Four individuals will join Manhattan College’s board of trustees: Thomas Kuster ’86, Thomas J. Meloro ’86, Robert Pulver ’69 and Brother Robert J. Smith, FSC, Ph.D.
Thomas Kuster is the chief executive officer and founder of Merit SI, a solar power plant and energy storage company that leverages proprietary smart-grid controls technology to develop and execute renewable energy programs for industrial clients. Previously, as senior vice president of Global Systems Engineering at First Solar, Kuster spearheaded the company’s mission to safely lower the cost of delivered solar electricity, while overseeing design and engineering activities for utility-scale solar power plants. Kuster received several patents during his tenure at First Solar. In 2004, Kuster co-founded DT Solar, later Turner Renewable Energy, the system integration firm acquired by First Solar in 2007. Kuster’s career also included management positions at natural gas utility NUI, Air Products & Chemicals and AT&T-Bell Laboratories.
Thomas J. Meloro is a partner in the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. He is chair of the intellectual property department and a partner in the firm’s litigation department. Willkie is a leading international law firm, with 700 attorneys practicing in offices in six countries. Meloro focuses on litigation and transactions concerning patents, trademarks and trade secrets, and his practice has spanned technologies and industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to telecommunications. Chambers USA, a guide to top law firms and lawyers, ranks Meloro among the leading attorneys in his field. He also is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his work in patent litigation. Meloro has served as president of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, and is a founder of the Hon. William C. Conner Inn of Court.
Robert G. Pulver is the former chairman of All-State Industries Inc., a company he worked for since 1974 before its sale in February 2019. A 1969 graduate of Manhattan College with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Pulver also served as president and chief executive officer of All-State Belting, a conveyor belt distributor. In 1996 All-State Industrial Rubber acquired Alert Manufacturing for an estimated $5 million. In 2015, Pulver established the Walter C. Camas ’52 Scholarship at Manhattan College in memory of his uncle. The scholarship provides tuition assistance to upper-level students enrolled in the O’Malley School of Business who demonstrate high academic achievement.
Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D., served as a member of the Manhattan College board of trustees from 2002 to 2017. Br. Robert is now senior vice president for university initiatives and special advisor to the president at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In this role, he is responsible for developing new initiatives and partnerships at Saint Mary’s, and networking with the international Lasallian consortium of colleges, universities and secondary schools. He also works to advance the school’s Lasallian Catholic tradition while continuing to provide quality, affordable and creative educational opportunities to its students. A Saint Paul native and 1976 graduate of Saint Mary’s, Br. Robert’s many roles at the Winona campus included associate professor and chair of the Theology department, associate dean for the School of Education, vice president of mission, and director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. He also served as dean of Christ the Teacher Institute for Education at the Saint Mary campus in Nairobi, Kenya. He previously was vice chancellor and vice president for academic affairs at Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, Palestine.