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Board of Visitors Biographical Information

2017-2018

Conrad Bessemer, Chair

1974 Pre-Law

President/Managing Partner Novatec, Inc.

Novatec, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of plastics resin drying and conveying systems in North America with customers including Coca-Cola, Shaw Carpeting, Nestle, Nissan, Toyota and many others. Mr. Bessemer currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Plastics Industry, Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Susan, support the Democracy Institute, Paterno Fellows Program and Schreyer Honors College. They both volunteer for the college's mentor program. Their son Andrew D’Aversa graduated from Penn State Schreyer Honors College with a double major in Business Management/History; he is now begining his third year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

 

William D. DeGrandis

1977 Political Science

1980 J.D., UCLA

Bill is a Partner with Paul Hastings LLP, an international law firm, and Bill has over thirty years of experience in the energy regulatory and transactions area.   He concentrates in the development, financing and acquisition/sale of energy infrastructure projects, including renewable energy and other power generation projects, as well as electric transmission and gas pipeline facilities.  He has been named an outstanding energy lawyer by Chambers USA, SuperLawyers, Law 500 and the International Project Finance Review.   He is a former member of the Energy Bar Association Board of Directors and former Chairman of the Board’s Pro Bono Committee.

He and his wife Monica support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship and established a program fund in the Department of Political Science for an Early Career Professorship and student scholarship.  He was named the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus by Phi Sigma Kappa—Kappa Chapter, and Bill served as Chairman of the fraternity chapter’s $ 1.4 million Capital Campaign.

 

Michael J. DeMarco

1982 Political Science

1984 Economics, Temple University

1991 M.B.A., Columbia University

Michael joined ExxonMobil in 1991 and has served in many capacities including financial planning, marketing and now customer service. He currently serves as the Global Customer Service Strategic Alignment Manager, leading a team of strategy advisors responsible for linking the customer service offer, organizational structure and resources with the company’s strategy and the internal and external business environment. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, Michael was a commercial lender at the Philadelphia National Bank, now Wells Fargo. In addition, he is an elected member of the Fairfax City Council now serving in his 3rd term.

Michael is a Liberal Arts mentor. In 2012, he and his wife, Joanne, established a director’s fund in the Penn State Democracy Institute.

 

Donald T. DiFrancesco

1966 Insurance and Real Estate

1969 J.D., Seton Hall University

Don is a Partner with the law firm, DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer, & Flaum, P.C.  Previously, he had an accomplished career of 25 years in public service as a longtime member of the New Jersey Senate. Through his role as President of the N.J. Senate, Don also served as the fifty-first governor of New Jersey during 2001.

Don and his wife, Diane, have established an undergraduate scholarship in the department of political science.

 

A. Martin Erim

1973 Political Science

1977 J.D., American University

For nearly thirty years, Martin has served in leadership roles in various U.S. and international business ventures. He is currently President & CEO of First Renaissance Ventures – based in Washington, D.C., the firm provides planning, funding and logistical services to firms looking at international expansion. He is a member of the National Military Intelligence Association and chairman of the nonpartisan organization, Americas for Strong National Security.

Martin and his wife, Muzeyyen, established a fund in the Department of Political Science.

 

Michael J. Gilotti

1969 Political Science

Michael is Vice President of Business Development at GR-NEAM, a global investment advisory firm. He has more than forty years of insurance and investment experience and served in leadership positions with firms such as Advisors Financial Solutions Inc. and the Phoenix Companies. He is past Chairman of IRI, the Insured Retirement Institute, and past member of the Board of Directors.

He and his wife, Angela, established a Trustee Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts.

 

J. Scott Hommer III

1983 Political Science

1987 J.D., Georgetown University

Scott is a Partner with Venable LLP, a National corporate and business law firm, whose clients include technology companies and government contractors. In addition, Scott is a leader in numerous professional and community organizations including the Northern Virginia Technology Council  and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. His honors include the 2008 Outstanding Political Science Alumnus Award from the College of the Liberal Arts.

Scott and his wife, Deborah, have supported the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship.

 

Maryann F. Hunter

1979 Political Science

Maryann Hunter is the deputy director of the Division of Bank Supervision and Regulation at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Ms. Hunter has responsibility for the Federal Reserve’s program for supervision and risk management and oversees the supervision of U.S. banking organizations and foreign banking organizations operating in the U.S. Ms. Hunter joined the Board in 2006 as an adviser and was later promoted to deputy director in the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs. She was named deputy director in the Division of Bank Supervision and Regulation in August 2010. Prior to joining the Board of Governors staff, Ms. Hunter held a number of high-level positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She started her career at the Federal Reserve as an examiner in 1981 and was promoted to senior vice president and officer in charge of Supervision in 2000. She also served as senior vice president and branch manager in charge of bank operations at the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Ms. Hunter has a B.A. from Penn State (’79 Political Science) and an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. She is also a graduate of the Colorado Graduate School of Banking.

 

Jeffrey L. Hyde

1977 Pre-Law

1980 J.D., Dickinson School of Law

1984 LLM (Tax), Temple University

Jeff is Senior Tax Counsel for GE Company and a leading expert on state tax policy and tax issues in the U.S. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Council on State Tax, non-profit trade association of Fortune 1000 companies. Jeff was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2011 and serves on the Liberal Arts Development Council.

He and his wife, Sharon, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship. They also established a Trustee Scholarship and a director’s fund in the Penn State Democracy Institute, as well as a football scholarship in memory of Jeff’s mother. They are members of the Mount Nittany Society.

 

Jeff Jubelirer

1993 Political Science

Jeff is Vice President, Bellevue Communications Group, a full-service public relations firm specializing in public relations, media relations, crisis communications and issue management. Jeff is also an adjunct professor teaching issue & crisis management at Temple University and serves on the University's Department of Strategic Communication Advisory Council. In addition, he writes a monthly column in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly on emerging issues in public relations.

Jeff serves on the Boards of The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, the Anti-Defamation League of Eastern Pennsylvania/Southern NJ/Delaware, and Legacy Youth Tennis and Education. In May 2012 Jeff received the prestigious national Daniel Ginsberg Award for his exemplary leadership on behalf of the ADL.

At Penn State, he served as a Lion Ambassador, participated as a dancer and volunteer at THON, and was elected to the Mortar Board leadership society and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Jeff earned master’s degrees in both Political Science (’96) and Integrated Marketing Communications (’97) at Northwestern University.


Steven B. Kelmar

1979 Public Administration

Steve is Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs of Aetna, Inc., a Fortune 100 health care benefits company. Previously, Steve held senior leadership roles at Merck & Co., Novartis AG, and Medtronics. He has served on the board of several health care companies.

In addition, Steve had an accomplished career in public service. He served under President George Bush as Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was the Chief of Staff for two members of Congress.

Steve was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Political Science Alumnus Award from the College of the Liberal Arts.

 

Alan E. Kerry

1971 Political Science

1973 M.A. Public Administration

Alan is President of Lord Baltimore Properties, a national privately held real estate development company. He has more than 30 years of experience in the development, marketing and management of commercial real estate. In addition, Alan has held leadership roles in many professional and community organizations.

He was recognized with the 2007 Outstanding Political Science Alumnus from the College of the Liberal Arts. He and his wife, Teri, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship. They also established an undergraduate scholarship in memory of his mother and father. They are members of the Mount Nittany Society.

 

David Kinnan

1968 B.A. Political Science

1970 J.D. The University of Texas School of Law

Managed Shell Oil Company Legal Organization units responsible for supporting Chemicals, Exploration & Production, and Oil Products (refining, marketing, transportation, distribution) businesses. Also managed the Intellectual Property (Patents & Licensing) legal unit for a time. Consistent with promotions to General Attorney (1984), Assistant General Counsel (1989), and Associate General Counsel (1998), was lead attorney charged with functional legal support of applicable business unit while serving as a member of the applicable business leadership team. In these positions, was accountable to the relevant business unit for all legal activities, including acquisitions and divestitures, litigation, and overall business legal support. Also served as General Counsel of the Shell/Texaco/Saudi Aramco downstream alliance (Equilon and Motiva Enterprises) (1998-2002). At time of retirement on June 1, 2006, was Associate General Counsel and Legal Director, Shell E&P Western Hemisphere (North and South America). During 2011 - 2014, served as a member of the board of Middletown, Ohio - based Hightowers Petroleum Company. Prior to Shell Oil experience, was a litigation associate with the Houston, Texas law firm of Tindall & Foster (1976-1977) and served as Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force (1971-1976) at KI Sawyer AFB (Marquette) Michigan and Ellington Field (Houston) Texas.

Dave and his wife, Madelyn, have established an undergraduate scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts.

 

Spencer D. Klein

1986 Political Science

1989 J.D., Hofstra University

Spencer is a Partner with the law firm, Morrison & Foerster LLP, and serves as Co-Chair of its global Mergers and Acquisitions group. In addition, he is a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University and a member of the Hofstra Law School Dean’s Advisory Board.

He is Past Chair of the Board of Visitors for the Department of Political Science in the College of the Liberal Arts. Spencer and his wife, Andrea, established a Trustee Scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts, in memory of his father, a Holocaust survivor.   They are members of the Mount Nittany Society.

 

David M. Kleppinger

1977 Political Science

1980 J.D., Temple University

David is Chairman of the law firm, McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, with expertise in energy and utility law.  He was awarded The Executive of the Year award for his contributions to the Central Pennsylvania business community and Chaired the 2013 United Way of the Capital Region Campaign. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University.

He and his wife, Joanne, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship and the Democracy Institute.  They also support a family program support fund for baseball in Intercollegiate Athletics.

 

Thomas Merchant

1990 Economics; JD New York University School of Law

As General Counsel of Legg Mason, Tom is responsible for overseeing the company's legal and compliance departments, which include over 100 employees worldwide. Since joining Legg Mason in 1998, he has been responsible for the company's corporate legal activities, including acquisitions, financings and public company reporting. During this time, Tom has led all legal aspects of over 25 acquisitions and dispositions, including the $3.7 billion transaction in which Legg Mason exchanged its retail broker-dealer business for Citigroup's global asset management business, resulting in Legg Mason focusing on the asset management business and Citigroup exiting the retail mutual fund business. Prior to joining Legg Mason, from 1993 to 1998, he served as a Corporate Associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York.

Tom's wife, Jill, is a 1990 Penn State graduate in Business, and former actuarial assistant in the reinsurance industry. Tom is a proud father of three. He is an active mentor to Penn State Liberal Arts undergraduate students and supports the Paterno Fellows Program.


Bruce R. Miller

1971 Political Science

Bruce is Founder and retired President of Employee Benefits Corporation of America. He has held volunteer leadership roles for the College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State. Bruce serves as Vice-Chair and Member, Executive Committee, for the University’s current campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Bruce also is a Member and Past Chair of the Liberal Arts Development Council and the Political Science Board of Visitors.

He has been honored with the Service to Penn State Award by the Liberal Arts Alumni Society and named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2004.

Bruce and his partner, Dean LaVigne, established an endowed professorship and an undergraduate scholarship in Political Science and a graduate fellowship for the College of the Liberal Arts. They also support other areas of the University and are members of the Mount Nittany Society.

 

James D. Newell

1984 Political Science

1987 J.D., Georgetown University

Jim is a Shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a leading law firm, with expertise in bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations. He regularly lectures on the topics of bankruptcy law and bankruptcy legislation for the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

He and his wife, Deborah, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship. They also established a program fund in Political Science and a director’s fund in the Penn State Democracy Institute.

 

Annette O’Donnell-Butner

1991 Political Science

1994 J.D., Oklahoma City University

Annette O’Donnell-Butner is a Director and Chief Compliance Officer at KKR Asset Management LLC (KAM), a global investment management and advisory firm, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kholberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR). With KKR since 2009, Annette is responsible for the administration of the KAM compliance and ethics program, and regulatory obligations. Previously, Ms. O’Donnell-Butner was a Senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Compliance for the Private Investment Management division of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. / Barclays PLC. In 2012, Annette joined the Board of Visitors for the Political Science Department of the Pennsylvania State University.

She is a Liberal Arts mentor and was recognized with the 2012 Outstanding Political Science Alumna Award from the College of the Liberal Arts. She and her husband, Chris, established a student enhancement fund in the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program and a Trustee Matching Scholarship to support a Political Science Student. Annette holds a B.A in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. She and her husband Chris live in Orinda with their two sons, Christopher and Anderson.

 

Scott Paul

1989 Foreign Service and International Politics

MA Georgetown

Scott is the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), which is a public policy partnership between the United Steelworkers union and leading U.S. manufacturers. He worked with corporate CEOs and a union president to establish AAM in 2007. Prior to that he worked on Capitol Hill for 12 years. Scott also serves on the board of the National Skills Coalition.

Scott is a liberal arts mentor and has hosted several of our college’s interns in DC.  He was raised in Rensselaer, Ind., and currently resides with his wife, Ilisa Halpern Paul, and their twin boys in Silver Spring, Md.

 

Michael Ruger

1985 Political Science and Psychology

1988 J.D., Georgetown University

Michael Ruger graduated from Penn State in 1985 with degrees in political science and psychology. After graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1988, he joined the Federal Communications Commission as an attorney-advisor. He worked with the FCC for six years, specializing in radio, television and cable regulation. From 1994 through 1998, Michael was an associate with Baker & Hostetler in Washington, DC, where he represented clients before the FCC and on Capitol Hill. In 1998 Michael returned to the Philadelphia area where he was a consultant to clients in the communications and Internet industries, which provided him with the flexibility to work at home while caring for his young son. Michael joined Comcast in 2003, where he is currently Vice President of Government Affairs at the company's headquarters in Philadelphia. Michael lives outside of Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife and three sons.

 

Peter Schallmoser

1995 B.S. Loyola University in Chicago

1997 M.A. Political Science

Senior Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch

Peter is a financial professional employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Deer Park, Illinois with over 16 years of experience. He is registered as an Investment Advisory Representative and is authorized to give investment advice to clients, and is a broker-dealer with over 31,600 registered representatives nationwide.

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