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Finlandia Introduces five new Board of Trustees

November 25, 2018

In 2018 Finlandia University officially welcomed five new members to its Board of Trustees.

“This new cohort reflects those qualities that have marked those who have served in the past: a tenacious resolve and unyielding dedication to advance Finlandia’s vision and see it thrive,” Finlandia University President Philip Johnson said.

The latest additions bring to Finlandia’s governing body a promising blend of professional acumen, leadership experience and deep personal affinities.

Stephen Nikander

Stephen Nikander, the great grandson of Rev. Juho Kustaa Nikander, who served as Finlandia’s first president from 1896 to 1919 and his grandfather, Dr. Viljo K. Nikander, served as president from 1937-1947. Nikander brings a wealth of experience and executive leadership in investment management. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and serves on the Board’s committee on administration and finance. Read more in article from the spring edition of the Bridge.

John Niska

John Niska, a Michigan native, was raised in a bilingual home where his Finnish grandparents instilled in their children and grandchildren the value of education the importance of hard work and pride in their heritage. Niska spent his entire professional career in education which concluded with a professorship of 15 years at Rhode Island College. John serves on the committee for academics and assessment. You can find further reading on John and his role on the Finnish Council in the latest edition of the Bridge.

Ross Rinkinen (‘04)

Ross Rinkinen, a graduate of Finlandia, majored in business administration and competed in men’s varsity ice hockey. Today Rinkinen is a financial associate with Thrivent Financial. Prior to launching his own practice in Hancock, Rinkinen served on Finlandia’s advancement team, providing leadership for the annual fund and major gifts. Now Rinkinen serves on the committee for advancement.

Marilyn Clark

Marilyn Clark brings to the Board a wealth of business knowhow, an energetic entrepreneurial spirit and a deep commitment to economic development in the Copper Country. Since 2011 Clark has served as the CEO of one of Michigan’s 20 high tech business incubators (MTEC).  Clark has also owned her own consulting enterprise, taught for three years as assistant professor in Finlandia’s International School of Business, and spent 22 years at Cummins. She serves on the committee for trustees and governance.

Kathleen (Maki) Harmon (‘84)

Kathleen Harmon, another graduate of Finlandia, earned her nursing degree from Suomi College. Today Harmon is a chief nursing executive with 32 years of experience in the healthcare industry.  In her consulting role, she partners with healthcare organizations around the country, providing expertise in cutting-edge clinical communication technologies designed to improve patient care. Harmon serves on the committee for academics and assessment. Learn more from the 2017 article in the Bridge.

Finlandia’s governing body is thrilled to have each one of these talented individuals join the Board and look forward to the positive impact they will foster.

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