SHU Names Four to Board of Trustees

News Story: October 7, 2014
From left are Charles Firlotte, Douglas Kennedy, Robert Meyer and Kenneth Siegel

Sacred Heart University has announced the addition of five members to its Board of Trustees. The new trustees are Charles (Chuck) V. Firlotte, president and CEO of Aquarion Water Company; Douglas L. Kennedy ’78, ’82 MBA, president and chief executive officer of Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Bedminster, N.J.; Robert S. Meyer, priest in the archdiocese of Newark; and Kenneth S. Siegel, chief administrative officer and general counsel of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Charles (Chuck) V. Firlotte

Firlotte, who will join the board in December, runs one of the 10 largest investor-owned water utilities in the U.S., serving the northeastern states of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Under his leadership, Aquarion has earned awards and acknowledgments including the Connecticut Improvement Quality Award, the state equivalent of the prestigious national Baldrige Award, and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Award for reduction of carbon footprint. Firlotte joined Aquarion’s predecessor, Bridgeport Hydraulic Company (BHC) in 1987, as director of Human Resources and was elected an Officer of the Company within a year. He served in a number of assignments before moving to his current role.

Firlotte holds an undergraduate degree from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada, a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Ottawa and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

He was past chairman of the board for the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and presently serves on the board of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA). He was recently appointed to the Board of NB Power, an electric utility in Eastern Canada, and he has had an active role on the board of St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He is past president and current board member of the National Association of Water Companies. He previously served as vice chairman of Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut and the American Water Works Association, Connecticut Section. In addition, he is a former board member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

In 2009, Firlotte received the Energy Good Scout Award from the Connecticut Yankee Council, Boy Scouts of America. In 2011, he was featured in the book Leadership in the Age of Crisis by David Levick (with Charles Slack). He received SHU’s prestigious Discovery Award in 2013.

Douglas L. Kennedy

Kennedy is an alumnus of Sacred Heart with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business administration. In his role at Peapack-Gladstone, he is responsible for leading the bank’s wealth, lending and deposit solutions and directing its overall strategic vision.

Kennedy is a career banker with over 35 years of commercial banking experience. Before joining Peapack-Gladstone Bank in 2012, he served as president of the New Jersey market for Capital One Bank and North Fork Bank prior to that. Over the years, he has held key executive level positions and had great success building business at Fleet Bank, Summit Bancorp and Bank of America.

He was named to the NJBIZ “Power 50 Banking” list and the NJBIZ “Power 50: The 50 Most Powerful Non-Profit Board Members” list in 2011. Additionally, he received the Carpe Diem Award from Montclair State University and was named “Man of the Year” by the Boy Scouts of America that same year. He is a current member of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Montclair State University Board of Trustees. He is a past president of NJ After 3 and a past board member of the New Jersey Bankers Association. 

Robert S. Meyer

An ordained Catholic priest for 25 years, Meyer is currently assigned as pastor of Ss Peter and Paul Church in Hoboken, N.J., a 900-family parish predominantly populated by young professionals and families who work in New York City. He also currently serves as a professor at Seton Hall University where he offers a series of courses in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Education, Business and Law as well as in the core curriculum.

He previously worked as an attorney for Murphy, McKeon, P.C., in Riverdale, N.J., and for the Waterfront Project, Inc., a small, non-profit law firm that he founded, which provides legal representation to the poor, elderly and marginalized of Hudson County, N.J.

He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Seton Hall University; his bachelor’s of sacred theology in theology from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; his licentiate of sacred theology in ethics from Academia Alfonsiana, Lateran University in Rome; his licentiate of canon law from The Catholic University of America; and his J.D. in civil law from the School of Law at Seton Hall University.

He has served on the boards of directors of Assumption College for Sisters, Carepoint Health Foundation and Hudson Catholic High School and served as the community member for the institutional review board for Stevens Institute of Technology.

Kenneth S. Siegel

Siegel joined Starwood, one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, in 2000. He is responsible for compliance, global citizenship, sustainability, labor relations, facilities and safety and security. As general counsel, he oversees Starwood’s legal and governmental affairs globally and advises the board of directors, the chairman, CEO and management. He is a recognized leader in the legal profession and a frequent speaker on emerging issues.

Over the past several years, under Siegel’s leadership, Starwood has launched a number of industry-leading initiatives to drive reductions in energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation across the company’s worldwide system. He is also a passionate advocate for learning and development and is actively piloting an innovative partnership with Sacred Heart and the City of Stamford to provide education and career opportunities to underprivileged young people. During the four years prior to joining Starwood, Siegel was senior vice president and general counsel of Cognizant Corporation and its successor companies. In 1998, Cognizant divested its three unrelated components into two entities, and he became general counsel of IMS Health, which included IMS Health and a controlling interest in Gartner. In 1999, IMS Health spun off Gartner in a tax-free transaction designed by Siegel, and he was named general counsel of Gartner in January 2000.

From 1994 to 1997, he was a partner with Baker & Botts LLP. Before that, he served as senior Partner of O’Sullivan Graev & Karabell LLP. He began his career as an associate with Cravath Swaine & Moore.

He is a member of the New York bar. He is a trustee emeritus of the Cancer Hope Network and a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the International Partnership and a director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. He graduated from New York University with a J.D. degree and received an A.B. degree from Cornell University.