Director of Colorado pension fund dies snorkeling in…

PERA Executive Director, Gregory W. Smith, 56, was found dead while snorkeling in Hawaii

PERA Executive Director, Gregory W. Smith, 56, was found dead while snorkeling in Hawaii

PERA Executive Director, Gregory W. Smith, 56, was found dead while snorkeling in Hawaii

The executive director of the board that oversees Colorado’s public employee pension fund has died while snorkeling in Hawaii.

Public Employees’ Retirement Association spokeswoman Katie Kaufmanis says 56-year-old Gregory Smith died Tuesday while vacationing with family and friends in Maui.

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto says Smith was found face-down and unresponsive in the water.

Bystanders brought him to the shore, and emergency responders could not revive him.

An autopsy is planned.

Smith worked at PERA for more than 15 years, including five years as its executive director.

‘Greg was renowned for his extensive knowledge of the public pension industry and his passion for ensuring the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of Colorado’s public employees,’ PERA said in a statement.

‘Throughout his career, Greg served on national industry boards, including the National Institute on Retirement Security, the Council of Institutional Investors, the National Council on Teacher Retirement and the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys.’

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto says Smith was found face-down and unresponsive in the water 

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto says Smith was found face-down and unresponsive in the water 

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto says Smith was found face-down and unresponsive in the water 

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Laura, his two sons, William and Austin, and his family,’ that statement continued. 

‘Colorado PERA and its membership have lost a true leader and dedicated servant to the public workforce,’ said Timothy O’Brien, chairman, PERA Board of Trustees. 

‘Those who knew Greg knew he loved his family, was a proud fourth-generation Coloradan, and was fully dedicated to PERA and its members.’

Six chief officers and the PERA executive team will continue to run daily operations at the association.

The organization provides retirement benefits to 568,000 current and former employees of state government, many cities and towns, public school teachers and public college employees.

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