Leadership

Trust oversight is provided by an 11-member committee, consisting of six independent members and five members appointed by the UAW. The Committee is responsible for designing and delivering benefits to eligible UAW retirees, surviving spouses and dependents. For more information on the Trust, visit the History page.

Below you can review the biographies of the Trust committee and leadership.

Committee Biographies

- CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE -

Robert Naftaly 

Robert Naftaly (Independent Trustee)

Robert Naftaly is chairman of the committee and a certified public accountant (CPA). Naftaly is the retired president and chief executive officer of PPOM, an independent operating subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). He also has held various leadership positions at BCBSM, including chief operating officer, executive vice president, and chief financial officer.

Naftaly served as the director of the Department of Management and Budget of the State of Michigan from 1983 to 1987. He has served on several boards including the Detroit Investment Fund, Walsh College, Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland, and the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

- UAW TRUSTEES -

Ray Curry 

Ray Curry

Ray Curry was elected president of the UAW on June 28, 2021, by the International Executive Board upon the retirement of UAW President Rory L. Gamble. Previously, Curry served as UAW secretary-treasurer where he was instrumental in implementation of broad financial ethics reforms and oversight as part of the UAW’s Ethics Reforms Initiative. 

He was elected director of UAW Region 8 in June 2014, after serving four years as the region’s assistant director. As Region 8 director, Curry successfully secured new labor agreements with various parts suppliers. In July 2015, under his leadership, the region successfully organized the first gaming bargaining unit of Region 8 as part of a coalition of four other unions to represent the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Maryland. In October 2017, the combined coalition reached its first individual collective bargaining agreement. The region also won an election for representation at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in June 2018.

Curry joined the UAW in July of 1992 as a truck assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, North Carolina (now Daimler Trucks, NA) and later became a quality assurance inspector.

Curry is the 2017 recipient of the A. Philip Randolph Leon Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2017 recipient of the Tennessee State AFL-CIO Presidential Award, the 2018 recipient of the PR Latta Rank and File Award from the North Carolina AFL-CIO, as well as the 2019 National Newspaper Press Association’s National Leadership Award. He is a Silver Life member of the NAACP and a member of the national NAACP Board of Directors. Curry is an active member of numerous community and social organizations, including the Michigan State Democratic Party, American Legion Post 177 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Unique Masonic Lodge #85, Charlotte Consistory #35 and Rameses Temple #51 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Curry served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and five years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama. 

 

Mike Booth

Mike Booth was elected to the office of UAW International Vice President in December of 2022 by members in the direct ballot election.  His assignments include General Motors, Gaming and Gaming Organizing.
 

Booth became a UAW member when he was hired into Kelsey-Hayes in Romulus, Michigan in 1991 (UAW Local 78).  In 1992, he hired into then-Chrysler’s Detroit Axle. In 2011, he moved with the transfer of operations to Marysville Axle (UAW Local 961) where he remained until 2020.  In that year, he transferred to Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (UAW Local 1700). 

While at Local 961, he served as Chief Steward (appointed in 2013 then elected in 2014). He also served as President of the local (elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2020).

Booth grew up in the farming community of Bad Axe, Michigan.  He attended Michigan State University’s Electrical Technology Program.  He is a State of Michigan Master Electrician. 

He has worked with multiple community groups including United Way of St. Clair County (Board Member, 2017-2018), SOS Food Pantry (Marysville, Michigan) and Masonic Collegiate Foundation.  Booth has also been a Red Cross Blood Drive Coordinator since 2016. He is a member of the Marysville Masonic Lodge, St. Clair Chapter, Romeo Commandery and York Rite Sovereign College.

He is married to Terri Booth, and they share two sons and seven grandchildren.  He enjoys antique vehicle restoration as well as outdoor activities.

 Rich Boyer

 

Rich Boyer

Rich Boyer was elected to the office of UAW vice president by the membership in the historic first direct election for the International Executive Board in 2022. His assignments include Stellantis and Independent Parts Suppliers (IPS).

Boyer started at Stellantis (then Chrysler) at Toledo Jeep. After a battle to get insurance coverage for his wife who needed surgery, he was challenged to step up to leadership. Boyer ran for and was elected skilled trades chief steward before winning the presidency 3 years later. Boyer transferred multiple times following the closing of Detroit Axle Plant. He ended up at UAW Local 140, Warren Truck Assembly Plant. His desire to serve the membership drove him to again run for office, and Boyer has served as Skilled Trades Committeeperson for the last 5 years.

A proud member of the Latino community, he grounds himself in his heritage and culture.

On the rare occasion that he isn’t working, he loves to spend time with his family. Along with his wife of 41 years, Darby, that family includes their children Olivia and Rico, and their spouses Jason and Leah, respectively. Together they share 4 grandchildren: Trinidad, Gabriella, Elias, and Marley.

 Chuck Browning

 

Chuck Browning

Chuck Browning is vice president of the UAW and director of the Ford Department. Browning was unanimously elected by the UAW International Executive Board and assumed the position on July 1, 2021.
 
Previously, Browning served as director of UAW Region 1A after being elected at the 37th Constitutional Convention in June 2018. He also served as an executive administrative assistant and administrative assistant to the president where he was responsible for collective bargaining, organizing, constitutional administration, and oversight of various departments under the direct jurisdiction of the president.
 
Browning was appointed to the staff in 2000 by UAW President Stephen P. Yokich as an international representative and assigned to the union’s Ford department where he performed numerous duties. 
 
Browning joined the UAW in 1987 and became a member of Local 3000 while working at the Mazda Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. He held various positions including committeeman, bargaining committee, and plant chairman. 
Gerald Bantom

Gerald Bantom

Gerald Bantom retired from UAW staff in 2006 after fulfilling two terms as a vice president and director of the UAW National Ford Department. He previously served as director of UAW Region 1A, a post he was elected to in 1998.

As UAW Vice President, Bantom helped negotiate the precursor to the UAW Trust, sometimes called the “Dental VEBA,” in 2005.

In 2016, Bantom was one of six Martin Luther King Jr. honorees to be recognized at the 7th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy March. He is a life member of the NAACP, and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

- INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES -

Mark Anson 

Mark Anson

Mark Anson is chief executive officer and chief investment officer of the Commonfund and chairman of the board of Commonfund Capital Inc. and Commonfund Asset Management Company.

Previously, he was the president and chief investment officer for Bass Family Office, which was recognized as Family Office of the Year in 2014 and 2015. He was president of Nuveen Investments, a full-service asset management company with over $250 billion in assets under management. Anson also served as chief executive officer and chief investment officer for the British Telecom Pension Scheme (BTPS), the largest institutional investor in the U.K. with assets of £65 billion.

Anson was the CEO of Hermes Pensions Management in London, a £55 billion asset management company that is wholly owned by the BTPS. Prior to joining BTPS, he served as the chief investment officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest pension fund in the U.S. with over $300 billion in assets.

Anson has published over 100 investment articles in professional journals and has won three Best Paper Awards. He is also the author of five financial textbooks, including the Handbook of Alternative Assets, which is the primary textbook used for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst program.

Anson earned the Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Certified Public Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant professional degrees; he is also a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He serves on the editorial board of MSCI-Barra, the board of the Northwestern University School of Law, the Toigo Foundation, and the board of the Chartered Alternative Investment Association.

Anson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Chemistry from St. Olaf College, a Ph.D. and Master of Finance degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law.

 
Denise Lewis 

Denise Lewis

Denise J. Lewis is a retired Senior Partner of Honigman LLP, Michigan’s largest law firm.  Over her 37-year career with the law firm, she was a member of the firm’s executive leadership, serving on the Board of Directors and as a Practice Group Leader. Lewis is widely recognized as a legal expert in project finance and real estate finance, with extensive experience in all aspects of finance law and practice. 

Lewis has concentrated her practice in representing institutional lenders, corporate borrowers and national real estate developers in complex and sophisticated transactions that include public-private partnerships and multi-tiered financings. Deal value averaged $2.5 billion annually, and transactions ranged from $3 million to $1 billion. Her practice has included handling legal matters for national private equity funds including raising and investing capital and the acquisition and refinancing of portfolio companies and individual properties.

Recognized as a leader in the legal profession, she has authored articles and presented at significant national conferences. She has received numerous honors and awards as a leading business lawyer.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.  Lewis has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and recognized in Chambers USA as a leading business lawyer.

Lewis has served in board leadership positions with numerous industry, civic, and philanthropic organizations.  Particularly noteworthy is her service as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Wayne State University and Vice Chair of McGregor Fund, a private foundation. Lewis has focused on board service with health care institutions including Ascension Health of Michigan and the Detroit Medical Center.  Current board service includes the Wayne State University Foundation Board and its Investment Committee, the Detroit Opera Board and its Finance Committee, Invest Detroit’s Investment Committee and the Motown Museum Finance Committee.

Lewis received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Barnard College, Columbia University, and was named by her alma mater as the 2021 Distinguished Alumna. She received her law degree with honors from the University of Michigan Law School. 

 

Amy Robinson

Amy B. Robinson is vice president, CFO, and chief administrative officer of The Kresge Foundation and serves as treasurer for the foundation’s board of trustees. She manages the facilities, finance, grants management, and information technology teams for the foundation. As a member of Kresge’s executive team, Robinson has served as secretary to the foundation’s board of trustees. She held various accounting and financial management roles at the foundation before being named CFO in 2009. She joined Kresge in 1995 after serving as a senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Detroit. 
 
Robinson is immediate past president of the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG) and served as president for three one-year terms ending in October 2021. She continues serving on the president’s cabinet, nominating and membership committee, and DEI task force of FFOG, which she established during her tenure as president. 
 
Appointed to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee in 2016, Robinson served a four-year term. She also served on the board of The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF) mutual fund complex, the Council of Michigan Foundations, and Mount Clemens Montessori academy.

Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan. She is a certified public accountant and a designated chartered global management accountant. Robinson is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA).

Doctor Celeste Williams 

Celeste T. Williams, MD, MS, FACC

Dr. Celeste T. Williams is a transplant cardiologist at Henry Ford Health in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Williams is an educator, clinician, and administrator who is committed to providing high quality of care to all patients. She is currently serving as the Medical Director of the cardiac transplant program and the Director of Quality for the Heart and Vascular Service Line at Henry Ford Health. Dr. Williams has an appointment at Wayne State University School of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Medicine. Her focus is on improving quality of care through collaboration, education, standardization and identifying opportunities for cost savings.
 
Dr. Williams has served on numerous national professional committees; including: the American College of Cardiology (ACC) curriculum design committee, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) patient operation and safety committee and the minority affairs committee with the mission to improve access and quality of care for all patients. She also served on the UNOS and Organ Procurement Transplant Network ‘s (OPTN) Board of Directors as well as the Michigan Chapter, ACC Board of Directors as the state Quality liaison.  
 
Dr. Williams completed her undergraduate work at the University of Iowa where she received a BA in Chemistry. She then went to Chicago and completed medical school at Chicago Medical School where she earned her Medical Doctorate degree and a Master of Science in pathology. She completed Internal Medicine Residency at Loyola University in Maywood, Illinois. She completed her Cardiology Fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where she won the Frances Fernandez outstanding fellow award. She continued at the Cleveland Clinic completing her training in advanced heart failure/cardiac transplantation in 2005. Dr. Williams has been active in clinical research, lecturing nationally and regionally, as well as organizing community outreach projects geared towards improving access to health care for all populations.

Dr. Williams has received many awards; including in 2017 being recognized by the Michigan Chronicle as a “Woman of Excellence”. She has been named by Hour magazine as one of the “Top Docs” in Michigan for numerous years. In 2021 she was awarded the Rock Star Award by Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Leadership Biographies

Debbie Rittenour 

Debbie Rittenour
Chief Executive Officer

Debbie Rittenour is chief executive officer of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.

Prior to joining the Trust, Rittenour was senior vice president of government programs at Capital BlueCross, an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association serving 21 counties in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, and president of Vibra Health Plan, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based health insurance company. In this capacity, she led all government program product lines including Medicare, individual and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

With more than 30 years of experience—mostly leading Medicare and Medicaid programs—Rittenour has also held leadership positions at Florida Blue, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and BlueCross and BlueShield of Tennessee.

Rittenour holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s in business from Robert Morris University. She has participated in executive leadership and negotiation programs at Harvard University, and completed the BlueCross BlueShield Association Executive Training Leadership Program at Duke University.

Hershel Harper 

Hershel Harper
Chief Investment Officer

Hershel Harper is the chief investment officer (CIO) of the Trust. With more than 18 years of institutional investment experience, he leads the Trust's investment strategy.

Prior to joining the Trust, he served as CIO for the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC), the governing body responsible for investing and managing all assets for the South Carolina Retirement System. Harper was responsible for developing investment policies and strategy, asset and risk allocations, overseeing manager due diligence, and managing a team of 20 investment professionals. He also collaborated with the executive director on strategic planning, budgeting and communicating with key stakeholders (retiree and employee associations), including the general assembly.

Harper previously served as the chair of the Internal Investment Committee, designated as the commission’s key decision maker for strategic partnerships, and the primary liaison with the Investment Consultant. Harper also worked with organizations including Bank of America Capital Management, Columbia Management, Evergreen Investments and State Street Global Advisors.

Harper earned his master’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University and his bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana Tech University. He earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and remains a member of the CFA Society of South Carolina.

Garon Meikle
Chief Financial Officer

Garon Meikle is the chief financial officer of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. He is responsible for internal and external financial and regulatory reporting, finance management operations, budgeting, forecasting, analytical review treasury, and back-office investment operations. Meikle has been with the Trust for over 12 years, creating policies, procedures, and driving improvements.  

Prior to joining the Trust, Meikle was with General Motors, where he managed the monthly and quarterly global consolidation close process for the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement preparation. He also previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte where he performed buy- and sell-side due diligence as well as served as an auditor across multiply sectors.

Meikle holds a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting from St. Mary’s University. He is a chartered professional accountant in the Province of Ontario. Meikle also completed the Tuck Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business.
Dr. Gina Buccalo 

Gina Buccalo, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Gina Buccalo is the chief medical officer at the Trust. She provides overall leadership and strategic direction to the organization’s population health and pharmacy programs. Since joining the Trust in 2017, Buccalo has focused on advancing integrated care models, innovations in provider strategies, promoting primary care utilization within clinically integrated provider networks, and providing oversight on new clinical programs designed to enhance Trust members’ health care and quality of life. On behalf of the Trust, Buccalo participated in The Alliance for Health Policy’s 2018 Signature Series Opportunities for Progress on Aging in America. In this forum, she contributed to a thought leader discussion, sharing the Trust’s approach to caring for older adults, successes, challenges, barriers, and future opportunities.

Before joining the Trust, she served as the chief medical officer and leader of St. John Providence Partners in Care (PIC), a joint venture partnership Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) between Ascension Michigan St. John Providence Health System and The Physician Alliance. Buccalo is the former president of the Macomb Physicians’ Organization, PLLC, and a founding partner of The Physician Alliance. As a board-certified internal medicine physician, she practiced in Metro Detroit for more than 25 years.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Northern Michigan University and a medical degree from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine where she completed internal medicine training.

Linda Denomme 

Linda Denomme
Chief Legal Officer   

Linda Denomme is general counsel at the Trust. She has been practicing health law for 25 years including in the areas of ERISA, insurer/carrier and vendor contracting, HIPAA and privacy issues, and Medicare.

Prior to joining the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, she was in-house counsel for Priority Health and HealthPlus of Michigan. Denomme was also an adjunct professor at El Centro College for more than 10 years.

Denomme received a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University School of Law and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in business administration from Ferris State University. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association, and American Health Lawyers Association.

 

 

Susanne Mitchell
UAW Liaison

Susanne Mitchell serves as UAW Liaison to the Trust. The position of UAW Liaison was created in the court-approved Settlement Agreements originally establishing and funding the Trust. UAW President Rory Gamble appointed Mitchell to this position in April 2021.
 
Before her appointment as UAW Liaison, Mitchell spent over 35 years with the UAW, serving more than 21 of those in various capacities on the International Union’s accounting, Social Security and legal staff. First hired into the UAW accounting department in 1998, Mitchell administered pension, legal services, and supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) plans. 
 
In 2011, UAW President Bob King appointed Mitchell to director of the UAW Social Security Department. While serving in this capacity, Mitchell was responsible for providing professional advice and technical assistance in designing and implementing collectively-bargained benefits, including health, dental, and vision insurance plans; pensions and 401(k) plans; life and disability insurance; SUB plans; and other job and income security protections. 
 
Mitchell graduated from Walsh College with a degree in accounting and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School.