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Miller, Tolbert to lead WMU trustees for 2009

Feb. 5, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Kenneth V. Miller and Larry Tolbert, both of Kalamazoo, have been elected to serve for 2009 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 Feb. 4. All officers serve one-year terms. Miller was elected to a second term as board chair, while Tolbert replaces Trustee William J. Martin of Battle Creek, who remains on the board.

Miller was appointed to the WMU board in 2002 and in 2006-07 headed the search process that led to the selection of Dr. John M. Dunn as the University's eighth president.

He is vice president and chief operating officer of Havirco, a Kalamazoo investment management firm, which he has co-owned since 1983. He is also owner of the Millennium Restaurant Group, which owns and operates restaurants in Southwest Michigan, including the Union Cabaret and Grille, a WMU-theme restaurant on the Kalamazoo downtown mall. Miller earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in business administration from WMU and a juris doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He serves as a director of the WMU Foundation.

Tolbert, who was appointed to the WMU board by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2005, is a 1975 WMU alumnus who earned a bachelor's degree in political science. He is a marketing representative and secretary of health, welfare and pension funds for the Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, a labor organization covering West Michigan and parts of mid-Michigan. He served as vice chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee during the process that led to Dunn's selection in 2007.

Other WMU board officers elected to one-year terms at the Feb. 4 meeting were Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the board; Lowell P. Rinker, treasurer and assistant secretary; and Janice Van Der Kley, assistant treasurer. Rinker is WMU's vice president for business and chief financial officer. Van Der Kley is associate vice president for finance.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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