Hodges University Welcomes New Board of Trustees Members
Hodges University is
pleased to announce the appointments of William L. Barton, Jerry Nichols and Richard
Pitbladdo to the university’s Board of Trustees.
“Hodges University is
proud to welcome William Barton, Jerry Nichols and Richard Pitbladdo to our
Board of Trustees. Their professional experience combined with their active
involvement within the Southwest Florida community, as well as their commitment
to higher education, makes them model additions to our board,” said Dr. Donald
Wortham, president of Hodges University.
William L. Barton is
the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of WilsonMiller,
Inc., which is now Stantec, Inc. Earning a Bachelor of Science in civil
engineering from Auburn University in 1961, he spent 35 years providing
professional services for the land development industry and government
infrastructure. Retiring from WilsonMiller, Inc. in 1999, he was a leader in the
growth of the company, which increased from 25 to 230+ employees. He also served
as a project manager for various projects having a construction value
surpassing $300 million.
Barton has served on
various committees and board of directors throughout Southwest Florida,
including Alico, Inc., Barnett Bank of Naples, Village Banc of Naples and Golf
Club of the Everglades, Inc. Currently, he is a principal and rotating chairman
of the management committee for the Panther Island Migration Bank, and he is a
founding member, corporate secretary and board member for Olde Florida Golf
Throughout his career,
he has earned the Naples Area Board of Realtors Ad Miller Award (2004), Collier
County Junior Achievement Laureate (1995), Florida Engineer Society’s
Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession Award (1990), Florida
Engineer Society’s Governor Gilchrist Award (1983) and Naples Daily News/Naples
Area Chamber of Commerce Collier County Outstanding Citizen’s Award (1979). In
addition, Barton received the President’s Volunteer Action award during a White
House presentation by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
From 1980-82, Barton
was the founding president of the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free
Youth. He personally solicited First Lady Nancy Reagan to participate in
America's adolescent drug abuse issues, resulting in her “Just Say No” program.
In his retirement,
Barton has remained active in the community, currently serving as a board
member with the Baker Park Committee, president of the Southwest Florida Land
Preservation Trust and ruling elder with First Presbyterian Church of Naples.
A resident of Southwest
Florida for more than 40 years, Jerry F. Nichols is the senior vice president
for Brown & Brown Benefits and financial representative for Northwestern
Mutual Financial Network.
Dedicated to bettering
the lives of children and working adults in Southwest Florida, Nichols and his
late wife, Arlene, provided financial contributions and volunteerism to their
church and various nonprofit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of
Collier County, Community Foundation of Collier County, Quest for Kids,
American Red Cross and the Ronald McDonald House and Care Mobile. He was also
named a Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Laureate.
Instrumental in the
growth and development of the university and community, the Nicholses were
selected as the 2008 Hodges University Humanitarians of the Year. Two years
later, in honor of their support, the School of Professional Studies at Hodges
was renamed the Nichols School of Professional Studies.
involvement with Hodges includes serving as chairman of the university’s
President’s Society in 2008, as well as support the American Military Veterans
Education Fund, which provides scholarship assistance to returning veterans
seeking higher education at Hodges. He also established an endowment fund at
the university to ensure the future of the institution.
Dr. Richard Pitbladdo is
the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of LTC Global,
Inc. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University before serving
as a business professor at the Simon School of Business at the University of
Rochester. After a sabbatical at Harvard University, he decided to pursue
real-world business experience, joining John Hancock Life Insurance Company as
an actuary where he specialized in risk management. As a result of his efforts
at John Hancock Life Insurance Company and GE Capital Assurance, he saved both
companies from multi-billion dollar losses from the risk of declining interest
rates during past decades.
He later founded LTC
Global, Inc., which is headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida. LTC Global became
the world’s largest distributor of long-term care insurance, a significant
distributor of other senior insurance products and a major provider of capital
to senior market insurance agencies.
After years of
experience in the corporate world, Pitbladdo has been spending his time serving
the Southwest Florida community. He is a trustee of Southwest Florida
Children’s Charities, board member of the Heights Foundation, and he volunteers
to help local businesses achieve their goals.
appointment to the Hodges University Board of Trustees, Pitbladdo said, “I look
forward to helping Hodges University execute its mission of supporting
Southwest Florida by ensuring its residents have access to a quality college
education and that local businesses can be supported by a well prepared and