Ag industry leader Masser elected as new chair of Penn State Board

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Keith E. Masser is the new chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, replacing Karen B. Peetz, who did not seek re-election.

In picking 2013 officers Jan. 18, the trustees elected Masser as chairman and Stephanie N. Deviney as vice-chairman.

Elected to the board by delegates from agricultural societies in 2008, Masser rose to vice chairman in 2012. He's the chairman and CEO of Sterman Masser Inc., a family owned and operated 5,000-acre potato growing, packing and shipping company based in central Pennsylvania. To read Masser’s acceptance speech, go to http://live.psu.edu/story/63665.

The first of his extended family to attend college, Masser graduated with distinction in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering and then went to work for Procter & Gamble. In 1980, after his brother's death pushed the family farm into crisis, Masser purchased the small business. Today, located in three states, the business is one of North America's top produce growing, processing, shipping and marketing organizations, leading the industry in food safety, corporate responsibility and promotion of healthy vegetables.

Masser supports scholarships in his brother's name and is a volunteer of the "For the Future" campaign. He has been honored as a College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumni and as a Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer.

Masser has more than 30 years of experience leading and serving on nonprofit boards. His experience includes leadership in local, county, state and national organizations. His accomplishments include securing funding, creating and securing passage of legislation and eliminating onerous regulations for the boards' constituents.

With Helen, his wife of 40 years, Masser has two children: David and Julie. All are Penn State graduates and owners employed full-time in the family businesses.

The board announced in December that Peetz would not be seeking a second year as chairwoman after being promoted to president of BNY Mellon.

"At all times, and particularly now, our University needs a chairman with the ability to commit virtually unlimited time and energy to guiding this great institution to its promising future," she said last month.

Peetz had previously been the vice chairwoman and CEO of Financial Markets and Treasury Services within BNY Mellon, the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. She was elected as a business and industry trustee for a three-year term, beginning July 1, 2010.

Deviney is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP in Exton, Pa., and a member of the firm's Litigation Department and Construction Law Group. In 2011, Deviney was named a "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by The Legal Intelligencer.

Deviney is a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, where she was president of the Women's Law Caucus and chaired committees of the Student Bar Association. She served as comments editor for the Dickinson Law Review and was a member of the National Trial Competition Team.

Deviney graduated from the University of Richmond, where she was a member of the Political Science Honor Society and dean's list. She also held leadership positions in Alpha Chi Omega. Prior to college, Deviney attended Villa Maria Academy where she currently serves on the board of directors for the Alumnae Association and the Parent Advisory Board.

Deviney is president of the Delchester Chapter of the Dickinson School of Law Alumni Society and chairwoman of the Membership Committee for her local bar association. Deviney regularly volunteers at St. Elizabeth Parish & School. She resides in Glenmoore, Pa., with her husband, Jimmy (a 2007 Penn State graduate), and son, Seamus.

Paula R. Ammerman, associate secretary; Carmella Mulroy-Degenhart and Wendy L. Peck, assistant secretaries; and David J. Gray, treasurer; and Deborah M. Meder and Susan J. Wiedemer, assistant treasurers; were all re-elected to their posts. In accordance with University bylaws, University President Rodney Erickson is the ex officio secretary.

Also at the meeting, the trustees scheduled May 2 as the date for the delegate election of agricultural trustees and May 3 as the date for election of business and industry trustees. Also on May 2, ballots will be counted in the alumni election.

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Last Updated February 19, 2013