New directors, officers appointed to Auburn University Foundation Board

Published: February 02, 2017
Updated: June 21, 2017
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The Auburn University Foundation recently appointed four new directors to its board: Leslee Belluchie of Great Falls, Virginia; Kerry Bradley of Auburn; Bruce Donnellan of Birmingham; and Javier Goizueta of Atlanta. The board also named Mike McLain '72 of Atlanta as its new chair and Benny LaRussa '82 of Birmingham as vice chair.

"Through their work to foster philanthropic relationships with our alumni and friends, our directors help ensure that Auburn maintains a high level of performance, effectiveness and accountability in its fundraising efforts," said Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "Our foundation directors are important partners with the professional fundraising staff in Auburn's Office of Development."

McLain is CEO and managing partner of ICON Investment Partners in Atlanta and is a senior advisor to Irving Place Capital in New York. He succeeds Thomas Gossom Jr. '75 of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, as chair. LaRussa is founder and chief executive officer for Sterling Capital Management.

Belluchie earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn in 1983. She has more than 20 years of experience in operations and management of government contracting companies. She currently is a managing partner with FedCap Partners LLC.

A 1979 marketing graduate, Bradley is retired president of Luxottica Retail. During his tenure with Luxottica, he served as vision development chairman and was responsible for the mentorship and guidance of such brands as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut.

Donnellan received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Auburn in 1976 and his MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He is a principal and founding member of Vulcan Value Partners, a money management firm.

Goizueta, a 1981 public relations graduate, retired in 2015 from his positions as vice president of the Coca-Cola Company and president of the global McDonald's division. He was responsible for building the strategic alliance with McDonald's in more than 33,000 restaurants and more than 109 countries.

The Auburn University Foundation, which receives all charitable contributions made in support of and to benefit Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery, was formed in 1960 and is led by a volunteer board of 24 voting directors. The board of directors is responsible for the management of the affairs, property and business of the Auburn University Foundation. Directors are elected for a four-year term and may serve two terms. In addition, the president of Auburn University, the chancellor of Auburn University Montgomery and the president of the Auburn Alumni Association serve as non-voting ex-officio members of the board.

Foundation directors work in tandem with Auburn University's fundraising professionals in its Office of Development to seek philanthropic support that advances academic and student programs, increases scholarships and fellowships and enhances quality faculty and instruction. Directors whose board service concluded in 2016 include Gossom and Melanie Barstad '75 of Westlake, Texas.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.