Ed Harding Retires
Longtime RLACEI President retires from board.
Members pay tribute.
RLACEI President Emeritus Edward Harding is retiring from the RLACEI Board after serving as President for more than 24 years and as Board member for more than 30 years.
Ed was instrumental in making RLACEI an organization that City Retirees can be assured has their best interests in mind.
Board members, past and present, as well as friends and associates express their best wishes and fond memories. Submit your own: Readers are welcome to submit their own tributes to Ed by emailing them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I worked with Ed for almost 17 years. The thing I remember most was his dedication to City Retirees. He was never too busy to answer a question or provide helpful advice. He was a favorite of all the Retirees, especially those of the opposite gender. RLACEI will miss his expertise and helpful nature.
– Hal Danowitz, RLACEI Secretary/Treasurer
Ed has been a tremendous asset to RLACEI for almost 30 years, 24 of those as President. He was one of the main reasons I was motivated to join this wonderful organization. His mentorship, kindness and knowledge will be sorely missed. I am saddened by his decision to finally pass the torch to a new generation of RLACEI Board members, but I hope that we will be as accomplished in serving our members as he has been through all these many years. Fair winds and following seas, my friend.
– Ruth Perry, RLACEI President
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Ed for more than two years now. We formally met when I was interviewed for the position of RLACEI Board member. Although I had seen his picture many times in Alive!, to meet and work with him has been an absolute pleasure. Ed has demonstrated through his leadership and dedication why he was able to serve as Board President for so many years. Thank you, Mr. Ed, for your leadership, your knowledge and your kindness.
– Beverly Clark, RLACEI Vice President
Ed Harding devoted his life serving the residents and now the retirees of the City of Los Angeles. Ed told me that his father worked for the City, and both Ed and his son have followed that legacy.
Ed served on the RLACEI Board and as President for more than 30 years. In that time with the organization, he has interfaced with LACERS and the City Council to offer his leadership by providing benefits and programs that lead to a safe and secure retirement.
– Phil Orland, RLACEI Vice President
Like Tongva Peak above the San Gabriel Valley and the waves at Zuma, Ed has always been like a force of nature to me. He will be sorely missed in his role as President of RLACEI by all who know and have worked with him, but especially to those who know the kindness and generosity of this leader who has given so much of himself to his fellow City of Los Angeles Retirees and employees. Ed, Salud!
– Mike Perez, Former RLACEI Board Member
Above all, Ed Harding has always looked out for every RLACEI member. He cares about keeping the pension plan strong, and he has supported having a fierce advocate for Retirees on the LACERS Board, starting with Ken Spiker.
– Michael Wilkinson, LACERS Commissioner
I had the pleasure of serving as RLACEI’s legislative advocate during Ed Harding’s tenure as President and as such I witnessed his steady leadership. Ed served the City of Los Angeles for many years and followed that by volunteering to serve RLACEI and Retired LA City employees’ interests. I recall having numerous conversations with him about City Hall politics and the impacts on Retirees. Above all he never lost sight of RLACEI’s mission to protect the benefits retirees had earned and enhance those benefits where possible.
Thanks for your service, Ed!
– Greg Spiker, Ken Spiker and Associates
I met Ed in 1995 and served with him on the RLACEI Board for the next 15 year. It was good to work with him for all that time. Thank you, Ed and Martha, for years of tireless commitment to our membership.
– Jerry Bardwell, Former RLACEI Board Member
I met Ed when I joined the Board in 2007. He knew the City of LA very well, especially Public Works. And he knew the retirement system and what RLACEI had done to support the Retirees. I recall the struggle we went through several years ago concerning RLACEI, the Employees Club and ACEBSA, and where the RLACEI news would go — to El Pueblo or Alive! There were lots of meetings, looking at what benefited our organization the most.
– Michael Karsch, Former RLACEI Board Director
In 2014, I was finishing up my MBA program at the University of Michigan. It was one of the most difficult moments in my life – 21 months’ worth while working at the Employees Club, both full time. As the program was winding down and graduation was nimbly approaching, the university published an ad in the Wall Street Journal with the names of my classmates and me, congratulating us on our educational journey. I said to myself, “Who reads the Wall Street Journal, much less sees my name printed in it?”
On a Monday morning, as I just returned from a four-day class and lecture session and was diving back to work at the office, I got a call on my cell phone from Ed letting me know that he saw my name in the Wall Street Journal and congratulated me on a my accomplishments at Michigan. I also had the opportunity to talk to his lovely wife, Martha. Aside from learning that Ed reads the Wall Street Journal, his call that morning tells you all that you need to know about him. He is thoughtful, kind, sincere, a legendary leader, and most of all a friend to me.
– Robert Larios, Chief Operating Officer, Employees Club of California
My friendship with Ed spans back to my earliest days at the Los Angeles City Employees Association as Club Counselor, marketing officer, Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO. That’s at least 25 years. We worked together to provide Retirees with the products they needed for a safe, secure retirement. He was full of insights on how to serve people better, and he was right.
Our friendship grew in 2002 as the LACEA developed into the Club. I needed content for our revamped Alive! newsletter, which we wanted to expand greatly from a small quarterly to a meaty monthly. He wanted to be part of our new future, and he gave me what I needed. He supplied content immediately and started writing columns the next year.
And then in 2012, our friendship entered another new phase when, as Director of the Board of the RLACEI, he led his board to decide to partner with the Club, and make all RLACEI members Club members, too. That opened a whole world of benefits to his constituents. All along the way, we’ve caught up at ClubFests, golf tournaments, holiday parties, in the Club office, and really lots of just running into each other.
The friendship you see on the cover of the June 2012 issue is real, created over many years of respect and cooperation. But more than that, Ed’s warmth sticks with me. He called me when I was promoted here at the Club; when my wife, Kelley, and I welcomed children into our family; and at various other times. That gesture meant, and means, a lot.
Congratulations on your awesome RLACEI career, Ed. Sail forth into a future of other possibilities. You’ve served the City, your Retired members, and the Club well. All the best.
– John Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Employees Club of California.