2019 - present
Retirement HELP, Inc., Chicago, Illinois (click here for website)
Retirement HELP is a consulting firm that provides an expertise in employee benefits issues and communications to small businesses, financial service professionals, and professional associations.
Employee Benefits Educator and Consultant (and Owner)
2017 - 2019
October Three Consulting LLC, Chicago, Illinois
October Three consults, designs and administers retirement programs for businesses, with a focus on traditional pension plans and market return cash balance plans.
ERISA Regulatory Consultant (2018 - 2019)
Assisted in marketing, communicating, administering, and ensuring the legal compliance of our client’s market return cash balance pension plans.
Added information about the financial, legal, health and practical issues individuals face after retirement onto our benefit communication portal for the participants of our client’s pension plans.
Created an internal onboarding summary document which communicates our internal employee benefit programs available to new employees.
Aging Workforce Management Consultant (2017)
Provided age-friendly workforce consulting services and education to our pension plan clients, such as: phased retirement programs; financial wellness and retirement readiness education; support services for employees who are caregivers for aging parents and siblings; including “age” in diversity statements and mitigating ageism within the workforce; and, making their business environment and products attractive to older clients and customers.
2015 – 2017
Law Offices of Barry Kozak, Chicago, Illinois
The Law Offices of Barry Kozak provided elder law and estate planning counsel to individuals and families.
Elder and Estate Planning Attorney
Assisted families in discovering and memorializing their end-of-life and legacy goals.
Developed synergistic relationships with various financial services professionals to help them to educate their clients.
2000 - 2015
The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
The John Marshall Law School is fully accredited independent law school that offers JD and several LLM degrees to law students and several MJ graduate degrees to non-attorney professionals. In 2019, the school will become a public law school as part of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Director of the Elder Law Program (2010 – 2015)
Developed the JD Certificate program in Elder Law and managed all administrative aspects of the program including hiring adjunct professors and monitoring students’ academic performance.
Ensured academic excellence in each class by hiring and managing the cadre of adjunct professors teaching classes and counselling students enrolled in the program.
Organized the "2014 International Elder Law and Policy Conference" where international scholars and experts convened to present research and debate human rights for older persons.
Traveled to the East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, several times to discuss the emerging field of forensic gerontology with their faculty, and was invited back to be a visiting professor in 2014.
Served as the American Director of the Sino-American Research Center for an Aging Population (a joint collaboration between The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, and the East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai).
Associate Director of the Graduate Tax Law and Employee Benefits Programs (Part Time, 2001 – 2005; Full Time 2005 – 2010)
Assisted in the day to day operation and long term planning of two academic programs.
Ensured academic excellence in each class by managing the cadre of adjunct professors teaching classes and counselling students enrolled in the programs.
Organized major conferences and smaller career-oriented programs.
Worked with a different student editor selected each semester to produce a substantive newsletter.
Served as faculty advisor for independent research papers for JD, LLM and MS students.
Served as faculty coach for the team of J.D. and LLM students representing the school at several Law Student Tax Challenges, hosted by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.
Professor and Adjunct Member of the Faculty (2000 – 2015)
Developed and taught a variety of classes at the JD and LLM levels in the general areas of: Employee Benefits law, Tax law, Elder Law and Estate Planning, and general legal writing and research.
Assisted in the school's preparation and presentation of accreditation review
Served on the faculty Orientation Committee, and ad hoc committees on distance education and classroom and library technology.
Served as faculty coach for the "shadow team" of students at its International Information Technology and Privacy Law Moot Court competitions, and served on its planning committee.
Assisted with the school's bar preparation skills workshops.
Served as faculty coach for a variety of Moot Court or Negotiation teams at inter-scholastic competitions, but consistently.
2005 - 2006 (Part Time)
The American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, Arlington, Virginia
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) is part of the American Retirement Association, the premier non-profit national organization for retirement plan professionals in the industry. One of its major goals is to educate retirement plan professionals through a series of proctored and peer-reviewed examinations.
Technical Education Consultant
Wrote the initial learning objectives and bank of exam questions for one of the organization’s new exams (the Retirement Plan Fundamentals Part 2 (RPF-2), which is a required course to receive their Qualified 401(k) Administrator ("QKA") designation. Topics for this exam include: plan administration, including census collection, benefit allocations and coverage and nondiscrimination testing, daily valuation recordkeeping, appropriate investments for daily valuation plans, fiduciary considerations including investment fees and revenue sharing, the processes involved in daily valuation recordkeeping, mutual fund trading and ethics concerning trading errors, and plan mergers and terminations.
2005 (Part Time)
Freelance Independent Contractor, Chicago, Illinois
Donald Delves (now Executive Compensation practice leader for North America at Willis Towers Watson) is an expert in the accounting aspect of executive compensation, and was asked to author a book published by Specialty Technical Publishers titled “Accounting For Compensation Arrangements”
Assisted Don Delves, a colleague, in researching and understanding the new rules promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and helped edit his manuscripts before he submitted them.
2001 - 2005 (Part Time)
CCA Strategies, Chicago, Illinois
CCA Strategies, which is now part of Aon Hewitt, was a national pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Helped to educate the internal consultants and actuaries about the legal issues affecting our clients' retirement plans, health plans, and other employee benefits plans.
Assisted in research and dissemination of information to clients and to the professional community.
2000 - 2001
Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, LLC, Chicago, Illinois
Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, which is now part of K&L Gates, was a regional law firm that specialized in business planning.
Worked exclusively in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group, which was part of their larger Tax Law group.
Researched issues and drafted documents for clients' retirement benefit plans, health and welfare benefit plans, and other employee benefit plans and programs, and performed due diligence of employee benefits issues for business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions.issues for clients, and drafted documents for clients' retirement benefit plans, health and welfare benefit plans, and other employee benefit plans and programs.
1998 - 2000 (Part Time, while attending law school)
Laner Muchin Dombrow Becker Levin Tominberg, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois
Laner Muchin is a regional law firm that specializes in labor and employment law.
Law Student Employee Benefits Law Clerk
Provided research support for attorneys in the ERISA and Employee Benefits group.
1998 (Part TIme, while attending law school)
Ministry of Social Security, State Private Funds Supervision, Budapest, Hungary
The Ministry, among other duties, approves all private investment funds that applied to maintain pension accounts for Hungarian citizens.
Law Student Summer Intern (as part of study abroad program)
Communicated major features of the United States Social Security system.
Helped in crafting laws and regulations that would ultimately harmonize all relevant domestic Hungarian laws regarding Social Security and pensions in anticipation of the country’s admittance into the European Union.
1997 - 1998 (Part Time, while attending law school)
Schiller Ducanto & Fleck, Chicago, Illinois
SDF is a regional law firm that specializes in family law.
Law Student Legal Research Assistant
Assisted several attorneys in researching, writing and editing chapters of a book on the income taxation and employee benefits issues with divorce.
1997 - 2000 (Part Time, while attending law school)
Gilson Labus and Silverman CPAs, Chicago, Illinois
Gilson Labus Silverman is a regional accounting firm that provides business tax planning.
Law Student Federal Income Tax Clerk
Assisted in the preparation of income tax returns for individuals and businesses.
Provided research for tax advisory projects and inquiries.
1994 - 1996
Consulting Actuaries International Inc., New York, New York
CAI, now based in Fairfield, New Jersey, is a regional pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Senior Administrative Manager and Actuary
Led a team of consultants in the design, implementation, administration, and termination of traditional defined benefit plans.
1993 - 1994
Belcor Pension Consultants, New York, New York
Belcor, now inactive, was a regional pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Director of Actuarial Services
Acted as the liaison between the firm’s clients' pension plans and an external actuary on all consulting, design and administration issues.
1990 - 1993
Pay Plans Corp., New York, New York
Pay Plans, now based in Greenlawn, New York, is a regional pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Retirement Plan Consultant
Worked closely with the business owner to develop uniquely tailored plans for business clients, especially as the new world of nondiscrimination testing was being introduced.
1998 - 1990
The Ibex Group, New York, New York
Ibex, now inactive, was a regional pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Senior Pension Administrator and Consultant
Managed a group of junior consultants in administering the pension plans of a set of clients.
Trained newly hired consultants on all of the intricacies of designing, implementing, operating and terminating defined benefit pension plans.
1987 - 1988
Improved Funding Techniques, Inc., Lynbrook, New York
IFTI is a regional pension consulting and actuarial administration firm.
Assisted in the general administration and communication of defined benefit pension plans.