Board approves chairperson-elect, new trustees


Image via University of Pittsburgh

Thomas Richards, executive chairman of CDW, will serve as the board of trustees chairperson-elect.

By Jon Moss, News Editor

At the summer board of trustees meeting Friday morning, the board approved nominations for a chairperson-elect as well as five new trustees.

The governance and nominating committee had voted in favor of the nominees at a June 10 meeting.

Board Chairperson Eva Tansky Blum, a former PNC executive and the first woman to hold the role, will serve a special one-year extension to her four-year tenure as board chairperson. Thomas Richards, executive chairman of CDW, a technology solutions company, will serve as chairperson-elect to learn the ropes. He will officially take over as the new chairperson of Pitt’s board in June 2020. Richards was first elected to the board of trustees in 2011 and has served on a variety of committees, including the audit and governance, athletics and nominating committees, as well as the risk and compliance committee, which he chaired from 2013 to 2018.

Douglas Browning, Louis Cestello, David Chavern, Deborah Gillotti, Michael Wells and G. Nicholas Beckwith III were re-elected to new four-year terms on the board.

The board also confirmed several new trustees to join its ranks, including:

  • Robert Agbede, vice chairperson of Hatch USA, a management, engineering and development consultancy. Agbede has won several awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Business Services and the National Society of Black Engineers Golden Torch Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, and he was inducted into the Swanson School of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2000.
  • SaLisa Berrien, founder and CEO of COI Energy, a green technology company. Berrien has received service awards from the city of Bethlehem, Lehigh University, the National Society of Black Engineers and the YWCA. She established the Karl H. Lewis Engineering Impact Alumni Endowment at Pitt in 2004 for students of African descent enrolled in engineering.
  • Sundaa Bridgett-Jones, senior associate director for policy at the Rockefeller Foundation, the nation’s 39th largest foundation. Bridgett-Jones, a lifelong public servant, served as the USAID representative in establishing Iraq’s post-invasion Coalition Provisional Authority and as special assistant to the assistant secretary general of the United Nations for Asia and the Middle East.
  • Wen-Ta Chiu, co-CEO of AHMC Healthcare, a California hospital system. Chiu has served many different roles related to health care in both the academic and public sectors, including a four-year term at the helm of Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and dean of the School of Public Health at Taipei Medical University. He serves on the Board of Visitors for Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health.
  • Adam Walker, CEO of Summit Packaging Solutions, a packaging services company. Walker has won several awards for his contribution to the packaging industry, including U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Firm of the Year in 2016 and Atlanta Tribune Men of Distinction in 2017.