LAWRENCE — KU Endowment’s Board of Trustees elected The Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha as new board chair and Charles E. Heath as vice chair, and elected five other University of Kansas alumni as trustees at today’s annual meeting of the association’s Board of Trustees. Tacha, the first woman to chair the board, succeeds A. Drue Jennings, of Prairie Village, who served four one-year terms.
The new trustees are Steve Lightstone, Kansas City, Missouri; Cathy Reinhardt, Lawrence; Annette Rieger, Seattle; Elizabeth “Beth” Stella, Lawrence; and Thomas Walsh, Leawood.
The Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha, of Lawrence and Malibu, California, graduated from KU in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and earned a juris doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1971. Since 2011, she has been dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. From 1985 to 2011, she served as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, and was chief judge from 2001 to 2007. Earlier, in 1974, she joined the KU School of Law faculty, becoming associate dean in 1977. In 1981, she was appointed KU’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, a position she held until 1985. She was elected to the KU Endowment Board of Trustees in 1992.
Charles E. Heath, of Lawrence, earned two degrees from KU — a bachelor’s in business in 1964 and a master’s in business administration in 1966. He is an independent director and compliance committee chair for Tortoise Capital Advisors’ closed-end funds. He also serves on the boards of directors for Corridor Energy and DCCCA. From 1971 until his retirement in 1999, he was employed by Employers Reinsurance Corporation, where he served from 1989 to 1999 as chief investment officer. He is a past president of the Kansas City Society of Financial Analysts and attained the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1974. He was elected to the KU Endowment Board of Trustees in 2006.
Steve Lightstone earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management in 1967 and a master’s degree in finance in 1970, both from KU. His wife, Terry, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1968. Steve is a managing director with CC Capital Advisors, an investment bank and a division of Country Club Bank. He serves on the Board of the KU Medical Center Research Institute and the medical center’s Far Above campaign committee. He has served on the KU School of Business Board of Advisors, the KU academic medical center’s Advancement Board, the Kansas City chapter of the KU Alumni Association and the KU Alumni Association Honors Program, among others. Steve is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.
Cathy A. Reinhardt graduated from KU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in history and in 1983 with a J.D. She and her husband, Norman St. Laurent, live in Lawrence. Cathy is president of Reinhardt Financial Services Inc. She is a past member of the KU Law Alumni Board of Governors. She is a member of the Elizabeth Watkins Society and a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.
Annette Rieger graduated from KU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work. Her husband, Roger, earned a bachelor’s in business in 1967; they live in Seattle. Annette and Roger are owners of a private family foundation, the Tudor Foundation, which creates programs focusing on mentoring, counseling and financial support of low-income, inner-city students. Annette worked in Protective Services for Children. She was named to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006. She is a former member of the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board and is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the KU Alumni Association.
M. Elizabeth (Beth) Stella graduated from KU in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in piano. She also earned master’s degrees in piano and in human development and family life and a doctorate in developmental and child psychology. Beth’s husband, Valentino (Val), is a distinguished professor in the School of Pharmacy. Beth retired as an associate research scientist at KU in 1998 and is a community volunteer. She serves on the Hall Center Advisory Board and on the center’s Far Above campaign committee. She also served on the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board. She is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.
Thomas J. Walsh graduated from KU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Tom and his wife, Teresa, live in Leawood and have three grown children, two of whom also are KU alumni. Tom is co-chairman of Silpada Designs Inc., a company co-founded by Teresa in 1997. He joined the Silpada Board of Directors in 2013 after the founding families reacquired the company from Avon. Tom is also a partner at Think Big Partners, and he has founded and developed several successful businesses, including Central Interchange and H2O Resources. Before that, he was part of the executive leadership team at Jack Henry & Associates for 14 years. Tom is a member of the KU academic medical center’s Advancement Board and a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.