University of Pittsburgh
June 13, 2012

Pitt Alumni Association Names New Slate of Officers To Serve 2012-14 Term

Jane Bilewicz Allred, a marketing consultant from Phoenix, Ariz., named president, and S. Jeffrey Kondis, manager of corporate marketing at L.B. Foster Company in Pittsburgh, named president-elect
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—Jane Bilewicz Allred (A&S ’71), an independent marketing consultant from Phoenix, Ariz., was named president of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association, and S. Jeffrey Kondis (ENGR ’77, KGSB ’82), manager of corporate marketing at L.B. Foster Company in Pittsburgh, was named president-elect at the association’s annual board meeting last month.

Alumni Trustee Jack D. Smith (A&S ’69, MED ’73), director of Excela Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Greensburg, Pa., assumes the role of immediate past president of the Alumni Association’s board. Alumni Trustee F. James McCarl III (CGS ’73), chief executive officer, president, and board chair of The McCarl Group, LLC, is the alumni board’s past president.

Other Alumni Association board appointees are Vice President Doug Browning (A&S ’72), global customs counsel at General Motors Corporation; Vice President Nishan Vartabedian (KGSB ’69, ENGR ’67), retired executive vice president for Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company; Treasurer Gary Brownlee (A&S ’74, KGSB ’78), former managing partner and cofounder of New State Mortgage Co. and consultant; and Secretary Valerie Corbin Ketchen (A&S ’81), senior government affairs representative for Highmark, Inc.

Jane Bilewicz Allred is an independent marketing consultant focusing on marketing plans, digital strategies for lead generation, and brand development. An acknowledged authority on supply-chain logistics and emerging Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, Allred is founder and served as president of Allred Marketing, Inc., a business-to-business technology-marketing firm in Phoenix that was sold in 2004. Allred produced the RFID Knowledge Center for the Material Handling Industry of America, gaining national recognition for her efforts. In 2005, Allred joined Brighton Agency, Inc., as a senior vice president, where she was responsible for advanced technology business development, working primarily with Brighton’s digital division to build lead-enabled client Web sites and advanced search-engine optimization and marketing programs.

An Alumni Association Life Member, Allred served on the association’s board of directors as a director at large for the 2008-10 term. She also is on Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and is a past Pitt Alumni Recruitment Team (PART) Volunteer and Arizona Pitt Club member.

S. Jeffrey Kondis began his career at PPG Industries in 1977, working in a variety of sales, marketing, corporate development, and government affairs positions. In 1999, he joined Ernst and Young as manager of corporate finance practice. Following that, Kondis worked at Watson Standard Company before starting his current position at L.B. Foster. Kondis also has served since 1998 as an adjunct faculty member in Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration.

A 2005 Varsity Letter Club Awardee of Distinction, Kondis also received the Alumni Association’s Volunteer Excellence Award, the H.J. Zoffer Award for Meritorious Service in 1998, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2003 from the Katz School. Kondis has served as treasurer and secretary of the Alumni Association, chair of its Awards Committee, president of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Alumni Society, and president of the Varsity Letter Club.

Doug Browning spent much of his early career in the Washington, D.C., area as an attorney in the U.S. Customs Service. He was deputy commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, when he left in 2004 to join Science Application International Corporation as a senior vice president. In 2005, Browning became general counsel and senior vice president for Customs Modernization and Border Security at Sandler and Travis Trade Advisory Services in Washington, D.C., beginning in his current position at General Motors in January 2012. A member of Pitt’s African American Alumni Council (AAAC), Browning served as scholarship campaign chair on the AAAC Campaign Steering Committee. He was named a Pitt Legacy Laureate in 2007 and was a director at large on the Alumni Association board from 2008 to 2010.

Prior to his retirement, Nishan Vartabedian worked at Fidelity Investments Institutional Services (a business unit of Fidelity Investments), which distributes Fidelity products and programs through investment professionals at banks, insurance companies, securities brokerages, financial planning firms, and other financial services providers. Vartabedian also worked for the New York Stock Exchange and held various positions at Fidelity, including national sales manager, prior to his promotion to executive vice president at Fidelity. Vartabedian is a Life Member of the Pitt Alumni Association and is active in the New Jersey and Hilton Head/Low Country Pitt Clubs.

Gary Brownlee has had a successful career in banking and finance leadership positions for more than three decades. After earning his Pitt MBA, Brownlee worked for Mellon Bank (now The Bank of New York Mellon), where, among other positions, he led the Business Planning Division of the bank’s internal consulting unit and served as president of the Data-Link Systems subsidiary. Brownlee held senior positions with GE Capital’s mortgage finance business and, in 1998, cofounded New State Mortgage, selling his interest in the company in 2007. An Alumni Association Life Member, Brownlee is a senior advisor on the Alumni Association’s board and is treasurer of the Pitt Club of Chicago, where he and several others created the club’s endowed scholarship fund. He also has served on the club’s Endowment, Executive, and Scholarship committees. Brownlee received the 2007-08 Volunteer Excellence Award from the Alumni Association. He also has been a PART and Pitt Career Network volunteer.

Valerie Corbin Ketchen represents the interests of Highmark and its customers before the Pennsylvania General Assembly, covering health insurance policy and regulation and health care financing, as well as federal and other business-related issues. Ketchen serves on the boards of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, where she is immediate past president, and of Drug Free Pennsylvania, where she is secretary. She also is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Government Relations, Women in Pennsylvania Government Relations, the United Way of the Capital Region’s Public Policy Committee, and the Pennsylvania Economy League’s Harrisburg Area Committee. Ketchen is a member of the Pitt Alumni Association board and serves on its African American Alumni Council. She also serves as president of Central Pennsylvania’s Keystone Pitt Club. As an Alumni Association member, Ketchen is involved in alumni organization, governance, student recruitment, scholarship selection, and legislative advocacy.

After completing a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University’s health center in 1978, orthopaedic surgeon Jack D. Smith was in private practice until 2007, when he joined the Excela Health System, whose Orthopedics and Sports Medicine division he now serves as director. In addition, he served as team physician for Greensburg Salem High School athletics program for nearly 32 years.

Involved in Westmoreland County community affairs, Smith is a member and past president of the Greensburg YMCA board; served for the past 10 years as the president of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art Board of Directors; and has served as a member of the Boy Scouts of America Council. An active alumnus, Smith is a Life Member of the Pitt Alumni Association. He has served as a Pitt Alumni Association director, its vice president from 2006 to 2008, and its president-elect from 2008 to 2010, taking on the role of president in 2010. Smith also is on the Pitt Alumni Association’s Executive, Finance, and Governance committees. He served as chair of the Pitt Orthopaedic Alumni Association for more than a decade. He and his wife, Georgia, a 1970 graduate of Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, have given the Petersen Sports Complex’s visiting team bullpen a new name—The Tom and Joan Bigley Baseball Visiting Team Bullpen, in honor of their friends, Emeritus Trustee Thomas G. Bigley and his wife, Joan—among many other gifts to Pitt, including the Jack D. and Georgia M. Smith Endowed Athletic Scholarship.

A nationally known entrepreneur, industry leader, and philanthropist, F. James McCarl started his career at the helm of McCarl’s, Inc., a family-owned business that he helped grow to national prominence. During his tenure with McCarl’s, and since selling the company in 1999, McCarl has cultivated his diverse leadership experience in executive management, board of directors, partnership, and trustee positions with a variety of successful organizations. As the head of the McCarl Group, a Hilton Head-based management and development consultancy, McCarl works with leaders of business and institutions to accelerate success. McCarl also serves as chair of Gateway Bank of Pennsylvania, headquartered in McMurray, and on a number of boards of privately held businesses. With his wife, Carol, McCarl is the donor for the McCarl Hall of Champions in the Petersen Events Center and the McCarl Center for Non-Traditional Student Success in Pitt’s College of General Studies (CGS). A 1973 cum laude graduate of CGS, he received Pitt’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002, the CGS Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989, and the Pitt Alumni Association Volunteer of the Year Award in 1993. McCarl was a member of the Alumni Leadership Council before becoming a member of the Alumni Association board and has served in various executive positions.