For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Our pension fund serves more than 1.9 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for more than 1.4 million members and their families in our health program, making us the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S. As of October 31, 2018, CalPERS' total fund market value stood at approximately $345.6 billion.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $219.4 billion as of November 30, 2018, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS serves California’s more than 949,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. A hybrid retirement system, CalSTRS administers a combined traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plan. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits.
The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) is a department of the City of Los Angeles, established by City Charter in 1937, to provide retirement benefits to the civilian employees of the City of Los Angeles, representing three-fifths of the City’s workforce. Currently LACERS provides services to 24,000 active employees, and provides benefits to nearly 17,500 retirees and their beneficiaries. LACERS administers the benefits approved by the City (the plan sponsor) which includes pension benefits, administration of retiree health care premiums, and management of the pension fund portfolio to offset payment of these obligations. As of November 27, 2018, the LACERS investment fund was worth approximately $16.8 billion.
Per the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937, the Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association (LACERA) is the administrator of defined retirement plan benefits for the employees of Los Angeles County and outside Districts. LACERA’s services begin the moment a new hire becomes a member and continue throughout the member’s career and retirement. As a forward-thinking association, LACERA is constantly integrating new technologies into business procedures and enhancing the scope and quality of services offered to more than 165,000 members, including close to 62,000 benefit recipients. As of November 30, 2018, the LACERA investment fund was worth approximately $52 billion.
Priya Mathur is CalPERS' first female board president. She is serving her fourth term as a member of the CalPERS Board of Administration.
She is a principal financial analyst for Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). Before joining BART, she was a consultant with Public Financial Management Inc., a leading advisor to local governments.
For more than 10 years Priya chaired CalPERS' Pension & Health Benefits Committee, which oversees the $9 billion Health Benefits Program on behalf of 1.4 million members and their beneficiaries.
She favors making investment decisions with a view to long-term objectives and risks, incorporating sustainability factors that could impact the fund's performance over the long term. These considerations were incorporated into the development of CalPERS' Investment Beliefs, adopted in 2013, which she championed. The Investment Beliefs provide the framework for CalPERS' investment program.
For five years Priya has also served as a member of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Board. CalPERS is a founding signatory of PRI, a United Nations-supported organization that promotes active ownership and responsible investment throughout the investment ecosystem.
She has a master's degree in business administration from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in economics and literature from Connecticut College.
A strong advocate for members, Dana Dillon has been a K-8 elementary school teacher for 36 years in the Weed Union Elementary School District. She has served on the board since her election in 2003, including stints as chair and vice chair, as well as serving on several board committees.
Ms. Dillon has been active in the California Teachers Association for all 36 years, serving as state council representative, chair of CTA’s Retirement Committee, and as a member of the CTA board of directors. Ms. Dillon also served as a director on the National Education Association board of directors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State University, Chico, where she earned her multiple-subject and library media teaching credentials.
Theresa Taylor is serving her first term on the CalPERS Board of Administration.
A principal compliance representative at the Franchise Tax Board in Sacramento, she has worked for the state for over 20 years and brings a wealth of financial experience to her role.
In 2015, Theresa was elected vice president/secretary-treasurer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, where she oversees the organization's $62 million budget. In addition, she serves as a member of the SEIU Local 1000 Executive Board and the executive board of the SEIU State Council.
Theresa also serves on the executive board of the California State Employees Association (CSEA), the CSEA Member Benefits Committee, and the CSEA Finance Committee, where she is a fiduciary for CSEA's employee retirement plans.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus.
Sharon Hendricks is a communications studies professor with the Los Angeles Community College District and was elected to the Teachers’ Retirement Board in 2011. She also serves as Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, local 1521, Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. Ms. Hendricks is active in the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers.
Nora E. Vargas serves as the vice president of community & government relations for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. In her role, she is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the vision and strategy for the agency’s Community and Government Relations department. In addition, she oversees the day-to-day operation of the agency’s political organization, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, including its Issues Campaigns and Political Action Committee.
Vargas was appointed and later elected to the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board, the only institution of higher education in the San Diego County’s South Bay. In 2015, she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the 12-member California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Committed to community service, Vargas also serves as a champion of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), as a boardmember for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and a boardmember for Run Women Run. She continues to be a passionate advocate for women and communities of color, and ensuring they are included in the public dialogue about important issues like health care access, civic engagement, and education.
Karen Yamamoto is a retired elementary school teacher from West Sacramento. Ms. Yamamoto taught second grade for 15 years and retired in 2007. She was a member of the California Department of Education’s Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission from 1999-2003, acting as Chair in 2003.
Prior to beginning her career as an educator, Ms. Yamamoto also served as a Legislative Assistant to several Assembly Members in the California State Legislature from 1978-1991. She is currently active in the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Program and the Japanese American Citizens League, Florin Chapter.
Michelle Zumot is a past CalSTRS board designee for the State of California Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Dana Hollinger is serving her second appointment to the CalPERS Board of Administration. She was appointed as the board's insurance industry representative by Gov. Jerry Brown in May 2014.
Dana is a 25-year veteran of the life insurance industry. She works with tax, trust, and estate and family law attorneys, business managers and CPAs to secure spousal and child support obligations, income replacement, wealth transfer, private placement, and other advanced uses of life insurance in estate and financial planning. Dana has unique expertise in managing liabilities related to actuarial reserves.
She served on the Women's Leadership Board to the JFK School of Government at Harvard University from 2004 to 2012 and is a sought-after speaker. She has authored articles on tax and estate planning for The Daily Journal and Physician's Money Digest and was personally selected by John Anderson to join Club 1800, a group of 30 leading businesswomen and female philanthropists.
Dana earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from American University School of Government and a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law.
Ms. Gray is a proud elected general member trustee for Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA). She has been elected to three terms and is currently Chair of the Board of Retirement. She has served Los Angeles County as an employee for almost 35 years. As a senior founding attorney for the Alternate Public Defender’s Office Ms. Gray possesses strong analytical skills and a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling complicated issues. Ms. Gray is committed to ensuring the fair and just administration of LACERA’s defined benefit plan and to producing, protecting and providing the promised benefits.
Ms. Gray is also vice president of the State Association of California Retirement Systems (SACRS) and Chair of SACRS Program Committee which produces two major trustee educational conferences a year for over 750 attendees.
Ms. Sanchez is an appointed member of the Board of Investments and has a long career in investment management. She is the founder and CEO of Chantico Global, LLC, as well as a contributor and guest host for CNBC. She has more than 20 years of experience managing asset allocation mandates for mutual funds and foundations, and consulting with pension funds and family offices.
Cynthia M. Ruiz is an Executive Coach, Professor, Author Inspirational Speaker and Leadership expert. Receiving over 50 accolades and awards for her leadership and service to the City of Los Angeles.
She currently serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner (Trustee) overseeing a multibillion-dollar pension portfolio for City employees.
Hispanic Lifestyle named her a “2018 Latina of Influence”. She has received the prestigious Hollywood Chamber “Women of Distinction Award, the HOPE “Ray of Hope” award and the Weingart, “Women Building LA Award. Twice the California Apparel News has listed her on their renowned List of Influential People and LA Weekly showcased her in their people addition.
As a Professor she received the “Presidents Award” from the University of West Los Angeles for her work as an outstanding Professor. Cynthia teaches leadership at a graduate level in the School of Business.
Cynthia has over twenty years of experience teaching and public speaking. She is the author of two books, “Cherokee Wisdom- 12 Lessons for Becoming a Powerful Leader” and “Finding Sane Relationships in a Crazy World”. She appeared in Discover the Gift (movie/book) with such notables, as is Holiness the Dala Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Jack Canfield and many more.
Her career has placed her in many leadership roles including President of the Board of Public Works for the City of Los Angeles where she had direct oversight of 5,000 employees and just under a billion dollar per year budget. She has worked as an Executive at the number one container Port in the US and has successfully run her own business for many years.
Today her focus is developing other leaders through her thriving Executive Coach business where she helps development some of LA’s top executives into powerful leaders. She has developed “7 Steps for Team Success” along with many other management tools to create successful leaders.
Cynthia holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Counseling and has completed a Leadership Course at Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government.
Coming from blended cultures Latina and Native American (Mexican & Cherokee), she enjoys a passion for life and a profound appreciation for Mother Earth.
Cynthia knows the importance of giving back and always strives to stay humble. She has a passion for women empowerment and started the Wise Latina Network and the Yo Tambien Healing Movement. She is a registered citizen in the Cherokee Nation and is a Council member of the Los Angeles Cherokee Nation affiliate. She serves as board chair for Girls Today Women Tomorrow a leadership/mentorship program helps young Latinas from the inner city thrive in life.
She lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys the diversity of a metropolitan environment.
Elizabeth L. Greenwood was elected to the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System by active LACERS Members in 2009.
Ms. Greenwood is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles in the Police Litigation Unit. Previously she worked as a prosecutor for the City Attorney’s Office in the Homeland Security and Gang Units. Ms. Greenwood has served the City since 1996. Additionally, Ms. Greenwood has taught university courses in Micro and Macro Economics, International Trade Theory, Labor Economics, as well as legal advocacy at law school.
Ms. Greenwood holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Economics and Political Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Communities are built from the ground up, and Nilza Serrano is a builder. A successful entrepreneur, Serrano has bridged the gap between private enterprise and public service. Over twenty years ago, Serrano founded TMS Production and Post Production firm. Today she has an extensive client network that includes General Motors, Paramount Studios, Ford Motor Company, Mobil Oil Company, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Dream Works and various television-recording studios. Serrano's client base has crossed country borders; with successful outcomes in China, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Peru.
Serrano was elected to serve as a Trustee to the Board of the California State University – Los Angeles Foundation. The mission of the Cal State LA Foundation is to advance the educational, cultural, scholarly, and creative activities and the role of community service of California State University, Los Angeles, by increasing private funding, responsibly managing donated resources and supporting the University and its diverse and distinct nature.
Mayor Eric Garcetti originally appointed Nilza Serrano to the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) on February 25, 2014. She concurrently serves on LACERS Benefits Administration Committee and Governance Committee. As a Board Member, Nilza manages and administers the City of Employees’ Retirement Fund, invests the Fund’s assets, determines health providers and coverage for retired employees, and approves members’ applications.
Earlier this year Serrano was appointed to the California Architects Board, which aims to protect public health, safety, and welfare through the regulation of the practice of architecture and landscape architecture. She was also appointed by Congressman Xavier Becerra to serve as a delegate for the California Democratic Party.
Nilza is widely respected for her work in the Latino community particularly in the fields of education, arts and culture, business advocacy and political activism. Her love for Latino culture propelled her to continue her work with Latino Heritage L.A., an organization that engages, inspires and highlights contributions made by the Latino community to our Nation. As the Executive Event Producer for Latino Heritage L.A., Nilza creates strategic partnerships with top brands to create unique and free events for the public during Latino Heritage Month.
The Latin Business Association selected Serrano as the winner 2003 Latina Entrepreneur of the year, a very prestigious award in the area of media.
National Latina Business Women Association selected Serrano as the 2004 Business Woman of the Year, recognizing her for her achievements in entertainment.
Beyond her professional life, Nilza Serrano is an active supporter of opportunity, education, and outreach for Latinos and Latino Culture.
Serrano served as treasurer for HOPE-PAC a Political Action Committee whose mission is to assist Latina Women to rise to elected office in California. With the rising Latino population Serrano states, "Latinas play a vital role in the infrastructure of the family and business; it is time that Latinas play a role in politics”.
Serrano also served as President of the Board of Amanacer Mental Health Services. One of the largest mental health centers in the County of Los Angeles, serving over 25,000 cases per year. Serrano also serves as the Board’s Secretary and Fundraising Chair.
Her love for children gave the President of the Los Angeles School Board the incentive to appoint Serrano as her commissioner to LATCH. LATCH is a program that oversees school based medical clinics. Serrano currently serves as the Secretary of the LATCH Board.
Serrano also proudly serves on the Board of Directors of Plaza De La Raza. Her excellent fundraising skills have made her the leading force on the Board. Serrano has brought in much needed funds from major corporations. She also developed an innovative program that provides the children at Plaza with a complete book bag filled with all the essentials to start the school year with a winning attitude. A total of 600 children benefited from this program.
California had not experienced the tenacity of Latin Jazz, prior to Serrano acting as Vice President of the Los Angeles International Latin Jazz Festival. She was instrumental introducing Latin Jazz to the Greek Theater along with the members such as Andy Garcia, Hector Elizondo, Angelica Huston, Herb Alpert, Lalo Shiffirin and many more. Serrano has passed her torch to the Executive Director in 1998.
Serrano has also served as the Director of the Advisory Board of Humanitarian Outreach Programs Esperanza (HOPE). Developed in 1991, the program objective was to raise funds to build orphanages in underdeveloped countries around the world. Based in Southern California, the program solicits equipment and funding from hospitals and healthcare organizations. Funding is put to use to set up medical teams on goodwill missions worldwide.
Serrano’s public service extends beyond greater Los Angeles. She has spent countless hours volunteering her time on the Board of Directors for the Orange Chapter of the American Lung Association.
Serrano’s love for Latino culture propelled her to co-found the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival. The Successful event brought Latino films from around the world to the City of Los Angeles during the celebration at Latino Heritage Month.
Serrano served in the capacity of Co-Chairperson of the Latino Heritage Month Organizing Committee. Under her leadership, the City of Los Angeles’ Latino Heritage Month flourished and became the most successful event in town. Serrano brought together the glamour of Hollywood, the beauty of the City and was instrumental in securing sponsorships from major corporations. Ms. Serrano was also responsible for coining its theme “Building Bridges.” As Co-chair, Serrano was responsible for the overall logistical and creative management of events coinciding with the month-long celebration of Latino contributions throughout the communities of the City of Los Angeles.
Ms. Serrano served as board of President for Navidad en El Barrio a non-profit organization that was created over 25 years ago to bring food manufactures and corporate leaders in unison, to feed over 20,000 needy families during the Holiday Season.
She is also a member of Los Bomberos Advisory board, a group of City of Los Angeles Latino Firefighters who on their off time devote themselves collecting toys, food, clothing for victims of fire, and assisting with the mentor program.
Serrano is also a long-standing volunteer and organizer of the Annual Golden Eagle Awards founded by Ricardo Montalban for the television and motion picture academy and Emmy awards.
Serrano is a graduate of the HOPE Leadership Institute and an active board member of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality), an organization that focuses on State and National policy affecting the lives of Latinas in the country,
Raised in the community of Lincoln Heights in North East Los Angeles, Serrano has embraced the Latino experience from a local perspective. A graduate of Lincoln High School, she began her collegiate education at East Los Angeles College and California State University-Los Angeles.