Diana Nole to Serve as First Female Chair of St. John Fisher College Board of Trustees
St. John Fisher College has announced that Diana Nole, executive vice president and general manager of the health care business of Nuance Communications, has begun her tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees and is the first female to serve in the chair role in the College’s history. Formally vice chair, she has succeeded Jack DePeters ’73, who completed his two-year term as chair on May 8.
Stepping into the vice chair role is Tom Bowles ’71, who has served on the Board since 1993. The Board of Trustees determines the general, educational, and financial policies of the College. In addition, the Board has responsibility for sound resource management of the institution and works closely with the president in planning the strategic direction of the College.
“I am very grateful to Jack DePeters for his dedicated and exemplary service to the Board during his tenure as chair. His leadership, mentorship, integrity, and steady focus enabled us to continue to work towards the betterment of our institution each and every day,” said President Gerard J. Rooney. “Diana Nole’s appointment as the first female chair is historic for the College, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in this role and to building on her significant leadership contributions, business acumen, and Board service to date. Tom Bowles’ dedicated commitment to his alma mater through his decades long service on the Board of Trustees is also to be commended and the College will benefit from his continuing leadership in the role of vice chair.”
Nole brings the chair role several decades of experience in executive and leadership positions. Nole recently became the executive vice president and general manager of the healthcare business of Nuance Communications, a global pioneer and leader in conversational AI innovations that amplify human intelligence to increase productivity and security. Prior to joining Nuance, she served as the chief executive officers at Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of clinical technology. There, she instilled a customer-first philosophy that delivers innovative solutions to improve the quality and cost of health care. Under her direction, the company has specifically focused on: user experience, decision support, disease detection, advanced workflows, and analytics.
Before joining Wolters Kluwer Health, she served as president of Carestream’s Medical Digital division, a global leader in medical imaging systems. During her tenure with the company, she led the development and introduction of the breakthrough wireless x-ray detector, DRX-1, and mobile x-ray solution, DRX-Revolution, all of which gained market leadership positions. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was named to the Rochester Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” list (2002), a finalist for both the Athena Award (2012) and Technology Woman of the Year (2013), and included in Becker’s Health IT “Female Health IT Company CEO’s to Know” (2016).
Nole holds a Master of Business Administration from the William E. Simon Business School and a bachelor’s degree with Magna Cum Laude honors in computer science and mathematics from the State University of New York. She has been a member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 2010, serving on the trusteeship, audit, and finance and facilities committees. In addition, she is a board director of ESL Federal Credit Union and a board director and chair of the audit committee of the life sciences company, Clinical Ink.
A recent retiree, Bowles built a career as a turnaround CEO in the branded consumer products space focused on medium-sized, public, and private businesses in cash constrained, distressed situations. For the past 15 years, his emphasis has been on distressed portfolio companies of private equity firms.
From 2011 to 2016, he served as CEO and chairman of Enesco, a giftware, fashion accessories, and plush toy business behind some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Gund Teddy Bears, Walt Disney, Sesame Street, Boyd’s Bears, The Grinch, and approximately 100 other properties. There, he built a new senior leadership team, led the drive for new growth, stimulated profitability, and implemented a new “trust-based” corporate culture initiative.
Earlier in his career, Bowles specialized in fashion and sports marketing serving as group president of Hartmarx Corporation, president of Golden Bear/Jack Nicklaus Enterprises, and CEO of Buster Brown Children’s Apparel. A native of New York City, Bowles graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. John Fisher College, where he played varsity basketball. He earned his Master of Business Administration at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Today, he lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he serves on several not for profit boards including as chairman of UNC Asheville’s Bulldog Athletic Association’s Board and as chairman of the North Carolina Stage Company’s Board, the only professional, equity theater in Asheville.