 calls for IRAs and qualified plans, wrote and edited educational materials for financial organizations, created lobby brochures on a wide variety of IRA related topics, did research and writing for fee-for-service consulting engagements as well as for internal training, and wrote help text for online calculators and articles for the IRA Reporter and Retirement Plans Bulletin.
She holds a BA in Spanish Literature with a minor in Foreign Studies with an emphasis on Latin America (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and has passed all exams for the CEBS designation, as well as the QKA designation through ASPPA.
Consultant and Plan Snapshot Specialist
Lori has over 16 years of experience in strategic retirement services roles. She started her career at Universal Pensions, Inc., (UPI) in 1998 as a client relations representative, and rapidly advanced within UPI. She moved to a Business Development position where she was responsible for supporting financial advisors and alliance partners regarding their retirement plan business, by providing plan setup and conversion assistance. Read More
In 2000, she was promoted to a supervisory position where she oversaw the Business Development desk and participated in client presentations with financial advisors. Following UPI’s sale to BISYS, she continued to manage the Brainerd, MN location of the BISYS Sales Desk and acted as an Internal Wholesaler, assisting the BISYS Regional Vice Presidents with sales and marketing support, in addition to delivering plan studies, design illustrations, consulting sales initiatives and product-based campaigns for financial advisors and retirement service professionals.
Director of Relationship Management
Elizabeth has over 14 years of combined experience in the HR/Payroll, Defined Benefits, and 401(k) industries especially in the relationship management space. In 2009, she began her career in client administration at Fidelity Investments in the large market HR/Payroll department. She then transferred to defined benefits, first working in customer service and transitioning into operations soon after. Read More
Her accomplishments included collaboration initiatives with other departments to improve task resolution and serving as the “Voice of the Customer” ambassador for her operations site in 2013. Several years later, Elizabeth resumed her retirement industry journey at OneAmerica as a plan manager on the 401(k) side. It was there that she earned her ASPPA and NTSA credentials. She started working with small market clients and later progressed into supporting tax-exempt and governmental plans as a senior plan manager.
Elizabeth believes that working in various industries has given her valuable experiences and a unique set of skills that she uses every day. In her opinion, the retirement industry has never been more important, and she looks forward to continually providing value in this space.
Elizabeth holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also maintains certifications in Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA®), Qualified 401(k) Consultant (QKC), Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA), And Tax-Exempt and Governmental Plan Consultant (TGPC).
Heather Panick, JD
Heather has more than 15 years of experience in the employee benefits and executive compensation industry. In her former role as an attorney, she assisted clients with the creation and administration of compensation arrangements, including deferred compensation arrangements under Code Section 409A, employment agreements, and severance agreements. Read More
She also assisted clients with ERISA and tax-related issues in the administration, compliance and design of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans. Heather served as part of the M&A team of her last firm and assisted clients in conducting due diligence prior to acquisitions, provided advice and counsel regarding how the employee benefit plans should be either terminated or merged during the sale, and conducted Code Section 280g analysis.
Heather also worked with clients and the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and PBGC in correcting plan operational and qualification errors, plan design issues, audit and collection matters and other plan and tax related issues.
Heather holds an accounting degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and received her Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University in 2007.
Teresa Domek, Esq., CEBS, CIPP
Teresa Domek has been active in the employee benefits field for decades and particularly enjoys helping others reach creative solutions to address their retirement needs. Read More
Teresa has served in various roles in the Benefits field including as an Employee Benefit Specialist, in the Los Angeles and Orange County offices of Latham & Watkins, LLP, Experienced Manager, Human Capital, Arthur Andersen, LLP, as an Employee Benefits Associate for a regional law firm in the Northeast, as HR Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, and ultimately, General Counsel at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and as a Benefits and Compensation Attorney at a law firm in Iowa. In her various roles, Teresa has provided advice and counsel to plan sponsors regarding fiduciary matters, plan design, operation and administration, and drafted retirement plan documents, policies and procedures, and employee communications.
Teresa received her BA in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. and her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Teresa is licensed to practice law in Connecticut and Iowa, and she is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist and Certified Information Privacy Professional, US, Private Sector. In the past, Teresa held a Certification from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and a Series 6 license from FINRA. Teresa currently serves on the Membership and Chapter Development Committee of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.
Emily Nunez, MBA, CRPC
Emily Nunez is a Jacksonville native and graduate of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Upon graduation, she enlisted into the Navy and served her first tour of duty in Atsugi, Japan with Fighter Attack Squadron VFA-192. She was then selected to join the prestigious Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron- Blue Angels in Pensacola, Florida. Read More
After serving for six years as an enlisted sailor, she was selected for the Seaman to Admiral (STA-21) officer commissioning program. She later became a communications officer with the United States Marine Corps achieving the rank of Lieutenant before returning home to Jacksonville.
Emily has an undergraduate degree from Auburn University in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Her pension career began assisting small businesses with designing, implementing, and managing qualified retirement plans.
The entrepreneurial culture and desire to help other businesses succeed is what brought her to October Three.
Prior to joining the Retirement Learning Center at October Three, Emily was a plan manager for defined benefit plans focusing on managing risk, improving efficiency of processes, and ensuring projects were customer-focused and performance-driven.
Michael P. Barry is a senior consultant and speaker with the Retirement Learning Center and President of O3 Plan Advisory Services LLC, which provides retirement plan regulatory analysis targeted at plan sponsors and those who provide services to them. O3 PAS publishes analyses of regulatory developments affecting private employer defined benefit and defined contribution plans, focusing on the challenges, opportunities, and consequences for sponsors that regulatory changes present. Read More
Mike has had over 40 years’ experience in the benefits field, in law and consulting firms, concentrating on the regulation of private employer DB and DC retirement plans. Beginning law practice in 1976, the year that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) became effective, Mike has worked with and studied the evolving complexities of regulation in this heavily regulated field. Before founding Plan Advisory Services in 1998, Mike was Managing Director at Bankers Trust and, before that, a New York benefits partner at LeBeouf, Lamb, Greene & McRae. Mike’s book – Retirement Savings Policy – Past, Present, and Future, published by De|G PRESS – was published in 2018.
Ricky Atamian, EA
Ricky Atamian is a member of the actuarial consulting team, focused on the design, implementation, and ongoing administration of retirement programs for plan sponsors of all types. Read More
He has over 15 years of experience as a consulting actuary, specializing in pension and other postemployment benefit plans. He was attracted to October Three’s approach to retirement plans, specifically their passion and commitment to designing innovative solutions that work for both the employer and employee.
Ricky is an Enrolled Actuary (EA) under ERISA. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science and Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.