Meet the Most Diverse Alumni Association Board

The Alumni Association Board of Directors elects a new chair and welcomes three new members, making the board the most diverse in the U-M community.
Read time: 3 minutes

The Alumni Association has welcomed three new members of the Board of Directors, all who bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experience to the table. They are Wayee Chu, ’97; Anup Popat, ’95; and Salene Hitchcock-Gear, ’84.

In addition, the board has named new officers: Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, ’79, Chair, and Bob Stefanski, MSE’86, JD ’89, Past Chair. Ignacio Salazar, MSW’72, Treasurer, and Mary Kay Haben, MBA’79, Secretary, have retained their roles.

With the addition of the new members, the Alumni Association Board of Directors becomes the most diverse board in the U-M community:

  • 43% identify as women
  • 65% are racially diverse
    • 35% are Black
    • 17% are Asian
    • 13% are Latinx

A complete list of the Alumni Association Board of Directors can be found here.

Meet the chair and new board members:

Kathleen Wilson Thompson headshotKathleen Wilson-Thompson, ’79, Chair, has been on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors since 2012. She is the founder and principal of KWT, LLC, a human capital management advisory firm with a client base of global Fortune 500 companies. She’s the former executive vice president and global chief human relations officer of Walgreen’s Boots Alliance, where she helped create a positive work experience for 450,000 employees worldwide. An independent board director, Wilson-Thompson also serves on the Board for Tesla and Wolverine Worldwide and is a member of the NAACP Foundation Board of Trustees.

Wayee ChuWayee Chu, ’97, is a general partner at Reach Capital, a venture fund focused on early-stage education technology startups. Prior to joining Reach, she was the co-founder of the NewSchools Seed Fund, an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch, and finance director for a magazine publishing firm. She began her career as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Anup PopatAnup Popat, ’95, is chairman and CEO of Systems Technology Group (STG), a global technology consulting firm named one of Michigan’s largest Certified Minority Businesses by Crain’s Detroit Business. STG helps Fortune 500 companies and state governments enable their digital transformation ambitions. He is also CIO of the Popat Family office and sits on the board of several Greater Detroit nonprofits.

Salene HitchcockSalene Hitchcock-Gear, ’84, is president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance. An insurance industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Hitchcock-Gear is also president of Prudential Advisors, the company’s national sales organization. Additionally, she represents Prudential as a director on the Women Presidents’ Organization Advisory Board and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

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