Kansas Wesleyan Announces Newest Additions to Board of Trustees

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Kansas Wesleyan University has announced six new additions to its Board of Trustees (BOT). The board also elected its officers for the upcoming year. 

The new trustees are Nadim Haddad ’65 (Oakton, Va.), Patricia (Trish) Marietta ’71 (Salina, Kan.), Brett Murray ’03 (Limon, Colo.), Jane Philbrick ’80 (Goodland, Kan.), Ed Spears ’89 (Frisco, Texas) and Charles Spencer (Maryland ’84/Kansas City, Mo.).

“We are so fortunate to have these individuals join the Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU president. “All six of them have demonstrated leadership in their respective areas and a true interest in the disciplines that will help take our university to the next level. They will make excellent additions to the Board of Trustees.”

The board’s new officers are led by chair Barry Weis ’10, a local resident and director of Sales and Support at Blue Beacon Truck Wash. Jeffrey H. Bieber ’71 (Castle Rock, Colo.) will be the immediate past chair, while Steve Michel (Salina, Kan.) is the board’s vice chair. Emily-May Richards (Peoria, Ariz.) is the treasurer and Marilyn Foster Kirk ’68 (Evanston, Ill.) is the secretary. 

Jon Starks (Salina, Kan.) was recognized as an outgoing board member, following a successful term that included three years as the treasurer. 

Full capsules on each of the new trustees appear below. 

Nadim Haddad ’65 – Oakton, Va.

A long-time engineer and technical director for companies such as IBM, Loral, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, Haddad was instrumental in the development of radiation-hardened technology for the Very High-Speed Integrated Circuit (VHSIC) program. 

He was recognized in 2012 as a fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is a member of the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) and the Electron Devices Society (EDS), where he serves as a distinguished lecturer. 

Haddad has worked as an active participant in several technology forums, has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and is credited with 26 inventions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics from KWU and a master’s in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State (’66). 

Patricia (Trish) Marietta ’71 – Salina, Kan.

The most local of KWU’s new trustees, Marietta owns a holistic health business in the community. She serves as a board member for Salina’s Habitat for Humanity, and has long-running connections to KWU. Her uncle, T.W. Roach, started the Kansas Wesleyan Business College and was elected university president in 1903 (Roach Street in Salina bears his name). 

Marietta holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Chemistry. 

Brett Murray ’03 – Limon, Colo. 

Murray is the Chief Operating Officer and President for MERCO LLC. He is a former board member of Virtus Oil and Gas Corporation, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for six years. Murray has more than sixteen years of experience in the energy industry for some of the most reputable companies in the field. 

At KWU, Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He was a winner of the major’s Outstanding Communications Student honor. He was a varsity letterman in basketball, where he was a member of the 2000 KCAC and NSCAA champions. Murray was involved with student council and served as the president of the junior class. 

Jane Philbrick ’80 – Goodland, Kan. 

Philbrick joins KWU’s board for the second time, following a previous 2011-20 term. During her previous tenure, she served two years as the board’s secretary, was the chair of the Committee on Trustees, the vice chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs and a member of the Committee on Finance and Operations. Her community involvement includes serving on the board of the Sherman County Historical Society and as a volunteer for the High Plains Museum. 

Philbrick holds a bachelor’s degree in History from KWU. She and her husband currently manage their own farming business (JBP Inc.), and she has spent time as an instructor at Northwest Kansas Technology College in Goodland. 

Ed Spears ’89 – Frisco, Texas

Spears earned his degree in Business Administration and Finance from KWU, and his J.D. from Texas A&M’s School of Law. He has been a practicing attorney for 23 years, with a primary area of focus on criminal defense and personal injury. Spears is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, the National Defense Lawyers Association and the Texas Bail Bond Board. His interests include diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as athletics. 

Charles Spencer (Maryland ’84) – Kansas City, Mo. 

Spencer is a senior banking executive with more than 30 years of experience in the areas of credit underwriting, risk and credit review. During his career, he has managed senior executive and board-level reporting for entire credit review departments for financial institutions with assets in excess of $6 billion. 

Since May 2012, Spencer has been the director of credit review at National Bank Holdings, Inc. 

Spencer holds a bachelor’s in Economics from Maryland and a professional banking diploma from the American Institute of Banking (Washington, D.C.). 

The Kansas Wesleyan Board of Trustees meets quarterly each year. The essential function of the Kansas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees shall be policy making and assurance of sound management. The Board has initial and ultimate responsibility in determining general, educational, financial and related policies deemed necessary for the administration and development of Kansas Wesleyan University in accordance with its stated purposes and goals.