Granddaughter of Kelvin Smith, CWRU grad join University Board of Trustees

Julia Bianco, Staff Reporter

Earlier this month, the Case Western Reserve University Board of Trustees elected Ellen Stirn Mavec and Don Richards to join the other 47 current members.

“Both have years of commitment to CWRU through other membership in committees and personal involvement,” noted Janice Obman, director of Trustee Programs.

“Since all trustees volunteer their time and experience, the board looks for people who have demonstrated that commitment to their community and to CWRU.”

Below is a brief look of what each trustee brings to CWRU.

Ellen Stirn Mavec

University involvement: Mavec is the granddaughter of Kelvin and Eleanor Smith, and is the president of the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, which has donated money to numerous university projects, including the Kelvin Smith Library and the new Tinkham Veale University Center.

Cleveland involvement: Mavec has also been a trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art since 1991. She is on the board of directors for The Cleveland State University Foundation, and is a Life Trustee of the Great Lakes Theater Festival. She is a founding member of In Counsel with Women, a group of women executives in northeast Ohio. In 2003, Mavec was one of YWCA’s Cleveland Women of Achievement. She was also awarded Northern Ohio Live Magazine’s Rainmaker Award in 2004, and was presented with the medal of Excellence from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2008.

Don Richards

University involvement: Richards earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from CWRU in 1979 and his MBA in Operations Management and Supervision in 1981. Now, he co-chairs CWRU’s Corporate Visiting Committee, which gives university leaders a chance to discuss plans for the school with local business leaders. In 2008, he funded the Richards Fellows program, for students with engineering and business interests in the Masters of Engineering and Management program. Richards also recently gave $1 million to the President’s Strategic Initiatives Fund.

Cleveland involvement: Richards worked at Accenture, a Cleveland-based consulting firm, for 30 years before retiring in 2010. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Cate Street Capital, a company devoted to green innovations, as well as Business Volunteers Unlimited and the Cleveland Vicon Company. He is also the secretary for the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Board of Trustees.