Members of the Board of Trustees


Executive Officers of the Board

  • Joseph M. Gingo, Chair
  • Olivia P. Demas, Vice Chair
  • Alfred V. Ciraldo, M.D., Vice Chair

Professional Staff Officers of the Board

M. Celeste Cook

M. Celeste Cook
Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Vice President and General Counsel

John J. Reilly

John J. Reilly
Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees,
Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel


See the Trustees' Board committee assignments.

Lewis W. Adkins Jr.

Lewis AdkinsLewis W. Adkins Jr., was appointed to a term beginning Feb. 3, 2017. An graduate of Akron Law and a civic leader, Mr. Adkins is a partner and practice group manager in public law, regulatory and finance at Roetzel & Andress' Cleveland office. He serves as lead counsel to numerous large, public and private entities in Ohio and Washington, D.C. He also has acted as lead counsel for several multimillion dollar development projects. His clients include public and private entities, as well as diversified energy companies, governmental entities, housing authorities and nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Adkins received the School of Law's J. Dean Carro Professionalism Award from the Black Law Students Association in 2015. He also created the school's Judge James R. Williams Endowed Scholarship.

He is the former board chair of the Akron Urban League. His community affiliations include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; the Cleveland Urban League; the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, where he is a member of the Nominating Committee; and the Summit County Consumer Affairs Board. (Term expires 2025)

Roland H. Bauer

Roland Bauer, a Trustee of The University of AkronRoland H. Bauer, was appointed to a full, nine-year term on the Board on Sept. 13, 2011 after having filled the unexpired term of another person from 2006 through 2009.  He has served on the Board in a variety of roles, including as chair and vice chair of the Board, chair of the Facilities Planning and Oversight Committee, and chair of the Quaker Square Coordinating Committee.

Mr. Bauer is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cypress Companies, Inc. and has been a member of the boards of the Akron Art Museum, the Greater Akron Chamber, the Akron Zoo, the Western Reserve Bank of Medina (WRBO: OTC US), and both the Akron Symphony and its Foundation. He also served as a Commissioner of Summit Metro Parks and is an outside Director of Oatey Company of Cleveland. He also is a member of the College of Business Administration’s Advancement Council and the Northampton Rotary.

Mr. Bauer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from The University of Akron in May 2009. Mr. Bauer and his wife, Mary, have three daughters. (Term expires 2020)

Alfred V. Ciraldo, M.D.

A Ciraldo Board Portrait DSC_0374 cropped and resized for websiteAlfred V. Ciraldo, M.D., Vice Chair, appointed on October 28, 2013, graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School (1972), The University of Akron (1976) and The Ohio State University College of Medicine (1979). A board-certified general surgeon at Summit Surgical Associates Inc., he practices at Summa Health System and Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Ohio State Medical Association and American Medical Society. Dr. Ciraldo serves on the SummaCare Utilization Review Board, University Park YMCA Board and Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee. He also takes annual medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic with Medical Ministry International. A “regular” in area 5K runs and the Akron Marathon Team Relay, Dr. Ciraldo is a long-time sponsor and team captain with the Susan G. Komen Akron Race for the Cure. (Term expires 2022)

Cindy Crotty

C Crotty Board Portrait DSC_0369 cropped and resized for websiteCindy Crotty was appointed on May 10, 2018.

A financial executive with more than 30 years in the field, Ms. Crotty is North Region President of Peoples Bank. In 1981, Ms. Crotty began a 14-year career with Citicorp North America, serving as vice president in numerous divisions with Citibank in Atlanta and Cleveland. During a 20-year career with KeyBank, she held senior vice president and executive vice president positions for KeyBank before moving into her current position at Peoples Bank in 2016.

Ms. Crotty serves on boards for numerous community organizations in the Cleveland area, including Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency; Hathaway Brown School, an all-girls private school; The Gathering Place, a nonprofit cancer support center; and the United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund, which supports more than 625 local UCC congregations. (Term expires 2026)

Olivia P. Demas

Olivia P. DemasOlivia P. Demas, Vice Chair, was appointed to the Board for a term beginning September 13, 2012. An alumnus of the University who holds degrees in chemistry and law, Mrs. Demas previously was a member of the University’s National Alumni Board and a constituent board member for the School of Law, serving as its president in 2009-2011. Her past board affiliations include the Akron Bar Association, Akron Community Foundation, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, Ohio Ballet, Summit Developmental Disabilities Board and Old Trail School. Mrs. Demas currently serves as a Board Director for ArtsNow and is a member of the Akron/Canton Barristers Association, and the Ohio State Bar and Akron Bar Associations. Mrs. Demas resides in Richfield with her husband, William, and they are parents of three adult children. (Term expires 2021)

Joseph M. Gingo

Joseph M Gingo webJoseph M. Gingo was Chief Executive Officer and President of A. Schulman, Inc., effective January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2014 and August 16, 2016 to present. He was named Chairman of the Board February 26, 2008 and remains in this capacity.

Previously, Mr. Gingo was employed by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for more than 40 years. From June 2003 through December 2007, he was Executive Vice President, Quality Systems and Chief Technical Officer at Goodyear. In this role he was responsible for Goodyear’s Research, Tire Technology and Engineering and Quality organizations. He was also responsible for new product introductions and continuous improvement activities globally and the relationship with Goodyear’s global partner Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Prior to that, he held numerous domestic and international leadership positions in the company’s technical organization and business units including Asia, Aviation Products, Off-the-Road Tires, Engineered Products and Racing.

Mr. Gingo was born in Akron, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1966, and earned a law degree from the University of Akron in 1971. In 1982, he was selected for the Sloan Fellowship program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he received a master’s degree in business management from the program in 1983.

Mr. Gingo is active in the following business associations and community activities:

  • A. Schulman, Inc., Chairman of the Board
  • OMNOVA Solutions, Board of Directors
  • Purcell Tire & Rubber Company, Chairman of the Board
  • PolymerPlus, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Strata Energy Systems, LLC, Board of Directors
  • FirstEnergy Solutions, Board of Directors
  • The University of Akron, Chairman, Board of Trustees

Mr. Gingo and his wife Linda live in Wadsworth, Ohio. They have one son who resides in Akron with his wife. (Term expires 2023)

Thomas F. Needles

Thomas F. Needles, Trustee at The University of AkronThomas F. Needles was appointed to a full, nine-year term on Sept. 28, 2018.

As head of the Columbus-based Compass Consulting Group, LLC, Needles has a proven track record of developing and successfully executing comprehensive government relations and media strategies. He is an expert in advocacy of state, federal and administrative issues across a broad range of public policy areas.

Prior to his work at Compass Consulting Group, Needles served in the state and federal governments for 15 years, including positions such as senior adviser to former Ohio Gov. George Voinovich, special assistant to former President George H. W. Bush and as a congressional press secretary and legislative assistant on Capitol Hill.

Needles earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Walsh University, where he was recognized as an outstanding alumnus and was also recipient of the Community Service Award. He earned a master’s degree in history at John Carroll University and a master’s degree in political theory at the Catholic University of America, where he also served as a guest lecturer.

An experienced volunteer, Needles has served under four Ohio governors as chairman of the Ohio Higher Educational Facility Commission and was also appointed by Kasich to the Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. Needles also founded a nonprofit that awarded more than 400 educational scholarships to low-income Columbus families, and was the pro bono president of a program that helps at-risk and disadvantaged students in Ohio. (Term expires 2027)

Ralph J. Palmisano

Ralph J. PalmisanoRalph J. Palmisano was appointed to the Board in August 2010. A partner in the Akron law firm of Leiby, Hanna, Rasnick, Towne, Evanchan, Palmisano & Hobson, LLC, he represents clients in corporate, financing, real estate development, corporate acquisition and product liability defense matters. Mr. Palmisano has lived in the Akron area his entire life. He is a graduate of Akron North High School and The University of Akron and is a member of Lone Star Fraternity. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School in 1973 and, before moving his practice to Akron, practiced law in Cleveland for 10 years. He has served on the boards of the Akron City Club, the Community Hall Foundation (Akron Civic Theatre) where he served as President, the Downtown Akron Partnership, the Revere Gridiron Club and the Revere Youth Football Association. He is a member of the Italian American Professional Businessman's Association and is active in the Italian American community of the Akron area. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and currently live in Medina. (Term expires 2019)

William (Bill) A. Scala

William A. Scala William (Bill) A. Scala, appointed on March 25, 2016, is President and Chairman of Kenmore Construction Co., Inc., responsible for overall company operations including project bidding, negotiations, strategic planning and management.

Mr. Scala joined Kenmore in 1972 and served as Controller from 1975 to 1981, President from 1982 to 1985, and President and Chairman since 1985. Previously, he was a Field Accountant for Touche, Ross and Co. He earned a bachelor’s of science in accounting from The University of Akron in 1975 and later attended its School of Law. In the community, he has served as a board member and Chairman of the Board at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron and as a member of the Foundation Committee at the Interval Brotherhood Home in Akron. (Term expires 2024)


Andrew M. Adolph

DSC_5081 cropped and resized for websiteAndrew M. Adolph was appointed as a Student Trustee by Gov. John Kasich on July 2, 2018.

Adolph, a Williams Honors Scholar, is entering his junior year at UA pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is a resident of Canal Fulton and a graduate of Jackson High School in Massillon.

Adolph has a role in a number of UA organizations and activities, including Undergraduate Student Government, University Council and Zips Recruiting Club. Additionally, Adolph is a Presidential Student Ambassador and student tour guide, and was involved in UA’s Emerging Leaders program. Outside of UA, Adolph is an Eagle Scout and is a volunteer with Northern Ohio Golf Charities, the organization that sponsors the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. (Term expires 2020)

Joshua E. J. Thomas

Joshua ThomasJoshua E. J. Thomas, was appointed as a Student Trustee by Gov. John Kasich on July 14, 2017. A former aircraft electrician in the United States Air Force, he is a spring 2017 graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Structural Engineering.

As an undergraduate, he received The University of Akron Life Award for Diversity as well as the Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics (IDEAs) Award in 2016, and he has served as an Akron Early College High School Mentor since 2015. He has taken part in many leadership roles in student organizations including Campus Focus, the National Society of Black Engineers and the College of Engineering Dean’s Team, and he worked as a student assistant for the IDEAs Program. His other activities included Engineering Student Council, American Society of Civil Engineers and The University of Akron Steel Bridge Team. (Term expires 2019)


Anthony J. Alexander

Anthony J. AlexanderAnthony J. Alexander, named an Advisory Trustee in August 2013, is the retired president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp. After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The University of Akron in 1972, Mr. Alexander began his career in the Tax Department of Ohio Edison. He entered the University’s School of Law, earned a JD in 1975 and joined Ohio Edison’s Legal Department as an attorney in 1976. He rose steadily through the ranks to become senior attorney in 1984; associate general counsel in 1987; vice president and general counsel in 1989; senior vice president and general counsel in 1991; and executive vice president and general counsel in 1996. In 1997, Mr. Alexander was elected executive vice president and general counsel of FirstEnergy and became its president in 2000. He was elected president and chief operating officer in 2001, became president and chief executive officer and Board member in January 2004, and retired in 2015. (Term expires 2019)

Sandra Pianalto

Sandra PianaltoSandra Pianalto, who retired in 2014 as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, is the first person to hold the Advisory Trustee position established by the Board in 2011. She also serves the University as Executive-in-Residence and FirstMerit Chair in Banking in the College of Business Administration. Ms. Pianalto is chair of the board of University Hospitals and is a past chair and a life director of the board of United Way of Greater Cleveland, as well as a member of many other community boards, including College Now Greater Cleveland. Ms. Pianalto is a graduate of The University of Akron and The George Washington University. She joined the Federal Reserve Bank in 1983 and progressed through the ranks to become its president in 2003. (Term expires 2018)