Our Board of Directors

Randy Cowen, Chair

Randy was Chief Information Officer and its Co-Chief Administrative Officer at Goldman Sachs in New York. He was also a Director at EMC Corporation until it was acquired by Dell in 2015. He served in a variety of for-profit and non-profit board positions including Pivotal Software, Data Domain, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and NYU Child Study Center. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Mathematics from Michigan State University.

Melissa Woo, President

Melissa Woo is the executive vice president for administration, providing leadership for Campus Sustainability, Human Resources, Information Technology, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, and Land Management. Additionally, Melissa serves as MSU’s chief information officer, and as president of the MSU Foundation. Melissa received her bachelor’s degree in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Scott Eston, Vice Chair

Scott was Chief Operating Officer of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. in Boston. Additionally, he was Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Equity Trust – Evergreen Large Cap Value Fund. He was a Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (formerly Coopers & Lybrand LLP).  He has been a Trustee at Eaton Vance Funds.  He serves as a Member of Michigan State University’s Financial Management Institute Advisory Board and holds a degree in accounting from The Broad College at Michigan State University.

John Phillips, Secretary

Mr. Phillips served as Chairman of Corporate Solutions Group at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (Formerly known as Lasalle Partners Inc. and LaSalle Partners Limited) since July 29, 2007. Mr. Phillips serves as a Director at Ohio National Financial Services, Inc., The Ohio National Life Insurance Company and Ohio National Mutual Holdings, Inc.  He has a degree from The Broad College at Michigan State University

Bruce Leech, Treasurer

Bruce Founded CrossCom National in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Board before selling the company.  He is a Director of Pearson Packaging Systems Inc.  He is currently the Executive Director of Coleman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago.  Bruce earned his certification from the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, an MBA from DePaul University, and a degree in Finance from The Broad College at Michigan State University.

Jeff deGraaf

Jeff is Founder and Head of Technical Research at Renaissance Macro Research in New York. Previously, Jeff served ISI Group Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Jeff is one of Wall Street’s most influential macro-based analysts over the last decade, ranked by Institutional Investor Magazine for the last twelve years and ranked number one Technical Analyst for the last eleven years. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Market Technician. He received a degree in Finance from The Broad College at Michigan State University.

Jon Braeutigam

Jon was appointed Chief Investment Officer of the Bureau of Investments for the State of Michigan in January 2008. He serves as the Chief Executive/Chief Investment Officer for the State of Michigan Retirement Systems. Jon graduated with honors from the Broad College at Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1985, majoring in Supply Chain Management and an MBA in Finance.  He is a board member of the Pension Real Estate Association and serves on the investment committee of the Health Endowment Fund

Linda Hubbard

Linda is President and Chief Operating Officer of Carhartt Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago/Detroit Branch. She is also the Vice-President of Michigan State’s Broad School of Business Alumni Board and Treasurer of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy Board of Directors. Linda also recently served on Michigan State’s Presidential Search Committee.  Hubbard is a 1982 graduate of The Broad College at Michigan State University with a BA in accounting.

Bill Seifert

Bill was General Partner at Prism VentureWorks. He was also CTO of Avaya Technologies.  Previously, he was Founder and CEO at Agile Networks Inc. which was acquired by Lucent.  He was also a co-founder and CTO of Wellfleet Communications which later became part of Bay Networks and ultimately Nortel.  He received an M.S. from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and was a member of the Spartan Marching Band.

Stan Sokolowski

Stan is Deputy Chief Investment Officer at CIFC Asset Management where he is the lead portfolio manager for CIFC’s total return products. He serves on the firm’s Investment Committee and Operating Committee. Prior to CIFC, Stan was a portfolio manager and trader with Lucidus Capital. He also spent time at JPMorgan and Manufacturers Hanover and holds a degree in Finance from The Broad College at Michigan State University.

Janice Stipp

Janice was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Rogers Corporation (NYSE:  ROG).  Prior to Rogers, she was CFO and Treasurer at Tecumseh Products Company. She also served as CFO of Acument Global Technologies and GDX Automotive Inc.  She was a member of the Board of Directors Ply Gem Industries before they were taken private in the spring of 2018.  She serves on the Board of Directors of ArcBest Corporation (NASDAQGS:  ARCB). She earned a degree in Accounting from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MBA from Wayne State University.

Joel Wittenberg

Joel is the Chief Investment Officer and Vice President at W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Previously, he served as Vice President and Treasurer and Executive Officer of Investor Relations at Kellogg Co. Prior to Kellogg, he was a finance executive with Armstrong Holdings, Dow Chemical, and Triangle Pacific. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Patricia Hemingway Hall

Hemingway Hall spent 23 years working for HCSC – the nation’s largest mutual health insurance company that oversees Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Prior to HCSC, Hemingway Hall started her career as an ICU nurse and later held several positions in healthcare insurance and consulting. She later became the president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) in 1993. After serving in Texas, Hemingway Hall held the position as executive vice president of HCSC’s internal operations. In 2008, she became president and CEO of HCSC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from MSU and a master’s degree in public health, health planning, and administration from the University of Michigan.

Kermitt Brooks

Kermitt Brooks is Executive Vice President, General Counsel at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). In this role, he’s responsible for managing Guardian’s enterprise-wide legal, compliance, corporate governance and government affairs functions. He has more than 14 years of insurance experience in the industry and as a regulator. Brooks received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review, and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Dr. Samuel Stanley, President, Michigan State University

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., is the 21st President of Michigan State University.  Dr. Stanley has a bachelor of arts degree in biological sciences (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago. After earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1980, he completed his resident-physician training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He went to Washington University in St. Louis in 1983 for a fellowship in infectious diseases in the School of Medicine, eventually becoming a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology and eventually Vice Chancellor for Research.  From 2009 to 2019, he served as the President of Stony Brook University.

Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff, Provost, Michigan State University

Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. serves as Michigan State University’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. As the chief academic officer for Michigan State University, Provost Woodruff provides leadership for matters that affect academic programs, research, and outreach involving faculty, students, and staff. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Woodruff served as the Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Education in The Graduate School at Northwestern University. She was also the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Vice Chair for Research and the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as Professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. Additionally, she was the Director of the Center for Reproductive Science (CRS), Founder and Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI), and Director of the Oncofertility Consortium.

The Honorable Dianne Byrum, Michigan State University Board of Trustees

Trustee Byrum serves as a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees where she is Chair of the Board. She is a partner in Byrum Fisk Communications and has served in the Michigan State Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives. She has also served on the board of the American Cancer Society, the Michigan Retail Hardware Association and the Downtown Development Authority. She earned a BS from the College of Agriculture at Michigan State University.

The Honorable Melanie Foster, Michigan State University Board of Trustees

Trustee Foster serves as a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees where she is chair of the Finance Committee and the Investment Advisory Subcommittee.  For 15 years she served as president and CEO of a commercial landscape company she built into a nationally acclaimed firm. For 10 years Foster was president and CEO of a commercial landscape firm in Orlando, Florida, that specialized in theme park projects. She earned a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from Michigan State University.

Dr. Douglas Gage, Interim Vice President, Office of Research & Innovation

Dr. Douglas Gage supports cross-campus, interdisciplinary research initiatives, and manages the Internal Grant program in the Office of Research & Innovation. Dr. Gage remains a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where his previous research focused on metabolic engineering of plant biochemical pathways. Gage earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from Florida State University and his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas, Austin. He completed his post-doctoral training at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and at the MSU NIH Mass Spectrometry Research Resource.

David Washburn, Executive Director, Michigan State University Foundation

Dave is Executive Director of the Michigan State University Foundation.  In the role, he leads the Foundation and its wholly owned subsidiary companies Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, and the University Corporate Research Park.  Dave served as President and CEO of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and also spent 10 years at the University of Illinois where he led the software commercialization practice.  Dave held management and directorship roles in venture-backed software companies from 1988-2000 including Wolfram Research, Kuck & Associates (acquired by Intel), IntallShield Software Corporation (acquired by Macrovision), and Argus Systems Group (acquired by General Dynamics).  He holds a BA and MBA from the Gies College of Business at University of Illinois and began his career as a data analyst with Information Resources in Chicago.

MSU Foundation Advisory Board

The MSU Foundation Advisory Board is a group of distinguished friends and alumni of Michigan State University that serve as a sounding board to the MSU Foundation and our subsidiary organizations.  The board is non-voting and is engaged on a monthly basis in order to be exposed to the depth and breadth of our business activities around portfolio management, grant programs, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, venture investing, real estate, and P3 partnerships.  The board also provides feedback, ideas, connectivity, and engagement in our programs.  Current Advisory Board Members include:

  • Brian Burgess – Glengarry Partners
  • Brian Tochman – Trust Ventures
  • Chris Sugden – Edison Venture Partners
  • David Elliott – GI Partners
  • Donnie Haye – IBM
  • Erik J. Brown – Aspire Capital Partners
  • Frank Freund – Accident Fund
  • Jason Fuller – New Enterprise Associates
  • Jay Levy – Lazard Capital Management
  • John Cambier – IDEA Fund Partners
  • Julie Fasone Holder – JFH Insights
  • Melissa Mackey – Relifium
  • Mike Miller – Liquid 2 Ventures
  • Patrick Lennon – Honigman
  • Patti Glaza – Invest Detroit
  • Race Foster – Drs. Foster & Smith
  • Ruju Srivastava – Gritstone Oncology

Emeritus Board Members

The success of the MSU Foundation was made possible by a number of individuals who served our organization over the years. While these individuals’ terms have expired, they continue to be engaged with the Foundation and MSU.

  • Alec McAree – Red Cedar Management
  • John McLane – Citicorp
  • Craig Brown – Owner, Greenville Drive Baseball Team; former CEO of Bcom3 Group
  • Bob Burgess – Retired President and CEO of Pulte Homes
  • Joan Garety – VP Finance & Treasurer, Meijer Inc. (retired); 2005 inductee to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame
  • Ron Goldsberry – VP, Deloitte Consulting (retired); VP Global Services Business Strategy, Ford Motor Company
  • John Gorman – Partner, The Jorman Group
  • Phil Hickey – Former CEO, RARE Hospitality; Chair, Red Lobster
  • Joon Moon – Mt. Rose Capital
  • Edward James – Chair emeritus, ER James Homebuilder, Urban Land Institute, Past President Western Golf Association, National Trustee, Boys, and Girls Club of America, Economic Club of Chicago
  • Glenn Schafer – Chairman, Janus Capital Group; Pacific Life Insurance Company, Genesis HealthCare, GeoOptics
  • Gary Seevers – Goldman Sachs Presidents Council of Economic Advisers, Commodity Futures Trading Commission