George Vinyard
George Vinyard
Illinois Wesleyan Elects New Board Officers, Two New Trustees

May 17, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - George A. Vinyard, a member of the Chicago law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., and a 1971 Illinois Wesleyan University graduate, has been elected president of the University's Board of Trustees.

Vinyard, who has served as secretary of the Board of Trustees since 1993, has been a member of the Board since 1977. He succeeds Craig C. Hart, who has served Illinois Wesleyan as a trustee for 24 years, including 11 as Board president. Hart is retired president of Champion Federal Savings and Loan and will remain on the Board of Trustees.

“Craig Hart has given wonderful service to this Board of Trustees, and the University is indebted to him for his strong leadership,” said Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson. “I look forward now to working with George Vinyard in his new role as Board president, and I am confident that he will continue the tradition of enthusiasm and vision to the Board.”

The elections were held during the Board of Trustees' meeting on the campus on May 17.

In other trustee elections, Susan D. Waring of Bloomington, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of State Farm Life Insurance, will succeed Vinyard as secretary of the Board. Reelected as officers were Gilbert L. Dorsey '62 of Bloomington, retired vice chairman of the Eureka Corporation (first vice president); Herbert A. Getz '77 of Naperville, Ill., president of Aspen Creek Partners LLC (second vice president); and Robert E. Field '67 of Chicago, partner with Field and Golan (treasurer).

In addition, two new trustees were elected to three-year terms on the board:

• Thomas Brown '79 of Glen Ellyn, Ill., a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers;

• Carlina Tapia-Ruano '77, a partner in the Chicago law firm of Minsky McCormick & Hallagan PC. Tapia-Ruano joins the Board as a representative of the Alumni Association.

Vinyard , who joined the Illinois Wesleyan Board of Trustees as an alumni member, graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan and worked as an executive assistant at the University prior to entering law school at the University of Michigan where he received the juris doctor in 1977.

He joined Sachnoff & Weaver upon graduating from law school and served as general counsel of U.S. Robotics Corporation and vice president for intellectual property for 3Com Corporation between 1994 until 1999 when he returned to Sachnoff & Weaver.

Vinyard practices in the areas of intellectual property, technology, and business law. He is a member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations and the Association of Intellectual Property Lawyers. He also serves as chair of the board of the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago.

Brown, who lives in Glen Ellyn, Ill., is a 1979 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan where he received a degree in accounting. At PricewaterhouseCoopers, he was involved in recruitment for internships and employment early in his career. He serves as chair of the executive board of Illinois Wesleyan's Leadership Giving Council and headed the Chicago Region Alumni Association. He is treasurer of the Chicago Shakespeare Festival and served on the advisory board for Katie School of Insurance at Illinois State University.

Tapia-Ruano of Chicago is an immigration lawyer, teacher, and community volunteer. A naturalized citizen who immigrated from Cuba, she received her B.A. degree in history from Illinois Wesleyan and an honorary degree in 2004 when she was selected to be the alumni speaker for Commencement. She earned a juris doctor degree from DePaul University Law School in 1983 and is a partner at Minsky McCormick and Hallagan, a nationally-recognized law firm specializing in immigration and naturalization law.

Trustees who were reelected at the meeting were Richard S. Ames, president of Command Plastic Corporation of Tallmadge, Ohio; Patricia M. Armstrong '70, senior vice president and director of human resources, Wells Fargo & Company, San Francisco; Phyllis Barker '73, manager, Agency Wide Volunteer Services, Safer Foundation, Chicago; Henry Bird, president and publisher, The Pantagraph, Bloomington; Robert E. Field '67, partner, Field and Golan, Chicago; Dr. David W. Gaffron, pastor, Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington; Roger S. Joslin, retired vice chairman of the board and treasurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Bloomington; Dr. Thomas C. McKinney, Jr. '76, pediatrician, St. Louis Pediatric Association, Chesterfield, Mo.; Dr. Ronald L. Ruecker '66, senior physician, Internal Medicine Subspecialty Associates, Decatur; James A. Shirk, president, Beer Nuts, Inc., Bloomington; Susan D. Waring of Bloomington, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, State Farm Life Insurance, Bloomington.