The Medaille College Board of Trustees has elected five new members to four-year terms, after a unanimous vote of all board members. Thomas Beauford Jr., Birgit Smith Burton ’89, Martin Griffith, Scott L. McFarland and Thomas G. Strauss, CPA, MBA, will serves as trustees from 2021 to 2025.
The Medaille College community is honored to welcome the following new trustees and thanks them for their service on behalf of our students:
Thomas Beauford Jr. has over 20 years of vast strategic leadership experience in private industry and community board service. He currently serves as president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, having been appointed to lead the historical civil rights, social justice and community empowerment organization in 2020. Prior to that, he served as a vice president at M&T Bank in Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs.
Birgit Smith Burton ’89 is a respected leader in the fundraising profession who has raised more than $500 million during her 33-year career, most recently serving as the executive director of foundation relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a well-regarded author and speaker on fundraising and diversity, and serves as chair-elect on the global board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Smith Burton is a Medaille alumna, having earned her bachelor's degree in media communications in 1989.
Martin Griffith has over 30 years of experience in banking, and currently serves as the president for Bank on Buffalo and as executive vice president of community banking for CNB Bank. Griffith’s volunteerism includes serving as a foundation board member for both St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and Mercy Hospital, and as a member of the Regional Advisory Board for Small Business Administration.
Scott McFarland is a retired plumbing and heating contractor from Lancaster, New York, and now resides in North Port, Florida. As a philanthropist and scholarship donor, McFarland has taken great pride in helping 14 students achieve their goals at Medaille College. He is enjoying his retirement, the Florida weather, travel and wood craftsmanship.
Thomas G. Strauss, CPA, MBA, is a highly effective executive leader and business partner who has over 20 years of CFO experience leading public, private and private equity owned companies. His experience spans multi-location international manufacturing (pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial equipment) and distribution (safety equipment, paper products) companies, including Fortune 500 and small to medium-sized organizations.