Pitt Board's Nominating Committee Recommends Election of Travis as Trustee, Noble as Emeritus Trustee

Issue Date: 
June 21, 2010

The Nominating Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees has recommended Pitt alumnus Tracey T. Travis (ENGR ’83), senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, for membership on the board and recommended that alumnus H. Lee Noble (A&S ’62), retired executive vice president of the Bayer Corporation, be elected an emeritus trustee. The full board will act on the committee’s recommendations at its June 25 annual meeting.

In commenting on the actions taken by the Nominating Committee, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg stated, “These recommendations will strengthen our already outstanding Board of Trustees. Tracey Travis has been honored as one of Pitt’s most distinguished graduates, is recognized as one of the country’s leading financial professionals, and is a visible and respected presence in the international business community. Clearly, we will benefit from her experience and insights as a trustee. Through his long tenure on the Board, and in a range of other ways, Lee Noble has made significant contributions to Pitt’s progress. Through his election as an emeritus trustee, we ensure that we will continue to benefit from his service.”

Biographical information on Travis and Noble follows.

Tracey T. TravisTracey T. Travis

Tracey T. Travis was named to her current position at Polo Ralph Lauren—one of the world’s leading global luxury apparel and lifestyle products companies—in 2005, charged with responsibility for the company’s worldwide corporate finance operations, including accounting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, tax, and business development. Travis’ responsibilities were subsequently expanded to include investor relations and information technology. As CFO of Polo Ralph Lauren, a corporation with $5 billion in annual revenue, Travis has led work related to acquisitions of licensed brands, capital structuring, long-range planning, and investor relations strategy.

Previously, Travis was an executive with Limited Brands Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, first as CFO of subsidiary Intimate Brands Inc. from 2001 to 2002, and, from 2002 to 2004, as senior vice president of finance for parent company Limited Brands. The corporation owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, among other brands. From 1999 to 2001, Travis was CFO of the Americas Group of American National Can, where she led both the finance and information technology groups. Prior to holding this position, she occupied various management positions at Pepsi-Cola/Pepsi Bottling Group from 1989 to 1999, including group manager, New Products, where she assisted in the development of the business plans for Pepsi’s entrance into non-soft-drink beverage categories; general manager for the Howell, Mich., market unit; and CFO for the Michigan business unit.

Following receipt of her Pitt Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering, Travis began her career at General Motors as an engineer. After earning an MBA in finance and operations management from Columbia University on a GM Fellowship, Travis returned to GM as a financial executive working on various international product programs, joint ventures, and divestitures.

Travis currently serves on the boards of Jo-Ann Stores Inc., the Lincoln Center Theater, the Women’s Forum of New York, and the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and is treasurer of the Ralph Lauren Foundation.  She is a member of Financial Executives International, the National Association of Corporate Directors, the New York Women’s Forum, and the Executive Leadership Council.

Travis was recognized in 2005 by Treasury & Risk Management magazine as one of the Top 25 Women in Finance. In 2006 and 2010, she was named one of the Top 50 Women in Business by Black Enterprise magazine. In 2008, she was granted the Best CFO award by Institutional Investor, and, in 2009, she was named one of the Top 100 African Americans in Corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine. In 2009, Travis received the University of Pittsburgh’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

H. Lee NobleH. Lee Noble

H. Lee Noble, retired as executive vice president of the Bayer Corporation after a 25-year career at Bayer, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences in 1962. At Bayer, Noble served as board chair for Deerfield Urethane, a Bayer subsidiary, and president of the Bayer Polymer Division, where he doubled sales to $2 billion, completed four major acquisitions, and oversaw capital projects of more than $1.2 billion.

Noble currently serves as chair of the board of directors for Fluorous Technologies, Inc., a provider of proprietary technology for the drug discovery and development industry, and as the chief executive officer of Noble Consulting, which specializes in strategic planning, the financing of start-up companies, and mergers and acquisitions.

Noble has supported the advancement of the University from important positions of leadership for nearly 20 years, beginning with his appointment in 1991 as a member of the School of Arts and Sciences (A&S) Board of Visitors.  He was appointed a Commonwealth Trustee on the Pitt Board in 1998 by then-Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer, and he served in that board position until February 2010. During his tenure on the Pitt Board, Noble was a member of the Budget, Investment, and Student Affairs committees; chaired the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) Board of Visitors; and was a University Director of the UPMC Board. He continues his service to the University as a member of the A&S and GSPIA visiting boards.

A life member of the Pitt Alumni Association, Noble has been a loyal and dedicated alumnus through a variety of ways, including generous financial support to the University through the H. Lee Noble Scholarship Fund in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg Chair. In 2009, he was named a Pitt Legacy Laureate.

Noble has actively participated in industry, civic, and charitable groups and has helped lead a number of community organizations. He chaired Life’s Work of Western Pennsylvania; founded and chaired the Pittsburgh Project for Employment of Persons with Disabilities, now known as Project for Freedom; was a director and member of the Executive Committee of the Society of the Plastics Industry; chaired the Board of Directors of the International Isocyanate Institute; and was a member of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.