Leslie Lenzo

CEO/Chief Investment Officer
Highlights: Leslie K. Lenzo, CFA is Chief Executive Officer / Chief Investment Officer of the Hershey Trust Company (“HTC”) in Hershey, PA. Prior to HTC, Ms. Lenzo served as Chief Investment Officer at Advocate Aurora Health where she oversaw the investment of $14 billion in corporate and pension assets as well as the investment options available in the organization’s $8 billion defined contribution plans. Previously, Ms. Lenzo was a senior member of the investment team at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare in Chicago. Ms. Lenzo started her career with the investment program at Partners Health Care in Boston and then moved to the sell side to do equity research covering Healthcare Services at SG Cowen.

Ms. Lenzo holds a BA in Economics and Government from Georgetown University and a MBA in Finance from Boston University. She is also a CFA charter holder. Ms. Lenzo is in the process of moving to Hershey, PA with her husband, four young sons, and Italian Greyhound.

Derek Holjes

Vice President, Finance
Highlights: Derek joined Hershey Trust Company (“HTC”) in 2023 as Vice President, Finance and is responsible for planning and directing the finance and accounting function. Derek has over 15 years of experience in both financial reporting and audit. He most recently served as Senior Audit Manager for RKL LLP and focused exclusively on financial institutions. Derek previously served as Chief Financial Officer for AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union. He started his career with financial reporting experience in the energy and education sectors.

Derek is a graduate of West Virginia University where he received his Masters degree in Professional Accountancy (MPA) and BSBA in Accounting. He also earned a certificate in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation.

Derek is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Laura Minteer

Vice President, Corporate Services
Highlights: Laura joined the Hershey Trust Company in 2022 as Vice President, Corporate Services and is responsible for planning and directing the administration functions of Hershey Trust Company, including human resources and organizational development, information technology, public/community relations, internal and external corporate communications and other office and facilities services. Laura has over 26 years’ experience in human resources and administrative functions. She most recently served on the senior leadership team at Menno Haven Retirement Community as Executive Director, Human Resources & Organizational Development. Prior to that Laura served as Vice President, Human Resources at Meritus Health, a regional health system in Hagerstown, MD.

Laura is a graduate of Shippensburg University where she earned a Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration and a graduate of Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA where she earned a Masters’ degree in Human Resource Management.

Jennifer Sassani

Vice President & Director, Diversifying Assets
Highlights: Jen joined the Hershey Trust Company in 2017. As a member of the HTC investment team, she is specifically responsible for the development and oversight of the Real Assets portfolio, which includes public and private strategies. In addition, she works closely with the Director of Fixed Income, who is responsible for the public fixed income and private credit strategies; and the internal team that manages the local, directly-held real estate portfolio.

Prior to joining the Hershey Trust Company, Jen served as Lehigh University’s Director of Alternative Investments where she was responsible for overseeing the private equity and private real estate initiatives. Jen also functioned as the COO of the Investment Office. Before joining Lehigh, she held various roles with the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (“SERS”), most recently as Co-Director of Alternative Investments and was involved with managing SERS’ then $10 billion private equity program.

Jen holds a BSBA from Shippensburg University and a MSBA from Bucknell University.

Thomas B. Schmidt, III

Interim General Counsel
Highlights: Tom began service as Interim General Counsel, Secretary, and Acting Compliance Officer in July 2022, following nearly 45 years in private practice. Tom retired at the end of 2018 from Pepper Hamilton LLP, where his practice was primarily in civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels. Tom continues as a Fellow of The Pepper Center for Public Service and is vice-chair of its board. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Evidence, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an adjunct professor at the Dickinson School of Law, and has often been recognized for his service as a pro bono attorney, including most recently with the “Hero of Justice” Award of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Tom is a graduate of Boston College, B.A., and the Dickinson School of Law, J.D.

Joshua Shannon, CFA

Deputy Chief Investment Officer/Vice President & Director, Equities
Highlights: Josh joined the team in 2019 with over 20 years of experience in equity analysis, manager selection, and portfolio construction, with his most recent work experience from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in New York, where he was Vice President, Portfolio Manager for the US Fundamental Equity franchise. Prior to Goldman, Josh was with Honeywell Capital Management with responsibility for Public Equities across both the in-house actively managed and outside manager portfolios for the $20 billion pension plan. Josh initially joined JPMorgan Securities within the Fundamental Equity Research platform and with primary responsibility for the consumer staples sector.

Josh earned a degree in Economics, with Honors, from Lafayette College. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®).

As Vice President, Equities, and Deputy CIO, Josh serves as the senior-most officer for all public equity portfolios managed by HTC. In addition, Josh conducts and oversees analysis of controlled companies.