Russell E. Palmer

Russell E. Palmer was Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Touche Ross International (now Deloitte), an accounting and consulting firm. He became CEO at age 37, the youngest person ever to attain that position in a "Big Eight" firm.

After 27 years in the accounting and consulting profession, Russell Palmer became Dean of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As the tenth Dean, and the first to come from the private sector, he shared his management experience with MBA students in a leadership course that he developed. He was instrumental in attracting over 100 new faculty members to the school, building a new executive education program and complex, and raising over $120 million for the school.

For his third career, he formed The Palmer Group where he is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Active in the outside business community, Mr. Palmer has served on numerous New York Stock Exchange boards including Honeywell International, Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., The May Department Stores Company, and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania and a former Trustee of the National Constitution Center. He served on the board of Main Line Health and the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School Board of Overseers. He currently serves on the board of The Mann Center for the Performing Arts and is a Member of the Smithsonian National Board.

The Russell E. Palmer Charitable Trust has provided leadership, support services, education-focused programs, scholarships and financial support to West Philadelphia public high schools and an array of local and other non-profit organizations.

Russell Palmer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, from Michigan State University and has received several honorary degrees. He has written and lectured extensively. His articles and essays have appeared in Business Week, the New York Times, the Journal of Accountancy, and other publications. He is the author of the recently released book Ultimate Leadership.

Gerard M. Francois

Gerard M. Francois is a Principal of The Palmer Group. He is involved in business acquisitions as well as assisting operating mangers of the company's investment portfolio. Prior to joining The Palmer Group in 1993, he was Vice President of Finance with the school portfolio of AEA Investors Inc.

Mr. Francois with was Macmillan Inc. from 1984 to 1991 where he worked in the internal audit department for two years planning and performing operational/financial audits of corporate subsidiaries. In 1986 he became Controller of The Katherine Gibbs Schools where he was responsible for preparing all financial operating reports to corporate management. The Macmillan school group was sold in 1989. Mr. Francois stayed with Macmillan and was promoted to Director of Finance and Administration of Delran Information Services Center, Macmillan's data processing division.

From 1980 to 1984, Mr. Francois was a member of the audit staff with Coopers & Lybrand.

Gerard Francois graduated with a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University. Additionally, he is a graduate of The University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management.