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Board Election

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Board Candidate

Below is information about all candidates running for election to the MOSERS Board of Trustees. Please read each candidate statement so you can make an informed election decision. All information for each statement was provided by the candidate, is verbatim, and unedited by MOSERS staff. We have confirmed as true and accurate only the information that is also included in the MOSERS member database.

Election ballots will be distributed by mail by Election-America, Inc. to all eligible members of the MSEP, the MSEP 2000, and the MSEP 2011 on August 8th. Eligible members will have at least two weeks to vote online, by phone, or through the mail. Completed paper election ballots must be postmarked by the last day of the election period (August 28th) and be received by Election-America, Inc. within six business days of the end of the election period. Internet and telephone balloting will cease at 5:00 p.m. Central Time on the last day of the board election. The election administrator will count the votes and the outcome will be announced at the September 13th meeting of the MOSERS Board of Trustees.

Jump to Active Member Candidates

Jump to Retired Member Candidates

Candidates to Represent Active Members 

Eligible active state employees and terminated-vested MOSERS members may vote for two candidates. Please note the names of candidates are listed in random order on the election ballot and below at the discretion of Election-America, Inc. 

Crystal Wessing

Current Employer: Office of Administration
Current Job Title: Director of Financial and Administrative Services
Number of Years of State Service: 17

Candidate Statement:

The best way the State of Missouri can recruit and retain qualified, exceptional employees is to maintain an attractive benefits package. As Chairwoman of the board and an active employee member candidate, I am committed to protecting these benefits for both current and future state employees. I believe, while state employee pay is among the lowest in the nation, our benefits package has historically allowed the state to hire and retain valuable employees. If re-elected, I will continue to work to preserve the integrity of retirement benefits as a recruiting and retention tool, ultimately allowing all citizens to get quality service from the State of Missouri.

I am a member of all board subcommittees including the Pension Administration System Oversight Committee, the Investments Committee and the Strategic Planning & Governance Committee. I work diligently and collaboratively with my fellow board members to ensure the board’s focus is on providing a secure retirement for state employees.

Since election to the board in 2014, I have worked on significant issues, including studying the economics and demographics of current and retired state employees ensuring the contribution amount invoiced to the state fully funds our retirement benefits. If re-elected, I will continue to focus on the most critical issues facing the system to ensure a secure benefit for state employees. Investments, strategic planning & governance, as well as enterprise risk management are top priorities for the board.

Please consider selecting me for this responsible position as an active employee member of the MOSERS Board. I promise to continue to work hard to protect and preserve benefits for all state employees. Additionally, I encourage you to reach out to me via messaging on LinkedIn if you have feedback on how I can serve you better in my position on the board.

David Hunter

Current Employer: Department of Mental Health
Current Job Title: Psychiatrist
Number of Years of State Service: 21 

Candidate Statement:

My name is David Hunter. I am a psychiatrist with the Department of Mental Health in Fulton. I have been a state employee for 21 years. I am an eighth generation Missourian. I received a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I was in private practice in Hannibal before entering state service. I was attracted to the job, like many of you, by the outstanding retirement benefits. Working in the Department of Mental Health, I have seen firsthand how critical it is to recruit and retain quality employees by keeping our MOSERS benefits strong. The national shortage of doctors and nurses would mean that we would not be able to compete with other healthcare employers without our pension plan.

I decided to run for the Board of Trustees after recently attending an all-day retirement conference at the MOSERS headquarters in Jefferson City. I was highly impressed by the knowledge base that the MOSERS staff have about our plans and their dedication in making sure we maximize our benefits. I found their enthusiasm for the subject infectious and would like to contribute all I can to help them in their mission. I have had financial experience in running a family farm and as a school board member for the Fulton 58 School District. In both these capacities, I have learned how important it is to stretch every dollar invested for the highest possible return. With Social Security unable to fully pay its liabilities past 2033, there is even more pressure for MOSERS to continue a steady course for a sound financial future for all Missouri state employees. I would like to help make sure that happens. Thank you.

Christopher S. Hatley

Current Employer: Missouri State Public Defender
Current Job Title: Deputy District Defender
Number of Years of State Service: 18

Candidate Statement:

My name is Chris Hatley and I have been an attorney with the Missouri State Public Defender for more than 18 years. Looking out for people and making sure their rights are protected is what I do every day. I see the role of the Board of Trustees similarly. Looking out for all state employees and making sure that our years of hard work and dedication aren’t for not. That our future pensions and security are protected is a duty I would accept and work diligently for. I am also a major stock market junkie and have been trading stocks since I was in college. I know how the market works and I know the challenges facing our state budget.

My promise to you is that I will always look out for us first- the hard working men and women of that are the backbone that keeps our great state running. We have all worked hard for our pensions and deserve a retirement that rewards us for that hard work. That’s what I want to bring to the Board of Trustees. I would appreciate your support this August.

Jennifer M. Jacobs, CPA

Current Employer: State Technical College of Missouri
Current Job Title: Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Number of Years of State Service: 5

Candidate Statement:

I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be elected to serve as a Board of Trustee member of the MOSERS system. I recently received the honor of being appointed temporarily to the Board to finish the term of Ms. Shannon Owens who resigned May 2018.

I am seeking the nomination of an active member candidate. I’ve been a licensed CPA since September 1998. I acquired my BSBA from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. The first two years of my career were spent at a small public accounting firm in St. Louis. Upon purchasing property and a home in rural Linn, Missouri, I relocated and spent the next seven years of my career at Williams-Keepers, in Jefferson City. Most of my 9 years in public accounting experience were focused on individual and business income tax. I was a Tax Manager at Williams-Keepers when I made the decision to accept the position of CFO at Patients First Health Care, LLC in Washington, Missouri. This position allowed me to oversee the financial performance of a multi-specialty medical practice with over 80 physicians. While in this role, I administered a $40 million + 401K/Profit Sharing Plan and negotiated benefit renewals for over 500 employees. I left Patients First Health Care, LLC and have been the CFO of State Technical College of Missouri (formerly Linn State Technical College) since February 2013. The experience I have acquired over the last 20 years has allowed me to work with retirement plans in many different capacities.

I am familiar with and always concerned that retirement assets are managed, protected, and provide sufficient resources for their beneficiaries. I would be honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of MOSERS and participate in the oversight and management of this invaluable resource. Thank you for your consideration.

Paul Wagner

Current Employer: Truman State University
Current Job Title: Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE) Executive Director
Number of Years of State Service: 22

Candidate Statement:

My first job in state government was my first real job - 22 years ago at the Department of Higher Education. During my years at DHE, later as a non-partisan budget staffer in the state Senate, and in my current job representing all 15 public university presidents, I’ve had to learn how to handle not just multi-million-dollar financial issues and tons of complicated rules and regulations, but how to navigate among powerful people with challenging personalities. And as someone who started at the bottom of the org chart, I know how sometimes the everyday employee can get lost in the shuffle. These experiences have uniquely prepared me to be YOUR representative on the board at MOSERS.

When we chose a career in state government, we knew we’d have the opportunity to serve our fellow citizens, but we also knew that we were not getting rich. A key part of that trade-off is the expectation of a strong retirement benefit waiting for us when we're done.

If given the opportunity to represent you on the MOSERS board, you can have confidence that I will not only bring my skills and expertise to the table, but also a focused commitment to do what's best for you, the employees, who really make state government work.

Candidates to Represent Retired Members 

Eligible MOSERS retirees may vote for one candidate. Please note the names of candidates are listed in random order on the election ballot and below at the discretion of Election-America, Inc.

Marty Drewel

Agency Retired From: Office of Administration, Division of Budget and Planning
Number of Years of State Service: 32 
Month and Year of Retirement: February 2013 
Job Position at Retirement: Assistant Director 

Candidate Statement: 

Hello, my name is Marty Drewel. I am seeking the retiree seat on the Missouri State Employee Retirement Systems (MOSERS) Board of Trustees. Throughout my 30 year career with the State my responsibilities were related to government finance and budgeting, including preparing financial statements, analyzing statewide fiscal and policy impact of legislation, scrutinizing budget requests from all state departments, and researching federal and state laws. I was the Assistant Director for Budget in the Office of Administration, Division of Budget and Planning for both Governor’s Blunt and Nixon and prior to that I was the Director of the Senate Appropriations Committee Staff. I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Lincoln University. 

I was fortunate to be elected to the MOSERS board and served as a trustee in 2011-2012. During that time I gained experience and knowledge on the aspects of the state’s retirement system, including asset allocation, assumed rates of return, and funding ratios. I am committed to ensuring MOSERS remains a secure and well-funded defined benefit plan.

I would be honored to represent all current and future retirees covered under MOSERS.


Larry W. Hightower

Agency Retired From: Department of Economic Development, Workforce Development
Number of Years of State Service: 31 
Month and Year of Retirement: July 2002 
Job Position at Retirement: Designated Principal Assistant 

Candidate Statement: 

I worked over thirty years for the State of Missouri—beginning as a Technician with Employment Security and ending as a Designated Principal Assistant with Workforce Development. I worked in local offices in Sikeston, Washington, and my hometown of Lebanon. In Jefferson City, I worked with the following Divisions: Employment Security, Child Support Enforcement, Family Services and Workforce Development. While in Jefferson City, I continued to work with local and county offices, playing a key role in the implementation of the Job Corps Center in St. Louis, the FUTURES program, and the Parent’s Fair Share program. I worked five more years after retiring from the State. I consulted with MERS-Goodwill, and served as the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board in St. Louis County, and, finally, in that same role with the Workforce Development Board based in Sedalia, overseeing employment and training programs over thirteen counties. 

I have been blessed with career opportunities, good health and friends, and a strong family. I believe in paying forward. After retiring to Kansas City, I continued in public service by serving on boards with The Rehabilitation Institute, Alcott Arts Center and my home owners association. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the K.C. Senior Softball League (over 850 members). Since 2011, I have served on the Retiree Connections advisory group for MOSERS 

When I commit to an organization or program I follow through, and give my time and my best efforts. I believe my volunteerism, experiences in working throughout the State of Missouri, and my tenure with MOSERS Retiree Connections demonstrate a knowledge and commitment to diligently serve the best interests of all MOSERS system retirees.


Theo Brown Sr.

Agency Retired From: Missouri Department of Mental Health
Number of Years of State Service: 12 
Month and Year of Retirement: February 2004 
Job Position at Retirement: Dept. Class 655 & Abuse & Neglect Investigator 

Candidate Statement: 

Theodis Brown Sr. of north St. Louis County currently is the chief of the Castlepoint Fire Protection Association and also a trustee and retired Sergeant at Arms Officer of the Castlepoint Community Association. He was elected to the board in 2014. 

Brown is a former St. Louis County Government paralegal and a retired state abuse and neglect lead investigator who also serves as a St. Ferdinand Township Committeeman. Brown is listed in the International Biographical Centre’s Outstanding People of the 21st Century and in both the 19th and 20th anniversary editions of Who’s Who of American Law. He was recently listed in Who’s Who in the World for 2015, and will appear in Who’s Who in America in 2016. He also publishes St. Louis Private Eye Magazine. 

Brown graduated from the St. Louis Police Academy in 1970 and formerly served as the chief of police and fire marshal in Kinloch. He is a 1977 graduate from the St. Louis Major Case Squad Police Detective Academy. He is a member of the Missouri Peace Officer Association, the Missouri State Investigator’s Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the St. Louis Police Veterans Association. He graduated from the St. Louis Fire Academy in 1978 and is a member of the Fire Marshal Association of Missouri. In 2008, Brown completed a six-hour State Certified Fire and Rescue Training Institute with the University of Missouri-Columbia. A freelance paralegal, who studied at the Blackstone School of Law, Brown is also a member of the National Paralegal Association. A graduate of Sumner High School, Brown is also a member of the Alumni Association of St. Louis Community College.

Brown is married with five grown children.

Gary Findlay

Agency Retired From: Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System
Number of Years of State Service: 21
Month and Year of Retirement: January 2016
Job Position at Retirement: Executive Director

Candidate Statement:

Shortly after receiving my bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri, I entered the army as an infantry lieutenant with a tour that included one year of combat duty in Vietnam.

My professional career following the military included over 42 years of service to public retirement plans. Sixteen years of that service was with a national actuarial firm that specializes in public employee retirement consulting. The concluding twenty-one years leading up to my retirement January 1, 2016, was as Executive Director of MOSERS. During my tenure with MOSERS the system became recognized nationally for excellence in plan administration, plan governance, plan benefit design, and investing plan assets. Recognitions included Plan Sponsor of the Year for the system from Plan Sponsor Magazine and personal lifetime achievement awards from Institutional Investor magazine and the Money Management Letter.

My other activities in the public pension arena included:

  • President of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators
  • Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Institutional Investors
  • Chair of the Public Employees Committee of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Member of the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
  • Member of the Pension Accounting Task Force of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
  • Member of the Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)
  • Member of the GFOA Executive Board
  • Editor – GFOA Guides for Trustees and Administrators
  • Co-Author – GFOA Guidelines for the Preparation of a Public Employee Retirement System Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
  • Member of three Missouri gubernatorial commissions on public employee retirement
  • Author – numerous articles in trade periodicals regarding public employee retirement governance and investment issues

I am presently a board member of the Missouri Association of Active and Retired Missouri State Employees (ARMSE).

Missouri State Employees' Retirement System
Address: 907 Wildwood Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: 800.827.1063 URL: Email: Founded On: September 1, 1957