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Tinnen Appointed Board Chair Replacing Nick

Gov. Tony Evers appointed Trustee Clyde Tinnen as chair and Trustee Tom Merfeld as vice-chair of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) Board of Trustees. Tinnen succeeds Trustee Barbara Nick, who stepped down from the Board in December after over eight years of service. Merfeld assumes the position previously held by Tinnen.

Tinnen, appointed to the Board in 2021, is a corporate partner in the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP. He represents fund sponsors and public and private companies in connection with the formation and operation of private investment funds, investments, securities law reporting and compliance, and negotiating and structuring complex business deals.

Nick, the retired president and CEO of La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative, served on the Board since 2015 and as chair since 2022. Reflecting on her tenure Nick said, “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve Wisconsin’s current and former public employees over the past eight years. It has been a pleasure to work alongside such a dedicated and talented group of fellow trustees and SWIB staff. I am confident that Trustee Tinnen will be a thoughtful and committed leader for this esteemed board. I leave SWIB in capable hands.”

Merfeld, appointed to the Board in 2023, is the retired chief risk officer and chief financial officer of CUNA Mutual Group (now TruStage) in Madison. Prior to CUNA Mutual, he was the chief financial officer for a life reinsurance company in Kansas City, an investment analyst for Franklin Savings Association, and an assistant economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Gov. Evers appointed Barb Bolens to fill the vacancy on the SWIB Board. Bolens is the Director of the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Prior to this role, Bolens was the executive vice president of strategy and investor relations at Enerpac Tool Group, vice president and treasurer at Komatsu America, Joy Global Inc., and Brady Corporation, and director of investor relations/assistant treasurer at Quad.

In September, the SWIB Board of Trustees, comprised of nine members meeting specific statutory requirements, received Institutional Investor’s 2023 Allocators’ Choice Award for Board of the Year. This recognition acknowledged the Board’s role in facilitating SWIB’s ability to implement a flexible investment strategy to stay positioned for long-term success amidst challenging markets in 2022.

“The WRS remains one of the strongest, healthiest, and most well-funded public pensions in the country. I believe that the combination of robust Board oversight and a strong management team has SWIB poised for continued success,” said Nick.

About SWIB

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), created in 1951, is an independent state agency responsible for managing the assets of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the State Investment Fund (SIF), and other state trust funds. As of December 31, 2023, SWIB managed more than $155 billion of total assets, approximately 85% representing WRS assets. SWIB’s management of the WRS trust funds aims to provide a fully funded public pension for over 677,000 current and former employees of state agencies, the university system, school districts, and most local governments. The WRS consistently ranks among the 10 largest public pension funds in the U.S.  For more information about SWIB, visit

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