Niagara University announced Thursday that Edward J. Brennan, a 1978 graduate, has been named chairman of its board of trustees.
Although Brennan currently owns and operates Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in Lafayette, he's better known in the business world as the former chairman, president and CEO of Duty Free Shoppers Group.
He led that $5 billion company for 25 years, moving its headquarters from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Brennan is still a nonexecutive director of the company.
Before joining Duty Free, Brennan worked 16 years at Macy's and Federated Department Stores. His jobs included president of Macy's menswear division and senior merchant for Macy's East.
He joined the NU board in 2015. The next year, he and his wife, Deborah, funded the new Edward A. Brennan Center for Language, Culture, and Leadership at NU, named for Brennan's father, which serves international students.
He is co-founder and chairman of Hand in Hand for Haiti, which built a school in the poor town of Saint-Marc, Haiti.