Five new members and one emeritus member have been elected to the Westminster College Board of Trustees.
The new members are Barbara Absher of St. Louis, Missouri; Jim Bennett ’92 ΒΘΠ of St. Louis, Missouri; Betsy Humphreys ’83 KAѲ of Des Peres, Missouri; Ken Murer ’87 ΣΧ of St. Louis, Missouri; and Scott Wilson ’74 ΦΔΘ of St. Louis, Missouri. Linda Gill Taylor of Edgerton, Missouri returns to the Board as a Trustee Emeritus.
Absher is the director of industry solutions marketing at Emerson Automation Solutions, where she develops and manages processes for gathering customer-centric insight and designing differentiated messaging and tools. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and her MBA from the University of Chicago. Before her position at Emerson, she worked as an engineer with Amoco and with Exxon.
Her charitable and civic involvement has included the founding of Caliente for the Cure, a breast cancer research fundraiser; work with FIRST, a STEM education nonprofit; and the Water Tower & Park Preservation Society, an organization dedicated to preserving a historic landmark in St. Louis. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, Westminster graduate Frank Absher ’69 KA.
Jim Bennett ’92 ΒΘΠ
Bennett is a partner at Dowd Bennett Law Firm. He is lead trial and appellate counsel in high-profile cases that are not expected to settle out of court. He has received numerous awards for his trial success and is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 lawyers in St. Louis. Bennett is a former law clerk to the Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to the Hon. J. L. Edmondson, United States Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit.
Bennett is a member of the Board of Trustees for American Inns of Court, designed to inspire the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education and mentoring. He is also on the Executive Committee of the American Inns of Court Chapter in St. Louis and is a fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America. He has acted as an adjunct professor on the subject of complex litigation at Washington University Law School. He was recently invited to join and inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, which maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission.
A member of Beta Theta Pi, Bennett is a 1992 graduate of Westminster College. He received the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2013 and is a member of the Westminster Athletics Hall of Fame. Jim and wife Melanie’s son Andy is a current student at Westminster, Class of 2020.
Betsy Humphreys ’83 KAѲ
Humphreys is the principal program manager for technology development at AT&T, where she handles multiple information technology programs. She began her career at Southwestern Bell Telephone in St. Louis in 1983 and stayed with the company when Southwestern Bell Telephone (former Baby Bell of AT&T, later SBC Corporation) acquired its former parent company AT&T and then renamed itself AT&T.
The first woman granted admission into Westminster College in 1979, Humphreys was a founding member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority chapter at Westminster and remains actively involved on campus and regionally, serving as a trustee for the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. She is a lifetime member of the Westminster College Parents Association and a former board member for the Kirkwood School District Foundation.
She lives in Des Peres, Missouri, with her husband, Steve Humphreys ’83 ΔΤΔ. Both of the couple’s daughters, Katherine ’09 KKΓ and Sarah Humphreys ’13 KAѲ, graduated from Westminster, as did her father, Dr. John Schultz ’58 BΘΠ, who was also a professor there. She was awarded the Jack Marshall Alumni Loyalty Award in 2012 and the Audrey Remley Award in 2009.
Ken Murer ’87 ΣΧ
Murer is the founder and CEO of Automotive Product Consultants Integrated Services Group, a conglomeration of companies that leads the automotive sector in partnered database marketing, founded by Murer in the early 2000s. Prior to the founding of APCISG, Murer served as president of C.A.R.E. LLC, a pioneering internet/classified advertising, finance startup built on assisting private-party automotive sales involving consumer-to-consumer transactions.
He founded and sold Consumer Automotive Consultants in the mid-’90s after a nine-year career with AON in their automotive consulting division. He is the owner and developer of more than 14 U.S. patents and is founder/president of internet startup MiRealm.com.
Murer has served as a fundraising chair for Moolah Shriners, Hidden Valley Ski Team, Boy Scouts of America and the Sigma Chi national philanthropy, the Children’s Miracle Network. Murer is a past Cub Scout leader, current assistant scoutmaster, current Level 200 USSA ski coach for Hidden Valley Ski Team, past president of Hidden Valley Ski Team and past President of Moolah Shriners Ceremonial Cast.
A member of Sigma Chi fraternity, Murer graduated from Westminster in 1987. His father, Fred E. Murer ΣΧ, is a 1963 graduate of Westminster, and his mother, aunt, and sister attended William Woods College. His company APC Direct is the current printer/mail provider for Westminster College. His son Erik Murer will attend Westminster in the fall of 2018 as a member of the Class of 2022. His daughter Abigail Murer is an Olympic hopeful Alpine Ski racer and competes on the US Ski Team, with hopes to represent the USA at the 2022 Olympics. She recently competed in Davos, Switzerland for the USA in the World Junior Championships.
Scott Wilson ’74 ΦΔΘ
Wilson is the third generation to head S. M. Wilson & Co. After spending several years in sales outside the family business, he was hired in 1984 as part of S. M. Wilson’s sales staff and worked his way up to director of business development in 1987. Then in 1990, he was named the president of the firm at the age of 38. In 2012, he became CEO of the firm. Under Wilson’s leadership, S. M. Wilson grew steadily from $40 million in annual sales to more than $515 million. S. M. Wilson & Co. consistently ranks among the top local and national contractors based on annual revenue.
Wilson is a board member of the Boy Scouts of America and the Central Institute for the Deaf, sits on the Plan Commission/Architectural Review Board for the City of Clayton, is a member of the St. Louis Regional Business Council and is a committee member for the AGC of America, Contractor Loan Fund, Forest Park Forever and the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers.
A member of Phi Delta Theta at Westminster, he served on the Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2012 and received an Alumni Achievement Award in 2008.
Linda Gill Taylor, Trustee Emeritus
Taylor received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, then began her career as a lawyer, becoming a litigation partner at Gage & Tucker, now Lathrop & Gage. She later co-founded and was CEO of Of Counsel, Inc., a staffing firm providing lawyers and legal assistants on a contract basis to law firms and corporate law departments.
After the sale of Of Counsel, Taylor was recruited to build the Center for the City, a civic engagement catalyst organization at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She retired from that post in 2006. Taylor has served in many leadership roles in civic organizations in Kansas City, Missouri, including serving as board chair of numerous legal and business organizations and grant-making foundations.
Taylor was a trustee of Westminster College from 2007 to 2016 and currently serves as a vice chairman of the board of the Kansas City Symphony. Taylor and her husband, Steve, live on a farm near Edgerton, Missouri, where they have horses and chickens and raise organic vegetables and fruit. They are avid travelers. Taylor also competes in the equestrian sport of dressage.
The Westminster Board of Trustees exercises the “ultimate institutional authority” in the management of the affairs of the College. Trustees give of their time, talent and resources to safeguard the traditions, assets, and values of the College; ensure the College’s strategic direction and mission are followed and its enhanced capacity to serve society is met; and provide oversight and guidance for the activities of the College.
The Westminster Board of Trustees consists of approximately 40 members and meets three times a year in the fall, winter, and spring.