June 18, 2013
-- Five new members will join the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2013. At its June 13th meeting the board appointed Shawn Farr, David Figuli, Carmen Finestra, Thomas Paese, and Cynthia Traeger to serve four-year terms.
“To be able to add individuals of this caliber to our board — all at the same time — has strengthened the University’s leadership considerably,”
says Harrisburg University President Eric Darr. “These new board members are accomplished leaders in their fields, and have the combination of academic and business skills and interests that will serve their fellow trustees and the University very well. I am delighted to have them join us.”Shawn Farr
currently serves as the Director of Finance and Board Secretary for the Carlisle Area School District located in Carlisle, PA. In this capacity he is responsible for the non-instructional aspects of the District. In prior assignments he served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Harrisburg City School District, Board of Control Chair for the Duquesne City School District in Allegheny County, and as a Special Assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education for the Chester-Upland School District. Previously, Mr. Farr was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida; Chief Operating Officer for the Annenberg Foundation in St. Davids, Pennsylvania;
and Acting Executive Director and Program and Operations Director for the Greater Philadelphia First Foundation in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, Mr. Farr worked on the Children Achieving Challenge, a five-year $150 million effort focused on reforming the Philadelphia City School District. Earlier in his career, he worked in higher education in California overseeing administrative and business operations at campuses in the California State University System. David Figuli
is one of the leading investors and innovators in the global higher education industry. He is Managing Director of University Ventures, a premier investment firm focused exclusively on the global higher education sector. In his 30+ year career, Mr. Figuli has represented over 300 institutions, including some of the largest proprietary schools and multiple private equity investors in the post-secondary industry, and he has served as a member of the board of trustees of four universities. In addition to institutions and investors, he has consulted to the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities AASCU), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and countless other organizations. He has also published books and articles on higher education management issues and has presented hundreds of seminars for the leading post-secondary associations as well as major colleges and universities. Prior to entering private practice, David served as the General Counsel for the South Dakota University System and Chief Legal Counsel for the Montana University System. He also served as the General Counsel to Regis University, where he developed their licensing division which grew into 30+ partnerships with colleges and universities around the world.Carmen Finestra
was Supervising Producer of "The Cosby Show" and Co-Creator and Executive Producer of "Home Improvement"
, the Tim Allen sitcom. In film, he was Executive Producer of "Where the Heart Is", with Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, and "What Women Want", starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. He has won three Writers Guild of America Awards, A Peabody Award, and been nominated for six Emmies. Mr. Finestra was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School. He received a B.A. from Penn State University, and was made a Distinguished Alumnus in 1998.Thomas G. Paese
is an attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC, where he concentrates his practice in administrative law, government affairs, technology and health care. He is chair of the firm's Government Relations Section and served as co-director for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's transition team. Mr. Paese, former Pennsylvania secretary of administration under Governor Tom Ridge, was an attorney with Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling when it joined Buchanan in 2006. During that time, he served as practice manager of the firm's Government Affairs Group. Under Governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell, Tom served on the boards of the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees Retirement System (SERS). His professional background has given him particular knowledge of the areas of venture and general investing, technology in government, procurement and health care. Cynthia Traeger
concurrently serves as CEO, Pacific Siren International LLC, a diversified technology holding company, whose mission is to identify and acquire strategically beneficial assets and technologies;
and as President, VSI Pacific, a Pacific holding. An integral part of the technology community in the Washington D.C. area for more than 30 years and considered an innovator within the industry world-wide, Ms. Traeger devotes time mentoring small and emerging businesses and is an advocate for women business founders and CEOs. An active business and community leader, Ms. Traeger donates time in a wide variety of philanthropic, artistic and entrepreneurial organizations including serving as the Co-Director, Founder Institute, DC, as an International Mentor, Founder Institute, Silicon Valley, Bogotá, Santiago, Paris and DC; supporting the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and as a mentor to the George Washington University’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Network. Ms. Traeger is a frequent guest speaker, graduate level, Georgetown University and the George Washington University on new venture finance and technology entrepreneurship. Ms. Traeger advises the board LFS, served as an advisor to the board, Faulkner Information (Information Today), was a participant and author with the American Bar Association's Digital Evidence Work Group, and has been a contributor to the Journal of the ACM Special Interest Group on Graphics. Her contributions to the Telecommunications Development Fund's Corporate Governance Project received the highest regards by the Emerging Business Forum and Washington Post. Ms. Traeger served as a Corporate Ambassador for Vital Voices’ Corporate Ambassadors Program (CAP) launched in cooperation with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at the U.S. Department of State.
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private university offering bachelor-of-
science and graduate degree programs in science, technology and math fields. For more information on the University's affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu