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Furman Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members

Last updated October 17, 2016

By News administrator

The Furman University Board of Trustees welcomed six new members to the board during its fall meeting Saturday, Oct. 15.

The new trustees are Yendelela Neely Anderson of Atlanta, Ga., Carl Kohrt of Salem, James A. Lanier, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., Jason W. Richards of Greenville, Todd Ruppert of Owings Mill, Md., and Daniel S. Sanders, Jr., of Greenville.  Merl F. Code of Greenville will join the board as trustee emeritus.

The new trustees began their terms July 1. It will be the first time that Anderson, Lanier, Richards and Sanders, Jr., have served on the Furman board.

The bios for each of the trustees are below.

Yendelela Neely Anderson is Executive Director-Senior Legal Counsel with AT&T Services, Inc., where she manages the defense of employment class and collective actions as well as systemic EEOC litigation.  Prior to that, she was a partner in the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.  She has been recognized as a Georgia “Rising Star” in the area of Labor & Employment, a legal 40 under 40 rising star by the Daily Report and was named one of Atlanta’s “40 Under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  In 2015, she also received the Anti-Defamation League Young Lawyer Award.  She serves on the boards of Jumpstart Atlanta, the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Families First. She graduated from Furman in 2003 and earned her law degree at Duke University School of Law.

Merl F. Code is an attorney with the firm of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. He has been an active board member of over 30 organizations in the Upstate, including the Palmetto Institute, Phillis Wheatley Association, Greenville Urban League, Greenville Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greenville.  He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by the Governor of South Carolina in 1996, the same year he was named Business Person of the Year by the SC Business Network and honored by Vision Magazine as one of the Top 25 Business Influencers.  He was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame in 1999. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T and earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Carl Kohrt is a 1965 graduate of Furman.  In addition to serving multiple terms on the school’s Board of Trustees and receiving an honorary degree from the university, he was interim President of Furman during the 2013-14 academic year.  He spent 29 years with Eastman Kodak, retiring from the company as the executive vice president and chief technical officer.  He later served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Battelle Memorial Institute, one of the world’s largest, non-profit research and development corporations. He has a Masters of Management Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. Kohrt and his wife, Lynne, are also recipients of Furman’s Bell Tower Award.

James A. “Jaime” Lanier, Jr., retired in May 2016 after working 35 years for Interface, the world’s largest modular carpet manufacturer and a global leader in sustainability. He most recently served as Vice President for Customer Development, but also held the positions of Vice President of Sales for the areas of Higher Education, Transportation and Multifamily. In addition to being a member of the United States Green Building Council, he is a trustee on the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, which promotes sustainability in businesses, institutes of higher learning and other organizations. He is Project Chair for St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Building Committee, Development Chair and Board Member for the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, and serves on the Marist Way Board at Marist School. Both he and his wife, Mary Anne, are 1979 graduates of Furman.

Jason W. Richards, a 2001 Furman graduate, is Chief Operating Officer of NAI Earle Furman, one of South Carolina’s largest commercial real estate firms.  He has been with the company since 2007 when he joined the firm as the Vice President of Operations. He is currently board president of the Greenville Police Foundation and a board member of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.  He previously served on the boards of Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter and Greenville Symphony Orchestra. He was named an “Emerging Leader” by The Greenville News and chosen for Greenville Magazine’s “Best and Brightest Under 35.” His wife, Marie Spalding Richards, is also a 2001 Furman graduate.

Todd Ruppert is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ruppert International, Inc., a firm with global interests in financial services, education, publishing, arts and entertainment, and youth development.  He retired from T. Rowe Price in 2012 after a successful 27-year career that included positions as CEO and president of the firm’s Global Investment Services and co-president of T. Rowe Price International. He is a venture partner at Greenspring Associates, a U.S.-based venture capital firm with $4 billion under management.  He serves on various boards globally, including INSEAD business school, London’s Royal Parks Foundation (USA), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Strategic African Investment Advisors, and Kenyon College, where he is a graduate.

Daniel S. Sanders, Jr., is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Michelin North America. He has also served the company as Vice President Internal Audit and Risk Management, and spent two years in France working with Group General Counsel. Before joining Michelin in 1996, he practiced law in Atlanta with the firms King & Spalding and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.  He is a board member with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and chair of the board of YMCA of Greenville.  He is also a trustee with Christ Church Episcopal School. He is a 1986 Furman graduate and earned his law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  His wife, Suzanne Von Harten Sanders, is a 1988 graduate of Furman.

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

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