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Police and Fire Pension Board names new Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director for 2018

Posted on: Thursday, February 01, 2018

DETROIT -- The Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit Board of Trustees has appointed David Cetlinski as Executive Director and Kelly Tapper as Assistant Executive Director of administration for the retirement fund, it was announced today.


Cetlinski, was promoted to the Executive Director of both the PFRS and General Retirement System after a national search to replace retiring fund executive Cynthia Thomas. A joint personnel committee of both pension funds conducted a national search and held extensive interviews before choosing Mr. Cetlinski based on his depth of experience with the PFRS over 23 years.


“The Board is delighted to have our new administrators in place as we continue to implement best practices and streamline our operations to better serve first responder retirees and their beneficiaries,” said Chairman John Serda. “David and Kelly are the right people at the right time and we are very pleased at their cooperative work ethic to set a new standard for operations of a retirement system.”


Serda said the PFRS has also hired outside consultants to help improve technology at the system and streamline operations to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiencies. Both Cetlinski and Tapper report to the PFRS Board and are in charge of day-to-day operation of the $3.1 billion retirement system.


Mr. Cetlinski had served in the role of Assistant Executive Director for more than six years and was a key player in the system’s emergence from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. During the bankruptcy a complex and comprehensive Plan of Adjustment was created that dictates many elements of operation of the Detroit Retirement System. Mr. Cetlinski has served the city and pension system in varying capacities for more than 23 years.


A separate search was held to fill the position of Assistant Executive Director and Ms. Tapper was the choice based on her extensive, direct relevant experience in her previous role as Division Director of the Wayne County Retirement System. She served in that capacity for six years before joining the PFRS.  Ms. Tapper’s previous experience in the private sector includes service as Vice President of Charter One Bank, Business Banker with T CF Bank and Huntington Bank.


Ms. Tapper holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Davenport University.


The PFRS Board is currently comprised of a 16-member Board of Trustees. The Board includes six elected active duty police and fire personnel (3 each); and two elected retired personnel (one each police and fire); one City Council designee appointed and seven ex-officio appointees of the City of Detroit, appointed by the duly elected Mayor.  The Board oversees the $3 billion fund serving some 8,000 retired police and fire and approximately 3,000 active duty first responders. 


Twice a month public meetings of the PFRS are held on Thursdays at 9 a.m. Minutes and meeting records are posted on the PFRS website at


The Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit was founded under City Charter and is the fiduciary for the pensions of all police and fire personnel. The PFRS is a separate entity from the city’s General Retirement System. For more information please visit





Media Contact:

BAB Associates, LLC

Bruce Babiarz




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