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.
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.
Social Media Strategist
Brian is Co-Founder and Chief Video Officer of SRW, our full-service video, social media and content creation team. They bring to our goal of building a grassroots supporter base diverse experience in engaging audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn converting them into active participants in targeted campaigns. Brian’s background in professional film-making and video enlivens our work on all platforms.
The essence of the Respectful Exits campaign is the millions of stories of aging workers struggling to survive the new longevity and the innovative employers who are trying to build new age-inclusive environments. Brian has a unique and impressive track record of superior story-telling. SRW’s impressive client base ranges from companies like Deloitte and P&G, to emerging brands in the natural food space such as Kite Hill and Simple Mills.
Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
Ruth Finkelstein, ScD is the Executive Director of the Brookdale Center on Healthy Aging at Hunter College and Professor of Urban Public Health. Dr. Finkelstein joined Hunter College in 2018 after serving as Associate Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, where her signature initiatives included the Age Smart Employer Awards, honoring businesses who value older AND younger workers; and the Age Boom Academy, a course educating journalists about aging and work.
At Hunter, she is working to transform understanding of aging from a state of decline to a life course stage with both challenge and opportunity. Ruth is leading the initiative to make the College the first major public institution in the U.S. to join the Global Network of Age Friendly Universities. She has also begun work to create a student/older adult home sharing program and to strengthen age discrimination protection in New York City. Dr. Finkelstein was the architect of the award-winning Age Friendly New York City. Most recently, she won the Maggie Kuhn Award, 2019.
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.