KU Alumni Association Board elects 2023-’24 officers
Alumni pass the gavel, add six new volunteers.
The Association’s national Board of Directors in May elected officers for the 2023-’24 fiscal year, along with six new directors who began their five-year terms July 1.
Each year the board accepts alumni nominations of new directors from January 1 to March 1, and the Nominating Committee meets in April to submit a slate of candidates for the full board’s consideration at the spring meeting.
The 2023-’24 national chair is Michael Happe, j’94, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, who served as chair-elect during 2022-’23. He leads Winnebago Industries as president and CEO, a role he began in 2016 after 20 years in senior leadership positions with The Toro Co. He majored in broadcast news at KU and earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Minnesota. For the Association, he chairs the Executive Committee and formerly led the Revenue Development Committee. He is married to Shannon Fitzsimmons-Happe, j’94; they are Life Members and Presidents Club donors.
Happe succeeds Keturah Harding Pohl, f’04, a’08, who remains on the board for an additional year as immediate past chair. She co-owns and manages Putnam Family Dental in Findlay, Ohio, with her husband, Brad, c’05. They moved to Ohio from Lawrence, where she was an architect with Treanor Architects. Harding Pohl used her professional experience to help guide the planning and construction of the Jayhawk Welcome Center and Adams Alumni Center renovation. Before joining the board in 2016, she volunteered for the Lawrence Network and served five years as the Association’s representative to the KU Memorial Union board. She and Brad are Life Members and Presidents Club donors.
The 2023-’24 chair-elect is F. Taylor Burch, p’88, g’90, PharmD’09, of Lantana, Texas, who has worked for more than 20 years at Eli Lilly and Co., where he is currently a global operations consultant, creating strategy and supporting the various platforms used by the medical affairs teams worldwide. He remains connected to the School of Pharmacy as a donor and volunteer, creating an endowed scholarship named for his father and returning to Lawrence often as a guest lecturer to first-year pharmacy students. He also volunteers for KU Admissions. With his wife, Lisa Howell Burch, c’92, he served on KU Endowment’s Far Above campaign committee for the school. They are Life Members and Presidents Club donors. Their daughter, Allie, is a 2023 KU graduate.
In addition to officers, the Board elected six new directors: Monique Garcia of Wichita, Marlon Marshall of Denver, Joy Larson Maxwell of Salt Lake City, David Ochoa of Fairway, Lisa Olson Stump of St. Louis, and Paul Wise of Austin, Texas.
Garcia, c’96, owns Garcia Group, a marketing and communications consulting firm. She works with federal and state agencies to expand access to health care in underserved communities across the region. She also assists federal agencies in improving language access for public safety efforts. As a volunteer for the Wichita Network, Garcia helped create a mentor program that connected alumni with local high school students and recruited several students to KU. Most recently, she appeared in “Together We Rise,” a video highlighting the Association’s efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. As a student, she participated in the Hispanic American Leadership Organization, the KU rowing team and the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center. She is a Life Member and Presidents Club donor.
Marshall, c’13, of Denver, is CEO of The City Fund, a nonprofit organization that works with partner cities to improve public schools through grant funding. He formerly worked as special assistant to President Barack Obama and principal deputy director in the White House. As a student from 1997 to 2002, Marshall served as student body vice president, and he received the Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Award in 2001. He left KU to begin his career in political campaigns and public service and returned in 2013 to finish his degree in communication studies. He is an Association Annual Member, and he served five years on the KU Memorial Union board. He also volunteers with the Dole Institute of Politics. He earned a master’s degree in policy management from Georgetown University.
Maxwell, c’03, j’03, worked for the Association for more than a decade after beginning her KU career in student recruitment for Admissions. She served as the assistant director of Kansas City programs, working closely with the Kansas City Network Board to coordinate the annual Rock Chalk Ball. She also collaborated with Admissions colleagues to enhance the recruitment of students from KU families and increase the undergraduate enrollment of these Jayhawks from 15% to 23%. She and her husband, Kevin, e’05, m’14, are Life Members and Presidents Club donors.
Ochoa j’06, g’08, is the mid-America area executive director for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He began his career at the Alumni Association as membership coordinator before moving to KU Endowment, where he was the development director for the School of Pharmacy and later development director and team lead for the School of Medicine. He left KU to become executive director of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund. David currently serves on the KU Biodiversity Institute Advisory Board. As a student, he played football for KU and twice was elected team captain. After completing his journalism degree, he earned his master’s degree in education. He and his wife, Emily Jean Ochoa, m’13, are Life Members and Presidents Club donors.
Stump, b’86, is president of the law firm Lashly & Baer in St. Louis. After completing her bachelor’s degree in business, she earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. As an attorney, she has represented numerous educational institutions, including school districts and libraries. She also has worked with many public and government agencies, advising them on contracts, public employment, procurement, open meeting and records policies, conflicts of interest policies, and many other issues. In 2019, she was selected as a recipient of the Women’s Justice Award by Missouri Lawyers Media and honored as a YWCA Metro St. Louis Leader of Distinction. She is a third-generation Jayhawk, and she and her husband, Stephen, e’85, are Alumni Association Premium Annual Members. Their four sons—Curtis, ’15; Brent, b’16; Kevin, b’18, c’18, g’19; and Mark, ’24—are Jayhawks.
Wise, b’80, retired as chief technology officer for Dimensional Fund Advisors. He recently completed a five-year term as the Alumni Association’s representative on the KU Memorial Union board, where he helped enhance coordination and communication between the Union and the Association. He also volunteers to assist current students and fellow alumni through the Association’s KU Mentoring+ program. As a student, Paul played in the KU Marching Band. He and his wife, Donna, are Life Members and Presidents Club donors, and they have a daughter, Grace, d’20.
The Association’s board members also elected alumni representatives to two key campus advisory groups.
Lori Anderson Piening, b’92, of Austin, Texas, joins the KU Memorial Union board. She is president and owner of Cadence Marketing. After completing her term on the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors, she served on the Athletics Advisory Committee, the KU Biodiversity Institute board and the School of Business marketing advisory board. She and her husband, Mark, are Life Members and Presidents Club donors. Their eldest child, Ella, ’24, is a Jayhawk.
Barbara Gill MacArthur and Elizabeth Schartz will serve on the Athletics Advisory Committee. MacArthur, g’81, of Kansas City, recently retired as vice president of cardiac services for The University of Kansas Health System. She served on the advisory board for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at KU Medical Center. She is an Alumni Association Life Member, Presidents Club donor and a KU Medical Alumni Association Life Member.
Schartz, l’88, of Dallas, is a partner in the law firm of Holland & Knight. She is an Alumni Association Life Member and a KU Endowment trustee. In addition, she serves on the business advisory board of the Big 12 Conference.
Top photo by Dan Storey
All other photos contributed