In late August, the PERA Board of Trustees named Ron Baker as the finalist for PERA’s Executive Director. Currently serving as the Interim Executive Director, Mr. Baker will officially be named to the position pending contract negotiations and final Board approval.
The process for selecting PERA’s new leader began in January when Board Chairman Timothy M. O’Brien created a special ad hoc committee. Trustee David Hall chaired the committee, with Trustees Amy Grant, Roger Johnson, Suzanne Kubec, Bill Parker, and Walker Stapleton serving as members. These trustees represented a cross-section of the PERA Board, bringing together trustees elected by members of the School, Denver Public Schools, and State Divisions, along with a governor-appointed trustee and the State Treasurer.
The Ad Hoc Committee worked with PERA Human Resources to create a list of priorities for the outside search firm that would assist in filling the position. From a group of three finalists, EFL Associates was tapped to manage the search process.
The Committee, PERA HR, and EFL spent the next month finalizing the job description before posting the announcement in national and pension industry publications. In addition to receiving outside applications, EFL used its extensive recruiting database to create a pool of candidates. After a series of interviews, the Board invited four candidates for further discussions.
After these four interviews were conducted before the full Board, the Trustees announced that Ron Baker had been named the finalist.
“The Ad Hoc Committee was committed to reaching out nationally to find the very best candidates for the PERA Executive Director position,” said David Hall, Ad Hoc Committee Chairman. “It was important that we found candidates who reflected the values of PERA members and who were committed to working with PERA’s hard-working employees to ensure PERA continued to be a leader in the pension field.”
Mr. Baker has served as the Interim Executive Director since December. After joining PERA in 1994, he held several management positions overseeing information technology and was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in 2013.
“The Board embarked on a thorough and competitive process to ensure that the most qualified candidate would be installed to lead PERA,” said PERA Board of Trustees Chairman Timothy M. O’Brien. “Ron’s qualifications and commitment to PERA are unparalleled. In addition to his decades of tenure at PERA, he led the organization through a challenging time during the first part of this year that included a legislative session in which major changes were made to the retirement plan. He was the clear and unanimous choice for the Board.”
Mr. Baker is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in mathematics with a dual emphasis in computer science and mathematics. He is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
“I appreciate the confidence of the Board in me to continue to serve the PERA membership,” said Baker. “I look forward to helping guide PERA into this next chapter.”
In his new role, Mr. Baker becomes the seventh executive director of the $49 billion retirement system, which was established in 1931 by the Colorado General Assembly.