Walters named to SU Board of Trustees
Earlier this fall, the Syracuse University Board of Trustees returned to campus for its annual retreat and welcomed four newly elected members, including one who plays an integral role in SU in Atlanta.
Atlanta Regional Council member Kathleen A. Walters ’73 joins Steven L. Einhorn ’64, G’67, Edward J. Pettinella G’76, and Laurie B. Taishoff ’84 as the newest members of SU’s Board of Trustees.
“These four individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board, both as accomplished business and professional leaders, and as deeply engaged citizens,” says Richard L. Thompson, chairman of the SU Board of Trustees. “The depth and breadth of their expertise will prove invaluable at a pivotal time for Syracuse University and for higher education in general. We very much welcome them to the Board and look forward to their positive contributions to our University.”
Walters is a senior executive with extensive operating experience in the consumer products and paper industry, both domestically and internationally. She is currently executive vice president of Georgia-Pacific, leading the consumer products group, an organization that contains the largest retail and commercial tissue and tabletop businesses in North America, spanning more than 80 locations and 15,000 employees.
Known for her ability to develop business strategies, Walters has a proven record of leading business groups—in various situations, companies and geographies—to improved earnings from growth through innovation, revenue improvement and cost-efficiency strategies. She is adept at aligning large organizations with a vision for the business while simultaneously understanding operational details that help individual units execute on strategic initiatives.
Prior to her association with Georgia-Pacific, Walters held a number of key leadership positions in Europe and the United States for Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Scott Paper Co., and was CEO of SAPPI Fine Paper North America.
As a member of the Jabil Circuits Inc. (NYSE:JBL) board of directors from 2005-2010, she served as the chair of the compensation committee and on other special committees of the board. As the president and CEO of Sappi Fine Paper North America, she was a management advisor to the Sappi Limited (NYSE:SPP) board of directors. She currently serves on the board of the Georgia Aquarium.
Walters received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from SU and went on to earn an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on finance and strategic planning. She credits SU for giving her a solid academic foundation. “SU helped me develop the critical thinking skills that were crucial as I completed my formal education with an MBA, and that have continued to be essential throughout my career,” she says.
Walters also met her husband, Stanley P. Walters ’72, at SU, and the couple has been instrumental in coalescing alumni and garnering community support for University initiatives in Atlanta. This includes supporting the Cold Case Justice Initiative and the men’s basketball team’s appearance in the NCAA Final Four in 2013. They also support the Georgia Scholars Fund, the SU Annual Fund, and SU Athletics.
“I think I’m a great example that it’s never too late to reconnect with SU alumni and the University. For years, I spent most of my time traveling for work and trying to manage an active schedule with family and friends,” Walters says. “Now that I’m re-engaged, I’m thoroughly enjoying it, particularly getting reacquainted with so many of the truly nice, highly successful, and humble people who went to SU.”
Kathleen and Stanley Walters are parents of two grown children, Stanley and Elizabeth.