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An Update to the Milton Hershey School Community from Velma A. Redmond

Chairman of the Board of Managers of Milton Hershey School and the Board of Directors of Hershey Trust Company

I am pleased to announce that the Milton Hershey School Board of Managers and the Hershey Trust Company Board of Directors have elected three new members to serve on the Boards, effective April 1.

The selection of new Managers/Directors is among the most important decisions that the Boards make. This is certainly true in this period of transition and School growth. As part of our thorough effort, we worked with a nationally respected recruiting firm, which conducted in-depth reports on potential candidates. Altogether, we received more than 240 resumes and letters of interest from prospective candidates. I would like to thank those who submitted suggestions and recommendations. A thorough selection process identified the three superbly qualified individuals elected, and I believe they bring a rich mosaic of relevant skills to the Boards. Their education, training and experience reflect the full range of the Boards’ responsibilities including working with at-risk/dependent children, residential childhood education, and financial and business investment. They also have the good governance temperament and personal attributes to be effective Board members and, very importantly, they are committed to the mission of the Milton Hershey School.

Our new Managers/Directors include:

  • Melissa L. Peeples-Fullmore:  An alumna of the Milton Hershey School, Melissa L. Peeples-Fullmore is an education professional, who has worked as a
    teacher and administrator in public schools, and in residential environment facilities. Through her work in Title I schools and with AMIKids, she has extensive experience with children from low-income families, as well as children who attend residential educational programs. She is currently the Program Officer for the Aspiring Leaders Program at Teaching Trust in Dallas, TX which prepares principals to be transformational leaders in urban environments. Mrs. Peeples-Fullmore has an undergraduate degree from Lynn University in Florida, earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and elementary education at Florida A&M University, and recently received a second master’s of education specializing in leadership development and policy reform at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently studying for her doctorate in education policy and leadership at Southern Methodist University, where she also is an adjunct instructor, teaching select master’s level courses in SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development.


  • Jan Loeffler Bergen: Jan Loeffler Bergen is a well-known and highly-regarded healthcare executive who is currently President & Chief Executive Officer of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine. A native of Pennsylvania, she has exceptional leadership and management experience in complex organizations operating in a highly regulated environment. She is also a trained social worker with a real understanding of the issues and challenges facing children in need and their families. Ms. Bergen has served on numerous community, philanthropic and healthcare related boards, giving her extensive experience in how boards work and how to effectively and efficiently guide a nonprofit institution. She is a graduate of Lafayette College and completed masters-level course work in business and social work at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.


  • James C. Katzman:  James C. Katzman is a retired partner of Goldman Sachs, with extensive experience in investment banking. Born in Central Pennsylvania, Mr. Katzman brings sophisticated skills in the financial area and has a personal interest in education and childhood development. He is a Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, a Trustee of the San Francisco Ballet, a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Dartmouth College, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Program for Financial Studies at Columbia Business School. Mr. Katzman graduated with an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School.

The Managers/Directors are stewards of Mr. and Mrs. Hershey’s 107-year legacy of nurturing and educating financially disadvantaged children. As you know, the School is currently completing a major capital expansion to increase enrollment, and the Managers/Directors will continue to give thoughtful, strategic consideration to future expansion to serve more children now and in perpetuity, consistent with the terms of the Deed of Trust and the Founders’ intent. As the School Trust continues to grow under the Boards’ oversight, Managers/Directors continue to be mindful of its substantial financial and investment responsibilities. The newly elected individuals bring to the Boards a combination of talents, skills and experiences, along with a personal commitment to undertake the stewardship of Mr. and Mrs. Hershey’s mission.

This election brings the total number of Managers/Directors to nine, and the Boards will continue the search process throughout 2017 with the goal of identifying additional potential candidates. Prior to the election of new members, 30 days’ advance written notice was given to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, whose office stated no objection to these new Managers/Directors of exceptional quality.

As Chairman, nothing is more important than ensuring that the Boards, through sound, ethical and proper governance, provide the appropriate oversight of the management of the Milton Hershey School and Milton Hershey School Trust. It is with that, and the defined vision of Catherine and Milton Hershey in mind, that I express my confidence in the individuals we’ve elected, and I look forward to the addition of their fresh perspective, new talent and critical expertise to the Boards.

Sincerely, and on behalf of my fellow Board members,

Velma A. Redmond

Chairman of the Boards

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.