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.
John Carl is Founder and President of Retirement Learning Center, the nation’s preeminent thought leader on retirement issues. He is also the Executive Director of the PLANSPONSOR Institute, the education and training arm of PLANSPONSOR, as well as founding lecturer for The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU) at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. John serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the National Association of Plan Advisors. As the “advisor to the advisors,” John is a highly sought after industry insider who travels the country educating groups of financial professionals on the very latest in retirement legislation, forecasts, and developments affecting the industry.
A 25-year veteran of the retirement industry, John’s extensive experience includes running Alliance Capital’s Defined Contribution initiative and directing Global Product Management for the firm. He created and managed the state of Rhode Island’s 529 savings plan, CollegeBoundFund®. John has also operated as a successful branch and regional sales manager for Prudential Securities and as an independent financial advisor.
John has been featured on CNBC, CNN, Forbes, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CBS MoneyWatch.com. John released his first book in 2009, Retirement Resource Guide: Essential ERISA Education & Best Practices for Financial Advisors, which has won multiple APEX Awards for publishing excellence and serves as the basis of continuing education workshops for financial advisors and CPAs. It is now in its eighth edition. John is a graduate of Lehigh University, and has completed Executive Continuing Education coursework at Columbia University. John is based in New York, and directs the firm’s consulting and content operations in Brainerd, MN.
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
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
Heidi LeMieur, C(k)P
Director of Client Relations
Heidi LeMieur has spent 20 years in the retirement services industry providing retirement plan compliance, business development support and education to financial industry professionals. As Director of Client Relations with the Retirement Learning Center, she is responsible for overseeing established and new business relationships for the firm. Read More
Prior to joining the Retirement Learning Center in 2010, she was an ERISA consultant with Ascensus (formerly BISYS Retirement Services). During her tenure with Ascensus, she was responsible for delivering live group presentations, providing technical consultations and support to financial advisors and retirement service professionals, conducting webinars and telephone seminars, and performing numerous compliance assessments for financial organizations regarding their retirement plan business.
She has served as a faculty member for the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She also served as lead instructor for the IRA Online Institute, which is a 12- week, internet based course co-sponsored by Ascensus and the American Bankers Association (ABA) to provide in-depth training to retirement professionals working towards the Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP) and Certified IRA Professional (CIP) industry designations.
She received the APEX Award for Publication Excellence for a co-authored article published in the ABA Trust & Investments Magazine. Heidi earned a Behavioral Arts and Sciences Degree in Management with a minor in Psychology from The College of St. Scholastica and holds the Certified 401(k) Professional (C(k)P) designation administered by The Retirement Advisor University in collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education as well as the CISP designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB).
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
Angie has 24 years of experience in the retirement industry. She earned a degree in Finance at St. Cloud State University, and maintains both a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation and a Qualified Plan Administrator (QPA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. Read More
Prior to coming to the Retirement Learning Center, Angie was an ERISA Consultant at Ascensus (formerly BISYS and UPI), where she provided answers to in-depth plan document and compliance questions to financial advisors, financial institutions, plan sponsors and internal staff. She also held project management roles related to mass required plan amendments and restatements, where her duties included overseeing system compliance, managing communications and training financial institutional partners. Angie was also responsible for the implementation and maintenance of 80+ plan establishment kits used for the creation of plan documents and system installation for new business.
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
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
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
Craig began his career in the financial industry back in 1980 with IDS Financial Services (now Ameriprise Financial Services). Over 36 years, he was a practitioner, manager, public speaker and writer, and host of interview shows and conferences. The second half of his career, he specialized in retirement planning concerns, including tax, estate, and investment planning issues.Read More
He retired from his position as Vice President of Retirement Wealth Strategies in 2016, and recently joined the Retirement Literacy Center, which is part of the Retirement Learning Center, a research firm that supports financial advisors regarding retirement plans of all types (qualified and non-qualified plans, stock options and awards, and IRAs and 403(b) plans).
Craig lives with his wife, Melanie (retired from James Madison University) live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.