Board of Trustees candidates

What are their reasons for running? If elected, what will be different at the end of your tenure?

What expertise or background do they bring that sets them apart from other candidates?

Describe the role of the board as you understand it, and explain your experience at this or any other community college.

anna-zinkelAnna Zinkel

“Those are good questions. Two issues I’m very interested in are public education and closing the wage gap across gender and race lines. I see being on the board as a way to work towards those things. I’ve been considering running for quite sometime now. I decided to step up and run now because I’m interested in helping the college grow. I want to keep tuition affordable, and the barrier to entry low.  We have really fabulous colleges and k-12 schools in the area; wcc fits in very well. I also want to help provide hands on opportunities for students to work with local business. It’s important to have an accessible and affordable college in the community.”

 “I currently work for Spark. We bring stakeholders and investors to the table to work together and help the community to grow. I sit on the Women’s Exchange Of Washtenaw; we help women find and make professional connections. I am also on the board of Friends In Deed of Washtenaw. We help local people in need when there is a gap in the resources available from the state level. In addition, I sit on the Ann Arbor Democratic Executive Committee. I have experience being on different boards with different budgets. Prior to spark, I worked for Representative Gretchen Driskell, which gave me experience with policy creation at the state level. I also got exposure to various community colleges in Michigan by traveling on the campaign trail with Gary Peters.”  “The role of the Board of Trustees is to help set policy that allows the faculty to provide a excellent education. The Board also oversees budget and hiring process of the school president. My main goal is help provide excellent service and education to the community.
I have direct experience working in partnership with WCC to create mock job fairs for k-12 students. We help them to gain professional skills, and exposure to the college.”
 bill-millikenBill Milliken  “I want to be a member of this board to make a difference for public education – and especially for disadvantaged students in Michigan. I am already involved as demonstrated by my work in Detroit the past couple of years with the Detroit public schools. As a member of the board of New Detroit, I made frequent trips to Lansing to meet with legislators and testify before legislative committees. Detroit schools need legislative support to address their debt, upgrade their buildings and put effective management in place. It is the only way Detroit’s children are going to have a shot at an education. Assuming that many of them may still receive a sub-standard education, our community college infrastructure in Michigan (and at WCC) is their backstop. Programs like our Washtenaw Technical Middle School, dual enrollment and student completion and transfer rates are the metrics by which I will measure our progress.”  “My membership on the WCC Foundation board has given me a 5-year vantage point on the College. Historically, I was a member of the Advisory Board of the Automotive Restoration Program the College conducted for several years. I also enrolled in an engines class that the Automotive Group taught. Beyond that, as a decades-long resident and business owner here, I know Washtenaw County, Detroit and the State of Michigan well. I can readily speak to audiences around the state about the College and our objectives. Given this long-term association with WCC, I have an innate feel for it and am a known quantity. This may be part of the reason all three unions at WCC have endorsed my candidacy.”  “Trustees are elected to represent the best interests of everyone in Washtenaw County. At the board table they are there to set policy, provide financial oversight and support the goals of the College, while respecting the roles of the administration, faculty and staff. I have served on the boards of a number of corporate, non-profit and trade organizations, including roles as board chair. Becoming a trustee of WCC will allow me to bring some of that experience to bear at the College.”
angela-davisAngela Davis  “For 50 years, WCC has been the frontrunner of producing the finest students of any community college. Hundreds have graced its classrooms as students, and my family members are among those fortunate enough to attend WCC. My father was the first of many students who in 1965 sat in the first classrooms when they were operating out of trailers.Since then, he helped jumpstart the First National Bank in Detroit. My Mother also attended WCC and went on to further her education at Michigan State University, and my sister graduated from WCC while raising her autistic son. As a minority, and having been a minority on a college campus, minority professional instructors are needed to make a place in the student’s mind to show they are fully represented, it needs to be a representation of the diverse population there so that minority students see they are being represented and are being understood in certain situations.”  “The environment at WCC is one where I personally feel a sense of professionalism between the staff and administrators, where the standards have been set high by current and former college presidents whom have led, guided and promoted WCC to be the best choice for higher education at an affordable price. This is a place where I believe my election to the board of trustees will benefit. I’m proactive in my approach of handling issues and am solution orientated. I’m not afraid to embrace new visions and respect another’s point of view. I have a strong positive mindset and am progressive in thought, with a motivation to succeed. I love Ann Arbor, I was born and raised here. I graduated from Pioneer High School and Concordia University. I volunteer at the Ann Arbor Arts Center, I participate at local charitable functions and fundraising events, and I’m also a literacy tutor. I’m a single mother of an adult son and most importantly I am a woman of faith.”  “I understand the functions of being a board member. I am a former board member of a not for profit organization. The board members have a position where they need to make sure the school is operating appropriately according the the budget, but also that they are not involved in the actual administration, faculty and staff, of the university. It is a position in which they make sure the president is fulfilling his or her role appropriately, in so that the college can move in a direction that is favorable to the community that it serves.”
 holly-heavilandHolly Heaviland  “I’ve worked in K through 12, and we weren’t doing a lot of interfacing with WCC, but a study over six years showed that most of our students ended up at WCC. In Washtenaw County, we have the potential to make a real cradle-to-career pipeline if all [the schools] work together. Most people have no idea about all of WCC’s hitted assets, like it’s GED work and other opportunities, I think they are underutilized and want to work to bring them to the surface.”  “I’ve been a resident of Washtenaw County for about 17 years, I am an educator at heart, I work for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, i’ve worked for them for 15 years and my current role is as executive director for community and school partnerships for the WISD. I’ve lived in this community with my husband and have raise my three young boys here as well. In my work with the WSID, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of sectors, certainly have worked with the K12 programs, but I’ve also had the opportunity to work with county governments and local philanthropic groups. I also have a doctorate in educational leadership from Michigan State University.”  “A board member’s role is policy setting. It is to hire a president, to set policy, and really the fiduciary responsibilities of managing and overseeing the organization’s budget, so the primary roles are really policy and governance. As a new trustee, my role would be to better understand the policies and what the policy needs are, as well as the complexity of the community college budget.”
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Gregory Irwin

“Being a long-time community member, I believe that it is important to have community involvement from a grass roots level.  This can and will provide an outside voice, and this is main reason that I am running for office.” “I have an extensive career in small business.  In addition, I have worked as a staff member and administrator at several institutions, including The University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and St. Clair County Community College.  I have also volunteered with numerous school and community organizations.” “I have never been elected to or served on any Community College or University Board.  This would be my first opportunity. I believe that the Board of Trustees is there to serve the people of Washtenaw County as well as the Community College.  This is done by establishing policies and educational programs that benefit the community. The Board also provides leadership to help the College meet it’s goals and objectives.”
charles-wolfe-jrCharles Wolfe “I believe strongly in giving back by volunteering my time and expertise to help others. For example, when I was young I volunteered to teach blind children how to swim and found that incredibly rewarding. Since then, as a father I have volunteered to coach several sports at various levels and have been an active high school booster club member. Throughout my professional career, I have volunteered to mentor new engineers and college interns. I love students. At this point in my life, I feel that I have both the time and energy to help make a positive difference in my community. Lastly, I will bring an industry / business and union perspective to this board creating a more diverse board. Therefore the decisions being made will take these considerations into account. My hope is that more career and technical education opportunities will become available for students and student success will increase.” “I believe that I would bring expertise to the Board of Trustees that no other candidate or incumbent currently possesses.

  • First, I have developed and managed multi-million dollar engineering and construction budgets and projects for DTE. This expertise will be valuable to WCC.
  • Second, I am skilled in:
    • developing and overseeing long range strategic planning;
    • providing business support services to clients;
    • developing and overseeing projects, built upon project management principles and fundamentals;
    • overseeing and developing continuous quality improvement initiatives;
    • meeting state and federal compliance regulations;
    • mitigating risks through analysis and intervention;
    • disseminating public information related to crisis management situations;
    • measuring and evaluating performance based upon key performance indicators;
    • and, hiring skilled trades union labor, as well as industry consultants, professional personnel and college interns and graduates.

    These are all skills that have direct application to education and WCC in particular.

  • Third, I am the only candidate/incumbent who has had direct experience working
    in the union skilled trades as an apprentice pipefitter out of Local 636 in Detroit.
    Because of my past experience and active role currently working with multiple
    skilled labor unions, I have a strong management/union perspective that will
    serve the college well.
  • Fourth, I am the only engineer. I tend to solve problems by analyzing and
    evaluating data in a methodical and non-emotional manner. As an engineer, I
    represent STEM education and believe that I can bring value to this critical
    educational and occupational focus.”
 “In order for the Board of Trustees to govern effectively, it must be represented by individuals with diverse skill sets.  The Board’s work is governance and policy setting. Board members must think upward and outward more than downward and inward. There is a great temptation to focus on what goes on with management and staff instead of what difference the organization should make in the larger environment. The latter is daunting and an awesome task, but it is Board work…governance.  Although I have not served on an education board, I have volunteered to serve in multiple roles throughout my life. Currently, I serve on an industry Advisory Board and I mentor and hire college students.”
roderick-caseyRoderick Casey  “I take it very personally that the schools on the east side of Washtenaw county are declining in enrollment. Hopefully the trend will be reversed by the time that my tenure is over. I have a plan for it, my goal is to turn that trend around. And not only turn it around, but when we get the kids back, we want to be able to keep the kids. What I mean is that we need some qualified teachers that reflect the diverse communities that we have here in Washtenaw county. As part of my time on the board, I would like to expand the culinary arts, nursing and health care on a pilot program.”  “I have been elected 4 times as a democratic delegate over the past 12 years. I am not just that, I am a community leader and activist I have a rich relationship with in the community. I have been living here 38 plus years so I am very familiar with people and businesses. I have successfully passed resolutions that have become ordinance for ending discrimination towards citizens that were caught up in the system, condemned on a felony on their arrest record.”
“My expertise as a delegate is getting officials along with the community to engage on issues. This is how we educate the public, before we just post something in front of their face, we let them make up their own decision. We have experts on our panel, they can be asked questions and engage together. I have proven my track record. I have proven that I can be effective, and I do have a passion for it.”
 “I attended Washtenaw Community College, where I was the president of the African American Student Association around 2004, or 2005. My experience was that it was a nurturing college. I see the board as not only making policies, but making good policies. Policies that will not only benefit the college but the community as well. Ad also be able to help people from the community to get involved, get engaged, get jobs, further their education or trade skill. Continue to find high tech training such as the automobile lab, and continue to get the newest technology but most of all my thought is to make sure there is an aggressive outreach program that can bring people back on board whether they are 18 or 80.”

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