Marquette University
Press Release

Marquette University Board of Trustees elects five new members

Five new members were recently elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees

By - Sep 25th, 2014 10:30 am

MILWAUKEE – Five new members were recently elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees: Robert J. Eck, Jon D. Hammes, Nancy Hernandez, Rev. Patrick McGrath, S.J., and Rev. Kevin F. O’Brien, S.J.

“Our new board members represent diverse perspectives that will give even greater depth and breadth to our decision-making processes. As we seek to develop new and innovative partnerships with businesses and other academic institutions, the expertise these individuals bring to the table will be invaluable,” said President Michael R. Lovell. “I look forward to working with them closely to ensure we’re delivering on our promise to provide a transformational student experience that is second-to-none.”

Robert J. Eck, a 1980 graduate of the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, is the president and chief executive officer of Anixter International, Inc., a leading global distributor of enterprise cabling and security solutions, electrical and electronic wire and cable, and fasteners, which was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the “100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America.” Eck joined Anixter in 1989 and has served in a variety of roles in human resources, marketing and sales management. He previously led the global enterprise cabling and security solutions business and served as chief operating officer. Over the course of his career, he led the development and launch of two new service businesses globally.

Eck currently serves on the board of directors of Ryder System, Inc. He is a member of the Marquette University President’s Society and has served on the advisory board of the Center for Supply Chain Management in the College of Business Administration.

Jon D. Hammes is the founder and managing partner of Hammes Company, a leader in the development, financing and management of strategic real estate assets, specifically in the health care and sports industries. The company serves major hospitals, health care systems and physicians groups across the country, including Swedish Health Services in Seattle and Sentara Healthcare in Hampton and Newport News, Virginia, and has been responsible for the development of numerous sports stadiums, including Ford Field in Detroit and the renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Prior to forming Hammes Company, Hammes was a Midwest regional partner for Trammell Crow Company and a member of its management board.

Hammes serves on the boards of the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, the Wisconsin Police Research Institute, WiCab, Inc., and the American Enterprise Institute. He also currently serves as co-chair of the Teach for America-Milwaukee board.

Nancy Hernandez, a 2002 graduate of the Graduate School of Management, is the president and founder of ABRAZO Multicultural Marketing and Communication, a leading integrated marketing firm dedicated to connecting companies, institutions and organizations with Hispanic, African-American and Asian audiences. She developed the business plan that became ABRAZO while completing her MBA at Marquette and has grown the agency into the region’s premier Hispanic/woman-owned marketing company. Nancy has received the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, the Biz Times Innovator Award and the Marquette College of Business Alumni Entrepreneurial Award, and her company was named the 2004 Hispanic Business of the Year by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.

Hernandez is a founding member and past president of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, past president of TEMPO Milwaukee and has served on the executive committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin. She is currently active on boards of the Milwaukee Public Library

Foundation, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Board of Visitors and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce Council of Small Business Executives. Recently, she was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. For her extensive community service and volunteerism, Hernandez was also chosen for the United Way Philanthropic Five award.

Rev. Patrick McGrath, S.J., serves as the president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, the largest Jesuit high school in the United States. Loyola students come from all over the Chicago metropolitan area representing more than 100 different ZIP codes. The mission of Loyola Academy is to form women and men for meaningful lives of leadership and service in imitation of Jesus Christ through a college preparatory education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.

Father McGrath is a popular retreat leader and noted homilist who focuses especially on the practical living of Catholic faith. On weekends, he presides at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview and Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka.

Rev. Kevin F. O’Brien, S.J., has been serving as vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown University since 2011. In this role, Father O’Brien oversees campus ministry programs on four campuses and a mission and pastoral care program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Partnering with a number of colleagues on campus, Father O’Brien is charged with sharing the Catholic and Jesuit tradition of education and spirituality with faculty, students, staff, and alumni through a range of seminars, social justice immersion programs, and retreats.

Father O’Brien is also a lecturer in Georgetown’s Department of Theology and a published scholar and writer in the area of Jesuit history and spirituality. In 2011, Loyola Press published his award-winning book, The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life.

Father O’Brien has taught and served in the chaplaincies at a number of colleges, including Fordham University in New York, Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Loyola University in Baltimore and LeMoyne College in Syracuse.

Before entering the Jesuits, Father O’Brien practiced law as a corporate litigator and taught social sciences in a Catholic high school. In addition to his role as vice president for mission and ministry, Father O’Brien serves as a consultor to the provincial of the Maryland Province of Jesuits.

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