President Tuminez sitting at commencement.
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Board of Trustees

 

Message from the Chair Rick Nielsen

The members of the Utah Valley University (UVU) Board of Trustees join me in welcoming you to a remarkable educational experience at one of the state’s largest and most rapidly growing campuses. We know that from your very first visit to the campus, you will be immersed in the energy and excitement of a university focused on student success. Over the past 80 years, the university has transformed into a respected institution — providing some of the best opportunities for students seeking a high-quality education — all while maintaining our open-access and technical programs. This dual-mission model of education has ensured that we can fully deliver on our commitment to student success, which stands at the heart of our mission.

Today, through the leadership of our highly credentialed faculty, dedicated staff, and effective administration, UVU has never been stronger. We are climbing to new heights,  expanding and growing in ways that will produce an enhanced student experience both academically and culturally.

The university’s focus on excellence is producing the leaders of the future. And what tremendous student leaders we have at UVU. What always impresses me about our students is that they are actively engaged in hundreds of community service projects, generously sharing their time and knowledge. I am proud of them for fostering and modeling the goals of our institutional mission.

As trustees, we commend the institution’s commitment to student success, engaged learning, inclusion, and a culture of academic rigor and professional excellence. It is these values that comprise our “institutional DNA.” We recognize and greatly appreciate the support of the Utah Board of Higher Education and the commissioner’s office. We thank our governor, legislators, and all who share our vision of the imperative of education and the success of UVU.

In short, UVU is fast becoming the university of choice for students who want to earn a degree where the focus is on high-quality teaching and hands-on engagement in an inclusive, welcoming environment. As trustees, we invite you to come and immerse yourself in the remarkable momentum and excitement of UVU. This is your university — a place where you will succeed.

GO WOLVERINES!

All the best,

Rick Nielsen

Rick Nielsen
Chair of the Board

Rick Nielsen

Rick Nielsen
Chair of the Board

Rick Nielsen was appointed a member of the UVU Board of Trustees July 2017. Mr. Nielsen currently serves as the Superintendent of Nebo School District, with an enrollment of over 36,000 students, in southern Utah County. He has held this position since 2010.

Prior to serving as Superintendent, his career included service as a sixth-grade teacher, elementary school principal, and district-level administrator. Mr. Nielsen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Master of Education Degree in Education Leadership from Brigham Young University.

Mr. Nielsen was honored as the Utah Superintendent of the Year in 2020 and received the BYU David O. McKay School of Education Alumni Achievement Award in 2021. He serves on a number of boards, including UVU/MTECH K-16 Alliance, BYU/Public School Partnership, and Envision Utah.

Mr. Nielsen grew up in Spanish Fork, Utah, and is a graduate of Spanish Fork High School. He and his wife, Karen, reside in Spanish Fork and are the parents of five children. In his leisure time, Mr. Nielsen enjoys reading, sports, theater, and supporting student events.

Scott Smith
First Vice Chair

Scott Smith

Scott Smith
First Vice Chair

Scott is honored to serve and associate with the members of the UVU Board of Trustees, with the UVU Faculty and Administration, and UVU Students. UVU holds a unique position in academic achievement and student learning that fosters great individual growth opportunities for students and faculty alike. He is grateful to support the state of Utah and the community in growing UVU.

Scott serves with a distinctive perspective on the Board of Trustees, having a passion for research and analysis. Following the completion of an undergraduate degree in business (BYU), MBA (Michigan State), and a Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University in business with minors in computer science, social psychology, and quantitative methods), he joined the faculty at the University of Oregon. A faculty position at Brigham Young University followed, where he enjoyed 30 years of teaching, researching, and writing at BYU’s Marriott School of Management. His works include more than 100 refereed publications, and the three volume book series Basic Marketing Research (2012), Introduction to Marketing Research (2011), Fundamentals of Marketing Research (2005), and Multidimensional Scaling: Concepts and Applications (1989).

During a diverse career, Scott was honored as a Fulbright Scholar, consulted, and taught executive courses for many leading corporations, and qualified as expert witness with testimony reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. At the time of his retirement, his research focused on methods of online data collection, and the measurement and analysis of data.

Following this interest in business, computer science and statistics, Scott developed several statistical software packages, and with two of his sons, co-founded Qualtrics, the world leading Experience Management platform (XM). In January 2019, Qualtrics was sold to SAP, in what was the largest private enterprise software acquisition in tech history. (Marketwatch 12/28/2020)

Scott and his wife, Karen, spend most of their time engaged in humanitarian, church, and other service activities. They have coordinated humanitarian services in Israel and the West Bank (Palestinian Territory Occupied) while living and serving at the BYU Jerusalem Center. They have been service missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong and have participated in training medical professionals in newborn resuscitation techniques in Palestine, Ghana, and Nepal. They currently serve in supporting church humanitarian efforts in the Middle East/Africa North area.

Scott and Karen share a large, blended family of nine children, who have blessed them with 28 grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. They are both cancer survivors and their philanthropic priorities are education and cancer research.

Jeanette Bennett
Second Vice Chair

Jeanette Bennett

Jeanette Bennett
Second Vice Chair

Jeanette Bennett has been telling the stories of Utah since she founded Utah Valley Magazine in 2000 and BusinessQ Magazine in 2003. As CEO of Bennett Communications, her team produces 25+ magazines annually including Parade of Homes, Prosper Magazine and Utah Valley Bride. Jeanette earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Brigham Young University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Utah Valley University. Jeanette was named the Top Woman Entrepreneur in Media in 2018 at a luncheon in New York City, alongside Martha Stewart. In February 2023, Jeanette was named to the prestigious Silicon Slopes Hall of Fame.

Jeanette’s community involvement spans two decades and includes being on the Board of Trustees at UVU, as well as four years as Chair of Utah Philanthropy Day. Jeanette was named the Outstanding Business Leader in Utah Valley as well as the Small Business of the Year. She is currently Chair-Elect of United Way of Utah County. She’s served on boards for the Chamber of Commerce, UVU Foundation Board, Roots of Humanity, and the Cook Center for Human Connection. She recently began an adventure as Chief Visionary Officer at Thanksgiving Point.

As Utah County’s premier media personality, Jeanette is a sought after speaker, podcast guest and emcee. She also hosts her own events each year, including the UV50 where she names the top 50 businesses in Utah County as well as awarding a Lifetime Achievement Award to notable giants including Gail Miller, Fraser Bullock, Warren Osborn, Josh James, Andrew Smith and Blake Roney.

BusinessQ Magazine also hosts the annual “40 under 40” event where she honors entrepreneurs and launches the accompanying magazine with all of the interviews and photos. Since 2000, Jeanette has sat knee-to-knee with the state’s biggest names and told their epic stories — including those who have passed on such as Stephen Covey, Becky Lockhart, Larry King, Hyrum Smith, Christopher Clark and Ruth Hale. Her cover stories are legendary and have highlighted current superstars including Ryan Smith, Astrid Tuminez, Carine Clark, James Clarke, Todd Pedersen, Steve Young, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Stirling and David Archuleta.

Jeanette has presented twice at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York City and has continued to be active in promoting family, entrepreneurism, faith and education.

She serves the community as she drives a pink golf cart around with stickers such as “Heels on Wheels” and “Charity Never Walketh.” Her life was beautifully depicted in a 17-minute ballet choreographed by the Utah Metropolitan Ballet in 2021.

Jeanette was a finalist for Utah’s 2019 Mother of the Year, although her five funny kids like to remind her that she didn’t win. She was born and raised in Idaho Falls, where she landed her first job as a high schooler at the local TV station and launched her journalism career.

She grew up in a large family in Idaho Falls, where her dad was a school teacher. She was known for being a quiet student who would surprisingly come out strong and win academic contests and debates. As a first-grade student, she won the reading contest for reading 234 books, with the second place student reading 50 books. Throughout her life, she has put her head down and outworked the competition.

Jeanette is a cancer survivor, former state senate candidate, on-again-off-again runner, and perpetual cheerleader for the state of Utah.

Paul Thompson
Board Member

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson
Board Member

Paul has been a member of the Utah Valley University Board of Trustees since 2017. He is active in other community organizations, including serving on the boards of The Refuge Utah and Centro Hispano. Paul has also been working to increase the availability of affordable housing in Utah County. He served on the faculty and as dean of the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Paul finished his educational career serving as the president of Weber State University for 12 years.

Kara North
Board Member

Kara North

Kara North
Board Member

Kara is a Utah native and managing partner at Moxie Law Group, a female-led personal injury firm, which was recently recognized by the state as one of the Top 100 businesses in Utah advancing opportunities for women in the workplace. She graduated from Utah Valley University in 2007 with a B.S. in Business Management. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Utah in 2010. Kara is licensed to practice law in Utah and Nevada, and has been practicing plaintiff's personal injury for 12 years. Kara is an active member of the Utah bar. She currently chairs the UAJ Women's Caucus, and previously served as the President of the Central Utah Bar Association. At UVU, she serves on various boards and committees; including, the Chair of the Alumni Board, and member of the UVU Foundation Board and Board of Trustees. In 2023, Kara was recognized as a "Super Lawyer" for the Mountain States in the area of Personal Injury, and was named a Top 25 Attorney by the National Women Trial Lawyers Association. Kara and her husband, Travis, have been married for 19 years and have one son.

Blake Modersitzki
Board Member

Blake Modersitzki

Blake Modersitzki
Board Member

Blake joined Pelion as the Managing Partner in 2002 and has led the firm through 4 successful funds. Blake is focused on backing entrepreneurs building unique and disruptive technology. Blake has led investments in Redhat, Riverbed, Fusion.io, Integral Ad Science, DOMO, enCommerce, Soasta, and Metacloud.

Prior to joining Pelion, Blake was Managing Director for Novell Ventures and VP of Strategic Business Development. He directed Novell’s venture strategy including both its direct investments in companies and indirect investments in venture capital funds. During this time, he served on the boards of several public and private companies as well as the advisory boards of several venture capital firms.

Prior to managing Novell’s venture capital organization, Blake held a number of sales, marketing, product management, global channel sales development and business development positions within Novell and WordPerfect. Blake has a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.

Noel Vallejo
Board Member

Noel Vallejo

Noel Vallejo
Board Member

Noel Vallejo was TestOut's visionary architect. In that capacity he lead the Company's strategic initiatives, identified market opportunities, and drove product direction. Vallejo incorporated TestOut in 1991 with the vision of combining interactive training curriculum with information technology to develop tools that would improve the way people learn and retain information. That experienced-based training (EBT) remains the foundation that all of TestOut's solutions stem from. Prior to founding TestOut, Vallejo worked as a market analyst at Novell Education. His expertise in interpreting market needs were instrumental in the creation and continued growth of TestOut's technology. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Andrea Clarke
Board Member

Andrea Clarke

Andrea Clarke
Board Member

Andrea E. Clarke is an accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Columbia University. Andrea’s early career included working in computer electronics for some of the world’s fastest-growing organizations—Megahertz, US Robotics, and 3COM. Years later, she transitioned her sales career to the pharmaceutical industry where she was recognized as a top sales rep.

In the early 2000’s, Andrea and James founded CLEARLINK and began growing their family of five. The Clarkes are now founders, investors, and operators of private and public companies on five continents with over 36,000 employees globally.

Andrea has dedicated her life to her family and makes time to support a number of causes in her community and abroad. She is a member of the board of the Stella H. Oaks Foundation, CharityVision, Bridle Up Hope—the Rachel Covey Foundation, The Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, and serves as a Governor-appointed Trustee for Utah Valley University, as well as Past-Chair of the UVU’s Women’s Success Center Advisory Board.

With her exceptional background in nonprofits, Andrea closely oversees the affairs of The Labor and Honor Foundation, the Clarke family charity, which focuses on poverty alleviation, education, and the arts. The name of the foundation is derived from the Clarkes’ English family crest dating back centuries, which instills that whether a task be great or small, ALL work should be done with honor. The Clarkes’ hope is that through their efforts, they might improve the lives of others by giving back with humble thanksgiving for life’s many blessings.

Jeremy Hafen
Board Member

Jeremy Hafen

Jeremy D. Hafen
Board Member

President & CEO of Clyde Companies, Inc.

Jeremy Hafen is the President and CEO of Clyde Companies, Inc., a multi-billion dollar construction materials and services company based in Utah and operating in the Intermountain West & Great Plains regions. Prior to his move to Clyde Companies in April of 2019, he served as President of Sunroc Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clyde Companies. Before that, he served as President of Sunroc Building Materials (now known as Sunpro), a sister company to Sunroc Corporation. In his seven plus years as president, Sunroc Building Materials more than doubled its revenue and became a top performing subsidiary of Clyde Companies, Inc. He began his career with Clyde Companies in the fall of 2004 as a Business Development Manager and worked his way up to Vice President of Administration at Clyde Companies, Inc.

Prior to Clyde Companies, Jeremy spent several years with Deloitte in Dallas, Texas as a Senior Tax Consultant. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Master of Accountancy degree in tax accompanied by a Minor in Information Systems Management. He also holds an emeritus CPA license in the State of Utah.

Jeremy previously served as the Chair of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and is currently on the board of directors of Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees for MTECH. Jeremy also serves as a board member of Clyde Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Most of his personal time is spent with his wife and seven children.

Zac Whitlock
Board Member
Student Body President
Zac Whitlock

Zac Whitlock
Board Member
Student Body President

Zac is a Personal Financial Planning major, minoring in Business Management. Zac enjoys watching and playing all sports, traveling, serving, and listening to music (especially Coldplay). He grew up in Highland, Utah graduating from American Fork High School. Zac’s involvement spans across campus with past experience serving as a UVUSA Senator for the Woodbury School of Business, a UVU recruitment ambassador, and with the LDS Institute Student Council. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Zac plans to continue onto graduate school in pursuit of his dream to start a wealth management firm in Franklin, TN, and then use his skills and experience, to start a non-profit that helps the impoverished.

Clark Collings
Secretary to the Board

Clark Collings

Clark Collings
Secretary to the Board

Clark Collings is Utah Valley University’s General Counsel, where he is responsible for the provision of legal services on all University transactional, business, and financial legal matters. He also serves as counsel and liaison to the Utah Valley University Foundation, oversees the provision of legal services on all University privacy matters, and provides legal counsel to the University’s Athletics Department. He also serves as secretary to the Board of Trustees.

 

Meetings

For real-time access to current agendas, minutes, and recordings for trustee meetings as well as access to an archive, visit https://www.utah.gov/pmn/index.html.

Awards and Bylaws

Awards of Excellence
Bylaws