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Rochester Institute of Technology
Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty

Steering Board

Kraig Kayser

Mr. Kayser is President and Chief Executive Officer of Seneca Foods Corporation since 1993 and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 1991 to 1993. He was a Vice President of J. P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc., New York, New York from 1989 to 1991 and Assistant Vice President until 1989. He graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Economics in 1982 and Cornell University with a MBA in Finance in 1984.

He is on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Moog, Inc., East Aurora, New York;; Trustee, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, Member of the Advisory Council and Finance Committee of the St. Monica School, San Francisco, California; Former Trustee and past Chairman of the Endowment, Audit, and Conflicts of Interest Committees of Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York; Former Member of Advisory Council of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; and Past President of the Board of Trustees, Harley School, Rochester, New York.

He is married to Suzette, and they have two daughters, Sophia (9) and Juliette (6).

Harlan Calkins

Harlan D. Calkins is Chairman of the Board of Rochester Midland Corporation, a fourth generation, privately held company based in Rochester, New York. He was the CEO until January 2012, when that role was handed over to current Co-CEOs H.Bradley Calkins, and Katherine C. Lindahl. RMC has manufacturing facilities in California, Chicago, Rochester, Toronto, and Wales, and markets its chemical specialty products in throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as 60 other countries throughout the world.

Harlan Calkins attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in 1954 with a BA in chemistry. He held the record for most equipment destroyed in a single explosion for many years. He was a member of DT, Was Los, and Pentagon honor societies, and captained the soccer and baseball teams.

After a stint with the Pittsburgh Pirate farm system, he spent two years in Army Intelligence in Japan, and after returning to the U.S., started his career with Rochester Midland in Detroit as a sales rep, and then progressed thru sales management roles in Indiana, and New England before returning to Rochester in 1970 as Vice President of Corporate Development. He became President in 1978 and CEO in 1983.

Past Directorships include Malden (Mass.) Trust Company, Hamilton College, Security Trust Company, Rochester Telephone Corporation, Fleet Bank. He was named to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2010.

He is currently a Director of Alexander Hamilton Institute and the three Rochester Midland corporations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

He is married to Tobie, and has three children, Bradley, Katherine, and Karen.

Al Simone

Dr. Albert J. Simone has been a leader in higher education for nearly 50 years. He became president of Rochester Institute of Technology in 1992, serving the university for 15 years before retiring in 2007. Prior to becoming RIT’s eighth president, Dr. Simone was president of the University of Hawaii System and Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa for nine years. He served as Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati from 1972 to 1983.

A native of Boston, Dr. Simone received his B.A. in economics from Tufts University and his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Gallaudet University, and St. John Fisher College. He taught at Tufts, MIT, Northeastern University, Boston College, Boston University, University of Cincinnati, University of Hawaii, and RIT.

Dr. Simone is the author of numerous books and articles focusing on the application of mathematics, statistics, and computers to business and economics. He is the founding editor of the scholarly journal Decision Sciences and past President and Fellow of the Institute of Decision Sciences. He has served on dozens of public and private boards over the years, chairing a number of them.

Dr. Simone and his wife, Carolie, have four grown children and five grandchildren. For more on Dr. Simone, visit: www.rit.edu/simone.

Kelly Hanlon

Kelly M. Hanlon is the President and CEO of Hanlon Advisors LLC. Hanlon Advisors is a full-service consulting firm, providing data-driven research to develop and execute strategic plans for non-profits and small businesses.

Ever an advocate for civic education and responsibility, Hanlon began studying teacher quality in the state of Kentucky as a high school student, eventually presenting research findings to the Kentucky State Legislature. Having studied politics and psychology as an undergraduate at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, she is completing her master’s degree in economics at the University of Delaware.

Prior to establishing Hanlon Advisors LLC, she served as the executive director of the Lehrman American Studies Center, a national faculty outreach program centered on teaching American history and ideals to the rising generation of college students. Concurrently, she chaired the Brandywine YMCA’s annual fundraising campaign in Wilmington, Delaware, dramatically expanding the volunteer base and increasing monetary donations by a factor of nearly seven.

Hanlon currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University, near Philadelphia, and on the Scholarship Selection Committee for the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Additionally, she serves as the president of the Greater Philadelphia Alumni Association for the University of Louisville.

Hanlon hails from the Bluegrass State and currently resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband, S. Lee von Seldeneck.

Vincent Versage

Vincent Versage is the founding partner of The National Group, L.L.P., a Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbying and public affairs firm. Mr. Versage’s firm is widely regarded as one of the most successful lobbying firms in Washington in the representation of colleges and universities, hospitals and medical centers and other non-profit institutions, as well as major corporations and high technology companies, before the Federal Government and the U.S. Congress. Notable accomplishments of The National Group include lobbying to gain NASA approval to launch the MIT/CERN Alfa Magnetic Spectrometer experiment aboard the Space Shuttle to be deployed on the International Space Station and to help the California Science Center in Los Angeles to be awarded the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour for permanent exhibition.

Prior to founding The National Group in 2001, Mr. Versage was Executive Vice President of Cassidy & Associates from 1985 to 2001 and led that lobbying firm's practice involving colleges and universities. Mr. Versage also specialized in the representation of clients involved in the defense and aerospace, transportation and energy industries. While at the Cassidy firm, one of Mr. Versage’s accomplishments was leading the integrated national lobbying, public relations and grassroots campaigns in support of the building of the Seawolf Attack Submarine, built by Electric Boat/General Dynamics and the C-17 Cargo Aircraft, built by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing.

Mr. Versage’s career in Washington, D.C. began in 1977 as a legislative aide and later legislative director for U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii. Mr. Versage served as Senator Matsunaga’s staff liaison to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee over eight years. In addition to working on a number of major issues effecting the State of Hawaii including shipping, national parks, mass transportation, defense installations and alternative energy, Mr. Versage also served as one of the key staffers involved in the development and passage of the Victims of Crime Act and in the successful filibustering of Congressional efforts to reestablish the military draft after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Mr. Versage also assisted Senator Matsunaga in his efforts toward providing compensation to Japanese Americans interned in World War II relocation camps and in the eventual creation of the U.S. Institute for Peace.

Mr. Versage also served for two years as legislative director of U.S. Congressman Timothy Wirth of Colorado, and served as Congressman Wirth’s staff liaison to the House Commerce Committee and Subcommittee on Telecommunications, of which Congressman Wirth was Chairman. Mr. Versage assisted Chairman Wirth in developing some of the earliest Congressional policies regarding advancements in telecommunications including cell phones, internet and digital media.

Mr. Versage also served as campaign advisor, fundraiser, and field operative to U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye in his campaigns for Senate in 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010. Mr. Versage also served as researcher and speechwriter for U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga’s campaign for Senate in 1976 and 1982.

Since 1985, Mr. Versage has been the official representative in Washington for the Rochester Institute of Technology and has advised three different President’s, administrations and faculty on federal policies and funding and has been instrumental in developing strategies which have resulted in the U.S. Congress and federal agencies providing RIT with tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and research programming investment. Mr. Versage’s relationships on Capitol Hill and with Presidential administration officials have helped RIT achieve its federal funding goals and raise its profile and reputation in Washington and across the nation.

Mr. Versage is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and has done post-graduate work at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mr. Versage has been a guest lecturer on Congressional affairs and the Federal Government at a number of colleges and universities including the University of Hawaii, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, University of New Mexico, Michigan Tech University, Emerson College, The American Film Institute and the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was born and raised in Irondequoit, New York, and now lives in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Gleasman

Andrew K. Gleasman graduated with a Bachelors degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a focus in Management Information Systems, minor in American Politics, and concentrations in both Criminal Justice and Middle Eastern History.

Mr. Gleasman grew up in Rochester, New York and graduated from Pittsford Mendon High School, where he was Captain of the Wrestling Team and went on to wrestle at RIT, receiving All-State Honors.

Since 2004 Mr. Gleasman has worked for Torvec Inc., an advanced automotive differentials and hydraulic pump developer. As Vice President of Sales at Torvec, he has vast knowledge of the automotive industry in regard to current and future models, as well as the latest technological innovations. He has lectured on automotive differentials at various automotive OEM’s, Universities, and Industry Shows. He has worked and crewed with numerous automotive racing teams from SCCA, NASA, Trans-Am, Grand-Am and World Challenge series. He is also a graduate of the Skip Barber High Performance Driving School.

For more on Mr. Gleasman and Torvec, visit: www.torvec.com

David M. Russell

Dave is a Managing Director of GCM Grosvenor, one of the world’s largest and most diversified independent alternative asset management firms, with approximately $45 billion of assets under management.  At GCM Grosvenor Dave is a member of the Management Committee and Investment Committee for GCM Grosvenor Private Markets, which is responsible for managing and investing private equity, infrastructure and real estate investment programs for institutional investors on a global basis.  Prior to joining GCM Grosvenor, Mr. Russell was a Managing Director and Senior Partner at Credit Suisse Group AG.  Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he was a Principal with the Private Equity Group of Prudential Insurance Company of America.  Prior thereto Mr. Russell was Assistant Counsel for the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, where he acted as the Managing Attorney for the New York State Common Retirement Fund ("CRF"), which at the time was the second largest public pension fund in the United States. Dave began his career as a Corporate Securities Associate with the New York law firm Seward & Kissel LLP, where he specialized in the formation of hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds. Mr. Russell earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, at the State University of New York College at Geneseo (Political Science), and his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, at the Albany Law School of Union University, where he was a Note and Comment Editor of the Albany Law Review.