Alumnus Dennis Griffith Becomes AIChE Treasurer and ChE Donor

Dennis Griffith and Louise Richman with John McKettaAlumnus Dennis Griffith, B.S. ChE ‘70, has been elected treasurer of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). As treasurer, he will be responsible for the overall financial health of AIChE and will monitor, review and report the organization’s financial activities.

Dennis is a Fellow of AIChE and a senior project manager at Granherne, KBR’s front end consulting affiliate.  Much of his professional work involves evaluation of the economic viability of projects during their concept development phases, including developing high-level and detailed cost estimates and performing financial analyses. His work also includes developing, monitoring, and reporting project budgets.

“It’s a great honor to have been elected as AIChE Treasurer,” said Griffith. “I look forward to working with the AIChE staff, members of the Executive Committee, and other Board members to ensure AIChE’s growth and to maintain its standing as the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals.”

Dennis will also be involved in developing Institute policies, finding funding and partnership opportunities and investigating new ways to grow AIChE.  His long standing track record of AIChE service allows him to bring valuable insight to the position and will enable him to hit the ground running. He previously served on the Board of Directors and as the Chair and Treasurer of the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division and the South Texas Section.  Dennis also has been a member of the Center for Energy Initiatives’ Executive Committee, and the Chair of the National Program Committee, along with being the Meeting Program Chair, the Co-Meeting Program Chair and the General Arrangements Chair for multiple Spring Meetings.

Currently, he is a member of the AIChE’s Public Affairs and Information Committee and the Societal Impact Operating Council, a Trustee of the AIChE Foundation, and the AIChE representative to the American Association of Engineering Societies’ Professional Licensure Working Group.  He has also served on the City Council of Spring Valley Village, where his wife, Louise Richman, B.A. ’69, also served as Mayor.

This knack for smart financial planning has benefited the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering as well.  Dennis’ father, Ed Griffith, attended graduate school with John McKetta at the University of Michigan.  Dennis and Louise recently reviewed and updated their estate plans and chose to include a simple bequest in their wills, naming the department as a beneficiary after their passing.  By formalizing this bequest and letting the university know about it, they became important donors to the Challenge for McKetta, the $25 million fundraising effort which concludes in 2014, and member of the Texas Leadership Society, a program which recognizes and celebrates future giving, today.

“Some of the most important gifts to the department over the years have come in as planned gifts,” said John McKetta.  “We never know when the funds will reach us, but usually it’s when we are up against a wall and desperately need them to fund an important initiative.”

Kelsey Evans, executive director of development, also strongly promotes planned giving as a smart way to give back.

“One of the best ways alumni and friends can support chemical engineering is by allocating a certain dollar amount or a percentage of their residual estate to the department,” she said. “It is a simple and immediate act of generosity that has a far-reaching impact. Dennis is a strong leader among our alumni and will be a great asset to the AIChE as Treasurer.”

AIChE elections were finalized at a Board meeting November 1, and results will officially be announced November 4 at the organization’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

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