Barbara Hafer took office as Pennsylvania's 74th treasurer in January 1997, following eight years of public service as the state's auditor general. She was reelected treasurer in November 2000. Through her work in both offices, she has earned a reputation as a critic of government waste and advocate of fiscal openness and accountability.
Hafer has focused on improving Treasury Department operations to better serve Commonwealth citizens. Her accomplishments include funding tax cuts through more than $1 billion in investment earnings, increasing access to department information on the Internet, greatly increasing the number of electronic payments, speeding the issuance of tax refunds, increasing both the efficiency and security of unemployment benefit payments and using Treasury investments to fund economic development.
Under Hafer, the Treasury Unclaimed Property Program has been returning an unprecedented $3 million a month to Commonwealth citizens while simplifying the reporting process for businesses. Treasury's INVEST short-term investment pool for local governments has more than quadrupled in membership and reached a record $1 billion. Hafer has made TAP 529 (Pennsylvania's college savings plan) better known and more versatile by adding nine investment options to the already popular Guaranteed Savings Plan. The result: more than 110,000 participants and more than $998 million in the program. Hafer also created the HomeBuyer program, using a $500 million Treasury investment that helped more than 5,500 families buy their own homes.
A Registered Nurse, Hafer began her professional life as a public health nurse and health care administrator. After seeing tax dollars wasted rather than channeled to the public health programs that desperately needed them, she began speaking out on public policy issues. A concern for victims' rights led her to found the Allegheny County Center for Victims of Violent Crime in 1973. She also served as executive director of the center, the state's first federally funded agency for crime victims. Through her work in public health and with crime victims, Hafer saw that the real power to implement change lies with those who control the public purse strings. That insight led to a political career and an abiding interest in public finance.
In 1984 Hafer became the first woman elected to the Allegheny County Board of Commissioners. Elected as state auditor general in 1988 and reelected in 1992, she crusaded against waste and for greater fiscal accountability. In 1990, she warned of a looming $1 billion state budget deficit. Ridiculed at the time, her forecast proved precisely right. The failure to heed her warning led to a record tax increase.
As treasurer, Hafer oversees 89,000 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania payments each day and has custody of more than $85 billion in public funds, including the assets of three pension funds. When she took office, most of Pennsylvania's pension assets were held by an out-of-state custodian. Hafer brought custody of those assets back to Pennsylvania, creating a multi-million-dollar savings and 40 new jobs.
The Treasurer is a statutory member of 17 state boards and commissions, including the three state pension funds. In January 2000 the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) unanimously elected Hafer chairman of the Board of Trustees. Reelected each year since, she is the first treasurer to chair the Board since its inception in 1917. PSERS is the 14th largest public pension fund in the nation, with more than $50 billion in assets and a membership of more than 247,000 active members and some 145,000 annuitants.
In addition, Hafer serves on ten other boards and commissions, including the Pennsylvania Partnership for Economic Education, the National Honorary Board of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and the President's Cabinet for Counsel and Advancement of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. She also remains active in public health issues.
Nationally, Hafer is active in the National Association of State Auditors Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) and served as its president from August 2001 through November 2002.
As NASACT president, Hafer launched a campaign to wage financial war against global terrorism, and became a national leader in the pursuit of corporate governance standards. In September 2001, Hafer began working with fellow state financial officials in seeking more information from the federal government regarding publicly traded companies that have business ties to terrorist sponsoring states. The goal is to make sure public funds are not invested in ways that inadvertently support terrorism.
Hafer's work on corporate reform began in February 2002 when she convened a hearing to gather information on the Enron collapse. With that information she participated in a forum sponsored by the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO). In May 2002, Hafer testified before a New York Stock Exchange committee on corporate governance accountability. Many of the reforms she advocated were included in the Corporate Governance Rules approved by the NYSE Board of Directors in August 2002. She is continuing that work as an active member of the National Coalition on Corporate Reform.
Hafer also earned nationwide recognition through her service on a special five-member National Executive Committee of finance officers to monitor the progress of Swiss banks in returning World War II-era deposits to Holocaust victims and their heirs. The committee was widely credited with helping to bring about the banks' $1.25 billion settlement with Holocaust victims. In 1999, State of Israel Bonds presented Hafer with a specially created Pursuit of Justice Award, recognizing her for her "compassion and dedication" in leading settlement efforts. The committee continues to monitor Holocaust settlement issues involving various European nations, while Hafer’s staff aids potential claimants.
In 2004, the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program awarded Hafer the national Donald L. Scantlebury Memorial Award for excellence in financial management leadership in the public sector, recognizing her for innovations and technological improvements to government operations.
Treasurer Hafer especially values an award presented to her in May 2000 by her employees' union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees: She was chosen as the first-ever recipient of the AFSCME Council 90 Outstanding Employer Award.
For the last 20 years Barbara Hafer has been involved with the Borough of Gettysburg at the Lutheran Seminary and helping to establish the Gettysburg Arts Festival, the First All American Arts Festival.
In 2001, Barbara Hafer was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Since 1949, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began the tradition of inviting the Governor to designate several women each year as Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania. Women recognized as Distinguished Daughters are those whose achievements on a national and statewide scale have been so outstanding that they have brought honor and respect to the commonwealth.
In 2005, Hafer started Hafer & Associates, a woman owned consulting firm, specializing in government finances and corporations that work with government finances. In 2009 Hafer & Associates expanded services to include fixed income advisory services.
In 2008, Hafer and two friends established Circles: Body, Mind, and Spirit, a non-profit organization dedicated to the holistic prevention of disease and integrated wellness using a deliberate action plan, and also integrating urban and rural women.
In May 2009, Governor Rendell appointed Hafer to chair the National Governors Association distinguished service awards program selection committee.
A graduate of Dormont High School (1961) and the South Side Hospital School of Nursing (1964), Hafer earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duquesne University in 1969 and later did post-graduate work at the University of London and the University of Pittsburgh
Barbara is a partner in the food security task force of the greater Pittsburgh community food bank. The food bank >distributes food through a 380+ member network in 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. She is also a Board member of the Borough of Indiana Library and on the Advisory Board of the Indiana Free Library.
Barbara Hafer was married to Jack Pidgeon, retired Headmaster of Kiski School in Saltsburg, Westmoreland County who passed away in May, 2008. She has four children and four grandchildren.
John N. Badovinac, Vice President, Hafer & Associates
John Badovinac is no longer employed by Hafer & Associates.
Michael Millner , Vice President
Michael Millner is a Vice President of Hafer & Associates. His previous experience includes eight years in the Investment center at the Pennsylvania State Treasury as supervisor of the Research and Development team. Previously to this, he was in the Financial planning field holding his series 8, 63 and 65 licenses. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and 4 children.
Rev. Rose M. Marquardt
Rose M. Marquardt retired after 35 years of service with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She has over 40 years administrative and financial experience in all aspects of government. She is the former Director of the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Disbursements, Department of Treasury, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In that position she was responsible for the operation and disbursement of the unemployment compensation fund totaling approximately $3.2 billion dollars a year, and the disbursements of the State Workers Insurance Fund. She is the former Administrator of the General Municipal Pension System State Aid Program & Volunteer Firemen’s Relief Fund, a fund totaling over $170 million dollars in the Department of the Auditor General.
Under her direction, the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Disbursements became the first non-banking entity to install and use the FedLine and FedWeb services offered by the Federal Reserve Bank. Pennsylvania is the only state with direct connection to the Federal Reserve through the Fedline. She was responsible for the institution of direct deposit of unemployment checks saving the Commonwealth over $10 million dollars in processing and administrative costs. In 2004, under her direction the Commonwealth began processing the state supplemental payment to the federal SSI program saving the Commonwealth $27 million dollars a year.
She has been recognized numerous times for her many achievements in government. In March 2000, she was featured in Integrated Solutions Magazine for “Paperless Payments In the Electronic Age.” In September 2000, the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Disbursements, under her direction, won the Kinetic International Process Innovation Award. In that same year, the Bureau won the coveted AIIM International Business Solutions Award For Innovation Workflow Installation. In September, 2003 she was featured in Government Technology Magazine as “ Pennsylvania’s Best Kept Secret.” Most recently, she was featured in the 2006/2007 winter edition of Bloomsburg University’s “Spectrum” Magazine, in the article “Women In Religion”.
She conducted “An Innovative Approach To Redesigning Social & Technical Systems In A Public Organization” a seminar in participatory action research at the National Conference of the American Society of Public Administrators @ Rutgers University. She also presented this same seminar to the students in the doctoral program at Penn State University, Harrisburg Campus.
She presented “Action Research Development In Government” at the Annual Meeting Of The Academy Of Management in Washington, D.C.
She has presented numerous seminars in innovative technological system designs and the impact of the social and cultural effects across the country for NASACT, the National Association of State Auditors, Controllers and Treasurers.
She is the past vice-president of Centralia Borough Council, Centralia Pennsylvania. The borough was the victim of the infamous “Centralia Mine Fire”. The government declared the law of Eminent Domain on the community. She was actively involved in securing a $42 million dollar buy-out from the Federal Government for the homes of the residents of the borough. The residents received replacement cost for their homes instead of the traditional market value. This money enabled the residents to stay together, build new homes and build new communities nearby.
She is currently serving her third term as a member of the Mount Carmel Area School Board. She has served as President of the Board four times in the past eleven years. The School District has the lowest property taxes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During her tenure she was the driving force behind the following accomplishments:
- The establishment of the pre-kindergarten program.
- The Board of Education Merit Award, for students K-12, for their involvement with student and community service.
- The addition of Advanced Placement Courses at the high school level.
- A new summer school is now offered for grades 10 through 12.
- A comprehensive curriculum aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.
- The implementation of on-site college courses which are supported by our dual enrollment grant.
- The introduction of the girls and boys varsity soccer program, the student newspaper, re-establishment of the Mount Carmel Area Choral Society, and re-established the student council.
- Student participation in the regional and state computer fair, the Governor’s School, and the WVIA College Bowl.
- The first school in the area to acquire a School Resource Officer, a position paid by grant monies, not local tax dollars.
- A new state of the art Elementary School.
- Renovation of the high school with the addition of 5 new state of the art science labs, a new music and a new choral room, a weight/locker room, gymnasium bleachers and floor finishing. The auditorium was painted, new stage curtains were installed, along with a new sound system. Also, new equipment was purchased for our school television studio. Mount Carmel Area is one of the few schools in the Commonwealth with the capability to televise football games and community functions to our surrounding areas.
- The stadium project included new sod on the field, a new drainage system to the field, a new lighting system and bleacher painting.
- The district upgraded its technology infrastructure to the district wide network system. Computers have been replaced on an annual basis to ensure students access to the most recent technology and software applications.
- The existing telecommunications system was replaced with a voice over IP telephone system utilizing a dedicated line.
- A new security system is being researched that will use existing bar-coded photo ID cards to open doors. In addition, these ID cards currently track cafeteria accounts and can be used with our current library system.
- New financial software applications have been added or upgraded over the past 10 years, including fund accounting, payroll,personnel, tax collection, security, assets inventory, transportation, attendance, grading, health and scheduling. All accounting and bookkeeping systems are now computerized.
- Also implemented was Government Accounting Standards Board #34 (GASB 34). This is a new software system developed to tag, track and report capital assets with consideration of depreciation for accounting purposes.
- We are currently preparing to comply with Governmental Accounting Standards Board #45 (GASB 45). Under this statute our school district must account for and report the cost of post-employment benefits over the working life-time of each employee.
- She has been directly involved in securing approximately $10 million dollars in grants for the school district during her terms in office. Prior to this, the district received approximately $500,000 in grants.
During her tenure in both state government and local government, she has been the driving force behind the establishment of new innovative ideas in many areas.
She is a member of the Board of the Northumberland County Area Vocational-Technical School. She is the PSBA (Pennsylvania School Boards Association) legislative liaison for all the school districts located in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
She is a member of the Northumberland County Children & Youth Advisory Board, and president of the Mount Carmel Area Ecumenical Ministerium.
She serves as Pastor of the Wilburton United Methodist Church, Wilburton, Zion United Methodist Church, Aristes and Grace Evangelical Independent Church, Locustdale.
She was married to the late Rev. George Marquardt. She has a son, a daughter, and four granddaughters.
Tara Hines , Vice President for Research and Development.
Tara Hines is Vice President for Hafer & Associates. Prior to assuming this position, Tara was employed in state government for over thirteen years. After concluding her tenure in Pennsylvania Treasury Department, Tara was an Executive Assistant for the Office of Information Technology for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Tara’s primary tenure, however, was as a Special Assistant to the Treasurer in Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department.
As a Special Assistant,Tarahelped to bring about the implementation of numerous technical initiatives within the organization. The breath of Ms. Hines’ responsibilities ranged from managing the technical solution of auctioning unclaimed property online, to the liquidation of de-mutualized insurance company shares resulting in much needed new revenue sources for Pennsylvania’s General Fund. This role also encompassed providing the ability for Pennsylvania’s Local Government Investment Pool shareholders with online services, and ultimately converting
Pennsylvania’s investment platform to a unitized accounting system totaling about $80 billion dollars in assets.
Tara attributes much of her success in managing these projects to the contributions and talents of others. Technical solutions have proven to be most effective for an organization when all stakeholders can identify and apply the benefits. Believing in the empowerment of people and the need for proper implementation of technical solutions to increase efficiencies and effectiveness, Tara has delivered numerous cost saving and revenue generating initiatives to many organizations.
Tara is heavily involved in analyzing cash flow, research, development, and implementation for Hafer & Associates.
Bethany L. Hafer Vice President of Hafer & Associates
Bethany L. Hafer is Vice President of Hafer & Associates, specializing in training, research and development. Capitalizing on her robust experience, Beth has a unique ability to analyze complex processes succinctly and develop meaningful solutions that streamline operational processes and increase efficacy.
For the better part of the last 12 years, Beth has worked in the field of education, training and development. During that time, she gained vast experience in analytical and organizational skills. Her strengths include: identifying organizational strengths, capitalizing on opportunities and identifying weaknesses, which enables the client to implement improvements.
In addition to this extensive background in training and development, Beth worked for Legg Mason Real Estate Services in their Pension Fund Advisory Group. Responsibilities included: analyzing financial statements, organizing data and making accurate recommendations. This experience developed a broad perspective, as well as reinforcing her already strong analytical skills.
Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree from Duquesne University. During each program, she directed research both domestically and abroad, which cultivated a strong foundation for current techniques and methodologies.