TCDRS Elects Chair and Vice Chair

The Board of Trustees of the Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS) elected Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Nicholson as its new vice chair and re-elected former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels as chair at its December board meeting.

Mary Louise Nicholson, Vice-Chair

Mary Louise Nicholson 

Mary Louise Nicholson has served on the TCDRS Board of Trustees since 2013. She was appointed to the board by Governor Rick Perry and was most recently reappointed to the board by Governor Greg Abbott in 2019.

“As trustees, we are responsible for making sure the system achieves what it was designed to do, which is provide retirement benefits to Texas public servants,” Nicholson said. “By keeping the system financially strong, we support the counties and districts that are part of this unique system, as well as the employees and retirees that rely on the benefits they provide.”

Nicholson has served as the Tarrant County Clerk since 2011. She currently serves on the Tarrant County Bail Bond Board and the Tarrant County Elections Commission. She is a member of the Property Records Industry Association, Texas Association of Counties, and County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas. Additionally, she is a local member of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Downtown Rotary.


Judge Robert Eckels, Chair

Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels begins another term as TCDRS chair in 2020 after being re-elected by his fellow board members. Judge Eckels is an attorney with Husch Blackwell and is a past member of the Texas House of Representatives.

“Fiscal responsibility is one of the keys to TCDRS’ strength through the years. The board guides TCDRS so it can maintain that strength,” Judge Eckels said. “It’s a great responsibility to be a trustee and to help so many Texas employers provide reliable retirement benefits to their employees.”

Trustees on TCDRS’ nine-member board serve staggered six-year terms. The board is comprised of system members and retirees who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate. The board has oversight of all system operations, including the annual budget, policy determination, legislative proposals and investment policy.



TCDRS helps more than 320,000 Texans plan for their future, partnering with nearly 800 Texas counties and districts to provide retirement, disability and survivor benefits. By providing attractive retirement benefits, we help our employers competitively hire and retain talented staff.

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1967, TCDRS has grown into a financially strong trust with nearly $34 billion worth of assets under management. TCDRS is one of the best funded retirement plans in the nation and has been a model for providing reliable retirement benefits for more than 50 years. For more information, please visit our Governance page.


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