Board of Trustees prepares to welcome new chair, Thomas Richards


Thomas Richards was formally nominated as the new chair of the Pitt Board of Trustees at the Governance and Nominating Committee meeting on June 5. Richards, who has been serving as chairperson-elect for the past year, will be voted on by the whole board and sworn in at its June 26 meeting.


The Pitt Board of Trustees will hold a virtual meeting at 10:30 a.m. June 26. Details of how to access the meeting will be released as the date approaches on the new trustees website.

Outgoing chairwoman Eva Tansky Blum, a retired PNC senior vice president who became the first female chair of the board in 2015, was nominated to serve as one of Pitt’s representatives on the UPMC Board of Directors, along with Michael Wells, co-founder of Princeton BioPharma Capital Partners. The Board of Trustees limits chairpersons to five one-year terms.

Richards, who was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2011, is the retired CEO and current executive chairman of the board of directors for CDW, a company based in Illinois that provides technology solutions to businesses and other organizations. In 1976, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pitt, where he also was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team

In addition, the committee nominated three new members to the Board of Trustees:

  • Art Rooney II: As president of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2003, Rooney serves as chairman of the NFL’s Stadium Workplace Diversity Committee and the NFL Compensation Committee. He graduated from Pitt in 1978 and then from Duquesne University’s School of Law in 1982.

  • John Gismondi: A Uniontown native who graduated from Pitt’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1975 and from Pitt Law in 1978, he is the founder and owner of the Gismondi and Associates law firm, and he and his wife Lisa created the Gismondi Family Foundation to benefit Pittsburgh-area nonprofits. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and three children.

  • Lisa Golden: An emergency medicine physician, Golden earned a bachelors of science in neuroscience from Pitt in 1993 and her doctor of medicine degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She is currently as an emergency medicine doctor at UPMC Altoona and is also immediate past president of the Pitt Alumni Association.

Several current trustees were nominated for new terms: John A. Barbour, Edward J. Grefenstette, Patricia D. Horoho, S. Jeffrey Kondis, Marlee S. Myers, John H. Pelusi Jr., Eva Tansky Blum and Marna Cupp Whittington.

The Governance and Nominating Committee also made a slight change to the rules governing emeritus trustees that allows them to be appointed at the invitation of the board chair to serve on one board committee for two one-year terms; however, emeritus trustees shall not be required to serve on board committees.

Robert Randall and Sam Zacharias, who both served on the Board of Trustees for several years ending in 2018, were nominated as emeritus trustees.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.


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