Board of Directors
Sweet Briar Institute was made possible by the Last Will and Testament of Indiana Fletcher Williams, which directed that her assets be used to create and operate a women’s college in Amherst County, Va., to be held in trust in perpetuity. Sweet Briar Institute (known and operated as Sweet Briar College) was incorporated as a non-stock corporation by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia approved Feb. 9, 1901, for the purpose of implementing the trust in the Williams will. The College has been operated continuously since that time as a private liberal arts women’s college.
Following a March 3, 2015, announcement by the previous board of directors that the College would close effective in August 2015, alumnae, students, faculty, parents and other friends of the College joined forces and achieved their goal of keeping the College open. A new slate of directors was elected as part of a settlement agreement, approved by court order June 23, 2015, to carry on the mission of Sweet Briar College. The current board consists of the committed individuals listed below.
The bylaws of Sweet Briar Institute are currently under review and revision by the board.
Andrew C. Benjamin
Andrew Benjamin has more than 27 years experience in the financial service industry. He was operations manager for Card Establishment Service for seven years. He managed the chargeback department and was one of the key managers to bring automation to the unit. He then joined NeuralTech as director of implementation services, where he worked with banks automating their back office operation. Then he co-founded Merlin Solutions LLC and was the chief operation officer. Merlin supplied automated chargeback processing service to banks and acquirers throughout the U.S. In 2007, Total Systems (TSS NYSE) finalized the purchase of Merlin Solutions. Benjamin has remained with TSYS, managing and growing the division as director of the Operation Contact Center, where he manages one of the highest-margin divisions.
Benjamin became involved with Sweet Briar when his daughter became a member of the class of 2018. He has actively supported the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and American National Riding Commission teams by cheering the riders at competitions throughout the 2014-2015 year.
Benjamin was recently a settling party in the litigation involving Sweet Briar College. Benjamin is committed to the success of Sweet Briar College so that his daughter can complete her engineering degree and so that no future students will have to face this issue again at this outstanding college. He is a graduate of Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, with a B.S. in industrial management and a minor in industrial engineering.
Jacquelyne “Jax” Bullett ’15
Jax Bullett graduated from Sweet Briar College in May 2015 with a B.A. in government and a minor in Spanish. While at the College, Bullett played on the soccer team and served as ICC secretary and senior class vice president.
She is currently employed in the human resources field and works for Eliassen Group on a contract with General Dynamics.
Leah A. Busque ’01
San Mateo, Calif.
Leah Busque has 15 years experience building and creating technology products that have reached millions of people around the globe. She started her career at IBM as a software engineer in the software group, working on Lotus Notes and Domino. In 2008, Busque founded TaskRabbit, the leading on-demand service marketplace in the world.
A vision for revolutionizing the way people work led Busque to pioneer the concept of “service networking.” Her passions for product innovation and devotion to user experience have propelled TaskRabbit into a leading role in the collaborative consumption movement. Leah has expanded the company internationally, raised nearly $40 million in venture funding from venerated investors such as Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and Founders Fund, and inspired legions of startups to launch in the collaborative and service networking space. Fast Company named her one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and her achievements have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Time. Under her leadership, TaskRabbit has gathered accolades including being named “The Next Big Thing in Tech” by the New York Times.
In 2014, Leah was inaugurated into the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a prestigious group of fewer than 1000 people around the globe recognized for their bold, brave, action-oriented entrepreneurial ventures. The arts and creating opportunities for women in technology are important to Busque, who also serves on the board of the Silicon Valley Ballet and enjoys speaking engagements for organizations such as Girls Who Code and Tina Brown’s Women In the World Summit.
Busque resides in San Mateo, Calif., with her husband, daughter and highly energetic black Labrador retriever. She graduated magna cum laude from Sweet Briar College, where she earned a B.S. in mathematics and computer science. She served on the board of directors from 2001-2003.
Alice Dixon ’82
Alice Dixon was born in Charlotte, N.C., and was graduated from Charlotte Country Day School. After graduation in 1982 from Sweet Briar College with an A.B. in biology, Dixon earned a Master of Humanities from the University of Richmond. Dixon moved to Richmond to take a job in the pharmaceutical industry. Following a long career with Carter Wallace, Dixon entered the field of residential mortgage lending, where she earned the prestigious Certified Professional Mortgage Specialist designation. Proving that a graduate with a liberal arts degree can do anything, Dixon decided that teaching is her true passion, and is now a chemistry teacher at the Collegiate School in Richmond.
While at Sweet Briar, Dixon served as Student Government Association president, junior class president, and freshman class president. In her sophomore year, she was on the Judicial Committee. Dixon was a QV and an Earphone, and played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse all four years. She was named in the 1982 edition of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
In her community, Dixon has been active with her church and was a longtime member of the Junior League board, and a member of its executive committee. Dixon also was very active in the Richmond chapter of the Sweet Briar Alumnae Association, serving as the club’s president for a number of years.
William B. Drake Jr.
William Drake is managing partner of an enrollment management and accreditation consulting firm (2012-present). He is a former president of Midway College in Midway, Ky. (2002-2012), a private liberal arts college for women encompassing a traditional residential women’s college coupled with online and off-campus adult degree completion programs. The college is located on a 200-acre rural campus surrounded by an equine farm with more than 80 horses of various breeds used in academic programs. During his tenure, Midway nearly tripled enrollment, established an online college, and developed four permanent off-campus sites. Additional accomplishments include the addition of master’s and associate’s degrees.
Drake was a member of the board of the Women’s College Coalition. He is also a former SACS trustee. Drake holds M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Lexington Theological Seminary in Old Testament and in pastoral care and counseling, respectively. He received his B.A. in biology from Transylvania University. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant.
James P. Fabiani
Prior to founding Fabiani & Company, Jim Fabiani was the co-founder chairman and CEO of Cassidy & Associates, the country’s largest government relations firm. Fabiani joined Cassidy & Associates as one of its initial employees. During his tenure, Cassidy & Associates grew from three employees to over 300 and from less than $1 million to over $60 million in annual revenue.
Fabiani was staff director of a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee. In that capacity, he had responsibility for annual appropriations in excess of $330 billion, with direct impact on education policy, federal support for educational facilities development and educational technology.
Fabiani served on the International USO Board of Governors and is vice chairman of the board of trustees at Trine University, which experienced a dramatic financial turnaround during his tenure.
Fabiani is a graduate of Harvard University where he sat on the Harvard University Development Board. He is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and was a member of the academy’s development board.
Marianne “Mimi” C. Fahs ’71
New York, N.Y.
Marianne “Mimi” C. Fahs, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an internationally recognized health economist, with over 30 years experience in health policy and public health. Fahs holds joint appointments in the City University of New York (CUNY) as professor of economics and public health with the doctoral faculty of the Graduate Center, and as professor of health policy and management with the School of Urban Public Health at Hunter College. She was the founding research director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging of Hunter College, and the founding director of the Health Policy Research Center at the New School in New York City. Prior to that, she directed the Health Economics Division at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. While at Mount Sinai, she pioneered the first cost-effectiveness analysis of cancer prevention strategies among older women in the U.S., contributing to congressional passage of Medicare’s inaugural screening benefit for cervical cancer.
Fahs has served on numerous national, state and local advisory committees, including the National Advisory Panel on Payment for Preventive Health Services of the U.S. Congress, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New York State Governor’s Statewide Advisory Council and the New York City Mayor’s Advisory Committee. Her scholarly interests center on cost-effective strategies to improve health, economic productivity and quality of life. She has developed and led multi-million dollar public health initiatives, both publicly and privately funded, and is experienced in multi-disciplinary consortium building across academic institutions, departments, public agencies and the private sector. She teaches research methods and policy analysis at the master’s and doctoral levels, and she is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Fahs received her B.A. from Sweet Briar College, and her M.P.H. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the boards of the Orient Yacht Club, the Ashokan Center and the International Alliance for the Advancement of Children. Married, with a 24-year-old son, she divides her time between New York City and Orient on New York’s Long Island, where she is an avid sailor and fiddler in a local string band, the Mudflats.
Kelley M. Fitzpatrick ’85
Kelley Manderson Fitzpatrick, Class of 1985, majored in economics/business management under Reuben Miller and spent the 1980s working for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York as the result of an internship arranged by the College. Her Sweet Briar economics education taught her to believe in the power of ethical capitalism. She has worked in social services benefiting the elderly and volunteered with the Junior League of Memphis. She has served on several nonprofit boards including two terms each with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the YWCA of Central Alabama.
Fitzpatrick led a successful grassroots campaign to stop the operation of a nuclear waste incinerator in her community. She is the president of her family foundation, which makes grants to education, environmental issues, and the promotion of mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Through the foundation, she and her husband recently endowed the value investing program, inlcuding creating a research library and trading room, at the University of Alabama. The Manderson family endowed the graduate business school at the University of Alabama. She is the mother of two college-age sons (Hampden-Sydney and University of Southern California) and lives with her husband in Birmingham, Ala. She enjoys spending time in her art studio, walking in the woods, traveling and reading.
Garry L. Friend
Madison Heights, Va.
Garry Friend spent 40 years in the banking industry, rising through the ranks to senior vice president overseeing operations in 48 branches in the Richmond-Charlottesville area for Bank of America. His key focus at Bank of America prior to his retirement in 2004 was improving efficiency and operations at branch offices, including overhauling operating procedures. He put that expertise to work after retirement, helping reorganize and revitalize a local bank in the Amherst area.
Friend was elected Amherst County treasurer for the four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2012, and is running unopposed for a second term. As treasurer, he guided his staff through a comprehensive reform of office operations, including establishing written operating procedures and significantly improving tax collection through automating and streamlining processes and strengthening enforcement against delinquent taxpayers.
Friend has held other offices serving the Amherst community. He served on the Planning Commission from 1980 to 1988, and on the board of supervisors from 1988 to 1992. He also has served on the Region 2000 board and on the advisory board for Central Virginia Community College. He is past president of Lynch’s Landing, a community group dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Lynchburg, and served as president of the Amherst County chapter of Habitat for Humanity from 1998-2000.
Friend holds an associate’s degree from Central Virginia Community College, and was recognized as an outstanding alumnus in 1998. In August 1991, he was awarded a diploma from the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management, sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association.
Friend has lived with his wife, Peggy, in Amherst County for 42 years, and has two children, Jason and Elizabeth, and three grandchildren, Ashton, Cailyn and Kinsley.
Martha S. Fruehauf ’80
Martha Stewart Fruehauf was born and raised in Detroit, Mich. She attended high school at the University Liggett School. During her high school years, she was a state and nationally ranked equestrian.
Upon graduating in 1976, Fruehauf attended Sweet Briar College, where she continued her equestrian studies, spending summers training horses in Warrenton, Va., and traveling the East Coast “A” horse show circuit. She graduated from Sweet Briar with a B.A. in political economy in 1980 and moved to Hilton Head, S.C., where, in addition to having four children, she owned and operated her own business, The Postmark, Inc.
Fruehauf returned to the Charlottesville area in 1992 and began her equestrian career again, buying and selling European sport horses with a partner.
In addition to longtime volunteer positions in fundraising for Hospice of the Piedmont, she has served on the boards of the Children’s Foundation of Richmond and the Sentinel Trust Company in Houston, Texas, and she is a trustee of the Fruehauf Foundation.
Everett “Ben” Howerton Jr.
Everett “Ben” Howerton Jr. retired, for the third time, as director and professor of policy and leadership studies at The George Washington University, where he was honored with the Distinguished Emeritus award. He is recognized for his contributions to the field of public policy and educational law, and has authored many articles and chapters and served as speaker at state and national groups on leadership, educational law and public policy.
Howerton began his career as a math teacher and subsequently served as an executive educational administrator at the local and state levels in Virginia, serving for 15 years in the capacities of assistant state superintendent, chief deputy state superintendent and coordinating state superintendent for Special Schools. During his public service career, he served on numerous legislative, governor’s and congressional commissions. He served earlier in his career as a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia and as an executive with the Virginia School Boards Association. He was selected in 1984 as one of 14 Washington Fellows, assigned to the U.S. secretary of education. He was also elected to the Jefferson Society, Heritage Society, Lawn Society and the Society of the Emeriti, the Thomas Jefferson Society, The Cornerstone Society, Phi Delta Kappa and Who’s Who in America.
Howerton was president of the Virginia Information and Education Utility, and president and chief executive officer of Synergy Group Inc. He continues to be requested to assist with both executive searches as well as higher education leaders. He served as a public sector educational grievance mediator.
Howerton was a board member of Read to Them, New Visions, New Ventures and The Healing Place. He further served as a board member of CARITAS, and the National Advisory Council for The George Washington University. He was appointed in 2009 as trustee of the Science Museum of Virginia, chairman of the board of trustees for the First Freedom Center, and as a board member of the Valentine Richmond History Center. He served earlier as a founding board member for the Education Foundation at the University of Virginia.
Howerton holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Virginia. He is a native of Lynchburg, Va., and resides in Richmond, Va.
Mary Pope M. Hutson ’83
Mary Pope M. Hutson is a passionate leader and fundraiser with extensive experience in the public service and nonprofit sectors over the last 32 years. Currently, she serves as the executive vice president of the Land Trust Alliance in Washington, where she manages the national public policy program for conservation groups in America and is a lead fundraiser for the organization in the final stages of a capital campaign. She also acted for four years as the vice president for development and five years as the chief operating officer.
Hutson, with in-depth knowledge of public policy, land conservation and historic preservation issues, is a member of the North American Wetlands Council as appointed by three secretary’s of the Interior. She formerly served as the executive director of the Low Country Open Land Trust in Charleston, S.C., and was the first woman appointed as a board member of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Early in her career, Hutson served with U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, the Department of the Interior, Office of Territorial and International Affairs and as a senior political aide to the U.S. ambassador to Kenya appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Throughout her career, she has been active in local and national political campaigns.
A native of Charleston, S.C., Hutson is a 1983 graduate of Sweet Briar College with a major in international affairs. Since graduation, Mary Pope has been an active volunteer for Sweet Briar and was recently inducted into the Sweet Briar Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, vice chair of the board
Gen. Charles C. Krulak spent 35 years of his life in the military, ending with four years as the 31st commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon his retirement from this post in 1999, Krulak joined MBNA America Bank in Wilmington, Del. During his time with the bank, he spent four years as chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Europe Bank in Chester, England.
Gen. Krulak’s long and distinguished military career includes two tours of duty in Vietnam, time as commanding general of the 2nd Force Service Support Group during Desert Storm, and two years as deputy director of the White House Military Office under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
When Krulak was announced as the 13th president of Birmingham-Southern College on March 21, 2011, it was clear to all that he was a nontraditional candidate. From that point on, he brought enormous energy and dedication to the Hilltop. He lived in student housing; attended almost every athletic, artistic and academic event; held daily open office hours for students; and traveled tirelessly to meet alumni from around the world. His dedication to the students has been a reminder to all of their centrality to the college’s mission, and his commitment to the community has reunited BSC with the city it calls home.
Under Krulak’s leadership, the college had clean audits, balanced the budget every year, saw two successive upgrades from Moody’s, significantly increased new student enrollment every year, restructured its loans and began paying down debt, and had a successful 10-year accreditation visit from SACS-COC in fall 2014 that led to affirmation of full accreditation in June 2015. All of this was done while he refused to take a salary or benefits. Gen. Krulak became president emeritus of Birmingham-Southern on June 1, 2015. He and his wife of nearly 51 years, Zandi, settled in Birmingham and continue to help shape the city they have adopted as their own.
James “Rocky” Query
Rocky Query is the principal of Query & Associates, a financial management consulting firm focused primarily on strategic issues faced by higher education and nonprofit organizations. During his career, he has held senior management positions for a diverse range of university, corporate, governmental and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he served as the assistant vice president for financial affairs for Saint Joseph’s University. Previously, he worked for more than 20 years as a public finance investment banker for two prominent financial services firms – Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. His prior experience also includes positions with the New York City comptroller’s office, the office of U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, and the office of state Sen. Elliot Schewel in Virginia.
Query received a Master of Public and Private Management from the Yale University School of Organization and Management. He received a B.A. from the University of Chicago with honors in politics, economics, rhetoric and the law. He graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va.
Phillip C. Stone, Esq., president of the College
Sweet Briar, Virginia
Phillip Stone was born in Bassett, Va., and graduated from Bridgewater College in 1965. He later attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Economics and received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1970.
He practiced law for 24 years with the Harrisonburg, Va., firm of Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver in the areas of estate planning, corporate and health law. He was elected a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the American Bar Foundation, and the Virginia Bar Foundation. In 1997, he served as the president of the Virginia Bar Association. He has chaired the Virginia State Bar Committee on Ethics and its disciplinary board. He has held other leadership positions in bar associations and societies.
From 1994-2010, Stone was president of Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va. During his tenure, the college grew in stature and saw great progress and expansion in all areas of campus life, including undergraduate program growth, a near doubling of enrollment, and facility and technology expansion. Under his guidance, the college implemented its signature Personal Development Portfolio program, elevated the quality of its faculty and staff, and secured its financial underpinnings through the current Every Student, One Commitment Campaign for Bridgewater College.
During his tenure as president of Bridgewater College, Stone chaired the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and served as a trustee of the accrediting organization from 2007-2010. He was active in the NCAA as chair of the NCAA III Presidents Council (2004-2006) and served on a number of its committees, including Audit, Executive and Special Committee on Executive Authority. From 2005 to 2006, he was a member of the Presidential Task Force on the Future of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics.
Marcia Thom-Kaley, a Lynchburg native, is a 1981 graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.A. in lliberal arts and sciences, and a 2014 graduate of Hollins University with an M.A. in liberal arts and sciences. A classical singer, Thom-Kaley has enjoyed a 25-year professional career on the operatic and musical theater stages and has sung with the Nashville Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony and the Lynchburg Symphony. Her repertoire encompasses roles from Verdi to Mozart and, as a prolific soloist, includes performances at national and local events.
An avid fundraiser for community organizations, Thom-Kaley was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Central Virginia United Way in 2014, as well as the Virginia Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award in 2014. She has served on the Lynchburg Symphony Board of Directors, and the founding board of Opera on the James. In addition, she served on the YWCA Board of Directors as an advocate for women’s rights and she continues to work within her community on issues surrounding domestic abuse.
Thom-Kaley taught applied voice and opera workshop at Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon Woman’s College) from 2004 to 2009. She is currently Sweet Briar College assistant professor of music, where she conducts three choral organizations and teaches applied voice. Thom-Kaley has been a Sweet Briar College faculty member since 2005. In 2009 and in 2015 she received the Connie Burwell White Excellence in Teaching Award by the Sweet Briar College Student Government Association.
The Honorable Teresa Pike Tomlinson ’87, chair of the board
Teresa Tomlinson was elected as the 69th mayor of Columbus, Ga., on Nov. 30, 2010, with 68 percent of the vote. On Jan. 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the city’s first female mayor. On May 20, 2014, she was re-elected to a second term with 63 percent of the vote, making her the first mayor since the city’s consolidation in 1971 to win re-election in a contested race. She has three times been named to Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians, and she holds a National Security Secret Clearance with the Department of Defense.
Tomlinson moved to Columbus in 1994 from Atlanta and married Wade H. “Trip” Tomlinson, who was raised in Columbus. For 16 years she practiced with the law firm of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood LLC, where she specialized in complex litigation and was the firm’s first female partner. She served from 2006 to 2010 as executive director of MidTown Inc., a nonprofit community renewal organization. Tomlinson is a 1983 graduate of Chamblee High School in Atlanta, a 1987 graduate of Sweet Briar College, and a 1991 graduate of Emory University School of Law, in Atlanta. She was the Sweet Briar College commencement speaker for graduation exercises on May 16, 2015.
Georgene M. Vairo ’72, secretary of the board
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Georgene M. Vairo has been the David P. Leonard Professor of Law, Loyola of Los Angeles Law School, since 1994. Concurrently (2007-present), she has been president of Auswin Realty Corp. where she manages a family-owned residential and commercial real estate firm in New York City. Prior to her current positions, she was associate dean of the Fordham University School of Law and Leonard F. Manning Professor of Law. From 1988 to 2000, she chaired the board of trustees for the Dalkon Shield Claimants’ Trust, a court-appointed position (appointed by Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia), and helped design and implement the plan to distribute over $3 billion to more than 200,000 claimants. Since 1994, Vairo has been on the editorial board of Moore’s Federal Practice.
Vairo graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1972 and has since won the Distinguished Alumna award. In 1975 she received an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in social studies. She graduated first in her class from Fordham University School of Law in 1979. She was law clerk to the Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1981-1982) and associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom from 1979 to 1981, specializing in antitrust litigation.
CeCelia E. Valentine ’95
CeCelia Valentine is assistant public defender for Maricopa County, Ariz., since 2013. Previously she was assistant public defender for Harris County, Texas, from 2011 to 2013, and Pima County, Ariz., from 2005 to 2011.
Valentine graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1995, and South Texas College of Law in 2001. She was law clerk for the Honorable Raner Collins, U.S. District Court of Arizona, from 2003 to 2005, and from 2001 to 2003 was law clerk for the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
Elinor “El” H. Warner ’85
El Warner has broad expertise and proven success in marketing, branding, business development and targeted media outreach. She was a national marketing director for several nonprofits, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She is currently chief marketing officer of Three Wire Systems LLC.
Warner is a 1985 graduate of Sweet Briar College, where she served as editor of the Sweet Briar News and was Student Government Association president. She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English literature from the University of Virginia. Before her career in marketing communications, she taught English literature at William & Mary and at Lafayette College. Elected to the Easton City Council in 2007, she was Easton’s vice mayor from 2010 to 2014.