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Otterbein University Board of Trustees Welcomes Four New Members

December 31, 2014

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University welcomed four new members to its Board of Trustees during fall semester, including Alicia Colburn ’95, Mary Navarro, Melissa Simkins ’99, and Brant Smith ’95.

Alicia Caudill Colburn ’95 is associate vice president for student life and dean of students for the University of West Georgia. In that role, she supervises the areas of diversity and inclusion; counseling; career services; housing and residence life; health services; university recreation; the Center for Adult Learners and Veterans; student involvement and student conduct. She also holds adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Georgia and the University of West Georgia. Prior to her work at the University of West Georgia, Colburn served for 11 years at Gainesville State College (now the University of North Georgia) as the associate vice president for student affairs, dean of students and director of student activities. She has also worked at Florida Southern University, Lambuth University and Mercer University. Colburn earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Otterbein; master’s degree in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina-Columbia; and doctorate degree in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia. She has served as a member of the Otterbein University Alumni Council since 2007. Colburn resides in Villa Rica, Ga. (30180)

Mary Walworth Navarro has served as the senior executive vice president and retail and business banking director for Huntington since 2002. In her role with Huntington, she is responsible for 5,100 colleagues and is credited with growing Huntington into the top SBA lender in the Midwest and the third-largest in the nation. Prior to joining Huntington, she served as executive vice president and eastern region retail manager for Banc One Corporation in Phoenix, Ariz., from 1985 through 2002. Navarro received her bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Colorado in 1978 and master’s degree in management from Aquinas College. In 2013, she was ranked eighth on American Banker’s prestigious “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.” In 2011 Navarro was recognized along with Otterbein’s President Kathy Krendl and 14 other women as one of “Ohio’s Most Powerful and Influential Women.” Navarro also serves on Otterbein University’s Women in Leadership Network Advisory Council. She resides in Powell, Ohio. (43065)

Melissa Dawn Simkins ’99 is the owner of Velvet Suite Marketing, which has locations in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga. Velvet Suite Marketing is a global brand leadership consultancy firm with an impressive client list that includes Procter & Gamble, Kraft, NFL, Time, CNN and Home Depot. From 2002 through 2006, she served as media and entertainment innovation executive for Procter & Gamble. She is also the author of the book, Brand Me. Make Your Mark: Turn Passion into Profit. Simkins received her bachelor’s degree in public relations and business from Otterbein and master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Northwestern University. Simkins has received numerous awards including two Silver Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America. In 2009, she was inducted into Otterbein’s African American Hall of Fame and she received the Otterbein University Young Alumni Award for Professional Achievement in 2011. Simkins resides in Haymarket, Va. (20169)

Brant O. Smith ’95 is president and general manager of Waltek & Company, Ltd. With offices in Cincinnati and Nashville, Waltek & Co. specializes in structural glass, glass flooring, cable wall systems, glass/steel canopies, and ornamental metal work/handrails. The company, started by Smith’s father, has a reputation for exceptionally prompt delivery on quality wall systems, custom ornamental metals, distinctive glass, aluminum handrails and individually designed skylights. Waltek’s customers include hospitals, athletic stadiums, performing arts centers, corporate and retail buildings and colleges and universities including Purdue, Xavier, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Northern Kentucky, Denison and Ohio State. Smith’s areas of expertise include contract negotiation and management, construction management, value engineering, strategic planning and accounting. He received his bachelor’s degree in business from Otterbein in 1995. He resides in Cincinnati. (45252)

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