Board of Trustees

Franklin’s Board of Trustees

To ensure the highest quality education for our students, Franklin is governed by a group of 20+ officers and trustees. Each of our officers and trustees takes seriously the role of furthering affordable and accessible education for working adults, while upholding the University’s reputation, mission and values, and Four Cornerstones. View the bios of our trustees and see how Franklin (and you) benefit from the expertise of respected, visionary industry leaders and entrepreneurs engaged in providing strategic insight and direction.


Dr. David Decker

Dr. David R. Decker serves as the fourth President of Franklin University. Prior to coming to Franklin he held a number of positions at the New York Institute of Technology, including playing a key role in their internationalization and development of their online presence.

Dr. Decker has also held positions at Youngstown State University, as well as at three other universities, and has international teaching experience in China, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Brazil, and Jordan. His extensive corporate experience includes serving as president and CEO of a $130 million manufacturing company.

Stan Partlow

Stan Partlow currently serves as the Chair of the Board.  Stan retired from American Electric Power in 2020. He served as AEP’s Vice President and Chief Security Officer a post he was appointed to on September 1, 2015. Stan joined AEP as the Director of physical security and aviation services on Oct. 31, 2005. During his career with AEP Stan had leadership responsibilities for physical security operations, access control, asset protection for AEP facilities and properties, AEP´s aviation services department, cyber security, procurement and the motor vehicle fleet. Prior to joining AEP, Stan served the Law Enforcement community for over 25 years. Stan served the Columbus Division of Police for over 21 years and retired as the Commander of the Detective Bureau. Stan served as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1984-1988 where he was responsible for conducting a variety of criminal investigations. As a former adjunct professor at Franklin University, he taught in the Leadership and Public Safety Management programs. Stan has also been an adjunct professor for Capital University. Stan holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Capital University School of Law (1995), a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University (1990), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Bowling Green State University (1980).

David White
Vice Chair

David White is the Senior Vice President, Technology Practice for RTI International.  David previously held the position of Chief Information Officer at Battelle. He and his team were responsible for strategically aligning and advancing corporate application development, infrastructure platforms and development initiatives across the enterprise. David has held various executive-level positions with the state of Ohio including Executive Program Manager of the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System, Director of State Accounting within the Office of Budget and Management and Director of Revenue Management within the State of Ohio Treasury. He is a member of the CIO Advisory Board for, the advisory board of the Columbus African American Leadership Academy and a member of the COSI Community Board. David attended the Ohio State University where he studied electrical engineering, Columbus State Community College receiving a degree in business administration and Franklin University receiving a degree in computer management.  At Franklin, Mr. White currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board and serves on the Audit, Controls and Compliance Committee and the Infrastructure Committee.

Ralph Sanese

Mr. Sanese is Vice President, Business Development AVI Foodsystems and President of Sanese Services, Inc., a family-owned foodservices and vending company. He is a board member of the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is active in several other civic organizations. Mr. Sanese, a Franklin University alumnus, serves on the Infrastructure Committee and the Human Resource & Advancement Committee.

Marv Briskey

Marv Briskey joined Franklin University as Chief Financial Officer in 2006.  Dr. Briskey was promoted to Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in 2011, and Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in 2014.  

Under his leadership, the Chief Financial Office focuses on providing both strategic operational and programmatic support to the University. The Chief Financial Office establishes and communicates both fiscal and safety and security policies and procedures; oversees $111 million in net assets, and a $90 million investment pool; and reviews and establishes internal control procedures to safeguard financial and human capital assets.  

Dr. Briskey holds a Bachelor of Art in Accounting from Hillsdale College, a Master of Business Administration from Capital University, and a Doctor of Business Administration from Baker College.

Board Members

Stacey Armstrong
Board Member

Stacey Armstrong is an alumnus of Franklin University, having earned her MBA in 2009, and currently serves as the president of the WVU Innovation Corporation. Stacey previously served as chief operating officer of Riverside Methodist Hospital. During her time at OhioHealth, she also served as chief operating officer and president of Grant Medical Center in Columbus and as vice president of specialty services for OhioHealth Physicians Group. Stacey received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Indiana University. Stacey currently serves on the Partnerships Committee and Chairs the Human Resource & Advancement Committee.

Jack O. Cartner
Board Member

Mr. Cartner is a past Chairman of the Board. He currently serves as chair of the Infrastructure Committee and is an active member of the Committee on Trusteeship Governance. He is President of MoTrim, Inc. which manufacturers boom-type hydraulic mowing machinery, headquartered in Cambridge, Ohio. Mr. Cartner is a Franklin University Alumnus. He holds 21 U.S. Patents for mechanical and hydraulic machinery. He is President of the Cartlan Corp. that constructs and owns commercial buildings in Cambridge, Ohio. He is the president of Southeast Publications Inc. and is Publisher of the Caldwell, Ohio, Journal Leader newspaper along with several magazines that are distributed throughout Southeastern Ohio. He has over 30 years of experience as a Director of several National Bank Boards that were a part of the American Bank Corporation. A.B.C. was later merged into Wesbanco Bank. He served on Executive committees, loan committees and numerous other bank committees. He is a veteran of U.S. Airforce and as a sideline, he has a farm in Guernsey county and raises Angus cattle.

Jamie Crane
Board Member

Ms. Crane is a community advocate currently serving on the boards of Goodwill Columbus, Upper Arlington Community Foundation, and the Columbus Foundation Reese-Shackelford Supporting Organization. She has also served on numerous other boards, including Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio/Greater Ohio, Columbus School for Girls, and I Know I Can. She is highly active with the Crane Group, which was founded by her grandfather. Prior to leaving the corporate world, Ms. Crane worked in Chicago (IL) for Kraft General Foods/Kraft USA where she led the brand management for several multi-million-dollar product lines, and developed the strategic plan and coordinated the major planning projects for a multi-billion division. Ms. Crane holds an MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, at Northwestern University (IL), and a BS in Marketing and Management from Indiana University. Ms. Crane and husband Tim Miller reside in Columbus, and are the proud parents of Taylor and Hailey. Jamie serves on the Academic & Student Affiars Committee and the Human Resource & Advancement Committee.

Mary Laird Duchi
Board Member

Ms. Duchi joined the board in 2009.  Mary is past Chair of the Franklin University Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Finance Committee and the Committee on Trusteeship Governance.  Mary has extensive background in both the private and public sectors. She joined Battelle in 1977 and retired from the organization 34 years later as the Vice President of Operations and Systems Services. Ms. Duchi has volunteered her time toward both professional and personal interests by serving as Board member for the Battelle National Biodefense Institute; as a Franklin Park Conservatory Trustee; as a board member for both the Central Ohio Regional Science and Engineering Fair and Edison Welding Institute boards; and on a number of committees and boards for the city of Upper Arlington. Ms. Duchi earned her MBA in Finance and Quantitative Methods from The Ohio State University and her BBA in Finance from the University of Michigan.

Phil FankHauser
Board Member

Phil Fankhauser is co-founder and principal of Epcon Communities and Epcon Communities Franchising.  Since 1986, Epcon has been a developer of communities designed for the age 55+ market.  With a home office in Columbus, Ohio and Regional offices in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, Epcon is recognized nationally as a top builder of age-targeted properties.  The franchise business includes franchised builders in over 20 states. Fankhauser has over 45 years’ experience in real estate development and construction and serves as a member of the Urban Land Institute’s “Lifestyle Residential Development” Council.  He is an alumnus of Franklin University and currently serves on the Marketing & Enrollment Management Committee as well as the Infrastructure Committee.

Gary L. Flynn
Board Member

Mr. Flynn joined the board in 2002. Gary serves as the Chair of the Partnership Committee. In addition, he serves on the Marketing & Enrollment Management Committee, the Committee on Trusteeship Governance, and the Audit. Controls & Compliance Committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Franklin University in 1971. Flynn also is a 1983 graduate of The Ohio State University’s Executive Development Program.  Mr. Flynn was employed 33 years at Abbott Laboratories, a leading global broad-based healthcare company, where he retired as Senior Vice President of Abbott Nutrition.  Gary served as Chairman of the Board in 2013 & 2014.

Ted Ford
Board Member

Ted Ford is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in government, marketing, higher education, and public-private partnerships. Ted currently serves as a CEO for Advanced Energy Economy Ohio, a statewide trade group involved in the development and financing of advanced energy projects. Previously, Ted served as TechColumbus’ first CEO and as President and CEO of Edison Welding Institute, a nationally recognized independent engineering research and development organization. As Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Northern Arizona University in the late 1990’s, he led the development launch of the institution’s first capital campaign which raised $100 million. He has served as a business development professional, legislative advocate, legislative staffer, and executive assistant to the Governor of Ohio. He is also a regional affiliate director for BioOhio. He received his undergrad and his Master’s at The Ohio State University. Ted serves as the Chair of the Academic/Student Committee.

Anthony Gonsalves
Board Member

Mr. Gonsalves is currently working as a Marketing Consultant. He has an extensive marketing background, which is highlighted in his previous position as the Chief Marketing Officer for Allied Insurance, Titan Insurance, Nationwide Commercial, Nationwide Specialty, and Nationwide Agribusiness in Des Moines Iowa. Mr. Gonsalves has also worked as the Vice President for Marketing Strategy & Planning for Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio. At Franklin, Mr. Gonsalves currently serves the Academic/Student Committee as well as the Marketing & Enrollment Management Committee.

Melissa Gutierrez

Melissa Gutierrez currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board.  Melissa is the SVP and General Manager with Synchrony, where she leads the rapidly growing Pets Best Insurance business unit within the Care Credit portfolio and serves as a key partner to leaders across the Care Credit platform within Synchrony. Prior to joining Synchrony, Melissa held a number of positions at Nationwide Insurance, including positions in sales, strategy, marketing and finance across several business units including Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Financial and Nationwide Better Health. Melissa holds the chartered life underwriter (CLU) designation, and in addition to her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Franklin University, also holds an MBA from the University of Dayton.  Melissa is currently the Chair of the Committee on Trusteeship Governance and serves on the Finance Committee.

Bruce Hagen
Board Member

Mr. Hagen joined the Franklin board in 2010 and served as Board of Trustees Chairman 2017-2018.  Bruce is the regional executive and president of the OhioHealth North Market.  He is responsible for coordinating OhioHealth’s growth in the northern areas served by the hospital system.  He has more than 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry.  He is a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives, and has been affiliated with many community service programs including the Board of Directors of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Gerald R. Ford Council of Boy Scouts and the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, Great Rivers Affiliate.  Bruce serves on the Finance Committee and the Committee on Trusteeship Governance.

Gary W. James
Board Member

Mr. James is an alumnus of Franklin University, a past Board of Trustees Chairman, and currently serves on the Finance, Partnerships, and Governance Committees. He is founder and President of Dynalab, Inc., an electronic manufacturing services company; Dynalab Test Systems, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of electronic test equipment; President of JAAS Systems, LLC, a publisher of manufacturing software; and a board member of MD Systems, LLC, a medical device manufacturer. Mr. James has served as President of a Kiwanis club, Treasurer of National Church Residences, and in numerous other community organizations.

Valerie Pitteroff
Board Member

Valerie Pitteroff is Senior Vice-President, Human Resources at Cardinal Health with responsibility for the company’s international Medical Segment.  Valerie joined Cardinal Health in October 2002 and has held both HR Business Partner and Talent Management Center of Excellence roles supporting all facets of the Cardinal Health business.  Prior to joining Cardinal Health, Valerie was a member of the United States Peace Corps serving in Paraguay, South America.  Her volunteer service focused on working with educators and farmers to establish a rural community cooperative and developing educational programs for women and students.  She is originally from Southern California and is a graduate of the University of California at Riverside.  She now resides in Hilliard, Ohio with her husband Jason, children Ethan and Sofia and rescue dog Cooper.  The Pitteroff family enjoys game nights, movies and traveling together.  Valerie currently serves on the Academic/Student Affairs Committee and the Human Resource & Advancement Committee.

Peter Roche
Board Member

Peter joined the Board in 2009, and currently serves Franklin as the Chair of the Finance Committee and as member of the Partnership Committee.  Roche retired from his position as Senior Vice President, Finance at Chemical Abstracts Services in 2008.  Prior to joining Chemical Abstracts, he served as Vice President, Accounting & Finance for Honda of America Manufacturing; Senior Manager, Tax with Peat Marwick; Partner with Hammersmith, Roche & Jenkins, CPAs; and as a tax consultant for Frank, Seringer & Chaney, CPAs.  Mr. Roche earned his B.S. degree in Accounting for The Ohio State University; his CPA certificate shortly thereafter. 

Thomas Shoupe
Board Member

Thomas Shoupe recently retired from Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (HAM), where he served in numerous leadership and management roles over his 33-year career. In his final role at Honda, he served as Executive Vice President and COO of HAM, was a senior member of the Honda North America Regional Operating Board, and served as function leader for the company’s human resources planning and staff deployment for regional manufacturing operations.  Before joining Honda, Tom served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Representatives Thomas N. Kindness and Michael G. Oxley. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Tom represented Honda externally in many capacities, including serving as a board member for the Columbus Partnership and Columbus 2020, an economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus, Ohio region.  He previously served on the board from April 2008 through January 2012, and currently serves on the Academic/Student Committee and the Partnerships Committee.

Pamela Springer
Board Member

Pamela Springer is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience growing tech-based companies including raising $55M in funding and leading re-starts and IPOs. She most recently served as president and CEO of ORIS Intelligence. There, she drove strategic growth for the company including being named one of the fastest growing companies in Ohio, supporting over 750 world-class brands and growing its team by 100 percent over the past three years, leading to its acquisition in 2019 by PriceSpider.  Prior to ORIS, she built Manta Media into one of the largest, most trafficked websites in the U.S.  Pam has been recognized as one of the “13 Powerful Women Running Today’s Biggest Startups” by Business Insider and was awarded the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Technology for the Central Region. She sits on the boards of multiple emerging growth companies including RevLocal and InvestX Capital.  Springer earned a business degree from Franklin University, graduating summa cum laude.  She played on the Oakland University basketball team the year they made it to the NCAA Division II Final Four. When she’s not working, Pam is an avid sports fan, outdoor enthusiast, and flute player, and recently summited Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Pam serves as the Chair of the Marketing & Enrollment Management Committee. 

David Stone
Board Member

David Stone is the Executive Managing Director of Relationship Banking at Huntington National Bank, where he manages specialized commercial banking units. Stone has more than 30 years of experience in lending and was most recently at PNC, formerly National City, where he was an executive vice president and head of corporate banking, based in Columbus. Stone began his banking career at National City in 1988 in Cleveland as a member of the corporate banking development program. Over the years, he held a variety of other executive positions at the bank including regional manager and credit department manager. Prior to his career in banking, he was an instructor of economics at the University of Findlay. Stone earned his bachelors and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. He currently serves as the Chairs the Audit, Controls and Compliance Committee.

Jennifer Thomas
Board Member

Jennifer Thomas recently retired from Nationwide Insurance, where she served in several leadership roles within the legal department.  She is an attorney with over 25 years of experience advising corporate executives on various legal issues, including complex contract issues, employee benefits, employment policy issues, and business operations compliance issues.  As an executive at Nationwide, she worked closely with her internal clients and colleagues to attain business objectives and generate practical and creative solutions to various business and legal challenges. Jennifer recently served on the board for Easter Seals Central and Southeast Ohio for the full six-year term, where she was a member of the executive committee and the Fiscal and Governance committees.  She currently serves on the Groveport Community School Board. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Capital University College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.  Jennifer currently serves on the Franklin University Board of Trustees Human Resources Committee.

Matthew Toussant
Board Member

Matthew is a senior executive for the non-profit scientific information firm, CAS.  Matthew has over ten years as an operations leader of the world’s largest and most comprehensive chemical science data and information collection.  He has been employed by CAS in numerous positions since 1987.   Matthew served in the US Army Reserve from 1982-2002.  Matthew holds a PhD, Interdisciplinary (food protein chemistry, nutrition, pathophysiology) (1992), a Master of Science degree in Food Chemistry and Nutritional Biochemistry (1979) a Bachelor of Science degree (1976) from The Ohio State University.  Matthew currently serves on the Academic/Student Committee and Partnerships Committee. 

Trustees Emeriti