John M. Panettiere of Eclectic, AL, a suburb of Montgomery, has been elected Chair of the Board of Trustees for Westminster College, it was announced today by outgoing Board Chair Harold B. “Hal” Oakley from Quincy, IL and President Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande. Read a message from President Akande about Panettiere’s election.
Also elected were the following Board Vice Chairs: Dr. Bruce K. Brookby of Grove, OK; William D. Felder of Dallas, TX; and, Donald P. Lofe Jr. of Danville, CA.
Panettiere became Board Chair following more than 15 years of dedicated service and support for Westminster College. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1996-2011, when he took Emeritus status, and then returned to the Board as an active member and a member of the Executive Committee in 2016.
During his 43-year business career, Panettiere held C-suite positions with three Fortune 500 companies: Blount International, Grove Worldwide, and Fiat-Allis (now Fiatallis).
“I have genuinely valued my tenure as Board Chair at such a critical time in the evolution of higher education, especially private liberal arts colleges such as Westminster,” said Oakley, who is chairman of Quincy law firm Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell LLP. “I am confident John and his team of Vice Chairs will do a tremendous job for our College and students in concert with President Akande and his strong administrative team.”
Dr. Akande agreed saying he has had “the privilege of working closely with the new Board leaders. I am confident that their wisdom and insight will take Westminster to new heights of success and achievement. I am especially looking forward to working with John Panettiere, whose guidance and support has been a tremendous factor in Westminster College’s success over the past two decades.”
Panettiere is a member of the Leadership Society for alumni, a founding member of the prestigious new select Chancellor’s Circle, and creator of the John M. and Wanda Ann Panettiere Endowed Scholarship Program. For his service to Westminster College through the years, Panettiere has been honored with an Alumni Achievement Award (1984), an honorary doctorate degree (1993), and a Churchill Fellowship (1994).
“I am very excited, and am looking forward to working with President Akande and our Board members to help accelerate the growth of our student body to continually ensure the College’s financial sustainability for generations to come,” said Panettiere.
Panettiere and the three new Vice Chairs will begin their duties on Saturday, July 1.
Dr. Brookby retired as Chief of the Medical Staff of the Jane Phillips Medical Center in Tulsa, OK. He is Past President of the Westminster College Alumni Council.
Bill Felder is retired Chairman of the Board of Directors of Southwest Securities, Inc in Dallas, TX and has served on the Westminster College Board since 2013.
Don Lofe is Chief Risk Officer for Global Process Services-Lending Solutions for the IBM Corporation and has been a Westminster Board member since 2011.