WRS News Online

Teachers: Vote in the Teachers Retirement Board Election

Voting period: February 1-29, 2016

Wisconsin Retirement System teachers have the opportunity to elect three members to the Teachers Retirement Board in February. The 13-member TR Board advises the Employee Trust Funds Board on retirement and other benefit matters involving public school, vocational, state and university teachers.

Active teacher members of the WRS (excluding those employed by the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin technical college system districts or the University of Wisconsin System) are eligible to vote in this election.

Four candidates are vying for three seats on the TR Board. Review the candidates’ statements below, then vote online or via telephone -- the choice is yours! Both methods are secure and user friendly.

Follow these two easy steps to cast your vote:
1. Find your ETF member ID number -- you will need it to cast your vote. If you don’t know your ETF member ID number, obtain it on the ETF registration site.

2. From February 1 through February 29, 2016 cast your ballot online -- it only takes a few minutes! You may also vote via telephone -- call toll free 1-888-879-9641.

Note: The ETF registration website and the voting website will not open until February 1, 2016.

Questions? Contact the election help desk via email or call toll free 1-888-492-4763. Assistance will be available 24/7 from February 1 through February 29, 2016.

Meet the Candidates
TR Board: Active Teacher Member Seat
You may vote for up to three of the four candidates.

ETF asked the candidates to respond to these questions. Below are their responses (in alphabetical order).

  1. How long have you been a member of the Wisconsin Retirement System?
  2. Why do you want to serve on the Teachers Retirement Board?
  3. How would your service on the Teachers Retirement Board help the board and the WRS?
  4. What qualifications/experience do you have that would make you a good board member?

Chris Heller
Chris Heller

Chris Heller
I am currently in my 30th year as a member of the WRS. I wish to become more knowledgeable regarding legislative action and gain a better understanding of all the offerings our pension provides and how ETF functions. I have 30 years of experience working with people as a coach, committee chair, and president of a professional organization. I understand the importance of keeping the big picture in mind when making individual decisions. I believe my calm, analytical demeanor would be an asset to the Teachers Retirement Board and Wisconsin Public Employees. Over the past 5 years I have served as the treasurer for the Appleton Education Association and the former WEAC-Fox Valley UniServ. I participated in the National Institute for Financial & Economic Literacy. I have been recognized by WEA Member Benefits as a financial mentor.

Brent Mansky
Brent Mansky

Brent Mansky

I have been a member of the Wisconsin Retirement System for 11½ years. Issues related to the WRS are incredibly important to those who contribute and I feel that my experiences would add a positive voice to the board. I feel that I am a good listener and have the ability to see both sides to issues. I'm willing to do my homework to learn and understand more about what the WRS will have to continue doing in order to remain the benchmark for state retirement systems. I have an undergraduate emphasis in Economics and teach an Investing course and take an active role in educating the teachers within our district about retirement issues. 

Allison Pratt
Allison Pratt

Allison Pratt

I have been a WRS member, teaching Wisconsin Kindergarten children for 32 years. For the last 26 years, I have taught children in the School District of Onalaska. I wish to serve on the Wisconsin Retirement System Board as a teacher member and work with fellow teachers and trustees throughout Wisconsin to keep the retirement system strong and viable for future generations of hard working members. A strong retirement system will help to attract and retain quality employees to Wisconsin classrooms and state and local government. Wise WRS creators and board members have created a system to help protect public employees and their families against financial hardships. Their forward thinking designed and maintained a system with operating principles, priorities and goals that have kept the WRS among the top 5 in the country with the security and ability to honor long-term commitments to both retired and working members. I want to assist in keeping this tradition.

My reputation of integrity, commitment to success, and respect for open communication will enable me to be a strong advocate to protect the trust funds to help assure funding for the future retirement benefits of all current active employees. Preparation for this job has included 31 years as a local, regional and state union leader representing and advocating for employees working conditions, children's learning conditions, and public education. I have been entrusted to act on behalf of members in monetary and policy decisions. Through this work, I have developed fiduciary skills in business, communication, problem solving and organizing.

As a 12 year union local president, I have collaborated with all interest groups to discuss, plan, and design employee and district policy and financial benefits. At the regional level, my presidency and 11 year board of director’s position has included the management of staff, office, member finances and serving on the state board of directors. For 10 years, my second job at a local business has enabled me to be instrumental in business management and financial records.

My experiences have developed my ability to set priorities, establish goals and craft strategies to reach those goals and keep the WRS among the elite retirement systems in our country. I believe I possess the leadership, thinking, and problem solving skills to collaborate with other board members and represent WRS teacher members and keep the WRS mission alive.

Robin Starck
Robin Starck

Robin Starck

I have been a WRS member for 31 years as a Teacher in the Sheboygan Area School District. I have been honored to serve on the TR Board for the last 10 years. As a longtime WRS member, I have experienced the attempted misuse of our retirement investments by elected officials of our State Government. Fortunately, responsible and sensible Board Members and ETF personnel have been watching out for all of us. I want to maintain that vigilance as I continue to be a TR Board member.

As a Board Member, I have served as Secretary, Vice Chairman and currently serve as Chairman of the TR Board. During these years, I have facilitated the introduction and passage of several policies to help the TR Board run smoothly and hold us to our fiduciary responsibilities. I have also worked with new members to help acquaint them to the Board. As Chairman, I have helped to set agendas and run our meetings. In addition, I have been trained to hear and judge appeals by our members. I also serve as a voice for our membership and a guide to point members to the wide range of resources available to all of us.

I have 10 years of current Board and Board Leadership experience. I have been trained in the basics of retirement systems, actuarial studies, investment strategies, and the intricacies of our top rated fully funded system. As a math major I understand the formulas and data driven decisions that are made to keep our system strong. I want to build on that experience in the next 5 years.

Ready to vote?
Follow these two easy steps:

  1. Find your ETF member ID number -- you will need it to cast your vote. If you don’t know your ETF member ID number, obtain it on the ETF registration site.
  2. From February 1 through February 29, 2016 cast your ballot online -- it only takes a few minutes! You may also vote via telephone -- call toll free 1-888-879-9641.