Four newly elected members took the oath of office to serve on the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System (LASERS) Board of Trustees which met on January 27, 2012.
Thomas Bickham, Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and Shannon Templet, State Department of Civil Service, were sworn in for four-year terms chosen by active members of LASERS. Connie Carlton, retired from LASERS, and Barbara McManus, retired from the Department of Social Services, were sworn in for four-year terms as members chosen by retirees.
Thomas Bickham is an active member Trustee who is currently the Undersecretary for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections with over 18 years of experience as a state employee. Mr. Bickham began his career with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, serving as Undersecretary from 1999 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2008. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Mississippi State University.
Connie Carlton is a retired member Trustee who was re-elected to serve on the LASERS Board of Trustees. During her tenure on the Board, Ms. Carlton served as Board Chair for three terms and Investment Committee Chairman for five terms. She is the Immediate Past-President of the Retired State Employees Association (RSEA), and was the first active state employee elected to serve on the Board of RSEA. Ms. Carlton is retired from LASERS with 28 years of state service. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Masters of Library and Information Science.
Barbara McManus is a retired member Trustee who was also re-elected to serve on the LASERS Board. During her 35-year tenure on the Board, Ms. McManus served as Board Chair eight times, both as an active and retiree, and Chair of the Investment Committee three times. She has served on the board of RSEA and the Eagle Credit Union Board. She was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Commissioners for the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District. Ms. McManus is retired from the Department of Children and Family Services with over 30 years of state service.
Shannon Templet is an active member Trustee who currently serves as Director of the State Department of Civil Service. She has over 21 years of state service in human resources management. Prior to her current position, Ms. Templet served as Human Resources Director for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Ms. Templet has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Louisiana State University.
Senator Elbert Guillory, Chair of the Senate Committee on Retirement, joined the LASERS Board as an ex officio member, replacing retiring Senator D.A. "Butch" Gautreaux. Representative Kevin Pearson, Chair of the House Committee on Retirement and Treasurer John Kennedy also serve as ex officio members.
The Trustees re-elected Connie Carlton as the 2012 Board Chair and Barbara McManus as 2012 Vice Chair.
Sheryl Ranatza, recently retired from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, was re-elected to her active seat on the Board without opposition. However, Ms. Ranatza announced her resignation as an active member Trustee prior to the January Board meeting, creating an open slot. The LASERS Board will appoint a replacement to serve a two-year term until the next LASERS election is held in 2013. The LASERS Board of Trustees election takes place every odd-numbered year. LASERS Trustees serve staggered four-year terms.
The 12-member policy-making Board has fiduciary oversight over LASERS.