Eric J. BarronPresident, Penn State
Eric J. Barron, president of Penn State and former president of Florida State University, has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service. He was named the 18th president of Penn State by the University's Board of Trustees in 2014.
During his tenure at the helm of Florida State, Barron led it to two consecutive U.S. News and World Report rankings as the nation's most efficiently operated institution of higher education. Prior to that, he served Penn State as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and as founding director of the Earth System Science Center, one of the first major initiatives focused on the total study of Earth as a system. He also had a simultaneous appointment as director of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute.
An accomplished scientist with a long background in atmospheric research, Barron also served as director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and as dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He originally worked at NCAR as a postdoctoral fellow.
Barron has lent his scientific expertise as chair of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's science advisory board and of multiple National Research Council committees and boards. He received Penn State's Wilson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Bridge Builders Leadership Award from the Martin Luther King Foundation of Florida.
Barron is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed papers in geology, oceanography and climate issues.
Barron completed master's and doctoral degrees in oceanography at the University of Miami after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in geology at Florida State.Biography
Clifford Benson, Jr.Retired Chief Development Officer, NHL Buffalo Sabres
Clifford Benson Jr. is a former member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, appointed by former Governor Tom Corbett. A CPA and attorney, he retired from a 37-year career at Deloitte Tax LLP and, more recently, as chief development officer for the NHL Buffalo Sabres.
In 2000, Benson, along with members of the Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Association, formed Hockey in the Hood with a grant from the National Hockey League's Diversity Task Force and assistance from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now called Pittsburgh ICE, this program was one of 40 major diversity ice hockey programs throughout the United States and Canada, with the goal of providing skating and ice hockey lessons to underprivileged inner-city children . He also was instrumental in facilitating an $88 million donation from Sabre owners Terry and Kim Pegula, which helped launch a Division-I men’s ice hockey program at Penn State in 2011.
Benson led a team that developed HARBORCENTER, a $200 million multipurpose hockey and entertainment facility in New York’s Canalside district. He also led negotiations to partner HARBORCENTER with Marriott International to develop a 205-room full-service hotel at the complex, and with Canisius College, which uses HARBORCENTER’s two NHL-size ice rinks as its home arena.
Benson is passionate about serving the community and has been actively involved in charitable organizations for most of his career – primarily those that benefit inner-city children with limited opportunities. He is affiliated with Hasek’s Heroes, SABAH, Imani Christian Academy and the Buffalo Outer Harbor Development Committee. Benson was privileged to make three trips to Haiti, bringing medical relief following the 2010 earthquake.
Benson earned his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, a Master of Law in taxation from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Penn State Smeal College of Business.Biography
Kevin Black, MDInterim Dean, Penn State College of Medicine
Dr. Kevin Black joined Penn State Health in 1993. Before accepting the role of interim dean of Penn State College of Medicine, he served as interim chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and the C. McCollister Evarts professor and chair in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, director of Penn State Bone and Joint Institute and vice dean of Penn State Health University Park Regional Medical Campus in State College. Under his leadership, clinical activity in his department increased fourfold, its residency program doubled in size, the Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science was established and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was named among the nation’s best hospitals for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years. His clinical practice with Penn State Bone and Joint Institute focuses on knee ligament and patellofemoral instability. As a faculty member, he started the Medical College of Wisconsin’s sports medicine program before joining the faculty at Penn State College of Medicine and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Black’s honors and awards include the Traveling Fellowship of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, European Travelling Fellow of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Teacher of the Year Award (twice) by Hershey Medical Center orthopedic residents and the Steven and Sharon Baron Leadership Award. He has also been president of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society and the American Orthopaedic Association. Recognized as a national leader in orthopedic resident education, Black served as course director for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Orthopaedic Educators course. He has also served as the Hershey Bears’ team physician.
Black is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Rochester and a fellowship in sports medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.Biography
Timothy BrownPresident and CEO, Sageworth
Timothy Brown is founder, president and CEO of Sageworth and serves on the board of directors of Sageworth Trust Company and Sageworth Holdings LLC. Brown is also president and CEO of Sageworth Trust Company of South Dakota, serving on its board of directors. Prior to founding Sageworth, he was a partner with the law firm of Barley Snyder LLC.
At Barley Snyder, Brown advised closely held businesses and their owners on corporate transactions, general business matters, tax issues and estate planning. He served as chair of both the firm’s tax group and its family business group.
Brown’s began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Washington, D.C., as a certified public accountant in its tax division. Following Arthur Andersen, he was an associate attorney with the law firm of Dunnells, Duvall, Bennett & Porter, also in Washington, D.C., where he concentrated his legal practice in the areas of tax, partnerships, real estate development, and estate planning.
Brown is active in numerous community and business organizations, including membership in the Young Presidents Organization, where he has served as chair emeritus, chair, education officer and finance officer of the Pennsylvania chapter, and the Chief Executives Organization. He helped found the S. Dale High Family Business Center at Elizabethtown College, is a founding director of Music for Everyone, former trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, past general counsel and secretary of The Lancaster Alliance, past president of the Lancaster Museum of Art, past director of Harb-Adult (a homeless shelter) and a co-founder and manager of The Churchill Society. He is also a director of Utz Quality Foods Inc., based in Hanover, Pa.
Brown received his Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Penn State, graduating with highest distinction.Biography
Peter CarlinoChairman Emeritus, Penn National Gaming Inc.
Peter Carlino is chairman emeritus of Penn National Gaming Inc., a public company trading on the Nasdaq, as well as chair and chief executive officer of Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., also a public company found on the Nasdaq.
For 20 years prior to the Penn National IPO, Carlino served as chair and president of Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, the predecessor of Penn National Gaming Inc. His real estate businesses have developed commercial and residential projects in eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
Carlino and his wife, Marshia, have been instrumental in developing Penn State's Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center, with gifts to endow the chair position and three early career professorships. Through Penn National Gaming Inc., Carlino has provided leadership for an annual golf tournament that supports the IBD Center. The Carlinos have also provided significant support to further the professional careers of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center nurses through the Elizabeth Powers Carlino Nursing Excellence Award. The award is named in memory of Carlino's mother, who was a registered nurse. Penn National Gaming Inc. also made a leadership commitment to Penn State Health Children's hospital building campaign.
Carlino is a Penn State graduate.Biography
Kathleen L. CaseySenior Advisor, Patomak Global Partners LLC
The Hon. Kathleen L. Casey is a senior advisor with Patomak Global Partners, a financial regulatory advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. She also serves as chairman of the board of Penn State Health, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University, a nonexecutive director of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and chair of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, the Board of Trustees of the International Valuation Standards Council and the advisory board of Kharon.
Previously, Casey served as a commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where she was its principal representative in various international forums, including multilateral and bilateral regulatory dialogues, the G-20 Financial Stability Board and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Her international leadership positions include chairman of the IOSCO Technical Committee and co-chair of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems/IOSCO Review of Standards.
Casey has also served in various legal and policy roles in the U.S. Senate, including staff director and counsel of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and chief of staff and legislative director to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
Previous roles include nonexecutive director of HSBC Holdings plc; nonexecutive director of Standard Coin; nonexecutive director of FX Alliance Inc.; nonexecutive chairman of the Council of the Alternative Investment Management Association; distinguished policy fellow with the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business; adjunct lecturer at George Mason University School of Law; vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University; and member of the Board of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Casey received her Juris Doctorate from George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, and her bachelor’s in international politics from Penn State.Biography
Mark DamblyPresident, Pennrose Properties LLC
Mark Dambly began his career at Pennrose Properties as a vice president and partner, becoming the firm’s president in 2004. He directs the firm's business development efforts, seeking opportunities for future business and establishing and maintaining relationships with municipalities, agencies and lenders. Under his leadership, Pennrose's portfolio of real estate developments has grown to nearly 10,000 units.
Prior to joining Pennrose, Dambly owned and operated a successful homebuilding business.
Among his civic activities, Dambly serves on Penn State’s board of trustees and on the board of directors of Penn State Health. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County, Regional Housing Legal Services, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Apartment Association – East. He has partnered with Penn State Health Children's Hospital to help conquer childhood cancer through his support for Four Diamonds.
Dambly is a Penn State graduate, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in real estate and insurance.Biography
David Han, MDProfessor, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State College of Engineering
Dr. David Han is professor of surgery, radiology and engineering design at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State College of Engineering. A vascular surgeon, Han joined the faculty at the College of Medicine in 2002, where he has served as the program director of the residency training programs in general and vascular surgery.
In 2011 and again in 2017, Han was elected to the American Medical Association Relative Value Scale Update Committee, which makes recommendations to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the value of physician-provided services. He also serves on the editorial board of the Surgical Council on Resident Education, the largest online curriculum for surgeons in training. In 2018, Han was elected vice chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Review Committee for Surgery, the organization responsible for setting and monitoring the professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans.
At Penn State, Han serves as a University Faculty Senator and in 2015 was elected as the inaugural academic member of the Penn State Board of Trustees. He was the 75th president of the Penn State Alumni Association and in 2011 was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow. His research interests in surgical education and the learning environment have been funded through multiple sources, including the National Institutes of Health. In 2014, he was named a Penn State College of Medicine Distinguished Educator.
After completing his medical degree at Harvard Medical School, Han went to Rochester, Minn., to train in vascular surgery at Mayo Clinic. He received his Master of Science in health evaluation sciences from Penn State College of Medicine and graduated with honors from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in biology.Biography
Karen HanlonExecutive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Highmark Health
Karen Hanlon is the executive vice president, chief operating officer, chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer at Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh-based national health and wellness organization and the second-largest integrated delivery and financing system in America. She is responsible for overseeing the long-term operations of Highmark Health as the organization focuses on bringing transformational, value-based care to its customers and growing beyond traditional health care models and core markets. Hanlon oversees the operations of Gateway Health, the Highmark Health-Penn State Health partnership, HM Health Solutions and Highmark Health Analytics and Informatics.
Additionally, she is responsible for all of the corporation’s financial and administrative activities. Her oversight includes financial accounting and reporting, treasury, tax planning and compliance, financial planning and analysis, actuarial services, enterprise risk management and corporate real estate and administrative services. As CFO, Hanlon has played a significant role in strengthening the overall financial performance of the enterprise, including oversight of the financial turnaround of Allegheny Health Network.
She sits on the board of several Highmark Health subsidiaries and affiliates. She has also previously served as a board member and treasurer of Leadership Pittsburgh and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. A certified public accountant in Pennsylvania with more than 20 years of finance experience, Hanlon began her career in public accounting at KPMG Peat Marwick and has been a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants for over 15 years.
Hanlon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Grove City College.Biography
Keith MasserChair and Chief Executive Officer, Sterman Masser Inc.
Keith Masser is president of Sterman Masser Inc. in Sacramento, Pa., a family farm that produces potatoes, cash grain and hay, and processes dehydrated and fresh-cut potato products. He was elected to the Penn State board of trustees in 2008 and currently is chair emeritus.
Masser’s honors and recognitions include Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumni, the Red Book Produce Directory Business Character Award, EPA Environmental Stewardship Award and Master Farmer. He was the Vance Publishing Potato Man of the Year and Man for All Seasons, as well as an American Vegetable Grower Achievement Award national finalist and Top Producer of the Year finalist.
Masser and his wife, Helen, contributed to the Penn State Health Children's Hospital Building Campaign and have joined in the fight to conquer childhood cancer with gifts to Four Diamonds.
Masser is a graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural engineering. He is actively involved with the University as a member of the Mount Nittany Society, Penn State Alumni Association; Alpha Epsilon, the honor society for outstanding agricultural, biological and food engineers; and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.Biography
Stephen MassiniChief Executive Officer, Penn State Health
As chief executive officer, Stephen Massini focuses on the growth, development and overall performance of the Penn State Health system, including St. Joseph Medical Center, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Hampden Medical Center, as well as the continued expansion of Penn State Health Medical Group across the health system’s core counties of Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Lancaster.
Massini joined Penn State Health in 2015, originally serving as chief financial officer for Hershey Medical Center. In 2016, he was promoted to executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of Penn State Health. Massini has been a transformational leader, central to the expansion of the health system’s clinical presence across central Pennsylvania and the development of innovative partnerships, including the collaboration with Highmark Health.
Prior to joining Penn State Health, Massini worked for Geisinger Health System in multiple roles, including chief administrative officer and chief financial officer for Geisinger Clinic. Previous to Geisinger, he held various leadership positions within the Highmark family of companies, including executive vice president and chief financial officer of HVHC, a subsidiary of Highmark focused on providing vision services.
Massini is a Penn State alumnus, having earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting with honors. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.Biography
Deborah Rice-JohnsonPresident, Highmark Health Plan and Diversified Businesses
Deborah Rice-Johnson is president of Highmark Health Plan and Diversified Businesses for Highmark Inc. In this role, she is responsible for providing senior leadership and strategic direction for Highmark’s core health insurance business, serving 5.3 million customers and managing more than $15 billion in revenue. Additionally, Rice-Johnson has responsibility for product development, provider networks and reimbursement, clinical services, sales and operations. She is also responsible for Highmark’s insurance-based subsidiaries: United Concordia Dental and HM Insurance Group.
Rice-Johnson has more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry, having held a variety of management positions at Highmark and its predecessor company. Throughout her career, she has developed a passion for improving the health care experience, particularly as it relates to oncology services. She is committed to positively impacting the employment situation of our nation’s military veterans through championing private-sector hiring efforts.
In addition to her position at Highmark, Rice-Johnson serves on the boards of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Carlow University, the Duquesne Club, Blue Health Intelligence and Whitaker Center. She is board chair of the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania and board president for Variety – the Children’s Charity. She is also on the board of trustees for the Civic Light Opera of Pittsburgh. In 2014, she was named a Carlow Laureate, the University’s most prestigious alumni award, recognizing those whose work, thought and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership.
Rice-Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Carlow University.Biography
Sara F. ThorndikeSenior Vice President for Finance and Business, Penn State
As the senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer at Penn State, Sara F. Thorndike is responsible for the management of the university’s financial performance and operating budget and the Finance and Business Unit's strategic planning process. Thorndike also leads financial, endowment management, business and administrative activities at all Penn State campuses. She serves as a member of the President's Council and the Board of Directors for Penn State Corporation. In addition, she chairs the Penn State Investment Council and Health Care Advisory Council.
Prior to joining Penn State, Thorndike served as vice chancellor for administration and finance and chief financial officer for East Carolina University from 2018 to 2021. Previously, she served as the senior associate vice chancellor for business affairs, chief financial officer and controller for the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 2014 to 2018 and as the controller and accounting director for the Principia Corporation from 2005 to 2014. Prior to that, she served in financial analyst and accountant roles at various corporations.
Thorndike earned a doctorate of education in higher education leadership from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, a Master of Business Administration from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Franklin University. She is a certified public accountant licensed in Ohio and North Carolina.
Active in numerous community and business organizations, Thorndike serves on the board of directors of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Centre County United Way. She also volunteers for the Higher Education Financial Wellness Alliance and is active in National Association of College and University Business Officers and a variety of professional and community service organizations.Biography
Peter TombrosProfessor and Distinguished Executive-in-Residence, Penn State Eberly College of Science BS/MBA Program
Peter Tombros is professor and distinguished executive-in-residence at the Eberly College of Science, Penn State. He serves and has served on the boards of Cambrex Inc., Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors. Tombros was also appointed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania CURE Program, Health Research Advisory Committee, and served as a director of other public companies, including Alpharma, Pharmanet Development Group Inc., Dendrite International and NPS Pharmaceuticals.
Tombros and his wife, Ann, created the Tombros Foundation to pursue their philanthropic interests. He served as chair of the seven-and-one-half-year Pennsylvania State University $2.2 billion Capital Campaign.
Tombros’ professional career includes president and CEO of Enzon Pharma, where Enzon was able to grow from a market capitalization of $44 million to more than $3 billion under his leadership, making Enzon one of the top 20 biotech firms in the United States at that time. Prior to that, he spent 25 years at Pfizer Inc., where he helped build the pharmaceutical business in a variety of positions, including vice president of marketing, senior vice president and general manager and executive vice president of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. He was also appointed corporate vice president for strategic planning. In that role, he helped Pfizer narrow its focus on health care and oversaw the divestiture of non-health care businesses. Tombros also had oversight for the venture capital firms Pfizer funded to look for new technologies.
Tombros’ private company experience included serving as CEO and director of VivoQuest. The Financial Times selected him to receive its 2015 Outstanding Director Award.
Tombros earned both Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Penn State, followed by a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Biography
Thomas VanKirkExecutive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Highmark Health
Thomas VanKirk is executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary for Highmark Health, where he supervises the legal affairs of the company, manages the legal department and serves on the company’s leadership team. In addition, he is secretary of the board of directors of Highmark Health and Highmark Inc., participating in all board and board committee meetings.
Previously, he served as chair and chief executive officer of the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, where he provided visionary strategic leadership, including client relationship development and recruitment of attorneys and groups of attorneys to the firm. He was chief operating officer for more than 18 years.
While at Buchanan, VanKirk was a practicing litigator and served as a corporate adviser to many Fortune 1,000 companies. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2006-2012 editions of The Best Lawyers in America®.
VanKirk also serves in a variety of high-profile civic and community leadership roles, including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust executive committees, the Pennsylvania State Economy League and the Pennsylvania Business Council; on the boards of trustees for the University of Pittsburgh and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh; on the board of the United Way of Allegheny County; and on the board of visitors for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.
He and his wife, Bonnie, were co-chairs of the capital fundraising campaign for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, for which he is also a council member, and they co-chair the capital fundraising committee for the Pittsburgh African American Cultural Center.
VanKirk is a graduate of Bucknell University and received his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Penn State's Dickinson School of Law.Biography