Lynne Stein Benzion (Col ’85) has been appointed vice president of strategic planning for the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Economic Developer who works on a variety of business attraction, retention, expansion and entrepreneur development projects. Ms. Benzion served for 10 years with Rockville Economic Development in Rockville, Maryland, where she held a variety of positions, including deputy director. She lives in Hollywood, Florida, with her husband, Ira Benzion; they have two adult children.
Bert Brandenburg (Col ’85, Law ’88) has been named president of Appleseed, a network of public interest justice centers across North America. For more than a decade before that, he was executive director of Justice at Stake, a partnership of more than 50 organizations working to keep courts fair and impartial. In the 1990s, he ran the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of public affairs and was chief spokesman for Attorney General Janet Reno.
John Cooney (Engr ’85 L/M) and his wife, Kelly, have launched a start-up apparel company, Après-Swim Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas. Après-Swim manufactures and sells fast-drying SPF 40+ after-swim cover-up dresses.
Laura DeLuca (Col ’85 L/M) and Leah Bassoff won the 2015 Colorado Book Award for young adult literature for their book, Lost Girl Found, published by the Groundwood Books imprint of House of Anansi Press.
Joseph M. “Joe” Evangelisti (Col ’85) has received the John “Jack” Koten Corporate Award from the University of Alabama’s Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. The award recognizes leaders in corporate communications for their commitment to mentoring young professionals. Mr. Evangelisti is head of worldwide communications and media relations for JPMorgan Chase.
Richard “Shark” Forsten (Com ’85, Law ’88 L/M) will serve a second five-year term on the Appoquinimink School Board in New Castle County, Delaware, where he currently serves as board president. A partner in the Wilmington law offices of Saul Ewing, Mr. Forsten practices in commercial real estate and business litigation. In addition to serving on the school board, he has spent the past year serving as president of the Delaware State Bar Association.
H. Christopher Frey (Engr ’85) has been appointed the Glenn. E. Futrell Distinguished University Professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University, where he has served on the faculty since 1994. He is also an adjunct professor in the division of environment at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Mr. Frey recently chaired the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and currently serves on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.
Jane E. Hardy (Col ’85) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of Spanish at Wabash College. Ms. Hardy joined the Wabash faculty in 2006, having taught previously at Indiana University, St. Michael’s College, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and at the Slovenian Ministry of Defense’s School of Foreign Languages. Her teaching focuses on second-language acquisition, language teaching methodology and study abroad. Since 2008, she has accompanied Wabash students and faculty to Ecuador as part of the Wabash Ecuador Summer Study Program.
Delia Ray Howard (Col ’85 L/M) has released a children’s novel, Finding Fortune (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); this is her fifth novel. It focuses on a 12-year-old who runs away to a largely deserted former shell-harvesting town on the Mississippi River, where she meets the few remaining inhabitants and searches for a forgotten treasure. Ms. Ray lives in Iowa City.
James “Jim” Kibler (Col ’85 L/M) has been named president of Virginia Natural Gas. He will be responsible for the delivery of natural gas to the company’s customers in southeastern Virginia. Mr. Kibler previously worked as senior vice president of external affairs and public policy for AGL Resources, the holding company that owns Virginia Natural Gas.
Andrew G. Lee (Col ’85, Med ’89 L/M) has been named president-elect of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society. Dr. Lee is the chair of the Blanton Eye Institute at Houston Methodist Hospital and lives with his wife, Hilary Beaver (Med ’91), and their two daughters, Rachael and Virginia Lee, in Houston.
James T. “Jim” McDermott (Law ’85) has published his debut novel, Bitter is the Wind (Cune Press). The book is a coming-of-age story set in upstate New York in the 1970s. Mr. McDermott is a business litigation attorney based in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
Cyndee Perdue Moore (Col ’85, Educ ’02 A/M) received a doctor of education degree in higher education leadership and policy from the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in May 2015. Ms. Moore is the regional vice president of operations for American National University in Indiana and Virginia, and for National College in Tennessee.
Robert Nix (Col ’85 L/M) and his wife, Pebbles Glenn Nix, adopted their son, Guy Nelson Nix III, on Dec. 23, 2012. Guy was born in Las Vegas in March 2012. The family resides in Atlanta, where Mr. Nix serves as director of retirement plan services at Peachtree Wealth Strategies and Ms. Nix is owner and principal at Glenn Epting Interior Design.
Jo Page (Grad ’85) has released Preaching in My Yes Dress: Confessions of a Reluctant Pastor (SUNY Press). The book is a humorous take on her experiences in 20 years as a Lutheran pastor, as well as her childhood and the events that led her to return to the church later in life. Ms. Page lives in Schenectady, New York.
Stephen A. Riddick (Col ’85 L/M) has joined Tenable Network Security as general counsel. He leads the company’s legal department. Mr. Riddick was previously a senior member of the legal department at Praxair.
S. Scott Rohrer (Grad ’85, Grad ’99 L/M) published Jacob Green’s Revolution: Radical Religion and Reform in a Revolutionary Age, a biography of independent-minded Presbyterian minister Jacob Green, with Penn State University Press. The book takes a look at Green’s life and illuminates the strong but complicated connections between religion and politics at the dawn of the American nation.
Elizabeth Ann Smith (Col ’85) has been appointed to the board of directors of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ms. Smith is chairman of the board and CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, the hospitality company that owns Outback Steakhouse and other casual and fine dining brands.
Mark L. Smith (Col ’85 L/M) has sold all three of his print manufacturing facilities located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. The founder and CEO of Direct Impressions Inc. formally retired from the printing industry after 30 years in December 2014. He now owns and operates 51st Street Properties, a boutique real estate development firm specializing in resort and university properties.
Laura Sweeny (Col ’85 L/M) is an information technology solutions engineer for the Ahold USA grocery chain. She lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Chris Durant, and daughter, Dasha. Ms. Sweeny is also active in mission work with her church.
Lou Ann Waite Tiller (Col ’85 L/M) and Benjamin Henry Joyner Jr. were married on Aug. 29, 2015. The couple lives in Hampton, Virginia, and Ms. Joyner’s daughter, Megan-Drew Tiller (Col ’13 L/M), is also a UVA alumna.