The University of St. Thomas welcomed seven new members to its Board of Trustees on July 1.
The new trustees are: Ashley R. Bailey-Chang ’12; Kathlene Holmes Campbell, PhD; Mark Dienhart ’75, PhD; David John ’88; Robert D. Kelly, PhD; Bill Lentsch ’96 MBA; and Anne Sempowski Ward.
“Our new trustees are exceptional leaders in a wide range of fields,” President Rob Vischer said. “They bring diverse perspectives and a commitment to the whole-person formation that drives the impact of a St. Thomas education. We are honored to welcome them onto our board.”
About the new trustees
Ashley R. Bailey-Chang ’12
Bailey-Chang is past president of the St. Thomas Alumni Advisory Board and an associate attorney at DLA Piper. At DLA Piper, Bailey-Chang focuses her practice in corporate law, with an emphasis on cross-border transactions.
She assists clients with domestic and international transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, and other strategic business arrangements. In addition, she advises clients on general corporate matters, including corporate governance.
A St. Thomas alumna, Bailey-Chang received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2012. She became the alumni representative to the Board of Trustees on July 1, following her term as president of the St. Thomas Alumni Advisory Board.
Kathlene Holmes Campbell, PhD
The former dean of St. Thomas’ School of Education, Campbell is currently the chief executive officer of the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR). Her multifaceted experience as a classroom teacher, community college and state college professor, university instructor and supervisor, university dean, and nonprofit consultant have shaped her strategic and scholarly pursuits.
At St. Thomas, Campbell oversaw the departments of educational leadership, special education, and teacher education as well as the charter school authorizing unit and the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education (MITIE).
Before coming to St. Thomas, Campbell was a program director for NCTR, where she led programming to provide technical assistance to IHEs and colleges of education transitioning to a teacher residency or other clinically oriented teacher preparation program. Earlier in her career, Campbell served as a director of alternative certification and interim dean of education at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master of Education in early childhood intervention and family studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from The University of Texas at Austin.
Mark Dienhart ’75, PhD
Dienhart is president and CEO of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The foundation is among the larger funders in Florida and Minnesota and issues about $50 million in grants annually. He is also a member of the foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Prior to being invited to lead the foundation, Dienhart was executive vice president and chief operating officer of St. Thomas and was responsible for managing its nonacademic administrative operations and directing a $515 million capital campaign, the largest in St. Thomas’ history. He spent a total of 26 years working at St. Thomas over two separate periods, serving in a variety of capacities. He also spent 10 years with the University of Minnesota managing men’s athletics, including five years heading the department as director.
A Minneapolis native, Dienhart graduated summa cum laude from St. Thomas in 1975, was an All-American and Academic All-American in two sports, played briefly in the NFL and still holds a St. Thomas track and field record. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota, was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship and has completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford and Harvard Universities. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at St. Thomas and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
David John ’88
John is the managing director of ASC Trust LLC, the leader of retirement plan management in Micronesia. He is a deeply involved community member, both in Minnesota and on the island of Guam. John is currently chairman of the board of directors of the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), a board member of GTA TeleGuam LLC, a board member of the Bank of Guam, and past chairman and active board member of the University of Guam Endowment Foundation.
John earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Thomas in 1988.
Robert D. Kelly, PhD
Robert D. Kelly, PhD, became the 21st president of the University of Portland on July 1, 2022. He is the first layperson and first person of color to lead UP, a Roman Catholic, Holy Cross institution founded in 1901.
Prior to joining UP, Kelly served as university vice president, special assistant to the president, and clinical professor at Loyola University Maryland, with responsibility for mission and identity, intercollegiate athletics, student development, emergency management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more. He has held senior administrative and teaching positions as vice president at Loyola University Chicago, Seattle University, and Union College.
Kelly holds a doctorate in philosophy, education policy, planning and administration from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Vermont; and a bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola University Maryland. For 14 years, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Loyola. Kelly is the author of two books: Transformational Encounters and Disruptive Transformation. His research focuses on ethics in higher education and transforming the university environment for student success.
Bill Lentsch ’96 MBA
For more than 31 years, Lentsch held various airline industry leadership roles. In 2021, he retired from his position as executive vice president and chief customer experience officer at Delta Air Lines. In that role, Lentsch led more than 55,000 employees who were directly responsible for delivering the customer experience through global airports, inflight service, reservations, operations center and customer care. His team was also responsible for Delta’s product design and customer insights and analytics.
In the fall of 2021, Lentsch brought his customer focus and operational expertise to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in his role as chief operating officer. In this capacity, Lentsch is leading efforts to improve organizational operations, structures and efficiencies in the archdiocese and take the business and leadership lessons he’s learned in the past 31 years to help move the archdiocese forward.
Bill received a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and mechanics from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Anne Sempowski Ward
Sempowski Ward serves as a board director of SPS Commerce, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, The Lip Bar, and CEO of CURiO Brands, a high-growth, private equity-backed portfolio of beauty, wellness and home fragrance brands. Over her career, she has worked as a process engineer in a manufacturing plant, led billion-dollar brands, integrated large-scale acquisitions, spearheaded CEO-sponsored growth strategies, and orchestrated turnarounds.
She has spent half her 30-year career leading brands and architecting key corporate growth strategies in Fortune 100 corporations. The other half has been focused on building high-growth, middle-market companies. She is recognized as a well-rounded, astute and transformational leader who guides people, brands and organizations through major growth and cultural change. Sempowski Ward has deep experience in public company governance, building passion brands, developing commercial strategies, and scaling fast-growing companies.
As current CEO and chair of CURiO, Sempowski Ward has more than quadrupled the company’s revenues and profit, led two highly successful founder and private equity transitions and completed two transformative acquisitions. Prior to CURiO, she held key leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Johnson Publishing Company. A Detroit native, Sempowski Ward is a two-time Duke University graduate, receiving both her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and MBA from the Fuqua School of Business. She has been a very active volunteer, voice and leader on various Duke boards for more than a decade.