Champlain Adds Four New Members to Its Board of Trustees

Champlain College today announced the addition of four members to its Board of Trustees. The new members include Sara Byers, A. Verona Dorch, Ken Minklei, and Raj Rawal.

Dr. Benjamin Akande, President of Champlain College, said, “We are thrilled to welcome this impressive group of business and community leaders who will further enhance the breadth of experience on our Board of Trustees. These new Board members will help us build on Champlain’s strengths in delivering a professionally focused education to traditional undergraduate students and adult learners, while exploring new opportunities for innovation.”

Charlie Kittredge, Chair of Champlain’s Board of Trustees, said, “Our new Trustees bring expertise, talent, and diverse perspectives to our Board.  I look forward to working with these new members to advance Champlain’s educational mission, elevate its institutional profile, and ensure a successful future for the College.”

New Board Members

Sara Byers is a co-owner and president of her family’s business, Leonardo’s Pizza, with locations in Vermont and Maine. She serves on multiple boards, and is a past board chair of Lund, Lake Champlain Chamber, and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Byers is also an appointee to Vermont’s Capital Debt Affordability Advisory Committee. She is honored to have received numerous community awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce Degree from Champlain College, the Catherine McAuley Award from Mercy Connections, a Health Building Block Award from the United Way of Northwestern VT, and the Rising Star Award from the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce. She currently resides in Shelburne with her husband, Kelly, and their daughter, Ella.

A. Verona Dorch has extensive business and legal experience in the healthcare, manufacturing, industrial and energy sectors, with deep expertise in corporate governance, board risk oversight, ESG, government, regulatory and public affairs, shareholder activism, and crisis and risk management in global markets. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary of Providence Health, a nonprofit with approximately $25B in revenue and 120,000 employees, that provides health care services via 51 hospitals located in seven states. Dorch is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Executive Leadership Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. (St. Louis), where she serves on the Development and Finance Committees.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Diversity Council’s 2020 Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas; the 2019 Financial Times Global GC 20 list; and Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2018 300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America. She resides in Seattle.

Ken Minklei is the managing partner and chief investment officer at Whitney Peak Capital, LLC, in Boston. Prior to that he was an early partner at SCS Capital and served as the Chief Investment Officer and later the Co-Chief Investment Officer. Minklei has spent over 25 years guiding institutional investors and endowments on their strategy and investment portfolio. During his career in finance he has worked for various institutions, including Cambridge Associates where he worked closely with higher education foundations and sovereign wealth funds. He has also served as a vice president at J.P. Morgan and spent part of his career at CIBC and Citicorp. He received his bachelor’s degree at SUNY University at Binghamton and has been actively involved with the institution’s endowment. His son Gregory is currently a student at Champlain College, studying Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Minklei and his wife Joan have been active members of Champlain’s Parent Advisory Council for the past three years. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Raj Rawal is the Managing Partner for SF Mango Investments, LLC, a real estate investment company. Previously, he has served as CEO of Fresh Diet, as SVP and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Burger King, as SVP and CIO at Avis Budget Group, and as CIO at Trilegiant. Rawal started his career as an engineer at GE and left after 18 years when he was the CIO at GE Information Services. He was an active Board member of The Education Fund (non-profit providing private sector leadership and support for innovation in public education) for over 10 years and an advisory board member of IT Women (non-profit with a mission to increase the number of women in the fields of technology and engineering) for over nine years. He received his Master of Science in Operations Research from Case Western Reserve University, and Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Connecticut. He currently resides in Essex Junction, Vermont with his wife, Anne, and children.

Visit Champlain’s main site for the full roster of the Board of Trustees.

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