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14: Evaluating Post-Retirement Opportunities with John Tortorici


Episode description

A question that often comes up when talking to people that are approaching retirement is “What do I do next, and how do I evaluate the opportunities that become available to me upon retirement or the transitioning out of a role in a big corporation”?

Today’s guest, John Tortorici, is going to help field these questions, and more. We’re going to learn how he evaluates opportunities and how he would recommend selecting a non-profit that meshes with your experience and the type of work you like to do.

Passion is what drives him. As a father and grandfather, he loves kids and finds it heartening to see them learn and grow. He’s retired 5 times, then made a move into something else that sparked his interest and his desire to see kids succeed.

John Tortorici is Chair of the Board of Directors at TechStart, a non-profit in Oregon that is dedicated to providing teacher training and student enrichment in the fields of engineering, information technology, and computer science. He is on the advisory boards for Portland Community College BioScience Department and for the Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association. John is a judge at ORTOP, a volunteer driver for the Rose Parade, a Volunteer/Mentor at the alternative Rosemary Anderson High School, and a consulting coach to a CEO of a large company and a VP of sales.


Show Highlights: 

  • John describes entering the business world upon leaving the US Navy. 
  • As a Naval officer, John learned a lot about managing people, which came in handy when he started his own business. He learned to hire the right people, train them, give them the right tools, make sure they understood the job, then got out of their way. 
  • He found this philosophy his something his staff loved: it provided autonomy, they could do things as they needed to, and they could solve problems.
  • If you don’t have complete confidence in your staff, you will want to oversee it more closely, which does not let your people grow.
  • John walks us through his retirements and subsequent volunteering opportunities.
  • How opportunities can reveal themselves while volunteering and networking.
  • Be an agent of change: Meetings have minutes, people have action items after a meeting, and you can go from there.
  • When you create a committee, every committee has a charter. The charter tells its purpose, who’s on it, and what they’re trying to do, and lays out a plan for the year. Then the plan turns in to a schedule. Schedules include structure, and that’s what non-profits need.
  • John provides more details, such as its history, mission, and vision, concerning TechStart, and various volunteering opportunities.
  • Evaluating opportunities (time commitment and availability, what does the organization need, is the culture the right fit, how can I be helpful, etc.)
  • There are many different committees at non-profits that provide a different opportunity for volunteering.
  • The biggest need for non-profits is money if they are dependent on personal giving. 
  • Find an industry that is compatible and has an interest, an alignment, and a vested interest in that non-profit. 
  • Stay current by reading industry newsletters.


Links & Resources:





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