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Eight Alums Elected to UMD Foundation’s Board of Trustees

New Members to Advocate for University Priorities

By Maryland Today Staff

gate with Ms across the top

On July 1, the University of Maryland, College Park Foundation board of trustees will have 68 members, who will encourage and oversee the distribution of private gifts to UMD, advocate on behalf of the university and advise university leadership.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Eight alums with records of professional accomplishment and philanthropic work have been elected trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.

As members of the board of trustees, Alan C. Cason ’80, Ryan L. Dearborn ’90, William J. Fishlinger ’71, Georgette D. Kiser ’89, Randall “Randy” Lord ’77, Norma G. Ramsey ’85, James V. “Jimmy” Reyes ’85 and Jingli Yang Ph.D. ’95 will all seek to advance the university as ambassadors and advisers.

“The UMCP Foundation’s success and growth is directly tied to the quality of our amazing Trustees,” said Craig Thompson, chair of the foundation board. “This latest group of board members will undoubtedly maintain the great tradition of selfless service and dedication to excellence in all that we do on behalf of The University of Maryland. This Board understands the continuing relevance of the African proverb: ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ With these leaders, we will go far.”

The new trustees bring diverse resumes and experiences along with Maryland pride to the 50-member board; their three-year terms begin on July 1. As a group, the board encourages and oversees the distribution of private gifts to UMD, advocates on behalf of the university, and lends its expertise in advising university leadership.

"As a Top 20 public research institution, the University of Maryland strives for excellence in all we do,” said Matt Hodge, vice president for university relations and president of the foundation. “The individuals joining this esteemed group of dedicated volunteers embody this commitment to excellence and share a common understanding of what it means to be a Terp. I look forward to working with each of them as we move Maryland fearlessly forward.”

Alan C. Cason headshot

Alan C. Cason ’80 is a longtime partner at the law firm McGuireWoods, serving as chair of its national public finance practice and as a member of the firm’s executive committee during his tenure. He has counseled many governments, investment banks and developers on bond issues, and he has extensive experience in municipal law and state and local government relations.

He earned his J.D. from the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and has been named among the Best Lawyers in America, winning “Lawyer of the Year” in 2013, 2015 and 2022.

Cason has made gifts supporting the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center Fund, the C.D. Mote, Jr. Incentive Awards Program Fund, the Terrapin Club Scholarship Fund, the Nyumburu Cultural Center’s anniversary fund, the Alumni Association and most recently, an endowed scholarship for student-athletes in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS), named for his late son, Christopher ’15.

He was a UMCPF trustee from 2005-11, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Terrapin Development Company as well as the University System of Maryland Foundation. He was president of the UMD Alumni Association Board of Governors and is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Cason and his wife, Kim ’80, also have a daughter, Shannon, and live in Ellicott City, Md.

Ryan L. Dearborn headshot

Ryan L. Dearborn ’90 is a board member and retired CEO of real estate development firm Wood Partners in Houston. He has also chaired the Terrapin Development Company, the university’s economic development arm, since July 2022.

Dearborn has established two scholarships at UMD, supported an endowed graduate fellowship in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and given to University House. He served on the UMCPF board of trustees from 2009-22, and as an advisory trustee from 2022-23.

He earned a master’s degree in real estate from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his wife, Amanda Price Dearborn, have two children, Spencer and Ethan.

William J. “Bill’ Fishlinger headshot

William J. “Bill’ Fishlinger ’71 is chairman and CEO of Gramercy Risk Holdings, a financial holding company that owns insurance firms and a risk management platform, and its subsidiary corporation. He is also the founder of what became The Wright Insurance Group in 1976, which he sold in 2014.

He and his son, Matthew ’07, through their family foundation endowed an entrepreneurship fund in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, a career planning position in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, a scholarship and a student opportunities fund, and a lecture series in the Smith School’s Center for Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime.

Beyond his active role at UMD, Fishlinger serves on multiple boards in the public and private sectors including as National Chairman of the Diabetes Institute Research Foundation and is a trustee of the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Fishlinger, who graduated from St. John's University School of Law, and his wife, Joan, also have a daughter, Ali and 5 young granddaughters.

Georgette D. Kiser headshot

Georgette D. Kiser ’89 is an independent advisor leading due diligence and technical strategies across various private equity and venture capital firms. Previously she served as the Chief Information Officer at the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Prior to the Carlyle Group, she spent 19 years managing technological solutions at T. Rowe Price after serving at General Electric Aerospace.

She has been honored as one of the Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” and one of Black Enterprise’s 300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America; and one of the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology.

Kiser serves on the board of directors of Aflac, Jacobs Solutions, NCR and Adtalem Global Education. She has also served on the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences’ board of visitors since 2020. She is an annual donor to the college and was its December 2017 commencement speaker.

She earned an M.S. from Villanova University and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. Kiser has two sons, Myles Vilceus and Noah Vilceus, both accomplished Engineers.

Randall “Randy” Lord headshot

Randall “Randy” Lord ’77 is a retired partner with Jackson Lewis in Orlando, Fla., one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms. He was previously in-house litigation counsel for Walt Disney Co. and, before going to law school at the University of Florida spent nearly a decade as a professional pianist and actor with many TV and movie credits.

He was appointed to the charter board of the Florida Entertainment Commission and also has served on the boards of Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Florida. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Florida Bar's Trial Lawyers section and Labor and Employment Law section.

He and his husband established the Randy Lord and Steve Fessler Endowed Graduate Assistantship in Theatre at UMD and a similar assistantship at the University of South Florida.

Norma C. Ramsey headshot

Norma C. Ramsey ’85 is president of the Ramsey Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to children, education, health care and the arts.

Additionally, she serves as the chair of the board of trustees of The Potomac School, a K-12 Independent school in McLean, Virginia, and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health.

She has served on the executive committee for organizations including the Inova Health System Foundation Board, Children’s National Hospital Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, The Wolf Trap Foundation, Knock Out Abuse, the We Are Family Foundation, the executive committee of the Deacon Club Board at Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia Parents Council.

At UMD, she supports the Alumni Association and as a student was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. 

She and her husband, Russ, reside in Virginia and have four children: Bailey, Eric, Mark and Paige.

James V. “Jimmy” Reyes headshot

James V. “Jimmy” Reyes ’85 is president of Reyes Holdings, the largest McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and beer distributor in the United States; it also operates in 19 other countries.

He serves on the board at Children’s National Hospital Foundation, was chairman of the board of the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and served on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors.

He and his brothers (including Chris ’75) established the Joseph A. Reyes, Jr. ’57 Endowed Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Frances Reyes Endowed Department Chair in Mechanical Engineering, named for their parents. Joseph Reyes was a longtime member of the A. James Clark School of Engineering Board of Visitors. Jimmy Reyes also has supported Maryland Basketball and Cole Field House. As a student, he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity and captain of the men’s rugby team.

He and his wife, Jennifer Blair Reyes, reside in Palm Beach, Fla., and he has two children, Calvin and Maggie.

Jingli Yang headshot

Jingli Yang Ph.D. ’95 has been co-founder and CEO of Earth Resources Technology in Laurel, Md., since 2001; she has over 28 years of experience in Earth remote sensing, science data systems, and geospatial interoperability for NASA and NOAA.

She has been president of the Maryland Space Business Roundtable; chaired the NASA Goddard Contractors’ Association and sat on the Maryland Federal Facility Advisory Board.

Yang has been a member of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ board of visitors since 2018.

Yang, who arrived at UMD as a graduate student from China, has made individual annual contributions to support Department of Geographical Sciences students since 1995; she and her husband, Peter Li, have also endowed funds to help students pursue summer research and other opportunities there.

She and Li, fellow co-founder and president of ERT, have two children, Kristin and Kevin, and live in Severna Park, Md.





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