These very capable Alumni Council nominees for 2021 were selected from among hundreds of candidates to represent Colgate alumni to the University. After publication in the Colgate Magazine and pending a contested election, they will be officially voted into position at the annual meeting of the alumni corporation.
ERA I - Thomas Baker '69 (beginning his own 4-year term)
Thomas Baker ’69 is a Baltimore based practicing lawyer in Thomas A. Baker, P.A. Noted in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, Tom specializes in construction law. He’s a graduate of Georgetown Law School. While at Colgate, Tom majored in English and attended the London Study Group. Back in Baltimore, Tom has led the local alumni club for dozens of years, organizing its alumni admissions program and the occasional sendoff party.
ERA II - Per Sekse ’78
Per Sekse ’78 is President & COO of Presidium USA, Inc. an early stage chemical technology company. He served for many years on the Board of Person-to-Person, Inc, a local non-profit agency providing food, clothing and emergency services in lower Fairfield County, CT, and was named board emeritus in 2019. Sekse earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Colgate and is a lifelong Presidents’ Club member. He volunteers regularly for Colgate sponsored student internships and job-shadowing opportunities and has been a lead mentor in Colgate’s student entrepreneurship program Thought into Action from its very early days.
ERA III - Carole Robinson ’83
Carole Robinson ’83, P’18 has been the Chief Communications Officer for BuzzFeed since September, 2016. Prior to BuzzFeed, she spent over 30 years at Viacom, serving as MTV's Manager of Public Relations in 1984, then as MTV Networks long-time head of communications and Chief of Staff, and finally as Executive Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communications for Viacom, overall. Carole majored in English at Colgate, worked in the admissions office giving tours during the academic year and through her sophomore summer. She wrote for the Maroon News and was a member of the Great Britain Study Group. Since graduation, Carole has volunteered for the Office of Career Services, participating in the Day in the Life, Real World and other programs and initiatives on and off campus, focused on career development and women at Colgate. As Colgate parents, Carole and her husband Mark Palermo '83 enjoyed hosting the Colgate Resolutions for many weekend performances in Brooklyn and New York City.
ERA IV - Kevin Zimmerman '90 (beginning his own 4-year term)
Kevin Zimmerman '90 is a Managing Director of Monticello Associates, a Denver-based investment consulting firm, where he has worked for 20 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Colgate and an MBA from Columbia University (’96). Kevin has been active with the Admissions Office in hosting Colorado events for admitted prospective students and has also hosted Colgate presidents and athletic directors on their trips to Denver for alumni and community engagement. Kevin’s daughter, Caden, is a member of the Colgate Class of ‘22.
ERA V - Thomas Campbell ’00
Thomas Campbell ’00 is a founding member of Thorobird Companies, an urban real estate investor and developer operating primarily in the affordable housing space. A native of Lakeland, Florida, Thomas studied Economics and International Relations at Colgate and received an MBA in Real Estate Finance and Entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School. As an undergraduate, Thomas served as a president of the Student Government Association during his senior year. Prior to that, he served as president of the African American Student Alliance, as a resident advisor, a member of the varsity football team, and Thomas was very involved in activities involving Japan, where he studied abroad and met his wife to be. Post-graduation, Thomas has is an active member of the President’s Club, the Alumni of Color, and the Colgate Real Estate Council where he currently serves as co-president.
ERA VI - Rev. Dr. Rodney Mason, Jr ’06
Rev. Dr. Rodney Mason, Jr ’06 is Pastor of Discipleship and Assimilation at Berean Christian Church as well as CEO of ACES — providing independent college counseling to high school students. He earned a bachelor's degree in Religion and Africana Studies at Colgate, a Master's of Divinity at Emory University, and a Doctor of Ministry at Duke University. He has served as Tri-Chair of Colgate’s Alumni of Color Corporation, a volunteer with the Alumni Admissions Program and served on numerous reunion planning committees. He currently is a part of the Class of 2006 Gift Committee. As a previous member of the President's Club and current member of the 1819 Circle, Dr. Mason has spent years mentoring Colgate undergrads and recent alums.
ERA VII - Dena Robinson ’12
Dena Robinson ’12 double majored in Women's Studies and Political Science. She was a student activist; Chairwoman of Sisters of the Round Table (SORT); Vice President of Colgate Advocates and the Black Student Union (BSU), a Residential Life Advisor; interned with the Bankruptcy Law Clinic with Legal Aid Society of Utica; a DJ with WRCU; a member of the Colgate Jewish Union; a student sexual harassment advisor; a SafeZones LGBTQ facilitator; an intern within Colgate's art department; and Director of Vagina Monologues. Robinson earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and currently works as a Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Dena began her service to Colgate 12 years ago as a tour guide for the Office of Admission.
Regional Director (Upstate NY) - Johanna Ames ’98 (beginning her own 4-year term)
Johanna Ames, '98 has served as a member of the Alumni Admissions Program (committee member, college fair representative and former chair of the Central New York chapter) and as a member of the Class of 1998 Gift Committee since graduating from Colgate. She has also participated in the Sophomore Connections program, sharing her experiences and challenges as a business owner. Ames is the 4th generation Owner and President of Ames Linen Service, a textile rental company serving many communities throughout Central New York. She and her husband, Matthew Coats reside in Cortland, NY with their two children, Mason (11) and Anneke (9).
At-Large - Sarah L. Cave ’95
Sarah L. Cave ’95 was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York on October 1, 2019. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Colgate with a major in Political Science and a minor in Native American Studies, and earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. At Colgate, Sarah was a member of Konosioni and Gamma Phi Beta. As an alumna, Sarah has been a steady booster of the Cross-Country and Track & Field programs, a member of the President's Club, and a regular participant in the SophoMORE Connections Program.
At Large - Melanie Schiff ’04 (beginning her own 4-year term)
Melanie Schiff ’04 is a Principal in the Real Estate Group at Ares Management. She earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude and with honors in Geography at Colgate. Schiff was a Link; a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority; and a member of the Madrid Study Group and the Jewish Student Union. Schiff earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. She has been an active participant and longtime member of the Colgate Real Estate Council.
At Large- Christie Bonilla ’06
Christie Bonilla ‘06 is a sales relationship manager covering a portfolio of international banks with Bloomberg, where she has worked for the last 6 years. Prior to Bloomberg, she was a VP sales-trader with a global bank. While at Colgate, she majored in philosophy/minored in geography while cheerleading, serving as new member educator for her sorority and working 3 jobs - one of which was in the fundraising office, as a student caller. Since graduation, she has been a regular member of both the President’s Club and 1819 Circle, while serving as chair for her class gift committee. She and her husband Charlie Stack ‘04, have three kids and reside in Brooklyn, NY.