Board of Trustees announces candidates for officers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Board of Trustees will elect a new chair and vice chair at its Friday, Jan. 18, public meeting at the University Park campus, and has received an expression of interest in leadership positions from the following trustee candidates:

-- Chair, Board of Trustees: Keith E. Masser;
-- Vice Chair, Board of Trustees: Stephanie N. Deviney.

In addition to these candidates, nominations still may be made at the time of the election.

Three to five minutes will be set aside at the Board of Trustees' public seminar on Friday, Jan. 18, for each candidate to express his or her views and answer queries from the voting membership.

Candidates were invited to provide brief biographical sketches and position statements regarding their interest in the positions:

Keith E. Masser ’73

Biographical Sketch

Keith E. Masser is 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. The first of his extended family to attend college, Keith graduated with distinction in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering and then went on to work for Procter & Gamble.

In 1980, after his brother’s death pushed the family farm into crisis, Keith 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.

Keith is currently serving as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees. He is dedicated to securing the future of the University and its students by supporting 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 Alumnus and as a Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer.

Keith has over 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.

Keith is happily married for 40 years to Helen and has two children, David and Julie. All are Penn State graduates and are owners employed full-time in the family businesses.

Position Statement

I ask for your support to be elected as chairman of The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees. My experience over the past year as vice chair, coupled with my long history as a Penn Stater, will allow for a smooth leadership transition and a steady path forward.

I have known Penn State from many vantage points -- as a first-generation college student, alumnus, volunteer, seventh-generation Pennsylvania farmer, business leader, tuition-paying parent, taxpayer, philanthropist and trustee. I am also a member of the board of directors at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, which has a powerful impact on our state’s health and well-being, as well as the economy.
These many perspectives have provided me with a rich and diverse understanding of the scope of our institution, our 24 campuses and our many affiliated operations. I am deeply committed to our students, and to keeping Penn State affordable and accessible for generations to come.

I pledge my energy, my time and my abilities to lead the Board of Trustees with honor. As a trustee and vice chair, I have worked to improve the safety of our campuses through enhanced compliance, governance and oversight, and will continue to further these goals. I am committed to engaging full board involvement, building consensus and unifying our community. I wish to use all of the skills, knowledge and experience of each trustee to continue to grow the University.
I will help lead our board to advocate for affordable educational opportunities, excellence in research and continued outreach and service. I ask for your support in focusing on our values and quality education for our students, who are the future. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Stephanie N. Deviney ’97 J.D.

Biographical Sketch

Stephanie 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 Stephanie was named a "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by The Legal Intelligencer.

Stephanie 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.

Stephanie 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, Stephanie attended Villa Maria Academy where she currently serves on the board of directors for the Alumnae Association and the Parent Advisory Board.

Since joining the Board of Trustees in 2010, Stephanie has served on the Campus Environment, Finance and Physical Plant, Audit and Risk, Legal and Compliance, and Outreach, Development and Community Relations committees. She has also served on the General Counsel Search Committee and is on the Blue and White Vision Council. Stephanie regularly attends graduations as a trustee representative.

Stephanie is also president of the Delchester Chapter of the Dickinson School of Law Alumni Society and chairperson of the Membership Committee for her local bar association. Stephanie regularly volunteers at St. Elizabeth Parish & School.
Stephanie resides in Glenmoore, Pa., with her husband, Jimmy (’07), and son Seamus.

Position Statement

Based on a 40-year study of human strengths, Gallup developed an assessment to help people discover and describe their talents. My assessment reveals my top five strengths as: 1. positivity; 2. woo (winning others over); 3. communication; 4. focus; and 5. maximizer. My positive outlook; willingness to meet and establish a rapport with new people; effective communication skills (both orally and in writing); ability to instinctively evaluate, filter and establish priorities; and desire to capitalize on strengths to achieve excellence uniquely position me to help lead our University forward from the tragic events that began to unfold in November 2011.

My strengths also align with the three key characteristics of leadership that our board has already articulated: 1. leadership to establish effective relationships; 2. outreach to effectively articulate the vision of the University to the general public; and 3. personal attributes including but not limited to a willingness to commit the time and energy required, interpersonal skills, objectivity, decisiveness and creativity.

While we have come a long way since I joined the board less than three years ago, we still have far to go to fulfill our fiduciary obligation to our University. Our work is not nearly complete. There is much more to be done, particularly in establishing the best governance practices. I am honored that you would consider electing me as vice chair of the Board of Trustees so that I can utilize my strengths for the glory of Penn State.

Last Updated October 13, 2013