The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board's (RRB) Director of Programs, Michael A. Tyllas, has made two appointments to his senior management staff. Sherita Boots will serve as the agency's Director of Disability Benefits Division, while Crystal Coleman was appointed as Deputy Director of Programs.
At the time of her selection, Ms. Boots was a Supervisory Social Insurance Specialist in the Chicago Disability Quality Branch of the Social Security Administration (SSA). In that position, she planned, directed and coordinated various disability program functions, including managing workloads and staff to meet timeliness and accuracy goals, overseeing training and supervising new hires, among other duties.
Working in SSA's Chicago Disability Quality Branch since 2007, Ms. Boots had previously served as a lead specialist and disability examiner reviewing and adjudicating disability benefit applications, and consulting with medical professionals and vocational experts to prepare written analyses of case findings. She initially joined SSA in 2005 as a claims representative in Battle Creek, Michigan, providing service to the public on a wide range of SSA benefit and program issues.
A native of Illinois, Ms. Boots graduated with honors from Michigan State University in 2004, earning a bachelor's degree in public administration and public policy. She currently resides in the Chicago suburb of Aurora with her husband, Jonathan, and 2-year-old son Elijah.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy Director of Programs, Ms. Coleman was the Deputy Regional Director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) in Dallas. As the second in command of the regional office, she supervised senior staff and assisted in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating EBSA programs in the region. An agency within the U.S. Department of Labor, the EBSA assures the security of retirement, health and other workplace-related benefits of workers and their families.
An EBSA employee for 24 years, Ms. Coleman previously served as both a supervisory and senior investigator in both Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as the Senior Advisor for Criminal Enforcement in Chicago, before assuming the Deputy Regional Director position in October 2013. Before entering Federal service in 1991, she spent about 18 months as an economic development coordinator for the City of Chicago.
A native and current resident of Chicago, Ms. Coleman attended Illinois State University in Normal, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications (1982), and subsequently earned a master's degree in business administration (1991) from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Dr. Tyllas said, "I am extremely pleased to have these individuals on my senior management team. They are extremely capable, having held positions of increasing responsibility in the Federal government, with a demonstrated commitment to integrity and customer service. I am convinced they will both make valuable contributions to improving the RRB's operations and performance."
Ms. Boots' appointment is effective December 28. She replaces John Coleman, who is retiring after more than 31 years of Federal service, 27 of which were at the RRB. Ms. Coleman started in the newly created position of Deputy Director of Programs on November 29.
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An independent Federal agency headquartered in Chicago, the RRB pays more than $12 billion a year in benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement and Unemployment Insurance Acts covering the nation's railroad workers and their families.