7 selected for Rice alumni board; president and president-elect announced

Seven alumni have been selected to serve on the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) Board of Directors: Chad Benedict ’01, Brandi Bridges ’07, Matthew Cheney ’10 and ’14, Cindi Choi ’00, John Eldridge ’75, Andrew Lin ’02 and Mary McIntire ’75. They will begin their three-year terms July 1, when Frank G. Jones ’63 becomes president of the ARA and Bryan Guido Hassin ’01 and ’02 becomes president-elect.

The board provides input regarding the programs of the Alumni Relations office headed by Assistant Vice President Marthe Druska Golden, who also serves as executive director of the ARA. The board also represents Rice alumni in meetings with university administrators, including Rice President David Leebron, and other senior officials, and supports the mission of the Association of Rice Alumni to provide a continuing relationship between Rice and its former students.

Frank G. Jones

Frank G. Jones

Jones, who has served as ARA president-elect this year, chaired the committee that selected the new members who will become part of the 28-member board that represents the alumni body to the university and liaisons between the university and the alumni population.

Jones praised outgoing president Michol Ecklund’s tenure, noting that the ARA had “fantastic results in the 24-Hour Challenge.”

“We will do our best to carry the momentum and enthusiasm she and the 2018-19 board generated into this next year,” Jones said. “My priorities for the new board are to begin implementing the recommendations of this year’s task forces, to look for opportunities to better serve both our young and graduate school alumni, to continue to strengthen the ARA’s relationship with non-Houston alumni and to continue to raise the profile of the ARA.”

Bryan Guido Hassin

Bryan Guido Hassin

Hassin, an energy technology entrepreneur and global startup leader, is co-founder and CEO of Smart OES, a rapidly growing IOT startup that uses artificial intelligence and behavioral science to optimize the energy use of large buildings and electrical grids. Hassin received his MBA with honors and leadership distinction from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has a master’s degree in computer science and undergraduate degrees in computer science and electrical and computer engineering from Rice, where he played football for the Owls and later served as entrepreneur in residence. Per Hassin, his greatest achievement by far has been marrying Katie Barrett ’04, with whom he co-chaired Rice’s Centennial Homecoming & Reunion.

Chad Benedict

Chad Benedict

Benedict has worked in higher education for the past 15 years and is currently a case team leader at Entangled Solutions, an education innovation and strategy consultancy. Prior to Entangled, he served as managing director of annual campaigns at the Harvard College Fund and as director of alumni programs and services at Rice, during which time he was also a resident associate at Jones College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Rice and a master’s in higher education from Harvard. Since moving to Dallas five years ago, he has been active with the local Rice alumni community and currently serves as the region’s communications chair. In 2016, Benedict was appointed to the City of Dallas Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee where he counsels the city on urban planning and zoning regulations.

Brandi Bridges

Brandi Bridges

Bridges, an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, focuses on large-scale operations transformations for manufacturers in medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining McKinsey, she was a project engineer at ExxonMobil, where she executed large capital projects domestically and internationally. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and in Hispanic studies from Rice, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. She is a current member of the Association of Rice University Black Alumni. She is also on the board of Calculated Genius, a nonprofit focused on advancing STEM education for Chicago youth. She resides in downtown Chicago with her husband and daughter.

Matthew Cheney

Matthew Cheney

Cheney is the founder, owner and consultant at Houston-based Cheney Forensic Consulting LLC, which provides consulting, training and expert testimony to the forensic and legal communities on three areas of focus: general forensic procedures, analysis of forensic evidence for ethanol and other volatiles, and ethanol-related toxicology. Cheney earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso before earning a master’s and doctorate in chemistry from Rice. Since 2015, Cheney has been the Society of Latino Alumni of Rice committee chair, serves on the Rice University Multicultural Center Advisory Board and is a member of the Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy Roundtable Young Professionals.

Cindi Choi

Cindi Choi

Choi, a partner of Total Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Total S.A, is focused on finding, funding and fostering high-potential startups globally in renewable energy, mobility, smart grid, battery storage, energy data intelligence, energy efficiency, software analytics and enabling technologies. She is a recent expatriate in Paris from San Francisco. With over 18 years of professional experience, including 15 in energy, Choi has served in a number of roles, including the head of corporate development at SunPower, cofounder/CEO of an electric vehicle battery start-up, and as an investment banker in traditional oil and gas energy. Choi is an alumna of Harvard Business School, University of Queensland and Rice, where she studied economics and managerial studies.

John Eldridge

John Eldridge

Eldridge has practiced environmental law for 40 years in Houston and Washington, D.C. His practice, including the last 20-plus years as a partner at Haynes and Boone, has included corporate transactions, regulatory analysis, litigation and appellate work. Eldridge graduated from Rice in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology before graduating from the University of Texas School of Law. He has also been dedicated to pro bono legal service work; for many years he has co-chaired the Haynes and Boone Pro Bono/Public Service Committee. Eldridge has devoted a great deal of time to community service, including as president or executive committee member of many boards, including the Rice School of Humanities, the Rice Center for Career Development, the Awty International School, the French American Chamber of Commerce and Da Camera of Houston.

Andrew Lin

Andrew Lin

Lin, a chartered financial analyst, is a financial services professional with NYLIFE Securities in Houston. Prior to joining the company in 2016, he worked as a quantitative analyst for Carlson Capital in Dallas. Since graduating from Rice in 2002 with a degree in computer science and economics, Lin has stayed involved in the Rice community by planning networking events for both the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston alumni groups, interviewing student applicants for Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission and serving as a Lovett College associate. His leadership roles include serving as co-chair for both his 10- and 15-year reunion giving committees, co-chair of Homecoming & Reunion 2017 and co-chair of Lovett College’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Mary McIntire

Mary McIntire

For more than 40 years, McIntire has empowered lifelong learners from around the world to build brighter futures. After earning her Rice doctorate in English in 1975, McIntire joined Continuing Studies as a program director and was named the founding dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies in 1986, making her the first woman at Rice to lead a school. Under her leadership, enrollment increased from hundreds per year to nearly 20,000. McIntire’s many contributions to Rice also include serving as university representative to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, co-chair of the groundbreaking committee for the Baker Institute, co-chair of the Rice United Way campaign and member of the Friends of Fondren Library board.

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About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.