Alfred University alumna Carolyn S. Clark ’90 made history when she became chair of her alma mater’s Board of Trustees, effective July 1. Clark, who had served as vice chair from 2017-22, is the first ever female in the University’s 186-year history to lead its Board of Trustees.
“I’m humbled and honored,” said Clark, who replaces fellow Alfred University alumnus Greg Connors ’92 as chair. “We have an impressive line of former Board chairs, and I hope to continue the great work they have done.”
Steve Heine ’81 succeeds Clark as vice chair of the Board of Trustees.
On being the first woman Board chair at Alfred University, Clark commented, “I feel extremely grateful to be able to serve and expect that I’m just the first of many women in our future.”
Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Alfred University; she also has an MBA from Seton Hall University. She has enjoyed a successful career in the field of medical communications. In 2005, Clark co-founded a medical communications company, Peloton Advantage, LLC, of which she was part owner. In 2018, Amulet Capital Partners acquired majority share of the company.
At the end of 2018, Peloton Advantage merged with OPEN Health to create a global provider of communication services for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Clark served as chair of OPEN Health Communications, retiring in 2021. On July 18, 2022, Astorg, a European private equity firm with over $17 billion in assets, announced that it had completed a transaction to acquire OPEN Health.
Clark’s leadership experience in running a business, in which she stressed the importance of working together, will serve her well in her role as Board chair.
“When my business partner and I finally settled on a name for our company, Peloton Advantage, it truly represented our philosophy of teamwork,” she said. ‘Peloton’ is a cycling term that refers to a group of cyclists, riding together more efficiently and effectively than a single rider alone. “Our business was built on a team of experts in the field of medical communications. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed the opportunity to mentor and collaborate with an amazing group of people. As a leader of any business, you must be a good listener, learner, executor and sometimes cheerleader, and I feel that I perform all those aspects really well.”
Clark will carry that philosophy with her in her role as Board chair. “Given the size of our Board and the depth of expertise, it is important to listen to each one’s perspectives before formulating a decision,” she said.
Among her most immediate goals for the Board and Alfred University, Clark cites a need to communicate to prospective students everything that makes the University unique and special.
“Alfred University is a special place that provides a transformational experience for those that attend. We need to promote the value of an Alfred University education, and the endless opportunities for our students to explore and learn given our depth of offerings,” she commented. “We must continue to invest in the faculty and staff that deliver on our promise and look for strategic investments that will transform Alfred for the future.”
Clark cites her “love of Alfred University” as the reason she serves on the Board and works to promote and advance the University.
“I am grateful for the experience that I had as a student and the generous support that I received allowing me to realize my success in life,” she said. “I want to contribute in any way that I can, to ensure the next generation of students has the same opportunity as I did.”
Clark credited her fellow trustees, including Connors and Terry Galanis Jr. HD ’19 for the influence they have had on her during her tenure on the Board.
“I really can’t thank Greg Connors enough for his ongoing guidance and mentorship,” she said.
“The first person that I met on the Board was Terry Galanis. His love of Alfred and welcoming personality is what first attracted me to the Board. There have been so many Board members that have provided mentorship and guidance – it really is a special group of people that are focused on how to support Alfred University, today, tomorrow and well into the future with the student at the center of everything we do.”