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Snyder makes appointments to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System Board

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Stephen Epstein, of West Bloomfield, Tim Nelson, of Traverse City, Kevin Philipps, of East Grand Rapids, and Larry Ward, of Williamston, to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System Board (MPSERS).  

The 11-member board provides general oversight of retirement, survivor and disability benefits to employees in public school districts, intermediate school districts, tax-supported community and junior colleges and certain universities.  

 "These individuals bring extensive experiences in public finance and education," said Snyder. "They are great choices for this board and I am confident they will continue to effectively and efficiently serve MPSERS members."  

Epstein retired after working 35 years in the public accounting industry. Previously, he served as administrative and marketing partner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers' Detroit office, where he worked with various retail clients and vehicle dealerships. In 2011, Epstein received the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy - Center for the Public Trust's Being a Difference award. He serves on the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants Professional Ethics Task Force and previously served on the State Board of Accountancy. Epstein earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. He will represent the general public with experience in investments and replaces Steven Jagusch.

Nelson has served as president of Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City since 2001. Previously, Nelson served as NMC's executive director of administrative services and residence hall and apartment supervisor, and worked in several administrative positions at Olivet College, including vice president for finance and administration and vice president for enrollment services. He is past chair of the Michigan Community College Association and currently serves as chair of the organization's legislative committee. Nelson holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Grand Valley State University, a master's degree in business administration from Michigan Technological University and completed studies at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He will represent community college administrators and replaces Lenore Croudy.

Philipps has served as assistant superintendent of business for East Grand Rapids Public Schools since 2006. Previously, he worked as director of business and management services for Richmond Community Schools, a business analyst for Detroit Center Tool Inc.'s purchasing department and held numerous finance and accounting positions with General Motors Acceptance Corp. Philipps is past president of the Grand Valley School Business Officials, former chairperson of the West Michigan Workers' Compensation Fund and currently serves as chairperson of the Western Michigan Health Insurance Pool. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from Adrian College and a master's degree in business administration and finance from Wayne State University. Philipps will represent school finance or operations management who is not a superintendent and replaces Timothy Raymer.

Ward is in his ninth year serving as vice president of the Williamston Community School Board of Education. Previously, he worked as campaign manager for the successful election of current Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, political director for the Michigan Republican Party and served as deputy coalitions director during the DeVos for Governor Campaign. Ward also worked in the banking and financial services industry and owned a franchise of Little Caesars restaurants in Missouri and Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor's degree in aviation technology and management from Western Michigan University. Ward will represent an elected member of a board of control and replaces Edwin Martinson.

Appointees will serve four-year terms that expire March 30, 2016, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.