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Every company has a story and we are proud to tell the story of LRS founder, Kirsten Curry.

Deep roots in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry

Two enduring principles have been a constant for Kirsten Curry, LRS’s Founder and CEO: hard work always pays off and we have a responsibility to look out for one another. They were true when she was growing up in a commercial fishing family in Alaska and they are true now as she works tirelessly to build Leading Retirement Solutions into a major player in the financial services industry.

Kirsten’s commitment to helping her clients and their employees achieve financial success has its roots in Alaska where her pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit was first ignited. There was no question that as the first-born, despite being a girl, Kirsten would join the family fishing business. Starting out at 10 years old, she worked her way up to the hardest jobs on the boat. What she learned during the 13 years she spent in her family’s business was that she could have financial freedom if she worked really hard. She also learned that to survive in extreme weather, battling exhaustion, each team member had to make and keep a promise: keep yourself safe and keep each other safe as well.

Taking the leap from a law firm to a startup

Kirsten always knew that her life’s work would not be commercial fishing. However, it gave her the means to get a political science degree from Gonzaga University followed by a law degree from Seattle University. After working as an attorney for several law firms, she went on to help launch a financial startup, learning the skills needed to grow an enterprise from seven to 150 employees, reaching $15 million in three years. Her team assisted clients with making investments and providing ongoing IRS and DOL compliance of 401(k) plans.

However, Kirsten felt that the company wasn’t focusing enough on encouraging companies to offer employer-sponsored 401(k) plans to help employees save for retirement and reduce the company’s tax liability. After 5 years as an employee, Kirsten spotted a challenge and an opportunity and left to start her own firm.

A new approach to retirement planning

From the start, Leading Retirement Solutions has been on a mission to proactively support companies and lead them to a secure future.  This unique business-minded and entrepreneurial approach focuses on supporting businesses, their owners and their employees in a holistic way.

Kirsten and her team work hard every day to ensure their clients understand why it is important to create a pathway for employees to save for their retirement. She believes that all companies, including her own, have a moral obligation to ensure that employees have a financially secure retirement.

She is also committed to helping business owners build their companies and invest for their retirement. A few years ago, Kirsten found herself wondering how well other women business owners are preparing for retirement.  When she couldn’t find any answers, she decided to survey male and female business owners and leaders of non-profit organizations across the country directly to find some answers. The second annual Retirement Gap study has just been released and reveals that women business owners are falling behind their male counterparts. Get the report here.

As an entrepreneur, Kirsten is always on the lookout for new opportunities to grow her company. It was natural, therefore, that she would team up with a group of fellow financial, legal and retirement industry veterans to solve a pressing challenge for the burgeoning cannabis industry: the need to offer competitive employee benefits – including a 401(k) plan. Thanks to this group, a new Cannabis 401(k) plan is available across the country that allows employees and executives to save for retirement on a tax-beneficial basis.  Learn more.

Looking to the future

Building a business has not always been an easy path for Kirsten. It has required a “can-do” attitude and a willingness to work extremely hard. Today, the sky is the limit for Kirsten and her growing team of retirement planning professionals. Their relentless focus on empowering employers and employees to plan for a secure future continues to open new opportunities for the company as well as the clients they serve.

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