Luther President Richard Torgerson names four new regents to college's Board of Regents

June 20, 2012

Luther College President Richard Torgerson has announced the appointment of four new regents to the college's Board of Regents: Dennis Flatness, Richard F. Theiler, Chinyere Ukabiala and Lance J. Vander Linden.

"By adding three alumni and a current parent, each with distinctive gifts and experiences, we bring to the Board individuals who have a passion for Luther and the desire to strengthen and enrich the Luther student experience," said President Torgerson.

Dennis Flatness

Dennis Flatness is president and chief executive officer of WFL, a risk management company located in St. Louis.

He started at the company, formerly Welsch, Flatness and Lutz, in 1979. Before joining WFL, Flatness gained experience in the surety and insurance industry working for Aetna Casualty in the surety bond department in Des Moines, Iowa, Tampa and Miami, Fla., and St. Louis.

Flatness serves in leadership positions with several not-for-profit agencies, including vice chair of Citizens for Modern Transit and the St. Louis Cathedral Concerts. He is a board member of the Central West End Association, Webster University Business School Advisory Board, Washington University Weidenbaum Center and the St. Louis Sports Authority.

He has been involved with many other community activities and organizations including the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association.

Flatness graduated from Luther in 1968 with the bachelor of arts degree in history and political science.

Originally from Mason City, Iowa, Flatness currently resides in St. Louis with his wife Eugenia (Jean). They are the parents of two children: John Romney and Jennifer Romney.

Richard F. Theiler

Richard F. Theiler served as senior vice president of research and development at Henkel North America from 2003 until his retirement in 2011.

After earning a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Theiler began his career at the Dial Corporation in 1977. Throughout his career Theiler has held senior management positions with Unilever, in both the United Kingdom and the U.S., and with Colgate-Palmolive.

He is the author of more than 40 patents and publications.

Theiler is on the board of trustees of La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is involved with many Scottsdale community activities and organizations including MentorKids, Habitat for Humanity and United Way.

A 1972 Luther graduate, Theiler holds the master of science degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Originally from Madison, Wis., Theiler currently resides in Scottsdale with his wife Jane. They are the parents of Devan Theiler Mourtos and Dana Theiler, who graduated from Luther in 2007.

Chinyere Ukabiala

Chinyere Ukabiala serves as an adjunct professor of Law at Drake University Law School where she earned the juris doctor degree in 2001. A graduate of the University of Buckingham School of Law, Buckinghamshire, England, she also holds the bachelor's degree in law from Nigerian Law School, Lagos, Nigeria, and from the Council of Legal Education, Lincoln's Inn London, England.

Ukabiala's career as an attorney includes service with Iowa Legal Aid and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, both based in Des Moines. She was an attorney with the Latin & Masheder law firm in Liverpool, England from 1984-86 and the A.N. Anyamene, Solicitors & Advocates firm in Enugu, Nigeria from 1982-84.

Ukabiala is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and has served as co-chair on the association's Women and Minorities Committee since 2009. She is a member of the advisory council of Ambassadors for Africa and was a member of the advisory council of the Leadership Institute for Tomorrow from 2006-08.

Ukabiala is the recipient of the Gertrude Rush Award for 2010-11. The award is presented by the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and Iowa National Bar Association to a lawyer who demonstrates leadership in the community and in the legal profession and demonstrates concern for human and civil rights.

Ukabiala serves as a volunteer with the James Arthur Albert Foundation in Des Moines and New Hope United Methodist Church. 

Born in Enugu, Nigeria, Ukabiala currently resides in Urbandale, Iowa, with her husband, Onyebuchi. They are the parents of five children: Nawi, Chibuzor, Obi, Luther Class of 2013, Kene, Luther Class of 2014, and Amarachi.

Lance J. Vander Linden

Lance J. Vander Linden is chairman of National Bankruptcy Services. NBS, headquartered in Dallas, provides bankruptcy solution services, including legal and compliance expertise and technology.

The NBS management team and its 450 associates provide services for banks, finance companies, credit unions, mortgage servicers and investors. NBS clients include some of the country's largest and most respected lenders.

Vander Linden served as chief executive officer of NBS from 2004-11. He has also been a managing shareholder at Brice, Vander Linden & Wernick, P.C. since 2000.

Before joining BVW, he was a partner at the law firm Riddle & Brown.

Vander Linden holds the bachelor of arts degree in management and political science from Luther and the juris doctor degree from Drake University Law School.

Originally from Indianola, Iowa, Vander Linden currently resides in Dallas with his wife Shari. They are the parents of three children: Jack, Haley and Owen.

Dennis Flatness
Richard F. Theiler
Chinyere Ukabiala
Lance J. Vander Linden