Stephen R. Tritch Nominated for Election As Chair of Pitt Board of Trustees

Issue Date: 
June 22, 2009
Stephen R. TritchStephen R. Tritch

The Nominating Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees has advanced as its recommended candidate for new board chair Pitt alumnus Stephen R. Tritch, chair of the Westinghouse Electric Company and a Pitt trustee.

The full board will act on the committee’s nomination at its June 26 annual meeting. Upon election by the board, Tritch would succeed Pitt alumnus and former Pitt board chair Ralph J. Cappy (A&S ’65, LAW ’68), retired chief justice of Pennsylvania and a partner in the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, who died last month.

“For the past six years, the University benefited immeasurably from the leadership provided by Chief Justice Cappy as chairperson of our Board of Trustees,” said Pitt trustee Sam Zacharias, chair of the Nominating Committee. “We are very fortunate that Steve Tritch—someone with wide-ranging national and international experience, who has built an extraordinary record of professional accomplishment, and who has demonstrated a deep commitment to Pitt and to this region—is willing to serve as our next chair.”

“My own career grew out of the education that I received at Pitt, and I always will be grateful to the University for that,” commented Tritch. “Over time, it also has become increasingly clear that Pitt’s strength is critical to the progress of the entire region. If elected chair, I will look forward to working with the other members of the board, and with the University’s senior leadership team, to build on the remarkable pattern of progress that has come to characterize today’s Pitt.”

When he retired as president and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Company on

July 1, 2008, after six years in that dual leadership position, Tritch could look back on 37 years of service to Westinghouse, where he began in 1971—the year he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering at Pitt—as a product engineer in Westinghouse’s Power Circuit Breaker Division. Tritch has been chair of Westinghouse since 2006; immediately before his years as president and CEO, he had served as senior vice president for nuclear fuel, providing nuclear fuel products and services to nuclear power plants worldwide. And prior to that, he had successfully managed the integration of the former ABB nuclear businesses into Westinghouse Electric Company and was senior vice president of nuclear services.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation, is the world’s pioneering nuclear power company and a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for more than 40 percent of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.

In the midst of holding his numerous managerial positions at Westinghouse, Tritch earned his Master of Business Administration degree at Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1977. By 1983, Tritch had managed training and recruiting for the Westinghouse International Power Systems organization and joined the Westinghouse Research and Development Center as manager of naval ship programs. Later, he served as marketing manager of the Nuclear and Advanced Technology Division and manager of government systems in the Westinghouse Advanced Energy Systems Division. In 1991, he became manager of the nuclear safety department, and in 1992, he was appointed general manager of engineering technology.

A 2008 Westinghouse Electric Company news release announcing Tritch’s retirement as president and CEO and continued service as the company’s chair stated that he had “presided over the company during a period of dramatic change and growth. During his tenure [as president and CEO], Westinghouse saw continual growth within all of its business units: Nuclear Fuel, Nuclear Services, and Nuclear Power Plants.” The release also noted that in July 2007, under Tritch’s leadership, Westinghouse had signed multibillion dollar contracts for four new Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in China, “marking the first time ever that a U.S. company was awarded new nuclear plant contracts in that county,” and that from 2006 to 2008, the AP1000 had been identified “as the technology of choice for no less than 12 of the new nuclear power plants announced for the United States.” During this period of rapid corporate growth, Tritch played a key role—working with officials from all levels of government—in keeping Westinghouse Electric Company headquartered in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

A member of the American Nuclear Society who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 to the President’s Export Council, Tritch also is a member of the Board of Directors of The Shaw Group Inc. and of Koppers Holdings Inc.

Tritch has been active in his support of Pitt, serving as a member of the Property and Facilities and Student Affairs committees of the board and as chair of the Swanson School of Engineering Board of Visitors. In addition, he serves as a University Director and member of the executive committee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Board of Directors and as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the UPMC Cancer Centers Council. As part of his community service portfolio, he also is chair of the Senator John Heinz History Center Board of Trustees, a director and member of the executive committee of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and a director of the United Way of Allegheny County.

A Pitt Alumni Association Life Member, Tritch and his wife, Tami, have established the Stephen R. and Tami A. Tritch Engineering Legacy Fund in the Swanson School. In March of this year, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Swanson School; previously, he was selected as the 2002 Distinguished Alumnus by the Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and was honored by the University in 2006 with its Distinguished Alumni Fellows Award. He also was recognized in 2002 by the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering International as Engineer of the Year and by the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania with the 2009 Metcalf Award. In addition, he was selected as the 2009 Business Hall of Fame inductee at the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania Spirit of Enterprise Awards Ceremony.