CEO on the move

Bryan Reece will serve as the 9th chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District in California. Reece has worked in higher education for more than 30 years, with 15 years of academic and private-sector leadership experience. Most recently, he was president at Norco College. He also served at Crafton Hills College as vice president of instruction. Prior to that, Reece held two dean positions, served as the academic senate president and taught political science at Cerritos College.

Reece “brings an exemplary higher education background and experiences that will help us address the social justice and equity issues we face, particularly for our students,” said Rebecca Barrett, president of the college’s governing board.

New CEOs

Theresa Felder has been named president of Harford Community College (Maryland), effective January 1. She is currently senior vice president for student success at Clark State Community College. She previously held other positions at the Ohio college over her 15 years three, including vice president of student affairs, dean of Clark State’s Beavercreek campus location, academic affairs coordinator, college access director and workforce development coordinator. Felder began her professional career in corporate accounting and later became an
independent consultant, specializing in job readiness and employment training.

Kathy L. Murphy will serve as the new president of Gadsden State Community College (Alabama), as of January 1. Murphy is currently superintendent of Hoover City Schools and has an educational background that spans 30-plus years. Previously, she was superintendent and principal at other local high schools. She was also a professor at the University of West Georgia and Judson College.

“Dr. Murphy is a visionary educator with a proven record of focusing on all aspects of the student experience, which is the leadership we aim for at every community college in our state,” said Jimmy Baker, chancellor of Alabama Community College System.

CEO retirements

Christal Albrecht, who has served as president of Alvin Community College (ACC) in Texas since 2014, has announced plans to retire next August. In what will be her seventh year at the college, Albrecht led the college in its highest enrollment in its more than 70-year history and pulled the college through Hurricane Harvey in 2018 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also helped pass a $25 million bond for campus renovations; partnered with the University of Houston-Clear Lake Pearland Campus to offer ACC classes aligned with UHCL’s bachelor’s degree program; and created a five-year strategic plan, which will be completed before her retirement.

“I so admire her leadership and work ethic that has led us to make vast improvements to our academic programs, continuing education and workforce development programs, and our physical plant that were sorely needed,” said ‘Bel Sanchez, chair of the college’s board of trustees.

Prior to ACC, Albrecht was president of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Kent and Downtown campuses, president at Pima Community College’s Desert Vista Campus (Arizona) and founding vice president of student Learning at Lone Star College-CyFair (Texas).

Albrecht has served on the Texas Association of Community College’s legislative and executive committees, the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors and as board president of the National Council for Workforce Education.

Among her accolades while at ACC, Albrecht was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Hall of Honor for Presidents in 2020 and was one of 13 presidents nationally selected for the prestigious Shirley B. Goodman Award of Distinction in 2020. She also was selected as Leader of the Year by the Alvin/Manvel Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

Kimberly Perry, who has served as president of Bellingham Technical College in Washington for five years, has announced her plans to retire at the end of December after a 40-year career in education.

Perry previously was superintendent/president of Butte-Glenn Community College District in California. Over her career, she also was vice president of academic affairs at Los Angeles City College and vice president of instruction and dean of instruction at Reedley College (California). Perry began her career in education as a high school agriculture and natural resources instructor.


John Rainone, president of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Virginia, has been named the 2020 Entrepreneurial President of the Year by National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. Under Rainone’s leadership, the college recently raised approximately $1 million to acquire and develop the college’s new workforce and entrepreneurship center, which will open in 2021. Rainone, who is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors, also serves as a mentor to local entrepreneurs and provides training in non-profit areas as well as workshops. He has expanded workforce development offerings in the college’s service region through partnerships with employers in unmanned systems, manufacturing, apprenticeships and the arts.


Judy Harris Hulsey, former president of North Georgia Technical College, passed away on October 22. She was 75. Husley attended the college that she eventually led, completing its cosmetology program. Over her career, she was the first female to hold a leadership/supervisory position in a Georgia technical college and the first female technical college president. Hulsey also she was instrumental in developing the first satellite campuses and online instructional programs in Georgia’s technical college system. She served as president of West Central Technical College from 1987 to 1995. Hulsey was named president of North Georgia Tech in 1995 and served for five years before retiring from the position in 2000.


Tamara McClain is the new director of admissions and outreach, international students and Campus Central at College of DuPage in Illinois. She previously was manager of admissions and outreach at DuPage, which she joined in 2016.

About the Author

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