Board of Visitors

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The Farmer School of Business is extremely proud of the outstanding individuals who comprise our Board of Visitors. Their many years of wisdom and experience are of great value to the school, guiding the school's process of continuous improvement on our journey "from good to great.”

The external members of our Board of Visitors are energetic risk-takers who have steered their companies through times of change and challenge, keeping those organizations creative and competitive. By harnessing that entrepreneurial mindset, the Farmer School ensures that the Board remains a source of advice and ideas that benefit students, faculty, and the greater Miami University community.

Members of the Board of Visitors

Richard T. Farmer

Richard T. Farmer

Founder and Chairman Emeritus
Cintas Corporation
Mason, Ohio

As the founder and chairman emeritus of Cintas corporation, Richard T. Farmer has created and guided a dynamic company that today is the largest in its industry. Cintas provides highly specialized services to more than 800,000 businesses throughout North America and was recently named among Fortune magazine's list of "America's Most Admired companies" for the ninth consecutive year.

Upon graduating from Miami University in 1956 and being honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, Farmer joined his family's business. He worked in the company for 11 years, eventually rising to become president of the company. In 1968 he left the business to test new concepts and systems that ultimately revolutionized the industry.

Within two years, Farmer's new company was so successful that it acquired the Farmer family's business.

Under Farmer's leadership, Cintas has grown to over $3.5 billion in revenue. Cintas today is more than 30,000 people strong and maintains more than 400 locations.

Farmer was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame in 1996, named Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995, and honored by the Cincinnati USA Regional chamber in 2010 as one of the Great Living Cincinnatians. He is the recipient of Doctor of Laws degrees from Miami University and Xavier University, CEO of the Year awards from Financial World magazine in 1994 and 1995, and the 1992 Executive of the Year Award from Sales and Marketing Executives Cincinnati. In 1999, United Way of Greater Cincinnati thanked Farmer for his steady friendship by presenting him with its Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award.

Farmer was born in November 1934. He married Joyce Barnes in 1957. The couple has three children and 10 grandchildren. Their Farmer Family Foundation has provided grants and pledges to more than 200 organizations.

John Altman

John W. Altman

Entrepreneur and investor
Chandler, AZ

John Altman graduated from Miami in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Additionally, he earned a Master of Arts from the Fuller Theological Seminary in 1987 and completed the Owner/President Management Program, a three-year certificate program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business, and an entrepreneurship executive program at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Business. He received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Miami University, Phillips Graduate Institute, and Sierra Nevada College.

For more than three decades as a highly successful entrepreneur, John owned, founded, and/or was a partner in six businesses, two of which were ultimately sold to multinational companies. He also served as a senior manager for two multinational corporations, Rohm & Haas and ICI.

John has taught extensively at the university level at Babson College, University of California-Berkeley, and Miami University - where he was the first Richard A. Forsythe Professor of Entrepreneurship. His impact on students was recognized through several teaching award nominations and the Associated Student Government Outstanding Teacher Award in 1994 as well as Miami Greek Associations’ Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in 1997.

John served as the first director of the Thomas C. Page Center for Entrepreneurship, and was the first person to be inducted into the Miami University Academy of Entrepreneurs. Currently, he serves on the Miami University Board of Trustees, and is Chairman of the John W. Altman Charitable Foundation.

John's other work at Miami includes serving on the For Love and Honor Campaign's steering committee and chairing its major gifts committee. He has also served on several other Miami boards, including the Foundation Board and MUAA Advisory Board. He is also a long-time volunteer with the MUCORP program.

Outside of Miami, John has served as a trustee at three other institutions of higher learning. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV; Vice-Chairman, Finance of the Boards of Trustees of Millikin University, Decatur, IL., and Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.

C. Michael Armstrong

C. Michael Armstrong

Retired Chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Hopkins Medicine,
Chairman of Comcast and the former Chairmain & CEO of AT&T
and Hughes Electronics

Mike Armstrong earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics from Miami University in 1961 and completed the advanced management curriculum at Dartmouth Institute in 1976.

He is the retired Chairman and Director Emeritus of Comcast Corporation and the former Chairman and CEO of AT&T and Hughes Electronics. He spent more than three decades with IBM, beginning as a systems engineer and rising through the ranks to become Chairman of the Board of the IBM World Trade Corporation.

An active supporter of higher education and community activities, Armstrong is Vice Chairman, Johns Hopkins University, and Chair of the Corporate/Foundation Campaign at Miami University. He is co-founder and past President of ABC (A Better Chance) in Darien, Conn.

Armstrong has chaired the President's Export Council, the U.S.-Japan Business Council, and the FCC's Network Reliability and Interoperability Council. He is a former member of the Business Council, the Business Roundtable, The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and The Defense Policy Advisory Committee. He has been a visiting professor at MIT's Sloan School.

Currently, Armstrong serves on the board of directors of IHS (Information Handling Services), Parsons Corporation, IDS, The Philharmonic Center for the Arts (Naples, Florida), the Forum Club of Southwest Florida, and the Telluride Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Conference Board, and is a senior advisor at SV Investment Partners and Tudor Venture Capital.

He is the recipient of honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Pepperdine University, Loyola Marymount University, Shenandoah University, and Miami University, as well as a Doctor of Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Robert E. Coletti

Robert E. Coletti

Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
Cincinnati, Ohio

Bob Coletti earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Miami University in 1979 and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1982. He has been a partner with Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL since 1988, and currently supervises a transaction team that has overseen more than 300 acquisition and divestiture transactions in the past five years with an aggregate transaction value in the billions of dollars.

Bob also serves in a general counsel capacity for several firm clients and represents funds, investment partnerships and individuals in private equity investments and venture capital based transactions. He also is active in counseling start-up companies and preparing companies for sale and generational transitions of family businesses.

Coletti is a member of both the Cincinnati and Ohio Bar Associations and is a member of the Miami University Board of Trustees, as well as being a trustee for the Coalition for a Drug Free Greater Cincinnati and for Archbishop Moeller High School.

Scott D. Farmer

Scott D. Farmer

Chairman and CEO
Cintas Corporation
Mason, Ohio

Scott D. Farmer earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Miami University in 1981.

Having spent the summers of his youth in Cintas’ uniform processing plant, Farmer grew up in the business he now runs. In 1981, he joined Cintas as a fulltime marketing trainee, and has since held several positions. In 1994, he was elected to the Board of Directors and in 1997, he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer. During his six years as COO, Cintas revenues nearly tripled—from $995 million to more than $2.6 billion.

Farmer was elected Chief Executive Officer and President in July 2003. Currently, Cintas revenues approach $4 billion; the company employs more than 30,000 people and maintains a network of more than 400 locations.

Active in The Commonwealth Club of Cincinnati, the American Society of Corporate Executives, and the Young President’s Organization, Farmer also serves as a director of The Christ Hospital, The Cincinnati Eye Bank, and Summer Hill Partners.

He has been recognized nationally for his commitment to diversity in the workplace, and helped direct Cintas’s humanitarian efforts that have provided clothing and medical supplies to more than 1.5 million people worldwide.

Farmer and his wife, Mary, have three children.

Chris Gorman headshot

Christopher M. Gorman

President and Chief Operating Officer
Cleveland, Ohio


Member Executive Leadership Team

Member Executive Council

Christopher M. Gorman currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of KeyCorp.

Previously, Chris was Vice-Chairman and President of Banking where he was responsible for KeyCorp’s businesses.  Chris was also responsible for leading Key’s integration of First Niagara Financial Group, a $40B financial institution with 400 branches throughout the northeastern U.S.  Key’s acquisition of First Niagara is the largest in Key’s 190-year history.

Prior to that, Chris served as the President of Key Corporate Bank, which includes KeyBank Real Estate Capital, Enterprise Commercial Payments, Key Equipment Finance and KeyBanc Capital Markets. 

He previously led KeyBanc Capital Markets and held various leadership roles at McDonald Investments, a registered broker-dealer acquired by KeyCorp in 1998.   

Chris has been a member of KeyCorp's Executive Leadership Team, and President of the KeyBank Foundation Board of Trustees since 2010.  Additionally, he serves as Chairman of KeyCorp’s Corporate Responsibility Council.  

Chris is a member of The Bank Policy Institute and serves as a board member of University Hospital Health System, Catholic Community Foundation of Cleveland and the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

Gorman received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Miami University.  Gorman is a member of the Board of Visitors of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business.  He also serves as a Trustee of University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Roger L. Howe

Roger L. Howe

President, Howe Investment Co.
Chairman (retired), U.S. Precision Lens, Inc.
Cincinnati, Ohio

After graduating in 1957 from Miami University with a BS in business, Roger Howe was employed for 13 years by the S.D. Warren Co., a Boston-based fine paper manufacturer. He worked in sales management, product management, and as Director of Advertising.

In 1970 Howe purchased U.S. Precision Lens, a small maker of plastic optics in Cincinnati, and built it into a world leader of innovative optical systems for the photographic, instrument, and television industries. In 1986 he sold the company to Corning, Inc. and remained as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1997.

He formerly served on the boards of Cintas Corp., Convergys, Taft Broadcasting, U.S. Shoe Corp., Great American Communications, Eagle Picher Industries, Cincinnati Bell, Baldwin Piano and Organ, and U.S. Bancorp.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Howe has been active in health care as a board member of The Christ Hospital, The Elizabeth Gamble Deaconess Home Association, and the James N. Gamble Institute of Medical Research, including serving terms as Chairman of each of them. He was formerly a board member of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

Howe’s record of service to Miami University includes membership on the Business Advisory Council of the Farmer School of Business, the University Foundation Board, and the Board of Trustees, which he chaired for three years. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Miami in 1987 and was inducted into the Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame in 1998.

Howe and his wife, Joyce, have one son and two daughters.

Dinesh Paliwal

Dinesh Paliwal

President and CEO
Harman International
Stamford, Connecticut

After completing a master's degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Dinesh came to the U.S. in 1981 to Miami University, where he earned both a Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering and an MBA.

Since July 1, 2007, Dinesh has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Harman International and was elected Chairman a year later. At Harman he has simplified and strengthened the company's operations, formed a diverse and multi-cultural board, recruited a seasoned executive management team and expanded the company's footprint in high-opportunity emerging markets.

Prior to joining Harman, Dinesh spent 22 years with ABB Group, where he last held the dual positions of Group President of ABB Ltd and Chairman/CEO of ABB Inc. He has worked and lived in six countries on four continents. His achievements at ABB included driving profitable growth by eliminating cultural and organizational silos, consolidating the P&L and best practices across three countries and making the North America region profitable following 18 years of losses.

Dinesh serves as a director on the boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global $17 billion biopharmaceutical company, and Nestlé, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. He is a member of the CEO Business Roundtable in Washington, DC, and the U.S. India CEO Forum, as well as the U.S. India Business Council (USIBC) board of directors. He served for three years as Economic Advisor to the Governor of Guangdong Province, China. . In 2010, Ernst & Young named Mr. Paliwal ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' for the New York region, and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) honored him with the ‘Indian American Achiever’ award. The American India Foundation (AIF) honored him for ‘Corporate Leadership’ in 2011.

Richard K. Smucker

Richard K. Smucker

CEO (retired)
J. M. Smucker Company
Orrville, Ohio

Richard Smucker earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in 1970, and then completed an MBA from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

He and his brother, Timothy, are the fourth generation of Smuckers to lead the food company launched by his great-grandfather, Jerome Monroe (J.M.) Smucker, in 1897. Until June, 2011, Richard Smucker shared CEO duties with his brother, and was Executive Chairman of the company; he then became sole CEO.

In 2009, Richard and his brother were named MarketWatch CEO of the Year.

Since joining the family business, Richard Smucker has held various financial and operational positions, including President, Treasurer, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. To keep J. M. Smucker growing and vital, he and his brother have spurred major acquisitions of compatible food companies, including Folgers, Jif, Crisco, Pillsbury, and Eagle Brand. Although the company’s product portfolio has changed in recent years, the company’s location has not. Its corporate headquarters are still in Orrville, the small northeast Ohio town where J.M. Smucker began.

Smucker is a director of The Sherwin-Williams Company, a Deputy Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  He has also been involved with various charitable organizations.

He married the former Emily Delp (Miami ‘70), and they have one married daughter and two grandchildren.

S. Biff Bowman

S. Biff Bowman

Chief Financial Officer
The Northern Trust Company
Chicago, Illinois

Biff graduated from Miami University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He also holds an MBA from DePaul University.

Biff is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Northern trust Company. Before serving in these roles, he was Head of Americas Region, Corporate & Institutional Services, responsible for all Northern Trust's institutional businesses in North and South America.

Prior to his current appointment, Biff was the Chief Executive Officer of EMEA, responsible for all of Northern Trust's businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Other roles at Northern Trust have included Managing Director of Northern Trust's Guernsey operation, providing leadership for the company's three primary businesses (Fund Administration, Banking and Personal Trust); Division Manager within the Large Corporate Business unit; Commercial Banking Officer serving Fortune 500-type companies; and Division Manager within the Internal Audit department, focusing on operational reviews of banking and trust operations.

Biff is a Trustee for Glenwood Academy, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Skills for Chicagoland's Future.