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Holden and Pero elected to lead trustees

March 10, 2006

KALAMAZOO--James P. Holden of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Dan Pero of Laingsburg, Mich., have been elected to serve for 2006 as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

The election took place at the annual meeting of the trustees, which this year was held
March 9. All officers serve one-year terms.

Holden was appointed to the WMU board in 2002. He is the former president and chief executive officer of DaimlerChrysler AG.

Holden earned a bachelor's degree in political science from WMU in 1973 and an MBA from Michigan State University in 1990. He began his career in the auto industry with Ford Motor Co. shortly after graduating from WMU. After eight years at Ford, Holden joined the Chrysler Corp. in 1981 as a fleet development manager for truck operations and began a rapid rise through the Chrysler ranks. By 1996, he was one of six executive vice presidents at Chrysler, and in 1998, he helped create the new corporate structure for the merger with Daimler Benz. He was president and chief executive officer of DaimlerChrysler when he left the company in 2000.

Pero, who was appointed to his current term on the board in 2001, is a WMU alumnus and had previously served as a trustee in 1997 until relocation to Florida caused him to step down. He is president of the American Justice Partnership.

Previous positions held by Pero, include partner in the Lansing-based public relations firm of Sterling Corp., managing director for the Michigan office of the public relations firm Weber-Shandwick Worldwide and vice president for Eckerd Corp., a national retail drug firm with headquarters in Florida. Prior to his work in the private sector, the 1973 WMU graduate was former Michigan Gov. John Engler's chief of staff and campaign manager. Pero also is a past member of the Michigan Judicial Commission.

Other WMU board officers elected to one-year terms at the March 9 meeting were Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the board; Robert M. Beam, treasurer and assistant secretary; and Lowell P. Rinker, assistant treasurer. Beam is WMU's vice president for business and finance, and Rinker is associate vice president for business.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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