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William A. Finn

Chair of AstenJohnson, Board of Governors Executive Committee

FinnIn 1972, William A. Finn joined AstenJohnson Holdings Ltd., a $300 million company serving the global paper industry, and worked his way to president and CEO in 1984. He later assumed the additional position of chair in 1994. In 1999, he was named chair and chief executive officer of AstenJohnson. In 2006, Finn retired as CEO, but remains chair.

As a Charleston business executive, he has tirelessly bridged the business community with higher education, particularly on behalf of the College of Charleston. More than 25 alumni have worked for AstenJohnson over the years, thanks to Funn's awareness and advocacy for our talented students.

Since the business school was established in 1986, Finn has been a guiding force and advisor to the deans, students, faculty and staff. He was chair of the School's Board of Advisors (later renamed to Board of Governors) and continues to serve on its executive committee. In this role, he worked closely with Anita Zucker and the search committee to recruit the current dean of the School.

Over the past four years, Finn has assumed the role of CEO advisor to the Schottland Scholars program in the School of Business. The Schottland Scholars program is the gold standard experience for 10 seniors each year who are accepted into the program after a competitive application process. The program, funded by Peter and Susan Schottland, develops student leaders into future CEOs. As an advisor to the program, Finn constantly strives to ensure that the Schottland Scholar curriculum is well rounded. He also leverages his global business connections that enable corporate visits and one-one-one meetings with senior-level VPs and CEOs of the companies.

Finn lends his personal experiences and lessons to the scholars in an unassuming way that students find inspiring, sincere and relevant. As a mentor to many students, Finn guides individuals by identifying their strengths and challenging them to pursue big ideas. As a result of the success of the program, Finn has helped to expand the program's model to other schools at the College of Charleston.

In 1998, Finn received the Milliken Medal of Quality from the South Carolina Quality Forum for his leadership, innovation and achievements. Finn currently serves as a director of several private and public companies. He has always been active in his community: In CHarleston, he is currently the treasurer of the South Carolina Aquarium, chairman of the CHarleston Regional Development Alliance, chairman elect of Trident United Way and a member of the executive committee of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness and Palmetto Business Forum.

Finn has been at the forefront of manufacturing issues locally and statewide, including through his role as past chair of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. He is a member of the World Presidents' Organization and the Chief Executives Organization.

Finn received a bachelor's degree in textile engineering from Philadelphia University and a master's degree in textile engineering from the Institute of Textile Technology. He is also a graduate of the President's Program at Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Prudence, reside in Mt. Pleasant.