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Directors and Executive Officers

Name Position
Robert D. Buckingham Chairman of the Board of Directors
Jim Rowan Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Jerry L. Gallentine  Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Ronald L. Shape  President and Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey B. Berzina Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Thomas D. Saban Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Therese Crane Member of the Board of Directors
Richard L. Halbert Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Edward Buckingham Member of the Board of Directors 

Robert D. Buckingham Mr. Buckingham has served as president of Dlorah since 1986, chairman of the board of directors of Dlorah, chairman of the board of governors of NAU from 1991 to 2009, and as chairman of the board of Fairway Hills, III, a division of Dlorah. Mr. Buckingham was an active member of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and was involved in the Military Affairs Committee. From 1960 to 1981 he worked in various executive and management positions in transportation and real estate development organizations. Mr. Buckingham has a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Colorado. Mr. Buckingham is the father of Michael Buckingham, who is the President of the Company’s real estate division.

Jim Rowan is a member of our Board of Directors. Mr. Rowan is a Partner at Parchman, Vaughan & Company, L.L.C., a private investment bank focusing on the education sector. Prior thereto he was a Senior Advisor and Education Group Head at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, a full-service investment banking firm recognized as a leader within the education sector. In 1993, Mr. Rowan joined Legg Mason Capital Markets, which was subsequently acquired by Stifel Nicolaus, and played an integral part in developing the firm's significant investment banking role in the proprietary education and training industries. Earlier in his career Mr. Rowan was a financial executive at ITT Corporation and City Investing Company, based in New York and London.

A graduate of The Lawrenceville School, he received a bachelor's degree in economics from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. Mr. Rowan is a trustee of Waynesburg University, a member of its Executive Committee and Chairman of its Finance and Property Committee. He remains active in alumni affairs at Lawrenceville and Cornell, where he is on the Dean's Leadership Committee for the Johnson School.

Dr. Jerry L. Gallentine Dr. Gallentine has served as university president of NAU since 1993 and was the chief executive officer of NAU from 1993 until April 2009. Dr. Gallentine also currently serves on the board of directors of Salem International University. Dr. Gallentine has over forty years of experience in the education industry. He served as president of Western New Mexico University from 1990 to 1993 and was president of Peru State College in Nebraska from 1982 to 1990. From 1979 to 1982, Dr. Gallentine was president at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas. He was an assistant professor of biology at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska from 1965 through 1968. Dr. Gallentine has served in many educational and cultural leadership roles, including past president of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Educational Television Council for Higher Education, twice past chairman of the Council of Presidents of the Nebraska State College System, member of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Humanities Council and founding member of the Nebraska Foundation for the Humanities. Dr. Gallentine has a B.S. from Fort Hays (Kansas) State University, and a M.Ed., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Toledo.

Dr. Ronald L. Shape is the chief executive officer and president of National American University. He has been serving as the chief executive officer of NAU since April 2009, and was the chief operating officer of NAU from 2006 until 2009. Dr. Shape also served as the chief fiscal officer of NAU from 2002 until April 2009 and was the interim chief fiscal officer of NAU from April 2009. In 2001, Dr. Shape was selected as the assistant to the university president and CEO of NAU and served as regional president for the Minnesota region with NAU in 2000. Dr. Shape worked in a number of different positions at NAU from 1991 to 2000, including system controller, assistant director of financial aid and student account specialist. Dr. Shape served as executive vice president of NAU from 1998 to 2000. Dr. Shape served as vice president of finance on the board of directors of Fountain Springs Community Church and served on the board of directors of the Quall Road District in Black Hawk, South Dakota. Dr. Shape has a B.A. from Dakota Wesleyan University and a MBA and Ed. D. from the University of South Dakota.  Dr. Shape was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2015.

Jeffrey B. Berzina currently serves as Vice President – Corporate Controller of Black Hills Corporation, a diversified energy company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Berzina has also held various other positions at Black Hills Corporation, including Vice President – Finance from November 2008 to May 2009, Assistant Corporate Controller from May 2004 to November 2008, and Director of Financial Reporting/Manager of Financial Reporting from July 2000 to May 2004. Mr. Berzina served as the chair of the Investment Committee and served on the Finance Committee of the Rapid City Catholic Schools from July 2009 to July 2012. Mr. Berzina is a University of South Dakota graduate and has practiced as a Certified Public Accountant.

Dr. Thomas D. Saban joined our board with Dlorah on November 23, 2009. He currently serves as vice president of finance and administration at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He served as the vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer of Rocky Vista University, College of Osteopathic Medicine from November 2008 to October 2011. Dr. Saban has over 25 years of experience in the education industry. He served as the vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer at Texas A&M University from September 2007 to November 2008, associate vice president for planning, budgets and research at St. Petersburg College in Florida from October 2002 to September 2007 and as the vice president for administration and finance/chief financial officer at Worcester State College in Massachusetts from September 1996 to October 2002. He also served as the vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer of Chadron State College in Nebraska from July 1990 to September 1996. Dr. Saban held a number of other educational and leadership roles from 1982 to 1990, including as controller, director of finance and system coordinator/project leader. Dr. Saban has a B.S. from the University of Wyoming, an MBA from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. from Barry University.

Dr. Saban is a licensed CPA and his financial expertise in the education industry provides valuable specialized knowledge and financial and analytical skill to the Board.

Dr. Therese Crane

Since 2003 Dr. Therese "Terry" Crane, President of Crane Associates, has been a board member and educational consultant who works with corporations and institutions that are seeking to move through the 21st century with real solutions for challenging issues.  Dr. Crane applies her understanding of technology to transform educational practices. With more than 35 years of experience as an educator, business executive, and technology expert, Dr. Crane has been widely recognized as one of the nation's most innovative leaders in educational technology. In 1999, eSchool News selected Dr. Crane as one of the "Impact 30"--top movers and shakers for educational technology for the decade. Dr. Crane serves on the boards of National American University Inc, the Western Governor’s University, n2y Inc., and Alma Technologies.  She is an advisor to EdLeader 21 and trustee of the Curriki Foundation. She was a 7-year trustee and chairman of the National School Boards Foundation and 9 year trustee of the National Education Association Foundation Board.  

A native of Texas, Dr. Crane has a doctoral degree in educational leadership and a master’s in early childhood education from the University of North Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Crane began her career in the classroom, serving the Richardson (TX) Independent School District as first an elementary school teacher and, later, intermediate principal. Intrigued by the possibilities personal computers held for her gifted and talented students, Dr. Crane designed and implemented the district's first technology plan in 1983.


Richard L. Halbert
has served as a member of NAU’s Board of Governors for the past 16 years and is a former chair of the National American University Foundation, which was originally established as the NCB Foundation in 1967 for the purpose of making loans and providing scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial assistance to or for the benefit of students and faculty of NAU. From 2001 to 2007, Mr. Halbert also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Nebraska State College Board, which oversees the three state colleges. Mr. Halbert possesses over 20 years of operational and business advisory experience. In 1991, he co-founded Arck Foods, Inc., a ham processing company, for which he currently serves as secretary and corporate counsel. Since 1991, he has also served as president and secretary of Ol’ Farmers Brand, Inc., a subsidiary of Arck Foods, Inc. that sells hams to Walmart. Since 1982, Mr. Halbert has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Southeast Nebraska Communications, Inc., for whom he is also corporate counsel. As an attorney at law whose firm Halbert, Dunn & Halbert, LLC provides estate planning and business counseling, Mr. Halbert brings over 40 years of extensive legal experience to the Board. He is a Fellow in The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and carries the highest rating that the Martindale-Hubbel Law Directory can bestow when rating attorneys. He previously served as city attorney for Falls City, Neb., for 22 years and as the school attorney for Falls City Public Schools for 8 years.

Dr. Edward Buckingham is a member of our board of directors and currently works at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. His post-graduate training consisted of an internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston from July 1997 - June 1998. Edward had his residency training consisting of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston from July 1998-June 2002. He then had his fellowship training for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the New England Laser and Cosmetic surgery center in Albany, New York from July 2002-June 2003. Some of Edward's past positions include working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as a Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology. He also worked at the Albany Medical Center from July 2002-June 2003 as the Attending Surgeon, Clinical Instructor, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery/Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.