PERS board names Operations Director Tina Liess executive director |

PERS board names Operations Director Tina Liess executive director

by Geoff Dornan

The Public Employees Retirement System board promoted Operations Director Tina Leiss on Wednesday to succeed Dana Bilyeu as executive director of the system.

Rusty McAllister made the motion, saying the move would ensure continuity for the board as well as PERS staffers.

Chairman Mark Vincent said Leiss “has done a stellar job” as operations officer. He said he doesn’t think conducting a search would yield a better candidate.

Chris Collins said naming her to the post would give confidence to the staff that they have a director the board believes in.

“I’m very comfortable with her,” agreed member Audrey Norriega.

Leiss has been operations officer, overseeing benefits administration and programs, since 2004. Before that, she was a senior deputy attorney general assigned to PERS since 1999.

Leiss, 46, will take over as director Sept. 9. Her contract is still to be negotiated with the board but her compensation, as set in statute, will be $140,000 to $150,000 a year.

Bilyeu, 52, has been with PERS since 1989. She is leaving to become administrator of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. She said she will be able to work for that organization by computer from her Carson City home.

Her last day at PERS is Sept. 6.

“I leave this place in really good hands,” Bilyeu said.