PEBA Board Members

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) board of directors is composed of 11 members.

Arthur M. Bjontegard, Jr., Chairman

Bjontegard is a retired President of South Carolina’s largest bank holding company, the former South Carolina National (SCN), and retired Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Independent College Association.

He is a past member of the former Investment Panel of the South Carolina Retirement Systems where he served as Vice Chairman; former head of the Pension, Investment, and Bond departments at SCN; and former Director and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Palmetto Health System.

Bjontegard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University and the executive education program at Stonier Graduate School of Banking

Bjontegard is a Past President or Chairman of the United Way of South Carolina, the United Way of Midlands, the Central Carolina Community Foundation, University Associates (USC), the Capital Senior Center, the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council, the South Carolina Council for Economic Education, the Trust Division- South Carolina Bankers Associations, the South Carolina Association of Non Profit Associations (SCANPO), and the Security Division of the American Bankers Association.

He received the Order of the Palmetto from former South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell, and was named Urban League Man of the Year and South Carolina Bankers Association Young Banker of the Year.

Bjontegard is married with two children and five grandchildren.

 

Peggy G. Boykin, CPA
Representative Member of the South Carolina Retirement System     

Boykin is Director of Special Projects at the College of Charleston. She is a former Director of the South Carolina Retirement Systems. Prior to her appointment as Director, Boykin was Assistant Director and Executive Manager of Benefits Payroll for the Retirement Systems. Prior to working for the Retirement Systems, she worked in private practice as a Certified Public Accountant and was a partner in the firm of Ham, Wood & Company, PA, in Mullins, South Carolina.

A native of Wagener, South Carolina, Boykin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Charleston in 1981. She earned her certified public account (CPA) accreditation in 1985. She is a graduate of the Budget and Control Board’s Executive Institute and the Governor’s Center at Duke University. She received her certified retirement administrator designation in 1999.

Boykin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the South Carolina Association of Public Accountants, the Government Finance Officers Association, the South Carolina Government Finance Officers Association, the National Council on Teacher Retirement, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, and the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators.

 

Frank W. Fusco,
Representative Member for the Retired State Employees

Fusco assists organizations interested in improving performance and achieving excellence, provided the organization is committed to the endeavor. His primary career interest is organizational performance excellence.

Fusco retired in January 2011 as the Executive Director of the SC Budget and Control Board after serving about nine years in that capacity. He has 37 years of experience in both the legislative and executive branches of state government, including financial auditing, performance auditing, budgeting, performance improvement and leadership roles. 

After graduating from Florida Southern College, he completed a two-year tour of duty in the United States Army, from which he was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1972.

Fusco services on the National Baldrige Foundation Board and received the Milliken Medal of Quality Award from the South Carolina Quality Forum. In the fall of 2011, he was named the Distinguished Public Service Practitioner for the Southeastern Region by the American Society for Public Administration and for South Carolina by the State Chapter. 

Fusco writes and performs original rock and roll music with his band, “The Thunder Pigs.”

 

Stephen M. Heisler

Heisler is Staff Vice President, Compensation and Benefits at Sonoco Products Company. He provides strategic leadership and oversight for all of Sonoco's global employee benefit and compensation programs.

Heisler joined Sonoco in 1994 as Manager, Compensation and Benefits. In 1996, he was promoted to Director, Employee Benefits. He previously held various positions in human resource and employee benefits management  with Tredegar Industries and Ethyl Corporation in Richmond, VA, with Joy Manufacturing in Pittsburgh, PA, and at Penn State University, where he was the University's designated retirement counselor for the State Employees Retirement System of Pennsylvania.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Heisler graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He has been an active member of the Hartsville YMCA Board for several years and currently serves on the Metro Board of the YMCA of the Upper Pee Dee.

Heisler and his wife Linda have three daughters and four grandchildren.

 

Stacy Kubu,
Representative Member for Teachers

Kubu is a first grade teacher at Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering, a STEM school, in Anderson School District Five. She has taught at Midway since the school opened in 2003. Prior to teaching at Midway, Kubu taught first and second grade at Centerville Elementary School and Kindergarten at South Fant Elementary School, both in Anderson School District Five. She also taught third grade at Blaney Elementary School in Kershaw county.

Kubu is a native of Lugoff, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Francis Marion University in 1990 and a master's degree from Anderson University in Elementary Education in 2009.

 

Sheriff Leon Lott,
Representative Member of the Police Officers Retirement System

Lott is the sheriff of Richland County. He was first elected to this position in 1996. Lott came to the Richland County Sheriff's Department in 1975 as a patrol officer. He advanced thereafter to various positions, including Criminal Investigator, Narcotics Agent, Lieutenant and Captain of Narcotics Division, Administrative Captain, Uniform Patrol Captain, and Watch Commander. In 1993, Lott took the position of Chief of Police of St. Matthews, SC, which he held until his successful run for Richland County sheriff.

Born in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1953, Sheriff Lott attended the University of South Carolina - Aiken, earning an Associate Degree in Police Administration. He went on to attend the University of South Carolina - Columbia, earning a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and continued with graduate study for a Masters in Criminal Justice. Later, Sheriff Lott graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Furman University's SC Diversity Leadership Academy.

Sheriff Lott is a member of various civic and community oriented boards and committees, a sampling of which include: USO Advisory Council, President - SC Law Enforcement Officers' Association, SC Correctional Association - Board of Directors, D.A.R.E. America - Board of Directors, Fight Crime- Invest in Kids - Advisory Committee, Washington, DC, Cooperative Ministry - Advisory Board, Communities in Schools - Advisory Board, Boy Scouts of America - Indian Waters Council - Board of Directors, SC Public Safety Coordinating Council – Chairman, SC Police Corps - Advisory Council, United Way - Local Government Division Chairman, American Heart Association - Industry Leader Division, March of Dimes - Luxury Lockup – Chairman, American Red Cross - Division Chair, and SC Center for Family Policy - Board of Directors.

Since 1996, Sheriff Lott has received numerous awards and honors including:

  • 2012 DEA / DARE America Law Enforcement Executive of the Year

  • 2012 Human Rights Presidential Citation, SC NAACP

  • 2011 Local Government Official of the Year, SC Recreation and Parks Association

  • 2011 Richard Allen Award, Allen University

  • 2010 Columbia Chamber of Commerce Military Advocate Award

  • 2010 New Ebenezer Baptist Church Outstanding Public Service Award

  • 2010 Horatio Gates Honorary Medal

  • 2007 Order of the Palmetto

  • 2006 Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, Community Service Award

  • 2004 "SC Sheriff of the Year"

  • 2004 "Strom Thurmond Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement"

  • 2004 SC Law Enforcement Officers' Association - "Toughest Cop"

  • 2004 SC Vocational Rehabilitation Association - "Citation for Individual Contributions" (accessibility rights for people with disabilities)

Sheriff Lott, a member of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, is married and has four daughters.

 

Steve A. Matthews

Matthews is a former managing director of Haynsworth, Sinkler, Boyd, a position he held for seven years. Prior to holding that position, Matthews practiced corporate law with the Wall Street firm of Dewey Ballantine in its Washington office, and served in the U.S. Department of Justice during President Reagan’s second term. At the Department of Justice, he advised Attorney General Edwin Meese III and the White House on the selection of nominees for federal judgeships and served as special counsel to Attorney General Meese on the Iran-Contra investigation.

Much of Matthews’ current practice is concentrated in the area of entrepreneurial start-ups where he represents both developers and licensee-purchasers of software, hardware and other innovative technology. He is also an active litigator in complex corporate, IP, information technology and appellate matters involving mission critical aspects of our clients’ businesses. Matthews is also a certified mediator for civil court actions in South Carolina.

President Bush nominated Matthews to a judgeship on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. That nomination was one of 10 federal appellate court nominations that expired when the 110th Congress adjourned without Senate action.

Matthews’ professional and civic activities include:

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

  • South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (board member)

  • South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation (board member)

  • South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (board member)

  • National Association of Bond Lawyers (former officer and board member)

  • American College of Bond Counsel (founding member, former officer and board member)

  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies (former state chapter president)

  • South Carolina Bar (former member, House of Delegates)

  • Governor’s South Carolina Education Reform Council (chair, 2006-2007)

  • Graduate, The Riley Institute Midlands Diversity Leadership Initiative, Class 1

  • Graduate, Leadership South Carolina, Class of 1995

 

Joe W. “Rocky” Pearce, Jr.

Pearce is Vice President of Chartis Insurance, a world leader in insurance serving more than 70 million clients around the world. Pearce specializes in the educational markets providing accident and health insurance coverage to college and K-12 school students across the country including the South Carolina Consortium and the North Carolina UNC System.

Pearce has more than 42 years of experience in the insurance industry having begun his career in 1970 with Pearce & Pearce, Inc., the business established by his parents in 1948. His experience encompasses every aspect of claims administration including premium administration, waiver administration and underwriting implementation.

Pearce served two terms as Mayor of Florence from 1983-1991. During his eight years as Mayor, Florence experienced unprecedented economic growth with many new industries locating in Florence County. New construction permit dollar totals in the City of Florence almost tripled during his terms. After serving as Mayor, Pearce became Chairman of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership.

In 2002, Pearce was awarded The Order of the Palmetto by the Governor of South Carolina and was named the 2002 South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development. He has served as Chairman of Florence County Recreation Committee as well as President of the Florence County Gamecock Club and was instrumental in bringing Habitat for Humanity to Florence County. Pearce served as Junior and Senior Warden of his church and has been the leader of his men’s weekly Bible study group for the last 17 years. He was the President of Pearce & Pearce Coldwell Banker Real Estate Company and President of the Florence Board of Realtors. Most recently, Mr. Pearce served on the South Carolina State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. 

Pearce is married to the former Carolyn Gibbons Coker. They have four sons, three granddaughters and one grandson.

 

Audie Penn

Penn is Senior Director of Benefits, Compensation, and Employee Services at Michelin North America, Inc. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the benefits, pension, compensation, payroll and disability management strategies and policies for the United States and Canada.

Penn first joined Michelin in 1984 as an Electrical Design Engineer. He advanced to various positions within the company, including Project/Process Engineer, Technical Recruiter, Industrial Engineer, Production Manager, Human Resources Manager, Director of Human Resources – Michelin Americas Research Corp. and Director of Employee Services. Prior to Michelin, Penn served as a Mechanical Designer at Vulcan Metal Products and Electrical Design and Process Control Engineer at Proctor & Gamble.

Penn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Alabama in
Birmingham. He served two years in the United State Marine Corps and also two years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

 

John A. Sowards

Sowards is chairman of the board for Nexsen Pruet. In this position Sowards is responsible for shaping the firm's vision and strategy.

Sowards’ practice is focused on the areas of real estate, corporate and finance law. He represents commercial lenders, real estate developers and closely held businesses on a variety of matters. His practice includes extensive experience with all aspects of shopping center and hotel development, as well as all aspects of commercial lending including troubled debt restructuring and workouts. Sowards’ corporate practice consists of general representation of businesses on all matters related thereto including finance, acquisitions, mergers, employment, contracts and business negotiations.

Sowards grew up in Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Tennessee and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States  Army in 1975 and served for four years on active duty before heading to law school. Sowards spent 10 years as an active reservist.

Sowards is active in his community and served as a leader in a Boy Scout troop for nearly 12 years and as a youth sports coach for almost 14 years.

Sowards has been married to his high school sweetheart for more than 35 years and has two grown sons.

 

David J. Tigges

As Managing Shareholder, David J. Tigges is the McNair Law Firm’s Chief Executive officer.

An Ohio native, Tigges graduated from the University of Toledo and Capital University. He served as an intern for the Ohio Supreme Court and the Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio. He practiced law in Savannah, Georgia before attending William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law. He also practiced with the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until relocating to Hilton Head Island and where he began practicing with Bethea, Jordan & Griffin, P.A.  From 2004 through 2009 Tigges served as the Unit Manager of the Beaufort County operations of McNair Law Firm.

Tigges served as Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, member of the Management Committee, and managed the Business Law Department of Bethea, Jordan & Griffin, P.A. from 1999 to 2004.  He was responsible for the negotiation and implementation of the merger between Bethea Jordan & Griffin, P.A. and McNair Law Firm, P.A. in August 2004.

His practice concentration has been in the areas of Business Law, Tax Law, and Mergers and Acquisitions.

Tigges professional and community activities include:

  • Member of the Board of Directors and Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

  • Member of the Board of Directors, Heritage Classic Foundation

  • Member of the Board of Directors, South Carolina Aquarium

  • Member, Beaufort County Task Force on Economic Development

  • Member, Mayor's Task Force for the Island's Future, Hilton Head Island

  • Former Member of the Board of Directors, The Sandbox, An Interactive Children's Museum

  • Former Director, Member of Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Educational Committee, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

  • Former Director and Member of the Executive Director Search Committee, The Sandbox: a Hilton Head Area Children's Museum, Inc.

  • South Carolina Governor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Conservation Easements

  • South Carolina Governor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Tax Incentives for Historic Preservation

Tigges was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA, American Leading Lawyers for Business.