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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Marketing executive, longtime URI supporter takes reins of Alumni Association

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 21, 2007 – Well before he took office this month as the new president of the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association, Gary Kullberg was hard at work.

Whether working with URI alumni relations and advancement staff on a new logo and theme for the association's 85th anniversary or developing strategies to energize alumni volunteers, the North Kingstown resident was more than ready to head the 95,000 alumni. He succeeds Peter Miniati III and will serve a two-year term.

Kullberg's passion and enthusiasm for the University and its alumni are well known to members of the Alumni Association Executive Board and faculty and staff of the College of Business Administration. He served for 10 years on the College's advisory board, the last six as vice chair, and was vice president of the Alumni Association for two years. He also serves as on its finance and government relations committees.

A major supporter of the College of Business Administration, from which he graduated in 1963 with a major in accounting, he was among the grassroots supporters of an effort that resulted in the $11 million transformation of the College's home, Ballentine Hall. He joined other key supporters to raise $5.9 million in private donations for the project, which was completed in 2003.

The advertising and marketing executive brings with him years of experience gained from working with business giants such as General Foods, Ford Motor Co. and Owens Corning.

"My rallying cry with the Alumni Executive Board is ‘at least 104,' which means I want board members to contribute two hours a week for 52 weeks to accomplish our mission, and as all of the association's committees buy into this notion we'll really begin to see things happen," said Kullberg.

The chief executive officer of the 13-year-old Kullberg Consulting Group (KCG) engaged one of its services, Marketing Milestone, to help develop a strategy to celebrate the Alumni Association's founding in 1922. He has been working several people, including KCG member Ken Owens, who played a key role in providing strategies for the College of Nursing's 60th Anniversary. Kullberg and his consultants are volunteering their time.

In conjunction with the Division of University Advancement, the group has come up with an anniversary theme and logo that will be on all association letterhead for years to come. The theme is "Together, Making a Difference," which plays off the "Making a Difference" $100 million capital campaign for the University.

"This ties in benefits for the Alumni Association and the capital campaign," Kullberg said.

Michele Nota, executive director of the Alumni Association, said Kullberg's energy and the direct link with his consulting group have produced major benefits in a short period of time.

"The strategic development provided by the leadership team at KCG has given significant meaning to our history and, more importantly, our relevance to the future. Gary and his team have been a major asset in creating our theme and logo, and assisting in integrating it with our many other internal and external programs," Nota said.

A member of the Career Advisory Committee of the West Point Society of New York and recent chairman of The Salvation Army's Manhattan Advisory Board, Kullberg has two major goals as alumni president. "I want to increase involvement of existing and future alumni, especially dues paying members. I also want to educate them about the 65 programs and initiatives that we offer. I want to champion intelligent passion."