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Board of Trustees

KPERS Board Members

The KPERS Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members. Four are appointed by the Governor, two are appointed by legislative leaders, two are elected by Retirement System members, and one is the elected State Treasurer. All serve four-year terms.

Kelly Arnold

Kelly Arnold Chairman

  • County Clerk, Sedgwick County
  • Board member since March 2013
  • Current term expires January 2021
  • Appointed by the Governor
  • From Wichita, KS
Suresh Ramamurthi

Suresh Ramamurthi Vice-Chairman

  • Chairman, CBW Bank
  • Board member since July 2013
  • Current term expires June 2021
  • Appointed by the President of the Senate
  • From Topeka, KS
Ernie Claudel

Ernie Claudel

  • Retired Teacher
  • Board member since July 2013
  • Current term expires June 2021
  • Elected Member - School
  • From Olathe, KS
Shawn Creger

Shawn Creger

  • Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
  • Board member since July 2015
  • Current term expires June 2019
  • Appointed by the Speaker of the House
  • From Prairie Village, KS
James C. Cusser

James C. Cusser, CFA

  • Wall Street Investment Banker and Mutual Fund Manager
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Political Science, Johnson County Community College
  • Board member since September 2017
  • Current term expires January 2019
  • Appointed by the Governor
  • From Mission Hills, KS
Jake LaTurner

Jake LaTurner, State Treasurer

  • Kansas State Treasurer
  • Board member since April 2017
  • Current term expires January 2019
  • Statutory Member
  • From Pittsburg, KS
Ryan Trader

Ryan Trader

  • Firefighter/Paramedic , Olathe Fire Department
  • Board member since July 2017
  • Current term expires June 2021
  • Elected member - Non-School
  • From Olathe, KS
Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers

  • Certified Public Accountant 
  • Board member since September 2015
  • Current term expires January 2019
  • Appointed by the Governor
  • From Manhattan, KS
James Zakoura

James Zakoura

  • Partner, Smithyman & Zakoura law firm
  • Board member since March 2018
  • Current term expires January 2021
  • Appointed by the Governor
  • From Overland Park, KS

Board Duties

    Board Duties:
  • Reviews and adopts actuarial assumptions and reviews employer contribution rates.
  • Determines an appropriate asset allocation mix.
  • Establishes and follows investment policies and guidelines.
  • Hires and monitors the performance of investment managers.
  • Hires and monitors the performance of various other service providers, including actuaries, consultants, advisors and custodians.
  • Hires and monitors the performance of the executive director (chief executive officer).

Board Meetings & Minutes

FY 2018
Month Day Committee Agenda & Approved Minutes
July 2017 21 Full Board Agenda | Minutes
  20 Audit Committee Agenda
  20 Investment Committee Agenda
  21 Personnel Committee Agenda
September 2017 22 Full Board Agenda| Minutes
  22 Personnel Committee Agenda
21 Investment Committee Agenda
  21 Deferred Compensation Committee Agenda
  27 Full Board Agenda
October 2017 19 & 20 Educational & Planning Meeting Agenda | Minutes
November 2017 17 Full Board Agenda | Minutes
  17 Audit Committee Agenda
  16 Deferred Compensation Committee Agenda
  16 Investment Committee Agenda
January 2018 19 Full Board Agenda | Minutes
  19 Audit Committee Agenda
  18 Personnel Committee Agenda
  18 Investment Committee Agenda
March 2018 16 Full Board Agenda | Minutes
  16 Audit Committee Agenda
  15 Deferred Compensation Committee Agenda
  15 Investment Committee Agenda
May 2018 18 Full Board Agenda | Minutes
  18 Personnel Committee Agenda
  17 Deferred Compensation Committee Agenda
  17 Investment Committee Agenda

FY 2019
Month Day Committee Agenda & Approved Minutes
July 2018 27 Full Board Agenda
  26 Audit Committee Agenda
  26 Investment Committee Agenda
  27 Personnel Committee Agenda
September 2018 21 Full Board  
  20 Deferred Compensation Committee  
  20 Investment Committee  
  21 Personnel Committee  
October 2018 18 & 19 Educational & Planning Meeting
November 2018 16 Full Board
  15 Deferred Compensation Committee
  15 Investment Committee
  16 Audit Committee
January 2019 18 Full Board
  17 Audit Committee
  17 Investment Committee
  18 Personnel Committee
March 2019 22 Full Board
  22 Audit Committee
  21 Deferred Compensation Committee
  21 Investment Committee
  22 Personnel Committee
May 2019 17 Full Board
  16 Deferred Compensation Committee
  16 Investment Committee
  17 Personnel Committee
  19 Audit Committee

Committee Assignments

Board Elections 2017

Your Voice. Your Vote.

KPERS Board Elections were held April 1-30.

Election Winners

School Election - Ernie Claudel

Non-School Election - Ryan Trader

Meet the Candidates

School Election

Ernie (Paul E.) Claudel is retired from public education after 33 years as an elementary classroom teacher and building administrator, mostly in the Olathe School District. He is currently an elected school member of the KPERS Board of Trustees, now completing a 4-year term. Ernie also serves as co-chair of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees, and is the Legislative Chairman for KARSP. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from FHSU, with graduate hours from KU. He served in the US Army Security Agency, for which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

He has spent the last 12 years studying the KPERS system and observing the committees which oversee and govern KPERS, as well as the KPERS Commission of 2011 for KCPR and KARSP.

He and his wife of 49 years, Janet, live in Olathe. They have two adult children.

Joella R. Reid-Skyles, a native Kansan, graduated from Pittsburg State University (BME-1972, MS-1992). She enjoyed a 42-year career, 41 of those years in Pittsburg, teaching vocal music, speech, English and history. She directed the drama program at Pittsburg Community Middle School for 23 years. Joella was the Assistant Debate and Forensics Coach, Pittsburg High School for 10 years. She participated in five facilities/budget committees. Joella belonged to NEA, KNEA and PEA/Pittsburg for 41 years.

  • 2014 – Distinguished Service Award, USD 250
  • 2014 – Diamond Coach Award, National Speech & Debate Association
  • 2014 – Nominated, Clyde U. Phillips Distinguished Service Award, PSU
  • 2010 – Create Award, Uniserve/KNEA
  • 2002 – Nominated, Kansas Master Teacher, USD 250
  • Pittsburg Community Theatre Board, Chairperson
  • Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel, Secretary
  • First Baptist Church, Pittsburg, Assistant Treasurer, Trustee, Music Director
  • Stilwell Heritage Foundation, Former Board Member

Joella is married to Dan Skyles, and has one daughter, Margaret Bowie.


Non-School Election

David is a lifetime Kansas resident who retired, after 37 years, from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Manhattan. David served as a Professional Photographer within the college providing photographic support services. He is a member of the Kansas Professional Photographers Association (past president), Professional Photographers of America and Certified Professional Photographers Association. He worked with United Way Allocations Committee. He also provided leadership as Cubmaster to Pack 75 and Assistant Scoutmaster to Boy Scouts Troop 76. David was a KSU Classified Senator, serving as president in 1995.

David graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1972 with a business degree. Married for 42 years, his wife, Carol, was a teacher and administrator with USD 383. They have one son, a KSU graduate. David currently serves as President of the Yard Art Classics Car Club in Manhattan and enjoys his KPERS benefits.

I am a Firefighter/Paramedic with the City of Olathe. My wife, Meghan, a Blue Valley Northwest High School teacher, and I have two daughters under the age of two. My brother is a Kansas City, Kansas, Firefighter. I am the son of a career Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Captain and a career Olathe School Teacher. KPERS is an integral part of my family’s and friends’ lives.

I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology. Systems Engineering is the field of quantifying and analyzing projects or systems from start to finish, with an emphasis on the relationship between schedule, budget and scope. I worked in the military defense and aerospace industry, coordinating multiple commercial and government contracts before making the career change.

Election Timeline

August-November 2016 Candidates collect signatures
November 30, 2016 Candidate forms due
April 1, 2017 Voting starts
April 29, 2017 Postmark deadline for paper ballots
April 30, 2017 Voting ends at 11:59 p.m.
May 5, 2017 Paper ballots received deadline
July 1, 2017 Winners take office

How the Board is Organized

The KPERS Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members. Four are appointed by the Governor, two are appointed by legislative leaders, two are elected by Retirement System members, and one is the elected State Treasurer. All serve four-year terms. Current trustees

  Helpful Links

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
611 S. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603
Toll-free: 1 888 - 275-5737
Email: [email protected]