About Our Team

Oculus Partners has developed relationships with a number of consultants over its many years in existence. Today, we have an active team that is composed of a diverse set of professionals that have several key attributes in common.

All our consultants have spent at least the early portion of their professional careers inside the types of companies Oculus seeks to serve.

Many have also held senior roles within the firms they worked for prior to making the decision to move towards consulting.

Additionally, they are all passionate about delivering value in their unique way to enable our clients’ success and the success of the individuals within the firms with which they work.

Veronica Charcalla portrait
Veronica Charcalla
Consultant
A former VP of Culture and Engagement at Prudential Financial with proven leadership in insurance, retirement, and asset management.
portrait of win cody
Win Cody
Consultant
A visionary senior technology executive with extensive experience in large systems development for the financial services industry.
portrait of terry dwyer
Terry Dwyer
Consultant
Has a proven track record of developing and implementing solutions for complex business problems and leading multi-disciplinary teams.
portrait of linda knox
Linda Knox
Consultant
Decades of Fortune 100 experience, with a specialized focus in corporate innovation and enhancing sales and leadership performance.
tom mayer portrait
Tom Mayer
Consultant
Specializes in helping organizations define and communicate what they do, how they do it, and – most importantly – why they do it.
dennis sain portrait
Dennis Sain
Consultant
Expert in retirement strategy, sales, client management, organizational infrastructure, and product development.
Jody Strakosch portrait
Jody Strakosch
Consultant
Expert in bringing in-depth investment and retirement income solutions to the defined contribution market for asset management firms.
Cerise Thomas portrait
Cerise Thomas
Administrator
An experienced executive assistant in the financial services industry, supporting C-suite leaders as a customer liaison and relationship builder.

About Veronica Charcalla

Veronica Charcalla portrait

Consultant

Veronica “Ronnie” is a proven leader with over thirty years of experience working in the Financial Services Industry. She has held leadership roles in a variety of businesses including insurance, retirement, and asset management. Her areas of expertise span product development, operations, service, customer experience as well as organizational culture and employee engagement.

Ronnie worked for Prudential Financial for several decades leading large organizations responsible for developing and delivering solutions for their institutional and individual customers. She led operations, contact centers, retirement counseling, product strategy and digital customer experience. Her last three years at Prudential, she was the VP of Culture and Engagement, responsible for the enterprise strategy for employee engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Ronnie also worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she managed the defined contribution and integrated benefits product offering for 4 years.

Ronnie earned a BS in Business Management at Kean University, and an executive MBA in Business Administration at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is certified in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Northwestern.

Passion/Area of Focus

Creating equitable access to the tools and resources for financial health for all.

About Win Cody

portrait of win cody

Consultant

Win is a visionary senior technology executive and consultant with experience in large systems development for the financial services industry. Over his career, Win has had extensive focus on developing and implementing digital capabilities to to create new and powerful financial services products. He is also an industry expert in automating 401(k) retirement planning systems.

Win started his career at Travelers where he was CIO at Copeland which became CitiStreet. While there, Win built mulitiple technology platforms and solutions enabling them to grow to become a large US 401(k) record keeper which is now owned by Voya.

Win also founded and was the CEO of the online record keeping business, Expert Plan. As a standalone business, Expert Plan was back office to firms such as Putnam, US Bank, Legg Mason and AllianceBernstein and was ultimately acquired by Ascensus.

As a consultant Win has operated inside companies such as iGate where he was the Head of Retirement and Wealth Management Consulting and has also operated independently. His consulting engagements have included assessments and roadmap planning for retirement and wealth management businesses, large data projects, platform replacements, audience specific portal definition and builds, and integrations for innovative product offerings.

Win received a BS from MIT and MBA from University of Connecticut. Located in Hamilton, NJ.

Passion/Area of Focus

Driving technology solutions that drive meaningful benefits for customers.

About Terry Dwyer

portrait of terry dwyer

Consultant

Terry has a proven track record of developing and implementing solutions for complex business challenges.  He has led multi-disciplinary teams in insurance, benefits and residential real estate-related businesses in transforming the customer experience, repositioning a product group for growth, outsourcing end-to-end operations, centralizing operational capabilities, and turning around underperforming businesses.  Terry also has significant experience supporting business acquisitions, mergers and divestitures. 

He spent more than thirty years at Prudential Financial where he held leadership roles across diverse business lines, including leading the group insurance life product P&L with annual premiums of $3.4 billion, restructuring the long-term care business’ operating model and eventually outsourcing the operations to a strategic partner, and leading the nonqualified benefits unit through unparallelled growth as the business pivoted from traditional COLI solutions for funding corporate benefit liabilities to jumbo BOLI contracts.  He ended his career leading the business-wide transformation of the group insurance business.

Terry obtained his MBA with a concentration on finance from the University of Wisconsin and his BA in accounting from Marquette University.

Passion/Area of Focus

Transforming operating models to unlock value while carefully balancing financial constraints, compliance and operating risks, competitive pressures, customer demands, and timing.

About Linda Knox

portrait of linda knox

Consultant

Drawing on decades of experience in Fortune 100 companies, Linda consults with organizations looking to create differentiation and grow their businesses. She specializes in corporate innovation and enhancing sales and leadership performance.

Linda was a founder and subsequent leader of The Innovation Lab at Prudential Financial focused on building digital and financial solutions that overcome behavioral and financial obstacles to long-term savings and financial wellness. She served as an advisor to executive leaders on market, tech, and customer trends; the cultural and organizational pillars of innovation; and how to manage the innovation portfolio.
Before joining The Lab, Linda was the organization’s first Experience Officer, founded the award-winning Top of the Rock University noted for developing the industry’s most distinguished market-facing professionals, and managed the organization’s CRM platform, optimizing its business and strategic value by driving data and insight-driven decision making.

Linda’s earlier career as vice president at CIGNA was marked, most notably, by her leadership on the corporate Sales Management Council where she was influential in building an enterprise-wide, high-performing sales culture.

Linda is currently the co-creator of a program that is helping women entrepreneurs increase their revenue. She is an advisor to UpsideFi, an early-stage FinTech company dedicated to building wealth with every student loan payment. She serves as the board vice-chair of the Greater Hartford YMCA, and is an active supporter of organizations helping the most vulnerable children worldwide.

Passion/Area of Focus

Helping individuals enhance their performance, leaders achieve more impact, and organizations differentiate and grow.

About Tom Mayer

tom mayer portrait

Consultant

Tom specializes in helping organizations define and communicate what they do, how they do it and – most importantly – why they do it.

For over twenty-five years, Tom has helped major banks, brokerage, and mutual fund companies deliver effective sales, marketing, and product innovation strategies. He has led initiatives to define new brands and revitalize existing ones. He has trained salespeople and subject matter experts on how to bring their stories to life in the sales process. And, he has done it all with a great joy in collaborating with his clients.

Guiding his approach are a number of key principles: Focus relentlessly on the voice of the customer. Amplify the organization’s true strengths and differentiators. Understand how the positioning strategy fits within the competitive landscape. Speak with clarity. And, always deliver the organization’s message with complete conviction.

Before pursuing a career as an independent consultant in January 1997, Tom worked for T. Rowe Price Associates as Vice President of the Retirement Plan Services group. Prior to joining T. Rowe Price, Tom was a Vice President of Marketing at AXA/Equitable.

Tom has served on the Board of Moveable Feast and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in international economics.

Tom currently resides in Sarasota, Florida.

Passion/Area of Focus

Connecting an organization’s “why” with their “how” and “what.”

About Dennis Sain

dennis sain portrait

Consultant

Dennis has over three decades of experience leading and growing retirement focused businesses across multiple market segments. As a practitioner, Dennis has held diverse leadership roles driving strategic growth and has the ability to energize colleagues and teams to achieve business objectives. Most recently, as Director of Sales and Marketing at Milliman, he implemented a repeatable, strategic selling and enablement process, as well as redefining their Employee Benefit value proposition and brand positioning. Prior to Milliman, he led The Newport Group’s qualified plan business unit. He was accountable for all aspects of the business unit, inclusive of P/L responsibility, along with developing the vision and strategic execution of sales, consultant relations, relationship management, operations and the call center. Dennis also spent four years at Merrill Lynch Retirement Group where he led institutional and mid-market sales and consultant relations.

Dennis spent the initial part of his career at The Northern Trust Company holding various executive level positions in operations, sales and relationship management while concurrently establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships with leading administrative firms in the retirement industry. Ultimately, as President and Chief Operating Officer of Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, he led the senior management team and was responsible for the vision, strategy and execution of the business, resulting in a quintupling of revenue and increasing profit ten times during his tenure.

As a consultant, Dennis’ focus has been assisting retirement providers on strategy, sales, client relationship management, organizational design and product development. His engagements have enabled clients to enter new markets, increase sales and client satisfaction, organizational restructuring and operational efficiencies and new product development.

Passion/Area of Focus

Dennis is passionate about promoting servant-based leadership to drive strategic, cost effective solutions that meet the needs of clients, employees and stakeholders.

About Jody Strakosch

Jody Strakosch portrait

Consultant

Jody Strakosch began consulting in 2012 to bring investment and retirement income solutions to the defined contribution market for asset management firms. Jody offers in-depth retirement market expertise, product development and strategic positioning to align with today’s challenges for investment management and service providers seeking to enhance their profiles in the defined contribution marketplace.

Consulting assignments have included assisting investment managers and insurers design innovative retirement income solution programs for defined contribution plans, writing public policy and market landscape papers, serving as program manager for an industry-led coalition to increase American’s savings, speaking engagements at client conferences, researching specific market opportunities, providing an in-depth overview of the retirement income market, and strategic initiative development.

Jody is an active member of DCIIA (Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association), on the Advisory Council of WISER (Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement), and a member of the Advisory Board for the Portfolio Management Research (PMR) Journal of Retirement.

Jody worked for MetLife where she was a recognized defined contribution and institutional retirement income subject matter expert. She was the key architect of several significant market-first products, supported public policy initiatives, and represented MetLife with the media, at conferences and in industry groups.

Jody holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts in Gerontology from the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California.

Passion/Area of Focus

Everything institutional retirement income!

About Cerise Thomas

Cerise Thomas portrait

Administrator

Cerise Thomas is an experienced executive assistant working in the financial services industry, supporting C-suite leaders.  She has supported executives at multiple firms including Caxton, a global macro hedge fund, WBI Investments, a wealth management firm, and most recently Robust Wealth, a fintech managed account firm acquired by Principal Financial. 

Having worked in executive offices, she has a vast understanding of the importance in acting as a liaison allowing for the executives’ time to be maximized as well as helping in reaching the company/executives’ goals.   Cerise wears many hats – serving as an assistant, travel planner, staff liaison, and client relationship builder, with excellent organizational and communication skills.

Cerise holds a Bachelor of Arts degree focused on Communications from Northeast Missouri State University.

Passion/Area of Focus

Learning new things and taking on new challenges.

About Jamie McInnes

Jamie McInnes

President

Jamie is a recognized leader with over thirty years of experience working in several firms across asset management, banking and insurance. Her leadership roles have focused on a variety of business models and markets covering retirement, wealth management and protection. In 2018, she joined Oculus Partners as a Senior Consultant and, in January 2021, Jamie acquired the firm.

Prior to joining Oculus, Jamie spent 10 years at Prudential Financial. Initially, she worked within Prudential Retirement ultimately leading its full-service business which delivered defined contribution, defined benefit, deferred compensation, IRA and advisory services to 4,000 institutional clients and 2.5 million individual participants. Her final three years at Prudential were spent in Prudential International Insurance developing and leading its market entry to Indonesia’s life insurance market. As the CEO she developed the local senior leadership team while expanding distribution inclusive of bank assurance, tele-marketing and a direct-to-consumer digital channel.

Jamie joined Prudential from Merrill Lynch where she led its Retirement Group’s institutional offerings covering DC, DB, NQDC and trust and custody. This followed her return from Japan where Jamie had initially been leading the platform development for CIGNA’S joint venture pension business as their CIO and subsequently as the firm’s Executive Director advising multi-national firms around pension risk issues and the benefits of transferring benefit programs to a DC framework.

Jamie began her career in management consulting focused on banking and insurance company back-office operations and entered the retirement business initially with Putnam Investments and then joining a VC backed on-line 401(k) company prior to relocating to Japan.

Jamie earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College, has a MPhil degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, an MSc in Finance from the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Passion/Area of Focus

Helping leaders align and enable their teams to accomplish goals they felt were unachievable.