Abbot Placid Solari, OSB
Abbot Placid Solari, OSB, is the Chancellor of Belmont Abbey College. He has been a monk of Belmont Abbey since 1974, and was ordained in 1980. On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1999, he was elected the 8th Abbot of Belmont Abbey. In the past, Abbot Placid has served as the President of the college, and he was its Academic Dean from 1996 until his election as abbot. He continues to teach as well as provide an orientation session to every new hire to the college faculty and staff. Recently, we interviewed him about the college, its educational philosophy, the relationship of the monastery to college, and other related topics.
Dr. William Thierfelder
Dr. Bill Thierfelder is currently President of Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic Liberal Arts College located 10 miles west of Charlotte, NC. Founded by Benedictine monks over 136 years ago, the College continues to celebrate the 1,500-year-old Benedictine monastic tradition of prayer and learning by providing its students with an education that will enable them to lead lives of integrity, succeed professionally, become responsible citizens and be a blessing to themselves and to others.
Prior to his appointment as President of Belmont Abbey College, Dr. Thierfelder successfully lead and transitioned fitness legend, York Barbell Company, from a manufacturer to a solutions-based partner, providing sales, marketing, product development and logistical services
to mass merchants and major sporting goods retailers throughout the United States and Europe.
Dr. Thierfelder was also a principal in Joyner Sports Medicine Institute, a physical therapy corporation he helped conceptualize, found and develop. After positioning Joyner as a premier provider of physical therapy services, he was instrumental in negotiating the sale of the company to NovaCare, Inc., the nation’s second largest provider of outpatient physical therapy. As NovaCare’s National Director of Sports Science, he created, directed and co-chaired one of the largest and most successful sports medicine and physical rehabilitation conferences in the United States.
He has also served as Executive Director of the Player Management Group, a sports representation company that provided contract negotiation, financial management, legal, career planning and sports medicine services to professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. Dr. Thierfelder has also helped thousands of athletes, including over a hundred at the Olympic and professional levels, achieve dramatic improvements in their athletic performances. His past clients include NFL stars such as Kyle Brady, TE, New England Patriots; Adrian Wilson, S, Phoenix Cardinals; Bobby Engram, WR, Seattle Seahawks; Omar Easy, FB, Oakland Raiders; and Andre Collins, LB, Washington Redskins; and many others.
Dr. Thierfelder received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Sports Psychology and Human Movement from Boston University. He is a licensed psychologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychological Specialties. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Registry. He is a former NCAA Division I Coach, Olympian (did not compete due to injury), National Champion (IRE) and a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland. He participated in the 1980 United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and was a medalist at the 1981 U.S. Track & Field Indoor National Championship. Dr. Thierfelder is a member of the Sports Faith International Hall of Fame, which includes world-class athletes, coaches, and team owners, such as George “Papa Bear” Halas, Wellington Mara, Brian Piccolo, and others.
Throughout his career, Dr. Thierfelder has delivered hundreds of presentations, both live, and on camera, regarding topics related to faith, sport, education, sports science and medicine, business performance, as well as testifying before the United States Congress in matters related to religious liberty. Dr. Thierfelder has led the fight for religious freedom by initiating the first lawsuit against the federal government over the HHS healthcare mandate.
Dr. Thierfelder was born and raised in New York City. He is a Knight of Malta and currently lives just outside of Charlotte, NC with his wife, Mary, and their ten children. Both Dr. Thierfelder and his wife are Oblates of Belmont Abbey Monastery. He is also the author of Less Than a Minute To Go: The Secret to World-Class Performance in Sport, Business and Everyday Life which can be purchased here.
Mr. Kevin T. Kennelly
Is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Belmont Abbey College. He is also Managing Partner of Park Meridian Holdings, LLC. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and his MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina. Mr. Kennelly is a former North Carolina Deputy Secretary of Commerce and the founder of Park Meridian Bank, where he served as President and CEO until its sale to Regions Bank in 2001, at which time he became President of Region’s Mid-Atlantic Group. Under Mr. Kennelly’s management, the Mid-Atlantic Group went from $350 million in assets to over $4 billion and grew to sixty branches spread over sixteen cities. Mr. Kennelly is a North Carolina Bankers Association board member and board member of the John Locke Foundation, among many others. He has also been active in volunteer support of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a number of political, educational and charitable institutions.
Mr. Robert M. Gallagher, J.D., LL.M,
Robert M. Gallagher serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Good Will Publishers, Inc. a family business started in 1938 by his grandfather and father. Mr. Gallagher received his BA in Economics and Business from Belmont Abbey College, a JD from the Cumberland School of Law Samford University and a LLM from Georgetown University. He was a partner in a successful law firm before joining Good Will Publishers in 1985 to direct its financial operations. In 1988, Mr. Gallagher became the fifth President and CEO of Good Will Publishers, initiating a period of unprecedented growth and diversification in the company. He retired as CEO, after holding that position for thirty-one years, in 2019. He is a Knight of Malta and serves as an active board member and volunteer with numerous civic, educational and religious organizations. He and his wife Jackie split their time between Charlotte and the NC mountains and enjoy their six children and thirty-one grandchildren.
Conor Gallagher, M.A., J.D.
Conor Gallagher serves as the Executive Director of the Benedict Leadership Institute. He earned both his Masters in Philosophy and Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America. He began his professional career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert J. Conrad Jr., Chief Judge of the Western District of North Carolina. He has been an adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Political Philosophy at Belmont Abbey College. He is currently CEO of Good Will Publishers, and Publisher of Saint Benedict Press and TAN Books. He and his wife, Ashley, are the proud parents of fifteen children.
Jordan Raniszeski earned his degree in Accountancy with honors from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Managing Director of Investments with Wells Fargo Advisors, where he helps individuals and families organize their financial life in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving their goals. Jordan and his wife Anna have four children, ages 2 through 11. He is an avid reader, with a passion for history and politics, and enjoys travel and golf. Jordan and his family are active parishioners at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, where he serves as chair of the Finance Council.