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WISER founder to receive PSCA lifetime achievement award

Cindy Hounsell

Cindy Hounsell, president and founder of the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, will be presented with the Plan Sponsor Council of America's lifetime achievement award at the council's annual national conference May 1-2 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

First presented in 2014, the lifetime achievement award recognizes individuals' contributions to the growth of the defined contribution industry.

WISER is a non-profit organization that was founded by Ms. Hounsell in 1996 that focuses on improving opportunities for women to enjoy a secure retirement.

"I have known Cindy for many years now and continue to be impressed by her incredible dedication and heart for helping women navigate the many obstacles to a secure retirement, " said Annette Grabow, retirement plans program manager at Sonepar USA and Ms. Hounsell's nominator, in a PSCA news release Monday. "WISER's mission is personified in Cindy's efforts. … Cindy's contributions have not been limited to the plan sponsor community but cover the broader retirement landscape. Plan sponsors benefit from her work and resources."

"Cindy is the perfect fit for our lifetime achievement award," added Jack Towarnicky, PSCA's executive director, in the new release. "She's a recognized leader positively affecting policy and the changing views in the retirement community. Her specific focus on helping women achieve their financial goals benefits all workers and their families, actively employed or already retired, regardless of gender."

In addition to her role at WISER, Ms. Hounsell currently serves on the National Alliance for Caregiving board; STRIVE-DC board, a non-profit that fights unemployment; the advisory council of Wider Opportunities for Women's Elder Economic Security Initiative; and the Financial Services Roundtable's Retirement advisory council.

Ms. Hounsell has testified before Congress and served as a delegate for several White House summits and conferences. In 2011, she was appointed to the ERISA Advisory Council by then-Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. In 2008, she was appointed to the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education by the Bush administration.

"I'm honored to be recognized by PSCA, particularly because the plan sponsor community knows how difficult it is to prepare people for retirement, and the issues and decisions that workers and their families need to confront," Ms. Hounsell said in an emailed statement Monday. "I know that my plan sponsor colleagues care and encourage workers to take advantage of the opportunities and education provided to help secure their financial future."

Previous winners of the lifetime achievement award were Anna M. Rappaport, president of Anna Rappaport Consulting, in 2017; Nancy Webman, longtime editor of Pensions & Investments, in 2016; and Karen Barnes, managing counsel for McDonald's Corp. and David G. Booth, co-founder, co-CEO and chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors, in 2014.