Norwich University | Alumni & Family


NUAA board of directors - Bios

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Executive Committee

  • William Lyons '90 - President

    Bill Lyons was raised in Natick, Massachusetts and attended public schools. He was never a stellar student. His high school years were when he first exhibited his workaholic attitude, working 35 hours a week as a department head for a retail chain.

    He attended Norwich from 1986 to 1990. He was an awful student, maintaining one of the lowest grade point averages in the electrical engineering program. He was the president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student chapter, perhaps his most remarkable achievement in four years on the Hill. Despite his inauspicious performance at Norwich, he has become a lifelong student, completing a law degree and two masters degrees, including a Master of Strategic Studies at the US Army War College.

    Since graduation, he has worked as a civil engineer for MassDOT, a consulting engineer, a department head for the City of Somerville, Massachusetts, and as an attorney. He is currently the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Hill Companies LL in Boston, Massachusetts. His clients include the US government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and many private and institutional clients. He has worked on projects on three continents and enjoys international development work.

    Bill accepted a commission in the Army Reserve when he graduated. He has served in the US Army Reserve as a company commander, a battalion commander, and two tours in group command. He is now in his final assignment serving as a Colonel in the position of Deputy G4 for the US Army Corps of Engineers. He has deployed three times in his 24 year career, including to Kuwait, the Balkans, and Iraq. He has spent most of his career in military intelligence and has enjoyed his parallel career. Bill has three sons - Liam, Connor, and Sean Patrick. They are his life’s work. They live in Hudson, Massachusetts.

    Degree Held: BS, electrical engineering
    What Norwich means to me: Norwich is part of the foundation of his life and his career. The University has played and continues to play a critical role in the development of his values, character, and his approach to life. At Norwich, he learned what he was capable of doing in life. He learned how important values are. He learned that anything is possible with hard work, commitment, and perseverance. Today, Norwich represents an opportunity for him to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and give back to the University so that new students can benefit from the lessons he learned.  

  • Colm K. Walker '05 - 1st Vice President

    Life has been full, interesting, and an adventure. Colm Walker commissioned in the Army from Norwich in 2005. Assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, he spent a year and a half in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After exiting the military post commitment, Mr. Walker joined the mega yacht industry. This experience took him throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and New England racing with different sailing programs. Over the last decade, he has worked in various roles from process improvement as a Six Sigma Black Belt, marketing and brand management in the Canadian and Caribbean market, sales management over a team spread throughout the Southeastern United States and most recently in technical consulting with He currently calls Alexandria, Virginia home.
    Degrees Held: BS, Economics, Norwich University; MBA, International Business, Loyola University

  • Paul Berntsen '84 - 2nd Vice President

    Paul Berntsen grew up in Northern New Jersey the son of two teachers. His father taught him to love the sport of skiing and raised him to become an instructor at the age of 16. He has been a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America since 1977 and  still works part-time as an Alpine Resort Trainer at Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire today. He misses the days of the NU Ski Area. Mr. Berntsen’s career through the years has been constantly changing. He spent over five years on Active Duty in the US Army, Infantry mostly stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, during the Cold War, reaching the rank of Captain. He spent many years in sales for several companies: All-state Legal Supply, New England Envelope Mfg. Co., MCI, and Frontier Communications. He made a career shift in the late 1990s when he moved into professional services consulting with International Network Services (INS), Lucent Technologies, and British Telecom. His career continued to evolve into Partner and Alliance related work. He is now an Alliance Partner Business Manager for Dell/EMC. Mr. Berntsen has been married to his wife, Sue, for 27 years and they have two children, Corinne (20) and Brandon (16). They have moved from NJ to NY State and have made their home for the past 12 years in Bedford, New Hampshire. 
    Degree Held: BS, business administration
    What Norwich means to me: Norwich helped him establish a better understanding of his capabilities and limits and rounded him out as an individual. Norwich put him into a very unique environment, a blend of real life situations within a very disciplined and structured program where teamwork seemed to always be the better choice than going it alone. Norwich is a place where everything is different yet nothing has changed.

  • David Ortiz '98 & M'06 - Secretary

    David Ortiz grew up all over the world in places like New York City, Italy, Germany, and Texas twice. He was a military brat that fell in love with the Air Force at an early age and always wanted to go a military college. He discovered Norwich when a flyer arrived at his house in 1993 and after reading about the school and meeting local alumni no other school could compete. He still considers Norwich and the Corps of Cadets one of the best decisions he has ever made. After graduation he entered the US Air Force and made a go of it as a weapons office and a physicist for about 4.5 years. During his last tour as a scientist in 2002 he decided to leave active service and continue in the sciences full time as a DoD civilian. His love of the military was not over. He stayed in the reserves and has had the luck of being on two groundbreaking military research teams that have garnered Air Force wide recognition. As a civilian he has served around the world and recently in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff. Now he serves as manager with the DoD in the cyber domain and he continues to have a ball playing scientist for the military from time to time. Through it all he has had the friendship and support of some great Norwich pals that live locally and some who live far away. He has three children, two of his own and one stepson whom he “threatened” fondly with military school when he’s out of line.

    What Norwich means to me:  Anyone who knows him understands that Norwich is a big part of his life and he is honored to be a part of the NUAA Board. For the past few years he has made himself available to local alums in the DC area and is glad that some have found jobs and career opportunities though his connections. Pitching in to help grads who he has just met gives him a sense of connection back to The Wick. It feels like he is paying her back for all the things the Corps gave to me. Personally, he still loves meeting grads in odd places and whether you know each other or not the Ring makes you instant comrades just catching up on old war stories. Norwich will always be a part of his life. He wants other grads in the local community to realize that they are part of a very special club, with a very long line of service to each other and the Nation. He’ll do his part and continue to tell grads he helps to pay it forward to the next Norwich grad that reaches out to them for advice.

  • Tim P. Finamore '85, M'03 & P'14 - President Emeritus

    Originally from Levittown, New York, Tim Finamore never envisioned that New England, let alone Vermont, would become such a large part of his life. He and his siblings were fortunate to find Norwich through a favorite high school teacher and Norwich alumnus, Milton Teguis '68.
    After graduation, Mr. Finamore found his way into the insurance industry and now works at MassMutual Financial Group. His insurance industry career would never have happened had his former Norwich roommate, Gary Viera ‘85, not recommended him for his first position at Nationwide Insurance. Over the span of almost 30 years and five relocations (i.e., Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Connecticut), hehas become an accomplished business professional. Utilizing this foundation of business acumen, he hopes to make a difference as an NUAA board member and give back to Norwich.

    He and his wife, Marina, have shared many memorable moments trekking back and forth to Norwich in recent years from their home in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2014, they celebrated  25 years of marriage. They would never have met had he not been invited to be a groomsman at the wedding of their dear friend, Dave Sutherland ’85.
    Degree(s) Held: BS, business administration, Minor in economics and MBA
    What Norwich means to me: The Finamore family shares a special bound with each other and Norwich University that is precious and near and dear to our hearts. My brother Michael ’82, sister Regina ’88 & M’08 and I are graduates and former members of the Corp of Cadets. My wife, Marina, and I are also proud parents of four children. Our middle two, Patrick ’14 and Lucas ’16, carry on the family tradition at Norwich as members of the Corp of Cadets. Juliana, our first born, holds an undergraduate degree from UCONN ’13. While Dylan, our high school junior, has yet to state his college intention and keeps us eagerly waiting.

  • Eddie Habeck '99 & M'10 - Staff Liaison

    Email the Alumni Office

Board Members

  • Maryanne Burke '86 & P'18

  • Cherylene Caddy '90

    Ms. Caddy currently manages a cybersecurity public-private partnership program at the Department of Defense. In this position, she convenes technical experts from across the government and the technology industry to jointly develop solutions to cyber-based risks and vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. 

    Prior to DoD, Ms. Caddy served as the Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the National Security Council within the White House for two and one-half years.  In this capacity, she shaped national policies related to improving cyber protections among a broad set of stakeholders including federal agencies, state governments, the private sector, and foreign partners.  In particular, Ms. Caddy led efforts on advancing cyber protections for state and local governments, representing the White House at the Council of Governors and the National Governors Association.  Ms. Caddy contributed to the development of major strategic policies including the 2015 National Security Strategy, National Initiative for Cyber Education, the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, and numerous executive orders.  Ms. Caddy also led engagement efforts with the private sector on cybersecurity, and directed the work of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and other federal advisory committees. 

    Prior to her assignment to the White House, Ms. Caddy worked for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on achieving assured sharing of classified counterterrorism information using interoperable security standards and shared processes.  In this role, Ms. Caddy led interagency teams in solving complex policy and technical issues related to secure information sharing among federal and state government partners. Ms. Caddy has also held a variety of positions within the Foreign Service community.

    Ms. Caddy is in her twenty-fifth year of federal service and holds Master’s degrees in Foreign Policy and Public Administration from the University of Virginia and the American University, respectively.  Ms. Caddy is also a graduate of Norwich University, Military College of Vermont, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies in 1990.    She is a graduate of the Army War College’s Senior Leadership Program, and is now serving as a Senior Fellow for Cybersecurity at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

  • Joey Mac Dizon '11

  • Brian Dunne '13

    Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brian Dunne graduated from Norwich University in 2013 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice.  Active in the Corps of Cadets, Brian served as a Rook cadre member, and served on and chaired the Corps Honor Committee.  Following Norwich, Brian attended Vermont Law School, graduated in 2016, and returned to Vermont through a role with National Life Group.  Brian continues to actively volunteer at Norwich, and in addition to Board of Directors responsibilities, Brian works as a club officer with both the NU Club of Burlington and the NU Law and Legal Professionals Association.

  • Brian Gibbons '99

  • Jennifer Goudreau '90

  • Walt Gunning '70

  • Shawn LoPorto '88 & P'18

    Shawn LoPorto grew up in East Weymouth, MA on the South Shore of Boston as a multi-sport athelete. His last few years of high school he served with the US Naval Sea Cadets which ignited his military passion along with the many family military stories and the long history of family members proudly serving in the military across all the branches of service; so it was only natural to pursue "the road less travelled" and challenge himself. Shawn entered Norwich in '84 and switched to the Army program due to his love of ground tactics. While at Norwich, Shawn proudly served all four years with Ceremonial Company on the Drill Team where he spent one year on the percision platoon, three years on the Trick Squad and Two-Man Trick team, served as Trick Squad Commander for 3 years, was on the Color Guard and Honor Detail. Additionally Shawn was a radio DJ for WNUB and also served on the National Ski Patrol for 4 years. Shawn commissioned in the Army where he was a Tactical Intel Officer in the Light Infantry rising to the rank of Captain and serving 8 years and traveling to places like Iceland and England. Assignments were exciting, challenging and memorable. Today Shawn applies both his leadership skills and degree in managing software development teams in technology companies.

    Shawn continues to give of himself serving on the NUAA Board of Directors, serves as the Assistant Adjutant and Webmaster for the Norwich University American Legion Post 1819 and is a High School Lacrosse Coach.

    Shawn is a proud father of both his son Tyler who is attending Norwich and his daughter Kylie who is attending UNC - Charlotte.

    Degree Held: BS, Computer Science - Business

    What Norwich means to me: Norwich means everything to me. It provided the foundation of who I am today. Norwich is in my blood and taught me leadership, discipline, integrity, confidence, loyalty and honor. It created friendships that are like no others. The Norwich motto "Essayons" is the basis for everything I take on. My success today is due to the lessons and principles I learned at Norwich and the Army. My time at Norwich was incredible and I'd do it all over again. Being able to serve on the Board of Directors and give back to the University that gave me so much and help keep the spirit alive in the Norwich Alumni community is an honor!

  • John Manning '81 & M'14

    John “Archie” Manning grew up in South Weymouth, MA where he was a multi-sport athlete playing football, basketball and baseball. With a desire to experience a military environment and continue playing college sports John came to Norwich in the Fall of 1977. He was a member of the varsity football and baseball team during his years at Norwich as well as a member of the Honor Committee his senior year. John has continued his support of Norwich being actively involved in reunion gatherings and fundraising since his graduation in 1981.

    John and his wife Jennifer reside in Marshfield Hills MA and are the proud parents of their son Liam who is currently attending Norwich. Mr. Manning is currently employed with Eversource Energy in Boston, MA. 

    Degrees Held: BS, Secondary Education - Mathematics '81. MS, Organizational Leadership '14

    What Norwich means to me: Everything!!  Honor, integrity, trust and most importantly friendship. The special bond that we share is unmatched and something I hold in the highest regard. I am very proud to be a member of the Norwich family.

  • Kelsey McComish '13

  • Meaghan McGrath '18

    Born and raised in Vermont, Meaghan studied at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) in Business and worked as a part-time high school Varsity Lacrosse coach and as a coach for youth teams. After earning an Associate Degree at CCV, she transferred to Norwich University. Meaghan graduated from Norwich University in 2018 with a B.A in Business Management and concentration in Leadership.

    While at Norwich, she was very active in the honor committee, Student Government Association, and the women's lacrosse team. Following Norwich, Meaghan continued her education by getting an M.A in Information Technology Systems, with a focus on Cyber Security, at Forbs University. Currently, she works at National Life Group in the Human Resources Department as Talent Acquisition Coordinator. Meaghan continues to volunteer at many Norwich Alumni events while serving on the Board of the NUAA.

  • Rick Mullen '79

    Rick is number 5 of 14, and proud parent of Derek '13 number 12, of the extended Mullen Family that have attended and/or graduated from Norwich University over 3 generations. 

    After graduation, Rick following in the footsteps of the family and entered into the housing industry.  Working a few years with his Dad (Dick '58) prior to going off to Graduate School.  Rick earned his MBA from the University of Southern New Hampshire in 1984. Upon graduation from SNHU, he purchased a Sales Agency in Farmington, Connecticut, where he currently resides. 

    In addition, to the NUAA, Rick also serves as an Admissions Ambassador, attending college fairs in Connecticut. 
    Rick and his wife Ann, love the visits to Norwich for Alumni Weekends, or visiting Derek '13 while he was there swimming for the Cadets.  Rick and Ann also have a 2nd son Monte the former captain of the golf team and graduate of Central Connecticut State University. 

    In his free time, Rick plays golf, tennis and hockey.

  • Robert Parisi '67

    Robert E. Parisi is originally from West Orange, New Jersey. He became involved in leadership positions throughout his youth and served as Vice President of his high school’s Student Counsel and Captain of his high school football team. He was enrolled in a scientific academic program designed to prepare him for a career in the Biological Sciences.

    In 1963, Bob received a Congressional appointment to attend the Navel Academy as an alternate candidate; however, the primary candidate was selected to the appointment. Not one to give up his on his goals, this led Bob to pursue another avenue to becoming a commissioned officer in the armed forces; he took the “Norwich path” and was accepted into the University’s Biology curriculum. Bob entered Norwich during very turbulent times. There was great change in our country and we were in the midst of a war that challenged our mettle as a nation.

    While at Norwich, Bob served as a Class Agent for the Honor Committee and became a member of the Corps Honor Committee. He was also a member of the Skull & Swords. Throughout his four years, he was a member of various other committees and participated in football and track for four years. His years of attendance were 1963-1967 and recently, Bob and his classmates were honored as they became members of the Norwich “Old Guard” upon their 50th Anniversary. Bob is also listed in the “Who’s Who of American Colleges & Universities”, 1967.

    Bob received his commission into the U.S. Army upon graduation and entered the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1969 to 1971. He served two years in the 1st Infantry Division as a company commander and at the U.S. Army Hospital, Seoul, Korea as a detachment commander. And, finally, he was an assistant to the Chief of Professional Services for the hospital.

    Upon entering the private sector, Bob gained employment at Hoffmann La-Roche, a major pharmaceutical company. He worked his way up the ranks of Roche over a 33 year career where he held positions culminating in being appointed Vice President of Operations for Roche’s field sales force and managed over 1100 sales professionals of varying status.

    Along the way, Bob held positions in sales, training, line management, managed care marketing and executive leadership. He retired from Roche is 2001. He then joined Dendrite International, market leaders in Sales Force automation software tools for pharmaceutical representatives. He remained at Dendrite five years, retiring (for good this time!) in 2006 as Group Senior Vice President.

    Bob has expectations that through his training and experience he can provide training, advice, coaching and counseling to Norwich students to assist in their preparation for the future. Bob and his wife, Linda, are now Florida residents, spending his time in Juno Beach Florida and summers in Sea Girt, New Jersey. He is married, has two children and five grandchildren.

    What Norwich Means to Me: Norwich University allowed me to mature to adulthood by teaching me that role modeling; honesty, integrity and persistence are the backbone of leadership. Norwich values and teaching helped us reach our potential and emerge as leaders in our community, our armed forces and in managing our careers and vocations. Academics were very important. However, interpersonal skills, maturity, courage and tenacity taught there prepared us for our journey through life. Norwich’s motto, I WILL TRY, became an inner feeling of how to conduct ourselves in times of difficulty, tragedy and challenge.

  • (Jonathan) Sam Philbrook '13

    Sam Philbrook graduated from Norwich University in 2013 with a B.A. in History. During his time at Norwich he was captain of the baseball team, served on the Regimental Staff as the Cadet Athletic Liaison, and was a member of the Senior Honor Committee. After Norwich, Sam commissioned into the Vermont Army National Guard as an Infantry Officer and currently serves as the HHC Executive Officer for the MTN Battalion. Sam is a staunch supporter of the Norwich University alumni community as a club officer for the Burlington, VT chapter. He owns his own financial practice in Burlington, Vermont and is a partner at Commonwealth Financial Group. Currently, Sam resides with his fiancée Sarah Dupont NU ’13 and their son Abel.

  • Joseph Reagan '04

  • Brendan Recchia '08

  • Barry Wright '70

    Barry Wright was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts and attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Upon graduation in 1970 he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army from the Norwich ROTC program. His technical qualifications were enhanced in 1975 with a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering (Operations Research) from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    He entered the Army in April of 1971 embarking on a 47-year career of leadership and management assignments that reflect significant growth of responsibility and professional skill. In the Army he successfully commanded units through Brigade level. His Level III Army Acquisition Corps Certification made an easy transition into the private sector upon his retirement from the Army. While working in the defense sector he displayed experience and expertise in all aspects of business; marketing, business development, bid and proposal, operational management, and customer relations as a Fortune 500 Company Business Unit Vice President.

    Barry points to the values, skills and education he received at Norwich as the basis for the successes he has enjoyed in strategic planning while working continuity of government programs at the White House, public policy during his Congressional Fellowship, and operational implementation in all phases of his career.

    Barry has retired from full time employment and now dedicates his time to select consulting and advisory initiatives involving education and government contracting, tutoring and fly fishing. He makes himself approachable and enjoys mentoring anyone who seeks counsel or will listen to unsolicited advice.