Pace Magazine

New Board of Trustee Appointments

May 28, 2021
41 Park Row on the Pace University campus

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Three leaders with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of expertise in healthcare, technology, and business operations have joined Pace University’s Board of Trustees.

The new trustees are: Marki Flannery, former president and chief executive officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York; Christopher Roker MBA ’07, CEO and chief growth officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln; and Hemant Khemka, managing director at Stesalit Group, a global technology and manufacturing group based in India.

Mark Besca '81, chair of Pace's Board of Trustees, said each new trustee brings a wealth of experience, professionalism, and energy — and all three are committed to Pace’s mission of Opportunitas, or creating opportunities for its diverse student body.

“Marki, Chris, and Hemant understand that a Pace education opens doors for our students and creates opportunities for them over the course of a career and a lifetime,” said Besca. “We welcome their broad range of experiences, and we are excited that their input and vision will be help guide Pace students for generations to come.”

Flannery and Khemka, whose son is in the Pace Class of 2022, were elected to the board in March. Roker, an alumnus, was elected to the board in May.

The new trustees are joining the board at an exciting juncture at Pace University. Pace is in the midst of adding 12 new online graduate programs that align with growing market demands; remaining hyper-focused on experiential learning, career readiness, diversity and inclusion, and providing a strong return on investment to its students while investing significantly in its nationally acclaimed programs such as its School of Performing Arts, College of Health Professions, Seidenberg School of Computer Information Systems, and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, which this year was ranked as the No. 1 environmental law program in the country.

Furthermore, Pace is transforming Lienhard Hall, home to its College of Health Professions on the Pleasantville Campus, into a modernized Healthcare Hub that will add important programming for students preparing for careers in the region’s burgeoning healthcare and biotechnology sector.

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Marki Flannery served as president and chief executive officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). In this position, she oversaw the largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organization in the United States. With annual revenues of approximately $2.3 billion and over 10,000 employees, VNSNY serves the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, and parts of upstate New York. VNSNY typically has over 44,000 patients and members in its care, and offers a comprehensive array of programs and health plans designed to meet the diverse health care needs of their patients and members. Although she retired earlier this year, Flannery serves as an executive consultant to VNSNY’s CEO. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New York University. Flannery is married, has two adult sons, and lives in Palisades, NY.

“I’ve always been so impressed by the students, graduates, staff and organization as a whole,” Flannery said. “I’m really excited to be joining the board and to make a meaningful contribution to Pace University.”

Mr. H. Khemka

Hemant Khemka is the managing director at Stesalit Group, a global technology and manufacturing group based in India that focuses on making electronic and sensor based products in the areas of transportation and automation, AI solutions for Imagery Analytics and Dashboards for Internet of Things (IOT).Stesalit group includes companies such as Stesalit Systems, Stesalit Infotech and Stesalit Automation etc. As managing director, Khemka is responsible for strategic planning, product development, and marketing.In the future, the company expects to expand into more sensor-based products and solutions with a large focus on the internet of things – IOT. He previously worked for Credit Suisse in lower Manhattan, and holds a BBA from Adelphi University. He is a founding member of the Kolkata Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization and an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He lives in Kolkata, India, with his wife. They have two children, including a son who is studying Computer Science at Pace University.

“I’m really excited to join Pace University’s Board of Trustees,” said Khemka. “I hope to help and contribute to the University’s overall vision and strategic direction. There is a lot we can do to position Pace as a global brand. We are positioned so beautifully in a location that is the envy of the world.”

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Christopher Roker serves as CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln and as the health system’s Chief Growth Officer. He previously served as NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and Metropolitan CEO. Under Roker’s leadership, the hospital has achieved an increase in patient satisfaction scores, inpatient discharges, outpatient volume, and operating room (OR) volume. He has also been credited for strengthening collaborations with physician, labor, and community partners. Prior to NYC Health + Hospitals, Roker held leadership positions at The MetroHealth System in Ohio, St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, and The Parkway Hospital Queens. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, an MBA from Pace University, and a Certificate in Healthcare Leadership Advancement from Cornell University. He lives in Scarsdale, N.Y., with his wife, and they have a son.

“I know first-hand the power of education and the importance of Pace University’s mission of Opportunitas,” said Roker. “I’m excited to join the Board of Trustees and help make a significant contribution to the students we serve.”

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