TEXPERS' board hires new executive director

  • By: admin
  • On: 12/20/2018 11:28:12
  • In: News
  • Comments: 0
TEXPERS has a new executive director. The board of directors recently hired Sally Velasquez to take over the position from Max Patterson, who is retiring from the association's top administrative job.

Staff Report

Velasquez starts Jan. 2. She brings a legislative background as a former chief of staff to several state legislators and as an independent governmental affairs consultant promoting cities and counties as a registered lobbyist. She has advocated for and participated in policy-making related to public employees and their retirement benefits.
An interview with the association's new executive director will be featured in the next edition of TEXPERS Pension Observer. The membership magazine will be mailed to members by Jan. 10. An electronic version of the magazine also will be emailed out to members.
TEXPERS' board of directors hired Velasquez during its meeting held Dec. 13 and 14 in Frisco, Texas, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and where the association's 2019 Summer Educational Forum will be held. 

Summer Educational Forum Change

The board of directors voted to move the association's annual Summer Educational Forum in August 2019 from El Paso to the Omni Frisco in Frisco, Texas.
Previously set to be held at The Camino Real Hotel in El Paso, renovations of the hotel have delayed use of the venue in time for the 2019 TEXPERS Summer Educational Forum. More information will be coming out later regarding registration and dates.

Board Approves Fee Changes Beginning in 2019

Also, for 2019, TEXPERS is planning adjustments to trustee training opportunities as well as registration fees for classes and conferences. The association's board approved changes in fees during its year-end Board meeting as part of the 2019 budget approval process.
TEXPERS has been subsidizing the expense of conferences and training for its members in past years. It was important to support and assist members in meeting the training requirements that the state's Pension Review Board developed in answer to a legislative trustee training mandate approved in 2013.
Now, only new trustees need to meet that initial training requirement, which the association's Basic Trustee Training fulfills. After the first year of service, trustees must take at least four hours of training every two years.
Event expenses are a significant part of the TEXPERS budget. Expenses at hotels, including food, beverage, audio visual equipment rental and support as well as service charges, continue to increase at a rapid rate. For the last two conferences TEXPERS has incurred large losses and over the last two years our overall expenses have increased significantly.  Also, keep in mind we did not want to change the Annual Membership fee.
In comparison to other organizations, these adjusted fees are still very reasonable. An additional consideration is that the Basic Trustee Training fee will be a one-time investment on behalf of retirement funds in the on-boarding process of new trustees.
Here is an outline of registration fees:
Conference Registration Fee Structure
Registration fee covers all educational sessions, meals and networking events. Conference will provide approximately  7-12 hours of continuing education (CE) credit towards the PRB CE requirements.
  •       Systems that pay more than $1,000 for TEXPERS annual membership dues:          Registration fee - $25 (No Change)
  •       Systems that pay under $1,000 for TEXPERS annual membership dues - $100
Golf Tournament
  •        Registration fee:   $25 for Plan Sponsors; $225 for all others. (New for Plan Sponsors)
Basic Trustee Training
Provides seven hours of training over the seven core content areas required by the PRB MET Rules for new trustees in their first year of service.  Registration fee covers the class, breakfast, lunch and class materials including the book, A Primer for Investment Trustees.
     BTT Fee Structure:
  •        Member: $225 (currently $100)
  •        Non-Member: $325 (currently $300)
Advanced Trustee Training
Provides four hours of training that can be used to meet the PRB continuing education requirement. ATT content will vary from class to class, covering different content areas and providing more of a deep dive into topics within content areas. Registration fee cover the class, lunch, and materials.
     ATT Fee Structure:
  •      Member: $150 (currently $50)
  •      Non-Member: $250 (currently ($100)
The PRB training requirements are the minimum that a trustee or administrator should do. Additional training, beyond the minimum, ensures that those running pension funds stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices. Conference sessions and trustee training opportunities can provide that additional training.
TEXPERS is planning to conduct additional Basic Trustee Training classes in 2019, which will run concurrently with Advanced Trustee Training
TEXPERS encourages more trustees that have met the initial requirement to consider re-taking some of the content areas in the Basic Trustee Training class as a refresher. TEXPERS will allow Advanced Trustee Training students to “mix and match.” Agendas will be provided in advance and Advanced Trustee Training students can move over to Basic Trustee Training if there is a content area that they would like to re-take. TEXPERS' attendance forms are already set up to allow the association to give credit only for the parts of the classes trainees attend.
Here's a listing of upcoming training dates:
April 6th, 2019, Austin (Hilton Austin)
Basic Trustee Training 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Advanced Trustee Training, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
August 10th, 2019, El Paso
Basic Trustee Training 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Advanced Trustee Training, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
November 2019, Location TBD (Houston, San Antonio or Dallas)
Basic Trustee Training 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Advanced Trustee Training, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
By funding education and training more fully, and offering more opportunities, TEXPERS will be able to illustrate to stakeholders that our members are committed to performing their important roles at their pension funds at a very high level.
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