In a significant move signaling a new era of leadership, REV Group, Inc. has announced the appointment of Kathleen M. Steele as an independent member of its Board of Directors. This strategic decision comes at a pivotal moment, as the company prepares for the retirement of Donn Viola at the upcoming Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
Steele’s appointment is not just a routine transition; it marks a deliberate step towards fortifying the company’s governance with her extensive experience and expertise.
Steele’s professional journey is a tapestry of significant roles and accomplishments. Before joining REV Group’s Board, she was an advisor to Equity Group Investments (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm, according to the company’s news release.
Her tenure at EGI, which began in July 2000 and culminated in her role as a managing director until June 2023, is marked by a series of successful investment strategies and financial leadership initiatives. Before EGI, Steele honed her skills in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch, laying a strong foundation for her future endeavors.
In addition to her remarkable career in finance and investment, Steele currently holds influential positions in other organizations.
Her role on the Board of EagleRidge Energy, an oil and gas development and production company, and her participation in the Investment Committee of Pohlad Investment Management, demonstrate her broad expertise and respected status in the financial world.
These roles underscore her ability to provide strategic direction and insight, qualities that REV Group will greatly benefit from.
Paul Bamatter, the board chair of REV Group, expressed his enthusiasm for Steele’s appointment, noting her “extensive investment management and financial leadership expertise.”
Bamatter’s statement reflects the board’s confidence in Steele’s ability to contribute significantly to the company’s strategic planning and decision-making processes. Her appointment is a key factor in driving value creation for REV Group, a company known for its diverse portfolio of specialty vehicles.
Steele’s academic credentials are equally impressive, adding another layer of depth to her professional profile.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics, magna cum laude, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Steele’s educational background is a testament to her analytical skills and intellectual rigor.
These qualities are essential for navigating the complex financial landscapes and strategic challenges that REV Group faces in the specialty vehicle manufacturing sector. Moreover, Steele’s involvement in various educational and philanthropic initiatives speaks volumes about her commitment to social causes.
As the chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart Schools Chicago, as well as her participation in the leadership council of A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy fund, Steele demonstrates a profound dedication to improving educational opportunities for low-income students in Chicago.
This aspect of her career highlights her holistic approach to leadership, blending corporate responsibility with community engagement.