Announces Leadership Updates

August 27, 2020

The Briar Cliff University Board of Trustees continues to solidify the University’s governance.

Returning board officers include Chair, Steve Freeman (’69), retired, ConnectiveRX; Vice Chair, Dr. Patrick Walsh, retired, Siouxland Urology Associates, PC; Secretary, Dr. Rachelle Karstens, President, BCU; and Treasurer, Timm Funk, Vice President for Finance and Administration, BCU.

In addition, the following members have been appointed committee chairs: Audit Committee, Mark Schuett, American Natural Soy, Inc.; Academic Affairs, Student Development & Enrollment Committee, Nick Roth, Empirical Innovations, Inc.; Executive Committee, Steve Freeman (’69), retired, ConnectiveRX; Finance Committee, Ron Bond, retired, AC & R Specialists; Governance Committee, David Simmons (’80), business owner; and University Relations Committee, David Simmons (’80) (Interim), business owner. 

Additional board members include: Bailey Aalfs, retired, Sabre Communications; Ken Beaulieu, retired, AC & R Specialists; Gail Bernstein (’87), retired speech pathologist; Annette Hamilton, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,Ho-Chunk, Inc; Sr. Renae Hohensee (’07), Pastoral Care Minister, Resurrection of Our Lord Parish; Bishop Walker R. Nickless, Diocese of Sioux City; Sr. Marge Staudt (’69), Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque; and Mary Sterk, Sterk Financial Services.

New board members include Pam Duzik (’02), Partner, Deloitte; Sr. Kathy Knipper, President of the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque; Jane Shey (’79), President, Shey & Associates; and Mark Ward (’02), CEO, Ward Electric Company.

“We are inspired by the mission and vision of Briar Cliff University,” says Steve Freeman, Briar Cliff Board of Trustees Chair. “Briar Cliff has an incredibly bright future and I am proud to serve alongside this team.” 

Briar Cliff University also announces the following board retirees:

Sr. Marie Cigrand is retiring after six years of service. She joined the Board after being elected as a member of the Mount St. Francis Leadership Team in 2014. Sr. Marie served on a variety of committees including Academic Affairs, Student Development & Enrollment (2014-17, 2018-20) and the University Relations Committee (2017-18).

Sr. Kate Katoski is retiring after 13 years of service. She joined the Board in 2007, serving as Chair from 2014-2018. Sr. Kate served on the Student Development Advisory Committee (2007-10), Academic Affairs & Student Development Committee (2011-14), Executive Committee (2014-18) and Board Selection Committee (2016-17; 2017-2018). 

“Selfless, compassionate leaders are three words that capture the spirit of both Sr. Cigrand and Sr. Katoski’s commitment to Briar Cliff University,” adds Freeman. “We are blessed, appreciative, and very humbled by their leadership, continued devotion for, commitment to, and extraordinary generosity towards educating our current and future students throughout our history and into our future.” 

In addition, the Briar Cliff Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the extension of the leadership term of Dr. Rachelle Karstens, President through 2024.

“Dr. Karstens has led Briar Cliff with faith, grace, and tenacity. Motivated by what is best for students, we are proud of the exemplary leadership she has brought to The Cliff,” adds Freeman. “Briar Cliff is blessed with a remarkable leadership team with unmatched talent, committed to supporting our students and community each and every day.”

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