Nominate a Pension Defender

Legacy Pension Defender Honorees

Presented in chronological order

David Blumenstein (2021)
President & CEO, The Segal Group

David is president and CEO of The Segal Group, a consulting firm with 26 offices through the United States and Canada. As someone who is passionate about and energized by the work Segal does, he continues to serve as the lead consultant to several major clients. Throughout his career, David has held many roles, but only one job: contributing to the success of the firm’s clients.

During his almost 30 years with Segal, Mr. Blumenstein has served in a number of national and regional leadership roles, including multiple terms on The Segal Group’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining Segal, Mr. Blumenstein worked for a major insurance company focusing in all areas of employee benefits.

David is a frequent speaker at benefits conferences and other industry forums. In addition, he is a published author on both health care and retirement benefit topics. He is the Executive Sponsor of Segal’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, as he believes that positive change should begin at the top.

Sharon Hendricks (2021)
Board Vice Chair, CalSTRS

Sharon is board vice chair for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), as well as a communication studies instructor for the past 15 years at at Los Angeles City College. She was elected to the CalSTRS retirement board in 2011.

While on the board, she has advocated for the development of investment beliefs, transparency on investment fees, and managing environmental, social and governance risks like climate change, corporate board diversity and fair labor practices.

Sharon also serves faculty as Treasurer and Retirement Liaison for the 5,000 full and part-time faculty members of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, AFT 1521. She is active in the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers and serves on the working group for the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security at Harvard, the American Federation of Teachers Trustee Council and the California Trustee Network.

Richard “Dick” Charlton (2021)
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, NEPC

Richard is the founder and chairman emeritus of NEPC. His investment experience spans nearly 50 years. In 1972, he initiated Michigan Bell’s Pension Oversight District in anticipation of the oversight requirements of ERISA. Dick also prepared financial regulatory testimony, and wrote his master’s seminar on pension fund performance evaluation. He was elected Assistant Treasurer in February 1976, overseeing the financial modeling, market research, economics, pension, and math research districts.

After an assignment at AT&T, Dick joined Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in 1981, assuming the investment consulting responsibility for over $25 billion in assets. With Merrill Lynch’s decision to leave the institutional investment consulting market at the end of 1985, Dick formed his own firm, New England Pension Consultants, now “NEPC” converting 100% of his clients in the process. During the ensuing 35 years, NEPC has become one of the largest and most well-known investment consulting firms in the industry.

Richard has been influential in shaping NEPC’s impact investing capabilities, including mission-related and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles based on a deep understanding of the role that these factors can play in many investment programs.

Terry O’Sullivan (2019)
General President, Laborers’ International Union of North America

Terry is the general president of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), which includes more than 500,000 members from different sectors of the economy. He was elected to his fourth term in 2016.

Terry serves as co-chairman of both the Laborers’ National Pension Fund and the Laborers’ National (Industrial) Pension Fund, which manage billions of dollars in assets. He also is a board member and former chairman, CEO, and president of the Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO). He and LIUNA have taken leading roles in pushing for fair pension reform, repeal of the ACA’s so-called “Cadillac Tax,” better corporate governance, and other issues of importance to multi-employer benefit funds. He considers these funds to be among LIUNA’s proudest achievements, a reflection of the “greatness and goodness of our International Union.”

Terry believes we all have a sacred duty to leave the world better than it was the day we entered it, and that significant charitable giving is a critical part of this duty.

DeMaurice Smith (2019)
Executive Director, NFL Players Association

DeMaurice is the executive director of the National Football League Players Association, which represents players on the NFL’s 32 teams. In 2018, he was appointed to a fourth consecutive term.

He notably led players through a 132-day lockout in 2011 that achieved new health and safety protocols for players and a greater share of TV contract revenues than ever before in the history of the organization.

As the NFLPA begins negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, DeMaurice has led the charge for more generous benefits for all retired players as part of a new agreement. The NFLPA’s goal is to improve the Legacy Fund, which was established in 2011 and provides more than $620 million to players who retired before 1993.

Prior to his post at the NFLPA, Smith was an assistant United States attorney in the District of Columbia and was counsel to then-Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Betty Yee (2019)
California State Controller

Betty is the 32nd controller of California. She was elected in November 2014 following two terms on the California Board of Equalization. She continues to serve that board as its fifth voting member. Reelected for a second term as controller in 2018, Betty is only the 10th woman in California history to be elected to statewide office.

As the state’s chief fiscal officer, she chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a board member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). The two boards have a combined portfolio of more than $570 billion.

Betty has more than 35 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy.

Denise L. Nappier (2018)
Connecticut State Treasurer

Denise Lynn Nappier is the first African-American woman elected to serve as a state treasurer in the United States and the first African-American woman elected to a statewide office in Connecticut. Elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, Treasurer Nappier is also the only woman to be elected Treasurer in Connecticut history. As Connecticut’s chief elected financial officer, Nappier oversees $63 billion in state funds, including the $34 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Her high standards and financial expertise have brought integrity back to the Treasurer’s office and professionalism to the management of state resources.

Rick A. Silva (2018)
Executive Director, UFCW Trust

Rick A. Silva is executive director of the UFCW & Employers Trust, LLC, which administers nine ERISA benefit plans covering 130,000 people. Rick manages a staff of 190 employees in two offices, in the East Bay and in Northern California. He oversees the operations of all departments, including Administration, Human Resources, Compliance, Health and Welfare Operations, Pension, Information Technologies, Finance and Employer Accounting, Communication Marketing and Branding. In his 37 year career, he held several positions that influenced the retail food industry. Prior to joining the UFCW & Employers Trust, LLC, Rick worked 11 years in the Human Resources arena.

Greg Tarpinian (2018)
Defined-Benefit Pension Advocate/Labor Economist

Greg Tarpinian is senior managing director at EnTrustPermal. He has been a respected labor economist, union consultant and media commentator on labor issues. He was founding executive director of the Change to Win labor federation and had an important role in the election of President Barack Obama in 2008 before serving on the Obama transition team. Greg is an advocate for defined-benefit pensions and is active in the political and policy arenas for sustainability of pension funds. Greg served as CEO and chief economist of the Labor Research Association (LRA) and LRA Consulting, where he was a nationally known labor economist and a consultant to labor and political leaders throughout North America. He worked closely with labor unions in France, South Africa, the UK, Australia and other countries. In that period, Greg wrote articles for the mainstream press and academic journals. He also served as a public advocate for worker and union causes in the media.

Hugh O’Reilly (2017)
OPSEU Pension Trust

Hugh is President & CEO of OPSEU Pension Trust in Canada. He oversees the fund’s $19 billion in assets and is one of Canada’s foremost pension experts. Previously, he led the Pension Benefits and Insolvency Practice at Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP and has served as a senior policy advisor and chief of staff to a cabinet minister in the Ontario government.

Jack Marco (2017)
The Marco Consulting Group

Jack is chairman of Marco Consulting Group. He began his career in investment consulting in 1977 when he was a senior vice president of multiemployer plans at A.G. Becker, Inc. When the company was bought by SEI Corporation in 1983, Jack became national manager of its Taft- Hartley Funds Evaluation Services. He is an investment consulting lecturer at DePaul University’s Graduate School of Commerce in Chicago.

James Meketa (2017)
Meketa Investment Group

James founded Meketa Investment Group in 1978 to provide a broad range of strategic investment advisory services to institutional clients. He has more than 40 years of experience advising Taft-Hartley, public funds, corporate and endowment plans in investment policy design, global asset allocation, and analysis of manager and fund performance.

James Boland (2016)
President, International Union of Bricklayers &  Allied Craftworkers

Jim represents bricklayers and allied craftworkers in one of the oldest trade unions in North America. He emigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1977 and joined the union to work on commercial projects in San Francisco. Since then, he has served in many roles at the union and is a Vice President of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. He is also a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Larry Brown (2016)
President, National Union of Public & General Employees

Larry represents public and general employees in Canada. Prior to becoming President, he was CEO of the Saskatchewan Government Employees Association, one of 11 smaller unions that comprise the NUPGE. He has worked in the public sector since the 1970s. Larry also chairs the NUPGE pensions committee, which uses its clout to promote shareholder activism and social investment.

Fiona Reynolds (2016)
Managing Director, UN PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment)

Fiona is responsible for global operations at PRI, which has more than 1,556 signatories representing more than $59 trillion in assets in 50 countries. She has more than 20 years of experience defending pensions for workers around the world. Prior to PRI, she served as CEO of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and was a director of four other funds in Australia.

Sir Paul Kenny (2015)
GMB (Britain’s General Union)

Sir Paul is General Secretary Emeritus for GMB, Britain’s general union. Under his leadership, from 2006 through 2015, GMB steadily increased its membership, won victories in workplace rights and led the fight to protect thousands of workers who were blacklisted by construction employers. GMB also has been at the forefront of tackling social injustices across Britain. These victories earned him knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year.

Anne Simpson (2015)

Anne is the Senior Portfolio Manager of Investments and Director of Global Governance for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). She has led CalPERS to integrate environmental, social and governance factors across the whole fund. She sits on boards across the country and is the co-author of Fair Shares: The Future of Shareholder Power and Responsibility.

Russell M. Niemie (2015)

Russell has more than 35 years of experience in the institutional investment industry. Prior to joining NYSNA in 2000, he was President and CIO of Commerce Capital Management, a boutique asset management firm serving small institutional clients and bank trust companies. Russell earned his MBA at the University of Texas in Austin.

Sean McGarvey (2014)
North America’s Building Trades Unions

Sean is president of North America’s Building Trades Unions. He began his career at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) in 1981. He rose through the ranks at IUPAT and was elected secretary-treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions in 2005. In 2012, he became president. Sean also serves on several union construction labor-management committees.

Max Patterson (2014)

Max is the executive director of the Texas Association of Public Employees Retirement Systems (TEXPERS), a statewide association organized in 1989 to provide educational programs for more than 80 Texas retirement systems. These systems serve more than 400,000 active and retired members with more than $45 billion in assets. Max serves as the governor’s appointee to the Texas Emergency Services Retirement Board.

Marc Perrone (2014)
UFCW International Union

Marc was elected international secretary-treasurer of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in 2004. In this capacity, his primary responsibility is monitoring the finances of the International Union. He is also responsible for stewardship of the pension funds that will enable UFCW members to live out their retirement years in security and with dignity.

Ken Georgetti (2013)
Canadian Labour Congress

Ken is president of the Canadian Labour Congress. His career has taken him from pipefitter to prominent advocate for working people throughout Canada and North America. Under his leadership, the CLC’s membership has grown by 750,000 new union members to represent 3.3 million workers. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. Ken is a modern labor leader who strongly advocates for working people and their families. He helped establish the Working Opportunity Fund, British Columbia’s labour-sponsored venture capital investment fund, which invests in high-tech, pharmaceutical, advanced manufacturing and other start-up businesses.

Randy DeFrehn (2013)

Randy is executive director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), which was founded to correct lawmakers’ misunderstandings of multiemployer plans as demonstrated by the enactment of ERISA. In almost 40 years of experience working with multiemployer plans, Randy has served as an administrator of national pension and health benefit plans in the U.S. and Canada and as their leading advocate on matters of public policy. Under his leadership, the NCCMP has been instrumental in communicating with Congress and the regulatory agencies of jurisdiction the multiemployer perspectives for every significant piece of legislation affecting working people.

Hank Kim (2013)

Hank is executive director and counsel for the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), the largest public trade association in the United States. As a strong advocate for defined-benefit pensions, Hank has proposed the concept of Secure Choice Pensions, a supervisory structure on the state level including elected officials, employees and employers. The concept is already at work in three states. Prior to joining NCPERS, Hank served for six years as a governmental affairs representative for an international public-sector union, working on benefits, appropriations, homeland security, and healthcare issues.

Chuck Mack (2013)
Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust

Chuck is co-chair of the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust, which has a remarkable record of sound management in an era of extreme volatility. He attributes the Trust’s success to his staff’s hard work and diversity of investments. He believes defined-benefit pension plans are an essential component of the American Dream, and maintaining them is the responsibility of employees and employers. Over the years, Chuck negotiated contracts at both the national and local levels. He served on the National Master Freight and Negotiating Committee and the United Parcel Service National Committee.

Nominate a Pension Defender