The Clark University Board of Trustees appointed six new members on July 1, and welcomed a familiar face back for another term.
New members appointed to six-year terms are Lawrence Franks, M.A. ’73, of Arlington, Virginia; Janet Goss ’82 of Bethesda, Maryland; Karen Patterson Greene ’92 of Natick, Massachusetts; Peter Mugar ’96 of Boston; Jennifer Ottinger ’94 of New York City; and Mark Wetzel of North Granby, Connecticut. Eric Epstein ’89 of Saddle River, New Jersey, who served as a trustee from 2012 to 2022, was reappointed to the board for another six-year term.
“I am very pleased to welcome our new trustees to the board,” said Board Chair Gary Labovich ’81. “They bring with them a wealth of talent and expertise, and, most importantly, a clear commitment and passion for the Clark mission. I, and my fellow board members, look forward to their contributions as we continue to work alongside President Fithian to advance the important initiatives that will best serve our students and further elevate Clark’s reputation as a university of consequence.”
Ending their terms as trustees are Kevin Cherry ’81, Ellen Hughes Cromwick, M.A. ’88, Ph.D. ’86, and Dan Hirsch ’77.
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Ellen, Kevin, and Dan for their dedicated and inspired service and leadership on the board, and for their essential contributions to Clark,” Labovich said. “It is with deep gratitude and respect that we recognize and appreciate the significant impact they have had on our university. They will be missed.”
Eric Epstein ’89 is president and managing member of Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a large multi-strategy, alternative investments firm. Previously, he was a managing director for M.D. Sass Investor Services, overseeing the U.S. sales and marketing effort. Epstein also is a director of the Managed Funds Association and a board member of Oliver Scholars.
As well as serving previously as a Clark trustee, Epstein — who is the son of two Clark alums, Barry ’62 and the late Elaine ’65 Epstein — was a non-trustee member of the Investment Committee from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. He majored in economics at Clark and holds a master’s degree from New York University.
Lawrence Franks, M.A. ’73, is a trustee and secretary of the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, a private foundation that funds more than 75 arts, education, and social service organizations, including Clark University.
After graduating from Clark with a master’s in government and international relations, Franks joined the Peace Corps and lived in Africa. Prior to retiring in 2007, he worked for Vertex Solutions, a tech company in Washington, D.C., whose clients included the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Centers for Disease Control. Prior to joining Vertex, Franks was the founder and owner of Lightspeed Productions, a company that produced training videos for the government and corporations.
Janet Goss ’82 is a partner of the Brand Group at GMMB, the largest Democratic political consulting firm in the U.S. Goss specializes in helping nonprofits raise their brand and reputations, and has worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Auto Care Association, and other national organizations. She was previously an intergovernmental liaison for the American Public Human Services Agency and a project manager at the Southport Institute for Policy Analysis. After graduating with a bachelor’s in government and international relations at Clark, she earned her Juris Doctor from American University.
Goss has been a member of Clark’s Washington, D.C., President’s Leadership Council since 2016. She comes from a Clark family: her father, Edward Goss ’51, and brother, Leland “Lee” Goss ’80, are also alums.
Karen Patterson Greene ’92 leads the Innovation and Evaluation team at Ceres, a nonprofit organization working with capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. She recently served as director of special projects and board relations at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, formerly known as the Woods Hole Research Center; with a focus on carbon, the Arctic, the tropics, water, and risk, Greene supported the president and chief philanthropic officer in managing the board of trustees and affinity groups of the Center. She previously was a senior manager for planning at Ceres and served as a project director at the Charles River Conservancy and Mass. Recycle.
Greene, who is married to fellow Clarkie Jeff Greene ’92, is past chair of the Clark Athletics Hall of Fame Committee, and previously participated in the University’s Alumni-in-Residence program. She earned her bachelor’s in geography at Clark and a master’s in geography from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Peter Mugar ’96 is the president of Mugar Asset Management, a diversified investment management firm with a long and successful history of property management. The family-owned business, which is part of Mugar Enterprises, manages a diverse portfolio of equity and property development investments.
At Clark, where he majored in government and international relations, Mugar was a member of the basketball team. He later served as an assistant coach at Clark from 2008 to 2012. He also has held coaching positions at Caltech, Salem State University, and Framingham State University, where he served as head coach. Mugar has previously been a member of the Clark Athletics Advisory Board and is a member of the Boston President’s Leadership Council.
Jennifer Ottinger ’94 is a managing director and global head of compensation at Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager. She previously served as the global COO of Blackrock’s active equities group, and as COO of systematic investing for their portfolio management group. She joined the firm in 2010 as managing director and global COO of its legal and compliance group; prior to that, she worked as a vice president and compliance officer at Goldman Sachs.
Ottinger, who graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology at Clark before going on to earn an MBA at Columbia University, has been a guest speaker at several Clark career and leadership events and is currently a volunteer with ClarkCONNECT.
Mark Wetzel is the president and managing partner of Fiducient Advisors, an investment advisory firm. Previously, he founded Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA), was a senior vice president at UBS, and served as an investment advisor at Paine Webber and Kidder Peabody. He earned a bachelor’s in business from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Dartmouth College.
Wetzel is a trustee of the Ruth and Warren Ellsworth Foundation, which has provided funds to mostly Worcester-area organizations. Founded by his maternal grandparents in 1966, the Foundation’s trustees include Mark and his mother Joyce “Joy” (Ellsworth) Wetzel Hall; his brother Todd Wetzel, a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley’s Wetzel Group, which manages Clark’s securities transactions; and Clark Lifetime Trustee Sumner “Tony” Tilton, LL.D. ’13. Wetzel’s late father, Robert Wetzel, served as a Clark trustee for 13 years.