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Washington and Lee Elects New Trustees

Washington and Lee University welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees during the fall board meeting, Oct. 24–25.

Joseph W. Luter IV, of the W&L Class of 1987, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, spent 22 years with Smithfield Foods in positions ranging from a product scheduler to president of Smithfield Packing and executive vice president of Smithfield Foods. His responsibilities included P&L responsibility for a $2.5 billion operating company, consolidation and management of international sales, consolidation and oversight of brands within Smithfield Foods, and service on the strategy and M&A senior management team. Luter left Smithfield in October 2013 after its sale to pursue entrepreneurial dreams and control his own time. His current activities include commodity trading, real estate investment, a restaurant start-up and looking for the right operating opportunity. Luter earned a B.A. in history from W&L and is a graduate of the advanced management program at Harvard. He is married to Frances Patteson Luter, and they have two teenage children.

Laurie A. Rachford, W&L Law Class of 1984, of Houston, is general counsel at ExxonMobil Chemical Co. She joined the ExxonMobil Law Department in 1990, and prior to that held a variety of professional and management positions in ExxonMobil’s Law Department, in the Upstream, Downstream and Global Services companies in Texas and Virginia. Before joining ExxonMobil, she was in private practice in Washington and in Houston. She also served as a law clerk to Judge H. E. Widener, W&L Law 1953, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rachford has served on the W&L Law Council and the reunion committee for the class of 1984L, and is an advisor for the Law School’s Professional Development Program. She earned a B.A. in history in 1981 from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lizanne Thomas, W&L Law Class of 1982, of Atlanta, is partner-in-charge of the Jones Day office and heads the firm’s corporate governance team. While her roots are as an M&A lawyer, Thomas practices, teaches and lives corporate governance. She participates in more than 100 board meetings per year as counsel to a number of public companies. She has lectured on governance to leading business organizations, companies and universities throughout the world. She represents special committees in going private and other control transactions, as well as internal investigations involving issues from financial restatements to allegations of executive misconduct. Thomas is experienced in public and private mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism, takeover preparedness and executive compensation as well. She serves on the board of directors of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., where she serves as chair of the governance committee and a member of the audit committee; she previously served as a member of the compensation committee and co-chair of the special committee charged with investigating a variety of allegations. The company has twice won national corporate governance awards for its governance profile and shareholder engagement. Thomas also serves on the board of trustees of the Georgia Research Alliance, where she chairs the audit committee; on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; and as chair of the Georgia Chapter of CEOs Against Cancer. She belongs to the Rotary Club of Atlanta and is a former trustee of Furman University and former president of the W&L Law Council.