Board of Trustees


Strongly committed to the Mission of Lewis University, the Board of Trustees consists of nearly forty very competent men and women who bring to the University a wide range of experience in diverse fields, including corporate leadership, law, higher education, volunteer work, healthcare, finance, government and industry. Board membership includes eight members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, sponsors of Lewis University. At the current time, twenty-two Trustees are alumni of Lewis University.

The Board of Trustees provides significant support and advocacy for the Catholic and Lasallian Mission of Lewis University. The Trustees help ensure that the University will be directed in accord with the moral, spiritual and religious inspiration and values of the Catholic Church and guided by the spiritual, intellectual and educational ideals of the Christian Brothers, in the spirit of their founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

Since 1680, educational institutions around the world have been influenced by the vision and innovative spirit of De La Salle, the patron saint of teachers. Lasallian education emphasizes academic excellence, faith formation, an appreciation of diversity, respect for the individual, service and social justice. A Lasallian education strives to enrich each student's intellectual, cultural, physical, social and spiritual development. The De La Salle Christian Brothers and their Lasallian partners, with the constant encouragement of the Lewis University Board of Trustees, continue to respond to students by stimulating minds, touching hearts and cultivating leadership.

The Lewis University Board of Trustees meets three times annually, usually in February, May and October. Each Trustee is invited to serve on at least one of the Board Committees, including those for Academic Affairs, Audit, Development, Finance, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Mission & Planning, Student Services, Trusteeship and Governance, and Property, Plant and Equipment. Chairs of these committees serve along with the Board officers on the Executive Committee. Each of these committees considers a variety of relevant topics in depth and presents its recommendations to the full Board, on issues such as academic programming, campus planning, capital development and funding, annual budgets and more. Committee reports are scheduled at each Board meeting.

Board of Trustees 2014-2015

First row (seated) left to right:
Brother Larry Schatz, FSC;  Brother James Gaffney, FSC;  James LaGrippe, Board Chair; Mohra Gavankar, Board Secretary; Russ Smyth, Vice Chair, and Robert Beckman, Treasurer.

Second row (standing):
Cherilyn Murer; Dr. Sarode Pundaleeka; Brother Joseph Saurbier, FSC; John Cumbee, III; Brother Dominic Ehrmantraut, FSC; Barbara Martin; Brother Kevin Convey, FSC; Dr. Siham Ibrahim; and Brother Milton Barker, FSC.

Third row:
Robert Pluth, Jr.;  Brother Patrick Conway;   Dolores Pavletic; Reverend Paul E. Novak, OSM;  Greg Maruszak; Kevin Newquist; Jeffrey J. Stahl, John Kalec, Michael Blake; Dr. Stephany Schlachter, Provost,  and Brother Michael Quirk, FSC.

Top row: 
Robert DeRose, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer; Jane Condon; Joel Stava; Clifton Kelly; Dennis Tonelli; Kathleen Halloran; Michael Parker; Tim Ferrarell; and William Rybak, Trustee and Chair Emeritus.

Officers of the Board of Trustees 2014-2015

James LaGrippe, Chair
Russ Smyth, Vice Chair
Mohra Gavankar, Secretary
Robert Beckman, Treasurer

See schedule of Board of Trustees meetings.

Members of the Board of Trustees

As of October 2014

Brother Milton Barker, FSC
Executive Vice President
Totino-Grace High School

Robert Beckman, Treasurer
Chief Executive Officer
Wicab, Inc.

Michael Blake
President and Chief Executive Officer
Olympus Financial Advisors, LLC

Robert O. Carr
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Heartland Payment Systems

Jane Condon
First Choice Temporary Service, Inc.

Brother Kevin Convey, FSC
Director of Education and Mission (Retired)
Christian Brothers of the Midwest

Brother Patrick Conway, FSC
Saint Mary’s University

John E. Cumbee III
Chief Executive Officer
Integrity Trade Services

Brother Dominic Ehrmantraut, FSC
Christian Brothers University

Timothy Ferrarell
Senior Vice President, Enterprise Systems (Retired)
W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Kenneth Gabriel

Brother James Gaffney, FSC
Lewis University

Mohra Gavankar, Secretary
President of Rockdale Controls Inc. and
President of RoCo Productions

James Goodwin
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
United Airlines

Kathleen Halloran
Executive Vice President (Retired)
Nicor, Inc.

Dr. Siham Ibrahim
Helander Metal Spinning Company

John Kalec
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Clayton Homes

Clifton Kelly
Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

James LaGrippe, Chair
Majority Owner
Blue Bengal Learning Labs

William A. Lorenz
Market Executive Leader
Merrill Lynch/Bank of America

Barbara J. Martin
President and Chief Executive Officer
Vista Health System

Gregory Maruszak
Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer (Retired)
Andrew Corporation

Cherilyn Murer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Murer Consultants, Inc.

Kevin Newquist
Newquist Associates

Reverend Paul E. Novak, OSM
De La Salle Institute

Michael Parker
Senior Vice President – Executive Director Broker Relations (Retired)
Liberty Mutual Middle Market

Dolores Pavletic
Captain/Airline Pilot/Fleet Check Airman
FedEx Express

Robert Pluth, Jr.
Schiff Hardin LLP

Dr. Sarode Pundaleeka
Practice President
Joliet Oncology-Hematology Assoc. Ltd.

Brother Michael Quirk, FSC
President/Chief Executive Officer
Christian Brothers Services

Sister Mary Reap, IHM
Elms College

William Rybak
Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Retired)
Van Kampen Investments

Brother Joseph Saurbier, FSC
Director of Administration and Operations
Christian Brothers of the Midwest

Brother Larry Schatz, FSC
Christian Brothers of the Midwest

Russ Smyth, Vice Chair
Chief Executive Officer
The HAVI Group, LP

Jeffrey J. Stahl
Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC

Joel Stava
Midwest Tungsten Services, Inc.

Dennis Tonelli
Vice President (Retired)
Ruettiger, Tonelli & Associates, Inc.

Trustees Emeriti

Reverend Wiliam T. Cullen
Pastor Emeritus
Ascension Parish
Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Michael Hughes
Huen Electric
Broadview, IL

Kathryn Kelly
Attorney-at-Law (Retired)
Franklin, TN

Michael E. Waters
Board Chair Emeritus
Waters and Associates
Lake Forest, IL