Denver, CO,
07:58 PM

Board of Trustees Welcomes New Chair, Three New Members

The University of Denver is welcoming three new members to its Board of Trustees, as a new chair begins her term July 1.

Ryan Heckman, Nancy Phillips and Dan Caruso have been elected to four-year terms, as Denise O’Leary ascends to the Board’s leadership position, five years after she was first elected.

“I am honored to be the incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees, and am grateful to former Chair Doug Scrivner for his leadership, wisdom and guidance,” O’Leary said. “The University of Denver is a remarkable institution, and I look forward to working with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, the entire Board and the senior team to usher in the next great era at DU.”

In her previous term as Chair-Elect, O’Leary chaired the Advancement Committee and also served on the Executive Committee, the Investment Committee and the Nominating & Governance Committee. A private venture capital investor, O’Leary sits on several boards and committees at a number of companies.

Outgoing chair Doug Scrivner (JD ’77) will continue to serve the Board. In his four years as chair, Scrivner led the Advancement Committee during the public phase of the ASCEND campaign. He has overseen the implementation of the University’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. In his time on the Board, Scrivner chaired searches for a new chancellor in 2014 and a new dean of the Sturm College of Law in 2016. He has also played a crucial role in crafting the Denver Advantage Plan and the Campus Master Plan framework. Scrivner has also been an active voice at the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, as well as at Denver Law, where he has served as an adjunct professor.

“I look forward to continuing to serve on the board under Denise’s leadership, as we support Chancellor Chopp and her team and build on the great momentum we’ve created the past several years,” Scrivner said. “DU has the vision, strategy and leadership to do remarkable things as we take on the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education.”

Meet the Trustees

Ryan Heckman is a private equity investor and business owner, who currently co-chairs Quarterly Forum. A former Olympic skier, Heckman began his career in Atlanta as an investment professional and later co-founded Excellere Partners and the Colorado Impact Fund. In 2014, he became president of ICON, an emerging surgical eye care company. He lives in Denver with his wife, Katie, and their two children.

“Like so many trustees before me, I will lead by serving,” Heckman said. “As a new member of the board, my first job is to learn from my fellow trustees, faculty, students and other stakeholders in the community, and then identify where my skills as a private equity investor and more recently as a CEO can best be applied to help the University realize its potential.”

Nancy Phillips is an entrepreneur with 30 years of visionary leadership in telecommunications and IT infrastructure. The co-founder of ViaWest, Phillips currently serves as executive chairman of the board of Flexential and is actively involved with boards that support her industry, the advancement of women and the Colorado community. Among her many accolades are the inaugural Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal for Growth and Innovation, the Canadian Governor General’s Medallion and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Technology Association.

“I am incredibly honored to be joining the DU Board of Trustees,” Phillips said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Rebecca Chopp is doing for DU and the community. I have always been an advocate and supporter of the unique ecosystem and ‘give back’ community that is Colorado and Rebecca and DU represent that spirit. To be part of the vision that she and the board have defined is an incredible opportunity and one that I am passionate about.”

Dan Caruso is the chairman, CEO and founder of Zayo Group Holdings, Inc., a global provider of communications infrastructure services. An avid supporter of Colorado’s entrepreneurial community, Caruso supports DU’s Project X-ITE, among other things, and has invested or launched several high-impact Colorado companies, including Galvanize, Just Right Surgical, Secure Set and Envyvision. He has been honored with the Colorado Governor’s Corporate Citizenship Medal and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Industry Leadership Award, to name a few.

“The University of Denver is on an exciting path,” Caruso said. “DU has an ambitious strategic plan and a commitment to excellence, inclusion and innovation — values that align with my own. I look forward to joining the Board of Trustees and building on the momentum at the university, especially related to entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary initiatives and business/community collaboration.”

This year, no trustees are leaving the board, which may contain up to 28 members.