John M. Sopranuk Award

The John M. Sopranuk Award was created by CPPC to recognize a Colorado public sector retirement plan sponsor representative, who demonstrates excellence in the pursuit of fiduciary responsibility.

John Sopranuk

About John M. Sopranuk (1957-2012)
John M. Sopranuk was a 30-year veteran of Aurora (Colorado) Police Department.  In 1986, Lt. Sopranuk initiated withdrawal of the City of Aurora – Police from the state retirement system; to what is now a 401(a) Pension Plan.  A trustee with the plan since 1989, he served continuously as President of the Board of Trustees since 1990.
Since 1991, Sopranuk testified in judicial and local committee hearings, as well as numerous Colorado General Assembly legislative committees concerning administrative pension policy and state law relative to retirement plans and fiduciary responsibilities.  John was often a requested guest panelist, speaker and subject matter expert for national and Colorado retirement plan conferences and seminars.

2019 Recipient

Terri Velasquez, City of Aurora

Terry has been instrumental in supporting outreach and education to Aurora’s 457 plan participants. She implemented the auto enrollment process for Aurora employees and as a result, participation in the 457 plan increased significantly. Her next goal is to pursue auto escalation. She is tireless in her pursuit of helping city employees become retirement ready.

2018 Recipient

Chris Carleton, City of Aurora Police Money Purchase Pension Plan

“Carleton is a consummate professional and his overall approach with properly and prudently managing fiduciary responsibility is consistent with the principles he observed for many years while John Sopranuk held the position of President. Without Chris’ leadership through this tumultuous period, the Aurora Police MPPP would have been a ship without a captain.”

2017 Recipient

Kerry Yamaguchi, Boulder Fire & Police

2016 Recipient

Craig Piel, City of Aurora Police Department

2015 Recipient:

Ken Reather, City of Thornton Police Department Deputy Chief, Police Pension Board

“Ken’s dedication to the financial well-being not only of his fellow officers, but all of the employees who participate in the pension plans is reflected in the high level of participation rates in the plans, stability and growth of assets.”

“With decades of experience in this arena under his belt, it has been extremely beneficial to have Ken “there” to answer questions about the what, why and how of all the changes.”

2014 Recipient

Tammy Hitchens
City of Westminster, Trustee General Employee 401(a), Police 401(a), and Deferred Compensation Plans

Hitchens John Sopranuk award 2014 (2)

“Tammy creates collaborative environment among a group of diverse and varied Board members. She is regularly willing to review and consider new ideas around the plans but does so in a thoughtful manner with a consistent eye on the impact on the plan participants.”

“Throughout her interactions with Board members, staff, and plan providers she provides the expectation that they will always provide their best and will stretch themselves to provide greater service to plan participants.”

2013 John M. Sopranuk Award Recipient:

Cody Kennedy

Cody Kennedy

“Cody has been very proactive in facilitating and coordinating education for employees in the Police Department. he encourages board members to act in the best interest of all participants and holds others accountable to a high standard of fiduciary excellence.”

“[Cody] provides valuable insight to board members on related topics during board meetings.”

2012 Recipient

Jason Loveland, City of Northglenn, General Employees’ Pension Plan

Jason Loveland

“He consistently went above and beyond the scope of his volunteer assignment, carefully identifying areas of improvement that will result in better long-term outcomes for city participants and enhance the many aspects of our fiduciary responsibility.”

“His continued attention to these details and approach to this year’s initiatives have made each of the Board members better fiduciary stewards.”