Creighton announces new Board of Trustees members
Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, recently announced the names of five new members of the Creighton University Board of Trustees.
The individuals, who were elected at the May Board of Trustees meeting, are Clark Lauritzen, president and chair of First National Bank of Omaha; Melvin Palalay, BS’86, MD’91, a hematologist and oncologist at the Hawaii Cancer Center; Karrin Taylor Robson, founder of Arizona Strategies; Kevin Travers, BA’95, strategic advisor for Acosta; and Karen Van Dyke, BSBA’88, president of Educate Uganda.
In addition, Fr. Hendrickson shared the names of four outgoing trustees, who were recognized with emeriti status for their years of service. These individuals included Nick Turkal, BS’78, MD’82, former president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health, who served as a trustee since 2015; Gary Gates, MBA’91, former president of Omaha Public Power District, a trustee since 2006; Patrick Zenner, BSBA’69, former president and CEO of Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., a trustee since 1995; and Bruce Lauritzen, HON’23, chairman emeritus of First National of Nebraska, the Lauritzen Corporation and First National Bank of Omaha, a trustee since 1987.
“I know I speak for the entire Creighton community when I express gratitude for all that our outgoing trustees have contributed throughout their years of service,” Fr. Hendrickson said. “I am excited to begin working with these newest members to the Board of Trustees as we chart a course toward Creighton’s 145th anniversary later this fall, and beyond.”
Clark Lauritzen, MBA – Chairman and president of First National of Nebraska (FNNI), Clark Lauritzen serves as chairman and president of FNNI’s primary business, First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). He represents the sixth generation of his family to lead the bank, which was founded in 1857. He currently sits on several community boards, including the Nebraska Game & Parks Foundation, the STRATCOM Consultation Committee and the Westside Community Schools Foundation. He holds degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Business School.
Melvin Palalay, BS’86, MD’91 – Earning his undergraduate and medical degrees from Creighton University, Melvin Palalay has been practicing medicine for more than three decades as a hematologist and oncologist at the Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu. Palalay has served on the boards of the American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific, Docs for the Cure and the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii. He is also the 1991 recipient of the Spirit of Creighton award.
Karrin Taylor Robson, JD – An attorney specializing in land use and zoning law, Karrin Taylor Robson is the founder and president of Arizona Strategies, a premier land use strategy firm, which she established in 2016 after serving as an executive vice president at DMB Associates. She was appointed by former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents and has served on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona-Mexico Commission. She is also a former candidate for Arizona governor (2022) and holds degrees from Arizona State University.
Kevin Travers, BA’95 – A business leader in St. Louis, Kevin Travers is a strategic advisor for the sales and marketing agency Acosta. He had previously served as CEO for his family’s business, Premium Retail Services, for nearly 30 years with his brother, Brian Travers, BA’89, MBA’21, before its sale and acquisition in 2021. He joined the company in 1996, shortly after earning his political science degree from Creighton University. He is active in the St. Louis community, serving on the boards of the Children’s Miracle Network and St. Joseph’s Academy.
Karen Van Dyke, BSBA’88 – Karen Van Dyke is the founder and president of Educate Uganda, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities to children in Uganda through scholarships and scholastic materials, as well as the construction of educational facilities. She was previously a financial analyst for Union Pacific before founding the nonprofit in 2007. Active in the Omaha community, Van Dyke serves on the board for the Children’s Scholarship Fund and volunteers for many organizations including her parish, St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. She holds a BSBA in finance from Creighton.