Salk Institute adds four trustees to board

The board of trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has elected four new members: Dean L. Kamen, Ralph S. O’Connor, Conrad T. Prebys and Margaret Faye Wilson.

Kamen is best known for designing the Segway, the two-wheeled upright scooter. He holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents.

His most recent project, the “Luke Arm,” is a state-of-the-art robotic arm for amputees, funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

O’Connor has served as chairman and chief executive officer of the investment firm Ralph S. O’Connor & Associates since 1987, when he formed the company. Previously, he was corporate director for Texas Eastern Corp. O’Connor was among the four original partners who acquired the NBA’s San Diego Rockets and took them to Texas as the Houston Rockets.

He is chairman of Arnaud’s Restaurant, a landmark New Orleans eatery, and also trustee emeritus of Johns Hopkins University.

Prebys has built a real estate empire after founding Progress Construction and Management Co. in 1966. He develops, owns and manages apartments, condominiums and homes, as well as other facilities in San Diego County. His philanthropy has had a significant positive impact on a number of area organizations, including UCSD, the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Music Society.

Wilson, a leader in the banking and retail industries, is principal and co-founder of Wilson Boyles & Co., a business management and strategic planning consulting firm with offices in San Diego and Chicago. She previously held the position of senior vice president of the Risk Management Group for The Home Depot, also serving on that board of directors.