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Flagler College announces changes to the Board of Trustees

Aug 19, 2022

Ambassador John Rood has been elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Flagler College and Viv Andrew Helwig, ’08, CEO of Vested Metals International was selected for the board. Rood succeeds Rick Groux ’79, who served in the role for the last three years.

Rood assumes Flagler College Board of Trustees Chairmanship

John Rood Headshot
John Rood Headshot

Mr. Rood is the founder of Vestcor Companies, a Jacksonville-based real estate development firm. He was appointed in 2004 as the Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. His commitment to public and private service includes serving as Chairman of the Florida Prepaid College Tuition Board and his past work with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Council of 100, and the Board of Governors of the State University System.

Elected to the Flagler College Board of Trustees in February 2011, he has served in a leadership role on the executive committee, facilities committee, and as a member of the finance committee and the student affairs and athletics committee.

“I want to thank Rick Groux for his years of dedicated service leading the Board through the challenges of COVID-19 the last few years and the selection of a new President. His support and leadership have been invaluable to the College, bringing forward a number of critical initiatives,” said President John Delaney. “I know that type of momentum will continue under Ambassador Rood. As we look to the future and the work being done to improve spaces across campus, that type of innovation and excitement will continue with the energy that John brings to the role.”

Rick Groux ’79 will remain an active member of the Board. He joined the Board of Trustees in May 2009 and was elected Chairman in May 2019. During his tenure, the College saw the addition of two athletic programs, lacrosse and track and field; the renovation of the Dining Hall; the opening of the Campus Services Building; and the announcement of the largest gift in the College’s history.


Helwig joins the Flagler College Board of Trustees

Viv Helwig Headshot
Viv Helwig Headshot

Viv Helwig brings with him an entrepreneurial spirit and experience growing a company from the ground up.  After finding his way into the specialty metals business, Helwig has built Vested Metals into one Inc.’s 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the world, as well as the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Fast 50 companies in the region for the past three years.  In addition, he and Vested Metals were named the SBA Exporter of the Year for the North Region and the State of Florida.

“Viv’s dedication to his alma mater, along with his entrepreneurial vision, makes him a perfect addition to the Board. As a recent chair of the Alumni Board of Directors and member of the Saints Advisory Club, Viv has the knowledge, commitment, and experience the Board of Trustees values in its members. We look forward to welcoming him at his first meeting in October.” said Board of Trustees Chair, Ambassador John Rood.

Helwig is no stranger to board service, whether it be to Flagler College or the greater St. Augustine Community.  He has served on the St. Johns County Industrial Development Authority promoting economic development, appointed by the U.S. secretary of commerce to serve on the U.S. Central & North Florida District Export Council, St. John's County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee, SBDC at UNF Advisory Board, Flagler College Athletics Advisory Board, and Flagler College Alumni Board of Directors.

In accepting his appointment to the Board of Trustees, Helwig thanked the Board for inviting him to “join in their mission.” And shared, “after spending more time with several Trustees during this process, I am extremely encouraged by the passion they have for this institution. It's a special place that completely transformed my life for the better and I hope to be a part of providing that experience for others. I look forward to working with President Delaney and the entire board to further the vital mission of the college and am excited to be given the opportunity to serve my alma mater, Flagler College, in this vital role."

Helwig received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Flagler College and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Flagler as the December 2019 commencement speaker.  His first meeting as a Trustee will take place in October.


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