The Deed of Trust, established in 1909 by Milton S. and Catherine S. Hershey for the purpose of nurturing and educating children in need, identifies a Board of Managers as the governing body. These managers have broad discretion to utilize the Trust assets in accordance with the Deed of Trust in order to ensure the perpetuity of Milton Hershey School®.
Robert F. Cavanaugh
Appointed: 2001; Chair 2012-present
Highlights: Board Member, Hershey Foods Corporation; Board Member, Neighborhood Youth Association, a nonprofit organization that provides counseling and tutorial services to at-risk and/or underprivileged youth in west Los Angeles; Member, MHS Alumni Council; Recipient of Investors in Education Award of Excellence. A member of the MHS Class of 1977.
John A. Fry
Highlights: Current leadership as president of Drexel University has set a standard for co-operative education and positioned the university to become a force for economic development in the Greater Philadelphia region. Former president of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster; executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania, as a management consultant for higher education and nonprofit sectors, and as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council for two terms. Serves on a number of boards, including Lafayette College, The Shipley School, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Robert C. Heist
Highlights: Milton Hershey School class of 1982, an attorney from Chicago and past president of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association. Heist is the owner and sole shareholder in the law firm of R. Connor & Associates, P.C. and received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2008. He is involved with a nonprofit organization that helps provide opportunities to children in need.
James M. Mead
Highlights: Health Economics Consultant and Former President & CEO of Capital BlueCross; graduate of Penn State University, Vice-Chair of Capital BlueCross Board, member of VCS Financial, Inc., Past-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and is currently on the boards of the Hershey Trust Company, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Greater Harrisburg Foundation.
James E. Nevels
Highlights: Chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, and chairman of The Swarthmore Group, Inc. which he co-founded in November 1991. Prior to starting The Swarthmore Group, was an investment banker for Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., Inc., and Prudential Bache Securities, Inc. Also practiced law as counsel in bond transactions with the law firm Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll.
Velma A. Redmond
Highlights: Serves on the Board of Directors, Capitol Blue Cross; Board of Directors, The Greater Harrisburg Foundation; Education Committee Working Group, PA Business Roundtable; Chair Emerita of the Board of Trustees, Harrisburg Area Community College.
Joseph M. Senser
Highlights: Testified during Minnesota State Capitol hearing as an advocate of residential education. Works with children on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation and the Wayzata High School football team, Minnesota. Twice named one of the ten Most Outstanding Minnesotans for Charity Work for his volunteer work with children. A 1974 graduate of Milton Hershey School.
Joan E. Steel
Highlights: Founder and president of Alpha Wealth Advisors LLC – a Chicago firm provides investment and philanthropic advisory and strategic planning services for family offices, foundations, and endowments. Former senior vice president for Capital Guardian Trust Company's Personal Investment Management group and senior vice president and elected officer of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AOC). Serves a trustee of Loyola University Chicago and of Windows to the World Communications, Inc. (WTTW-Chicago Public Media) and a director of The Cuneo Foundation.
Lieutenant General Richard C. Zilmer, USMC (Ret.)
Appointed: 2011; Vice Chair 2012
Highlights: Former Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Headquarters Marine Corps and a 1970 graduate of Milton Hershey School. Zilmer has served the Marine Corps around the world throughout his 36-year military career, from a Series Commander for recruits at Parris Island to the Commanding General of a Multi-National Force in Iraq. During Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007, Zilmer was responsible for the operations of more than 30,000 U.S. service members in Iraq. He has earned numerous honors, including the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Distinguished Service Medal. He was Milton Hershey School Alumnus of the Year in 2004.