Board of Directors Chairman Rev. Jonathan Eilert and President Michael L. Frandsen have announced that The Rev. Dr. Scott Ness, Wittenberg class of 2001, and brand builder John Shumate, Wittenberg class of 1999, are the newest members of the Wittenberg University Board of Directors. Each will serve a three-year term.
"As dedicated alumni, Scott and John will bring tremendous insight to our Board, not only from their areas of expertise, but also through an uncompromising passion for Wittenberg and our future,” Frandsen said.
Rev. Ness currently serves as the associate pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in religion from Wittenberg, he went on to earn a master’s degree in divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, South Carolina) in 2005 and a doctorate of ministry in 2014 from George Fox University (Newberg, Oregon). He has held positions at St. Paul Lutheran Church (Bridgeport, Ohio) and St. John Lutheran Church (Grove City, Ohio) before moving to Georgia. Also a member of the North American Lutheran Church Communication Committee and the Life to Life Discipleship Implementation Team, he serves on the board of directors for Leadstar International, Inc. and has spoken nationally and internationally at ministry gatherings in Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Denmark, and Ethiopia, among other places.
During his time at Wittenberg, Ness, who earned the Heimtraut Dietrich Award in 2001, was a member of the men’s basketball team, Delta Tau Delta fraternity, served as a resident advisor, held various roles with student ministries, and was a member of Senior Circle. As an alumnus, Ness has served as a class agent, volunteered with the Office of Admission, and served on Wittenberg’s Alumni Board. He and his wife, Deanna (Carlson), Wittenberg class of 1999, have six children. Ness, son of Ohio businessman Robert “Bob” E. Ness, Wittenberg class of 1963, and wife, Lynn Noble Ness, Wittenberg class of 1964, continues a family tradition as his father completed two terms of the Board.
Shumate, a high-visibility brand builder for world-class corporations such as Eastbay and PepsiCo, developed and managed partner alliances with the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Live Nation properties, as well as celebrities, athletes, and entertainers.
Most recently a vice president of marketing at Eastbay, responsible for overseeing all marketing efforts and leading all sales and brand initiatives for the Eastbay brand, Shumate earned his M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. He and his wife, Shana, and twin boys, Jackson and Chase, currently reside in Wisconsin.
Shumate, who majored in business administration, was actively involved in numerous organizations during his time at Wittenberg including the Union Board, Xi Chi chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Student Senate, and the Student Appellate Board. He also started Witt Fest back in 1998, an event that is still going strong today.
Prior to taking over Aquafina and LIFEWTR accounts at PepsiCo, Shumate managed the Gatorade brand, directing the G series portfolio and focusing on the company’s innovation platform. Additionally, he supervised cross-functional teams in driving and executing brand initiatives, devised marketing strategies, promotions and branded content, and led Gatorade brand partnerships, including all National Football League (NFL) properties comprised of 32 pro teams, NFL Players Inc., and such NFL athletes as Cam Newton and J.J. Watt. The portfolio also included 28 universities and the College Football Bowl Series.