Skip to content
University News

Board welcomes three trustees, recognizes four trustees emeriti

(University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

At its May meeting, the University of Rochester Board of Trustees elected three new board members and recognized four members as becoming trustees emeriti.

New trustees

Douglas Bennett ’06S (MBA)

Doug Bennett is cofounder of Phalanx Impact Partners, an investment fund focused on companies building scalable solutions within the energy transition and sustainable economy. He also served as codeveloper of The Lake House on Canandaigua, a Finger Lakes, New York hotel and resort that opened in 2020 and listed as the No. 1 resort in New York State, No. 2 in the United States, and No. 30 in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2021. Previously, Bennett spent 12 years as a founding partner and senior vice president of technology at Brand Integrity, responsible for leading the development and client implementation of the Brand Integrity Platform, an online employee engagement software solution.

He serves as a board member at the New York Kitchen in Canandaigua, the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, Rochester Community Squash, the Buffalo AKG National Council, and The Phillips Collection in Washington DC. With his wife, Abigail, Bennett is a longtime member of the University’s George Eastman Circle, providing sustaining annual support to Simon Business School and Memorial Art Gallery (MAG), and they are also generous supporters of Golisano Children’s Hospital. He is a member of the Simon Advisory Council, the MAG Board of Managers, and the University’s Campaign Planning Committee.

Bennett holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Haverford College in Pennsylvania and an MBA with a concentration in marketing and finance from the Simon Business School. He resides in Rochester with his wife and two children.

Ria Dimalanta Nova ’98

Ria Dimalanta Nova is partner, client and product solutions, at Apollo Global Management, an alternative asset management and retirement services firm. She is responsible for leading the Americas institutional sales business.

Prior to joining Apollo in 2021, Nova was senior managing director and head of Americas Business Development and Investor Relations at Värde Partners. Previously, she served in various leadership roles at Neuberger Berman across alternative investments in New York and Hong Kong. Nova cofounded the Hong Kong Chapter for 100 Women in Finance, which strives to strengthen the global finance industry by empowering women to achieve their professional potential at each career stage.

Nova is a member of the University’s Arts, Sciences & Engineering National Council and has also helped plan several class reunion celebrations. She and her husband, Josh, established an endowed scholarship supporting undergraduate students at the University, and they are longstanding members of the George Eastman Circle, having supported the Debate Union team and the School of Arts & Sciences.

Nova received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rochester, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and she holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. She resides in Westport, Connecticut, with her husband and their two children.

Steven F. Piaker ’84

Steve Piaker is co-founder and managing partner of Ten Coves Capital, a financial technology focused growth equity firm based in Darien, Connecticut. He has more than 30 years of experience investing at the intersection of technology and financial services. Before forming Ten Coves, he served as co-head of Napier Park Financial Partners, the predecessor business, and was among the founding partners of Napier Park Global Capital when it separated from Citigroup in 2013. Previously, he was a managing partner at CCP Equity Partners, and prior to that he held various investment positions with Conseco Inc, GE Capital’s leveraged buyout division and Chase Manhattan Bank.

A past trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, Piaker currently serves on the boards of Cassini Systems Limited, Inbox Health Corp., PointPredictive, Inc., and Steeleye Limited. He is also a member of the University’s George Eastman Circle, supporting undergraduate and graduate students through the Rochester Annual Fund. With his wife, Randi, he established an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students, and they support additional students through the Brady Scholars Program, established by Trustee Elizabeth Pungello Bruno ’89, P’18.

Piaker received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rochester and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He resides in West Hartford, Connecticut, and New York City with his wife. They have two daughters.

Trustees emeriti

At the May meeting, four board members moved to trustee emeritus status. Together, they have provided years of distinguished service on the board, and their leadership, counsel, strategic partnership, and philanthropy have supported the creation of new facilities, scholarships, professorships, and other initiatives throughout the University.

John H. Bruning

John Bruning has been a board member since 2009 and offered his expertise on complex strategic, financial, risk, managerial, and governance issues during his tenure. He served on the board’s Academic Affairs and Research & Innovation committees. As chair of the Research & Innovation Committee, he promoted developments in technology and learning, particularly in the field of optics, where he served on the Optics Blue Ribbon Panel.

Bruning has also supported the University’s preeminence in the field of optics through philanthropy, including establishing with his wife, Barbara, the David R. Williams Director of the Center for Visual Science. He was recognized with the George Eastman Medal in 2011 for embodying the University’s highest ideals in achievements and service.

Thomas S. Richards

Tom Richards joined the board in 2004 and has served at various times as a member of the Audit and Risk Assessment, Executive, Facilities and Campus Planning, Financial Planning, Joint Health Affairs, and Nominations and Board Practices committees. As a former mayor of the City of Rochester, he brought to the board a spirit of incredible partnership for how our University can build stronger and deeper connections with Rochester and the surrounding area, while also championing our momentum as a national research university.

Richards has supported the University through many active engagements, including leadership as chair of both the University of Rochester Medical Center Board and the Warner School of Education National Council, and service on the Strong Partners Health Systems Board.

Danny Wegman

Danny Wegman has provided his leadership to the board across two terms, the first from 1995 to 2005, and then another term beginning in 2009. His second term included leadership as board chair from 2016 to 2018. He has been a distinguished member of the Academic Affairs, Executive, Compliance and Compensation, and Joint Health Affairs committees.

An exceptional business executive and community leader, he has helped guide the University through important periods of growth and advancement, as well as through periods of transition. His generosity has touched nearly every area of excellence at the University, from computer and data science, to music and the arts, to clinical care and medical research.

Wegman received the George Eastman Medal in 2010 and the Eastman Centennial Award in 2022.

Mary-Frances Winters ’73, ’82S (MBA)

Mary-Frances Winters joined the board in 1987 and served as a Life Trustee from 2002 to 2021, before returning as a Voting Trustee. She has served on the former External Affairs committee, as well as the Human Resources and Student Affairs committees, along with many leadership committees across the institution.

Her experience in strategic planning, change management, diversity, and organization development have provided depth and nuance to the board’s operations. She has been an invaluable champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, providing engagement that has advanced the University’s excellence and sharing her expertise as an inspirational speaker at several University events.

Winters received the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal in 1998 for her outstanding achievement and notable service, and the President’s Empowering Equitable Change Award in 2024.


Return to the top of the page