The Bethany College Board of Directors welcomes four new members. Beginning July 1, Steve Briggs, Steve Elfman, Jason Opat and Jim Ruble will serve on the governing board providing the college fiduciary, strategic and generative leadership.
“We are fortunate to have these additions to the board of directors. I am confident that their individual skill sets will add a dynamic feature contributing positively to our campus community,” said Bethany College President Edward F. Leonard III.
Briggs, Wichita, Kan., is the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Administration for Star Lumber and Supply Company, where he has been since 1990. His responsibilities include credit, banking, insurance, human resources, information technology, taxes and financial statements. A 1981 Bethany graduate, Briggs majored in economics-business and passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in November 1981. After graduation from Bethany, he worked as a CPA in Wichita and Hutchinson before settling in Wichita. Briggs is active with his parish, St. Francis of Assisi, and also serves on the board of directors for the Wichita Independent Business Association.
From Kansas City, Mo., Elfman is the President of Network Operations and Wholesale at Sprint with responsibilities for technology and product development, the combined network and information technology operations, wholesale operations and web activities. He joined the senior leadership team at Sprint in May 2008 from mobile data technology services company, Motricity. A proven leader and innovator in wireless technology, Elfman’s experience in wireless applications and Internet business models helps Sprint continue to create a more open environment for application developers. Elfman graduated from the University of Western Ontario in Canada with a degree in computer science in 1978. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Clearwire.
Opat, Wichita, Kan., is a 1993 graduate from Bethany College. He has over 15 years of experience in the video and film industry. Opat is the founder and chief executive officer of Integrated Media Group (IMG). His team has worked on 16 feature films including, Transformers, Iron Man, Get Smart and Eagle Eye. Opat serves as chair on the Kansas Film Commission and on the board of the Tallgrass Film Association, formerly known as the Wichita Association for the Motion Picture Arts. He is also one of the founders of the new Kansas Film Society set to launch this summer. Through IMG, Opat is involved in the Proud Kansan Kansas Tourism marketing campaign and is currently in production on two documentary films.
Shortly after graduating from Bethany College in 1981, Ruble began work at First National Bank of Hutchinson. While in Hutchinson, he was involved in the community serving on various boards and organizations including Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, President of the Hutchinson American Institute of Banking and instructor at Hutchinson Community College. In 2005, Ruble became the branch manager for First Bank Kansas in McPherson. He has served on the Bethany College Alumni Council, participated in the college’s Bi-Annual Business Career Conference on three occasions and sang in the Bethany Oratorio Society for 32 years. Ruble is also actively involved in the Bethany Lutheran Church serving as chairman of the Stewardship and Finance Committee.