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UVM Board of Trustees Adds Three New Members

New UVM trustees (from left): David Aronoff, Soraiya Thura and Briar Alpert.

Three new members of the UVM Board of Trustees started their terms on March 1 bringing with them a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, investing, technology, molecular chemistry, business and medicine.

Briar Alpert, president and CEO of BioTek Instruments, and David Aronoff, general partner at Flybridge Capital, were named by the UVM Board to six-year terms as self-perpetuating members. They replace outgoing Chair Deborah McAneny, who served since 2004, and Dale Rocheleau, who joined the board in 2010. New student trustee Soraiya Thura, selected by the Associated Directors for the Appointment of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Student Trustees, Inc., succeeds Samantha Lucas and will serve a two-year term.

Alpert, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UVM in 1983 and an MBA in 1992, has served as president and CEO of BioTek since 2000. The privately held, family-run buisness was founded in 1968 by Alpert’s father, Dr. Norman Alpert, a physiologist at the University of Vermont Medical College. BioTek's instrumentation is used to accelerate the drug discovery process, to advance discoveries in genomics and proteomics, and to aid in the advancement of life science research.

Alpert began his career as a project engineer for Pizzagalli Construction Company in 1984 before joining BioTek in 1986, where he has held numerous management positions in manufacturing, engineering, operations, marketing and sales. Alpert is a charter member and director of VCET (Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies); a director and co-chair of ALDA (Analytical Life Science & Diagnostics Association); and a full member of VASE (Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering). He is married to Susan, a 1982 graduate of UVM, and resides in Charlotte, Vermont. They have two children, Sage and Carly.

Aronoff, who graduated from UVM in 1986 with a degree in computer science, joined Flybridge in 2005 where he developed a tech-centered investment focus. Prior to joining Flybridge, Aronoff spent nearly a decade at Greylock Partners after holding a number of management roles at Chipcom, a network equipment and software vendor. Earlier in his career he held technical positions at Bell Labs, where he developed secure network software.

Aronoff, who also has a master's degree in computer engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the Harvard School of Business, has remained involved with his alma mater, having served on the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Board. He is a current member of the UVM Grossman School of Business Advisory Board and UVM Foundation Leadership Council. Aronoff currently serves as a member on the Apiary Board of Directors; BetterCloud Board of Directors; Bitsight Board of Directors; NS1 Board of Directors; Draper Laboratories Board of Directors; Lyndon Institute Board of Trustees; The Rashi School Board of Trustees, and the New York University Innovation Venture Fund Information Technology Advisory Board. He formerly served on the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston Board of Trustees. Aronoff is married to Jessica Aronoff. They have two children, Hannah and Jacob.

Born in Falls Church, Va., Thura graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, Honors College, with a degree in economics and a minor in chemistry. She is currently a student in the UVM College of Medicine (COM), Class of 2018. She is a class representative for the UVM-COM Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and is an interviewer for the COM Multiple Mini Interview process. Thura helped establish the UVM-COM Social Justice Coalition and served on the Ophthalmology Student Interest Group, UVM-COM chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, and American Medical Association. She was also on the UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council as region leader and senior member, and is a former co-founder and president of UNICEF at the VCU Chapter.

Read Thura's thoughts about serving as a student trustee on the UVM Medicine Blog.