Executive Staff

Brian R. Bodager, President and Chief Executive Officer

Brian BRB BioR. Bodager has been President and CEO of the Pension Boards since 2015. As a banking executive and attorney, Brian brings more than three decades of financial, investment, and legal experience to serve the Church.

Prior to joining the Pension Boards, he was a member of the PBUCC Board of Trustees for 12 years. He served on the actuarial, Executive, and Personnel Committees, as well as chaired the Eligibility and Enterprise Risk Management Committees.

In 1992, Brian joined Wisconsin-based Associated Banc-Corp, a publicly-traded bank holding company, where he was responsible for legal affairs, compliance, security, purchasing, and facilities. He also was engaged in corporate development activities of the company, including mergers and acquisitions. During his 20-year tenure, he helped grow Associated Banc-Corp's assets from $1 billion to more than $20 billion. Immediately prior to joining the Pension Boards, he served as a principal for Performance Sciences, LLC, a Wisconsin-based early-stage business consulting and strategic planning firm.

Brian is a long-time member of Union Congregational UCC in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and a native of Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and the Weatherhead School of Management, respectively.

Kristi A. Hayek, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Kristi A. Hayek has been General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Pension Boards since January 2017. Prior to joining the Pension Boards, Ms. Hayek was Of Counsel at the law firm of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, practicing in the areas of general corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and banking/financial institutions law.

From February 2013 through March 2016, Ms. Hayek was a member of the Corporate Ventures and Securities group of General Growth Properties, Inc., the second-largest publicly traded real estate investment trust in the country. She drafted and negotiated a multitude of contracts involving real estate joint ventures, general operations agreements for Information Technology, Construction, Building Development, Business Development, Marketing, and Operations.

Ms. Hayek began her career at Associated Banc-Corp in October 2002, and was promoted to increasingly responsible and managerial positions throughout her tenure, becoming Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in [2009]. She was Acting General Counsel and Corporate Secretary from October 2011 through April 2012. During this time, she continued to carry out her responsibilities as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. She participated in a number of strategic initiatives to improve internal procedures and processes to mitigate enterprise and regulatory risk.

Ms. Hayek earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Psychology with a minor in personnel management (cum laude). She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (cum laude), where she served as an Editor of the Women’s Law Journal and concentrated her studies on corporate law.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Hayek worked in the grocery retail and manufacturing industries in managerial roles. She obtained a graduate level paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and began working at a small law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the practice areas of family law and worker’s compensation. She moved on to a larger law firm where she managed outside counsel in connection with a portfolio of approximately 300 litigation files and eventually became the law office administrator. Ms. Hayek also has worked for M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank as the Loan Closing Manager of the Commercial Loan Department, where she drafted and negotiated commercial loan documents of all types. Upon graduation from law school, she worked as an associate attorney for Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the Corporate Team, specializing in mergers and acquisitions of privately-held corporations.

Ms. Hayek is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Bankers’ Association, Minnesota Women Lawyers group and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She has applied for and been granted licenses to practice law in Illinois (inactive), Minnesota (active), and Wisconsin (active). She is currently in the process of obtaining her in-house counsel registration with the State of New York.

Rev. Krista L. Betz, Director, Ministerial Assistance

The Rev. Krista L. Betz joined the PBUCC staff in October 2012 as Director of Ministerial Assistance. Her key responsibilities include administration for all Ministerial Assistance grants; fundraising, especially through the 100 plus year old Christmas Fund and oversight for sustainable leadership initiatives including the Annuitant Visitor Program, Next Generation Leadership Initiative and CREDO.

Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Social Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

Krista brings extensive experience in Conference ministry, pastoral ministry and chaplaincy. A lifelong member of the United Church of Christ, she was ordained in 1995 in the Illinois South Conference. She served two congregations in Missouri – Parkway United Church of Christ in St. Louis and Ebenezer United Church of Christ in Augusta. She also served as an Acting Associate Conference Minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference and a hospital chaplain. Before joining the Pension Boards she was the Interim Conference Minister of the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ for three years.

Krista is a member of Bethel United Church of Christ in Cahokia, Illinois – the congregation that baptized, confirmed and ordained her into the Christian ministry. Her authorization for ministry in the United Church of Christ is granted by the Illinois South Conference.

John Cielazewicz, Managing Director, Member Services and Operations

John joined the Pension Boards in March 2017 as Senior Manager within the IT department, and in September of 2017 was given responsibility for Member Services and Operations. In this role, he is responsible for all customer service and benefit plan processing activities for the Pension Boards.

John brings 30 years of experience as a senior customer service and operations leader with a record of transformational change at leading financial services firms in the wealth management, insurance, retirement plans, and employee benefits sectors.

John was one of the pioneering members of the management team that launched Merrill Lynch as a leader into the corporate employee retirement and benefit plans outsourcing business. As VP of Global Operations for American International Group (AIG), he acquired extensive international experience directing and transforming service organizations. John also helped transform Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management business as head of customer service.

John has a B.B.A. degree in Accounting and Finance from Pace University in New York City, and he recently earned a State of New Jersey Health Insurance License. John is a native of the New York metropolitan area.

Rev. Dr. Martha M. Cruz, Communications and Church Relations Officer

The Rev. Martha M. Cruz joined the Pension Boards' staff in 2000. She oversees all Pension Boards' communications and serves as PBUCC's liaison to the Conferences and national setting of the United Church of Christ.

Martha earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Journalism from New York University; an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School; a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Fordham University; and a D.Min. in Christian Spirituality from Fordham. 

Ordained in 1983, Martha holds dual ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and American Baptist Churches (ABC), and has served pastorates in Massachusetts (1983-1985) and New York (1985-1991; 1994-1998). She worked for the American Baptist Office of Communication from 1991-1993 as a columnist, reporter, and editor. From 1993-2000, she served on the staff of Church Women United, as Director of Communication and Interpretation (1993-1996) and as Deputy General Director for Administration and Communication (1996-2000). 

Martha represented the Pension Boards on the United Church of Christ's Wider Church Ministries Board, where she chaired the Refugee Ministries Committee, and on the Justice and Witness Ministries Board.

Martha is a member of The Riverside Church in New York City and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rye Brook, New York. She and her husband, Philip E. Jenks, a lay preacher and retired denominational and ecumenical communicator, live in Port Chester, New York. They are the parents of six adult children and have five grandchildren.

David A. Klassen, Chief Investment Officer

Dave Klassen has significant experience in the fields of investment and finance. His Wall Street credentials include working as V.P. and portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Managing Director and Head of Equities at JPMorgan Chase. In a productive decade away from Wall Street, he graduated from divinity school, and was Partner of Springboard Leadership LLC, working with top leaders and organizations to build leadership capacity in the finance, not-for-profit and government sectors. He has been Chief Investment Officer for the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ and United Church Funds since 2011.

Dave earned a B.A. in Accounting from Franklin & Marshall College and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and attended Tavistock Institute’s Leicester Conference on Authority, Leadership and Organization. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary in NYC. In the past, he has served on the Investment Committee of United Church Funds and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Irvington, New York, where he lives with his family.

Wynonia Leak, Director, Employer Development/Member Education

Wynonia Leak began her career with the Pension Boards in 1987 and currently serves as Director of Employer Development/Member Education. She has extensive experience in the administration of the Pension Boards’ benefits plans and programs. Wynonia leads the Pension Boards’ retirement seminars and benefits webinars and has also led Pension Boards’ benefits workshops at United Church of Christ seminaries, Ministers In Discernment gatherings, and other UCC events.
 
Wynonia managed the Member Services department for more than 10 years. In 2012 she was named Director of Member Services, a position in which she led a 15-person staff of customer service representatives in achieving excellent customer service ratings.
 
Wynonia received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York’s Empire State College. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of three adult children. Most Sundays, Wynonia can be found  assisting her pastor with worship services. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Rev. Dr. Jonathan B. Lee, Philanthropy Officer

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan B. Lee joined the Pension Boards in 2015 as Philanthropy Officer for the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance (UCBMA). In this role, he promotes charitable giving to support UCBMA’s various assistance and educational ministries, including pension supplementation, health premium supplementation, and emergency grants, as well as the Next Generation Leadership Initiative. He is also responsible for developing materials for the annual Christmas Fund Offering, one of four Special Mission Offerings of the United Church of Christ.

Prior to joining the Pension Boards, Jonathan was Director of Institutional Advancement at Hartford Seminary. He served United Church of Christ congregations for 23 years, most recently as Senior Minister of Rocky Hill Congregational United Church of Christ in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. He has been active in Association, Conference, and national settings of the church, and was co-chair of the local arrangements committee for General Synod 26.

Jonathan was baptized, confirmed and ordained at First Congregational Church of Stratford, Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree from Bates College; a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School; and a Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary, where he is an adjunct faculty member. Jonathan and his wife, the Rev. Bridget Fidler, Senior Minister of First Church of Christ UCC in Suffield, Connecticut, are the parents of four adult children.

John E. Linzey, Director of Treasury/Accounting Operations

John Linzey has been the Director of Treasury/Accounting Operations at The Pension Boards–United Church of Christ, Inc. since November 2006.  

He received his B.B.A. in Finance and Investments and M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College.  

From 1991 to 1993, John held the position of Senior Accountant at Imperial Commodities Corporation. From 1993 to 2001, he served as Executive Associate for both PBUCC and the United Church Foundation (now United Church Funds). In 2001, he went to work for Computer Science Corporation as a Finance Manager. John returned to PBUCC in 2004 and served various roles in the Finance/Accounting department before becoming Director of Treasury/Accounting Operations in 2006. 

John lives on Long Island with wife of 15 years, Angeline, and their three children, Evans, Ethan, and Annie.

Frank E. Loiacono, Director, Health Plan Operations

Frank E. Loiacono joined the Pension Boards’ staff in 2007, bringing extensive experience from executive leadership positions with nationwide insurance carriers, non-profit agencies, and the direct healthcare system.

Before joining the Pension Boards, Frank was the Chief Operating Officer of Joseph House, Inc., a non-profit agency providing comprehensive support services to homeless veterans.  Previously, he served in executive leadership positions with Humana Healthcare Services, Anthem Alliance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and TriAtlantic Healthcare Services.  

As a career naval officer, Frank served in a number of healthcare and leadership roles around the world.  Frank received a B.S. in Business Administration from Montclair (NJ) State University, and an M.A. in Healthcare Administration from The George Washington University.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Frank and his wife, Deborah, a librarian, reside in Bay Village, Ohio

Thomas Nolan, Chief Information Officer

Thomas J. ("Tom") Nolan joined the staff of The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Inc. in 2011.

Before joining the Pension Boards, Tom served for five years as Chief Information Officer for Lighthouse International. His previous experience includes Director of Information Technology for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Vice President, Director of Information Technology at TIS Worldwide and Vice President, Director of Distributed Architecture for Chase Mellon Shareholder Services. Tom also served a number of years as a Staff Engineer at the renowned IBM Thomas Watson Research Center.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Technology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. He holds a U.S. patent in the area of computing systems security, a number of patent publications, invention achievement and research division awards from IBM.

Walter A. Reyes, Director, Human Resources

Walter A. Reyes joined the Pension Boards in 2018, bringing nearly 20 years of experience as a Human Resources leader with a proven track record of successfully leading change and transformation through influencing leadership and organizational culture.

He began his career at Goodwill Industries, where he was Director of Staff Development. As his career advanced, he accepted the role of Chief Administrative Officer and Human Resources Director for a large, affordable housing development corporation. Walter served as a change agent within the organization and championed strategies that impacted organizational-wide performance management. He oversaw culture change, compliance, and an array of talent management initiatives aimed at the best achievement of corporate goals. Most recently, Walter served as Director of Human Resources for Healthfirst, LLC, where he and his team were collectively responsible for delivering HR Strategies that impacted $9 billion revenue line of business with more than 1,000 employees.

Walter completed his BBA and MBA degrees at Hofstra University. He resides on Long Island and enjoys travelling the world and the richness of diverse cultures and perspectives.

Rev. Richard E. Walters, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility

The Rev. Richard E. ("Rick") Walters became Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Pension Boards in 2013, bringing nearly three decades’ experience in not-for-profit and for-profit management, including service to a number of UCC-related institutions. 

He is the founder of the legal firm of Richard E. Walters, Attorney at Law, with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to representing corporate and not-for-profit organizations, he provides pro bono representation to individuals and organizations unable to afford legal services. An attorney licensed to practice law in Ohio and Florida, as well as in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio,Rick has represented the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference in all aspects of corporate and defense litigation for more than 20 years. He was selected by the Rev. Robert D. Witham, then-Executive Coordinator for Structural Transition, to serve as lead attorney for all legal work related to the 1999 restructure of the United Church of Christ on behalf of the Executive Council of General Synod.

In 2010, Rick became Executive Vice President of Eden Theological Seminary, one of the seminaries of the United Church of Christ. He oversaw and directed all aspects of Eden’s operations, finance and facilities management, and served as a key member of a senior leadership team focused on strategic planning, development, academic programs, and community and partner relations.

From 2006-2010, Rick was of counsel with the firm of Chester L. Sumpter & Associates, LLC, where he specialized in health plan representation and subrogation, litigation and not-for-profit organizations. From 1992-2005, he was an attorney and shareholder at Ross, Brittain & Schonberg in Cleveland, Ohio. While at Ross, Brittain & Schonberg, he co-founded Comprehensive Risk Management, Inc., an Ohio-based, full-service, third-party administrator of health claims and risk management. From 1986-1992, he served the human resources consulting firm, Spooner, Inc., as Executive Vice President and General Counsel (1987-1992) and Staff Attorney and Management Consultant (1986-1987). During that period, he was also Video and Educational Media Producer and Director for RW Productions, which produced commercial videos for sales and marketing.

Rick received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Southern Illinois University in 1975; a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in 1979; and a Juris Doctor from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1986. He is a past member of the Florida, Ohio, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and American Bar Associations. He is Chair of the Association of Conference Attorneys of the United Church of Christ, an organization of legal representatives of UCC entities that monitors legislative issues affecting churches.

Rick, an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is a member of Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Miami, Florida, where his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Laurinda M. Hafner, serves as Senior Pastor. They are the parents of an 18-year old daughter.

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