Frederik L. Riefkohl, Hispanic Executive and Penn State Alumni, Candidate for Penn State Board of Trustees

Mar 01, 2013, 14:05 ET from CSA Group

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Frederik L. Riefkohl, a 1987 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, announced his candidacy for one of three alumni positions in the 2013 board of trustee election. If elected, Mr. Riefkohl, would be the first Hispanic trustee to be elected to the board. 

Mr. Riefkohl has over 20 years of executive and staff experience in finance and operations in the investment banking, information technology, construction, and engineering industries. Riefkohl, is currently the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for North America, for CSA Group, a nationally recognized Hispanic program management firm providing architectural and engineering solutions in Puerto Rico, Central and South America and the USA.  His leadership in every aspect of the company's growth has given him an unmatched perspective in managing growth, implementing change and applying growth capital to transform any organization from the ground up.

Throughout his tenure at CSA, Mr. Riefkohl has also provided management and over site of administrative functions necessary for a company to run well, including: accounting, treasury and financing, human resources, information technology, information systems, facilities, purchasing, and knowledge management.  

Grandnephew of the late Rear Admiral Frederick L. Riefkohl, the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, Mr. Riefkohl is no stranger to the dedication and hard work needed to ensure that Penn State is a global university.  His vision for global diversity is clear. "First it is crucial for the board to create a transparent process of governance.  We then need to focus on the future by creating a diverse, global brand built on attracting the best students, professors and research.  We need to provide those students with a balanced education that incorporates athletics, community service, art, academics and social interaction." Mr. Riefkohl stresses the importance of creating a balanced education, "Penn State's culture is rich as an educational, research, and athletic institution. We are proud of a culture which has raised over $100 million via its IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON).

Mr. Riefkohl's vision is clear. "We need to understand that education is changing, therefore we need to offer more to be at the forefront in education.  I believe the leaders, including the late Joe Paterno, helped shape the institution into what it is today", said Mr. Riefkohl. "We cannot take away that our past presidents and executives were instrumental in delivering a high quality institution into the 21st century. We are all human and, therefore, we make mistakes." Riefkohl believes that in order for our community to heal, we need to be able to communicate openly and honestly about the issues at hand.  "Our Penn State family is fractured and divided. We will not bring all those splintered pieces together by having polarizing figures as leaders. We need to have a means of reconciliation that takes into account that mistakes were made. We will correct them and continue our journey into the future."

Mr. Riefkohl is passionate about serving as a representative for all stakeholders of the university. "I believe we must all be engaged and willing to give 110 percent. We need to have the tools to communicate with our leaders about our ideas and concerns and we need leaders who are willing to listen to those ideas and concerns to enable us to move forward as a viable institution and to regain the respect and trust of our constituents."

Mr. Riefkohl is a board member of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.  He is a native of Puerto Rico and speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Portuguese. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Annapolis, Maryland. Visit his website to learn more:

Fred Riefkohl
(787) 667-6772