The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System’s accessory ambassador of operations, Clint Rhoden, will alter abandonment controlling ambassador George Hopkins, the system’s advisers absitively Wednesday.
The retirement arrangement is accompaniment government’s bigger with added than $17 billion in investments and added than 100,000 alive and retired members.
After two canicule of interviewing six candidates for the job, the advisers voted to advance Rhoden to the controlling director’s job at a bacon of $165,000 a year. It was a articulation vote with no dissents.
Rhoden’s bacon as accessory ambassador of operations is $100,320 a year, according to the Arkansas Transparency website. Hopkins, who appear Oct. 1 that he diplomacy to retire by the end of this year, is paid $180,108 a year.
The advisers called Rhoden, 49, of Bryant, over two above accompaniment assembly — accompaniment government account ambassador Duncan Baird and Central Arkansas Water accepted admonition David Johnson. Added candidates were arrangement Deputy Ambassador Rhett Hatcher, a above aldermanic diplomacy ambassador for Gov. Asa Hutchinson; arrangement Accepted Admonition Laura Gilson; and Timothy Viezer, arch advance ambassador for the Employees Retirement Arrangement of the Sewerage & Water Lath of New Orleans.
The lath interviewed the six candidates Tuesday and Wednesday afterwards 26 bodies activated for the job.
Baird is a above Republican accompaniment adumbrative from Lowell. Johnson is a above Democratic accompaniment adumbrative and agent from Little Rock.
The arrangement has had a history of hiring above assembly to arch the agency. Hopkins, who has been the system’s ambassador back December 2008, is an advocate and above Democratic accompaniment agent from Malvern. David Malone, a above accompaniment agent from Fayetteville, headed the bureau from 2003-07.
Board Chairman Jeff Stubblefield of Charleston said in an account that the advisers assassin Rhoden because “Mr. Rhoden brought all the attributes that we had set out at the actual alpha of this process.”
Rhoden has “knowledge of the system, ability inside, affection for the position, abyss of compassionate of benefits, abyss of the aldermanic process,” Stubblefield said.
Asked why the lath didn’t appoint either Baird or Johnson accustomed its history of hiring above lawmakers, Stubblefield said, “Both of them were outstanding candidates and this lath toiled with this accommodation for a continued time.
“But in the end, we acquainted that Mr. Rhoden was the best choice,” Stubblefield said.
“I anticipate [lawmakers] will accept the belief that we formed with and the methodology. This was not an accessible choice, not a abbreviate choice. It wasn’t one off the cuff. It was actual active and the associates of the [board] would adjure to the diligence,” said Stubblefield.
Trustee Johnny Key, who is the state’s apprenticeship commissioner, said in an account that Rhoden “came to the top through the account action as somebody that not alone can handle all the aspects of arch the accumulation here, but additionally alive with the Legislature and all the agencies like ours.
“I was aloof absolutely afflicted with him,” he said.
Asked if the advisers will get any blowback from Republican assembly over not acrimonious Baird, Key said, “I don’t anticipate so.
“We had some candidates with political ties on both sides, and I anticipate awful of everybody that was on that list, but through the action and the chat of what we charge [Rhoden] was the guy,” said Key, who is a above Republican accompaniment agent and adumbrative from Mountain Home.
Sen. Bart Hester, a co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs, said the new ambassador charge be “amazing in all categories to be bigger than those that I know.”
Rhoden is “virtually an alien to us in the Legislature,” said Hester. The Cave Springs ambassador said aftermost anniversary that Baird has the “complete trust” of lawmakers, and “it will be adamantine to bout Duncan’s qualifications.”
Rep. Doug House, the committee’s added co-chairman, said he doesn’t apperceive Rhoden or annihilation about him.
“If that’s who they chose, it’s their responsibility. I don’t accept abundant animadversion on it,” he said. “If I had an affair with one of the systems, I will be talking to the trustees, not the director. I anticipate that’s the way it should be.”
Johnson said, “I am blessed for Clint. He will accomplish a abundant controlling director.”
Baird could not be accomplished for animadversion by blast or email backward Wednesday afternoon.
Asked if he had any animadversion about Rhoden’s hiring, Hatcher replied in an email, “No sir.”
“I congratulate Clint Rhoden on his alternative as Ambassador of ATRS,” Hutchinson said in a accounting statement. “The ATRS lath is independent, and I apperceive they accept abounding aplomb in Mr. Rhoden and his accommodation to advance the multi-billion dollar retirement system, which is so important to our agents and our state.”
The 15-member lath of advisers includes 11 advisers who are adopted by alive and retired associates of the system; Republican accompaniment Treasurer Dennis Milligan; Republican accompaniment Auditor Andrea Lea; accompaniment Banking Abettor Candace Franks; and Key. Hutchinson appointed Franks and Key to their Cabinet-level posts.
Rhoden has been accessory ambassador of operations back April 2014, and admiral and adviser of Rhoden Technologies back 1997, according to his resume.
His resume states that Rhoden Technologies was a actor in a computer addition activity for the Teacher Retirement Arrangement from 2001-14 that bargain data-processing costs from about $1.5 actor a year to beneath than $500,000 a year.
He was a systems yst/database ambassador for Global Computer Associates to an IBM activity in Little Rock from 1995-2001, and a systems programmer and operations yst at Dillard’s in Little Rock from 1991-95, his resume states. He accustomed a bachelor’s amount in computer science from the University of Central Arkansas in 1993 and his law amount from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1993.
Stubblefield said the lath will assignment with Hopkins to alike Rhoden’s alpha date.
“Mr. Hopkins will retire beforehand than his antecedent Dec. 31 date,” he said.
Asked about his plans, Rhoden said, “I am activity to assignment with George Hopkins appropriate up until the day of his retirement.”
“I am abashed as anybody, so it is activity to be adamantine to appear up with an exact plan,” he said. “But I would like to assignment with George for a alteration aeon of time. That’s what I would expect. I don’t apperceive absolutely what his aftermost day will be now. … But basically, my plan up to that point is to assignment with George on a circadian base to try to get a plan done for George, to apprentice aggregate that he knows about the arrangement that I absolutely accept not been buried to at his point. That’s the way it works. The controlling ambassador knows things that everybody abroad doesn’t know.”
Rhoden said he told the advisers that “we are absolutely advantageous to accept a absolutely abundant staff, that they apperceive how to run this arrangement and I wouldn’t accept active up for this job if they didn’t accept a abundant agents all over the place.
“I absolutely appetite to advance to added of a adaptable platform,” he said. “It’s a way to collaborate with the associates in a little bit added alternate way. … I anticipate I can accept abundant abutment for that now.”
Photo by Special to the Democrat-Gazette The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System’s accessory ambassador of operations, Clint Rhoden, will alter abandonment controlling ambassador George Hopkins.
A Section on 11/01/2018
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