RITA Thanks Former President Rich Immesberger for Service, Welcomes President Barbara Van Zomeren and New Board Members

November 28, 2022

The Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) thanks former RITA President Rich Immesberger for his dedicated service to the organization over the last two years. Member elections confirmed Barbara Van Zomeren as the succeeding President and added three new members to RITA’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Immesberger brought over 30 years of experience in financial services to RITA and was the former President of Pacific Premier Trust. During his term as RITA President, RITA launched a new RITA Ally membership category and pushed back against 2021 legislation by Congress that would have prohibited IRAs from investing in most alternative assets and limit contributions.

“We are so grateful to Rich for all of his contributions to RITA during his time as President,” said Mary Mohr, Executive Director of RITA. “It’s been a pleasure working with him, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

RITA’s new President, Barbara Van Zomeren, currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ascensus. She manages ERISA technical compliance and consulting, including qualified retirement plans, consumer directed healthcare accounts, and IRA, HSA, and ESA accounts.

“I am both humbled and honored to have been elected as RITA’s new president. Many thanks to outgoing president Rich Immesberger, who has helped lead RITA during a time of rapid and dramatic change in our industry,” said Van Zomeren. “I look forward to continuing our good work—with the help of RITA’s engaged staff and members—as we navigate through new territory in the self-directed retirement plan sector. We look forward to keeping the pathway open for retirement investors to select compliant, nontraditional products that best suit their long-term objectives.”

“Barbara has experience in financial consulting, compliance, training, and much more. She was a great candidate for the RITA Presidency, and we’re lucky to have her,” said Mohr. “We can’t wait to see all of the things we can accomplish together.”

RITA also welcomes three new members to their Board of Directors: John Perugini, General Counsel, Millennium Trust Company; Tamara Wendoll, EVP/COO, Pacific Premier Trust; and Jerry Lueger, Senior Vice President, Community National Bank. RITA’s Board of Directors plays a crucial role in RITA’s mission to be the leading educator and advocate for the growth of the self-directed retirement plan industry. The board is made up of experts throughout the retirement industry to provide a comprehensive understanding of industry needs and a powerful resource for solutions.

RITA’s Board of Directors now includes:

  • President: Barbara Van Zomeren, EVP/COO, Ascensus
  • Vice President: Kelli Click, President, STRATA Trust Company
  • Treasurer: John Perugini, General Counsel, Millennium Trust Company
  • Secretary: Jeff Worley, Senior VP, GoldStar Trust
  • Conference Co-Chair: Kaaren Hall, CEO, uDirect IRA Services
  • Conference Co-Chair: Elizabeth Curtis, General Counsel, Equity Trust
  • Director-at-Large: Tamara Wendoll, EVP/COO, Pacific Premier Trust
  • Director-at-Large: Scott Schwartz, General Counsel, Delaware Depository
  • Director-at-Large: Bill Humphrey, CEO, New Direction Trust
  • Director-at-Large: Jerry Lueger, Senior Vice President, Community National Bank

To learn more about RITA, its members, or self-directed IRAs, visit ritaus.org.


RITA is a professional trade association dedicated to expanding opportunities for all Americans to save and invest for retirement. Founded in 1987, RITA is comprised of regulated banks, trust companies, and industry-related professionals. RITA exists to be the leading educator and advocate for the self-directed retirement plan industry by providing resources, information, communication, and support to both members and investors. To learn more, visit ritaus.org.