January 16, 2020
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Public School Employees’ Retirement System
Public School Employees’ Retirement Board Elects
Chairman and Vice Chairman
HARRISBURG, PA – The Board of Trustees of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System voted Thursday to elect a new chairman and vice chairman at the annual public organizational meeting held at PSERS headquarters.
Both positions have one-year terms and are responsible for running quarterly public meetings in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
Trustee Christopher Santa Maria, an active member representative, was elected to the post of board chair. He replaces Melva S. Vogler, the retired member representative, who did not to seek another term as chair.
Trustee Frank Ryan, who represents the state House Republican Caucus, was elected vice chairman. He replaces Trustee Nathan G. Mains, who opted not to seek another term. Mains is Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Inc.
“I’d like to thank my fellow trustees for the confidence of their votes and the trust they have bestowed on me and Frank to lead this fine board in 2020,” said Mr. Santa Maria said. “I mostly want to say to Mel how greatly I appreciate your service to the board and your service as board chair. Your great legacy as chair will include steady leadership through the worst financial crisis of my lifetime at least. You, along with that, maintained progress towards fulfilling the promise of a well-earned retirement benefits to about half a million Commonwealth citizens.”
Ms. Vogler and Mr. Mains remain on the board as trustees.
“PSERS executive team welcomes the Trustees’ new leadership team and looks forward to a strong working relationship,” said Executive Director Glen Grell.
Mr. Santa Maria has been a trustee since 2017. He is a social studies teacher in the Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County. He was formerly president of the Lower Merion Education Association. Mr. Santa Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington College and a masters’ degree in education from Cabrini College.
Mr. Ryan has been a trustee since 2019. He is an elected state representative, representing parts of Lebanon County. He is a certified public accountant and retired Marine Reserve colonel. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mt. St. Mary’s College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.
The 15-member Board of Trustees is an independent administrative board of the Commonwealth. The Board stands in a fiduciary relationship to the members of PSERS regarding investment decisions and disbursements of the System's funds. The Board also performs other functions outlined in the Public School Employees' Retirement Code, such as certifying contribution rates, authorizing the actuarial valuation and independent audit of the System, and publishing an annual financial statement of the condition of the Retirement Fund. In addition, the Board oversees the operational activities performed by the System's Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer.
About the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System
PSERS, founded in 1917, began operations in 1919 to oversee a statewide defined benefit pension plan for public school employees. PSERS' role expanded upon the passage of Act 5 of 2017 to include oversight of two new hybrid options consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) components and a stand-alone DC plan. PSERS membership covers about 256,000 active and 237,000 retired school employees.