College board names Hood River directors


The Dalles Chronicle

Three Hood River residents will serve in "ad hoc" positions on the Columbia Gorge Community College board of directors, following their appointment by the current directors.

The trio includes Mike Schend, who helped guide the information campaign that led to last month's voter-approved annexation of Hood River county to the college district. Schend is Hood River Community Education director. The college board made the appointments Dec. 12, following a round of interviews.

State statute precludes an immediate voting presence on the board by Hood River County residents, since the annexation itself doesn't become formal until July 1, 2002. Although present board members may each serve until their term of office expires, two of them (Dr. James Joerling and Elt Fadness) have indicated they will step down earlier in order to open those positions for Hood River appointments -- allowing a voting role after the annexation takes effect.

Ad hoc members will participate in board discussions, except for voting, as of Jan. 9, 2002. At least two, but no more than three, Hood River County residents will then be appointed to voting positions as vacancies occur after July 1, 2002.

The new members appointed Dec. 12 are:

-- David Fenwick, Hood River. Fenwick is chief executive officer and chief technology officer of vLetter, inc., a technology firm based in Hood River. He worked previously as senior software engineer for Apple Computers and project manager for Hewlett-Packard, and also served as a computer science instructor at California State Polytechnic University.

Fenwick has his master's in computer science from Cal-Poly, and conducted post-graduate studies at Oregon State University.

"I'm very interested in helping to serve the diverse educational interests in the Columbia River Gorge, and specifically to meet the (sure to be controversial) challenges of integrating Hood River Valley into the CGCC district," Fenwick wrote on his application to the college board.

"I also would like to take a long-term planning approach of emphasizing the exploration of new creative revenue sources as an alternative to simply reducing expenses to meet a fixed income or making do with what comes out of Salem," Fenwick added. "This will require empowering and supporting the college president to focus on increasing revenue, instead of cutting expenses."

-- Christie C. Reed, Hood River, is manager and owner of Blue Chip Farm, an orchard and horse boarding facility. She serves on the site council for Hood River Valley High School, and previously served on the local committee for May Street School. She and her husband have lived in Hood River for 10 years, and have three children in high school.

"I am interested in educational opportunities for residents of Hood River County," Reed wrote in her application. "My diverse experience in business and community affairs would be beneficial to the implementation of the expanded college."

Reed received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, with a major in history, and her master's of business administration from Northwestern with a major in finance and marketing.

-- Michael Schend, Hood River, is longtime director of the Hood River Community Education program, which is part of the county school system. Schend has 25 years' experience in educational administration, and chaired the citizens' campaign committee for Hood River annexation into the Columbia Gorge Community College service district.

Schend received his bachelor's degree in education and his master's in administration.

"I would like to put to work my knowledge and background in regard to the college and the annexation," Schend wrote.

Ultimately, there will be four college directors from Wasco County and three from Hood River County, a ratio determined by the relative populations of the two counties as established by the U.S. Census Bureau. Present board members in addition to Joerling and Fadness are: M.D. VanValkenburgh (position expires June 30, 2005), Dr. James R. Willcox (June 2005), Dr. P.K. Swartz (June 2003), Dr. Ernie Keller (June 2005), and Charleen Cobb (June 2005).

Ad hoc budget committee applications are also being invited from Hood River County, with a deadline of Jan. 11, 2002.

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