PCC Foundation board gets added depth and talent to its board, staff

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With the addition of several new members in the past few months, Portland Community College’s Foundation board of directors has been infused with new talent and energy.

“We are thrilled to have the expertise and the enthusiasm of our newest Foundation board directors,” said Rob Wagner, associate vice president of PCC’s College Advancement office. Wagner also serves as the executive officer for PCC’s Foundation board.

“They bring diversity of thought and experience, as well as varied personal and professional backgrounds and industry representation. Having their voices at the table is crucial as we think of our students and ask questions tied to their academic success: What are the demographics of those we are serving? What are their needs? How can the college’s Foundation support students in the most appropriate way to ensure their retention and completion?” said Wagner.

Following are the PCC Foundation’s newest board members. Each serves for a three-year term.

  • Abel Ahumada Alaniz is a PCC Diamond Alumnus and dentist, whose private practice is based in Southeast Portland and caters mainly to the local Hispanic community. Ahumada Alaniz arrived to the United States in 1985 at the age of 15 and worked as a beet and berry picker to make money to send home to his family in Mexico. After learning how to speak and write in English, he obtained his GED, enrolled at PCC and earned his associate’s degree, and continued on to obtain his bachelor’s degree at Portland State University and Doctorate of Medicine in Dentistry from Oregon Health & Science University. He and his family live in the Garden Home/Tigard area.

    Abel Ahumada Alaniz.

    Abel Ahumada Alaniz.

  • The Honorable Senator Margaret Louise Carter was the first African American woman elected to the Oregon State Legislature. Carter is also a PCC alum – who boasts a PCC scholarship in her name, through the Foundation, and a building named after her at PCC’s Cascade Campus. She grew up in Louisiana and attended Grambling State College for two years on a music scholarship. She returned to college and graduated in 1972 with a degree in education from Portland State University. The following year she received a master’s in Educational Psychology from Oregon State University, and soon thereafter she accepted a counseling position at PCC. In 2009, Carter resigned from the legislature to accept Governor Ted Kulongoski’s appointment as Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services.
  • With more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Dale Pellow is a director with Lease Crutcher Lewis. He is the former chief executive officer of Howard S. Wright’s west coast operations, a role that introduced him to PCC when he helped lead a construction project at the college’s Rock Creek campus in 2003. Since then, Pellow has worked closely with PCC’s Office of the President and has been an avid supporter of its Future Connect program. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Business, Pellow serves on the university’s Portland council. He and his wife, Kerri, live in Lake Oswego, where they’ve raised two sons.
  • Professionally, Ami Margolin Rome juggles her work in the Development Office of Oregon Episcopal School with creative writing: Her first novel, “Vanishing Acts,” was co-written with her father, New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin. Published in 2011, “Vanishing Acts” won the Oregon Council of Teachers of English Honor Book Award for Middle Grades that same year. Likewise, Margolin Rome is maintaining a “family” theme with her work on behalf of PCC: Her mother, Doreen, served on PCC’s first Foundation board, as well as on the college’s elected board from 1999 to 2007. Margolin Rome is a graduate of Emory University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, followed by a master’s in International Affairs from The American University School of International Service. She completed a two-year Peace Corps assignment in the Dominican Republic and later, earned a coveted Presidential Management Fellowship to work in the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Elected to the Oregon House in 2005, State Senator Chip Shields serves district 22, which represents north and northeast Portland and includes PCC’s Cascade Campus. For the past eight years, Shields has focused his legislative career on creating living-wage jobs, equitable schools, and affordable health care. For his efforts he has been recognized with the AFL-CIO Hero of Labor award, the Citizen’s Crime Commission crime-fighter of the year award, the CAUSA leadership award and the Humane Society “Top Dog” award, among others. Shields earned his master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State University. He lives in the Piedmont neighborhood, is the proud parent of a young daughter and the foster parent of several children who have attended Woodlawn Elementary and Sitton Elementary. In addition to serving on PCC’s Foundation board, Shields has established a scholarship endowment that honors his mother and aunt. The award supports a current or former foster youth and/or graduates from PCC’s Middle College program with Jefferson High School or the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women.

    Janet Rash.

    Janet Rash.

Additionally, Janet Rash has joined the PCC Foundation staff as an Intel Encore Fellow, helping with special board development projects. The Intel Encore Fellowship program (http://encore.org/fellowships/) places retiring Intel professionals with local nonprofits for 1,000 hour-appointments. Rash had served as the community engagement manager for the Northwest Region at Intel Corp. until her retirement earlier this year. While at Intel, she collaborated with school districts and nonprofit organizations to match employee interests with community needs. She also partnered with PCC on several initiatives, with a special emphasis on women and minorities in STEM fields.

A PCC alum, Rash was a nontraditional student when she first arrived to the college: In her 40s, she was a single mother who had bounced between jobs as a waitress and car salesperson and was looking for work that offered long term opportunity. Earning her associate’s degree at PCC – followed by a bachelor’s at Concordia University – would make it possible for her to excel at Intel, as the company required employees to have degrees.

“Thanks to PCC, at a very personal level I had a clear understanding of the important role that education plays in helping a person advance economically and professionally,” Rash said.

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