There’s a new Chairman of the Board at Lake Michigan College, and he is Jeff Curry, who advances to the top from his previous role as Vice Chair following a vote of his colleagues on the board in their first meeting of the New Year last week.
When the board met for the first time they welcomed new board member Vicki Burghdoff and selected a new slate of officers for 2021.
Jeff Curry of Buchanan was named the new Board Chair with John Grover as Vice Chair, Mary Jo Tomasini as Secretary, and Joan Smith as Treasurer. Debra Johnson, Burghdoff, and Michael Lindley round out the board as Trustees at Large.
Curry, the former Vice Chair who was first appointed to the Board in 2016, succeeds Johnson, who holds the distinction of being the first African-American woman to serve as Chair of the LMC Board.
Curry says, “I cannot say enough about Debra’s leadership during her tenure, particularly during an unprecedented 2020,” and adds, “Her expertise and leadership during this pandemic shaped how quickly we were able to respond to COVID-19, with an unwavering goal of always putting the well-being and education of our students first. It’s no small task, but I hope to follow the example she set.”
Curry, a veteran of both the finance and transportation industries, has a long history with LMC. He is a past President of the Lake Michigan College Foundation. His wife, Diane, is an LMC graduate and previous recipient of the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Both of their daughters, Jenny and Megan, are also LMC alumni.
The Board of Trustees consists of seven volunteer members elected at large from the Community College District at the state’s general elections. Members are elected for six-year terms of office staggered so that two or three terms expire every two years.
Johnson and Tomasini retained their seats in the November election, while Burghdoff was elected to the Board for the first time. Burghdoff has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling and personnel. The Coloma resident previously served on the workforce development board for Berrien, Branch, and Calhoun counties.