Fr. John Puodziunas, O.F.M., of Franklin, Wis., named to St. Bonaventure Board of Trustees
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY (02/10/2014)(readMedia)-- St. Bonaventure University has welcomed the Very Rev. John Puodziunas, O.F.M., of Franklin, Wis., to its Board of Trustees for a three-year term. Fr. John is among six new members appointed in recent months.
The Very Rev. John E. Puodziunas, O.F.M., is the Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Friars Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) Province in Franklin, Wis.
With a background in actuarial sciences, accounting, investment theory and practice, strategic planning, and governance structures of not-for-profit organizations, he also serves as president of the English Speaking Conference of Provincials, as a trustee of the Christian Brothers Religious Communities Trust, and as a board member of the Resource Center for Religious Institutes. He serves the Franciscan Order as General Delegate for the General Secretary of the Franciscan Missions, overseeing a structural reorganization of this development office for the missions of the Order, and as president of the Order's Economic Commission for the Custody of the Holy Land.
To complement his ministry in leadership and administration, Fr. John has been involved in pastoral ministry, including parish work, preaching parish missions, evangelization, chaplain appointments in high schools and universities, and leading Franciscan pilgrimages to Rome and Assisi.
Fr. John, a native of Philadelphia, made final profession as a friar in 1986 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1987.
Other new trustees are Michael Hill of Washington, D.C., Robert P. Kane of Morris Plains, N.J., Cindy Abbott Letro of Buffalo, Major Gen. Les Palm (Ret.) of Charlotte, N.C., and Dr. Yvonne Minor Ragan of Buffalo.
Michael Hill, a member of St. Bonaventure's class of 1996, is chief executive officer/president at Youth For Understanding (YFU) USA and an adjunct professor of arts management at George Mason University.
Hill joined YFU from United Cerebral Palsy's international office, where he served as senior vice president of external affairs. In that role, he led international public education, fundraising, communications, marketing and branding efforts for one of the world's largest health care charities.
Prior to joining UCP, Hill served as executive director for external relations at Washington National Cathedral. He also directed a $125 million effort to expand the historic Arena Stage, and served as executive director of St. Bonaventure's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Starting his career as a journalist, Hill served as a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Fellow and as a staff correspondent for the Courier-Observer. In 2012, he was selected as one 12 American Express NGen Leadership Fellows in the United States. He serves in various capacities for cultural and children's charities in the Greater Washington, D.C., area, as well as on St. Bonaventure's School of Journalism and Mass Communication Advisory Council. He previously served on St. Bonaventure's National Alumni Association Board.
Robert P. Kane, a member of St. Bonaventure's class of 1978, is a senior partner with Training Unlimited, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in training, organizational development, human resources and communications. Prior to founding Training Unlimited in 1999, Kane built a successful career within the financial services industry. During his tenure with Merrill Lynch, he held key roles including Vice President of Organizational Development and Quality Manager, where he managed the marketing and implementation of organizational and cultural changes to 2,800 employees across 700 branch offices. Additionally, he was the Administrative Services Manager for the internal training group with responsibilities for managing administrative, communications, human resources, facilities, and technology functions across multiple sites.
Kane is the co-author of Putting Your Best Foot Forward: School to Work Program, which is utilized by thousands of high school and college students to help prepare them for the job search process.
Active in the human resources profession, Kane is past president (2010-2011) of the Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources.
Kane, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from St. Bonaventure, was named to the National Alumni Association Board in 2008 and was elected president in May 2013.
Cindy Abbott Letro is a broadcast professional with more than 25 years of news, marketing and public relations experience. She is the business manager of her husband's law practice, Francis M. Letro, Attorneys at Law, in Buffalo, N.Y.
She is a committed community volunteer using her marketing expertise to raise millions of dollars for not-for-profit organizations. She was appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to head the Niagara Regional Parks Commission, which encompasses Niagara Falls. She is the immediate past chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board, leading the orchestra's successful trip in May 2013 to Carnegie Hall that broke box office records, and chaired the Burchfield Penney Art Center board during its successful $34 million drive to build a new facility.
She is a member of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts Advisory Board. In 2007, she was inducted into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame and, in 2011, she and her husband, Francis, received the Buffalo Gaudete Award from St. Bonaventure.
Letro holds degrees from The College of Wooster and Syracuse University. She and her husband make their home in the city of Buffalo.
Major Gen. Les Palm (Ret.) is a former president and chief executive officer of the Marine Corps Association and Marine Corps Association Foundation in Quantico, Va. The Marine Corps Association Foundation (MCAF) is a non-profit charitable organization within the Marine Corps Association.
He retired from the Marine Corps in August 1998 after 32 years of active service. His Marine career included combat tours in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer and in the Gulf War as an artillery regimental commander. His general officer assignments included being the director of Marine Corps manpower policies, programs and budget; the commander of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms California; and the director of the Headquarters Marine Corps Staff.
Palm serves on the board of the Washington Theological Union.
He and his wife, Suzanne, are members of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Charlotte, N.C. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.
Dr. Yvonne Minor Ragan is director of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood and former principal of Westminster Community Charter School in Buffalo. She is recognized as an influential leader and citizen of Buffalo, particularly on education and public policy.
She has a national and international reputation as an accomplished motivational speaker and has been featured on CNN News, Christian Science Monitor, Educational Week, the Buffalo News, and Public Broadcasting Services.
She earned a bachelor's degree from Roosevelt University, a master's degree in education from Chicago State University, and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also holds a number of certifications, including certification in administration and supervision, guidance and counseling from Chicago State University; superintendent's certification from the state of Illinois; and a school district administrator's certification from New York state. In addition, she has completed advanced executive education coursework at Harvard University.
She and her husband, Phillip, have four children. They are members of Bethel A.M.E. Church.
About the University: The nation's first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.