The University of Findlay welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees on Oct. 14. Appointed for three-year terms are Duane Jebbett, Billy Watterson and J. Lance Finley.
The three bring a wealth of business, philanthropic and religious experience to the 31-member board. Their expertise will contribute to the University’s strategic, forward-thinking methods that are continuing to improve academic offerings and the physical campus for optimal learning and living.
They join another newcomer, Brant Rhoad, a Powell attorney and businessman who was appointed to the board earlier this year. More information on Rhoad can be found in this story.
Jebbett replaced William Ruse, Watterson replaced Dennis Bishop, Rhoad replaced Robert Fry and Finley replaced the late Congressman Michael Oxley.
“We’re pleased that four community leaders of such professional and personal integrity have agreed to serve the University of Findlay in this important capacity,” said President Katherine Fell, Ph.D. “Their input will be invaluable as our campus continues to adjust to exciting transformative growth exemplified by efforts such as the completion of the Center for Student Life and College of Business, and by expanded educational programs at all degree levels.”
Jebbett is president and CEO of Rowmark, LLC in Findlay. Rowmark is the leading global manufacturer of thin gauge plastic sheet extrusion products for the custom engraving and awards markets as well as Premier Materials Concepts, which is a full-service custom manufacturer of a wide array of colored sheet and roll stock materials for the thermoforming market. The company has 18 domestic and three global locations including Belgium and Austria.
Jebbett is a member of several other boards, such as the Rowmark EXT. Holding company, The Roppe Corporation, Millstream Angel Investment Club, and Six Disciplines of Ohio Advisory Board. He also is chairman of the Blanchard Valley Health System Board and serves on multiple committees.
Additionally, he and his wife, Kathy, who have resided in Findlay since 1989, are the owners of Distinctive Building Elements and are partners in JB Commercial Roofing Company in Tiffin.
In 2004 Jebbett was awarded United Way of Hancock County’s Distinguished Volunteer of the Year, and served as the organization’s campaign chair in 2001. He and Kathy have been leadership chairs for United Way, and Jebbet was the recipient of the Hancock Leadership Alumni Association’s Distinguished Leadership Award.
Watterson ’96 is passionate about entrepreneurship. In the past 20 years he has founded more than 16 companies, 10 of which he currently owns and operates. He has led these companies through startup, survival, turnaround and growth modes.
Watterson, of Algonquin, Illinois, began his career at Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1996 as an environmental specialist and quickly became manager of the company’s hazardous materials and safety unit. During his tenure, he created a groundbreaking, retail-oriented department of transportation and numerous environmental and safety programs for thousands of employees nationwide.
His experience at Sears, coupled with his degree in environmental and hazardous materials management from UF prepared him for the development of the nationwide environmental consulting firm Watterson Environmental Group, which he co-founded in 2001.
In 2008 Watterson founded g2 revolution® LLC as a result of a client’s desire to uniformly recycle within its stores without using waste companies. Recycling innovations, along with the “Feed the Future” program that supplies food to local pantries, have resulted.
Watterson is passionate about mentoring and volunteering, and is an active UF alumnus. He was a 2016 Commencement speaker, spoke at the 2012 Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity, and in 2013 established a scholarship fund for students interested in entrepreneurship. In 2014 he received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
J. Lance Finley
Finley is the executive director of the Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC). Prior to that, he was the director of transformational ministries for the CGGC, director of operations at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, where he also oversaw admissions and recruitment, served as Winebrenner’s director of recruitment, church and alumni relations, and was a youth pastor at Findlay Evangelical Free Church.
Finley, a Findlay resident, also is a trustee of Winebrenner’s board, and of its Scotland Campus board in Pennsylvania.
In 1992 he received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master of Divinity, specializing in evangelism and church growth, in 1996 from Winebrenner.
Past service has included serving on United Way of Hancock County’s Advisory Board, Habitat for Humanity Findlay-Hancock County’s board, being a reading mentor with the HOST reading program at Jacobs Primary School, and serving as a Mission Possible board member.
While being considered for membership to UF’s Board of Trustees, Finley said he is interested in furthering the collaboration and mutual support that has been developed between the Churches of God and the University.