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2018 Boards of Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School Are Elected

New Chairman and Vice Chairman and Two New Members Are Announced

The Hershey Trust Company Board of Directors and the Milton Hershey School Board of Managers announced the election of Robert C. “Bob” Heist as Chairman and Jan Bergen as Vice Chairman, effective today. Current Chairman Velma Redmond and member James Mead retired, as previously planned.

Maria Trinh Kraus and Michela English were elected as new members of the Boards, effective Jan. 1, 2018, and seven current members were re-elected to one year terms of the Boards.

Mr. Heist is a 1982 graduate of the Milton Hershey School, past president of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association, an accomplished attorney, and was most recently Vice Chairman of the Boards.

“As a graduate of Milton Hershey School, the selection as Chairman of the Boards is one of the highest honors of my life,” said Robert Heist. “I can assure you that the Boards’ members are all working together as a fully aligned team. We are a group of like-minded people, with different backgrounds and expertise, coming together to fulfill the legacy of Milton and Catherine Hershey to use the available resources of the Trust to successfully fund the operations of the Milton Hershey School while also considering creative, imaginative and innovative strategies to serve more children.”

Mr. Heist was appointed to the Hershey Trust Company Board of Directors and the Milton Hershey School Board of Managers in 2011, and has served as the head of the Boards’ Nominating and Governance Committees for the last two years. Mr. Heist has served on all the Boards’ committees, including the Trust Administration and Investment Committee, the Audit Committee and the Education, and Student Life Committee. Mr. Heist is the owner of R. Connor & Associates, a law firm with offices in Chicago and Boston, offering legal counsel on corporate governance, business practices and litigation. He is a member of Milton Hershey School Class of 1982 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduated from the John Marshall Law School with a Juris Doctorate, and earned his Masters of Business Administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Mr. Heist also has served as the president of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association and received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He is recognized as a Governance Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

“Bob’s work on the governance committee has been critically important as we all worked to improve the Boards’ procedures and policies,” said Velma Redmond, the retiring Chairman. “I am confident that the Boards, under Bob’s leadership, will continue to make the right decisions to make sure that even more students will gain the life changing benefits of Milton Hershey School.”

The new Vice Chair of the Boards, Jan Bergen, was first elected to the Boards in 2017 and is the President and CEO of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine.

Newly elected member Maria Trinh Kraus was the 1989 valedictorian of Milton Hershey School and has more than 20 years of experience in finance. She is a Certified Public Accountant and qualifies as a Financial Expert, as defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She is currently Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy for Bioclinica, Inc.

Newly elected member Michela English is the former President and CEO of Fight For Children, a highly visible Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that improves education opportunities for low-income children. She is currently serving as the Chairwoman of Educational Testing Service, Chairwoman of DC Prep – a Public Charter School – and is on the Boards of the DC Public Education Fund and Fight For Children.

Founded in 1905, the Hershey Trust Company is a state-chartered trust company with over a hundred years of strength, heritage and stability. It serves as the Trustee for the Milton Hershey School Trust, the M.S. Hershey Foundation Trust and the Hershey Cemetery Trust.


Media Contact:
Kent Jarrell
Spokesperson for the Boards
(202) 230-1833
[email protected]

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.