Bios

ERS Trustees

Ilesa Daniels, Chair

Elected

Ilesa Daniels was elected to the ERS Board in 2015. She began her career with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in 1990 as a Texas Works Advisor. Ms. Daniels was later promoted to Case Analyst, and is currently a Program Specialist in Quality Assurance Field Services. She also mentors new employees as they begin to navigate through their careers.

Ms. Daniels is active in civic organizations in her community. She volunteers at a homeless shelter and mentors young girls in the Houston area.

Ms. Daniels holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Texas Southern University.

Her term expires August 31, 2021
Ilesa.Daniels@ers.texas.gov

Craig Hester

I. Craig Hester, Vice-chair

Appointed by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

Craig Hester was first appointed to the ERS Board in 2005 by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and has been reappointed twice. 

He has been actively involved in professional investment management since 1972. Mr. Hester is a Principal at Luther King Capital Management. Prior to joining LKCM, he formed Hester Capital Management, where he acted as Chairman, CEO and Chief Investment Officer. Before that, Mr. Hester served as Director of Regional Asset Management for InterFirst Investment Management, Chief Investment Officer of the Texas Municipal Retirement System, Assistant Vice President & Trust Officer at Republic National Bank, Dallas and Senior Analyst for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

He currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the MBA Investment Fund, LLC of the University of Texas Graduate School of Business. Mr. Hester is a former board member of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), former Investments Committee member and past chair of the University of Texas' Ex-Student's Association, former member and past chair the Investment Advisory Committee of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and former investment advisor to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. He is the past president of the Austin Investment Association and a member and past president of the Austin/San Antonio Society of Financial Analysts and the Austin Society of Financial Analysts. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), a current Board member and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts, and is a former member and past chair of the Foundation for SafePlace. Mr. Hester is a member of the Executive Committee of the University of Texas Chancellor's Council and of the Littlefield Society.

Mr. Hester received his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration at The University of Texas at Austin. He received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1977 and the Chartered Investment Counselor designation in 1992.

His term expires August 31, 2022
Craig.Hester@ers.texas.gov

Brian R. Barth

Elected

Brian Barth was elected to the ERS Board in 2019.  

Brian R. Barth is the Director of Project Planning and Development for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), responsible for overseeing the Transportation Planning and Programming, Right of Way, Environmental Affairs, Professional Engineering Procurement and Transportation Programs divisions.

A member of the TxDOT family since 1988, Mr. Barth began his career as an engineering assistant in the Dallas District. In 2003, he was appointed as the Dallas District’s director of transportation planning and development. From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Fort Worth District’s deputy district engineer, providing joint oversight and development of the DFW Connector, North Tarrant Express, I-35W, I-30 and Chisholm Trail Parkway.

In November 2013, Mr. Barth was appointed as Fort Worth district engineer and served on the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments working to solve Metroplex-area transportation issues. In that role, he also oversaw over $1 billion in construction work each year in addition to major projects on I-35W, SH 360 South and the I-30/SH 360 Interchange.

Mr. Barth graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

His term expires August 31, 2025.
Brian.Barth@ers.texas.gov

James Kee, Ph.D.

Appointed by Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus

James (Jim) Kee, Ph.D. was appointed to the ERS Board in December 2018. He is the President and Chief Economist of South Texas Money Management (STMM), where he works with both the investment research group and the portfolio team. He joined the firm in 2009 and was appointed President in 2011.

Before joining STMM, Dr. Kee was the HOLT Global Strategist for Credit Suisse in Chicago. He served as a Portfolio Consultant with HOLT Value Associates prior to their acquisition by Credit Suisse in 2002. Dr. Kee also has produced research under contract for the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (IRET) and Polyconomics. He has taught courses in finance and economics at Wabash College and Auburn University.

With expertise in combining top-down macroeconomic insights with bottom-up stock selection tools, Dr. Kee has been nationally recognized for his views on investing and the economy. He has made numerous appearances on Fox Business with Maria Bartiromo and on CNBC. He has been interviewed on or cited by many other media outlets, including Bloomberg Radio’s “Taking Stock,” MarketWatch Radio, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, CNN Money and U.S. News & World Report. In 2016, the San Antonio Business Journal recognized Dr. Kee as a top executive with a C-Suite Award in the CEO category.

Dr. Kee serves on the St. Edward’s Munday School of Business Advisory Board and has advised several non-profit organizations. In the past, he has served on the board of directors for the Catholic Citizens of Illinois, the University of the Incarnate Word Advisory Board and as finance chair on the school council for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Dr. Kee has a Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn University; a Master’s degree in Economics (Distinguished Graduate) from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Edward’s University in Austin.

His term expires August 31, 2020
Jim.kee@ers.texas.gov

Portrait of Catherine Melvin

Catherine Melvin

Elected

Catherine Melvin was elected to the ERS Board  in 2017. 

She serves as the Chief Auditor for the Texas Department of Public Safety. A career public servant, Ms. Melvin has extensive experience in Texas state governmental internal auditing, including more than 20 years' service as Chief Audit Executive. She began her career as an Auditor I and has since worked in several state agencies across various sectors, including health/human services, regulatory, statewide oversight and public safety.

A leader in both state government and the internal audit community, Ms. Melvin has served on and led numerous interagency and professional committees and task forces. She has focused her career in public service – assisting Texas state agencies in achieving their goals and objectives while being accountable to the public for efficiency, transparency, economy, effectiveness and excellence.

Ms. Melvin holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Central Texas (now known as Texas A&M University Central Texas) with a concentration in Accounting. She is also a graduate of the Governor's Executive Development Program and of the Texas Fiscal Officers' Academy. Ms. Melvin holds the designations of licensed Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Law Enforcement Auditor. 

Her term expires August 31, 2023
Catherine.Melvin@ers.texas.gov