New CEOs

Martin Eggensperger has been named president of Black River Technical College in Arkansas. He comes from Arkansas State University—Mountain Home, where he currently is vice chancellor for academic affairs. Previously, Eggensperger served as a mathematics faculty member and dean, then division chair of general studies, and associate vice president for institutional effectiveness at Southeast Arkansas College. At College of the Ouachitas, Eggensperger was vice president for instruction and later as interim president.

Kristie Fisher will become chancellor of the Iowa Valley Community College District. She is currently senior director of national associations and market engagement for ACT. Fisher has been with ACT in Iowa City since 2014. Prior to that, she worked for many years between 1995 and 2014 with Kirkwood Community College, serving in various positions including vice president of student services, director of special projects and assistant to the president, and annual giving director. From 2000 to 2004 Fisher was director of community relations for the College Community School District in Cedar Rapids.

Angélica Suarez has been selected to serve as the next president of Orange Coast College in California. Currently, Suarez — herself a former community college student — serves Southwestern College (California) as vice president for student affairs, and has held previous roles as acting superintendent/president and acting vice president for academic affairs. Her past experiences also include serving in academic dean and faculty positions for Southwestern College and Wright College in Chicago.

CEOs on the move

In Connecticut, the Board of Regents for Higher Education has named the presidents of its three new community college regions, which are part of the state’s plan to consolidate the 12 independently administered community colleges into a singly accredited institution by 2023.

Rob Steinmetz will become president of Region One, Capitol-East, which comprises Capital Community College, Manchester Community College, Middlesex Community College, Three Rivers Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College. He currently is vice president for student affairs at Portland Community College in Oregon. He previously was vice president for student affairs and enrollment at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, from 2010 to 2017.

James Lombella will become president of Region Two, North-West, which consists of Asnuntuck Community College, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Northwestern Community College and Tunxis Community College. He currently serves as president of both Asnuntuck Community College, a position he has held since 2009, and Tunxis Community College, a position he has held since 2017. Previously, Lombella was chief financial officer/dean of administration at Asnuntuck.

Thomas Coley will become president of Region Three, Shoreline-West, which comprises Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College and Norwalk Community College. He currently is chancellor of the South Bend-Elkhart campus of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. Previously, he was chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Northwest and North Central regions from 2011 to 2016.

Jacqueline Gill will serve as president of Virginia’s Danville Community College. She previously was president of Metropolitan Community College’s Business & Technology Campus (Missouri). Gill has worked in higher education for more than 20 years, beginning her career as director of continuing education for Tarrant County College’s Northeast Campus (Texas). In 2010, she became the college’s vice president of academic affairs and community and industry education.

Todd Holcomb is the next president of Hawkeye Community College in Iowa. He is currently president of Western Nebraska Community College, where he has served since 2010. Previously, Holcomb was vice president of student services from 2009 to 2010, which followed a six-year tenure as associate vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University (ISU). He also served as an interim director for ISU’s dining and residence. Before Iowa State, Holcomb spent nine years at Miami University in Ohio, serving as associate director and later director of residence life and new student programs, interim assistant vice president for student affairs, and associate dean of students for residence life and new student programs.


Robert Emil Miller, founding president Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) in Connecticut, has passed away at age 88. In 1968, he joined the staff of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education and from there transferred to the Central Office of the Community Colleges in 1969 as associate academic officer. In 1971, Miller became interim president of South Central Community College and later that year was named founding president of the newly authorized QVCC. He retired in 1992 after 21 years as QVCC president, including two years as interim president at Manchester and Mohegan community colleges. He also served twice for interim presidencies at Middlesex Community College in 1996 and at QVCC in 2012.


Athos Brewer is the new vice president for administrative services at Union County College in New Jersey. Previously, he was vice chancellor of student services at Houston Community College. Prior to that, Brewer was vice president of student affairs at Bronx Community College (New York).

Albert J. Harrison II is now interim vice chancellor of finance and administration at the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) in California. Harrison began his professional career in academia in 1977 as budget director at PCCD and later served as vice chancellor of financial services, eventually rising to become the district’s chancellor from 1995 to 1999. He later served at College of Marin as vice president of college operations, including a period as interim president in 2010.

Tiffani Underwood is now of director of development at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) in Virginia and executive director of the PHCC Foundation. She previously served as the college’s coordinator of community development and on-site manager of the Dalton IDEA Center.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.