New Members Added to Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board


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The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has named seven new directors to its board.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 31, 2007 — The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has named seven new directors to its board.

Each member will serve a three-year term, which began Jan. 1. The role of the Board of Directors includes, but is not limited to, formulating, approving and evaluating programs to obtain financial support for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. The new board members are as follows:

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Steven Bjelich

Bjelich received a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University-Bloomington, in 1976. He received his master’s degree in hospital administration from Indiana University School of Medicine-Indianapolis in 1978. Bjelich finished his hospital administrative residency at Mercy Hospital in Miami, Fla.  Bjelich is currently the president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System.  He moved to Cape Girardeau in 1999 to assume the responsibilities as president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Medical Center.  

Since coming to Cape Girardeau, Bjelich has been an active member of the local community and the state. Bjelich was appointed to the Missouri Center for Patient Safety by the governor.  He also serves as a member of the Missouri Hospital Association’s Government Relations and Legislative Action Committees.  Locally, he has served on the board of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Missouri United Way and is a member of the Rotary International Club and the Soapbox Derby. Bjelich also has been involved in the national health care community through his fellowship in the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

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Douglas Greene

Greene graduated from Suffield Academy, Suffield, Conn., in 1958.  He later received bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in business administration from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio.

Upon graduation, Greene found success in the design and manufacturing of glass door fire screens for Sears as its national buyer.  After leaving Sears, he went on to serve in the management and ownership of several fireplace manufacturing companies, including president of Hearth Craft, Inc., president of General Fireplace, and president/co-owner of Pacific Fireplace, Inc. Greene later became the president and owner of Skytech, Inc., and is the “Father of Fireplace Remote Controls” having developed remote controls for fireplace and gas log manufacturers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Greene also serves as chairman and partner of Skytech Enterprises, Inc., a company that has developed pain management and skin rejuvenation devices using infrared light. 

Photo of Marsha Haskell(View larger image of Marsha Haskell) Marsha Haskell

After graduating from Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor of science in education, Haskell began her 27-year career in telecommunications with Southwestern Bell. She has held a variety of positions with the telecom company throughout Missouri.  Haskell currently manages the legislative, regulatory and community relations responsibilities for the new AT&T in southeast Missouri. 

Haskell is an active member of the Cape Girardeau community, serving on the board of the following organizations: American Red Cross, Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Network Against Sexual Violence, Rural Restoration Adopt Ministry, Southeast Hospital Foundation, Southeast Public Radio, Work Force Investment and Zonta Club of Cape Girardeau Area Foundation.    

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Thomas McCain

McCain received a bachelor of science in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University in 1970.  He later went on to earn a master of business administration degree from John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

McCain has spent his career working with various companies in the areas of finance, accounting, treasury and tax. He is currently the chief financial officer, vice president, secretary and treasurer for SmartPak Equine-Smarter Horse Care in Plymouth, Mass. McCain previously has served on the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors as chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. 

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Maurice “Moe” Sandfort

Sandfort attended Southeast Missouri State University for two years in the early 1960s. He later transferred to the University of Missouri – St. Louis to complete his bachelor’s degree in business administration.  He also received a general banking degree from the American Institute of Banking in 1974 and graduate banking degree from Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in 1982.

Sandfort began his career in banking with the First State Bank of Saint Charles, Mo., where he worked from 1965-1979. In 1972, he accepted his first role as an executive administrator with the bank.  Over the years, Sandfort continued to advance his banking career and now serves as community bank president for the three Cape Girardeau branches of The Bank of Missouri.   

Photo of Dr. William Thorpe(View larger image of Dr. William Thorpe) Dr. William Thorpe

Thorpe graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1969 where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  He later went on to receive a doctor of medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in 1973, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.  Shortly after graduation, Thorpe began his medical career in orthopaedics.  He has spent the last 24 years as an orthopaedic surgeon at his private practice in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Thorpe has been involved in the following medical organizations: Orthopaedic Research Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy Association of North America, St. Louis Arthroscopy Association, Orthopaedic Laser Society of North America, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, International Arthroscopy Association and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc.

Thorpe was inducted into the Missouri Athletic Trainers Association Sports Hall of Fame in June 2006. 

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James Wente

Wente graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1969 with a bachelor of science in accounting and finance. He received his Certified Public Accountant certification in Illinois in 1971 and in Missouri in 1975.  Wente joined the executive staff of Southeast Missouri Hospital in 1975 and became the chief executive officer in 1991, which remains his title today.

Wente holds board certification by the American College of Healthcare Executives and maintains an active role in the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA). He has served as board secretary, a member of the executive committee, chairman-elect and, in 1998, as chairman of the statewide body. He continues to serve on the MHA Board of Trustees. Wente also is active in the community, including membership in the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a past chairman of the board of directors.  He is a member of the Cape Girardeau Lions Club, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, St. Mark Lutheran Church, and is a Life Sponsor of Ducks Unlimited. Wente also served on the United Way board. 


A state-assisted institution, Southeast Missouri State University receives only a portion of its funding from state revenue, tuition and auxiliaries. The remainder is raised by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation in the form of private gifts by alumni and friends who believe in bringing students a high-quality education that ensures students experience success in our global society.

Since its founding in 1983, the University Foundation has worked diligently to raise and manage funds for the betterment of Southeast Missouri State University and its students.  The funds support scholarships, financial aid, faculty advancement, technological upgrades and facility improvements.

For more information on the Foundation and ways to support Southeast, visit