Edward J. Brennan (Class of 1978), Dr. Kathryn T. Hutchinson and Cheryl A. Klass (both '77) have been named to the board of trustees of Niagara University. The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of the university, announced their elections.
Brennan is the retired chairman of DFS Group and founder of Hand in Hand for Haiti, while Hutchinson serves as the vice president for the division of student affairs at St. John's University. Klass is senior vice president of operations for Kaleida Health and president of Buffalo General Medical Center.
Edward J. Brennan
Brennan spent almost 20 years in management with R.H. Macy and Company Inc. after graduating from NU. He Joined the DFS Group in 1997 as executive vice president of merchandising and operation for Hawaii, before becoming president of DFS for North America and Hawaii. In 1999, he was named CEO and, in 2001, was appointed chairman of the board. Under his leadership, the company evolved from a duty-free retailer to become the world's leading luxury retailer for international travelers. He retired in December 2012.
During Brennan's tenure with DFS, he was appointed chairman of Onboard Media and Starboard Inc., a role he currently maintains. Brennan has led the transformation of these companies to market leaders of onboard retail shops on several cruise lines.
Brennan sits on the boards of DFS Group, Hermes USA, Outrigger Hotels and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He is an executive committee member of Search Group, a Hong Kong-based alternative asset management firm.
Brennan is the co-founder and chairman of the Hand in Hand for Haiti charity, which built and operates a school for the poor in Saint Marc, Haiti.
The Brennan family owns and operates Beak & Skiff Orchards in Lafayette, New York, and recently launched 1911 Spirits, a line of high-end spirits and hard cider.
Kathryn T. Hutchinson
As vice president for the division of student affairs at St. John's, Hutchinson leads in the process of strategic planning, assessment and fiscal management. She has been appointed to serve on the university personnel committee, co-chair the president's multicultural advisory committee, the university's executive planning committee and the student affairs committee of the board of trustees. Hutchinson is a member of the NASPA James E. Scott Academy board and faculty for the NASPA Institute for Aspiring Senior Student Affairs Officers.
Hutchinson received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the College of St. Benedict and a master's in school psychology from St. John's. She earned her Ph.D. in school psychology with a specialty in clinical psychology from Columbia University. She is a psychologist with more than 18 years of experience in senior leadership, teaching, research and clinical work in the university setting.
Hutchinson presents nationally and internationally on crisis management and college student mental health issues, specializing in training faculty and administrators to recognize and respond to students in distress. She has received several state and federal grants for her work on the reduction of high-risk behaviors in college students and the reduction of violence on campus.
Along with receiving numerous awards for her research, leadership and service, Hutchinson has shared emergency preparedness information during appearances on several major media outlets, including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox News.
Cheryl A. Klass
Klass joined Kaleida Health in 2004 when she was named president of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and vice president for Kaleida Health. In December 2011, she was appointed senior vice president of operations of Buffalo General Medical Center, which also includes the Gates Vascular Institute and HighPointe on Michigan.
Klass has a comprehensive background in both adult and pediatric health care operations. She began her career as a registered nurse at Children's Hospital of Buffalo in 1977, but quickly advanced into nursing leadership roles that included director of the hospital's pediatric, surgical and critical care divisions. She also eventually served as the chief nursing officer of Children's Hospital for many years before relocating to Chicago in 1993 to accept the role of chief operating officer for Children's Memorial Medical Center, part of the Northwestern Healthcare System.
Klass returned to Buffalo in 2000 and served as the chief operating officer of Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Sisters Hospital of Buffalo, as well as vice president of women's health for the Catholic Health System, before returning to Children's in 2004. She earned her B.S. in nursing from Niagara University and her MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
For more information about Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.