On July 1, five new members of the board of trustees where chosen to help oversee the activities of the college—including creating and directing policy, strategic planning, fundraising and engaging with alumni, faculty, staff and students. As Central welcomes its newest members, the college also says goodbye to three long-time trustees.
Donald Vogel ’61
Originally from New Jersey, Vogel came to Central in 1957. He met his wife Diana Starr Vogel ’63 and they married two days before his graduation. He began work as an office clerk for a firm on Wall Street and later moved to the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Vogel worked for the Exchange for 37 years. After being asked to become a trustee, Vogel served on the board for 22 years.
“Over the years I saw a number of people come and go from the board, yet it always remained a cohesive group of interesting, dedicated people who would apply themselves to the work of the college during the day and then truly enjoy each other’s company in the evening,” he says. “I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve as a Central College trustee, and I hope the incoming members of the board find the experience as enjoyable and rewarding as I have.”
Dave Wesselink ’64
Wesselink, former chairman of the board, joined the board of trustees in 1991. He earned an M.B.A. degree from Michigan State University. Wesselink is the retired chairman and CEO of Metris Companies, a consumer financial services company acquired by HSBC. He joined Metris as chief financial officer in 1998, was then promoted to vice chairman and later was appointed CEO. Before Metris, he was with Advanta Corp., as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to Advanta, he spent 23 years at Household International.
“The members of Central’s board are uniquely focused on the mission and students of Central College and contribute greatly in many behind the scenes efforts,” he says. “The board operates in a very collegial and respectful manner, and it was a great honor to be part of such a distinguished group.”
Sue Spaans Brandl ’65
Brandl, after graduating from Central and marrying Jim Brandl ’65, taught for four years and then returned to Central in 1969 as an administrator. While her husband worked at Central, Brandl served as Central’s alumni president and joined the board. During her 24-year tenure, she sat on the Enrollment, Student Life and Advancement Committees as well as the Governance and the Executive Committee. Sue and Jim live in Pella.
“I have learned so much in the past 24 years about the strength of this institution and the dedication of all those who work to keep Central’s mission alive,” she says. “The board is strong and committed to its work. It has been an honor and a blessing to serve, and my support for Central and its future continues.”
Bernadette Allen ’78
Allen, the 2013 commencement speaker and retired U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Niger, served in the Foreign Service for 31 years. She majored in French and linguistics at Central before obtaining a master’s degree at George Washington University in human resources management in 1989. She is honored by the new position and is eagerly anticipating working with the college in her new capacity.
“I’m excited about giving back to Central College after having been on the receiving end of Central’s gifts some 35 years ago,” she says. “I look forward to working with such a talented, giving group of board members, as well as engaging with the outstanding faculty and amazing students.”
Jeff Oliver ’79
Oliver is a pathologist at Pathology Associates, Ltd. in Phoenix, Ariz. He majored in pre-health science and later earned a medical degree at the University of Iowa. He completed a subspecialty fellowship in hematopathology as an American Cancer Society Fellow at the University of Utah.
“My college years were terrific,” he says. “Central not only provided me with the skills and opportunities to succeed in my career choice, it also kindled many lifelong friendships that I have only grown to appreciate more and more as the years have passed. I look forward to working with the board to preserve and expand that very special residential, liberal arts experience that I so greatly enjoyed.”
Steve Sikkink ’83
President and co-founder of Alliance Technologies in Des Moines, Sikkink brings a wealth of experience to the board. At Central, he was a business management/systems major. He is a current member of the National Advisory Council, the Cornerstone Society and the Central Club.
“Central College and the Pella community played a critical role in my development over the years,” he says. “I’m so grateful to the college and all of the connections that impacted my life in such a positive way.”
Kathy Sikkema ’84
A clinical psychologist with emphases in health and community psychology and professor of psychology and global health at Duke University in North Carolina, Sikkema was a psychology major at Central. She earned a master’s degree at Illinois State University and a doctoral degree at Virginia Tech.
“I am looking forward to contributing to the Central College community from the big picture perspective,” she says, “to thinking about the development and continued success of our unique institution, of which I am proud to be an alum!”
Clay Thompson ’90
Thompson is the president of Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services in Nashville, Tenn. He majored in English at Central and went on to earn an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago and a law degree at the University of Iowa. Thompson is a former member of the National Advisory Council and the Schipper Fund Steering Committee.
“I owe a lot to Central College,” he says. “I am excited about having this opportunity to contribute back.”