Southern Utah University’s Board of Trustees contains a remarkably diverse group of professionals. Each board member contributes a unique perspective thanks to their prestigious careers and personal accolades. According to the the Utah System of Higher Education, the Government appointed Board of Trustees holds four specific duties. The Trustees:
“facilitate communication between the institution [SUU] and the community… assist in planning, implementing, and executing fundraising and development projects aimed at supplementing institutional appropriations… perpetuate and strengthen alumni and community identification with the institution’s tradition and goals… [and] select recipients of honorary degrees.”
Eric O. Leavitt is the Chair of the Board of Trustees. This Cedar City native began his higher education journey at SUU before graduating from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York where he was a recipient of the prestigious John M. Olin Fellowship.
Leavitt is the President of Leavitt Group Enterprises, Inc. In addition to serving on the SUU Board of Trustees, he also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Zions First National Bank, and the Board of Directors of Southwest Applied Technology college. He has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2011.
Sherrie Hansen is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Hansen has worked in the insurance field for about a quarter of a century. She recently retired from running a State Farm Insurance Agency in Cedar City. Hansen is also a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and has served on four other committees/boards. She remains active in the Cedar City Rotary Club where she was the first female president from 2005 to 2006.
Previous mayor of Cedar City and President of SUU Gerald Sherratt said that, “Sherrie is a very intelligent, positive person with a capacity to make people feel at ease. She has been a valuable asset to Cedar City and to Southern Utah University, where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.” She has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2011.
SUU’s Student Body President, D’Mia Lamar, also sits on the board and represents the student voice in meetings. Lamar is a double major in political science and philosophy with a minor in legal studies. As student body president, Lamar wishes to build upon SUU’s growth and continue progressing the institution forward. She is passionate about working hard to create a welcoming environment at SUU for all students.
Lamar is actively involved in a number of clubs and organizations. She’s been a student ambassador, involved with the Black Student Union, served as Senator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, been a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, and acted as the Vice President of Finance for the SUUSA Senate. Lamar was also named Miss Roy and fourth runner-up for Miss Utah in 2016, for which she was awarded a scholarship. Her future goals include traveling abroad and attending law school in hopes of becoming a judge or lobbyist. She has been serving on the Board of Trustees since April 2018.
Shannon Dulaney is a member of the Board and was named Cedar City’s Woman of the Year for 2018. Dulaney has dedicated her life to education and holds a variety of distinguished achievements and positions, including Iron County School District Superintendent of Education (since 2013). Dulaney attended SUU to obtain her masters degree in education before receiving her doctorate degree in Education from Utah State University.
Dulaney has also written several scholarly publications including “Superintendent Perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support”, “A Middle School’s Response to Intervention Journey”, and “Trust at Ground Zero”. Dulaney believes “all educators should be actively engaged in learning throughout their lives: those that choose the administrative path included.” She has been serving on the Board of Trustees since January 2015.
Marshall Erb is a founding member of EnergySolutions, where he now serves as the Vice President of Finance & Accounting. While managing the EnergySolutions financial team, Erb attained eight domestic and international business acquisitions. These acquisitions earned the company $2.1 billion in revenue and awarded status on the New York Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company.
Erb is a Portland State University graduate, and also currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Treasurer of Veracity Networks in addition to his position as Western Regional Director of Finance & Accounting with XO Communications. He has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2011.
Scott Johnson graduated from SUU summa cum laude in 1984. Johnson is a two-time recipient of the esteemed R. Kenneth Benson award, named Outstanding Accounting Student in 1984, and named Distinguished Scholar from the School of Business. During his student years he was also involved with the executive council, ambassadors, student senate and served as president of Phi Beta Lambda.
Johnson has also received his CPA in Nevada, twice been invited to speak for the National Credit Union Convention, worked for the national accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, and worked for Silver State Federal Credit Union (Nevada’s second largest credit union). Today Johnson serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer for the Valley Bank of Nevada, and the Alumni President of SUU. He has been serving on the Board of Trustees since August 2016.
A successful entrepreneur, Richard J. Christiansen has founded/co-founded 49 businesses, 16 of which have become multimillion-dollar companies. He is the national bestselling author of The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life alongside his other two co-authored books Bootstrap Business and Even in Your Toes Turn Purple: Raising Teenagers That Are Confident, Happy, and Stand Out.
Christiansen graduated from Brigham Young University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering technology, before graduating Marriott School of Business (BYU) in 1991 with a master’s degree in business. He is also an active philanthropist, focusing specifically on the people of Nepal. Christiansen currently conducts business in 14 countries. He has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2017.
Michael Wankier is the Chief Financial Officer for the Larry H. Miller Management Company. He first joined the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation in July 2012 as Director of Financial Reporting. Wankier graduated with a Masters of Accounting in 2001 from SUU, where he met his wife Timette
Other companies and titles Wankier has held include Corporate Controller of Devcon Security, Group Controller of Pinnacle Security, and Audit Senior Manager of Arthur Andersen/KPMG LLP. He has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2017.
Jodi Hart-Wilson, is a well-known lobbyist in Utah for her great knowledge and expertise of public policy issues. Hart-Wilson has been a lobbyist with RRJ Consulting since 1998, and was made partner in 2002. After interning with the Utah State Legislature, she was the first Student Lobbyist working for the Utah State Board of Regents; during which she represented all nine universities and colleges in Utah. She has also been involved as Board President in planting a new school, Advantage Arts Academy, opening August 2019 that is focused on integrating academics and arts.
Hart-Wilson is a proud 1996 SUU graduate with a bachelor of science degree in Interpersonal Communications and Political Science. Recently, she participated in the SUU Entrepreneurship Speaker series discussing how SUU provided her opportunities to her current profession. She has been serving on the Board of Trustees since July 2017.
Marilee Eyre is SUU’s newest Trustee. Eyre graduated from SUU in 1998 with her Master’s of Education degree. She has received several awards from SUU including Outstanding English Student (1990), FBLA-PBL first in state Ms. Future Business Teacher and Business Communications (1990), Utah Business Magazine 1990 Top Business Scholar, Vocational Excellence post Secondary Business Award (1989), and SUSC Baccalaureate Outstanding Student Speaker (1989).
In addition to being a College Board Mentor, Eyre was a Beaver High School (BHS) English and Vocational Teacher (1990-2017), a Southern Utah University Adjunct English Professor (1999-2017), and a Snow College Adjunct English Professor (1998-2011). At Beaver High School, she was the Head Forensics/Debate Coach, Head Girls Golf Coach, Assistant Boys Golf Coach, Head Softball Coach, Capitol Forum Presenter, and an Academic Decathlon Coach.
All Trustees, with the exception of the Iron County Superintendent of Schools (Shannon Dulaney), the SUUSA President (D’Mia Lamar), and Alumni President (Scott Johnson) are appointed by the Governor. Each Trustee can serve a maximum of two four-year terms. The Board of Trustees meet approximately six times a year with the Chair (Eric O. Leavitt) presiding, and the vice-chair (Sherrie Hansen) filling in as needed.