Key Consultants

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Jay Masci, PMP, CSM

Senior Project Oversight and Program Manager

Mr. Masci is a public pension expert with over 22 years of in-depth experience in public retirement systems projects. He has over 33 years of experience with large-scale systems development projects and more than 28 years of Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), oversight, project management, business analysis, strategic planning and executive experience. As the President and founding partner of Provaliant, Mr. Masci is actively involved in the pension community providing presentations at conference and events such as PRISM, CEM and NPEA.

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Bob Solheim, PMP, CSM

Senior Project Oversight and Program Manager

Mr. Solheim has over 37 years of information systems experience with large-scale systems development projects. He has over 29 years of experience in oversight, project management and executive roles. Mr. Solheim is a Public Retirement System industry expert, with over 24 years of experience providing leadership and management direction as well as business analysis for statewide systems development projects. As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Provaliant, Mr. Solheim has been an essential part of the success of Provaliant for the past 20 years.

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Sue Richards, PMP, CSM

Senior Project Oversight and Project Manager

Ms. Richards has over 35 years of information systems experience, including computer operations, business analysis, software design, development, testing, and training, as well as project and operational management. Since joining Provaliant in 2005, she has been involved in pension system replacement projects at Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, as well as smaller organizations. Her experience includes all aspects of RFP development, and managing projects that focused on employer reporting, data bridging/system-to-system communication, and business procedures and training.

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Kirstin Carlson, PMP, CSM

Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant

Ms. Carlson has over 20 years the public pension industry experience having worked over 12 years at the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) and 8 years working as a business consultant for Provaliant Retirement. Since joining Provaliant Ms. Carlson has contributed to several projects including: the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration (MPERA) and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) assisting with the development of pension replacement RFPs, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), COSO, and providing oversight for a public pension system replacement project.

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Ray Smith

Senior Project Oversight Manager and Senior Business Consultant

Mr. Smith has 30+ years of experience in public pension including leading strategic planning with governing boards to project oversight and monitoring of large projects for the replacement of pension administration, financial and investment related technology solutions. He previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Special Projects at two large statewide public pension funds being responsible for the administrative, financial and technology operations. During his career, Mr. Smith has consulted with 20 public employee retirement systems.

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Wendy Sanchez, MBA, PMP, CSM

Senior Project Oversight and Project Manager

Ms. Sanchez is a PMP/ITIL certified professional with over 15 years of information systems and finance project management experience and an MBA from St. Edward’s University. She has 12 years of pension industry experience as a Project Manager for the Texas Employees’ Retirement System and as a Provaliant consultant managing the Teacher Retirement System of Texas Financial System Replacement and Quality Assurance projects. Ms. Sanchez is currently providing Oversight Project Management services for the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System (LAMPERS) and the Austin Police Retirement System.

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Shelly Pardis, PMP, CSM

Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant

Ms. Pardis is a Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant with nearly 20 years of in-depth technical and business experience in the public retirement sector. She has project management, project oversight, and business analysis experience in pension line of business implementation projects, major system conversion projects, RFP development and Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V). Since joining Provaliant, she has worked on the development of a pension replacement RFP, provided project oversight, and managed IV&V for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Horizon project.

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Mary Dunn

Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant

Ms. Dunn has over16 years public pension industry experience and 15 years project management experience. As the former Assistant Chief Administration Officer at the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, she brings in-depth pension business knowledge including 15 years of experience in strategic, operational, and organizational planning, leadership coaching and development, and staff training and development. Ms. Dunn is currently working with the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System leading the development effort for a pension replacement RFP and providing oversight for the public pension system replacement project.

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Garry Sitz

Senior Pension Solutions Architect and Senior Project Manager

Mr. Sitz has over 45 years of experience in IT, including pension and project management experience. He was the Director of Information Systems Architecture for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TXTRS) where he established a technical architecture to modernize mission critical application as part of the pension administration system replacement project. He also established the TXTRS Project Management Office and business analyst team, helped create the Executive Steering Committee and developed and implemented IT Governance policies. Mr. Sitz managed the planning and construction of a new $33 million dollar data center for the University of Texas.

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Valerie Burkett, PMP

Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant

Ms. Burkett has over 18 years of public pension industry experience and over 29 years of project management experience. As the former Program Manager for the Technology Services Division (TSD) of the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) she brings in-depth pension application development and business knowledge including planning and managing all software development initiatives for business, technology and security enhancements, production support and other TSD initiatives. Since joining Provaliant, Ms. Burkett has worked at the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System (NVPERS) managing the Data Management and Employer Outreach projects.

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Tom Smith, PMP, CSM

Senior Project Oversight and Project Manager

Mr. Smith has over 30 years of experience in the information systems field with over 15 of those years being in the public retirement industry. He has held leadership positions at AlliedSignal, Sprint, Argus Health Systems, the USMC, and served as the CTO for both the Public School and Education Employees Retirement Systems of Missouri and the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System. He was elected by his peers to serve as the President of the Public Retirement Information Systems Management Association (PRISM) and has provided strategic leadership for pension systems development projects.

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Kris Valenta

Senior Business and Project Oversight Consultant

Mr. Valenta has over 20 years of information systems experience, including 14 years in the public pension industry providing project oversight on large-scale initiatives designed to improve customer experience, enhance service delivery, and modernize operations. His background also includes experience in strategic planning, organizational enablement, and business analysis. Prior to joining Provaliant, Mr. Valenta served as Chief Strategy Officer for the Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS) and oversaw the delivery of key organizational initiatives while working with leadership on organizational change and strategic planning.

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James Allen

Senior Project Manager and Business Consultant

Mr. Allen has over 20 years of project management and technology experience with 10 plus years pension/retirement experience. He has extensive leadership experience capitalizing on 25 plus years of consulting service and a diverse management background including Program Manager (PM), Project Management Office (PMO) Manager, Business Analysis and Testing Manager, Development Manager and Data Migration Manager. In his career, Mr. Allen has worked with several public agencies to improve their systems and is currently working as a Provaliant consultant at Oregon Public Employees Retirement System providing Project Management services.