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The Retirement Systems of Alabama

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Candidate Statements

The candidates for the TRS Board of Control election are listed below in the order they will appear on the ballot. The order was determined in a random drawing by the TRS Election Committee. The statements below were provided by the candidates to give voters more information.

Support Personnel Position No. 2

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Dr. Ke'Andrea Jones“I would like to serve on the Teachers' Retirement System Board of Control because after numerous, ongoing changes that we have endured within PEEHIP for the past few years, I have become disheartened at a system that was once well renowned. I believe that it is my duty as a lifelong educator to become proactive with voicing and addressing the concerns expressed not only by me, but by my colleagues as well. Serving on this board will allow me to work towards the common goals of securing, and protecting the benefits of all educational employees who have invested their time and passion to this wonderful field of study. I am committed to serving in this capacity, and will work tirelessly to ensure that all voices are represented, and our benefits are protected.”
Russell Twilley - "Russell J. Twilley, the incumbent and a resident of Jasper, has been employed in public education for 28 years.  He has been employed with the Walker County Board of Education since 1989 as a certified and support employee.  Keeping a strong retirement plan and health insurance for public education employees is my main objective."

Higher Education #2

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Kelli Shomaker“I would like to serve on this board because I can utilize my robust experience dealing with public finance to make sound decisions on behalf of my fellow TRS higher education members. Having worked with many types of investment vehicles from those of the public investment company environment to endowments of university foundations, I will bring knowledge and experience to this position. Furthermore, as an active plan participant, my role is not only fiduciary, it is vested, so making sure that there are sufficient assets in the retirement system to pay future benefits will be my primary focus.”
Dr. Robert Brooks - "As a finance professor serving the state of Alabama for over 30 years, I would be honored to serve on the RSA Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Control. We need professional governance of public investment funds. Thus, it is important to have some members of the TRS Board of Control with professional investment management experience. I have indepth investment management knowledge as well as hands-on experience with managing investment portfolios. With practical experience in some of the most complex areas of investment management, I will positively influence TRS, positioning it to be financially strong regardless of financial market conditions. During turbulent and highly uncertain times, it is important for TRS to have credentialed finance professionals in this oversight position. Further, given the heated rhetoric surrounding the best path for retirement systems over the next generation, it is essential to have a finance market professional in an oversight position. A sound TRS benefits not only current teachers and retirees, it also serves as an attractive benefit to job candidates and benefits the overall economy. With a Ph.D. in finance, a current Chartered Financial Analysts® (CFA) charterholder, as well as a wealth of practical experience, I would appreciate the opportunity to serve.”

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