Phebus Succeeds Farmer as Chairman
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology has named four new members to its Board of Trustees. They and the other board members will be guided by a new leader, as the board chairmanship has transferred from Phillip Farmer to Rob Phebus.
Farmer, the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris Corp., served as chairman of the board From January 2007 to April 2009 and January 2012 to January 2017. Phebus, who earned his bachelor’s degree in management science from Florida Tech in 1974, was later awarded the university’s highest honor, the Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award. He retired in 2008 as CFO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
The new members are Michael Bisk, Brian Crane, Svafa Gronfeldt and James Sing Wai Wong Jr.
Bisk, a 24-year veteran of higher education, is chief executive officer of the Tampa-based company that bears his name. Prior to his appointment as CEO in November 2016, Bisk previously held several leadership positions at Bisk, most recently serving as president since January 2014. He has spearheaded major strategic and technological transformations across the company’s portfolio. A proven innovator, Bisk has driven significant growth during his tenure, establishing his company as the nation’s leading provider of online program management services.
Crane is a 1991 graduate of Florida Tech, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration while attending on a baseball scholarship. After working as supervisor, director and vice president at Merrill Lynch in Jacksonville and Melbourne, Crane opened the Melbourne-based Crane Private Wealth Management of Raymond James in 2009, where he serves as senior vice president, investments, and managing director.
A member of Florida Tech’s alumni board, Crane’s community involvement also includes serving on the Space Coast Early Intervention Center board and serving as fundraising coordinator for Florida Tech baseball.
Gronfeldt, who earned her master’s degree in technical and professional communication from Florida Tech in 1995 and was named a College of Psychology and Liberal Arts Outstanding Alumna in 2010, has served in many key roles in academia and business. She was one of the founders and managing directors of Gallup and Deloitte Consulting in Iceland and then deputy CEO of Activis Group, one of the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical companies. She was a lecturer in the University of Iceland, and from 2007 to 2010 served as president of Reykjavik University.
Presently, Gronfeldt is executive vice president at Alvogen Inc., a global life science company. She is also a founder and advisory board member of the DesignX entrepreneurial accelerator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In addition to her Florida Tech degree, Gronfeldt earned her Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design Discovery program.
Wong Jr., a Hong Kong resident, earned a master’s degree in information systems at Florida Tech in 2007, at which time he began serving as an adjunct professor. The holder of a juris doctorate from the University of California, Wong served as legal counsel to Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. and held other legal and director positions before taking roles with three family-owned engineering companies in Hong Kong. At Chinney Alliance Group Ltd., Wong is executive director; he is director at both Chinney Kin Wing Holdings Ltd., and Chinney Investments Ltd.
“With their range of experience and expertise, our new trustees will enhance the board’s ability to elevate Florida Tech to even greater success in the years to come,” said Florida Tech President T. Dwayne McCay. “We thank them for their commitment to ensuring our university continues to produce global citizens who will make their mark on their communities and the world.”
McCay thanked Farmer, who across two separate terms served as chairman for more than 7 years. “Mr. Farmer helped lead Florida Tech to successes in capital campaigns, educational and athletic achievements and critical infrastructure growth,” McCay said, “and his impact continues to resonate today.”
He continued, “It is a testament to the caliber of our trustees that we are able to transition from one visionary leader to another. With Mr. Phebus at the helm of our board, and knowing how much Florida Tech and its ongoing excellence mean to him, his guidance and leadership will propel us to even greater heights.”