LaFerla replaces Brad Bedell of Sikeston, Mo., whose term on the Board expired Jan. 1, 2013. Bedell continued to serve as a Regent in 2013 while the Board awaited a new gubernatorial appointment. LaFerla’s term runs through Jan. 1, 2019.
LaFerla’s tenure at Leggett and Platt, Inc., began in October 1973. He progressed through six higher-level positions before retiring in April 2001. Prior to his work with Leggett and Platt, LaFerla served as a senior system analyst and requirements planner at Emerson Electric Company and was employed by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis.
A 1961 graduate of Southeast Missouri State College, the forerunner to Southeast Missouri State University, with a Bachelor of Science in biology and geology, LaFerla went on to earn a certificate in systems analysis and data processing from St. Louis University-Metropolitan College. He has completed coursework towards a Master of Science in engineering administration from the University of Missouri-Rolla, now Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Bedell served as president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents from 2006 to Dec. 13, 2012, and as a member of the Board since 2001.
“I want to thank Brad for his many years of service as a Regent and Board President, as well as the many things we have been able to accomplish during his tenure,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “For more than a decade, he has spent countless hours in service to our students, faculty and staff, and the region, and the University community has benefited greatly from his dedication.”
“We are very pleased that Don has been appointed to the Board of Regents,” Dobbins said. “He is an alumnus of Southeast and has always been very supportive of our University. We look forward to working with him in his role as regent.”
LaFerla is a member of the Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital Board, having been both president and vice president. He also is a member of the McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation Board, having been both vice president and secretary-treasurer. LaFerla serves on the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation Board, the Missouri Southern State University Foundation Board and the Carthage Community Foundation, where he has been president. He has previously served on the Missouri Hospital Association Board, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri and the Carthage Chamber of Commerce.
LaFerla and his wife, Gloria, who is also a Southeast graduate, are the parents of two sons, Jeffrey and Michael, and three grandchildren, Peyton, Cameron and Jadyn.