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Feb. 14, 2012

Contact Rick Artman at 608-796-3001 or 


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Kent Handel has been named the new chair of the Viterbo University Board of Trustees. He will begin his two-year term July 1 succeeding Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA, who served as chair for eight years, the maximum allowed in the bylaws.

Handel became a trustee in 2009 and has served on the student development committee. He also chairs the facilities committee and has been active in planning for the construction of Clare Apartments and the recently completed School of Nursing building.

“I am looking forward to working with Kent in this very important role for the university,” said Rick Artman, president of Viterbo University. “He succeeds a very effective chair in Sister Mary Ann. I am confident the transition will be a smooth one. I am grateful to Sister Mary Ann for her outstanding leadership and to Kent Handel for this significant commitment of time and service.”

Handel is president and CEO of Trust Point Inc., a trust company in La Crosse. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He has been an active member of the community serving on boards at Family and Children’s Center, Riverfront, Inc., Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, Chileda, La Crosse Symphony, and Riverland Girl Scout Council.

He and his wife Karen have three children: Erin, and Heather, and Ashley, who is a recent Viterbo University graduate.

“Kent is a hard working trustee who is incredibly student oriented. You can always count on him placing a lot of emphasis on assuring that our students are well served,” said Diane Brimmer, vice president of student development.

Outgoing chair Sister Gschwind offered similar support. “I am happy Kent was elected next Board Chair because of his commitment to Viterbo's mission and values. We all have great respect for Kent and recognize his leadership qualities which will serve Viterbo well. It has been exciting for me to see all of the changes that have taken place the past eight years. The university is in excellent shape and, most importantly, the commitment to its Catholic, Franciscan mission remains the focal point of its identity and purpose.”

Handel agrees that the mission and purpose of Viterbo is what the trustees will focus on during times of key decision making. “The fact that the Franciscan Sisters are still very active and nearby, adds to a real sense of direction and mission. Viterbo is a wonderful institution. The university is in excellent financial shape and is blessed with strong leadership and trustee support.”


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