Diane Smullen, the newest appointment to the Ohio University Board of Trustees, is no stranger to Athens.
As a 1992 alumna of OU, she said it is an honor to now take on this role within the university.
"I vividly remember my first few weeks at Ohio University my freshman year," Smullen, who earned her bachelor's degree in accounting and finance, said in an email. "Like so many freshmen, I was nervous if I had made the right decision. But the four years I had at Ohio University were ideal for me and gave me the college experience one could only dream about."
Smullen, who was appointed by Gov. John Kasich and started her nearly nine-year term July 27, said her time at OU laid the groundwork for her success today. Smullen is the vice president of finance for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and was previously involved in overseeing accounting and technology departments for the company, according to an OU news release. She is also a member of the Executive Advisory Board within OU's College of Business. She sees a university as not unlike a business, she said.
"While on the Executive Advisory Board ... I quickly learned that a university, even a state one, is very much like an entrepreneurial company," she said in an email. "Whether it is dealing with the budgeting process, technology or insurance, the process is very similar."
Board of Trustees Vice Chair Janetta King said Smullen is a valuable addition to the board, especially at a time when the board will be searching for a successor to OU President Roderick McDavis.
"Trustee Smullen will bring additional skill sets to the board, and the university will certainly benefit from her new, dynamic perspective," King said in an email.
Board of Trustees Chair David Wolfort also welcomes Smullen, and he said she has already contributed since her term began this summer.
"In Diane's first Board meeting, her insightful questions added to the Board's greater understanding of key topics shaping our university over the next decade," he said in an email. "Truly, the Board of Trustees has been complemented by the appointment of Trustee Smullen."
When she's not working, Smullen enjoys cooking with her husband, Tim, and baking with her three daughters, who she hopes will come to OU one day.
"Some of the bricks and mortar have changed since I've gone to school (at OU), but the culture remains the same, and the underlying depth of the university just keeps getting better," she said in an email. "I wish someday one of my three daughters will go to school (at OU), and I want to be proud of the success it will provide to them."