UVA Darden School Foundation Announces New Chair, 5 New Members to Board of Trustees

By Kristen Keesee


The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced five recently elected members of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees: Guillaume Cuvelier (MBA ’91), David LaCross (MBA ’78), Douglas Lebda (EMBA ’14), Kimberly Morrish (MBA ’93) and Susan Sobbott (MBA ’90). Their three-year terms began 1 July. Additionally, Professor Richard Evans was appointed as an ex-officio member of the board.

Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA ’88) began the role of chair of the board of trustees on 1 July, succeeding outgoing chair Bob Hugin (MBA ’85). Frank Sands (MBA ’94) joins the board’s leadership team as vice chair and Hugin assumes the role of immediate past chair.

“The Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees is a dedicated group of engaged alumni and supporters who help lead the School as it continues to achieve the full potential of its mission,” said Dean Scott Beardsley. “I am grateful for Bob’s service as chair and am honored to welcome our new trustees and leadership, who bring a wealth of experience and a global perspective to the board.”

Guillaume Cuvelier (MBA ’91) is the founder of SVEDKA, a premium Swedish vodka brand launched in the United States in 1996. After building distribution and developing a provocative and high-impact advertising campaign, SVEDKA became the fastest growing vodka in the market. He sold the brand in 2007 to Constellation Brands Inc. Cuvelier started his career in the wine and spirits industry, working for Moët Hennessy for 10 years, first in New York City and then in Cognac, France, at the Hennessy headquarters. Since the sale of SVEDKA, Guillaume has been active in the venture capital market, with a focus on premium consumer goods and beverages. In 2014, he co-founded Davos Brands LLC, a New York-based company that markets TYKU Sake, Aviation American Gin, Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila. Cuvelier sold the brand to Diageo in 2020.

David LaCross (MBA ’78) is the founder and former president and CEO of Risk Management Technologies, a company located in Berkeley, California, that focused on enterprise-side interest rate risk management and performance measurement solutions. LaCross founded the company in 1989 and sold it to Fair Isaac Co. (FICO) in 1997. Before Risk Management Technologies, LaCross worked for American First Financial Corp., and prior to that spent 10 years working for Bank of America, where he was senior vice president. LaCross has been involved in multiple philanthropic endeavors, and in 2020, he established the David M. LaCross Professorship at Darden to support a faculty member in the quantitative analysis or finance areas. He currently resides in Lafayette, California, where he co-owns a microbrewery, Morgan Territory Brewing, started with his son, Michael.

Doug Lebda (EMBA ’14) is the founder, chairman and CEO of LendingTree, a company that revolutionized how consumers shop for loans and how lenders reach new customers. Lebda founded LendingTree in 1996 and launched the company nationally in July 1998. Lebda led LendingTree through a successful IPO in 2000, the dot-com meltdown of 2001 and a successful sale to InterActiveCorp (IAC) in 2003. From 2005 to 2008, Lebda served as the president and COO of IAC. In 2008, he joined Tree.com (now rebranded as LendingTree) as it became a separate public company. Before founding LendingTree, Lebda worked as an auditor and consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Kim Morrish (MBA ’93) has built her career around leveraging the power of business to create social impact across sectors. Currently, Morrish is the co-owner and non-executive director of Ground Control Ltd., and since acquiring the business in 2004, she and her husband have transformed Ground Control into a purpose-led, award-winning company, growing revenues from $11 million to $172 million. In 2018, they were awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Transformational Leadership for their commitment to social and environmental sustainability. In late 2019, Morrish launched Ground Control’s Evergreen Fund, a roughly $7 million (£5 million) green venture fund investing in carbon-reduction technologies and new woodland creation. Morrish is an active social impact investor, backing ventures in education, mental health, and social and economic mobility. She currently serves on the board of directors of Mustard Seed VC, School Space and the Evergreen Fund. Prior to her career as an entrepreneur, Morrish was a tenured U.S. Foreign Service Officer managing development projects focused on small business lending programs that primarily supported female-owned businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, an MBA from Darden and a certificate in sustainability leadership from Cambridge University.

Susan Sobbott (MBA ’90) is the former president and general manager of Global Commercial Services at American Express, at which she also served as president of Global Corporate Payments and president and general manager of American Express OPEN. While at American Express, Sobbott was a significant advocate for women’s leadership, serving as longtime chair of the company’s Women’s Interests Network and a leading sponsor of flexible work arrangements and parent programs. Sobbott was the creator of Small Business Saturday, a long standing movement encouraging consumers to shop at small, independent businesses. Since leaving American Express in 2018, Sobbott has served as a board member for WEX Inc., a global leader in financial technology solutions, Lola.com, a travel and payments software-as-a-service provider, and Ideas42, a behavioral science consultancy addressing social issues. She is also an adviser to Women’s Venture Capital Fund, funding women founders, and several startups in the small and mid-size enterprises space.  Susan is a senior advisor at Ogilvy and is faculty at Conscious Business Leadership Academy.

“Frank and I are pleased to welcome Guillaume, Dave, Doug, Kim and Susan to the board,” said Hund-Mejean, who will serve a two-year term as chair. “Their longstanding commitment and dedication to Darden has powered the School’s success to date. We look forward to the energy and wisdom each of them will bring to the board of trustees.”

Richard Edmunds (MBA ’92), Warren Estey (MBA ’98), Carolyn Miles (MBA ’88), Alex Picou (MBA ’89), Henry Skelsey (MBA ’84), William Utt (MBA ’84) and Professor Jeanne Liedka also completed their board service on 1 July.

“Richard, Warren, Carolyn, Alex, Henry, Bill and Jeanne have provided tremendous leadership in their board service and have helped Darden navigate through some of its most momentous and challenging times,” said Michael Woodfolk (TEP ’05), president of the Darden School Foundation. “The Darden community has benefitted greatly from their dedication and commitment to the School, and I am thankful for their service.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

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