New CEOs

Beatriz Joseph will serve as the next president of Mountain View College (Texas), as of July 1. She is currently vice president of college services at Palo Alto College in Texas. Joseph previously was interim vice president for student success at Palo Alto; vice president of institutional research and planning at Georgia Military College; assistant director of institutional research, effectiveness and planning for the Alamo Community Colleges District (Texas); and director of academic program assessment at the University of South Alabama. Joseph has earned a number of honors and awards. Her most recent honors include: Emerging Leaders Trusted Leader Award (Palo Alto College); Alamo Colleges Leadership Academy for Success Leadership Excellence Award; and San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program.

Shannon Kennedy will assume the presidency of Rappahannock Community College in Virginia in early July. Currently, she is executive vice president at Cleveland Community College in North Carolina. She joined the college in 2000 as director of public relations and grants development, and moved up the ranks to associate dean, dean, executive vice president of instruction and student development to her current post. Kennedy began her career at Gardner-Webb University (North Carolina) in 1996 as a public relations assistant. She later worked at the college as an adjunct English professor and director of foundation and corporate relations.

James Shaeffer will serve as the next president of Eastern Shore Community College in Virginia. He became the founding dean of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Old Dominion University in 2014. Shaeffer joined James Madison University in 2005 where he was an associate vice provost and associate professor. Between 1996 and 2005, he served at the University of North Dakota, rising from an associate dean to an associate vice president.

Quentin Wright has been named the founding president of Lone Star College’s (LSC) newly accredited Houston North Campus, effective June 15. Since May 2017, he has served as special assistant to the chancellor at LSC, where he has held critical roles in student services, academic affairs and planning for LSC-Houston North. Wright began his career as an adjunct speech communication faculty member at Mountain View College and Tarrant County College District. He also served as executive dean of communication and social science, and interim vice president of academic affairs at Mountain View before being hired as vice president of instruction for LSC-Tomball in 2015.

CEO retirements

Lorette Hoover, who has served as president of Columbus Technical College in Georgia since 2013, has announced plans to retire June 30. She has worked in the Technical College System of Georgia for 35 years, serving four colleges, and was president of two of them.

Barbara Finklestein, president of Maine’s York County Community College since 2014, is retiring June 30. Finkelstein has overseen a major $2.9 million fundraising campaign that helped fuel new construction and course offerings at the college, instituted new policies giving students greater scheduling flexibility and worked tirelessly to deepen the ties between the college and surrounding communities and businesses. Just this year, new academic offerings were introduced, including a new small business management certificate, an associate degree in animal care management and the college’s first course in additive manufacturing (3D printing). Previously, Finkelstein served for more than 30 years in a variety of leadership roles at Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts.

CEO kudos

(From left) Elizabeth Council Member Frank Cuesta, Union County College President McMenamin and Union County College Board Chair Victor Richel.

Margaret McMenamin, president of Union County College (New Jersey), has been named one of this year’s honorees at the annual Elizabeth’s Promise Awards and will have a scholarship established in her honor. Elizabeth, New Jersey, Council Member Frank Cuesta, president of Elizabeth’s Promise Awards, founded the nonprofit to assist with college-related costs for deserving high school seniors in Elizabeth. Last year, Elizabeth’s Promise awarded 52 scholarships to new college students ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.


Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja (left) and Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy.

Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College in Massachusetts, has been named to the state Economic Development Planning Council. The goal of the council is to provide Gov. Charlie Baker with input and oversight of an economic development plan by year’s end. It will be co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy.

Christopher Conzen has been named executive director of Hudson County Community College’s new Secaucus Center at the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus. Most recently, he served as assistant dean for student services and administrative affairs at Montclair State University.

Gene Durand is the new vice president of human resources at Long Beach City College in California. Durand, who previously held the post of associate vice president of human resources and served as interim vice president since June 2018, joined the college in 2016.

William Gary, executive vice president of workforce community and economic development at Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio), will lead a new statewide workforce team created to strengthen Ohio’s career-readiness training, The Ohio Workforce League includes workforce development leaders from all 23 of the state’s community colleges. The group will work to develop innovative solutions to help more adults learn new skills to compete in today’s technology-driven economy.

Robert Killen is the new Lane Small Business Development Center director at Lane Community College in Oregon. He most recently was director of membership development at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce where he has also served as a board member.

Kristy Liphart will join Lakeshore Technical College (Wisconsin) as its vice president of advancement on June 17. She is currently executive director of institutional advancement for Northland College (Wisconsin), where she has worked for 13 years.

Robert Randolph was named the inaugural executive director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Ozarks Technical Community College, effective June 3. He currently is the manufacturing engineer manager at CNH Industrial Reman, where he has served for seven years.

About the Author

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