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Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business Names Five New Members to Board of Overseers

Bernadette Spong

Winter Park, FL (December 5, 2016) – Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business is expanding their Board of Overseers with the addition of five new members. The esteemed group, comprised of Titian Austin, Rex V. McPherson II, Leigh Anne Nieman, Phillip Rich, and Bernadette Spong, was added in an effort to reflect the diversification of the Central Florida economy and to represent the varied sectors that Crummer students and alumni thrive in today.

“We are honored to welcome this group of distinguished professionals to Crummer’s Board of Overseers, representing a wide array of industries and experiences,” says Dr. Deborah Crown, Dean of Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business. “I am confident that our new members will further enhance Crummer’s commitment to the Central Florida community and to developing business leaders around the globe.”

The purpose of the Board of Overseers is to advance the vision of the Crummer Graduate School of Business as a recognized leader in graduate business education with a reputation for producing highly successful managers and leaders who add significant value to their organizations and their communities.

In 2016, Crummer refreshed their curriculum with a new and diverse range of elective courses designed to align with changes occurring in the marketplace. This fall, they became the first AACSB- accredited school in Florida to graduate students with an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) degree. Celebrating their 60th Anniversary in 2017, Crummer will welcome the largest-ever spring intake of Central Florida working professionals within their Professional MBA program.

Additional information on Crummer’s new board members:


Titian Austin    Titian Austin

Managing Director – Wealth Management

Merrill Lynch

Titian is a Managing Director with Merrill Lynch, part of a team helping clients manage more than $700 million in assets. A Certified Financial Planner, CFP®, and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®, she was named Financial Advisor of the Year for Merrill Lynch in Central Florida in 2015.

Titian is a frequent speaker and expert contributor to radio shows in the Central Florida area and lives in Winter Park with her husband.

Titian graduated cum laude from Rollins College in 1979 and attended the Crummer Graduate School of Business from 1980-1981.


Rex V. McPherson IIRex V. McPherson II

RD Keene Trust

Rex V. McPherson II is Director and President of Lake Butler Groves, Inc., Keene Properties, Inc., and other related entities (collectively referred to as R.D. Keene Trust “RDK”). He began work for RDK in 1974, was elected president in 1981 and today concentrates his efforts on investment strategy, citrus operations, land utilization, legal affairs, and overall strategic planning.

Rex serves the Central Florida community as chair of the Downtown South Neighborhood Improvement District and board member of Orlando Health. He has previously held leadership board positions with the Winter Garden Citrus Products Cooperative, the Mid-Florida Citrus Foundation and the Florida Citrus Commission.

Rex received his bachelor of arts from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from Crummer.


Leigh Anne NiemanLeigh Anne Nieman

Director of Member Experiences

Disney Vacation Club

Leigh Anne Nieman is the Director of Member Experiences for Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s rapidly growing timeshare business, which offers innovative vacation ownership to more than 500,000 individual members in nearly 100 countries. In her role, she leads the Member Experiences organization which is responsible for member vacation planning and resort experiences as well as managing a portfolio of vacation options and programs across the Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Leigh Anne serves on many industry boards as well as the Rollins College Leadership Center Advisory Board and graduated with Honors with a MBA degree from Crummer.


Phillip RichPhillip Rich

Chief Market Strategist

Seaside Bank

Philip Rich brings over 22 years’ experience in the trust and investment management business to his current role as Market Strategist for Seaside. He was previously a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Trusco Capital Management, SunTrust’s Registered Investment Advisor subsidiary. From 2001

to 2005, Philip was responsible for the development of SunTrust’s Rollover Solution Center, a specialized advisory group designed to serve the needs of participants transitioning out of 401(k) plans.

Philip earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and stayed within the family to earn his MBA degree from Crummer. He currently serves as an adjunct instructor at Crummer.


Bernadette SpongBernadette Spong

Chief Financial Officer

Orlando Health

As Chief Financial Officer at Orlando Health, Bernadette Spong oversees all facets of financial operations, including finance, supply chain, information services, revenue management, asset strategy and care coordination. Bernadette has brought financial transparency to the organization, teaching healthcare finance classes to nursing leaders and other clinicians.

Prior to joining Orlando Health, Bernadette served as SVP/CFO of network hospitals for the $3.4 billion University of North Carolina HealthCare system in Chapel Hill and CFO of UNC Rex Health Care.

A licensed CPA in Florida and North Carolina, Bernadette holds a BS in Accounting from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MBA from Elon University. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Becker’s Hospital Review 2015 “131 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” and Becker’s Hospital Review 2016 “150 Hospital and Health System Chief Financial Officers to Know.”


About Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business

Just outside Orlando in Winter Park is the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business, a graduate school distinguished by its renowned faculty, intimate class size and applied approach to learning. It touts top MBA rankings from Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes magazines and is among a select group of business schools carrying AACSB International graduate-level accreditation, including the first accredited Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program in the state. Additionally, Crummer was recently named the #1 masters program in the country for leadership and organizational development by HR.com’s prestigious Leadership Excellence Awards. The school also houses six Centers of Excellence: Leadership Development, Advanced Entrepreneurship, Career Resources, Management & Executive Education, Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and the Crummer Alumni Association. For more information, visit www.rollins.edu/business.

Rollins College is Florida’s oldest recognized college and consistently ranks high among regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It serves approximately 3,300 degree-seeking students annually through its full-time undergraduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Professional Studies, as well as through the Crummer Graduate School of Business and the Hamilton Holt School, which serves working adults. For more information, visit rollins.edu.

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