Board of Directors
Michael S. Dunlap, Executive Chairman of the Board, established the company that would become Nelnet with Stephen Butterfield in 1996. Mr. Dunlap previously served as Chairman and CEO of the company (co-CEO with current Vice Chairman Butterfield 2003-2007) from its inception.
Mr. Dunlap attained his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1986, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1988. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association.
Mr. Dunlap serves in different leadership capacities for many organizations, including Union Bank & Trust, Union College, Vision 2015, and Capital Casualty Company, among others.
In addition to his role as Executive Chairman of the Board, Mr. Dunlap also serves as Executive Committee Chair.
Stephen F. Butterfield serves as Nelnet’s Vice Chairman since March 2000. Previously, he served as the company's co-CEO and Vice Chairman. Mr. Butterfield also served as a Director for Nelnet's predecessor.
Mr. Butterfield received his B.S. degree in business administration from Arizona State University. Prior to his work in the student loan industry, Mr. Butterfield spent 15 years as an investment banker. Mr. Butterfield's qualifications include more than 35 years of experience in student loans, capital markets, and municipal finance.
Mr. Butterfield and Mr. Dunlap founded Nelnet with the dream of making the company one of the finest in the education services and finance industry. Mr. Butterfield helped develop the philosophy that the leadership of the company works for the associates.
In addition to his service as Vice Chairman, Mr. Butterfield is a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee as well as a member of the Risk and Finance committee.
James P. Abel has been a member of Nelnet's Board of Directors since August 2003. Mr. Abel had previously served as a Director of NHELP-I, Inc., a Nelnet subsidiary, for three years until August 2003.
Mr. Abel received a B.S. degree from Arizona State University in 1973. Since 1983, Mr. Abel has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of NEBCO, Inc., a Lincoln, Nebraska-based company with interests in the manufacturing of building materials, construction, insurance, mining, railroading, farming, and real estate.
Mr. Abel serves on the Boards of Directors of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Linweld, Inc., and is an Advisory Board Member for US Bank Lincoln. He is Chairman of the Nebraska Game & Parks Foundation and is on the boards of the University of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Wesleyan University.
A committed board member, Mr. Abel serves on the Compensation committee as well as the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee. Mr. Abel holds a leadership role as the Chair of the Compliance committee.
William R. Cintani has been a member of Nelnet's Board of Directors since May 2012, and is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mapes Industries.
Mr. Cintani graduated with a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering in 1974 from Lehigh University. He served for 10 years as a member of the Board of Directors for the company's asset-backed securities special purpose corporations.
Mr. Cintani's position on numerous civic, philanthropic, and service boards have provided him with a wide array of experience in both corporate governance and operations. His practical knowledge and board experience provides the company with a resource for all aspects of finance, operations, IT, and strategic planning.
Mr. Cintani is a member of the Audit and Risk and Finance committees.
Kathleen A. Farrell has served as a member of Nelnet’s Board of Directors since October 2007. Possessing admirable expertise in corporate finance, executive turnover, and executive compensation, Dr. Farrell is a Professor of Finance and Chair of the Finance Department at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Dr. Farrell joined the finance faculty at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in the fall of 1993. Dr. Farrell received her Ph.D in finance from the University of Georgia, and a BBA in finance and accounting from Kent State University. Dr. Farrell's publications have appeared in several academic journals.
In 1996, Dr. Farrell received the Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2004 she received the University Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Business Administration. Dr. Farrell draws on her experience from KPMG Peat Marwick as a supervising senior where she was involved with audit engagements.
An active board member, Dr. Farrell serves on the Audit, Executive, and Compliance committees, in addition to her leadership role as the Chair of the Risk and Finance committee.
Thomas E. Henning has served as a member of Nelnet’s Board of Directors since August 2003. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Assurity Group Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Assurity Life Insurance Company.
Mr. Henning is a 1975 graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, as well as Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. He also has completed the Wharton School's Effective Management Program, as well as a comprehensive program of study by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Mr. Henning holds the CLU and CFA designations., and has been named an NACD fellow.
Previously, Mr. Henning served concurrently as President and Chief Operating Officer of National Bank of Commerce of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Executive Vice President of First Commerce Bancshares between 1985 and 1990. Mr. Henning is a member of the Investment Committee for the Lincoln Community Foundation, Chairman of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors, a member of the Great Western Bank Board of Directors, member of Lincoln Plating Company's Advisory Board and on the board of Stockmens Financial Corporation.
Mr. Henning serves as Chair of the Audit committee, as well as a member of the Executive and Risk and Finance committees.
Kimberly K. Rath has served as a member of Nelnet's Board of Directors since October 2007. Ms. Rath is currently the Chairperson for Talent Plus Inc., a global human resources consulting firm.
Ms. Rath is a graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and a recognized leader in the field of executive development and human resources.
Ms. Rath is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization as well as Cather Circle, Nebraska Alumni Association's mentoring and networking program for women. She previously served as a member of the Lincoln City/County Child Care Advisory Board. She also had a leadership role on the Executive Advisory Board for the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship and helped the Center gain recognition as the No. 1 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Education Program in the country by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Ms. Rath was a 1998 and 2005 nominee for the Lincoln YWCA Tribute to Women Award.
Ms. Rath serves as the Chair of the Compensation committee as well as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee.
Michael D. Reardon has served as a member of Nelnet’s Board of Directors since December 2003 and is currently the Chairman of ProVision Communications, a telecommunications consulting firm established in 2000.
A graduate of Arizona State University, Mr. Reardon holds a degree in economics. Mr. Reardon has gained over 35 years of experience in starting and building companies from the ground up, providing strategy, leadership, business development, and management expertise.
He also served as Director of HyperFlo, a manufacturer of precision cleaning equipment, from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Reardon previously served as Chairman for Geos Communications Inc., a publicly traded mobile communications company, from 2010 to 2013.
Mr. Reardon serves on the Compensation committee as well as Chair of the Nominating and Governance committee.
David S. Graff has been a member of Nelnet’s Board of Directors since May 2014. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Agile Sports Technologies Inc., otherwise known as Hudl.
Mr. Graff graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with an undergraduate degree and MBA from the Jeffrey S. Raikes School in Computer Science and Management. In his current role, Mr. Graff is the CEO of Hudl, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based company that provides online video analysis and coaching tools for professional, college, high school, club, and youth teams and athletes.
An Omaha, Nebraska native, Mr. Graff also serves on the Raikes School Advisory Board. In 2010, Mr. Graff and the other Hudl co-founders were featured on Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30 list.
Mr. Graff serves as a member of the Risk and Finance Committee and the Compliance committee.