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Photo of five new trustees

University of Dayton names four new trustees, chairperson elect; adds two young professionals as recent alumni trustees

The University of Dayton has added four new members to its board of trustees, including two recent alumni invited to join through a new category designed to attract early career professionals to the board.

Tom Barker, Lyric Fields, Khristian Santiago and Jen Weed began their terms July 1. In addition, Ray Blakeney, who has served three years as an ex-officio trustee by nature of his role as president of the UD Alumni Association, was elected to the board for a new three-year term.  With these new appointments, the 2021-22 board will have 38 members, including ex-officio trustees.

“UD has an incredibly talented and committed board of trustees,” said board chairperson Mary Boosalis. “Each of these new trustees will bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the table, and I know the board and the University will benefit greatly as a result of their addition."

This is the first year the board will welcome recent alumni trustees who are only three to eight  years post-graduation. These trustees will serve one term and will have a record of engagement with UD volunteer and philanthropy initiatives as students and continued involvement with UD after graduation.

"The board’s committee on trustees was very thoughtful and intentional in creating the new category of recent alumni trustees, which will allow the board to better reflect our entire alumni community and provide important insights about the current UD student experience,” said University President Eric F. Spina.

Boosalis will finish her three-year term as chairperson next year and complete her 12-year presence on the board June 30, 2022. Rick Omlor will begin a one-year role as chairperson-elect July 1 to prepare for a three-year term as chairperson beginning July 1, 2022. Omlor, a UD mechanical engineering graduate, is a retired president and CEO of YSI Inc., who has served on the board since 2011. 

During his tenure, Omlor has represented the board on the steering committee guiding the redevelopment of the former Montgomery County fairgrounds, now known as onMain, which UD owns with Premier Health. He also has served as chair of the search committee for the vice president for facilities management and as a member of the University's strategic visioning committee.

"After 10 years as a University of Dayton trustee, I am honored and humbled to be entrusted by my fellow trustees to succeed Mary Boosalis in leading the board,” Omlor said. “Together we will continue guiding the University into the future while sustaining UD's uniquely rich Catholic and Marianist mission."

New trustees for 2021-22

Tom Barker is a retired CEO and chairman of the board of West Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1986, West Corporation (now Intrado) provides voice and data services to industry clients in telecommunications, retail, financial services, public safety, technology and healthcare in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Barker graduated from UD in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Ray Blakeney is senior director, global engineering talent acquisition for cloud & AI with Microsoft in Seattle. His career has spanned leadership roles at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as other national companies. Blakeney, the outgoing president of the UD Alumni Association, earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University in 1993, and worked for UD as an admission counselor.

Lyric Fields is a relationship banker for Bank of America in Columbus who previously worked in development for Pink Ribbon Girls and annual giving with the Ohio State University alumni association. A recent alumni trustee, Fields completed a student internship with UD advancement that led to the establishment of the University’s student philanthropy council. Fields graduated from the Dayton Early College Academy and received a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship in 2018 from UD.

Khristian Santiago is a global business strategy lead at Google in San Francisco. A recent alumni trustee, Santiago was a President’s Emissary and worked with Flyer Enterprises, UD’s student-run business, before graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in operations and supply management. Santiago has been involved with UD since graduating by serving as chair of the Day10 Young Alumni committee and as a member of the UD Alumni Association board, supporting University advancement as a peer-to-peer ambassador and mentoring students through Flyer Connection.

Jen Weed is vice president of education at CCIM Institute – the professional certification and educational resource for commercial and investment real estate. Weed’s professional experience includes roles with the Strategic Account Management Association, the American Bar Association, DePaul University and Xavier University. Weed earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UD in 1995, a master’s in higher education from Kent State University and a law degree from Loyola University Chicago. Weed is the incoming president of the UD Alumni Association board and will serve a three-year term on the board.


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