Sweet Briar elects new board members from Richmond area

Sweet Briar College has announced the election of a new member to its board. Bernard Niemeier, the president and publisher of Virginia Business magazine, was elected on March 20.

He joins other Richmond residents Frank Roach, Alice Dixon ’82 and Everett “Ben” Howerton Jr. Roach, CEO of Ferguson, joined in February, while Howerton and Dixon have been serving since new governance took over the College on July 2, 2015, following the attempted closing.

Howerton, who chairs the Committee on Directors responsible for submitting nominees for the board, its officers and committees, says he was excited to welcome Niemeier and Roach as members. He notes that Richmond is well represented on Sweet Briar’s board by distinguished leaders from the city’s business and civic communities. Niemeier’s and Roach’s résumés also include successful tenures with high-profile companies doing business throughout Virginia and the United States.

“Between them, Bernie and Frank bring decades of combined experience in business, entrepreneurship and organizational governance in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors,” said Howerton, who is active in the Richmond nonprofit arena and is a former Virginia education executive and recognized authority in matters related to educational law and policy.

“Frank previously served on the boards of Hampden-Sydney College and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Bernie helms a publication that top executives and government leaders across the commonwealth rely on for business news, and he is past board chair of LEAD Virginia and has been on the board of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.”

Howerton added that each member brings to the table assets that will help Sweet Briar on its path to sustainability — a journey that has seen significant progress since July. He anticipates they will gladly devote a great deal of time and energy to the College.

“I am proud to be working side by side with Alice, Frank and Bernie, three individuals who offer such a wealth of experience, as well as deep ties to the community. Like those of all of our board members, their unique sets of experiences, civic and professional associations, and individual talents are just what Sweet Briar needs.”

Full biographies of each member are published on the College’s board of directors website.