Board of Directors
Thomas P. Butler
Thomas P. Butler is the President of Butler Associates, an award-winning public relations and strategic communications agency, with offices in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. He is a recognized expert in strategy and message development, legal, crisis and earned media communications. For more than a quarter-century, Mr. Butler has worked on behalf of hundreds of prestigious clients on matters ranging from Fortune 50 shareholder proxy fights to corporate, business, and community public affairs campaigns. Mr. Butler is no stranger to the world of retiree advocacy, having worked with a range of national retiree advocacy groups seeking a brighter spotlight and a taller stage from which to be heard on the critical issues of the day. He also leads a team that publishes AmericanRetiree.com, an online publication that chronicles today’s active lifestyle retire.
Michelle Gershfeld has spent over 30 years as a lawyer, specializing in bankruptcy, commercial and personal debt settlement. She began her career in 1989 at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, LLP. Ms. Gershfeld later worked at and became the managing partner for Kittay & Gershfeld, PC, before the 2018 opening of her boutique firm, Law Offices of Michelle Gershfeld. As an Accredited Financial Counselor and Financial Fitness Coach, she is an active member of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), the nationally recognized leader in financial counseling and education. Bridging the two fields of law and financial counseling, Ms. Gershfeld uses her skills as a speaker and published writer to help clients on the road toward financial security. Ms. Gershfeld understands the struggle American retirees are facing now more than ever. She is inspired to bring her negotiation, legal and financial knowledge and skills to Retirees for Justice to safeguard and preserve the earned benefits retirees are counting on.
Lee is a Managing Director of Perkin Industries, an investment firm focusing on acquisitions of growth stage companies in healthcare, real estate and digital & new media. Prior to this, Mr. Lazarus was the Chief Operating Officer of Grandparents.com, Inc., a publicly traded company providing insurance and financial services to 76 million seniors in the US. Lee earned his Bachelor of Science from Emory University and his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law. He is a former Board Member of Continental Towers Realty, the Automated & Mechanical Parking Association, and Council For Unity.
John is a retiree of General Electric, now residing in Florida. Mr. Phelps worked for G.E. for thirty-five years, and its successor, Momentive, for seven years before retiring in 2013. John started the Retiree Chapter at the G.E./Momentive Plant in Waterford in 2013. After leaving that position in 2015, he started the national GE Retiree Benefit Solutions Inc. (GERBS), a 501(c)(5) dedicated to working to protect the benefits and programs crucial to G.E. retirees. John has served as President of GERBS for the past six years. Mr. Phelps has been a tireless advocate for G.E. retirees for many years, and now brings his first-hand knowledge of the many critical issues facing retirees to Retirees for Justice.
Richard Santer, FCCA, MBA, has thirty-five years of experience in financial services, including senior manager at Ernst & Young and Deloitte, and Vice President at General Reinsurance Corporation. He has extensive experience in analyzing and evaluating long term insurance liabilities and cash flows. Mr. Santer is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and has an MBA in finance. Richard now brings his extensive insurance and financial background to Retirees for Justice and is looking forward to working to protect the earned benefits of retirees.
Edward S. Stone, Esq.
Edward Stone brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his position as Executive Director of Retirees for Justice. He is a practicing lawyer and a well-known expert in the area of pension de-risking. Since 2012, Mr. Stone has worked extensively with retirees and retiree organizations to protect their earned benefits. He has educated lawmakers across the country on the need for federal and state legislation to better protect retirees in pension de-risking transactions.
In 2014, Mr. Stone secured the passage of a “best practices” resolution by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) which was designed to offer guidance to state legislators on issues relating to pension de-risking transactions and how they affect retirees. In 2015, he testified before the ERISA Advisory Council addressing the need for disclosures both pre- and post- pension risk transfers. Mr. Stone worked with retirees and legislators in his home state to enact Connecticut’s Public Act 15-167, the country’s first state legislation protecting retirees in pension de-risking transfers by restoring creditor protections. He also assisted retiree organizations in successfully advocating for the passage of 2018 legislation in Virginia that provides both creditor protections and protections against subsequent transfers.
Retirees for Justice Inc. By-Laws – coming soon
Contributions, donations, gifts, and dues to Retirees for Justice are not tax deductible. Retirees for Justice Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) organization. There is no charge to join Retirees for Justice, but donations are graciously accepted.
Your donation will help support our efforts to protect and preserve Your earned benefits.