The multi-generational Respectful Exits campaign is engaging all aging workers to transform the trajectory of work and retirement in a way that will ultimately serve individuals of all ages. Our team of leaders are both advocates who exemplify the experience, vigor, and determination of those working beyond the sell-by date, as well as younger champions who see it as a looming danger. They all bring a wealth of experience to this effort.
Founder + CEO
Paul has led and consulted to for profit and nonprofit businesses for four decades. As a practitioner of various forms of campaigns, he has pioneered, advocated for and consulted to major employers on a broad range of innovative flexible scheduling and staffing initiatives. His consulting firm, Rupert Organizational Design, has led in the development of phased retirement practices for the last decade.
An early observer of the coming crisis in which longevity would clash with a broken career and retirement system, he founded Respectful Exits in 2016 to advocate for basic changes in the way employers manage their aging workforce. His decades of assisting more than 100 companies to embrace more flexible ways of working informed the Longevity Agenda as a practical, achievable, affordable set of policies and practices to help secure a brighter future for the economy and individual retirees.
Janice’s advocacy career included two decades developing communication, marketing and advertising campaigns for major American companies and brands. She has played leading operational, business development, partnership management and oversight roles in several Madison Avenue firms. She also provided supportive services in a long-term project with AARP.
Putting her skills to work in a variety of organizations and services for underserved communities, Janice co-founded, managed and led marketing of CareCircle programs, software to enable coordination of care for elders and others needing sustained support. She led partner management at AmericanTowns.com, a national network of 30,000 local community websites, served as VP Communications at Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and played a leading role in the Promotion Marketing Association. She oversees partnership development for Respectful Exits.
Ira has directed national and international advocacy campaigns for a range of nonprofit and corporate organizations seeking change on issues of employer practices, the environment and social justice. He brings a great breadth of experience in media strategy, public relations, and communication channels including social media. He is adept at integrating local community efforts with local and national media coverage.
In the current frenzied and saturated media environment it is challenging to develop and deliver consistent, compelling messages, especially for an issue that is consistently under-emphasized. Ira’s considerable experience in successfully meeting this challenge on a variety of fronts is a major asset for the Respectful Exits campaign.
Robin has chronicled and promoted mutually beneficial employee best practices in hundreds of major companies for three decades. Under the broad rubric of work-life and flexible practices she has worked with pioneering consulting firms Work-Family Directions and Families and Work Institute before launching her own advisory firm, Robin Hardman Communications.
She helps companies develop and communicate a broad range of policies and practices that deliver great value to employers and employees alike and guides them through the various :Best Place to Work” awards processes. As a longtime proponent of the flexible workplace, she is committed to highlighting corporate practices toward the aging workforce.
Cosmetic Executive Women is the leadership organization of the US fashion and beauty industry. For more than a decade Kate developed its award-winning Cancer and Careers project. This web-based and direct service program helped 350,000 employees a year with cancer integrate ongoing treatment with continuing their careers. Cancer and Careers also engaged hundreds of employers in modifying their policies and practices toward those diagnosed with cancer.
Her fundraising and marketing work within the industry built on strong video, social media and communication expertise developed in her earlier work with media start-ups Sidewalk and Oxygen. At Respectful Exits she is responsible for managing our corporate advocacy work designed to modify policies and practices that prematurely separate aging workers from their careers. She leads the national conferencing and other outreach in the employer community.
Emma was the founding Director of 1 Million for Work Flexibility, the first national initiative creating a collective voice of employers and employees in support of flexible work. She manages the websites, blogging platform and social media strategy for Respectful Exits. She writes widely on issues of the aging workforce, work/life integration and workplace productivity, and her expertise has been featured in outlets including U.S. News, Forbes, and the Christian Science Monitor.
She honed her communications and web production skills working for the Open Society Foundations. Prior to that, she applied her computer science skills to coordination of a Stanford-designed computer science curriculum with the Bermuda Ministry of Education.
Jessica brings to Respectful Exits a deep commitment to flexible work and the expertise developed in a two-decade business-to-business marketing career in banking. Starting as the first marketing hire of a growing business bank in Columbus, Ohio, she experienced both sides of corporate acquisition while crafting her personal marketing, management and leadership style. She applies those skills to the requirements of this fast-growing start-up focused on transforming the way aging employees work and retire.
Jessica is responsible for crafting a broad range of educational campaigns and tools that support the development of the Longevity Agenda. These include promotion of conferences, internal employer seminars and public education initiatives. She also oversees the growth of our social media presence. Her passion for flexible work is expressed in a strong commitment to mainstreaming flexible and phased retirement for aging workers.
As Marketing Manager for Respectful Exits, Brittany adds a wide range of technical and creative expertise to the team, with graphic design, market research, social media, branding, and event planning experience in both the nonprofit and financial services sectors. She provides a consistent branding and visual theme to offerings as diverse as the primary website, employee tools such as ThePhazer™, the campaign newsletter, conference collateral and corporate educational vehicles.
She applies her data analytic skills and communication expertise to the distribution on a range of social media platforms our original blogs, event postings and other communications. She also assists employers in presenting internal educational events regarding the Longevity Agenda. Her passion for building a respectful retirement system grows out of her commitment to building more flexible workplaces.
Rachael Grossman is a certified executive coach and consultant with extensive business development and operations experience in the corporate, nonprofit and social enterprise sectors. She helps clients integrate the effectiveness and results-orientation of for-profit entities and the strong value orientation of nonprofits to create solutions that drive organizational growth and individual development. She has worked in the tech, design and non-profit sectors on issues including business development, traditional philanthropy, social impact investments, earned revenue strategies, partnerships and integrated marketing.
As a coach, she brings to Respectful Exits the ability to partner with leaders and teams to help them enhance the length and contribution of their careers, thus driving the success of their organizations. She has had extensive experience in helping organizations develop business-smart flexible cultures and policies that drive retention and productivity.
Meryle Mahrer Kaplan
Meryle’s nearly three decades of social change advocacy has focused on the inclusion of women in the workplace and support for evolving work-life challenges. She focused early in her career on consulting to employers and coaching employees on the central issue of child care. Her research, consulting and advisory work in a long career as an executive at Catalyst grew to encompass the broader issue of women’s advancement and the many emerging frontiers of diversity and inclusion.
She came early to the challenges of age inclusion and supporting the aging workforce – especially women who face the greatest challenge to sustainable retirements. Her combination of consulting and executive coaching skills and her considerable organizational experience result in expertise in creating solutions that add value to workplaces and work for employees at all levels of organizations from the C-suite to new hires.
Ruth’s commitment to work-life and flexibility initiatives spans the course of her lengthy career. She was an early leader in the development of employee assistance, flexibility, and organizational change programs. She continues that dedication as a consultant, conducting employee focus groups and qualitative research, and as an executive coach, working with clients young and old to strengthen and expand their career opportunities.
Ruth’s mastery of coaching, facilitation, and program development includes a strong understanding of the power and design considerations of flexible and phased retirement initiatives, and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in an aging workforce. She brings all that to bear in her efforts to enable creative development of the Respectful Exits agenda.
Advisory Board Co-Chair
Kathleen combines decades of seminal research, education and philanthropy in service of innovative flexible and older worker programs. As Working Longer Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, she has funded innovative research in support of older workers. Her earlier academic research and publications on work-from-home, along with years of creative funding, strengthened workplace flexibility and family-friendly business practices. She is Board Chairperson of Open Work, a best practices platform for companies reinventing where, when and how work gets done
Advisory Board Co-Chair
As Global Chief Diversity Officer of Sodexo, Rohini brings extensive corporate experience building strong diversity and inclusion outcomes for a global workforce. Sodexo has pioneered women’s advancement, flexibility and inter-generational initiatives to maximize the talents of a truly global workforce. Under her leadership, Sodexo received the prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award and has ranked in the top ten for nine years on the Diversity Inc business index of Top Companies for Diversity and Inclusion. She chairs the Catalyst Board of Advisors, and serves on numerous boards and councils including the Charter Communications External Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Board Advisor, Governance
Robert A. Stern retired in 2018 as Group General Counsel of Sodexo SA, a multinational publicly traded company with its global headquarters in Paris. Sodexo is the 19th largest corporate employer in the world with operations in over 70 countries. He served as General Counsel for Sodexo North America from 1998 to 2016. Under his leadership, Sodexo North America’s Law Department received several awards and recognition for its diversity and community service activities and he sees phased retirement as a next frontier in flexible work and the fight against poverty.
Mr. Stern serves in leadership roles in professional and civic organizations. He continues to serve on the board of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, where he was a founding board member and served as its President for 6 years. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and the American University School of Law Business Law Program. In 2010, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association.
As Senior Advisor/Counsel to three Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) commissioners over the past nine years, Cathy is a nationally recognized expert in age and employment discrimination. Her three decades of pioneering work in this area included Managing Attorney of AARP Foundation Litigation, private practice focused on federal employment discrimination appellate cases and class actions and an adjunct professorship at Washington College of Law, American University.
Cathy brings to our work deep knowledge of the evolving field of age discrimination law and its potential and challenges for the aging workforce. As a policy advisor, litigator, and researcher of age discrimination cases, she has a deep understanding of the practices that constitute discrimination and the best practices employees can take to challenge then and employers can take to avoid them.