CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Darden School Foundation announce that Peter Kiernan (MBA '79) of Greenwich, Connecticut, CEO of Kiernan Ventures, will serve as chairman of the foundation, effective 1 July 2011. He succeeds Henry Skelsey (MBA '84), founder and managing partner of PRC Venture Partners LLC, of Greenwich, Connecticut, who completed a two-year term and will remain on the board. Phil Knisely (MBA '78) of Chicago, Illinois, was elected vice chairman.
Peter Kiernan said that his goal for the next two years will be to work with the Darden School and the Darden School Foundation to continue the business school's momentum. "In almost every way that one can quantifiably measure a business school, Darden is on the move," says Kiernan. "The School is enjoying a marvelous combination of progress and stable leadership under the steady hand of Dean Bob Bruner. These are exciting times at Darden, as the school prepares for its future and global growth."
Kiernan brings to the board extensive experience in finance, marketing and non-profits. As CEO of the New York City-based venture firm Kiernan Ventures, LLC, he serves as chairman of the home health company TechHealth and was chair Heliflite Shares, a leading provider of helicopter services. He also is a director of Sonostar Fund, a private equity fund, and serves on several company boards.
Previously, Kiernan was president of Cyrus Capital, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, and a senior partner at Goldman Sachs. During his nearly two decades at Goldman, he was founder and co-head of the communications, media and entertainment group, co-led the new investment management services group, and founded and chaired the innovation, new product and marketing committees. Additionally, Kiernan was the investment bank's chief marketing officer and served for a time as co-head of strategic planning. At Darden, Peter was class president, received the distinguished student award, the Shermet Award, and won the National MBA Tournament with his Darden teammates in 1979. He is one of only a few Virginia graduates to have won the Raven award both as a student and then, years later, as an alumnus. Kiernan serves on the board of U.Va.'s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and has served on UVaFamilies Board since its founding.
Kiernan served for nearly five years as chairman of the Robin Hood Foundation and was a founding board member of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, an organization he chaired since the deaths of Christopher and Dana Reeve until recently. He received an MBA from the Darden School in 1979 and a B.A. degree from Williams College in 1975. He and his wife, Eaddo, reside in Greenwich, Connecticut, and have four children, three daughters and one son. Two of Kiernan's children have graduated from the University of Virginia: Eaddy in 2009 and Mareill in 2010. His daughter, Lacy, and son, Peter, are current students.
Phil Knisely, who will serve a two-year term as vice chairman, graduated from Darden in 1978 and brings to the board over 30 years of experience in corporate strategy and manufacturing. An advisory partner with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a leading private equity firm, he also serves as chairman of Atkore International and as a board member of Diversey, Inc. In 2010, he retired from Danaher Corporation, a leading manufacturer of electronic equipment, environmental instrumentation and motion control systems, where he served as executive vice president and a corporate officer. As a member of the Office of the Chief Executive at Danaher, he managed the performance, corporate strategy and organizational evolution of the corporation. Knisely continues with Danaher as a consultant.
Prior to Danaher, Knisely was co-founder, president and CEO of Colfax Corporation and president of AMF Industries, a privately held diversified manufacturer firm. Before AMF, he spent ten years at Emerson Electric. He received a BSIE from General Motors Institute in 1976 and won the Shermet Award while at Darden. He and his wife, Pattie, have three daughters and reside in Chicago, Illinois.
"The Darden experience is a transformational one, and I look forward to giving back," says Knisely.
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About the Darden School of Business:
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, the highest-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.
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SOURCE University of Virginia's Darden School of Business