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Six new members welcomed to the Rockford University Board of Trustees

Friday, November 15, 2013  
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For Immediate Release – 11/14/2013
Contact – Rita Elliott, Director of Communications: 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill. – The Rockford University Board of Trustees expanded its ranks by unanimously approving six new members at its October meetings. Five of the six are graduates of Rockford University. University President Robert L. Head, Ph.D., notes, "Our newest members possess an impressive breadth of experience and expertise that will further enhance the overall excellence represented in our Board of Trustees. This dedicated all-volunteer board is wholly committed to the long-range success of the institution, serving to elevate the pivotal role higher education holds for our youth, learners of every age, and our community at large. It is with privilege that I welcome these talented new members to our Board.”

Joining the Rockford University Board of Trustees are:

Clarke, James James H. Clarke, Ph.D., class of 1967 – Dr. Clarke serves as professor of civil and environmental engineering and professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University. His research activities are focused on chemical and nuclear waste management, sustainable approaches to the remediation of contaminated sites, environmental policy and environmental forensics. Dr. Clarke previously served on the board as trustee from 1996 through 2007. He is a resident of Brentwood, Tenn.
Elizabeth I. Donovan – Ms. Donovan is a graduate of the University of Illinois and serves as Global Marketing Operations Manager for Ford Motor Company. Prior to her current role, she was Vice President for Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford Australia and a member of the Australian Operating Committee. Before moving to Australia, Ms. Donovan held the position of North American Group Product Marketing and Planning Manager for Small and Medium Cars in the U.S. She currently resides in Gross Pointe, Mich.
Thomas A. Gendron, MBA class of 1988 – Mr. Gendron resides in Fort Collins, Colo., and serves as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Woodward, Inc. He has been with Woodward for more than 20 years in both the aircraft and industrial businesses, providing leadership in sales, marketing, business development, and product support management. Mr. Gendron earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Gendron held positions with Sundstrand Corporation and Thermotron.
(photo not available) Elizabeth Hegel, class of 1981  – While at Rockford College, Ms. Hagel earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and proceeded to earn her law degree from the University of Chicago. She has worked for two law firms, Williams & McCarthy (Rockford and Oregon, Ill., offices) and Fearer, Nye, Ahlberg & Chadwick (Oregon, Ill). Subsequently, Betsy, and her husband John ’81, embarked on the ownership of Hegel Holdings LLC/American Control Electronics in South Beloit. She is a resident of Rockton, Ill.
Nathan Howard, class of 1997 – Mr. Howard resides in Durand, Ill., and serves as President of William Charles Ltd. Prior to his current role, he served as President of Rockford Truck Sales. He is a director with several organizations including American Contractors Insurance Group, Bridge Ministries, Alpine Bank Corporation, Northern Illinois Contractors Association, Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association and Rock River Environmental Services.
Judge Iain David Johnston, class of 1987 – Mr. Johnston earned his law degree from John Marshall and serves as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. He is also an adjunct professor with John Marshall Law School. Prior to his appointment as Magistrate Judge, Mr. Johnston was a founding member of the law firm Johnston Greene LLC, where he focused on a wide array of government and commercial matters. He also served as a Senior Counsel at Holland & Knight, among other key appointments.

Current members of the Board of Trustees include:


  • Charles L. Colman, '06H, Chair of the Board
    Retired, President, The Colman Group, Williams Bay, Wis.
  • Thomas A. Muldowney, '74, Vice Chair of the Board
    Managing Director, Savant Capital Management, Inc. , Rockford, Ill.
  • Barbara R. Tanaglia, '73, Secretary of the Board
    Manager, Information Center, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rockford, Ill.
  • R. Ray Wood, '10H, Treasurer of the Board, Consultant, Rockford, Ill.


  • Charles Box, President, The Box Group, LLC, Rockford, Ill.
  • Dawn R. Hallsten, '73, Attorney, Rockford, Ill.
  • Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President Rockford University, Rockford, Ill.
  • L. Thomas Heiser, '84, President & CEO, KOE-Americas Inc., Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Helen C. Hill, '70, President, Helen Hill Communications, Rockford, Ill.
  • Teresa J. Ingrassia, MBA '86, Community Leader, Rockford, Ill.
  • Dennis W. Johnson, President, Retired, hc Johnson Press, Rockford, Ill.
  • Marci K. Taets, '92, South Beloit, Ill.
  • James W. Keeling, Attorney, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Rockford, Ill.
  • Dan G. Loescher, President, Loescher & Associates, Ltd., Rockford, Ill.
  • Donald R. Patrick, '72, Alumni Trustee, President, Sanford Rose Associates, Johns Creek, Ga.
  • David R. Rydell, '63, President, Bergstrom Inc., Rockford, Ill.
  • Sunil Puri, '82, President, First Rockford Group, Inc., Rockford, Ill.
  • Stephanie Tassone, Student Trustee, Sandwich, Ill.
  • Jane R. Thomas, Ph.D., '56, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.
  • Frank E. Walter, Executive Vice President, Riverside Bank, Rockford, Ill.
  • Belinda Wholeben, Ed.D., Faculty Trustee, Professor of Psychology, Rockford, Ill.
  • James S. Whitehead, '04H, Attorney, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, Chicago, Ill.
  • Jonathan S. Whitlock, Private Investor, Rockford, Ill.
  • Frederic M. Young, '65, President & CEO, Forest City Gear Company, Roscoe, Ill.

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