Three new members join Board of Tulane

July 10, 2015

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-314-2603

Dr. Jeff Balser, vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University; Irwin Simon, founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the leading organic and natural products company, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.; and Jenny Kottler, founder of the consulting and conference planning company Kottler Works, have joined the Board of Tulane.

“These new members have diverse backgrounds and experiences but share a common commitment and passion for Tulane University,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “Their wide-ranging expertise reflects the university’s new emphasis on teaching and research that seeks to solve societal problems through collaboration across disciplines.”

Balser, a national leader in cardiac care and healthcare management, received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane. As an alumnus, he has served on both the Biomedical Engineering Board and the Parents Council at Tulane. In 2013, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering. Balser’s research in cardiac arrhythmia has been published in Nature and other leading scientific journals. He is a member of American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

A graduate of St. Mary’s University and a former executive at The Häagen-Dazs Company, Simon founded what became Hain Celestial in 1993, transforming it into a NASDAQ-listed and FORTUNE 1,000 company, with operations in North America, Europe and India. He has been active at Tulane as a member of both the Parents Council and Business School Council. He serves as an independent director of Jarden Corporation and MDC Partners Inc. and participates in several industry and charitable organizations, including The New York State Council on Food Policy and The Bowery Mission.

Kottler, a graduate of Newcomb College and the A.B. Freeman School of Business, is a member of the President’s Council, former chair of the Tulane Fund Advisory Board and former president of the Tulane Alumni Association. A past member of the Provost’s Council and the Bea Field Alumni House Project Steering Committee, she has held a number of leadership roles on both her undergraduate and graduate reunion committees. Her business guided rapid growth of the Tulane Business Forum and facilitated the launching of the Tulane Engineering Forum, both significant alumni outreach efforts.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000