Trustee Biographies

Jordan Kaufman : Chair

Jordan Kaufman

Chair

  • Appointed by Statute: 1st Member since 2015

Mr. Kaufman has served as Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector and Kern County Defined Contribution Plan Administrator since 2015. He was the Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector from 2005 to 2014. Before this, he worked in the County Administrative Office as a Senior Administrative Analyst.

In addition to serving as the Alternate 1st Member on the KCERA Board since 2005, Mr. Kaufman has served as past administrator of Kern County’s municipal debt program; Countywide Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator; president of the Kern County Management Council; past president of the American Society for Public Administration; and member of the United Way of Kern County Investment Committee.

Mr. Kaufman earned a B.S. in Industrial Technology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Rick Kratt : Vice-Chair

Rick Kratt

Vice-Chair

  • Member, Investment Committee
  • Alternate, Finance Committee
  • Elected by Safety Members: 7th Member since 2013
  • Term expires on December 31, 2021

Mr. Kratt has served as a Kern County firefighter since 1999. In 1998 he worked as a firefighter for the Arrowhead Hotshots. He is a member of University of Southern California Vita and the American Finance Association.

Mr. Kratt earned an MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business; a Master’s of Science in Finance from Golden Gate University; and a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.

David Couch :

David Couch

  • Member, Finance and Investment Committees
  • Appointed by Board of Supervisors: 4th Member since 2013
  • Term expires on December 31, 2021

Mr. Couch has served as Kern County Supervisor for District 4 since 2013. From 1999 to 2012, he sat on the Bakersfield City Council, including serving as the city’s vice-mayor and as chairman of various council subcommittees. Before joining the County, Mr. Couch worked in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. He also served as an advisory board member on the Mendiburu Magic Foundation; past board president of the Boys & Girls Club; past board member of the Valley Water Alliance; and past board member of Youth for Christ.

Mr. Couch earned a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting) from San Jose State University.

Dustin Dodgin :

Dustin Dodgin

  • Chair, Investment Committee
  • Appointed by Board of Supervisors: 5th Member since 2014
  • Term expires on December 31, 2019

Mr. Dodgin has been the Business and Employment Litigation Partner at Klein DeNatale Goldner since 2006. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Bakersfield College since 2007. Before this, he was a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, and an extern at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, for Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz.

Beyond work, he has served as Planning Commissioner on the City of Bakersfield’s Planning Commission, member of the Judicial Application Evaluation Committee for the Kern County Bar Association and board chairman of Goodwill Industries of South Central California.

Mr. Dodgin earned a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Phil Franey :

Phil Franey

  • Member, Administrative and Finance Committees
  • Elected by Retired Members: 8th Member since 2014
  • Term expires on December 31, 2019

Mr. Franey has more than 30 years of trustee experience. Prior to retirement, he served as the elected Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Kern County Deferred Compensation Plan Administrator, and KCERA trustee from 1987 to 2007. Before 1987, he served as Kern County Assistant Treasurer/Deferred Compensation Plan and KCERA’s administrator while serving as KCERA’s alternate trustee for the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector. In 2016, he served as the KCERA Board Chair.

During his career, Phil was involved with many organizations, including Bakersfield East Rotary Club, Plank Foundation, American Legion, California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors (Past President), Retired Employees of Kern County (President from 2010 to present), California Retired County Employees Association, Retired Public Employees Association, California Association of Public Retirement Systems, State Association of County Retirement Systems, National Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers, and National Association of Government Deferred Compensation Administrators.

After serving in the United States Army, Phil earned a B.S. in Business and Public Administration from California State University at Bakersfield. Continuing education includes completion of Advanced Principles of Trustee Pension Management from the Graduate Schools of Management of Kellogg (Northwestern University) and Anderson (UCLA).

Juan Gonzalez :

Juan Gonzalez

  • Chair, Administrative Committee
  • Member, Finance Committee
  • Elected by General Members: 2nd Member since 2017
  • Term expires on December 31, 2021

Mr. Gonzalez has served as a Recovery Specialist at Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services since 2013. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Residential Counselor at Larkin Street Youth Services and as a Telephone Counselor at the Bill Wilson Center.

Outside of work, Mr. Gonzalez has served as a member of the Larkin Street Youth Services Action Committee, contributed articles to the Silicon Valley De-Bug news site, and participated in Youth Voices Creative Workshops for the Dream Center. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from San Jose State University.

Marko Horvat :

Marko Horvat

  • Member, Administrative Committee
  • Alternate, Investment Committee
  • Appointed by Board of Supervisors: 9th Member since 2017
  • Term expires on December 31, 2019

Mr. Horvat is the Director of Financial Planning at Kern Medical, where he oversees the hospital’s budget development, cash management and financial analytics. From 2013 to 2016, he worked as a Financial Program Manager for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group while running his own valuation/consulting firm. Earlier in his career, he served in various accounting, management and consultant positions in California.

Mr. Horvat earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California and is pursuing an MBA from California State University, Bakersfield. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Horvat was the former treasurer of the USC Alumni Club of Kern County; the former secretary, litigation chair and treasurer of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants’ local chapter; a former board member of the Early Childhood Council of Kern; and a former member of the State Forensic Services Steering Committee.

Bob Jefferson :

Bob Jefferson

  • Member, Investment Committees
  • Elected by General Members: 3rd Member since 2014
  • Term expires on December 31, 2019

Mr. Jefferson has served as Senior Traffic Signal Inspector for the Kern County Roads Department since 2005. From 1992 to 2005, he was Lead Signal Inspector for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. Before this, Mr. Jefferson served as a safety technician in the U.S. Navy for six years.

In 2008, he was elected by general members to one term on the KCERA Board. Since then, he has served as a member-negotiator for SEIU Local 521 and as vice-chairman for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Kern and Tulare Counties.

Mr. Jefferson earned an A.A. in Computer Electronics from City University in Washington.

John DeMario :

John DeMario

  • Elected by Retired Members: Alternate 8th Member since 2019
  • Term expires on December 31, 2019

Mr. DeMario served as the Assistant Treasurer Tax Collector of the County of Kern until his retirement in 1998.  He has previously served on the Board of Retirement as the Retirement Eighth Member serving 1998-2006, in 2006 serving as Chairman.  He currently serves as President of the Retired Employees of Kern County, a position which he has previously served in 1999.  He is a former member of the California Retired County Employees Association Legislative Committee and the Kern County Treasury Oversight Committee.

Mr. DeMario earned a B.S. from California State University Northridge.

7th Alternate Vacant :

7th Alternate Vacant

  • Vacant
  • Term expires on December 31, 2021

 

Lauren Skidmore :

Lauren Skidmore

  • Chair, Finance Committee
  • Member, Administrative Committee
  • Appointed by Board of Supervisors: 6th Member since 2016
  • Term expires on December 31, 2021

Mrs. Skidmore is currently the District Director for Assemblyman Vince Fong of the 34th Assembly District. She served as the Director of Policy and Community Affairs for Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government from 2014 to 2017. Before this, she was a communications manager for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. She also is part owner of her family cattle ranch in Bakersfield. Mrs. Skidmore is actively involved in numerous leadership organizations and committees.

Mrs. Skidmore earned a B.S. in Business Administration (Management) from California State University, Fresno, and a Master’s of Science in Community Development from Kansas State University.

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