Jose Valiente takes over as chair

New Leadership selected for USF Foundation Board of Directors

USF alumni Valiente, James, Keenan and Frazier to lead Foundation Board

Aug. 6, 2021

The University of South Florida Foundation Board of Directors has elected new officers to lead the organization for the next two years. Each brings unique career experience and a commitment to further the mission of the university by serving in these volunteer leadership roles. The officers include Jose Valiente ’73, Anthony R. James ’73, Brian Keenan ’86 and Rena Upshaw Frazier ’01.

Valiente2 400x400.JPG
Jose Valiente '73

After serving on the Foundation Board of Directors for nine years, Jose Valiente has been elected chair of the board. Valiente is a Certified Public Accountant and retired CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP partner, one of the nation’s top 10 certified public accounting and consulting firms. In 2016, Valiente was recognized with the Donald A. Gifford Service Award, one of the USF’s top honors, for his countless hours of service to the university.

A James 400x400.jpg
Anthony R. James '73

Anthony R. James, one of USF’s first Black electrical engineering graduates, was elected vice chair of the board. James spent 35 years building an illustrious career in the energy sector, retiring in 2008 as executive vice president of Southern Company and president of Shared Services for one of the largest utility companies in the United States. He has served on the FBOD since 2015.

Brian Keenan accepted the position of treasurer for the Foundation board. Keenan is the senior executive vice president and chief lending officer at First Florida Integrity Bank (FFIB). Before joining FFIB, Keenan served as president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank for Tampa Bay, and Orlando market president and CEO for First National Bank of Florida. Keenan has served on the board since 2006.

Rena Upshaw Frazier has accepted the role of secretary. Frazier is the founder and principal designer of Greycliff Interiors. She is also a licensed realtor with Allure Realty, LLC. As an attorney and former partner at a national law firm, Frazier spent over a decade helping individuals and businesses with real estate deals and legal issues all across Florida. Frazier has served on the board since 2019.

“I am pleased to introduce our new board leadership team,” said Jay Stroman, CEO of the USF Foundation. “Under the leadership of Board Chair Jose Valiente, the USF Foundation is poised continue its efforts to support the university’s aspirational goals by growing its endowment which is approaching $700 million and providing financial resources to support current and future needs of its students, faculty and staff.”

About the USF Foundation
The USF Foundation connects the university with donors who want to make a difference by providing private, philanthropic support to promote student success, academic initiatives, research and other strategic priorities of the University of South Florida. Our donors celebrate the energy, vision and future of one of the country’s most exciting and engaged universities. Our people and programs, our ideas, our research and our solutions comprise an ambitious plan to enhance health care, science, technology, education, business, the arts and global partnerships. Learn more at