July 14, 2024
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Retirement Can Open New Horizons

Hackensack—Learning how retirement from a career could be the start of a new adventure was the topic of the latest study group presented by National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section. The workshop was presented by Ruth Seitelman and Jean Joachim, two authors who shared their journey from the confines of corporate America to the creativity of writing romance stories and the control of owning their own business. The study group was presented at the Shops at Riverside Conference Center on November 12.

The two writers spoke about their successful corporate experiences and that they saw leaving their jobs as moving forward, an opportunity for new beginnings. Why romance? Both authors enjoy writing stories about human relationships: love, devotion, sacrifice, facing life’s challenges with a partner you adore, body and soul. And romance sells! Romance novels make up 20 percent of the market dollars and 51 percent of adult fiction sales. In addition, romance readers are binge readers. Some 46 percent of romance consumers read at least one book per week. In comparison, the typical American reads five books a year.

Ruth Seitelman was previously a vice president in the corporate cash management area at JPMorgan Chase where she used her communication and business development skills as a brand manager and senior product manager for a $430 million line of business. Writing under the name of Ruth A. Casie, she has embarked on a new career as a contemporary and historical fantasy romance author for Carina Press, Harlequin and Timeless Scribes Publishing, her own company. Knight of Runes was a NJ Chapter of Romance Writers of America Golden Leaf finalist in 2011. The Guardian’s Witch was a RomCon finalist in 2013 and Knight of Rapture is a finalist in this year’s NJ Chapter of Romance Writers of America Golden Leaf contest.

Jean Joachim is a veteran of the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather. She was a division media director responsible for American Express and Harlequin Books. She left advertising and was searching her next challenge when two characters landed in her head and refused to leave. Jean is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. She writes mostly contemporary romance and has had more than 30 books, novellas and short stories published. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013 and The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast chapter of Romance Writers of America. To Love or Not to Love tied for second place in the 2014 New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America Reader’s Choice contest. Jean was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Ruth Seitelman, who is NCJW’s vice president of community service, said after the workshop, “Some people dread leaving their jobs. I loved working at the bank, but I was looking forward to new challenges and new beginnings. My new career hasn’t disappointed me.”

NCJW BCS provides stimulating, educational programs and speakers throughout the year, including seven general meetings and a myriad of study groups, book groups and trips. For more information on NCJW BCS and its upcoming programs, please visit http://www.ncjwbcs.org.

By Elizabeth Halverstam

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