Averett University Adds New Board of Trustees Members with Strong Community Ties

Posted on January 26th, 2017 by Danielle Staub

Averett University has elected two new local members to its Board of Trustees. Mark Gignac and Steve DelGiorno will each serve four years on the volunteer board with terms beginning July 1, 2017.

“We are thrilled to add these two new members to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, president of Averett University. “These men are very active in the Danville community and know what it means to work together as a team so that the whole community succeeds. Their life achievements show us how staying engaged can make an impact, and we can’t wait to see how they can elevate Averett’s mission moving forward.”

Mark Gignac BoTGignac is the director of research at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. He moved to Danville in 1974 and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing. After graduation, he spent the next 31 years building and running Electronic Design and Sales, (E.D.S.), an electronics manufacturing business in Danville. In addition, Gignac has been a residential real estate investor and has “flipped” more than 45 homes.

He has remained active in the community and has especially enjoyed his involvement in various economic development opportunities including Danville City Council, Danville Development Council, founding chairman of the Dan River Business Development Center, and investor/co-manager of the local venture capital fund. He also serves as a permanent member of the Womack Foundation. Gignac and his wife, Leannah, enjoy spending time with their four grown children and two grandchildren.

DelGiorno is a partner in Two Crows, a limited liability company, which recently purchased the former Exxon gas station on Main Street in Danville’s Old West End neighborhood. The building will soon be a coffee shop, café and wine bar called Crema&Vine. In Danville, DelGiorno considers himself a real estate developer and restaurateur. He formed PARCO International LLC in 2010 and has purchased multiple commercial properties and houses since then. He is working to do high-quality restoration of the houses. One of the commercial properties now consists of the farm-to-table restaurant, The 616, on North Main Street. He is developing the building next door into a new retail food concept.

He began his career as a sales manager in the southeastern United States with Nestle Foods CorporationSteve DelGiorno BoT USA, managing the Rich Food’s grocery business. DelGiorno then joined the global leader in branding and product development, Daymon Worldwide, where he worked directly with leading U.S. grocery retailers for 19 years. In 2003, he led the development of Daymon’s fledgling international business in Asia, where he held a number of assignments in Asia culminating with his appointment as vice president and company officer, leading their business activities across Asia while opening new markets in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. In 2013, DelGiorno moved his family to China and joined the boutique supply chain solutions company, Vershold Group as an equity partner and group president.

DelGiorno has received numerous accolades such as The Retail Executive of the Year by the World Retail Congress in India. A highly sought-after speaker, he has conducted lectures to retailers, manufacturers and his colleagues on global best practices in the areas of category management, merchandising, brand strategy and product innovation. A graduate of George Washington High School, DelGiorno and his family have now relocated back to Danville.

Averett’s Board of Trustees consists of a diverse group of community and business leaders dedicated to the success of students and to the continuation of the University’s traditions. The addition of the two new Trustees will bring the total board to 29 members.