Julie Wyne, Chief Executive Officer
Julie joined Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA) as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in December 2013. As CEO, she works closely with the Retirement Board on operations and investment issues, and is responsible for translating Board policy into action. Prior to joining SCERA she spent 13 years at Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) as legal counsel and, as of 2008, as both their General Counsel and Assistant CEO, External and Legal Operations, where she oversaw the Legal, Member Services and Communications Divisions. She began her law practice at an Orange County Law firm representing businesses and reached the level of partner just prior to joining OCERS. Julie is a member of the Legislative Committee of the State Association of County Retirement Systems and a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Juris Doctor and Bachelors of Science in Law from Western State University.
Cristina Hess, Assistant Chief Executive Officer/Chief Legal Counsel
Cristina joined SCERA in February 2022. As the Assistant CEO and Chief Legal Counsel, she works closely with the CEO and the Retirement Board on both operational and legal issues. Prior to joining SCERA, she spent nearly 18 years as an attorney for the Sonoma County Public Defender’s Office. She is a seasoned trial attorney who found great satisfaction working as the Juvenile Division Supervisor. Cristina is a member of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, the National Institute of Retirement Security, the National Conference of Public Employee Retirements Systems, the Council of Institutional Investors, the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys and the State Association of County Retirement Systems. She holds a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University, School of Law, an International and Comparative Law Certification jointly from Institut International des Droits de l’Homee and Santa Clara University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Chico.
James Failor, CFA, Chief Investment Officer
Jim joined the SCERA team in early 2007 to fill the position of Investment Officer, he was promoted to Senior Investment Officer in 2012, and promoted to Chief Investment Officer in 2016. His previous position was as a Client Relationship Manager at the investment firm of GMO (Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co.). Over the ten years prior to joining SCERA, Jim worked as an Institutional Relationship Manager and Product Specialist at various investment firms. Prior to that, he oversaw investments at Pacific Gas and Electric Company for their retirement, post-retirement medical and nuclear decommissioning trusts. Jim has a BA degree in economics from Pacific Lutheran University, an MBA degree from the University of Washington and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Administrative Team Members
Rebecca Gay, Retirement Analyst
Julia Smith, Administrative Aide
Investment Team Members
The Investment Team develops and implements the investment policy set forth by the Board of Retirement, evaluates and recommends policies and risk mitigation strategies consistent with the prudent management of the Plan’s assets, and assesses investment opportunities in accordance to established goals.
Jim Failor, CFA, Chief Investment Officer
Mickey Nguyen, CFA, Investment Officer
Finance and Retiree Services
The Finance and Retiree Services division handles all reporting and accounting functions for the Plan in addition to management of the retiree and vendor payroll processes. This includes preparing or providing data for required financial, actuarial and tax reporting documents; managing employer contribution reporting; reconciling and accounting for investment and banking transactions; and processing retiree payroll.
Cheryl Enold, CPA, Manager
Susan Begun, Accountant III
Ellen Herdell, Accountant I
The Member Services team deals with all issues for active, deferred, and transferred members. This includes retirement enrollment, purchase of service credit, reciprocity, retirement estimates, and disability and service retirement applications and processing.
Jackie Purter, Manager
Lisa Hogan, Senior Retirement Benefits Specialist
Salvador Fuentes, Retirement Benefits Specialist II
Yecenia Gonzalez, Senior Office Assistant