Nine named to Penn State Board of Trustees as results announced

May 04, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nine individuals were named to serve on Penn State’s Board of Trustees, either by election or appointment, during the board’s meeting today (May 4) at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. 

University alumni re-elected incumbent Robert J. Tribeck and elected Laurie Anne Stanell and Brandon Short to the board for the first time.  

Delegates of the agricultural societies re-elected incumbents Donald G. Cotner and Chris R. Hoffman, and the board re-elected incumbents Robert E. Fenza and Mary Lee Schneider to represent business and industry endeavors. The board also re-elected Julie Anna Potts to a second term as an at-large trustee. 

The board also voted to re-appoint Dr. David C. Han as the academic trustee, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning.  

The newly elected trustees will serve three-year terms, starting July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2021. 

Board members elected by the alumni are: 

Robert J. Tribeck 

Tribeck is chief legal officer at Post Acute Medical LLC, a central Pennsylvania-based health care provider. He also is counsel at the central Pennsylvania law firm Barley Snyder, and currently president of the Middle District Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He received a bachelor of science degree in economics from Penn State in 1991 and a juris doctor degree from Ohio Northern University in 1994. Upon graduation, he was appointed to a federal judicial clerkship with the Hon. William W. Caldwell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Tribeck has served on the board since 2015.   

Laurie Anne Stanell 

Stanell has been a solo-practicing dentist in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, for 30 years. After graduating from Penn State, she attended Temple University School of Dentistry. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. Stanell mentors students in the Eberly College of Science and is active with her sorority, Phi Mu. A lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association, Stanell is a board member of the Bucks County Penn State Alumni chapter, and a member of the THON Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group. In 2015 Stanell was elected as an alumni representative to the Alumni Association’s Alumni Council.  

Brandon Short 

Short is a 1999 Penn State graduate, and received his MBA from Columbia Business School in 2010.  Short previously worked for Goldman Sachs in New York and Dubai, and he is currently a vice president at Round Hill Capital, a real estate private equity firm in London. A two-time captain of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, he was named a consensus All-American linebacker in 1999, and after being drafted in 2000, played seven seasons in the NFL. While in the NFL, he was elected by his teammates as an NFL Players Association player representative. 

Board members elected by the agricultural societies are: 

Donald G. Cotner 

Cotner is president of Cotner Farms Inc., a Danville, Pennsylvania, company that distributes eggs throughout the northeastern United States. He also is managing partner of Don Cotner Farms, which grows corn and soybeans and manufactures feed, and is a partner in Boyd Station LLC. Cotner has been a member of the board of directors of AgChoice Farm Credit and its predecessor for more than 30 years. In addition, he serves on the Danville Area Community Foundation Board and is a member of the Mount Nittany Society. Cotner earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Penn State in 1971. He was first elected to the Board of Trustees by delegates from agricultural societies in 2012. 

Chris R. Hoffman 

Hoffman is vice president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and owns and operates Lazy Hog Farms and Lazy Chick Farms in Juniata County Pennsylvania. He was selected to serve on the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s state board of directors in 2006, its executive committee in 2008, and as its vice president in 2014. In 2013 Hoffman was selected to lead the Farm Bureau’s new Agriculture Promotion Committee, which encourages local programs that engage consumers with agriculture and also raises money for the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation. He chairs Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Advisory Board and is a member of the state’s Pork Producers Council. In 2014 he was appointed chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Promotion and Education Committee. Hoffman was first elected to the Board of Trustees by delegates from agricultural societies in 2015.  

Board members representing business and industry are: 

Robert E. Fenza 

Fenza retired as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Liberty Property Trust in 2015. He earned a degree in landscape architecture and real estate from Penn State in 1980 and is a member of the University’s Society of Distinguished Alumni. Fenza received an Alumni Fellow Award from the Penn State Alumni Association in 2004, and in 2012 he was named Penn State’s Fundraising Volunteer of the Year. Fenza has served on the board of directors of the Crozer Keystone Health System and the board of trustees of the Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia. He was first elected to the Board of Trustees representing business and industry in 2015.  

Mary Lee Schneider 

Schneider is president and CEO of the direct-marketing firm SG360°, joining the company in 2015 after previously serving as president and CEO of Follett Corp. She received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Penn State in 1984; a master of science degree in printing and image technology from Rochester Institute of Technology; an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business; and a master of science degree in medical informatics, both from Northwestern University. Schneider was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2006. She volunteers on the board of the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Leader Council of the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Schneider was first elected to the Board of Trustees representing business and industry in 2015.  

Elected as an at-large trustee: 

Julie Anna Potts 

Potts is executive vice president and treasurer of the American Farm Bureau Federation. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, with an undergraduate degree in English, and the George Washington University Law School, she previously was chief counsel and secretary for the American Farm Bureau Federation from 2004 to 2009 and chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry from 2009 to 2011. Her volunteer service includes roles as chairman and board member of Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization committed to helping end chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C., and as chair of the American Enterprise Agriculture Sector Committee for the Smithsonian American History Museum. Potts was first elected to the Board of Trustees as an at-large trustee in 2015.  

Appointed as the academic trustee: 

Dr. David C. Han 

Han is a physician and professor of surgery and radiology at the Penn State College of Medicine. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Penn State in 1988, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1992, and a master of science degree in health evaluation sciences at Penn State in 2005. He is vice chair of the Department of Surgery and program director of the Residency in General Surgery at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine. He is a member of the University Faculty Senate, and he served on the Special Committee for University Governance from 2012 to 2013. He also served as president of the Penn State Alumni Association from 2007 to 2009 and was recognized as a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2011. Han was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2015 as an academic trustee after being nominated by the University Faculty Senate. 

Penn State’s Board of Trustees is composed of six members appointed by the governor, nine members elected by alumni, six members elected by agricultural societies, six members elected by the board representing business and industry endeavors, one student trustee, one academic trustee, three at-large trustees, and the immediate past president of the Penn State Alumni Association. In addition, five members are ex-officio by right of their office, including Gov. Thomas W. Wolf (non-voting), Penn State President Eric J. Barron (non-voting), Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding, Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, and Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Cynthia A. Dunn. 

For more information on Penn State's board members, visit  

The total distribution of the votes cast in the alumni election are listed below by the position of the candidates on the ballot. 

Ballot position: Candidate – Vote total 

1.   Alvin F. de Levie ‘73, Lib, Marlton, New Jersey — 10,421 

2.   Robert J. Tribeck ‘91, Lib, Enola, Pennsylvania — 10,885 

3.   Laurie Anne Stanell, DMD ‘80, Sci, Pipersville, Pennsylvania — 10,480 

4.   Brandon Short ‘99, Bus, London, United Kingdom — 11,783 

Write-In Votes — 1,072 

Total Eligible Voters — 664,415 

Total Ballots Cast — 16,711 


Last Updated May 15, 2018