Prominent Des Moines entrepreneur and business innovator Tej Dhawan has been elected chair of the Central College board of trustees effective July 1, 2018. Dhawan succeeds chair Lanny Little.
A 1991 Central graduate, Dhawan was student body president as an undergraduate. He joined the trustees in 2002 after six years of service on the college’s National Advisory Council. Dhawan served as chair of the board’s finance committee from 2009-12 and has served on board committees for student development, executive compensation, investment and trusteeship, as well as the executive committee. He was also a board representative on the presidential search committee that brought Central’s President Mark Putnam to the college in 2010. Dhawan is currently chief data officer for the Principal Financial Group.
“The amount of service to the college and number of leadership roles Tej has already filled is really impressive,” Little says. “He has a deep, abiding commitment to Central and carries the right mindset to fulfill the role of the chair, cherishing the proud traditions of our past while planning for innovations that will help the college thrive in the future.”
During its April meeting, the Central College board of trustees also honored outgoing board chair Lanny Little by naming him chair emeritus. Although leaving the chair position, Little will continue to serve on the board.
A 1974 graduate of Central, Little currently lives in Bonita Springs, Florida. With a long career in the banking industry, he currently serves as an independent consultant for Core Value Banking. He has served as Central’s board chair since 2011.
“Lanny has already provided 30 years of service to Central’s board and supports Central in countless ways,” Putnam says. “Over the years, he has served on multiple board committees and supported our mission of helping students discover and develop their greatest potential. His thoughtfulness, well-studied approach and quick wit make him a trusted confidant and leader. The board was pleased to honor him with the emeritus title for his distinctive work on behalf of Central. We are delighted to continue benefiting from his leadership.”