CEO retirements

E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College of Florida, has announced that she will step down as president, effective July 31, 2018. She has served as the college’s leader since 1996 and is only the second president in the college’s 52-year history.

Over the last 21 years, under McGee’s leadership, Seminole State has grown from a single-campus community college into a dynamic state educational institution with four campuses and 30,000 students annually. Today, the college offers 200 degrees and programs, ranging from industry certificates and associate degrees to seven bachelor’s degrees. In January, the college will start classes for its newest bachelor’s degree in nursing and opens its new 77,000-square-foot, $24 million Student Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.

McGee, who is herself a community college graduate from St. Petersburg College in Florida, has received numerous accolades during her 46-year career as an educator, administrator and civic champion. In 2013, she was awarded the James B. Greene Economic Development Award from the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission for contributions to the nation’s economic growth. In 2015, she received the District III Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Leadership Legend Award from Leadership Seminole. McGee also has served on the boards of the American Association of Community Colleges, Florida College System Council of Presidents and the Higher Education Research & Development Institute, among others.

“There are countless successful alumni, myself included, who can attest to her dynamism and passion for learning and for her interest and involvement with our students,” said Alex Setzer, chair of Seminole State’s district board of trustees.

McGee will transition to a new role as president emeritus on August 1, 2018. In this position, she will continue to be closely involved with the college, providing fundraising assistance and developing an emeritus college for eligible retired faculty and administrators.

Gary Oertli, president of South Seattle College in Washington, plans to retire August 31. His higher education career spans 45 years, including nearly a decade at South Seattle. Oertli became president of the college in 2010, having served as interim president prior to his permanent appointment. During his tenure, the college was recognized for having the largest increase in full-time diverse faculty in the state, saw students recognized nationally for their achievements, and became a U.S. community college leader in implementing a guided pathways model for increasing student success. Oertli also worked closely with the South Seattle College Foundation and through its partnership with the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program (providing one year of tuition-free college to high school graduates in surrounding communities) helped to expand it from serving one high school to four, giving hundreds of students the opportunity to attend college.

Oertli’s higher education career began at Edmonds Community College in Washington, where he worked his way up from part-time instructor to interim president. He then became president of Shoreline Community College (Washington) before transitioning to the Seattle Colleges District, where he held leadership positions at Seattle Central, North Seattle and South Seattle College.

Tommy Warner, chancellor of Nunez Community College in Louisiana, has announced that he plans to retire on December 31, capping a 60-year career. Warner, affectionately known as “Coach,” has served as a teacher, athletic coach, assistant principal, assistant school superintendent, professor, college dean, Louisiana state legislator and chancellor of Nunez Community College, a post he has held for 17 years.

Warner’s philosophy on education is to meet the diverse needs of the individual and the demands of a democratic and multi-cultural society. Above all, he believes the foundation of education is to provide the individual with lifetime learning through the acquisition of necessary skills in order to have a satisfying career and productive life.

“I remember when I first became a state legislator Chancellor Warner took me on a tour of the campus of Nunez Community College,” recalled Gov. John Bel Edwards. “It was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but he was determined to bring it back for the students and the community. He worked hard along with the great people of Chalmette to make that happen and today it is thriving.”

Warner spearheaded the opening and renovation of three state-of-the-art, multi-use buildings on campus since the storm. He has also led in the growth of the college’s enrollment, number of graduates and its reputation as one of the nation’s best process technology programs.

Because of his heroism during Hurricane Katrina and the accomplishments in reopening the college for the 2005-06 academic year, Warner received the prestigious President’s Leadership Award from Walter Bumphus, then president of the Louisiana Community & Technical College System.


Ervin Griffin, Sr., president emeritus of Halifax Community College in North Carolina, has been named the 2017 Roanoke Valley Community Champion for providing outstanding community service, caring for others, creating a positive environment and in general making the community a better place to live and work.

Bill Seymour, president of Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee, was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for the Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA), an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. For member colleges, CCA provides programs and services responsive to the unique cultural, geographic and economic challenges facing the Appalachian Region.

Tammy Frankland is now executive vice president of instruction and student services at Everett Community College in Washington. She previously served as dean of Casper College’s School of Health Science in Wyoming.

Shahrooz Roohparvar has joined Arizona Western College as vice president of finance and administrative services. Most recently, Roohparvar was chief financial officer at the Milan Institute.

Sharon Smith is the new executive director of human resources at Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina. She previously served as a human resources benefits manager at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Alan Stephenson has joined Calhoun Community College in Alabama as its new vice president for academic affairs. Most recently, Stephenson was vice president for instruction at Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina, a position he held for seven years.

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