Park University recently elected several new members to its Board of Trustees. New board members are: Michael M. Collins, '04; Mark S. Foster, J.D.; W. Wilford "Pete" Kale Jr., '71; Scott McRuer; Joseph Melookaran; Charif Hamidi, '11; Raymond Mott, '11.
In addition to the new trustees, the Board also re-elected Peter deSilva and Judith Simonitsch to second terms. All terms end June 30, 2015, except for Hamidi and Mott (see notation below).
Michael M. Collins, '04
Collins, of Kansas City, Mo., serves as chief executive officer and president of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Mo., a public redevelopment organization that generates new capital investments for private ventures and public infrastructure. He previously served as vice president of fund development and government relations for Swope Community Enterprises and spent seven years as a legislative assistant for former U.S. Senator from Missouri, Christopher "Kit" Bond. Collins received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Park in 2004.
Mark S. Foster, J.D.
Foster, of Kansas City, Mo., served 15 years as managing partner of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, having stepped down in July 2012 to resume his corporate litigation practice. During his distinguished career, he has represented numerous brokerage houses, security issuers, banks and a wide variety of corporate clients throughout the Midwest in a broad range of matters, including securities, environmental, employment, banking and bankruptcy litigation. Foster, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1970-90, received his bachelor's degree in 1970 from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his juris doctorate in 1973 from Duke University.
W. Wilford "Pete" Kale Jr., '71
Kale, of Williamsburg, Va., was employed for 25 years by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, advancing from Williamsburg bureau chief to senior writer in the newspaper's business/news department, where he covered Virginia's manufacturing companies, statewide agricultural issues and Fortune 500 companies. In 1994, Kale was selected to establish the Office of Public Affairs and Communications for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. He earned his bachelor's degree from Park in 1971 and served in the U.S. Army from 1969-70. In 1985, Kale received the Outstanding Service Award (now the Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award) from the Park University Alumni Association and the University's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011.
McRuer, of Parkville, Mo., has nearly 30 years of experience in public accounting. He is the managing member at McRuer CPAs and focuses on client accounting and tax strategy planning. McRuer previously served as an alderman for the City of Parkville, as a senior auditor for a Fortune 100 manufacturing company and as the corporate audit manager for the nation's largest tax preparation service. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Westminster College and completed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Tax Education Program through the University of Illinois.
Melookaran, of Overland Park, Kan., is the chief executive officer and president of JMA Information Technology, which provides technology services with three divisions: network professional services, government services and staff augmentation. As a practicing certified public accountant, he previously founded Joseph Melookaran & Associates in 1994 as a professional service corporation, the primary focus being financial consulting and auditing. He immigrated to Johnson County, Kan., from India more than 20 years ago and is committed to getting other Indian Americans involved in the democratic process.
In 2011, Park's Board of Trustees amended its bylaws to include two "recently graduated trustees" to enable the Board to better understand the perspectives of recent Park graduates. The first two recently graduated trustees elected to the board are:
Charif Hamidi, '11
Hamidi, of Kansas City, Mo., graduated from Park in May 2011 with a bachelor's degree in business. Originally from Morocco, Hamidi was very active while at Park, including involvement in the Park Student Government Association and Model United Nations. In addition, Hamidi served as president of Park's People to People International chapter and won the organization's national Outstanding Chapter Leadership Award in 2011. Since graduating, Hamidi has served on a consulting team for international consulting firm Deloitte and Touche. His term ends June 30, 2013.
Raymond Mott, '11
Mott, of Green Valley, Ariz., graduated from Park's Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in management/human resources. Mott is currently working on a master's degree in safety at Grand Canyon University in Tucson, Ariz. Mott, a retired master sergeant with the U.S. Air Force, is involved with Gideon's International and Toastmaster's International. Other community involvement includes working with the American Diabetes Association and USA Youth Sports as a coach. His term ends June 30, 2014.