An outstanding student and all-around athlete at Chagrin Falls High School and in college, Peter is currently the president and chief operating officer of H. B. Zachry Company, an $800 million a year construction and maintenance company in San Antonio, Texas. He was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1959. As a junior there, he completed the year as the top academic performer in a class of 850. As a senior, he was selected to be Brigade Commander, the highest ranking student military position. Peter was the first person in the history of Navy to be commissioned into the Engineering Duty Corp directly from the Naval Academy. Early in his career, he worked with Admiral H. G. Rickover, managing the application of nuclear power in ships.
Lee has been a longtime member of the core creative team at Pixar Animation Studios. Recently Lee was Director of Disney/Pixar’s critical and commercial hit film, Toy Story 3. Before this movie, he has been Co-director on Finding Nemo; Monsters, Inc.; and Toy Story 2. His work on Finding Nemo earned Lee and his co-director an Academy Award in 2003 for Best Animated Feature Film. He also received a Golden Globe in 1999 for Toy Story 2 in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category. Lee was recently been honored with the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award and co-Shared an Annie Award from the International Animated Film Society for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Feature Production.
Steve is a pioneer in secure electronic commerce law and information security law and may be our country’s leading “legal futurist.” Steve serves as Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law. He was the second in-house lawyer at Internet security giant VeriSign, Inc before he was a founding partner in the Silicon Valley law firm Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP. Steve wrote or co-wrote five books on secure electronic commerce, data security, and the law. He has become one of the world’s leading practitioner in the area of the 3D Internet – virtual worlds and online video games. Additionally, he is the worldwide head of the legal team, CrisisCommons, which is an international effort to create online tools for assisting responders and victims of the earthquake in Haiti and other disaster relief. Steve also enjoys being a scoutmaster and Sunday school teacher.
Dr. Wu is the Director of Refractive Surgery at the New England Eye Center and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. Dr. Wu completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Michigan and her medical degree at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine. Her ophthalmology residency was performed at the Kellogg Eye Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Helen completed her dual fellowship training in ocular immunology and uveitis and in cornea refractive surgery, both at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. She plays a leadership role in major worldwide ophthalmology organizations, including important committee memberships in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Helen has published numerous scientific papers related to refractive surgery and edited the textbook Refractive Surgery. Dr. Wu has served as a key investigator in numerous FDA clinical trials where new LASIK technologies are developed and perfected. Dr. Wu was named among the Best Doctors in America: February 2006 “Top Doctor” issue of Boston Magazine. She is married to Dr. Jussi Saukkonen, a pulmonologist. They have two children; Julia, age 9, and Daniel, age 6. Helen and her husband enjoy ballroom dancing, traveling, skiing, hiking, swimming and skating.
The former member of the Future Teachers of America, Dr. Denise (Denny) Webster, has been able to combine her loves of nursing and teaching. She is a full professor at the University of Colorado and has been named a President’s Teaching Scholar, (permanent title for teaching excellence). She founded the first doctoral program in women’s health nursing at the University of Illinois. She has been active in teaching, practice and research in psychiatric nursing, with a focus on women and mental health for over 25 years. Dr. Webster has done extensive research and academic writing. During her career she has given more than 150 presentations, published 40 articles and 21 chapters and co-authored a book about living with chronic pain and illness. She remains on the editorial boards of four professional journals. She has been a visiting professor in South Africa, Scotland, New Zealand and Thailand and in the summer of 2002 voluntarily went to Vietnam to teach nursing for a month. Dr. Webster consults pro bono for a battered women’s shelter as well.
Nancy Vecchiarelli’s leadership abilities were recognized early in life, and they have continued to serve her well. In April of 1998, federal judges appointed her as a United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Ohio. From 1986 until her new appointment, she served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University (Ohio) in 1972, she was graduated fourth in her class from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1977. Some of Nancy’s earliest triumphs took place on athletic fields, then inhabited by mostly boys. An excellent all-around athlete, she was a 4-time Women’s Golf Club Champion at Aurora Country Club.
Before graduating from Chagrin Falls High School, Helen ver Duin delivered food as a carhop and waitress. Today, she is recognized as a worldwide authority in non-profit food distribution. A third generation social-service worker, Helen ver Duin Palit operates on the premise that there is enough extra food in every city to feed every person. She is the founder and executive director of City Harvest, a nonprofit organization that provided millions of free meals to hungry and homeless people in New York City since its inception in 1982. New York City’s Mayor Edward Koch said of her program, “It is an extraordinarily simple yet brilliant idea.” The world is now taking notice of this Chagrin grad’s innovative concepts. Each day, numerous large cities with programs patterned after City Harvest, collect thousands of unused food from restaurants, supermarkets, caterers, and corporate dining rooms, and then distribute it to soup kitchens, senior citizen centers, drug rehabilitation centers, and any other agencies that feed the poor. Helen has appeared on television in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. President Bush recognized her as his Fourth Point of Light in his ‘Thousand Points of Light’ National Community service Program in 1989. She has been featured in Business Week, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Family Circle, Weekly Reader, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor. A graduate of Texas Tech University, Helen was awarded Iona College’s Doctorate of Humanitarian Letters in 1987.