UConn Foundation board names new chair, elects new members

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Grace Merritt

2 min read

STORRS, CT. – A dynamic, former executive who helped launch a women’s fundraising initiative at UConn will lead the UConn Foundation’s board of directors.

The Foundation named Melinda T. Brown ’77 (BUS), ’85 MBA, a highly engaged alumna who has served on the board for eight years, as board chair, and ushered in seven new board members at a recent meeting.

Brown was senior vice president and controller of Tapestry, Inc. until she retired last year and previously has held numerous executive positions at PepsiCo.

“I am pleased to be able to serve the University of Connecticut through the Foundation and am excited about how invested our board and the Foundation are to amp up alumni engagement and giving even higher,” Brown said.

Brown, of Madison, Conn. and Naples, Fla., is co-founder of the UConn Foundation’s Women and Philanthropy Initiative, a network that raises scholarship and programmatic support for female students. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA at UConn. Brown succeeds John Malfettone ’77 (BUS) in the chair role.

“Melinda’s leadership experience, business expertise, and dedication to elevating the University make her a valuable partner as we tackle new fundraising challenges,” said Scott Roberts, president and chief executive officer of the UConn Foundation.

The UConn Foundation recorded its highest fundraising total ever for the fiscal year ending June 30, raising $89.5 million to support UConn’s academic, research, and public service missions.

In addition to Brown’s appointment, seven new members were elected to the volunteer board.

“This new slate of members brings a tremendous depth of knowledge and leadership to the foundation board. I’m grateful for their time and expertise,” Roberts said.

The new members are:

  • Craig W. Ashmore ’85 (ENG), a principal of Platinum Equity, is responsible for senior level business development activities focused on identifying new acquisition opportunities. Ashmore previously served on the board from 2009 – 2019.
  • Anthony Bland ’80 (BUS), an active alumni volunteer, who is a managing director and market executive for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in the Washington, DC metro area.
  • John R. Fodor ’85 (CLAS), a guest speaker and advisor for the UConn’s School of Business, who is an investor and entrepreneur and served as interim president and CEO of the UConn Foundation from 2018 to 2019. Previously, he was executive vice president of Capital Group.
  • Susan P. Gambardella ’85 (CLAS), a speaker at UConn’s Global Business Leadership Series, who is president of North America Kimberly-Clark Professional. She previously worked for The Coca-Cola Co. for 27 years in numerous leadership positions, most recently as senior vice president for national retail sales.
  • Barbara I. Poremba ’86 (CLAS), who served on the steering committee for UConn’s Greek Alumni Network and has held various leadership positions at The Coca-Cola Co., where she is currently vice president of national retail sales, CVS Health.
  • Carolina Giraldo ’95 DMD, who is a dentist and founder of All Smiles, LLC, a dental services practice based in Norwalk, Conn.
  • Lindsay Schine ’89 MD, who is a member of the School of Medicine’s alumni board and retired physician for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, Conn.

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