Our 2023 endorsements for the PERA Board of Trustees

This month, PERA members will elect new representatives to the PERA Board of Trustees, the governing body of PERA. If you are a PERA member in a division with an election, you will receive ballot information in the mail from PERA. The deadline to vote is May 31, 2023.

For more information about the process, plus details about the candidates, visit PERA’s website.

As we do every year, Secure PERA shared questionnaires with candidates for the PERA Board and reviewed all questionnaires returned to us. We are excited to see high interest in serving on the PERA Board and dedication to protecting the long-term viability of the pension system. In reviewing the questionnaires, several candidates rose above the rest and earned our endorsement.

Local Division – Trina Ruhland

Trina Ruhland is a Deputy County Attorney in Boulder County. She was appointed last year to fill a vacancy on the PERA Board in the Local Division. In her time on the PERA Board, she has developed a passion for the work of PERA and the Board. In addition to her legal background, Ms. Ruhland has a background in data analysis, a degree in mathematics and a strong personal interest in retirement planning and investment. Under PERA rules, trustees who are appointed to fill a vacancy must run for election the year following their appointment.  We believe Ms. Ruhland deserves a full term as a Trustee.

From Ms. Ruhland’s Questionnaire: “Members expect–and need to know–that their retirement future with PERA is secure even through down markets and unpredictable and unprecedented times. First and foremost, PERA must maintain the highest level of service in investing and protecting members’ retirement and ensuring the financial stability of the PERA fund. Second, PERA needs to continue to develop effective and transparent communication with its ever-increasingly diverse membership.  However, this also offers PERA a big opportunity: with new technologies at our disposal and a culture change in how we communicate remotely, we may have more ability than ever to connect with and engage our membership.”

Retiree Division – Timothy O’Brien

Timothy O’Brien is a veteran member on the PERA Board. He has represented the Retiree Division since 2011 and previously served as an active member in the State Division from 1984-1995. Mr. O’Brien brings his accounting and audit expertise to the PERA Board. After retiring as the Colorado State Auditor in 1995, Mr. O’Brien continued working in non-PERA positions and currently serves as the Denver Auditor. We appreciate Mr. O’Brien’s commitment to serve on the Board and recommend him for another term.

From Mr. O’Brien’s Questionnaire: “All PERA Board Members are fiduciaries.  That means that we must act solely in the interest of the members and benefit recipients. We must act for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and defraying reasonable expenses incurred in performing such duties required by state law.  I represent all active, inactive, and retired members of PERA.”

School Division – Eunice Botchway

Eunice Botchway is a special education teacher. She has also been endorsed by the Colorado Education Association. An educator for more than a decade, Ms. Botchway currently works in Aurora Public Schools and previously worked in the Cherry Creek School District. Ms. Botchway is dedicated to ensuring transparency and ensuring trust with the defined benefit system and ensuring the long-term solvency of PERA. We believe Ms. Botchway will be a strong addition to the PERA Board.

From. Ms. Botchway’s questionnaire: “The biggest challenge facing PERA in the coming years is the shortage of teachers, how to address the exit of educators, and how that may affect the PERA Funds. The most significant opportunity for the PERA board is to rally contributors to have a collaborative conversation while gathering ideas from members to help solve teacher shortages and any other issues that may be facing PERA.”

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