The Board of Advisors for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) consists of leaders in business, education, and public affairs appointed for the purpose of advising the Dean of the College as well as the Provost and the President of the University on opportunities for enhancement of the College.

The Board links the College to its alumni, the local community, the state of Vermont, the nation, and the world of professional practice. It enables the College and the University to benefit from the experience and counsel of persons external to the University who have a wide range of experience, knowledge, and expertise. The Board helps to make the activities and accomplishments of the College more widely known in order to enhance public recognition. It also assists in strengthening financial support for the College.


Rosario Arias

Robert Chernoff

Bob Chernoff

Bob Chernoff – Sr. Vice President, Bimbo Bakeries, USA

Bob Chernoff is a Senior Vice President at Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU),  known for its leading bakery brands including Arnold, Thomas, Entenmann’s, Sara Lee and Freihofer.  Bob currently leads Corporate Strategy, Transformation and the Acelerada business unit. In his 36 plus year career with BBU and its predecessors Bob has held leadership roles over Information Technology, Supply Chain Logistics, Corporate Strategy, Corporate Development, Transformation, Corporate Venture Capital and Growth Opportunities.

Bob graduated from the University of Vermont in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science

Jacqueline Dagesse

Jacqueline Dagesse

President, EIV Technical Services

Jacqueline Dagesse began her career as a program manager in the tech industry. She worked with international teams to develop software products which aided the utility industry in federal regulation compliance. As the firm grew, she met with angel investors and investment partners to ‘pitch’ the business. This experience in mergers & acquisition gave Jacquie the confidence to acquire a firm of her own, EIV Technical Services, in 2011. Along with her husband, Nathan, they have grown the firm to earn State and Federal retainer contracts in the transportation and energy industries. EIV provides construction management, environmental and project outreach consulting services. Their headquarters office is located in Winooski, VT.

From 2012-2015 she led an EIV team to pioneer the State of Vermont accreditation process for materials testing laboratories. After starting and growing this side of the business, she sold it through an acquisition by SW Cole Engineering.

In 2016 she became a partner in a small real estate development company focused on urban infill redevelopment projects in Chittenden County, VT, in addition to her role at EIV. She is currently working on expanding and growing a complimentary property management division of the business.

Jacquie has both a civil engineering management degree and a Master’s in Business Administration degree from the University of Vermont. While at UVM, Jacquie started the first student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and lead UVM student civil engineering projects in Honduras and Nicaragua. She is passionate about service led engineering projects, both locally and abroad. She also services on the Vermont Technical College Advisory Board.

Jacquie met her now-husband, Nathan, in Votey Hall on the first day of CE OO1. They live in Williston, VT with their three children.

Mitch Dann

Mitch Dann

Private Investor

Mitchell Dann has over 30 years of experience working with healthcare start-ups in various capacities including as a venture capitalist, advisor, entrepreneur, and executive; currently, he is a private investor. Mitch founded Sapient Capital, L.P. in 1999 and served as principal of Sapient Capital Management, L.L.C., the management company for the fund over its life cycle. Sapient Capital invested in early stage medical technology companies often providing the first professional capital and early stage management assistance. Over the course of his career, Mitch served on the corporate boards of over a dozen companies and chaired the board of three companies. He invested in over 30 privately held development-stage companies, co-founded three companies, and is an active public market investor. Mitch is an inventor or co-inventor on twenty-two issued U.S. Patents.

Currently, Mitch serves on the not-for-profit boards of Teton Youth and Family Services, including a term as President and Friends of the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center. He is a professional ski patroller at Snow King Mountain and served as Patrol Representative, Board Member and Patroller for the Jackson Hole Snow King Ski Patrol. He is also a part time ski instructor at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He volunteers with Silicon Couloir, the Jackson Hole start-up business support organization, as a mentor and previously as a member of the pitch day selection committee.

He received his bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Vermont.

Mitch has resided in Wilson, Wyoming since 1994.

Karl S. Fessenden, Chair CEMS BOA

Karl S. Fessenden

Karl Fessenden is the president and chief executive officer at BrandSafway. He joined the company in October 2020.

Fessenden has extensive leadership experience in complex service-based businesses, as well as a strong track record of driving commercial and operational excellence in both public and private companies. Prior to joining BrandSafway, he served as president and chief operating officer of MB Aerospace. Fessenden has also served as CEO of CHC Helicopter and spent 20 years at General Electric (GE) in various roles for GE Aviation and GE Energy, including leading GE’s $8 billion Power Generation Services unit.

He graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and earned his master’s degree in business administration and management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the Hartford Graduate Center.

Walker Kimball

Senior Vice President, Bechtel Corporation

Walker Kimball is a Senior Vice President of Bechtel Corporation and currently serves as a Senior Project Manager in Bechtel’s Liquified Natural Gas business unit. In his 30 plus year career in the international construction industry and 20 years with Bechtel, he has held senior corporate roles and directly managed large infrastructure, oil & gas, and P3 projects.  His experience includes working with a variety of international governments, private clients and partners with a proven skill-set in all areas of project implementation, from engineering to procurement to construction and delivery.

More recently Mr. Kimball was responsible for all activities involving the delivery of the $10B Riyadh Metro P1 project including overseeing design, construction, project management, and start-up. He takes responsibility for seeing that the company’s industry-leading standards for safety, quality, and sustainability are upheld. Before that he held the role of Senior Project manager for the Corpus Christi LNG project.

From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Kimball led Bechtel’s Infrastructure business line within the Civil Global Business Unit. As Managing Director, he held responsibility for all profit and loss aspects concerning the wide-ranging remits of infrastructure.

Prior to this, as President of Bechtel Construction Operations Incorporated from 2008 to 2010, he oversaw functional and personnel administration, as well as having oversight of operations for Bechtel’s global construction activities, including direct hire and construction management.

He led the overall management for the USD 627 million design-build, fixed-price contract for the design and construction of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge, as well as having oversight of engineering, project, and construction management services for $15B Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

Other previous senior leadership roles include positions as General Manager of Infrastructure for Bechtel’s Civil global business unit from 2007 to 2008 and, from 2004 to 2007, Manager of Construction for rail, aviation, infrastructure, and building projects. This included such projects as High Speed 1 in the UK.

Prior to joining Bechtel in 1998, Mr. Kimball worked for the North American companies Atkinson, PCL, Pizzagalli, and Morrison-Knudsen. Mr. Kimball earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont. He was Vice President of the ASCE Construction Institute in 2003 and is a member of the European Construction Institute.

Doug Manchester

Doug Manchester

Partner, Unimed

Doug is an entrepreneur and early-stage investor focused on improving infection control. Approximately 1.7 million patients are infected with HAIs that lead to 99,000 deaths per year and cost U.S. hospitals over $45 billion annually. He has developed a series of innovative infection control products and leads companies that distribute Best-In-Class solutions to healthcare, government, laboratory, animal, dental and Jan San markets. In addition, Doug is a member of Mass Med Angels an early-stage investor group exclusively focused on life-science and healthcare investments.

Earlier in his career, Doug was in the Investment Management and Retirement industries. He led businesses for Goldman Sachs, TD Waterhouse, Emplanet, and Fidelity Investments. During this period he launched five new businesses and developed several new products including the Fidelity Freedom Funds (the largest mutual fund series). The companies he started now generate over $1 billion in revenue.

Doug received his B.S. in Engineering from the University of Vermont in 1980 and an MBA from the Amos Tuck Graduate School of Business.

Mark Manning, Vice Chair, CEMS BOA

Mark Manning, Vice Chair CEMS BOA

Vice Chair, Eliza Corporation

Mark Manning is the chief revenue officer for Eliza Corporation, a member and provider health engagement company, focused on improving communications and the quality of care for members and providers that are working with the largest health insurers and drug benefit management companies.

Mark has over 25 years of senior management experience in health insurance and healthcare technologies designed to improve the quality of clinical care, create efficiencies in administrative activities and resolve gaps in care.

Mark was CEO of Healthx, a portal for health plans and TPAs to interact with their members, providers, and brokers around supporting information processing and management. He was also vice president and managing director of Pegasystems Healthcare Unit. Mark’s unit built applications to support all core functions for health plans and pharmacy companies. This business unit ran applications for all 50 of the largest insurance companies, ten largest pharmacy management companies and Medicare/Medicaid. Mark was involved with the startup and growth of HMO Blue in Massachusetts, as senior program director, growing this HMO to over 1.6m lives under management. He also worked for Solucient HCIA, a healthcare informatics company, as senior vice president and managing director of the health plan and self-insured employer businesses. Mark was also senior vice president at the Codman Research Group.

Mark has presented at several healthcare industry events on many topics including Provider Contracting, Claims Management, Risk Adjustment, Provider Profiling, Healthcare Small Area Analysis, and Disease Management.

Mark received his bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics from the University of Vermont in 1985, and a master of healthcare administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1989. He currently serves as a board member for Virtusa Corporation, a public company involved with product development and software project delivery.

Jennifer Schonher

Milo Peavey Werner

Operating Partner at Khosla Ventures

Milo Werner specializes in discovering promising new start-ups and taking them from concept to mass production. After spending over a decade heading up new product introduction at Tesla, Fitbit, and Off Grid Electric (a Tesla funded start-up reinventing the third world electric grid) – she understands what it takes to produce high impact products that "wow" millions of customers. Milo has assembled high-performing engineer teams, led new product strategy, built global supply chains, and launched more than ten game-changing consumer products that range from electric vehicles to residential solar-battery systems to smartwatches. Milo (Class of 2002) sits on the board of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and the MIT Leaders for Global Operations Alumni Board.

James C. Wiggans

James C. Wiggans

CEO, McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Jim Wiggans joined Philadelphia-based McCormick Taylor in 1983, following brief assignments with consulting engineering firms in Vermont and the Washington, DC/northern Virginia area. McCormick Taylor provides a variety of engineering, planning, environmental, permitting, and communication services to a broad spectrum of public-sector transportation and energy/utility clients from New Jersey to Ohio to Florida.

Initially serving as a design engineer, he later assumed project management and client relationship responsibilities on a diversified portfolio of highway, bridge, transit, and aviation projects. A registered professional engineer in 11 states, he has more than 30 years of experience with the development, management, and production oversight of design efforts for more than $26 billion of major civil engineering and heavy construction projects in the mid-Atlantic area.

In 1987, he led the effort with the opening of the firm’s first branch office in New Jersey. He later returned to the main office in Philadelphia, assuming COO responsibilities for the entire organization, which currently totals 19 office locations and over 450 employees. Today, he serves as the CEO and oversees all aspects of operations, marketing, and client delivery services.

He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Highway Engineers, the American Consulting Engineers Council, the Design Professionals Coalition, and the Design Build Institute of America.

Jim graduated from UVM in 1981 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He later completed a master’s degree in engineering management from Drexel University. Jim is active in numerous community, youth, and environmental stewardship organizations within the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Currently, he resides in Moorestown, NJ with his wife Carol Rusk, also a 1981 graduate of UVM. They have three adult children, living in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida.

Victor Wortman, Jr.

Vic Wortmann, Jr. serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of VRH Construction, located in Englewood, NJ. As a graduate of the University of Vermont, Vic. received a B.S. in Engineering Management. Upon graduation in 1986, he joined VRH and began his career in the aviation construction industry as a Project Manager and became Vice President of the company nine years later. After a 22-year tenure at VRH, Vic became President & Chief Executive Officer in 2002, the position he currently holds today.

Under his leadership, he repositioned the firm as an Aviation Construction Specialist to focus on the Aviation Construction sector which has been its core business for 61 years. He expanded the operations territory beyond the NY/NJ Metro area to include Philadelphia and the North East Regional Airport Markets. He identified, initiated, and implemented two new divisions: Jetworks and RetailBuild, and responding to industry direction, introduced a new service at the firm, DesignBuild. He is responsible for developing the strategic vision for the company and implementing those initiatives and focuses intently on maintain an influential culture of employee engagement at the company and a unique experience for its’ clients from project inception through close out.

During his tenure as President and CEO, the company has been recognized by the American Subcontractors Association of NJ as General Contractor of the Year as well as numerous other organizations and publications including Building, Design+Construction magazine acknowledging VRH as one of the Top Airport Sector Construction Leaders, and the 2019 Build Awards Leading Best Aviation Construction firm in the N.E. Region and Leading Experts in Aviation Construction. Over the course of his 33-year career, he has been involved with aviation projects in excess of $2.5 billion at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Vic resides in Bedford NY and is involved with numerous local Boards and charitable organizations throughout his community.