MELBOURNE, FLA.—Ruth Funk and Richard McNeight were named members of the Florida Institute of Technology Board of Trustees in January. They were welcomed to the board at the winter trustees meeting on campus.
An artist, teacher and collector, Funk has enriched the university by her donations of books, international textiles and wearable art as well as by major financial donations. She funds the annual textiles program, the Uncommon Threads symposia, and made possible the university’s Funk Textiles Gallery, located in the Crawford Building. Her $1.25 million gift will finance a Center for Textile Arts on campus—the only such museum in Florida. It’s scheduled to open in 2009.
Known for her elaborately embellished jackets and coats, Ruth has exhibited her work at the Maitland Art Center, Vero Beach Museum of Art and Brevard Art Museum. Her creations of “art-to-wear” have also been featured in various fashion shows at cultural institutions across the southeastern United States.
A resident of Suntree in Melbourne, Fla., since 1995, Funk has two children and three grandchildren.
After a long career in software engineering, McNeight founded Paravant Computer Systems Inc. in Satellite Beach, Fla. He took it public on NASDAQ in 1996 and sold it to DRS Technologies Inc. in 2002. He continued as president of DRS Tactical Systems Inc. until his retirement in July 2006. Under McNeight’s 24 years of leadership, Paravant/DRS Tactical Systems grew to become the worldwide leader in the design and production of rugged portable computers for military systems.
Active in Brevard County community affairs, McNeight was named Founders Forum and EDC (Economic Development Commission) Florida Space Coast 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year and earned a Dale Carnegie International Leadership Award that year. He currently holds positions on the Florida Tech College of Business Board of Overseers, College of Engineering Board of Overseers, Astronauts Memorial Foundation board, Eau Gallie Yacht Club Board of Governors; and Brevard Business Leadership Network Advisory Board.
He lives with wife Teresa in Satellite Beach. The couple has three children.
“We are delighted to add the diversity and breadth of experience of these two outstanding people to our board,” said Anthony J. Catanese, president of Florida Tech.