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Pepperdine Appoints New Members to Board of Regents

Pepperdine University has added three new members to its Board of Regents, the governing board of the University. The new regents, Bill Ahmanson, John Lewis (’83), and Dee Anna Smith (’86), will help shape the direction of the University. In addition, two current regents, Jerry Cox and Terry Giles, (JD '74), have been given Life Regent status. 

William (Bill) H. Ahmanson is president of The Ahmanson Foundation, which concentrates its funding on cultural projects supporting the arts, education at the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels, medicine and delivery of health care services, programs related to homelessness and low-income populations, and a wide range of human services.

A native of Los Angeles, Bill began his career in banking. In 1986 he began his 10-year service to the City of Los Angeles as a Los Angeles Police Reserve line officer working in the Hollywood, Newton, and Rampart Divisions, and LAPD Operations-South Bureau Community Relations Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH).

In addition to his current work as president of The Ahmanson Foundation, Bill is trustee and board president of the Center Theatre Group; trustee and vice chair of the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; trustee of Loyola Marymount University; and many other community organizations, including Research to Prevent Blindness, the Los Angeles Mounted Police Foundation, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST), the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and the Wilshire Chapter of the Rotary Club, among others.

Personal honors and awards include the Paul Harris Fellow, the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International 2012; Order of the Knights of Saint Gregory the Great; and the Benemerenti Award.

John Lewis is president of Eugene Lewis & Associates in Arcadia, California. Lewis & Associates is a CPA and financial management firm specializing in services and planning for multigenerational, high-net-worth families and Fortune 500 executives.

Lewis frequently speaks at industry conferences and has been a guest presenter at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

He has served as board chair for High Point Academy, a K-8 school in Pasadena, California, and of Pioneers, a missionary agency serving in 40 countries. Lewis is a trustee of the Henry Parsons Crowell Trust, an 83-year-old foundation serving Christian causes, and was formerly head elder at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California. He has also been a leader in the Boy Scouts.

Lewis received his bachelor's degree in accounting from Seaver College in 1983 and served on the Pepperdine University Board from 2000 to 2009. He is currently a member of the President's Campaign Cabinet. Lewis and his wife are Life Members of the Pepperdine Associates.

Dee Anna Smith is the chief executive officer of Sarah Cannon, the global cancer enterprise of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Smith is responsible for carrying out the overall strategic mission and vision of Sarah Cannon, which delivers a full suite of physician-led, patient-centric, integrated cancer services, from wellness and screening efforts to a diverse range of diagnostic and treatment options, palliative medicine, and survivor care. Sarah Cannon also maintains a focus on clinical research through the Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), one of the nation's largest global strategic research organizations that advances therapies and accelerates drug development.

Smith joined SCRI in 2005 as chief information officer and also served as president of SCRI Services, leading the development of corporate strategy and vision for that division of SCRI. Prior to joining SCRI, Smith served as chief executive officer of Summit Research Solutions, a multi-specialty organization that she cofounded in 1996. SCRI acquired Summit Research Solutions in 2005. Beginning in 1998,  she also served as chief executive officer of SiteWorks Solutions, another company she founded, providing customized, web-based site-management systems for the clinical trials industry. SiteWorks was purchased by Oracle in 2004. Smith began her career in 1986 in audit for KPMG Peat Marwick, where she worked until 1992.

Smith has received recognition for her contributions to the healthcare industry on a local and national level. Most recently, she was named a 2013 Health Care Hero by the Nashville Business Journal in the chief executive officer category and she received Lipscomb University's 2013 Heroes of Business award. In 2010, under Smith's leadership, SCRI was named one of Modern Healthcare's "Best Places to Work." In May 2008, Smith was honored by Nashville Medical News as one of "10 Women to Watch" for her leadership in the healthcare industry in middle Tennessee. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and sits on the board of directors for the Nashville Health Care Council, PearlPoint Cancer Support, and Evolve Women. She is also a member of the board of visitors for the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Smith received her bachelor of arts in accounting in 1986 from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jerry S. Cox was elected to the Board of Regents of Pepperdine University in 1997, beginning a long and faithful term of service and leadership that has contributed the University's progress in Christian higher education.

Cox earned his bachelor's degree in finance from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in theological studies from Houston Baptist University, both of which prepared him well for service on Pepperdine's governing board. His business acumen and leadership as cofounder of Cox & Perkins Exploration, an oil and gas exploration company, were assets that he brought to his Pepperdine board tenure.

During his 17-year term on Pepperdine's Board of Regents, Jerry served with distinction on numerous board committees, including Academic Affairs, Advancement and Public Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Investments, and Religious Standards.

Jerry and his wife, Kay, are past members of the Pat and Shirley Boone Center for the Family Advisory Board and have supported the center's work for more than a decade; further, they have provided significant resources to the Associated Women for Pepperdine and Board of Regents Scholarships and the Lela Armstrong Endowed Fellowship. The Coxes are parents to two Seaver College alumni: daughter Courtney ('00) and son Joshua ('03).

Terry M. Giles, a 1974 graduate of the Pepperdine University School of Law, has exemplified an abiding affirmation of alma mater in his 18-year Board of Regents tenure.

Giles began his law career in California, founding his own firm within a year of graduation; in the ensuing decades he built a prominent and successful law practice in Houston, in partnership with his wife, attorney Kalli O'Malley, and has operated a host of businesses under the banner of Giles Enterprises.

Bringing legal and business acumen to his board service in addition to his perspective as an alumnus, Giles served with distinction on the board's Finance and Investments Committee and the Advancement and Public Affairs Committee.

Giles has maintained an active role with the Pepperdine School of Law as a member of its Board of Visitors and as benefactor of the Dean Ronald Phillips Chair, the Giles Honor Scholarship, and the Terry M. Giles Honor Scholar Award; for the past three years he has served as cochair of the School of Law Committee of the Campaign for Pepperdine.

In 1994 Giles received the Horatio Alger Award and continues to serve on the board of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Earlier this year the Giles family celebrated the graduation of their daughter, Lauren ('14), from Seaver College.