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Governor names new trustee chair
Gelfenbien an alumnus, UConn parent
Gov. John G. Rowland has named Roger A. Gelfenbien, Class of '65, to succeed Lewis B. Rome as chair of the Board of Trustees. The six-year term is effective immediately.
"Roger Gelfenbien's management expertise and commitment to his community and UConn will serve our flagship university well," said Rowland. "I have every confidence in his ability to further UConn's ascent into one of the best public higher education institutions in the nation."
Gelfenbien, managing partner at Andersen Consulting in Hartford, said he appreciates this opportunity to serve the University.
"UConn provided me with the education early on to succeed. I am honored to be appointed and to have this opportunity to give something back to the University," said Gelfenbien, 54, of Wethersfield. "There's an incredibly talented leadership in place at the University. With UConn 2000, we have the ability to create an outstanding infrastructure. Now we have to determine what other improvements we can make to distinguish ourselves from the pack, and make this one of the best universities in the country."
Gelfenbien and his family have been part of the University community for many years. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting. His wife, Margie, earned a bachelor's degree in education from UConn. Their daughter, Jill, earned a bachelor's degree in human development and family relations in 1995. In her senior year she was the goalie on the women's soccer team that went to the NCAA Final Four, and also was a member of the 1995 NCAA Championship women's basketball team.
Gelfenbien is chair of the advisory board for the Department of Operations & Information Management in the School of Business Administration and participated in the development of UConn 2000. He stepped down as chair of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors to become chair of the Board of Trustees.
President Philip E. Austin said he is looking forward to working with Gelfenbien in this new leadership position. "I am very pleased that the governor is continuing the tradition of appointing one of UConn's distinguished alumni to chair the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees," he said. "Roger has earned the respect and confidence of the state's leaders and of the Hartford community. This will be a tremendous asset to UConn in its outreach activities, its drive to further partnerships with business and industry, and its efforts to contribute even more to the state's economic growth."
Gelfenbien also serves on the Hartford Hospital Board of Directors, the Bushnell Board of Directors, the Advisory Board for the WKND Greater Hartford Initiative and the steering committee for the Connecticut Capitol Region Growth Council's Millennium Project. He was treasurer for the 1996 Presidential Debate in Hartford, 1996 honorary chairman of the Canon Greater Hartford Open, and is a past president of the Greater Hartford Jaycees.
He is chair of Hartford Proud and Beautiful, a committee of the Hartford Downtown Council, and serves on the council's executive board, as well as the board of directors of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
House Speaker Thomas D. Ritter (D-Hartford) said Gelfenbien's political and business experience will be an asset to the University.
"I've known Roger Gelfenbien for quite some time and I am extremely pleased that he has received this appointment," Ritter said. "Roger's extensive background in both business and government will enable him to work effectively with Connecticut's corporate community and will allow him to operate in a bipartisan manner with the legislature to continue to move UConn forward."
Gelfenbien has been at Andersen Consulting for 19 years. He was previously director of planning and financial services for a major Hartford insurance company for three years, and comptroller for the City of Bridgeport from 1971 to 1975.
Edward Marth, executive director of AAUP, said the University was privileged to have had Rome at the helm and that Gelfenbien's appointment presents a great opportunity to continue that kind of leadership. "I've had the privilege of working with Roger Gelfenbien on the UConn 2000 project and we think it's a terrific appointment," Marth said. "He has been a very active alumnus. I think he will make a strong contribution to the University's commitment to improving the economic climate of the state of Connecticut."
Richard Tomeo, a partner in the Hartford law firm Robinson and Cole, will serve as interim chair of the Foundation Board of Directors.