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FWA-NJ: Reframing the Work/Life Balance Challenge: Is Integration the New Lens?
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FWA-NJ: Reframing the Work/Life Balance Challenge: Is Integration the New Lens?


When: Thursday, June 14, 2018
From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Investors Bank Headquarters
101 JFK Pkway
1st Floor - Team Room
Short Hills, New Jersey  07078
United States

Registration Information
Online registration is closed.

FWA-NJ: Reframing the Work/Life Balance Challenge: Is Integration the New Lens?


Come and join FWA and the WOMEN of Investors Bank for a discussion that impacts all of us.

Technology and increased automation have been significant catalysts of change in our lives by giving us new tools that help increase our productivity, flexibility and communication at home and at work. The panel will share a broad range of considerations based on their experiences such as:

  • Determining an intentional life that reflects values, goals, aspirations and invests time in figuring out what that means to you
  • Examining important priorities such as self care: diet, exercise, sleep
  • Ways to set boundaries in the different areas of your life
  • Making conscious choices on how best to use your time and energy
  • Finding your path to an integrated meaningful and successful holistic life

This evening presentation provides an amazing opportunity to reflect together on the collective wisdom of our panelists.

The panel is moderated by Christine Birnbaum, principal, Claremont Consulting.

Panelists are Ellen Goldman, Health & Wellness Coach, Andrea Lillard, CPA, Senior Manager at KPMG LLP, Karen MacCleod, Co-Founder and CEO of The Arete Group LLC, Yai Vargas, founder of The Latinista, a national network of women and Latina professionals.




Christine Birnbaum photo

Christine Birnbaum (moderator)
Claremont Coaching

Christine Birnbaum is the Principal of Claremont Coaching. Previously she was with the New York Life Insurance Company as a Vice President of Human Resources for the Investments Finance and Technology functions. Prior to this role, Christine was the Talent Management executive for New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM) and designed and led leadership development programs. In addition, she was responsible for NYLIM’s diversity and inclusion strategy. She was one of the founders of NYLIM’s women’s leadership employee resource group (WISE) and co-head of the company-wide of The Women’s Initiative.

Previously Christine worked at JPMorgan Chase as a senior human resources executive with a primary focus was on organizational development, talent management, diversity, employee engagement, and change management.

Christine has been an active member of the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) for over 15 years and has served in a number of Board positions (secretary, vice president for professional development, vice president for mentoring programs, Pacesetter chair). Currently she is on the Nominating Committee and is a President Circle company relationship manager. She is also active in the FWA-New Jersey Committee and mentors at Seton Hall University.

Christine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and has a BA in History and a MEd in Education. She lives in Bernardsville, NJ with her husband Peter and exuberant dog Musket.

Ellen Goldman photo

Ellen Goldman
EllenG Coaching

Ellen Goldman created EllenG Coaching to help overextended business professionals and entrepreneurs who are worried about their health and happiness, and are either exhausted, burnt out, out of shape, overweight, or all of the above! Through her coaching programs, motivational talks and online courses, she shows clients how to integrate health into their busy lifestyles with simple, small steps that lead to massive change, resulting in greater energy, focus, productivity and happiness every day. With 30 plus years experience in the health and fitness industries, working as a personal trainer and certified wellness coach while raising her family, Ellen knows first hand that you do not need to sacrifice your health and happiness to have a successful career. Her mission is to help others thrive both personally and professionally. Ellen is a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach, and the author of Mastering the Inner Game of Weight Loss: An Easy-to-Follow Guide to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet. To learn more about Ellen and her wellness programs, visit


Andrea Lillard photoAndrea Lillard
Audit Senior Manager

Andrea is a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP, specializing in alternative investment audit and tax services for a variety of investment partnership structure, including domestic and offshore funds, master-feeder structures, funds-of-funds, and registered investment companies.

Before returning to public auditing, Andrea was an Assistant Vice President of a large global administrator where she led a team responsible for providing back office services, along with tax and financial statement preparation to a large variety of hedge funds, private equity funds and fund of fund clients.

With over 14 years of experience exclusively in the financial services industry, Andrea oversees audits for clientele with various strategies and investments, including long and short securities, debt instruments, private investments, derivatives, along with specializing in fund start-ups.

Andrea is a certified public accountant in New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting along with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Sociology and a Masters degree in Education from Lehigh University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the New Jersey State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSSCPA), and Financial Women's Association (FWA).

Andrea has compiled and presented courses at national conferences for the AWSCPA, “Investment Management SEC Update,” and for the Regulatory Compliance Association (the RCA) on hedge fund accounting, and co authored white papers on SEC Regulatory Updates.


Karen Macleod photo

Karen Macleod

Co-­‐Founder and CEO

The Arete Group LLC


Karen Macleod is Co-­‐Founder and CEO of The Arete Group LLC, a boutique firm delivering talent consulting and acquisition services. She collaborates with clients to design and develop the optimal alignment of talent with the company’s strategy, culture and business environment. She supports and guides clients in mobilizing talent fluidly across their organizations, which includes placing talent in permanent, project consulting, and interim roles.

Prior to launching The Arete Group, Karen was the President of Tatum, a Randstad Holdings NV Company that provides C-­‐Level management, finance, accounting, technology and human resource expertise. During her time at Tatum, she led a financial and operational restructuring of the company that included a redesign of the office structure, as well as the marketing, sales, and HR organizations.

Prior to Tatum, Karen was a Founder and President of North America for RGP (Previously Resources Global Professionals). She was one of the four leaders at Deloitte who founded the company in 1996. She helped lead a management buy-­‐out of the business in 1998 and an IPO for the company in 2000. During her 11 years there, she was instrumental in helping to build the company from start-­‐up to a publicly traded, multinational professional services firm with 3000+ professionals, 68 global offices and $800 million in revenue.

Karen started her career at Deloitte, where she spent nine years in the audit practice of the San Francisco office. She worked with clients from start-­‐up phase through the IPO process and into public company operations.

Karen attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and graduated with a B.A. in Business Economics. She is a CPA and serves on the Boards and Audit Committees for the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) and for Track Group, Inc.

Karen lives in New Jersey, is married and has three children ages 27, 24 and 21 and two step-­‐children ages 27 and 22.


Yai Vargas photo

Yai Vargas
Latinista, a national network of women and Latina professionals


As a leading multicultural marketing expert with a niche in building marketing strategies and community engagement programs, Yai spearheads opportunities for Fortune 100 corporations seeking to develop connections with focused communities.

She is passionate about sharing her industry knowledge, as a public speaker, on various topics such as executive presence, personal branding, LinkedIn and Latina leaders in the workplace. Yai’s extensive corporate and agency experience in diversity, public relations and multicultural communications have allowed her to add tremendous value to the automotive, sports, non-profit, health and financial services sectors.

Yai holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Marketing Certification from New York University. Her philanthropic initiatives include sitting on the board of The Latino Commission on AIDS’ Business Leadership Council where she consults on fundraising, social media and marketing.

Yai has also successfully leveraged her education and professional experience to establish herself as a self-proclaimed LinkedIn and networking ninja teaching others how to develop strong relationship management skills. This includes establishing The Latinista where she gathers and empowers Latina professionals in New York City, Miami and Chicago to connect and effectively build connections.


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Event Schedule
5:30 - 6:15 pm Registration/Networking Reception/Refreshments

6:15 - 7:30 pm Panel Presentation/Q&A
7:30 - 8:00 pm Networking

$25 FWA Members, $40 Non-Members | Includes refreshments


JFK Parkway is right off of Route 24. Parking is free.
Closest train station is Short Hills on the Morris Essex Line or Summit station. Cab/Uber from there.

Special thanks to Investors Bank for hosting this event and the Women of Investors Bank:

This event is organized by the FWA New Jersey of the FWA of NY, Inc. with special recognition to Silvia Merino-Topley of Investors Bank.

About the FWA
Established in 1956, the FWA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional organization with a membership of approximately 1000 female and male professionals working in the financial services industry or who hold a financial position in another industry. The FWA has a long tradition of encouraging women to seek career opportunities in finance and business through mentorship and networking.



Reservations Required -- Bring Photo ID -- No Walk-Ins

 Reservations/Cancellations and payments are required by Tuesday, June 12, 2018.


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