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Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees

President & Leadership

Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees

Under the chairmanship of Louis M. Ricciardi, the 11-member board is a blend of veterans and future leaders forming a uniquely diversified, yet coherent mix dedicated to advancing the mission of public higher education at Bridgewater State University.

Mr. Louis M. Ricciardi, Chairman, '81

Mr. Louis Ricciardi is president of Ricciardi Financial Group in Taunton. A longtime supporter and benefactor of the university, Mr. Ricciardi holds the distinction of being the youngest person ever elected to the chairmanship of a governing board for a state college in Massachusetts; he accomplished the feat in 1990 at age thirty.

Mr. Ricciardi has been a member of the Bridgewater State University Foundation since 1990, and served as chair from 1996 to 2004. He co-chaired the university’s first capital campaign, which successfully reached its goal of raising $10 million. Between 1993 and 1996, he cochaired a separate fundraising campaign to build the Alumni Park Baseball/Softball Complex, the first-ever privately funded state college capital project in the commonwealth. In 1994 he proposed and founded the university’s annual Chairmen’s Dinner, which has grown to be one of the premier fundraising social events in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Mr. Ricciardi received the university’s Distinguished Service Award at the May 2002 Commencement, and the Bridgewater Alumni Association Rondileau Award for outstanding community service and professional achievement in 1999.

He serves on a number of local corporate boards including Bristol County Savings Bank, Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Morton Health Foundation, Morton Physicians Associates, Morton Hospital and Medical Center, and the Taunton Development Corporation. He has served as president of the Boys and Girls Club of Taunton since 2007. He has also held leadership positions with the Rotary Club of Taunton, the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Heart of Taunton, Incorporated. In April 2009, he was elected to a five-year term on the Massachusetts State Board of Higher Education and in March 2010 was appointed Vice Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

Mr. Ricciardi resides in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Mr. Eugene J. Durgin Jr., Vice Chairman

Mr. Eugene Durgin, Jr. is a retired managing director of Voyageur Asset Management in Boston. He was President at Massachusetts Public Pension Forum, Chairman and President at Freedom Trust Company, Senior Vice President at BayBanks and Vice President and Trust Officer at BankBoston.

From 1991 to 2001 he served on the Bridgewater State University governing board as a trustee and from 1994 to 1998 as the chairman. Gene currently serves on the Bridgewater State University Foundation Investment and Executive Committees and on July 1, 2009 became the Foundation Board Chairman.

Over the years, Gene has become very familiar with Bridgewater State University and has a clear interest in wanting to help us continue to grow and better serve the students of Southeastern Massachusetts. As we continue to navigate through these economically difficult times, Gene’s experience in the world of finance is an asset to the university.

Gene holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a minor in Economics.

Susan Szachowicz EdD, Secretary, '75

Dr. Susan Szachowicz recently retired as principal of Brockton High School, a large comprehensive urban high school. Originally a history teacher, she was the Social Science Department Head for many years, and then became Housemaster. In 1999 she was appointed the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction and in that capacity directed the school’s literacy initiatives to improve student achievement. She became Brockton High’s principal in 2004 and continues to be committed to educational reform at the school and in the state. She has served on numerous state commissions on education reform particularly regarding the Massachusetts assessment program. Her leadership at Brockton High has been committed to “high expectations, high standards – no excuses.” Under her leadership, Brockton High has been recognized as a Massachusetts Compass School, a National Model School for five years in a row, a recipient of the National School Change Award, and received a Bronze Medal from U.S. News and World Report.

She received her BA in History and Sociology and her MA in History from Bridgewater State University. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has also taught graduate courses in history and education at Bridgewater State University and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Mr. Davede Alexander

Founder, Davede Alexander, leads Innovo’s operations. He has a prominent reputation for targeted recruitment specializing in hard-to-reach markets. He created the highly successful and widely acclaimed outreach initiative that helped the United States Naval Academy to meet and exceed its candidate pool objectives. Serving as the Director of Strategic Outreach, his leadership, management and strategic vision ensured the Academy met all its recruitment goals. Davede’s success at USNA garnered widespread attention from numerous companies and organizations desiring the same results in their recruiting efforts. The programs and recruiting systems he initiated are the exclusive added value that Innovo can bring to clients. Davede was awarded the distinguished Black Engineer of the Year Award for Diversity Leadership in Government and is a sought after advisor and consultant for all types of recruiting. Offered a Brand Management position by Proctor and Gamble in 2008, Davede instead remained with the Naval Academy to establish a marketing department, later evolving into strategic outreach. He has served as a Naval Officer in various leadership positions. Serving from 2001 to 2008, he was involved in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom support roles. Mr. Alexander thrives in team oriented environments, earning his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Naval Academy while competing as a Division I football player.

Marilyn Barry, EdD, '58

Dr. Marilyn White Barry, a native of Holbrook, is a graduate of the class of 1958 at Bridgewater State University. After teaching first grade in the Weymouth Public Schools and becoming the mother of two sons, she left teaching to raise her family. In 1966 she received a fellowship from Boston University to study for a master’s degree in audiology, speech pathology, brain aphasia and teaching, and then went on to earn an EdD in learning disabilities in 1974. Bridgewater, her alma mater, appointed her to the faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor of special education. In addition to teaching, she was actively involved in professional organizations and was one of the original movers of Special Education and Chapter 766 in Massachusetts.

She became chairperson of the department in 1978 and served in that position for nine years. In 1987, Dr. Barry was appointed the first woman Dean of the Graduate School at Bridgewater, a position she held for eleven years until retiring from the college in 1999.

Dr. Barry is one of the college’s most generous benefactors and continues to be actively involved as a trustee of the Bridgewater State University Foundation.

Ms. Carol Bulman

Carol Conway Bulman is the chief executive officer and vice chairman of Jack Conway, Realtor, one of the largest independently owned real estate companies in New England, and the past president of Conway Financial Services, the mortgage subsidiary of Jack Conway Real Estate.

A leader in the real estate industry at the local, state and national level, Ms. Bulman serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Education Committee for the Plymouth and South Shore Association of Realtors. She is a director and serves on the executive committee for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and is a trustee for South Shore Hospital. From 2011 to the present, she serves as a trustee of the Bridgewater State University Foundation Board. Ms. Bulman is a past president of the Massachusetts Mortgage Association, a former member of the Banker & Tradesman Advisory Council and has served on Mass Housing’s Single Family Advisory Council.

The Boston Business Journal named Ms. Bulman a recipient of their “40 under 40” award. She also received the Providence College Career Achievement Award and has been honored by Banker & Tradesman as part of their Women of FIRE Awards.

Ms. Margaret Caulfield


Mr. Peter Chase

Mr. Peter R. Chase is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chase Corporation, a manufacturing company providing construction products and services to multiple markets such as: wire and cable, electronic coatings, construction products, pipeline maintenance, packaging and industrial, digital and print media and electronic manufacturing services.

Mr. Chase began his career with General Electric Company in 1969. In 1972, Mr. Chase joined Chase Corporation’s Randolph, Massachusetts manufacturing division and has held various management positions in his 40 years with the Company. He was named to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer in 1993 and elected Chairman in 2006.

Mr. Chase is a director and former Chairman of the Board of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. He serves as director of AIM Mutual Insurance Company and Bridgewater Savings Bank. He also served on the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston from 2000 to 2003. A 1969 graduate of Boston College with a degree in finance, Mr. Chase is a member of the Bridgewater State University Foundation.

Mr. Chase and his wife, Kathy, reside in Bridgewater, Massachusetts and have three children and five grandchildren.

Mr. Matthew Jepson


Dr. Joan Wallace-Benjamin

Dr. Joan Wallace-Benjamin joined The Home for Little Wanderers in 2003 as president and chief executive officer. Under her guidance, the agency has gained prominence in the field of child and family service providers, becoming a leader in innovative programming for underserved populations and expanding its role of advocacy for all children.

Previously, she was president and chief executive officer of The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts for eleven years and immediately prior to joining The Home, she served as a consultant with Whitehead Mann, a global executive recruiting firm. She has also served as director of ABCD Head Start and a research analyst for ABT Associates. She took a short detour from The Home in 2007 when she answered Governor-Elect Deval Patrick’s call to serve as chief of staff on his transition team and in the first months of his administration.

Dr. Wallace-Benjamin is a former trustee of Wellesley College and a member of the Board of Overseers for The Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Additionally she has been a corporation member of Northeastern University and a trustee of Pine Manor College. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in psychology and received her PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Mr. John Walsh

Mr. Walsh is the chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, a role he has held since 2007. In March of 2005, he met Deval Patrick, then considered a long shot candidate for governor of Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Walsh became his campaign manager helming a successful run in the 2006 gubernatorial race.

He is the president of Independence Insurance Agency in Abington, which serves the South Shore of Massachusetts, served ten years as a member of the Abington Board of Selectmen, and for three years was a member of the Plymouth County Charter Commission. Mr. Walsh is a member and former chairman of the Plymouth County Democratic League.

Mr. Walsh is a 1976 graduate of Brockton’s Cardinal Spellman High School, where he is a member of the board of trustees. He has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He lives in Abington with his wife Donna and son Coleman.

Mr. Brendan Concannon, Student Trustee