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Chemical engineering graduate Chris Nolan ’86 has been appointed an independent director by Hauppauge, N.Y.-based United-Guardian Inc., a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and specialty ingredients for the health care, personal care, and cosmetic industries. Previously, he was an executive director in the mergers and acquisitions group of Rabobank International, the largest Netherlands-based retail bank with 222 offices in 34 countries.

At U-G, Nolan is a member of the audit committee, which stems from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (the “whistleblower” legislation) of 2002, passed by Congress to restore investor confidence in publicly traded companies by meting out serious penalties to board members or senior managers who mislead investors. Nolan’s role is to ensure that the company’s financial statements are consistent with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and comply with Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines.

In addition, Nolan recently was appointed to the investment committee of the U-G board to see that the company’s free cash flow is appropriately invested. During his day-to-day jobs as mergers and acquisitions adviser and investment banker, his interaction with multi-level companies allows Nolan to use his contacts and clients’ experiences as resources for his work on the U-G board.

“The most interesting aspect of my role on the board of directors is understanding and addressing the challenges faced by a small public company in today’s increasingly difficult regulatory environment,” he says.

Nolan credits his chemical engineering professors for contributing to his reasoning abilities, including Dana McDermott, J. Ronald Martin, Babafemi Adesanya, Michael Collura, and former department head George Horner. Nolan adds that despite receiving a “C,” his worst grade at Lafayette, from Rose Marie Bukics, Jones Professor of Economics and Business, she had a positive influence on his approach to accounting.

After four years working as a chemical engineer, Nolan earned an MBA from Harvard University with a concentration in finance. He says he is now very comfortable navigating through a set of financial statements.

“Lafayette provided me the opportunity to develop confidence in my abilities, while at the same time providing me with the skills to accept roles with greater and greater responsibilities.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles