New Oregon Coast Community College Foundation Board Members

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At its annual retreat on August 25, the OCCC Foundation Board of Directors welcomed five new members: Maryann Bozza, Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC); David Gomberg, State Representative for District 10; Gloria Ingle, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Tribal Council; Dr. Lesley Ogden, CEO of Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital & Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital; and Andi Spirtos, fundraising professional.  New members were approved in August by a unanimous email vote of established members.  Billie Jo Smith, Mayor of Toledo and retired educator, is also new to the Board, having been voted in at the May Board meeting.

Established board members include: Chris Boyle, Board President and retired educator; Julie Hanrahan, Board Vice-President and VP/Branch Manager of Columbia Bank in Newport; Dr. David Bigelow, Board Treasurer; Sharon Beardsley, Board Secretary and retired educator; Nancy Osterlund, Board of Education Liaison and retired educator; Lance Beck, Director of Marketing at the Oregon Coast Aquarium; Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge, OCCC President; and Adam Springer, Attorney and Counselor at Law, Yaquina Law.

When asked why they serve, directors spoke eloquently about their own experiences with education and how it changed their lives.  Many recalled the encouragement they received from parents and other loved ones.  Ingle never forgot her father’s advice, “If you choose not to work with your mind, you will always work with your back.”  She was the first in her family to graduate from college and firmly believes that, “learning is forever, not just for kids.”  Others spoke of the need for local access to higher education so that everyone with a desire to learn has the opportunity to succeed, and they see OCCC as the solution.

“We need training available in our community to help fill job vacancies,” said Mayor Smith.  OCCC President Ryslinge commented, “Education is a path to opportunity and community colleges are a critical access point.”  Representative Gomberg believes our youth are Oregon’s greatest asset and that, “Community colleges are critical for providing the tools and opportunities for our youth to thrive.”  Bozza sees service on the OCCC Foundation Board as another great connection between HMSC and the College.  She’s excited by the collaborative environment of Newport in general and especially in higher education, saying, “OCCC and Hatfield’s futures are intertwined.”

Regardless of their individual reasons for serving, everyone agreed that supporting affordable, local access to higher education helps make our community stronger.

The OCCC Foundation’s mission is to advance educational opportunities by raising funds for College programs and student scholarships while increasing public awareness about the College and its many benefits.  The OCCC Foundation Board and staff work closely with the College President and the elected Board of Education to raise funds for college priorities by holding special events and fundraisers, applying for grants and securing private donations.

The Foundation received its non-profit, tax exempt status from the State of Oregon in 2000.  Gifts to the Foundation are gifts of knowledge that help build a better future for Lincoln County through an educated citizenry.  Donations qualify as charitable contributions and are tax-deductible.  The Foundation helps to ensure growth and stability for the College, thus ensuring the future of higher education in Lincoln County.

For more information, call Lucinda Taylor at 541-867-8531 or visit the OCCC Foundation website, at www.oregoncoastcc.org/foundation. Be sure to follow OCCC on Facebook and on Twitter, @occcsharks, for updates and news about special events.

Information provided by OCCC