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Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2006


Nancy Ketterhagen, Office of Communications (608) 266-7471

MADISON, (Wis.) – Eric Stanchfield, Secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), announced the three Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) governing boards recently elected officers for 2006. Wisconsin statutes require that board officers be elected at the first meeting of each year. Stanchfield also announced the results of a recent Teachers Retirement Board election to select three new members of that board.

Elected Officers, Employee Trust Funds Board

Marilyn J. Wigdahl, a retired financial specialist from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, was elected to her 15th consecutive term as Chair. Ms. Wigdahl was appointed by the governor to the Wisconsin Retirement Board in 1984 and was selected by this board to fill one of four seats on the Employee Trust Funds Board in 1987.

Wayne Koessl was elected Vice-Chair. Koessl is a local government affairs representative for WISPARK, LLC, a subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Retirement Board.

Robert Niendorf was elected Secretary. Niendorf, a retired University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh finance professor, is also a member of the Teachers Retirement Board.

Elected Officers, Teachers Retirement Board

Wayne McCaffery, an economics teacher at Stevens Point Area High School, was elected Chair for the 9th consecutive year. McCaffery has also served as Vice Chair of the committee. He was first elected to this board in a 1989 statewide election conducted among public school teachers. McCaffery is also a member of the Employee Trust Funds Board.

Lon Mishler, of DePere, was elected Vice-Chair. A retired teacher, he was first elected to this board in a 2003 statewide election conducted among retired public school teachers.

David Wiltgen, a Spanish teacher at Eau Claire Memorial High School, was elected Secretary. He has been a member of this board since 2002.

Elected Officers, Wisconsin Retirement Board

Marilyn J. Wigdahl was chosen to serve her 19th consecutive term as chair of this board. She also serves as chair of the Employee Trust Funds Board.

Wayne Koessl was elected Vice-Chair. He also serves as vice-chair of the Employee Trust Funds Board.

Rick Gale was elected Secretary. Gale, of West Allis, is state president of Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin. He also serves on the Employee Trust Funds Board.

Three Elected to Teachers Retirement Board

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) teachers recently elected three teachers to serve on the Teachers Retirement (TR) Board. Chosen from a field of five candidates were Patrick H. Phair, a teacher at Waupaca High School; Robin F. Starck, a Sheboygan Area School District teacher; and Leonard J. Herricks, a teacher at Oshkosh North High School. The Department mailed 71,775 ballots to active teacher participants.

Phair received 6,314 votes; Starck, 6,090 votes; and Herricks, 4,739 votes. Vote totals for other candidates were Peter J. Kaland, Columbus, 4,507 votes; and Carl M. Millard, Menomonee Falls, 4,304 votes.

About the Wisconsin Retirement System Boards

The Wisconsin citizens that serve on the WRS play an important trustee role for the WRS. Board decisions affect the more than 525,000 members participating in the retirement programs and other fringe benefit programs funded by the trust funds.

The Employee Trust Funds Board is a 13-member board. This board sets policy for the Department; appoints the ETF Secretary; approves tables used for computing benefits, contribution rates and actuarial assumptions; authorizes all annuities except for disability; approves or rejects ETF administrative rules; and generally oversees administration of the benefit programs, except group insurance and deferred compensation.

The Wisconsin Retirement Board is a 9-member board. The Wisconsin Retirement Board (WR Board) advises the ETF Board on matters relating to retirement; approves or rejects administrative rules; authorizes or terminates disability benefits for non-teachers; and hears appeals of disability rulings. It appoints four members to the ETF Board and one non-teaching participant to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

The Teachers Retirement Board is a 13-member board. It advises the ETF Board on retirement and other benefit matters involving public school, vocational, state and university teachers; acts on administrative rules and authorizes or terminates teacher disability benefits and hears disability benefit appeals.

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