2017 Executive Trustee Election

Board Room

Stephanie A. Helms

Present Position

County Treasurer & Collector, Stephenson County

Length of Service

In present position since April 1, 2015; previously, Communications Director & Grant Writer for Freeport School District #145 from December 12, 2008, to October 10, 2014.


As an elected official and department chair, I supervise four staff. I am accountable to the voters of Stephenson County whom elected me to safely receive, deposit, and invest all public monies. As ex-officio County Collector, I am singularly responsible for the collection and distribution of more than $71 million of property tax dollars to more than 105 taxing districts, including real estate and mobile homes. I also forecast, manage, and reconcile revenues and expenses while cultivating and maintaining cordial relationships with financial institutions.

Other Information

As Stephenson County’s chief financial official, my experience here, combined with grant budget administration in my previous IMRF position, really lends strong financial oversight capability. I am seeking the Executive Trustee position to ensure the continued outstanding performance of IMRF. While already quite successful, I see my role as maintaining that success while seeking continuous improvement. In particular, I would pursue means by which members can better learn of and take advantage of voluntary contributions to maximize their retirement planning. The voluntary contribution option is a personal favorite of mine and I frequently encourage it amongst my peers. I believe that income protection is the primary issue that must remain at the forefront of any public pension discussion or action. Once safely protected, income growth can garner more of the IMRF trustees’ focus.