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2017 Board of Trustees Election

The TRA Board of Trustees is seeking candidates to fill two active-member seats and one retired-member seat on the board. The terms of Mary Supple, a math teacher in Richfield; Rob Gardner, an English teacher in Edina; and retiree representative Martha Lee Zins expire June 30, 2017. The new four-year terms for these positions begin July 1, 2017. There are no term limits on board positions.

Important dates

Candidate filing deadline: December 23, 2016

Election announcement in TRIB: January 18, 2017

Ballots mailed to members: February 17, 2017

Voting concludes: March 24, 2017

Election results announced: April 12, 2017

Term for new board members begins: July 1, 2017

What does the board do?

Trustees meet about seven times a year to oversee the administration of the pension fund. Special meetings might be held at the call of the board president or any three members. Board members act as fiduciaries of the TRA plan in accordance with Minnesota statute and are subject to state economic interest disclosures.

As fiduciaries, trustees are held to a standard of care called the prudent person rule under which they must exercise their decisions in the same careful manner that they would use in making their own retirement decisions.

Trustees are also obligated to consider the benefit needs of all pension fund participants regardless of any individual constituency that may have been instrumental in their election. Trustees are required to file an annual Statement of Economic Interest with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

Candidates for the Board of Trustees 2017 election

Only active members are eligible to vote for active member board positions, and only retired members are eligible to vote for retired-member board position.

Active member representative (vote for two)

Will Baumann

Education

  • Iowa State University, M.S., Statistics
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, B.S., Mathematics
  • Ridgewater College, A.A., Liberal Arts

Professional affiliations

  • Minnesota Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (president from 2015-present)

Teaching experience

  • Ridgewater College, 2015-present
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, 2009-2015
  • Ridgewater College, 2007-2009

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I am an active member of my local and state college faculty union (MSCF), and I have always been a vocal proponent of defined benefit pensions. ... more ...

Barbara A. Beltrand

Education

  • Metropolitan State University, enrolled in Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program, September 2011-present
  • Northeastern University, Boston, MA, Master of Science in Public Accounting (MPA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA), 1984
  • Simmons College, Boston, MA, Master of Library Science (MLS), 1977
  • Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Anthropology & English, 1975

Professional affiliations

  • American Accounting Association (AAA)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA)
  • Inter Faculty Organization (IFO)

Teaching experience

  • Metropolitan State University, Adjunct and Fixed Term Appointments (1993-2006)
  • Metropolitan State University, tenured in May 2014 and promoted to Associate Professor (2009-present)

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

Service as a trustee for the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) is an important fiduciary responsibility. ... more ...

 

Shannon Edberg

Education

  • St. Mary's University, M.A. Teaching and Learning
  • University of St. Thomas, B.A. Life Science Education

Professional affiliations

  • MFT Local 59 Member (currently)
  • American Indians in Education Member (currently)
  • National Science Teachers Association Member (currently)
  • American Indians in Science and Engineering Member (currently)
  • Recording Secretary for MFT 59 (2012-2014)

Teaching experience

  • Minneapolis Public Schools, 1996-present

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees because we need to preserve the rights of workers, of which our pension is a part. ... more ...


Mary Supple

Education

  • Master's Degree: Minnesota State University - Mankato, 1997
  • Bachelor's Degree: University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, 1986

Professional affiliations

  • National Education Association Board of Directors, 2004-2007
  • Education Richfield, former president, lead negotiator, and governmental relations chair, currently faculty representative and insurance committee representative
  • Minnesota TRA Board of Trustees, 2009-2017
  • Minnesota TRA Audit Committee Chair, 2011-2016

Teaching experience

  • Richfield Public Schools since 1988, currently teaching sixth grade math at Richfield Middle School
  • Waukesha Public Schools, teacher grade 3, 1987-1988
  • Houston I.S.D., teacher grade 4 and 5, 1986-1987

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I believe that providing a defined benefit pension system for Minnesota teachers is essential in keeping talented teachers in our public schools as they can count on having retirement security. ... more ...

 

Adam Tillotson

Education

  • University of St. Thomas, Ed.S, Educational Leadership: Administration
  • University of Minnesota, M.Ed., Curriculum: Instruction
  • University of Minnesota, B.A., European History

Professional affiliations

  • Education Minnesota

Teaching experience

  • Wayzata Education Association President, 2015-present
  • Wayzata High School, 2003-present

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees because I want to work with all stakeholders to ensure TRA is fully funded and is able to keep its financial obligations. We need to stabilize the fund and work with the legislature to fund an early retirement incentive, like Rule of 90 for those who don’t currently qualify for it.

 

Retired member representative (vote for one)

Peter A. Grant

Education

  • Winona State University, Educational Administration 6th Year Certificate (1987)
  • Winona State University, Masters Secondary Administration (1985)
  • Winona State University, Language Arts (1977)

Professional affiliations

  • MASA, 2002-present
  • AASA, 2002-2014
  • MSBA, 2002-present
  • MASA, Legislative Committee 2002-2010
  • MASA Pension/Contract Committee (2006-2009)

Teaching experience

  • Owatonna Public Schools – Superintendent, 2012-2017
  • Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools – Superintendent, 2005-2011
  • Plainview Elgin-Millville Public Schools – Superintendent, 2002-2005
  • Owatonna Public Schools – Associate Principal, 1991-2002
  • Stewartville Public Schools – Associate Principal, 1987-1991
  • Byron Public Schools – Language Arts Teacher, 1977-1987

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I have been an educator since 1977. During these past 39 years, I have always taken an active role in my associations – EdMN, MASSP, MASA, MSBA. ... more ...

 

Karen U. Kilberg

Education

  • College For Financial Planning, Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • St. Olaf College, BA, English, Education

Professional affiliations

  • National Council on Teachers Retirement, president, executive committee, member

Teaching experience

  • Minneapolis Teachers’ Retirement Fund, Executive Director, 1991-2006
  • Duluth Teachers’ Retirement Fund, Executive Director, 2013-2015
  • Alexander Ramsey, Roseville District, 1970-1982
  • South St. Paul District, 1967-1969

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I would like to use my experience as a teacher, executive director and chief investment officer of the Minneapolis and Duluth Teachers Retirement Funds, and past president of the National Council on Teachers’ Retirement to help solve some of the serious issues that TRA is facing. ... more ...

 

Martha Lee (Marti) Zins

Education

  • NCTR sponsored Trustee Institutes Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley
  • MLS Librarianship, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Post-graduate courses at several universities
  • Mankato, B.S., B.A., History, Education (1966-67)
  • High school, Nicollet, MN (1963)

Professional affiliations

  • TRA board president (2009-present)
  • TRA board, serving as a board trustee and vice-president (1989-present)
  • MEA (now EDMN) president (1983-86)
  • MEA (now EDMN) vice president (1977-83)
  • Created MEA teacher retirement committee
  • NEA director, three terms
  • Co-founder/officer of MEMO
  • Member: EDMN-R, NEA-R, AFT, REAM, HEA, ALA, DKG, MCLU, WILPF, National Council on Teacher Retirement (chaired Trustee Education), Metro West UniServ Treasurer over ten years to date
  • Committees for State of MN, Facilities Management/RSM building
  • Delegate: state, national, international education conferences (China, Thailand, Europe, Brazil)
  • NCTR conference presenter
  • Listed in Who’s Who of American Women

Teaching experience

  • Director, District Media Services, Building Media Specialist, Hopkins, MN Public Schools
  • Teacher, Worthington High School, Worthington, MN
  • Teacher/trainer in Thailand, in an exchange program I helped create

Why do you want to serve on the TRA Board of Trustees? What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the teacher pension system?

I have devoted a large chunk of my life to TRA and pensions, learning about them through direct service on the TRA board, through participation in numerous conferences, seminars and meetings, both in state and at many national settings, and through formulating policy to deal with the complexity of teacher pension issues. ... more ...


 

 

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