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Acting Gov submits new slate for Retirement Board

Acting governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga has re-appointed two current board members to the ASG Employees board of trustees, including the current board chairman Aleki Sene Sr.


Besides Sene, the acting governor also reappointed Sen. Magalei Logovi’i whose term along with Sene, is for two years. The new nominations were outlined in a Mar. 28 letter to the Fono leaders.


Also nominated are Human Resources director Sonny Thompson and Beaver T. Ho- Ching — each for a four year term; and ASG Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili and Maaelopa Bob Tuiasosopo for three year terms each.


Pili, Thompson and Maaelopa were nominated last month but were rejected by the Senate although approved by the House. To be confirmed by the Fono both the Senate and House must give their endorsements. The only nominee last month confirmed by both Senate and House was Toafala Iafeta.


The new nominees submitted by Lemanu to the Retirement board are among the issues for Fono consideration and approval in the special session, which begins today for a period not to exceed five calendar days.


In his nomination letter, Lemanu says Magalei sat on the board for many years, bringing to the board his experience and insight from a career in financial management, adding that Magalei spent many years in the ASG Budget Office and later became its director.


Before entering the Senate in January last year, Magalei also served as ASG Treasurer during the last four years of the Togiola Administration.


For Sene, the acting governor says the nominee has been with the Retirement Fund since its inception and “has ably steered the Fund from its early beginnings to the $211 million fund balance it has today”. (Retirement Fund’s audit statement stated that total net assets at the end of FY 2013 were $211.46 million, while net assets for FY 2012 stood at $200.71 million.)


Sene is now retired from his 40-plus years as director of the first Office of Communications, which later became the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority, said Lemanu, adding that Sene’s “years of experience in successful management of a government enterprise fund, coupled with his years with the Retirement fund, will make him an excellent mentor for the newer members joining the board.”


Lemanu said that Ho-Ching and Tuiasosopo will represent the private sector on the board. Regarding Ho-Ching, Lemanu notes he is a successful local businessman, who built his family business, CBT Ho Ching, into a successful hardware and building supplies company and was co-manager of the company from 1971 to 1995. After its incorporation, he was president and manager of CBT Ho Ching Inc., from 1995 to 2007 and again from 2012 to date.


Lemanu said noted that Ho-Ching served on the LBJ Medical Center board from 2005 until 2007 when he departed for the Philippines for a church mission.


Samoa News has previously reported on the background for various nominees: Tuiasosopo, who has over 25 years of diversified experience in the field of construction and construction; Thompson, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1993 and previously served as director of the Department of Administrative Services; and Pili, a former House member who had also served in various periods of time as chief financial officer of LBJ hospital, CFO of the American Samoa Community College and executive director of the Territorial Office of Fiscal Reform.


“This group of individuals will bring a broad range of experience to the Retirement Fund board. With backgrounds in finance, human resource management, government administration, private industry and previous successful Fund management, they represent a well-rounded cross section of leaders, well prepared to lead the Retirement Fund into the future,” Lemanu said.