The Department of Employee Trust Funds announces the filling of two executive team positions: Deputy Secretary and Assistant Deputy Secretary.
Shirley Eckes has been appointed Deputy Secretary by Secretary John Voelker. Eckes has served in various leadership positions, such as Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Chief Operating Officer of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Eckes, a Certified Public Accountant, will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of ETF’s major program areas. She will assume her new duties on May 10.
Voelker also appointed Pam Henning to Assistant Deputy Secretary to oversee communications, legislative relations, policy development, and various strategic initiatives, including efforts to enhance the customer experience. Henning has been with ETF since 1998, serving in various leadership positions, and in state service since 1991. She began her duties on April 12.
“ETF is committed to enhancing the well-being of its members by delivering expert guidance, strong benefit programs, and an exceptional customer experience. The demonstrated talents of Shirley and Pam will support the agency’s efforts in meeting that commitment,” said Voelker. “They both possess strong leadership skills and a dedication to maintaining the integrity of the WRS. I’m fortunate to have these talented professionals on my executive team.”
- The WRS has more than 648,000 members including current state and local government employees and retirees. More than 1,500 units of government across Wisconsin participate in the WRS.
- The WRS has more than $130 billion in assets, as of February 28, 2021. Assets are under management of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
- ETF administers WRS pension, insurance, and other public employee benefits. In 2019, ETF paid out more than $5.6 billion in pension payments to retired members. Approximately 80% of those benefits were derived from investment returns.
- The WRS is the 8th largest public pension fund in the U.S. and the 25th largest public or private pension fund in the world.