Meet Our Board of Trustees
John Atkinson, Chairperson
John Atkinson serves as a managing director and chairman of Marsh US in Chicago. He is also responsible for leading one of Marsh’s fastest growing businesses in North America. He is a recognized leader in the risk and human capital space and serves on Marsh’s leadership team in the United States.
Atkinson is chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. He also serves as a director of the Kennedy Forum Illinois, Cradles to Crayons and World Business Chicago. He is a director emeritus of One Million Degrees and on the Board of Advisors of Catholic Charities and the Council of Regents of Loyola University.
Atkinson received his B.S. in political science from Benedictine University after studying political science and government at the College of DuPage.
Andriy Bodnaruk, Elected Board Member
Andriy Bodnaruk is a professor and interim head of the department of finance at the University of Illinois Chicago. Prior to joining UIC, he was at the University of Notre Dame (2008-2016) and Maastricht University (Netherlands, 2005-2008).
Bodnaruk has completed academic research on mutual fund investments, fund manager conduct and financial (un)sophistication of individual investors. His work has been published in leading academic journals including Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and Management Science.
He received his doctorate in finance from the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) in 2005.
Richard Figueroa, Appointed Board Member
Richard Figueroa is the chief investment officer of Barrett-Lo Visionary Development. Before joining Barrett-Lo, he was the chief operating officer of Janko Group, the director of capital markets for the Opus Group and served as the director of acquisitions for Mansur & Company.
Figueroa has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a master’s degree in public policy and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Appointed Board Member
Jamie-Clare Flaherty currently serves as vice president and deputy general counsel for The Barack Obama Foundation. In that capacity, she oversees a team responsible for guiding the foundation’s legal strategy to enable the global non-profit to achieve its mission. She previously served as interim general counsel, and her work includes advising senior executives on a wide variety of legal matters including complex regulatory compliance, enterprise risk, IP, data privacy, construction and litigation. Most notably, she led the years-long federal regulatory process for the Obama Presidential Center, working to bring the Presidential Center and long-needed infrastructure improvements to the South Side of Chicago.
Flaherty began her career as a litigator in New York and Massachusetts handling white-collar and complex commercial disputes. She has been a member of the CFP Diversity Advisory Board since 2018 and regularly speaks on strategies for leveraging DEI. She is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
Flaherty received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from The University of Michigan.
J. Fred Giertz, Elected Board Member
J. Fred Giertz is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University in 1970. Giertz previously served as an appointed member of the SURS Board from 1995-2005 and an elected-active member from 2009-2012. He served as chair of the board’s Investment Committee for five years.
Giertz also is a member of the Parkland College Foundation Board of Directors and the State Universities Annuitant Association.
Giertz has written extensively about pensions including SURS and has testified before the Illinois General Assembly and a U. S. House Committee on pension funding problems. He has been on the faculty of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois since 1980.
Scott Hendrie, Appointed Board Member
Scott Hendrie is vice president of finance and treasury at the Carle Foundation, serving on both their Retirement Plan and Health and Welfare Committees. He is a member of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine Joint Liaison Committee and a Board Observer for Ascension Ventures IV, L.P. Previously, he worked for First Busey Corporation, a financial holding company, for 15 years.
Hendrie received a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He earned his chartered financial analyst designation in 1999.
John Lyons, Appointed Board Member
John Lyons is a partner at the law firm DLA Piper LLP (US). He has practiced law in Illinois for the past 20 years focusing on corporate restructuring and governance.
Lyons holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University.
Steven Rock, Elected Board Member
Steven Rock has taught economics at a number of Illinois institutions over the years. Most recently, he was at Western Illinois University (1990-2018). Prior to that he worked at Northern Illinois University (1986-1990), Illinois Institute of Technology (1978-1986), and the University of Illinois Chicago (1975-1978). He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Rock has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Economic Inquiry, National Tax Journal, Public Finance Quarterly, Public Budgeting and Finance, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Transportation Research Record, and Public Health Reports.
Notable service includes the Faculty Advisory Council of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (13 years), Faculty Senate at Western Illinois University (12 years including 7 as chair), the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (national officer for 4 years), and the University Professionals of Illinois (chapter officer for 18 years). He has served on a number of education-related task forces, several involving the Illinois Monetary Assistance Program.
Collin Van Meter, Elected Board Member
Collin Van Meter is a member of the Information Technology Services Unit at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He assists faculty, staff and students with the implementation and utilization of educational technology across the university. Van Meter has worked in the IT field for the last 13 years.
Van Meter serves on the SIUE Staff Senate representing Civil Service Open Range employees and is the organization’s treasurer. He volunteers in his community assisting with local campaigns and political groups including university student organizations.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Illinois College and a master’s degree in computer management and information systems from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Antonio Vasquez, Elected Board Member
Antonio Vasquez is a professor of economics and chair of the Business Department at Wilbur Wright College. He previously served as a lecturer at Harold Washington College, the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).
Vasquez has long worked with El Valor, a non-profit organization in the Hispanic community of Chicago serving adults and children with disabilities, as well as with the Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research at UIC.
Vasquez received his B.A. from DePaul University and his M.A. from UIC. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. in Disability Studies. He is a member of the American Economics Association, the Society for Community Research and Action and the Association on Higher Education and Disability.
Mitchell Vogel, Elected Board Member
Mitchell Vogel is a retired professor from Northeastern Illinois University where he taught courses in teacher education and school administration. He also conducted and published research on public administration, school-community relations and school finance. He received both the Kellogg and Danforth Awards for Teaching and Scholarship.
Vogel has a long history as a community activist and labor leader. He served as president of the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100 of the American Federation of Teachers for over 17 years and was vice president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
Vogel previously served as a SURS board member from 2004 through 2015. During his tenure on the board, he served as board president for four years, as chairman of the Legislative and Corporate Governance Committees, and as a member of the Investment Committee.