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Board of Directors

Last Updated: July 2020

David BainesMr. David E. Baines '69
Mr. Baines is a retired senior vice president with United States Aviation Underwriters Inc., a company that provides insurance to various airlines and aviation companies. He is an avid pilot, a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, was a member of the men’s soccer team and is an active volunteer for Wittenberg’s Office of Advancement. He and wife, Cherie, established the David and Sharon Baines Endowed Scholarship in 2011. Appointed to Board: 2013

Wes BatesMr. Wes C. Bates '70
Mr. Bates is CEO and chairman of the board of Stanley Steemer International. Recipient of the Alumni Association’s most prestigious recognition, the Class of 1914 Award, given to individuals who have served Wittenberg above and beyond what might be expected of any contributor to the college’s welfare, he is currently chair of the Enrollment & Marketing Committee of the Wittenberg Board of Directors. He is married to Ann Sammel Bates ’70, and together they have a son and a daughter. They were also the lead donors for the new Health, Wellness & Athletics (HWA) Complex, and its centerpiece, The Steemer. Appointed to Board: 2007

Andy BellMr. R. Andrew Bell
Mr. Bell, now retired, formerly served as senior vice president at Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. Prior to this position, he was president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio and director of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. A graduate of Miami University and of the London School of Economics, Mr. Bell is a Springfield native, having been active on numerous boards including the Global STEM Academy, the Clark State Foundation, the Springfield Family YMCA, the United Way of Clark and Champaign Counties, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Foundation, the Springfield Rotary Club, and Security National Bank. He and his wife, Catherine, have four sons. Appointed to Board: 2013

William BoggsMr. William S. Boggs '68
Mr. Boggs has served as an attorney with DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, with a specific focus on the San Diego area. He earned his J.D. from Harvard University Law School. Mr. Boggs has since retired from regular practice and is now acting as a consultant with DLA Piper’s National Litigation Training program. While attending Wittenberg, he was a member of the football team and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In addition to his service on the Board of Directors, Mr. Boggs also volunteers with the Office of Advancement. A number of his family members are Wittenberg alumni, including his sister, Sally Bashore ’66, and one of his cousins, John Boggs ’68. Appointed to Board: 2016

DillahuntRev. Suzanne Dillahunt
Rev. Dillahunt serves as bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She previously served as assistant to the bishop in the ELCA Southern Ohio Synod and as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Eaton, Ohio, Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna, Ohio, and Christ Lutheran Church (now known as Faith in Christ Lutheran Church) in Springfield, Ohio. Bishop Dillahunt’s son, Nathaniel, is a 2015 Wittenberg graduate, and the University hosted her Installation to the Office of Bishop of the ELCA Southern Ohio Synod in 2013, marking the first time a woman was named bishop of a corporate-size ELCA synod. Appointed to the Board: 2020

William EdwardsMr. William D. Edwards '89
Mr. Edwards officially became Board chair in July 2020. He is a partner with Ulmer & Berne LLP in Cleveland, Ohio, and serves as the chair of the law firm's Employment and Labor group. Mr. Edwards has been recognized numerous times by Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Super Lawyers. A history major and a member of the football team during his time at Wittenberg, he earned his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University in 1993. Mr. Edwards' family has a lasting legacy at Wittenberg, starting with his grandfather, also William “Bill” Edwards, who served as Wittenberg’s legendary head football coach and athletics director from 1955 until his retirement in 1973. Bill Edwards Drive, the road running directly in front of the Wittenberg Stadium and new Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex, is named for Mr. Edwards' grandfather. Appointed to Board: 2015

Wendy FordMs. Wendy Ford '76
A retired director of human resources with the Springfield City School District, Ms. Ford is a leader in the Springfield community through her service as first vice president of the Wittenberg Guild, as a member of the Community Health Foundation board, the Covenant United Methodist Freedom School board, Opportunities for Individual Change, and United Senior Services. Ms. Ford is married to Eddie '75, and together they have two children. Appointed to Board: 2018

Vicki HooperMrs. Alvera S. "Vikki" Hooper '78
Mrs. Hooper is currently a semi-retired Instructor-Facilitator for IBM Corp. Prior to this post, she served as Assistant to the Pastor for Gethsemane Baptist Church. Mrs. Hooper was a member of the Concerned Black Students organization. During a prior Alumni Board term, Mrs. Hooper served as Alumni Board President, sitting on the Advancement/Alumni Relations and Enrollment/Marketing committees of the Board of Directors during her term. She has represented Wittenberg at multiple events, including the inauguration of the new president of Marymount University, and continues to serve as an Alumni Chapter Leader in her region. Appointed to Board: 2019

Janet JacksonMs. Janet E. Jackson '75
Recently retired president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio, where she served for 13 years, Ms. Jackson was the first woman and the first African American to lead the agency in its 80-year history. She was also the first woman elected Columbus City Attorney. In addition, Jackson was the first African-American judge in Franklin County. She earned her law degree from George Washington University School of Law. Her son followed in her footsteps in attending Wittenberg. Appointed to Board: 2016

Doug KentfieldMr. Douglas Kentfield '78
Mr. Kentfield is Head of Wealth Management for Steward Partners Global Advisory in New York City. He previously served as Senior Advisor for NextShares Solutions LLC, a financial firm and subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corporation. Additionally, he served as Managing Director for Morgan Stanley’s western division and as a Senior Vice President and Regional Director for Smith Barney. Mr. Kentfield was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Wittenberg, and as an alumnus has worked as an Advancement Volunteer and on the Wittenberg Alumni Board. Mr. Kentfield previously served on the Board from 2006-2018. Appointed to Board: 2020

James LaksoDr. James J. Lakso '67
Dr. Lakso is Provost and Vice President for Student Development and Professor of Economics Emeritus at Juniata College. He joined the Juniata faculty in 1970, was promoted to full professor in 1981, and was named Provost and Vice President for Student Development in 1998. Juniata's Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning was named in his honor, and The Lakso Endowment for Faculty Excellence was created in 2011 to support faculty development. Lakso currently serves as the vice-chair of the board of directors for Kish Bancorp (KISB), and he serves on the board of United Lutheran Seminary. An economics major at Wittenberg, Lakso was awarded an Alumni Citation in 2014. Appointed to Board: 2018

Bob MerzweilerMr. Bob Merzweiler '76
Mr. Merzweiler is the chairman and CEO of Landmark Plastic Corporation, an Akron-based firm he founded in 1984. The company focuses primarily in horticultural plant packaging and actively participates in sustainability efforts, including collection and usage of recycled plastics. He is a member of the Ohio Foundation for Independent Colleges (OFIC) and has been a member of the Akron Roundtable, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron General Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Info Line Inc. Board of Trustees. He and wife Vicki live in Akron. His daughter, Lauren, is a member of the class of 2004. Appointed to Board: 2017

Steve NeelyMr. Steve Neely '75
Mr. Neely serves as president of Springfield-based Armoloy of Ohio Inc., where he works directly with renowned companies such as Kraft Foods and Kellogg’s. A community leader, Neely has served numerous organizations in the Springfield area, including the Springfield Foundation, the Clark State Foundation, and the Community Healthcare Foundation. He is also a past president of the Springfield Rotary Club, and it was through Springfield Rotary that Neely became involved in aiding orphaned children from the South African Kingdom of Lesotho after learning about the effort through Wittenberg. He is married to Mary Alice Schryver Neely '75. Appointed to Board: 2018

Scott NessRev. Scott Ness '01
Rev. Ness is the associate pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. In addition to similar positions held at St. Paul Lutheran Church (Bridgeport, Ohio) and St. John Lutheran Church (Grove City, Ohio), Rev. Ness is also a committee member of the NALC National Committee. While at Wittenberg, he was a member of the men’s basketball team and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. In addition, he was a Resident Advisor and a member of Senior Circle. As an alumnus, Rev. Ness has served as a class agent, volunteered with admission, and served on Wittenberg’s Alumni Board. Appointed to Board: 2019

Eric RusnakMr. Eric C. Rusnak '00
Mr. Rusnak is a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, in Washington, DC, and practices law in the areas of intellectual property and corporate litigation. He earned his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2003. In addition to his service on the Board, he serves on Wittenberg’s Alumni Board and as a volunteer for the Office of Advancement. At Wittenberg, Mr. Rusnak was a member of the Wittenberg Review of Literature and Art editorial board and the Spectrum editorial board. Appointed to Board: 2016

Catherine Schibler KeeganRev. Catherine L. Schibler Keegan '82
Rev. Schibler is a Lutheran pastor. She is the regional representative for her synod with Portico Benefits Service, a group that provides retirement and life insurance benefits to pastors, ministers, and lay employees within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). A volunteer in the Office of Advancement, she is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. As a student, she participated in the Wittenberg music program and was a member of The Torch newspaper staff. She is married to Clayton Keegan, and many of her relatives are Wittenberg alumni, including three of her sisters and daughters, Meredith ’16 and Sarah ’17. Appointed to Board: 2016

Lewis ShawMr. Lewis W. Shaw, II '66
Mr. Shaw is the chairman and CEO of Jackson-Shaw Co., a real estate development company that specializes in development opportunities for light office, light industrial, office/warehouse, and hospitality services. Mr. Shaw, who was a philosophy major at Wittenberg, has worked in the Office of Advancement as a volunteer in addition to his service on the Board of Directors. During his tenure on the Board, he has helped to lead the construction of the Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex, the renovation of Blair Hall, and the restoration of Commencement Hollow. Appointed to Board: 2001

John ShumateMr. John Shumate '99
Mr. Shumate is currently group vice president of brand marketing - luxury properties at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, Nevada. He formerly served as vice president for marketing and brand management at Eastbay, a subsidiary of Foot Locker. Prior to this position, he served as director of strategy & innovation for the Water+ brand at PepsiCo. He also held marketing positions with a number of sports teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Orlando Magic, and Columbus Blue Jackets. As a student, Mr. Shumate was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Concerned Black Students, and Union Board, and he was among the founders of WittFest. Appointed to Board: 2019

Alan StewartDr. Alan D. Stewart '69
Dr. Stewart is an internal medicine physician with Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind. He has also served as medical director of Good Samaritan’s rehabilitation unit and as director of medical education for the hospital. He previously owned a private practice (1976-2006). Named 2008 Citizen of the Year for his work within the Vincennes community and the 2020 Public Servant of the Year by the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Stewart is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and was awarded Wittenberg's prestigious Class of 1914 award in 2010. A founding member of Wittenberg's Parents Leadership Council, he has served as an Office of Advancement volunteer. Wife, Pamela ’69, and all of their children, Elisabeth ’96, Christopher ’99, Melissa ’02, Jonathan ’06, Rebekah ’08, and Zachary ’11, are graduates of Wittenberg. Appointed to Board: 2016

Ron SzuchMr. Ron Szuch '87
Mr. Szuch is president and CEO of Union Capital Mortgage Corp. in the Cleveland/Akron area, which focuses primarily on providing residential loans to individuals. A member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, he played a leadership role in the now completed Health, Wellness & Athletics Restoration Expansion Initiative. Mr. Szuch currently splits his time between his home in Sarasota, Fla. and the Union Capitol offices in Mentor, Ohio. While at Wittenberg, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and on the football team. Appointed to Board: 2017

Martin UhleMr. Martin J. Uhle '85
Mr. Uhle is president & CEO of the Community West Foundation, which serves the west side of Cleveland. Previously, Mr. Uhle was the executive director of the Pierstorf Memorial Fund, based out of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio. The Pierstorf Fund has made $8 million in loans to more than 1,200 students since inception. Mr. Uhle previously served as president and CEO of Vantage Financial Group in Cleveland, Ohio, and as president and COO of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. In 2017, he was named superintendent and CEO of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association. Mr. Uhle received his M.B.A. from Baldwin Wallace College. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and was a founding member of the Parents Leadership Council. He and wife, Laura, have two sons, both Wittenberg grads – Ryan ’11, and Steven ’13. His father, John ’59, and brother, Christopher ’89, are also alumni. Appointed to Board: 2009

Jim WadeMr. Jim Wade '69
Mr. Wade spent most of his career as a senior broadcast journalist with the BBC World News in London, England. This position entailed both work within the BBC London newsrooms as well as locations across the globe, including Peru and Japan. In addition, he served as the chair of the Abbeyfield Oxford Society, which operates the Abbeyfield House, a residential care home in Oxfordshire. Since his return to the United States a few years ago, he has volunteered with the Wittenberg Offices of University Communications, Admission and Advancement, serving as chair of the Cincinnati Health, Wellness and Athletics facility committee and with the Tiger Career Network. Appointed to Board: 2017

Scott WattersMr. Scott H. "Muddy" Watters '87
Mr. Watters is owner and president of Flippin Water LLC, which assists with fundraising, equity and debt solutions, capital and finance restructuring. He earned an MBA from Nova College in 1990. A member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, he was a standout on the football field earning the Golden Helmet Award, first-team All-American honors and the Lee Tressel Award. He was also a four-year letter winner, three-time All-OAC player and two-time MVP with records for “tackles in a season” and “tackles in a career." He was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 2004. He and wife Beverley ’85 have three sons. His brother, Jacques ’89, and sister, Martine ’85, are also alumni. Appointed to Board: 2016

James WymerMr. James R. Wymer '77
Mr. Wymer is president of WXZ Development, a company that grows real estate throughout the United States. Through WXZ, he has developed more than 250 single-tenant retail buildings and strip centers throughout Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. He has been listed as principal on the construction of more than $100 million in multi-family housing units across Northeast Ohio, and owns private homes in Westlake, Ohio and in the Naples, Fla., areas. Mr. Wymer is a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was on the football team. He has worked as a volunteer in the Office of Advancement. He and wife Maria ’77 have one daughter. Appointed to Board: 2011

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