The core task of a Board of Governors member within higher education is to advance the cause of the campus in the communities. The Board of Governors professional backgrounds and experiences assist and guide Northwood University's development and advancement opportunities.
The Advisory Board provides additional leadership by assisting the President in the strategic planning and implementation that leads to campus development and advancement opportunities.
The Board of Governors Executive Committee provides guidance and leadership to the Board to help Northwood University achieve its goals.
Michael Arani, PE
Design Engineering & Consulting, Inc.
Born in 1956, after spending his early years in Abadan, a city in the southwestern part of Iran, In 1976 Michael Arani made his move to the United States in order to continue his studies in engineering at the University of Texas - Arlington. Upon graduating and becoming a professional engineer, Michael spend several years working in structural engineering until 1993, when he established DEC, Inc. (Design Engineering & Consulting, Inc. )
In only a few years, DEC, Inc. grew to DEC International as Michael found success in China as well as surrounding Eastern countries and locally. He established his China office, which is still today one of the most pivotal achievements of his professional career. DEC is reputable design & structural engineering firm specializing in glass & glazing industry (aka, Curtain Wall). Michael is a self-driven entrepreneur, a proficient negotiator, active and effective communicator, and highly engaging and entertaining.
Socially, Michael spends his time playing tennis and enjoying close friendships in his community. He and his wife, Lidia, have been married for 35 years and have one son, Shawn, of whom recently completed his graduate studies at Dallas Baptist University. They live in Plano, Texas and are actively involved in their church and community.
Michael is a dedicated leader. His merits and achievements are both unique and inspiring. His accolades, nonetheless, pale in comparison to his passion for the development of excellence in students and the future of humanity.
Baxter & Associates
Mr. Baxter is the President of Baxter & Associates, a company specializing in both custom and standard elevator designs for installations in new and existing homes. For more than 30 years, the BAXTER name has been recognized by customers and suppliers as the premier name in the elevator industry.
Dr. Stephanie Curtis
Curtis Law Firm
Small Business/Entrepreneurial Chair
Ms. Curtis identifies entrepreneurial, educational, and donor opportunities with small business owners, and coordinates efforts with the President and Board of Governors.
She is President of the Curtis Law Firm. The firm specializes in bankruptcy and business law, and debtor, creditor, and commercial litigation. She has twice been selected by her peers as one of the best lawyers in Dallas.
Hon. Dr. Rob Franke
Mayor of Cedar Hill, Texas
Principle and Executive Vice President
Bucher, Willis, & Ratliff Corp.
Cedar Hill, Texas
Community Outreach Chair
The Hon. Dr. Franke coordinates efforts with the communities that the Texas campus exists and works. He is serving his fourth term as mayor of Cedar Hill. He also is a Principal and Executive Vice President for Bucher, Willis & Ratliff Corporation. This company performs civil and environmental engineering and consulting.
Dr. Christi Harris
Founder, President, and CEO
Christi Harris Companies, Inc.
Dr. Harris coordinates educational programming opportunities pursued by the President and Board of Governors. She is the Founder, President, and CEO of the Christi Harris Companies, Inc. Her company specializes in health and skincare products. She is a member of Northwood University's Board of Trustees and a Distinguished Woman.
President and CEO
Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce
Cedar Hill, Texas
Community Outreach Co-Chair
As Co-Chair, Ms. Skinner coordinates efforts with the communities that the Texas campus exists and works.
She is a proven professional with an established track record of increasing profitability by developing relationships between government, education, and business. She served as the 2004 and 2005 Chair of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce, the 2006 Chair of the Best Southwest Chambers of Commerce, and currently serves as President / CEO of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. James Olan Hutcheson
Founder and Managing Partner
ReGENERATION Partners, LLC
James Olan Hutcheson is Managing Partner and Founder of the family business consulting firm, ReGENERATION Partners. Mr. Hutcheson has more than 30 years of "hands-on" business management and family business consulting experience.
ReGENERATION Partners is devoted exclusively to increasing shareholder value and improving communication in family enterprises. Since founding the firm, Hutcheson has advised more than 130 families on how to resolve conflict, plan for and implement succession, increase operational performance, and put appropriate systems and structures in place to enhance operations and prevent problems. Additionally, he serves as a business coach through mentoring future leaders.
Hutcheson began his professional career with Olan Mills, Inc. as a part-time telemarketer and resigned his position as President of Olan Mills Studios in 1995 to establish ReGENERATION Partners. During his 19 year career with Olan Mills, he developed and led the organization to over 15,000 employees and more than 1,000 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and a Masters in Business Administration, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. He belongs to The Family Firm Institute (FFI) where he has served on the board of directors, chair of the annual conference, and was awarded Fellow status by his peers. Through FFI, Jim has been awarded the Richard Beckhard Practice Award, the highest recognition for practice within the field of Family Enterprise. He has been honored with the Outstanding Business Leader Award from Northwood University, where he also serves as a Trustee and Chairman of the Texas Board of Governors. Further, Jim and his firm, ReGENERATION Partners, have been awarded the Greater North Texas Business Ethics Award and were finalists for the American Business Ethics Award. He has served on the board, as a director or advisor, to more than 35 enterprises and as an interim CEO of three successful enterprises.
Director of Training and Development
Mr. Moore is the Director of Training and Development for Lennox Industry, a leading manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment. His organization conducts leadership, management, sales, customer service, and technical training. Prior to Lennox, Mr. Moore worked many years for Sears Roebuck and was one of the founders of Sears University. His passion is the development of people so that their lives improve.
J.P. Morgan Securities
With 18 years of financial services industry experience, Amy is an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan Securities. Amy’s objectives are to service the financial needs and goals of her clients while simultaneously helping them grow, manage and preserve their wealth.
As a Financial Advisor at J.P. Morgan Securities, Amy has access to one of the most comprehensive product platforms in the industry as well as the financial strength of JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the world’s largest and best known financial institutions.
Prior to joining Bear Stearns (now J.P. Morgan Securities) in September 2002, Amy worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (1997-2002) until it was acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston (2002) and Nations Securities/Nation Bank (1989-1997). Amy earned her B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Jeff Sullivan
Jeff Sullivan is a Co-President of Triple/S Dynamics, a Dallas based engineering and manufacturing company. The company produces vibratory industrial equipment for the processing industries.
He is the past Chairman of the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, and has served as a volunteer instructor at NLP Learning Systems of Dallas.
Beth Susens serves as the liaison with the Alumni Board and the Board of Governors. She is a Northwood University graduate affiliated with the Northwood University Women's Board and a 2006 recipient of the Northwood University Outstanding Alumni Award. She is a community volunteer involved with the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas, Park Cities Disabilities Association, Junior Charity League of Dallas and organizations related to autism and learning differences.
Dr. Martha Tiller
President and CEO
Martha Tiller Company
Public Relations Chair
Award winning public relations executive Martha Tiller (Pres./CEO Martha Tiller Company) previously worked in network television and on-staff for a Texas Governor and two United States Presidents.
She attended the National University of Mexico and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Martha has held leadership roles in various civic and professional organizations and is a member of The International Women's Forum. She has served on numerous boards including the University of Texas at Austin College of Communication Advisory Council.
Dr. Nina Vaca
Founder and CEO
Pinnacle Technical Resources
Dr. Nina Vaca is the founder and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources. She is the 2003 U.S. Hispanic Business Woman of the Year, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President, and a Northwood University Distinguished Woman.
William M. (Bill) Wallace
Founder, Wallace Financial Group
Co-Founder and CEO, The Wallace Companies, Inc.
Founder, Success North Dallas
Mr. Wallace founded Wallace Financial Group and offers customized business and personal financial strategies to his clients. The firm's specialties include business continuation planning, insurance and financial strategies, employee and executive benefit plans, executive compensation, disability income replacement, charitable giving, and estate & family protection.
In 2008, Wallace co-founded The Wallace Companies, Inc., where he serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The Wallace Companies works with new and existing companies to help direct them in raising necessary capital and develop winning executive management strategies.
He founded Success North Dallas in October 1988, a professional business and mentoring group that fosters excellence among individuals and the corporations they represent. To commemorate Success North Dallas' 21st Anniversary Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and the Dallas City Council issued a proclamation of "Success North Dallas Day" to honor the group's founding and its ongoing excellence in business and civic contributions to Dallas.
As a member of the Board of Governors of Northwood University and a strategic partner and board member of the University of North Texas Professional Leadership Program, he provides mentorship to today's students as they forge their future careers in business and the community. In 2009, The Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human values honored Wallace with the 2009 Heroes of Humanity Award for his work in the Community. Wallace is a charter member and past president of the Addison Rotary Club and a long-time member of CEO Netweavers. He is honored to have served on the Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Advisory Boards of St. Alcuin Montessori School, Bryan's House, and Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. He is a past member of the Million Dollar Roundtable and the New England Financial Leaders Association, and the author of "Peacefully Rich (TM) Financial Road Less Traveled."
Partner, White Training & Consulting
Cedar Hill City Councilman
Cedar Hill, Texas
Strategic Planning Chair
Jerry White coordinates with the President and Chair of the Board of Governors regarding the strategic planning process and specific strategic plans for the Board of Governors. He is a partner in White Training & Consulting; as well, he holds a two-term as a Cedar Hill City Councilman. White is an inductee into the Academy of Achievement in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Technological University.