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Tulane University Announces New Board Members, Chair-Elect

June 04, 2008 2:00 AM


Keith Brannon
(504) 862-8789

The Board of Tulane has elected two new members and named Jay Lapeyre chair-elect.

Lapeyre, who will begin his three-year term as chair on July 1, 2009, is president of Laitram LLC and chairman of The Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, a civic organization that has been a driving force in post-Katrina reforms such as consolidating the Regional Levee Boards and the Orleans Parish Assessors and supporting efforts to improve flood safety, charter schools, the criminal justice system and government accountability.

The new board members are Sherry Leventhal, a former commercial and industrial real estate attorney, and Rick Rees, co-founder and managing principal of Metairie private equity firm LongueVue Capital LLC.

"Both Sherry and Rick have long and deep ties to the Tulane University community. We are delighted that the university will now enjoy the benefits of their respective expertise, vision and leadership in a new and more meaningful way," said current Board Chair Philip Greer.

Leventhal, who relocated to Boston in 1997, previously practiced law with the firm of Lemle & Kelleher LLP in New Orleans, specializing in real estate, banking and commercial transactions. She earned a bachelor of arts in English at Northwestern University in 1974, and is a 1977 graduate of the Tulane School of Law. As a child, she attended Newcomb Nursery, and as a law student, she was a member of the Order of Coif and Tulane Law Review. Her mother, the late Dorothy Mann Marcus, earned a master of social work degree in 1977 from Tulane and was a member of the school"s Dean"s Advisory Council. Leventhal"s brother, Dr. Randall Marcus, earned a bachelor of science in biological chemistry from Tulane"s College of Arts & Sciences in 1972.

Leventhal has served on the Law Dean"s Advisory Board since 2003. She represented Tulane at the inauguration of Boston University"s new president in 2006 and did the same at Harvard University in 2001.

"I am thrilled and honored at the opportunity to continue to serve the Tulane community and look forward to helping the university build upon its tradition of excellence," Leventhal said.

She is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, Mass., is serving as a trustee of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Boston University School of Medicine. She has previously served on the boards of many Louisiana and Boston organizations, including: Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project; the National Conference for Community and Justice; the Boston Bar Association"s United States Constitution Project, Metairie Park Country Day School and the Children"s Bureau of New Orleans.

Leventhal and her husband Alan have 6 children and reside in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Rees, a certified public accountant, has extensive experience as a financial executive and private equity professional. He co-founded LongueVue Capital in 2001. Rees is the former chief financial officer for Halter Marine Group, which was a $1 billion revenue shipbuilding company. Following its merger with Friede Goldman Inc. in 1999, Rees continued as the merged firm"s CFO. Prior to his involvement with Halter, Rees was a managing partner with City Capital Corp., a private equity firm with significant interests in a number of maritime related businesses including shipbuilding, offshore rig construction and repair, and a marine terminal and stevedoring company

"This is an exciting time to be associated with Tulane," Rees said. "A strong Tulane is vital to the long term recovery of New Orleans, and the university has invested itself in new ways in the community post-Katrina. This engagement insures that Tulane will always have a strong leadership role in shaping the New Orleans community."

At Tulane, Rees was a scholarship recipient who graduated with honors from the College of Arts & Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1974; he earned a master of business administration degree from the university"s business school in 1975. Rees" wife, the former Debra Ann "Debbie" Darnell, earned an undergraduate degree from Tulane"s Newcomb College in 1976 and an MBA from Tulane"s business school the following year. Rees and his wife have three children.

As an alumnus, Rick Rees has been involved with the Business School Council of the A.B. Freeman School of Business, currently serving as its President, the Levy-Rosenblum Institute and its advisory board, the Tulane Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Tulane Association of Business Alumni Board of Directors, and the Alumni Affairs Committee. In 1996, he was keynote speaker at the business school"s commencement and honored as alumnus of the year by the Tulane Association of Business Alumni.