Left to Right: Front Row - William Mark Russell, Gayle L. Pollock, Nate B. Esplin, Carolyn Higbee, Sherrie Hansen, Nina R. Barnes, Marshall Erb; Back Row - Jim Johnson, Eric O. Leavitt, Ryan Horlacher
The Higher Education Act of 1969, as amended, created the Board of Trustees as an integral part of the Utah System of Higher Education. As provided in the Act, the State Board of Regents delegates to and vests certain powers in institutional boards of trustees.
**note that dates are subject to change.
Gayle L. Pollock is a native of Tropic, Utah, and was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2005. He is a 1988 graduate of Southern Utah University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Science and Geology. Since 1995 he has served as the executive director/CEO of the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association and previously worked for the Public Health Service and U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, CO. During his tenure at Bryce Canyon, Gayle has worked closely with SUU to establish annual scholarship and undergraduate research opportunities for students. The culmination of these efforts includes the 2006 signing of a formal partnership agreement between Bryce Canyon National Park and SUU, known as the Alliance for Education. Gayle currently serves on several community and state boards including the SUU Science Advisory Board and the Cedar Mountain Science Center. He is also a member of the Garfield County High Angle Rescue Team and Tropic Volunteer Fire Department. Gayle and his wife Marie are the parents of four children and currently reside in Tropic.
Jim Johnson has worked as superintendent of the Iron County School District since 2003. Prior to moving to Iron County, Superintendent Johnson served as the assistant superintendent in the Washington County School District for six years. With a total 32 years in education, Jim has been a classroom teacher, a coach, an assistant principal and a high school principal. Jim is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for Southern Utah University, the Utah School Superintendent Association, and the Northwest Accreditation Committee for the Utah State Office of Education. He and his wife, Deb, now call Cedar City home.
Ann Marie Allen Born and raised in central and southern Utah, Ann Marie Allen brings to her post as trustee a wealth of institutional knowledge and commitment to the University’s ongoing success. Daughter to Kay L. McIff, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees when Southern Utah State College became Southern Utah University, Ann Marie is the second of her family to stand as trustee and leader of SUU. A 12-year resident of Cedar City herself, Ann Marie and her family are heavily involved in the campus and local communities in both voluntary service and as deputy Iron County attorney, commissioner for the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, an appointee to the Utah State Indigent Defense Taskforce, and partner for the Barnes & Allen Law Firm in Cedar City. She also presently serves as a Rotarian and was distinguished as a Paul Harris Fellow within that organization. Anne Marie earned her juris doctorate from Brigham Young University. She is married to Randy Allen, a professor within SUU’s Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, and the couple has three children.
Marshall Erb, a native of Eugene, Oregon, who now lives in Draper, Utah, has worked in accounting and finance throughout his professional career since completing the accounting program at Portland State University. As the owner of KME Associates, he has also worked at EnergySolutions as treasurer and senior vice president, was the chief financial officer at Enviocare of Utah, and was the western region director for finance and accounting for XO Communications. With a penchant to give back, Marshall has served as an influential member of many corporate and startup company boards and on several community boards and committees on every level, from the political to those within his local neighborhood. When he is not in the office, Marshall enjoys fly fishing, golfing, snow skiing and baseball. He and his wife Debora have been married for the past 28 years, and the couple has raised three daughters. Their youngest, Michelle, is a proud SUU graduate.
Nate B. Esplin is a native of Cedar City and earned his Bachelors of Science and Master's degrees in accountancy at SUU. After graduation, he earned his CPA designation and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm. From there, Nate began working at the Leavitt Group Enterprises in 2000 where he is currently the Chief Financial Officer for various subsidiaries. Other positions Nate has held within the Leavitt Group include cash manager, controller and treasurer. Throughout, Nate has remained active within his community, and is currently president-elect on the governing board for the Foundation of Valley View Medical Center and is also the community representative on the SUU Board of Trustees audit committee. Nate and his wife Lindsay remain in Cedar City with their four children.
Sherrie Hansen runs her own State Farm Insurance business in Cedar City and has worked in the insurance and financial services for 24 years. She is licensed as a Registered Representative for State Farm VP Management and is also a member of The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors where she served as the IFAPAC Chair for the southern Utah organization. Sherrie is no less dedicated to her community and serves on several committees and boards, including the Safety Solutions Coalition, the Veteran Memorial Park Committee, the Chamber of Commerce Board and the Professional Advisory Committee for Planned Gifting at SUU. She is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Cedar City and was the club's first female president. Sherrie enjoys spending time with her husband Scott, hiking, reading, gardening, fishing and spending time with her children and seven grandchildren.
Carolyn Higbee A native of Cedar City, Carolynn Higbee is a stay at home mother who attended Southern Utah University after first graduating from Cedar High School. Before joining the University’s board of trustees, Carolyn served on the board of the SUU Alumni Association for two years. Beyond campus, Carolyn has volunteered with the Cedar City Little League organization for more than 15 years and is also the PTA secretary for South Elementary and secretary for the Cedar High booster club, a position she has held for many years. She has volunteered for the community’s Alzheimer's support group and Meals on Wheels in Iron County, and has also held many leadership service positions in her church. Carolyn is married to Thomas Miles Higbee with whom she has five sons and eight grandchildren. Among her immediate family are eight SUU graduates.
Ryan Horlacher As the current Student Association president, Ryan Horlacher is a senior at SUU, majoring in business management. Growing up in Bunkerville, Nevada, he first came to SUU in September 2006; after serving an LDS mission, he returned in 2009. Since, Ryan has co-founded the Acoustic Instrument Club and become heavily involved in student government. He married his wife Rebecka in September 2011; she is also a current student at SUU—a nursing major.
Eric O. Leavitt is the President of Leavitt Group Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of The Leavitt Group — a network of over 115 independent insurance agencies located in 14 states. After attending Southern Utah University, Eric graduated from the University of Utah in 1986 and then in 1988, earned a master's degree from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. Before joining The Leavitt Group, Eric worked for five years in the independent power industry developing cogeneration projects in Massachusetts, Vermont, Utah and California. He serves on the Board of Directors of Zions Bank and also on its Trust Committee, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. Eric resides in Cedar City with his wife Melissa and their six children.
William Mark Russell currently serves as president of Southern Utah University's National Alumni Association. Following high school graduation in Rockford, IL, Mark returned to his native Utah to attend Southern Utah State College (now SUU). He obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1974 and then went on to earn an MBA from the University of Utah in 1975. While attending SUSC, Mark served in student government as attorney general and was the recipient of the Outstanding Student in Business award. Mark currently serves as a member of the SUU Board of Trustees, and has served as a director and trustee on several other boards. He is a financial advisor with MetLife Securities and has earned his firm's Senior Financial Services Executive designation. Mark and his wife Jeri (an SUU alumna) have spent several years representing the University as admissions advisors, sponsoring open houses and assisting in student recruitment in the Salt Lake area. They are the proud parents of four children, all of whom have attended SUU.