Luxbacher and Richards Advanced as New Trustee Candidates by Pitt Board’s Nominating Panel

Issue Date: 
June 20, 2011
Roberta A. LuxbacherRoberta A. Luxbacher
Thomas E. RichardsThomas E. Richards

The Nominating Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees has recommended for membership on the board Pitt alumnus Roberta A. Luxbacher (ENGR ’78), vice president, Global Industrial and Wholesale, ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company of ExxonMobil Corporation, and Pitt alumnus Thomas E. Richards (A&S ’76), president, chief operating officer, and executive committee member of CDW LLC.

The full board will act on the committee’s recommendations at its June 24 annual meeting.

Biographical information on the nominees follows.

In her current position for ExxonMobil, Luxbacher is responsible for global fuel sales, marketing, and operations for industrial, commercial, and wholesale customers in more than three dozen countries. She joined Exxon in 1978, the same year she earned her BS degree in chemical engineering from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. She progressed through a series of downstream (refining and marketing) analysis, planning, business coordination, and management assignments in Houston, Dallas, and Charlotte. In 1991, she moved to Houston as planning and engineering manager for Exxon Marketing Distribution and was subsequently named Exxon’s manager for Products & Feedstocks, Supply. In 1995, she moved to Exxon’s upstream (exploration and production) business as the corporation’s manager for its U.S. Natural Gas Marketing division.

Luxbacher was named vice president of U.S. Natural Gas in 1998 and vice president, Americas, ExxonMobil Gas Marketing Company in 1999, with responsibility for the marketing of ExxonMobil’s natural gas production in North and South America. She served on the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) Board from 2000 to 2002 and was elected as NGSA secretary/treasurer and then chair in 2001-02. She also served on the American Petroleum Institute Upstream Committee and U.S. Natural Gas Council. In April 2002, Luxbacher was appointed director of ExxonMobil International Limited and vice president of Europe Gas and Power Marketing, London, UK, with responsibility for ExxonMobil’s natural gas and natural gas liquids marketing, infrastructure, and joint ventures across Europe.

In April 2007, Luxbacher was named general manager, Corporate Planning, Exxon Mobil Corporation, with responsibility for the development of ExxonMobil’s corporate plan and annual energy outlook. In February 2009, she was named to her current position. She is an advisory council member for the ExxonMobil Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative and ExxonMobil Math and Science Initiative. She also has served on the board of the National Bureau of Asian Research and is a frequent speaker on ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook and current energy issues.

As a Pitt undergraduate, Luxbacher was a University Scholar, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers, and involved in numerous student activities. An active alumnus, she is a member of the Swanson School of Engineering Board of Visitors and an emeritus member of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative. She was a guest speaker at the 2008 Pitt Women Connect Leadership Conference and has been recognized by the Swanson School with its 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2001 Distinguished Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Alumni Award. In 2005, she created the Roberta A. Luxbacher Engineering Legacy Fund to provide support for projects and scholarships within the Swanson School.

In his current position, Richards is responsible for sales, advanced technology services, marketing, product and partner management, and e-commerce at CDW, a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government, education, and the healthcare sector. Founded in 1984, CDW is ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, employs more than 6,300, and, in 2010, generated sales of $8.8 billion. Its areas of focus include software, network communications, notebooks/mobile devices, data storage, video monitors, desktops, and printers as well as such solutions as virtualization, collaboration, security, mobility, data center optimization, and cloud computing.

Richards joined CDW in 2009 with 33 years of experience in the technology industry. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer with Qwest Communications, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations and performance of Qwest and, before assuming the role of chief operating officer, was executive vice president of Qwest’s business markets group. He also served as chair, president, and chief executive officer of Clear Communications Corporation, a network management software company, and as executive vice president and management committee member of Ameritech Corporation, where he oversaw cellular, security monitoring, network services, and cable television operations. In addition, he worked for 19 years with Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, in various sales, marketing, and operations roles in telecommunications and computer services.

Richards earned his 1976 BA degree from the University of Pittsburgh in economics and his 1991 MS degree in management as a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his undergraduate years at Pitt, Richards was a member of the varsity men’s basketball team and was ranked 11th on the University’s all-time scoring list. In 2007, he was honored with the Pitt Varsity Letter Club Award of Distinction. He has served as a member of the Pitt School of Information Sciences Board of Visitors and as a director-at-large of the Pitt Alumni Association.

Richards is a former member of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and was formerly on the Penn Southwest Association Board of Trustees, the Pennsylvania Economy League Board of Governors, the Regional Industrial Development Corporation Board of Directors, and the Boy Scouts of America—Greater Pittsburgh Council Board of Directors. In 1991, he founded with his wife, Pitt alumnus Mary Beth (A&S ’78), the Little Panthers in Upper St. Clair, Pa., to teach young boys and girls to play basketball.

Richards currently serves on the Junior Achievement of Chicago Board of Directors and the Rush University Medical Center Board of Trustees, and he is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.