BGSU Board of Trustees elects new chair, welcomes new trustees

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees recently elected David O'Brien '89 of Lakewood, Ohio, as its new chair. O’Brien assumes the role after serving as vice chair under Betty Montgomery, who served nine years as a trustee and has had a storied public service career including roles as the first female auditor and attorney general of Ohio.

Chair O’Brien has served on the Board of Trustees since January 2015 after being appointed by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. In addition to his commitment to BGSU, he is the chairman of the board for Risk International Holdings (comprised of Risk International Services, Risk International Benefits Advisory and Risk International Actuarial Consulting) in Fairlawn, Ohio. He acquired Risk International Holdings in 2012 after a long corporate career of serving the risk management and insurance brokerage needs of Fortune 1000 companies, many saddled with complex risk profiles.

“As president, I am so appreciative of the service and leadership of former Chair Betty Montgomery. She is an icon and a trailblazer for Ohio. During her nine years on the board, she has had an immeasurable impact on our students and our alma mater,” BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers said. “We are so fortunate to have alumnus David O’Brien as our next chair of the Board of Trustees. Since 2015, he has provided such valuable leadership and perspective to the Board of Trustees, and I am confident he will help move BGSU forward.”

Chair O’Brien’s BGSU connection reaches far beyond his nine-year term on the Board of Trustees. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from Bowling Green State University in 1989, where he double majored in finance and risk management and insurance. In 2018, in honor of his father, Chair O’Brien and his wife, Lisa O’Brien ’01, endowed the Dr. Thomas V. O'Brien Distinguished Professorship in Actuarial Mathematics. Dr. Thomas O’Brien, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics, taught mathematics at BGSU for more than 30 years. 

“It is an honor to become chair of the Board of Trustees and to continue to serve with my fellow trustees to advance the University’s core mission to build a welcoming, safe and diverse environment for all,” Chair David O’Brien said. “I look forward to working with President Rogers, our faculty and students to seize the opportunities that lie ahead for this institution that has been such an important part of my life and contributes so much to the members of our community, Ohio and the nation.”

Chair O'Brien’s term as trustee ends in 2024.

BGSU welcomes Willa Ebersole ’90 to the Board of Trustees

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently appointed Willa Ebersole ’90 of Blacklick, Ohio, to the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees. Ebersole fills the trustee seat of former chair Betty Montgomery.

Trustee Ebersole currently serves as president of Pappas and Associates, a governmental affairs lobbying consulting firm located in Columbus, Ohio. She represents dozens of clients throughout various industries. She previously served as vice president of Thomas C. Green and Associates. Trustee Ebersole joined that firm after serving in the Ohio Senate, where she assisted and advised senators on the state budget, education, and environmental and healthcare issues.

In addition to her career with Pappas and Associates, Trustee Ebersole serves on the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Committee, and she is also a member of the Ohio Lobbying Association, where she serves on the Ethics Committee.

Trustee Ebersole is a 1990 alumna of Bowling Green State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in journalism. Her daughter also graduated from BGSU in 2017.

“BGSU is excited to welcome Willa Ebersole back to her alma mater as a trustee,” Rogers said. “We are confident she will bring unique experiences to the Board of Trustees through the lens of an alumna, government professional and even a parent of a recent BGSU graduate. Trustee Ebersole will help ensure BGSU fulfills its mission to be a public university for the public good.”

“Serving on the Board of Trustees allows me the opportunity to give back to the institution that has given my family and me so much,” Ebersole said. “I look forward to helping shape the education and experience of future Falcons, and I am honored to be following my mentor and friend Betty Montgomery, who has served BGSU and Ohio in such an inspiring manner.”

Trustee Ebersole’s term ends in 2030.

BGSU welcomes undergraduate student Joshua Auten to the Board of Trustees

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently appointed undergraduate student Joshua Auten of Pickerington, Ohio, to the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees. Auten fills the student trustee seat of Remington Schneider.

Trustee Auten is an incoming junior who is studying finance and accounting in the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business. Outside the classroom, he serves as an assistant leadership coordinator for the Ohio Department of Education. In addition, he holds a student position in the C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership, and he is a student ambassador and dean’s scholar in the Schmidthorst College of Business. Auten is also a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

“Our students are at the heart of our mission to create public good,” Rogers said. “Trustee Auten will bring a thoughtful student voice to the Board of Trustees. His perspective and advocacy represent thousands of students, and the board remains committed to ensuring BGSU prepares its students to live meaningful and productive lives.”

“As a student at BGSU, I am so grateful for the opportunity to give back to the University that has already given me so much. I am eager for the opportunity to provide an impactful perspective that represents the undergraduate student body,” Student Trustee Joshua Auten said. “This is such an amazing learning experience, and I am so excited to build relationships with the board.”

Trustee Auten’s term ends in 2023.

Updated: 06/16/2021 11:19AM