UVU extends its sincere appreciation for outgoing members Karen Acerson, Elaine S. Dalton, and Chair R. Duff Thompson

OREM, Utah — Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox announced today the appointment of Jeanette Bennett, Blake Modersitzki, and Cydni Tetro to four-year terms each on the Utah Valley University Board of Trustees. The incoming members of the board will take the oath of office at the beginning of the 2021 fall semester.

At the same time, UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez announced that Board of Trustees Chair R. Duff Thompson, former Chair Elaine S. Dalton, and Karen Acerson have completed their terms of service and will step down at the end of June 2021. Trustees Paul Thompson and Rick Nielsen will be reappointed to serve another four-year term.

The Board of Trustees members have been instrumental in helping support the university’s growing and diverse student population, as well as boosting student completion and accessibility, and developing work-ready graduates who are contributing to Utah’s thriving economy.

“We are very grateful to Karen Acerson, Elaine S. Dalton, and R. Duff Thompson for their service to Utah Valley University as members of the Board of Trustees for the last several years,” Tuminez said. “They have all been strong leaders, committed supporters, and steadfast friends to the university. Their guidance and contributions have helped us achieve exceptional results and will leave a lasting legacy. They will always be part of our UVU community. We are sad to bid them farewell, but we are also excited to welcome Jeanette Bennett, Blake Modersitzki, and Cydni Tetro as new members of our Board of Trustees.”

Jeanette Bennett

Jeanette Bennett is founder and editor-in-chief of Bennett Communications, where she focuses her pen on Utah Valley Magazine, BusinessQ Magazine, and Prosper Magazine.

She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Brigham Young University and has been a regular guest on HuffPostLive. She has moderated gubernatorial debates and numerous business panels. Bennett plays the piano and organ, but her feet did the talking when she took third place in a “Dancing with your Community Stars” contest.

Bennett has a love/hate relationship with deadlines, half marathons, and the stock market — and she has a love/love relationship with glossy pages, watching her kids play sports, and enjoying Utah’s canyons. She and her husband, Matt, are raising their five children in Cedar Hills.

Blake Modersitzki

Blake Modersitzki joined Pelion, an early-stage venture capital firm, as a managing partner in 2002 and has led the firm through four successful funds. He led investments in Redhat, Riverbed, Fusion.io, Integral Ad Science, Domo, enCommerce, SOASTA, and Metacloud.

Prior to joining Pelion, he was managing director for Novell Ventures and vice president of strategic business development. He directed Novell’s venture strategy, including its direct investments in companies and indirect investments in venture capital funds. During this time, he served on the boards of several public and private companies as well as on the advisory boards of several venture capital firms.

Modersitzki has held a number of sales, marketing, product management, global channel sales development, and business development positions within Novell and WordPerfect. He has a B.A. in economics from Brigham Young University.

Cydni Tetro

Cydni Tetro has been described as a technology genius and a serial entrepreneur. She has started and sold companies, developed products, raised capital, founded a nonprofit, and helped shape Utah’s technology community.

She founded and was CEO of ForgeDX, created and sold a 3D printing personalization platform, worked at Disney in Imagineering, and taught at Babson Executive Education. Tetro teaches at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative and co-founded Utah’s Women Tech Council, a nonprofit organization focused on the economic impact of women in technology.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s in computer science from Brigham Young University.


About Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the state of Utah, with more than 40,000 students. The university boasts a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model, which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs, and faculty-mentored research, is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds. For more information, visit uvu.edu or follow @utah.valley.university on Instagram or Facebook.