Former Heinz Executive Joins Clarion University as VP for Finance and Administration

Len-Cullo-web-portraitCLARION, Pa. – Clarion University will welcome Leonard A. Cullo Jr. on February 16 as vice president for finance and administration following a nationwide search.

He fills the position held on an interim basis since fall of 2012 by Peter Fackler.

Cullo, an experienced financial executive with a proven record of accomplishments in capital market transactions, risk management, investment management and mergers and acquisitions, comes to Clarion after having spent almost 23 years with H.J. Heinz Company, Pittsburgh.

At H.J. Heinz, Cullo, a Cleveland native, held various positions, beginning as a company attorney in 1991 and culminating in promotion to senior vice president-treasurer in 2013.

Among his accomplishments at H.J. Heinz, Cullo led efforts, in conjunction with the Heinz tax department, to issue and subsequently refinance $350 million of Heinz Finance preferred stock, which resulted in substantial tax savings for Heinz. He completed several debt financings that supported Heinz’s international growth, and he executed various risk management and investment plans which generated hundreds of millions of dollars in savings, gains and deferrals of losses. He played key roles in all financings and significant merger and acquisition transactions while serving as treasurer and, earlier, lead lawyer in Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and compliance.

As vice president for finance and administration, Cullo will serve as a key advisor to the president and other members of the senior leadership team, providing leadership, vision and strategic financial planning in the development of initiatives that will optimize resources in support of the university’s mission and strategic objectives. He will also oversee management of the university’s operating budget.

“I am thrilled that Len Cullo will be joining the Clarion University leadership team,” said Clarion President Karen M. Whitney. “Len is from western Pennsylvania and brings with him an extensive portfolio of experiences and talents in the areas of finance and administration. He has tremendous energy and is already working to acquaint himself with the university and community.”

Cullo, who hoped to work in a higher education setting after leaving the corporate world, said he plans to support the president in her mission, maintain Clarion’s financial stability and continue to keep the excellent Clarion education affordable for students.

“I feel honored and excited to be able to do this at this time in my career,” Cullo said.

“I am confident that Len will be instrumental as we continue to build a strong financial and administrative foundation for our university,” Whitney said.

Cullo graduated magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1985 with a juris doctorate degree after earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting at University of Notre Dame in 1980.

He and his wife, Katie, plan to maintain dual residences in Sewickley, where they currently reside, and Clarion. They have six children, ranging in age from a 24-year-old son to 7th grade twin boys. His children are active in sports, and he and his wife stay busy attending their events and cheering them on. They are also active in their church, St. James Church, Sewickley.

“I must also express my great thanks to Pete Fackler, who has worked with us for over two years and has led the Division of Finance and Administration during some of the most difficult times in the university’s history,” Whitney said. “He has provided impeccable financial guidance and solid administrative decision-making which has been vital as we have tackled the most difficult of challenges. I appreciate his work and will miss working with him as he ends his planned appointment with the university.”

“It has been a personal privilege to serve as Clarion University’s interim VPFA for the past two years,” Fackler said. “The challenge of setting the table for a new VP has been a unique career milestone for me, one I will always view as special. I take away with me good memories of working together with management, faculty and staff, and I look forward to maintaining ties with my friends here.”

Fackler, whose last day at Clarion is Feb. 13, said he expects to stay actively engaged professionally while also pursuing a wide range of interests in areas outside of higher education. He plans to begin publishing a blog this spring.

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