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.

 

William "Buff" Blanchard

William "Buff" Blanchard

Chairman, Wm. Blanchard Co.

William “Buff” Blanchard is the sixth generation of the Blanchard family to own and operate Wm. Blanchard Co. Wm. Blanchard Co. began operation in 1860 at the beginning of the Civil War in Newark, New Jersey. As specialists in building brick baking ovens, the Civil War allowed the company to grow through increased demand for baking capacity. Industrialization and the growth of Newark allowed Wm. Blanchard Co. to transition into general building construction and for over 154 years, Wm. Blanchard Co. has continued to operate as a general contractor/construction management firm in the state of New Jersey.

Wm. Blanchard Co. is currently the premier healthcare construction management firm in New Jersey with a special emphasis on acute care facilities.

Buff has 25 years of experience at Wm. Blanchard Co. Previously, Buff was employed as a systems engineer for Electronic Data Systems, (EDS). At EDS, Buff worked in New Jersey and Colorado helping AT&T transition their customer billing information and procedures to the individual Bell Systems.

In addition to his work at Wm. Blanchard Co., Buff is also the managing member of several real estate investment partnerships and is actively involved in all aspects of real estate investment and development. The portfolio includes office, retail, industrial, and residential properties.

Buff received a bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Columbia University. Buff was a member of the New Jersey Building Authority for many years and is still a long time member of the board of trustees at The Peck School in Morristown, NJ.

Buff and his wife, Michele (UVM class of 1985), live in Morristown, NJ. They have three daughters: Baily (Dickinson College), Dylan (University of Vermont), and Devin (Morristown-Beard School).

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.

Ron Dechene

Ron Dechene

Ron Dechene founded Auburn Systems more than 30 years ago and recently sold the company. Focused on several entrepreneurial air pollution initiatives, the company continues to innovate and create new ideas and concepts and maintains a large installed base of monitoring and control equipment across the United States and around the world. The company is presently in the process of adapting proprietary Auburn air pollution control technology for the People's Republic of China with the cooperation of several PRC technical institutes.

Ron graduated from the University of Vermont in 1966, a pre-med major with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He lives in Boxford, Massachusetts and has numerous U.S. and foreign patents relating to environmental monitoring and manufacturing process applications. He returned to the CEMS Board of Advisors after serving for several years on the advisory board of the School of Business Administration.

Active in numerous community activities, Ron has served as trustee and treasurer of the Shore Country Day School (Beverly, MA), on the board of directors of the North Shore Regional YMCA (Northeastern MA), and is a member of the Town of Boxford, MA Conservation Commission.

Karl S. Fessenden, Chair CEMS BOA

Karl S. Fessenden

President and CEO of MB Aerospace

Karl spearheads the company’s global growth strategy. He has full functional and operational responsibility for all global operations in North America, Asia and Europe.  Karl’s background includes 15 years in the aviation sector with General Electric (GE) and Pratt & Whitney.

In his previous role as President and Chief Executive Officer of CHC Helicopter, a global leader in offshore transport, search and rescue, and rotorcraft MRO, Karl successfully led the restructuring of the multinational corporation and helped the company generate annual revenue of more than one billion US dollars.

Before joining CHC, he spent 20 years at GE in senior leadership roles and oversaw the integration of the Alstom power-generation business, the largest acquisition in the company’s history.
Karl has a background in engineering and holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont and a Master of Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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.

Dan Nardi

Dan Nardi

Chief Operating Officer for Carrum Health

Dan recently joined Carrum Health as their Chief Operating Officer. Carrum is an award-winning, digital health company that has built the industry’s first bundled payment platform for healthcare procedures. Through a unique combination of business model innovation and technology they have created a new healthcare model that systematically delivers better healthcare outcomes and lowers cost.

Prior to that Dan was Vice President of Operations at Livongo Health, a healthcare start-up with a mission to help individuals with chronic conditions live their lives better. Dan spent 5 years scaling the business and building the team from 13 employees to over 600 with a successful, multi-billion dollar IPO in July. 

Before Livongo, Dan spent 13 years learning the electronic health records business and building his leadership experience with Allscripts. During his time there he was involved with everything from running the Technical Services department to owning strategic partnerships on the Business Development team, as the company grew from 500 employees to over 7,000. 

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Computer Science at the University of Vermont, culminating with the completion of his master's thesis titled “Finding Every Occurrence of a Given Device in a VLSI Layout”. His thesis included the development of a unique pattern-matching algorithm and was completed with assistance from UVM, IBM, and St. Michael's College.

In the summer before his junior year, Dan earned an internship with IDX Systems which turned into a part-time Operations role at Allscripts and began his interest in the budding world of healthcare technology.

Currently, Dan lives with his wife, Ami, and son, Zavier, in Chicago; where he is also a board member for JDRF and an advisor for several other healthcare start-ups.

Greg Santoro

Greg Santoro, Vice Chair CEMS BOA

Senior Vice President, NRTC

Greg Santoro is senior vice president, chief strategy and marketing officer for NRTC where he is responsible for marketing, IT services, new product and service innovation, corporate strategy, business development, partnerships, and acquisitions. NRTC provides ISP, Video/OTT, Broadband, Wireless, SmartGrid, and Solar and Renewable Energy solutions to telecom and electric companies and cooperatives across the United States.

Prior to assuming his current position, Greg was executive vice president of NII Holdings, a provider of mobile communication services in Latin America with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Chile.

Greg was also vice president of product innovation at Sprint Nextel Corporation and vice president of products and services for Nextel Communications, Inc., where he was responsible for managing Nextel's suite of voice, data, digital media and custom network solutions. He was also responsible for Nextel's e-business services organization, which oversaw www.nextel.com. Prior to joining Nextel, Greg served as vice president of product development at BellSouth.net.

Greg is a founding member of the CTIA wireless association's Wireless Internet Council, where he has helped foster cross-carrier initiatives to improve the access and breadth of wireless services for all mobile customers in the United States and abroad.

Greg holds a master's in business administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a master's in engineering management from Northwestern University. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science (cum laude) from the University of Vermont.

John "Jack" Scambos

John "Jack" Scambos, Chair CEMS BOA

Owner/President, Aqueous Recovery Resources, Inc.

John (Jack) Scambos founded Aqueous Recovery Resources, Inc. (ARR) in 1990 targeting the emerging market in industrial water recycling and reuse. Initially, a consultancy to Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and Sun Oil Co., ARR, Inc. (specializing in oil and water separation and recovery) manufactures a variety of equipment targeting the metalworking and finishing, food-service, pharmaceutical, and marine market sectors focusing on reducing process Water Footprint. Jack leads the worldwide licensing operations for Suparator, based in The Netherlands, where all worldwide intellectual property for the technology is maintained. Jack holds 9 patents and several Global Trademarks on the technology used in the separation and recovery of oil and similar contamination from water as well as many liquid-liquid extraction and separation processes. Jack has a bachelor's degree in engineering management from the University of Vermont and an MBA in entrepreneurship from Columbia University.

Jack also serves as president of The Friends of Ellisville Marsh, a model private-public partnership for environmental stewardship in the state of Massachusetts. He has worked with MA-DEP, the Under-Secretary of Environment and Energy for the governor of Massachusetts, as well as the Director of Coastal Zone Management and other regulatory agencies in creating this model.

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.

Larry Williams

Larry Williams

Principal, Redstone Commercial Group

Larry Williams has been active in commercial real estate since he graduated from the University of Vermont in 1982 with a degree in civil engineering. Between 1982 and 1991, Larry worked with a local development company specializing in the rehabilitation of historic buildings.

In 1992, Redstone Commercial Group was formed. As the company has grown, Larry has focused his efforts on development opportunities, involving both new construction and the redevelopment of historic buildings.

Over the past 25 years, Larry has been actively involved in the downtown development of Burlington, Winooski, Shelburne, and Hinesburg. Development projects including residential buildings, offices, retail spaces, industrial, health care, lodging, as well as recreation. We have recently ventured outside of Vermont with the acquisition of a prominent historic building in downtown Portland, Maine.

Larry also devotes time to community organizations and initiatives. He is a long-time supporter and past campaign chair of the Chittenden County United Way. He is a founding and current member of board of directors of Mobius, the Mentoring Movement. He is also a member of the UVM Alumni Council. Larry resides in Colchester with his wife, Leslie, and they both enjoy seeing and traveling to visit their four children.