THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT NAMES MEMBERS TO THE DEFENSE BASE CLOSURE AND REALIGNMENT COMMISSION
The President today announced his intention to nominate seven Members to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. The members are as follows: Al Cornella, Rebecca G. Cox, General J.B. Davis, S. Lee Kling, Benjamin F. Montoya, Wendi L. Steele and Michael P. W. Stone.
The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission is responsible for providing a fair process that will result in timely closure or realignment of U.S. military institutions that are no longer a high priority or need to be changed. Specifically, it reviews the recommendations of the Secretary of Defense and transmits a report of its findings and conclusions to the President.
Al Cornella is the President of Cornella Refrigeration, Inc. in Rapid City, South Dakota. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran with service in Vietnam and has been active in military issues for more than a decade. Mr. Cornella has served on a number of boards and commissions in South Dakota including the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1991 - 1992 and as Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. In 1992, he was appointed to serve on the State Commission on Hazardous Waste Disposal. Mr. Cornella currently serves on the boards of the South Dakota Air and Space Foundation, and the Rapid City Economic Development Loan Fund.
Rebecca G. Cox is currently a Vice President of Continental Airlines, Inc. Prior to working for Continental, she served as Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison for the Reagan Administration and was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Interagency Committee for Women's Business Enterprise. Ms. Cox had previously served at the Department of Transportation as Counselor to Secretary Elizabeth Dole and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Affairs. Previously, Ms. Cox worked in the U.S. Senate as staff assistant, then legislative assistant and finally, as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. In 1976, she received a B.A. degree from Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1981. Ms. Cox resides in Newport Beach, California with her husband Chris and their two children.
General J.B. Davis concluded a 35 year career with the United States Air Force as a combat fighter pilot, commander, strategic planner and programmer in August of 1993. He has served as a commander of a combat fighter wing, of the U.S. Air Force's military Personnel Center, Pacific Air Forces, and United States Forces Japan. In addition, he served as the Director and Programmer for the U.S. Air Force personnel and training. He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Intelligence for the Pacific Air Forces, and served his last two years on active duty as the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (NATO). During his career he has had extensive experience in operations, intelligence, human resource management, and political/military and international affairs. General Davis has a B.S. degree in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Masters degree in Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery, and has attended multiple professional schools.
S. Lee Kling serves as Chairman of the Board of Kling Rechter & Company, a merchant banking company formed in 1991. He also serves as a Special Advisor and Managing Director of Willis Corroon Corp. of Missouri. Previously, Mr. Kling was in the insurance brokerage business. He founded his own insurance firm in 1965, which was subsequently sold. He remained with the company as Chairman and CEO until 1974. From 1974 to 1977, Mr. Kling served as Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as a member of its Executive Committee. Previously, he served as United States Economic Advisor representing the private sector during peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt. He received the Distinguished Business Alumni Award from Washington University in 1989 and was the Missouri Building & Construction Trade Counsel "Construction Man of the Year" in 1990. Mr. Kling and his wife, Rosalyn Hauss, have four children. Their residence is at Grayling Farms in Villa Ridge, Missouri. He received a B.S.B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Benjamin F. Montoya is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Company of New Mexico, an investor-owned public utility serving gas, electricity, and water throughout the State. Mr. Montoya enjoyed a distinguished and decorated U.S. Navy career, spanning 31 years, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral. He served as Commanding Officer of the Navy Public Works Center in San Diego, California; Commander of the Western Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command in San Bruno, California; and Director of the Sore Activities Division in the Office of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. From 1987 - 1989, he assumed the duty as Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V," Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. Mr. Montoya is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He also holds a B.S degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Master of Science degree in sanitary engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Wendi L. Steele served as the Senate liaison for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 1991. She began her career in the Reagan Administration, working in the legislative affairs offices of both the Office of Management and Budget and the White House. Following her service in Washington, Mrs. Steele was a congressional and economic analyst for the Defense and Space Group of the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. She returned to D.C. during the Bush Administration and worked for the assistant secretary for legislative and intergovernmental affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 1993 she staffed defense, veterans' affairs, foreign policy and trade issues for Senator Don Nickles (R-OK). Mrs. Steele resides with her husband Nick in Houston, Texas, where she is a writer.
Michael P. W. Stone resides in San Francisco, California and has had senior management responsibilities over the past 40 years in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Stone began his government service in 1982 as mission director in Cairo, Egypt, for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In 1984, he became director of the Office of Caribbean Basin Initiative Affairs at USAID in Washington. From 1986 - 1988, he served as assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, and from 1988 - 1989 as Under Secretary of the Army. While he was Under Secretary, Mr. Stone served as Army Acquisition Executive and performed the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition for several months in 1989. From 1989 - 1993, Mr. Stone served the Secretary of the Army. He also served as chairman of the board of directors of the Panama Canal Commission and in 1991 - 1992 as executive agent for the U.S. civil reconstruction program in Kuwait. Mr. Stone is a graduate of Yale University. He is currently director of BEI Electronics, Inc. in San Francisco, a publicly listed technology company.
Former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon was appointed chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission on October 11, 1994.