Gary R. Bockelman has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at HUC-JIR by Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. The announcement was made at the Board of Governors meeting in Cincinnati on November 20, 2006. Bockelman takes on this position after serving as Interim Vice President for Administration.
"Gary Bockelman brings outstanding finance, operations, and business development skills to this position and will help steer our institution toward greater financial sustainability in support of our academic excellence," stated Rabbi Ellenson.
Bockelman led the financial and operational development of The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a critically-acclaimed $110 million national museum and education center from its inception to its grand opening. Beginning in 2000 as its Vice President of Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer, he established all finance, administrative, and operational systems; oversaw final design and construction of the facility; structured the project to maximize diverse workforce participation; and coordinated the issuance of a $50 million tax exempt bond. As Chief Operating Officer from 2003 on, he supervised facilities, security, retail, food services, and visitor services. In 2005, he assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Facilities, adding responsibilities for government relations and funding.
From 1996-2000, Bockelman served as Vice President for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer for Thomas More College, a private, liberal arts college in Cincinnati. In these capacities, he bore full responsibility for all financial and administrative functions and oversight for all divisions of the College, restructured senior administration and placed a college-wide emphasis on the use of technology, and initiated efforts to elevate the visibility of the College within the Greater Cincinnati Civic and Business community.
Previously, Bockelman spent nearly 25 years in the corporate sector.
He received the M.B.A. in management and finance in 1981 from Xavier University, the Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting in 1979 from the University of Cincinnati, and has professional certification as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary from the Cannon Financial Institute (2005).
A civic leader of the greater Cincinnati community, Bockelman currently serves on the Board of Directors of the First Security Trust Bank, Forward Quest and Children, Inc. and is active in the Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Association and the Northern Kentucky Leadership Foundation. His extensive communal activities have included chairing the boards of the Kenton County Airport Board and the Beechwood Independent School District; serving on the boards of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Educational Alliance of Northern Kentucky, and the Behringer-Crawford Museum; moderating sessions at the 1994 White House Conference on Small Business; and serving on a broad range of committees, including the Airports Council International Public Safety and Security Committee, the Aviation Noise Abatement Committee, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Quest, and FAR Part 150 Supplemental Study Committee.