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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

September 30, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli Appoints Top Retirement System Staff

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has named Colleen Crawford Gardner as Executive Deputy Comptroller and Melanie Whinnery as Deputy Comptroller of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS).

“Colleen and Melanie are highly experienced government administrators capable of running one of the largest retirement systems in the nation,” DiNapoli said. “Their combined knowledge of retirement and labor issues and impressive work ethic make them the ideal executive team to manage the day-to-day operations of an 800-employee retirement system serving more than 1 million public employees, pensioners and beneficiaries.”

Crawford Gardner has held several leadership positions in government and labor organizations. Most recently, she served as the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor from 2010 to 2012, Deputy Executive Director of the New York State Insurance Fund from 2012 to 2013 and as Assistant to the President of the New York State United Teachers from 2013 to 2014. Prior to joining government, she worked for the New York State AFL-CIO for 23 years.

Crawford Gardner joined the State Comptroller’s office in 2014 and held the position of Special Assistant to the Executive Deputy of NYSLRS. In this position, she has led DiNapoli’s retirement security policy efforts.

She graduated from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations with a Bachelor of Science degree. She resides in Niskayuna. Her salary is $152,000.

Whinnery first joined the State Comptroller’s office in 1984. She has held several management positions within NYSLRS including Assistant Comptroller and Director of Member and Employer Services. She is leading the multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to replace the current member benefit system. She is known for her broad depth of knowledge of complex retirement system issues and her dedication to employee development and customer service.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics from Empire State College and a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College. She resides in Niskayuna. Her salary is $150,000.

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