Announcement of Newly Elected, Re-elected and Appointed Board Members and Officers

October 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is pleased to announce the elections and appointments of new ACCT Board of Directors and ACCT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee members and officers. All members were sworn into office on October 18 and 19 during the 50th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, California.

New ACCT Board of Directors Executive Committee members include Chair Dawn Erlandson, a trustee from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; Chair-Elect David Mathis, a trustee from Mohawk Valley Community College in New York; Vice Chair James Cooksey, a trustee at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri; and Secretary-Treasurer Rose Benavidez, a trustee at South Texas College.

As chair of the ACCT Board of Directors through next October, Erlandson announced that her focus for the coming year will be to bring attention to the need for colleges to be student ready, taking into consideration the diverse needs of students with learning differences, cultural differences and generational differences. 

"Higher education—indeed all education—must adapt to meet student needs, student interests and student learning styles," Erlandson said. "No longer is higher education only for traditionally young college students. Community colleges open their doors to everyone. And because we serve everyone, we must ensure that everyone who walks through our doors succeeds."

Erlandson continued to say that "a holistic, inclusive approach to learning is the future. The sooner we adapt, the more successful our students will be." 

In addition to electing Executive Committee members, the ACCT Board of Directors elected five Regional Chairs to serve through the coming year. Regional Chairs are charged with serving as conduits to information among the states within their respective regions. They are:

Central Regional Chair
Larry Meyer
Lansing Community College, MI

Northeast Regional Chair
Hector Ortiz
Harrisburg Area Community College, PA

Pacific Regional Chair
John Leal
State Center Community College District, CA

Southern Regional Chair
Tamela Cullens
South Florida State College, FL

Western Regional Chair
Dan Mims
San Jacinto College, TX

Through regional caucuses held on October 17 and the membership-wide ACCT senate meeting convened on October 18, the membership also elected nine individuals to serve or to continue serving on the ACCT Board of Directors. Newly elected, re-elected and appointed board members include:

Central Regional Director
Jay Nardini
Hawkeye Community College, IA

Northeast Regional Director
David Mathis
Mohawk Valley Community College, NY

Northeast Regional Director (two-year partial term)
Marsha Suggs Smith
Montgomery Colllege, MD

Pacific Regional Director
Stephan Castellanos
San Joaquin Delta College, CA

Southern Regional Director
Tamela Cullens
South Florida State College, FL

Western Regional Director
Steven Anderson
Northeast Community College, NE

At-Large Director
Judy Chen Haggerty
Mt. San Antonio College, CA

At-Large Director
Rosaelena O'Neil
Northern Virginia Community College, VA

At-Large Director
Arturo Reyes
Mott Community College, MI 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair:
Meredith Brown
Peralta Community College District, CA

In addition to board elections, the Board of Directors newly elected and re-elected Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee members include:

Central Region
Marc Wiley
Prairie State College, IL

Northeast Region
Anthony Colon
Mohawk Valley Community College, NY

Pacific Region
Deborah Ikeda
State Center Community College District, CA

Southern Region
Tina Royal
Davidson County Community College, NC

Western Region
Belen Robles
El Paso Community College, TX

For more information about ACCT Board and Committee members, visit