USM Foundation Welcomes Five New Board Members

Adelphi, MD (November 20, 2015)

The University System of Maryland (USM) Foundation has announced the addition of five new members to its Board of Directors: Alan C. Cason, Salvatore Correnti, Eric S. Francis, Creig Northrop, and Clolita M. Vitale.

“I am so pleased to welcome Alan, Sal, Eric, Creig, and Clolita to the USM Foundation Board of Directors,” said USM Foundation President and CEO Leonard Raley.  We are so privileged and fortunate to have such diverse, knowledgeable individuals joining our board. Their commitment to our institutions has made them ideal partners to carry out our mission of supporting the USM and I look forward to working with each of them individually over the course of their terms.”

Details can be found on each new member below:

Alan C. Cason has held many leadership positions at McGuireWoods and currently serves as chair of its public finance practice. In his role as partner, he has acted as bond counsel and counsel to municipal bond issuers, underwriters, borrowers and developers in connection with numerous tax-exempt and taxable bond issues and private financings in Maryland and elsewhere. Alan also has extensive experience in municipal law, state and local government relations and economic development matters. He has testified before Senate and House of Delegates committees of the Maryland General Assembly on legislation concerning state and local governmental entities.

Mr. Cason received his J.D. from the Carey School of Law at University of Maryland, Baltimore and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America, winning “Lawyer of the Year” in 2013 and 2015. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, which he joined as an undergraduate at University of Maryland, College Park. He has served as president of the University of Maryland Alumni Association and as a member of the University of Maryland, College Park Foundation.

Salvatore Correnti is a senior executive with more than 30 years of demonstrated achievement and success in developing and implementing strategic vision, leading change and delivering results. His specific areas of expertise include: leadership and management, business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, enterprise risk management and all aspects of investment management. From 2003 to 2012, Sal served as Chief Executive Officer at Conning Asset Management where he was instrumental in developing and implementing their business strategy while building and leading a team of 270 employees. He remains involved with Conning, serving on its board of directors. He also serves as a board director for Builders Insurance in Atlanta. He is actively involved at his alma mater, serving on the board of the Towson University Foundation, the advisory board for their College of Business & Economics, and as an adjunct professor.

Sal received his M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore and his B.A. from Towson University.

Eric S. Francis was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in just a little over two and one-half years with honors, having earned his bachelor's degree in both political science and history. He then attended the Villanova University School of Law earning his Juris Doctorate degree, following which he was appointed as an attorney advisor at the then young Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. Later Mr. Francis went back to his family's small but successful local family operated service organization, founded in the 1890's by his grandfather. Some 117 years later, that organization has evolved into The CBMC Group, a nationally recognized service, and concierge and patrol organization providing services throughout much of the United States. Mr. Francis is the chairman and chief executive officer of The CBMC Group.

In addition to being a trustee at University of Maryland, College Park, and a member of the bars of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, several federal bars as well as the Supreme Court of the United States, Mr. Francis has served on the Financial Aid Board at the University of Pennsylvania, as president of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, as trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation, and as trustee of his congregation. Mr. Francis is philanthropically involved with many other universities and charitable organizations, including his role as a founding trustee of the Jeffrey Model Foundation, which originated at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC and is now at Harvard University and over 80 other centers around the world. Mr. Francis has been married for 45 years and has three married daughters and one grandson.

Creig Northrop has more than 25 years of real estate experience and has spent his career specializing in residential real estate throughout the Maryland and DC metro area. He is proud to be the President and CEO of a real estate team that is not only #1 in Maryland, but also #4 in the nation by volume according to Real Trends and The Wall Street Journal. He and his team strive to provide knowledge, professionalism, prompt follow-up and tailored, personal attention to each client. 

A life-long resident of Howard County, Mr. Northrop is committed to giving back to the communities in which he works, and lends his time to numerous charitable and community organizations. Mr. Northrop holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Maryland, College Park and has received several distinguished awards over his real estate career.

Clolita M. Vitale has more than thirty years of experience with the University System of Maryland, beginning in 1972 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus as a buyer. Vitale later moved to University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a director of procurement before becoming the Assistant Vice President of Administration Services, before being named University Counsel, which she held until her retirement from UMBC in 2008. In recognition of her 35 years of service to the institution, Vitale was awarded the UMBC Service Award in 2007.

After retiring from UMBC, Vitale became Senior Counsel for Constellation Energy Corporation, which later merged with Exelon Corporation, after which she became an Assistant General Counsel. She retired from Exelon at the end of 2014. She is a member of the Baltimore City Bar Association and the Maryland Bar, and continues to provide legal services in retirement as a volunteer attorney with Senior Legal Services in Baltimore City, as well as the Esperanza Center in Baltimore where she teaches English as a second language.

She received a B.A. from UMBC, a B.S. from University of Maryland University College, and her J.D. from University of Maryland, Baltimore. 


The USM Foundation supports the mission and ambitions of the University System of Maryland by advocating and supporting the advancement of public higher education in Maryland through visionary leadership in philanthropy, asset management, and stewardship. Assets under management currently exceed $1 billion.

Contact: Jess Gill
Phone: 301.445.2743

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