A volunteer board of directors, who represent a wide range of business and community interests, leads the PCC Foundation. Many serve on individual Foundation Committees.
Marion Levitan, President
Marion Levitan, happily retired for the last fifteen years, served for ten years as the Vice President of Strategic Management Reporting for US Bank. Prior to that, she worked in strategic planning, business development, financial planning, and financial analysis at the bank and at NERCO.
Marion has been married to her spouse, Howard Werth, for twenty-two years. The two met while serving on the Edgefield Children's Center board. Following that, she served on the board of Oregon Repertory Singers for ten years. In addition to having worked with these great groups, she is also a member of P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization that educates, motivates, and celebrates women throughout the world.
A long-time advocate for education, Marion was inspired by her mother who taught for over 30 years and was a first generation college graduate. She believes that a well-educated student provides employers with workers they require to succeed. These former students continue on to well-paying jobs that encourage them to lead productive lives in Portland and surrounding communities.
Additionally, Howard's family has a strong commitment to education. A few years ago his family donated land to PCC to build the Newberg center. This gift helped Marion understand PCC’s strong relationships with the community and businesses and inspired her to join the PCC Foundation Board.
Marion’s hope for the Foundation is that it continues to grow by working together with the college, individual donors, and businesses in supporting and developing opportunities that meet the needs of students, businesses and communities.
Thane Cleland, Secretary/Treasurer
Thane Cleland is the Co-Founder and CEO of CWC Advisors, a boutique investment management firm.
He has been married for 27 years to Renee Cleland. Their daughter Aubrey, 21, was a finalist on season 12 of American Idol and is pursuing a career in performance in Los Angeles. Son Ty, 19, two time state basketball champion at West Linn High School just finished his freshman season at Santa Barbara City College.
Thane was inspired to join the PCC Foundation by a fellow PCC foundation board as well as by a desire to make a difference for people in the Portland community.
Thane appreciates his involvement with the Board. In particular, being able to meet scholarship recipients provides the direct evidence that the work we do at the foundation makes an immediate, verifiable difference in the lives of people who need it.
His favorite project at the PCC Foundation is the annual Golf Tournament because it has provided more unrestricted resources for the foundation than any other event, which has led to more scholarship dollars for PCC students.
Thane hopes that this generation of PCC students can use their experience at PCC improve their lives and the lives of those they care about.
Janice Burger currently serves as the Chief Executive for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon where she provides operational and strategic leadership to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Seaside and Newberg Hospitals and respective service areas. Janice also serves on the Mt Angel Abbey Board, Portland Community College Board, Vision Action Network, and the Washington County Homeless Plan Advisory Committee. Janice earned both her undergraduate degree in Economics and her master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Washington.
Janice is married to Peter Burger who is an attorney for the Bonneville Power Administration, and she has two sons, Christian and Michael.
Janice joined the PCC Foundation Board because she possesses a love of learning and a passion to help make education accessible to all. She is inspired to give back to PCC because of the energy of the students and their desire to make the world a better place. Along those lines, her favorite project since joining the Foundation Board has been with Scholarship Committee Work.
She hopes the current generation of PCC students will use their education to serve for the benefit of others.
Mark M. Enger
Mark Enger decided to join the Foundation Board after reflecting on how his life and career have benefited from the opportunity to earn a college degree, and he wants to see others in the community benefit as he did from an education. The everyday life stories of the students provide him with the inspiration to continue giving back to the PCC community.
Mark’s favorite project since joining the Board has been his involvement with student scholarships, and he enjoys learning about student success during and after their time at PCC. His hope for this generation of PCC students is that they achieve the personal and professional success as a result of their experiences and degree from PCC.
Mark is the current Vice President of Network Operations at OHSU. He and his wife Mary are proud parents to three daughters and enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren.
Denise Frisbee, Ex-Officio
Denise Frisbee is in her third term as a Director for the PCC College Board, representing Zone 1, and is the Board's representative on the PCC Foundation Board. She has also represented the PCC Board on the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA) Board, the Board liaison to the successful 2008 PCC Bond Campaign, and as a member of the Board's Audit Committee. She has also served on ACCT (the national organization's association's) governance and policy committees.
In 2014, Denise received the OCCA's Howard Cherry Award for Outstanding Board Member.
Her background is as an attorney with a focus on land use and government law, and her career has included serving as director of the Lake Oswego Community Development Department and the Planning and Building Departments. She has additional professional experience as executive director of a nonprofit, Statewide Organization for Schools, and as the Government and Community liaison for the Lake Oswego School District. She also participates in a variety of community and school-related activities as a volunteer.
Denise holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law, and a Bachelor's degree from Smith College. Denise and her husband, as well as the rest of her family, enjoy the Northwest's out-of-doors offerings of hiking, bicycling, whitewater canoeing and skiing.
Michael J. Gentry
Michael Gentry was inspired to serve on the PCC Foundation Board after he was invited and urged by a close friend, and he quickly grew passionate about the work of the Foundation. He chooses to give back in this way because he believes in the role of community colleges and the training they provide for a vast array of professions.
One of Mike’s favorite projects each year is reading PCC Foundation scholarship applications. He finds the process to be extremely rewarding and inspiring. Mike hopes that this generation of students finds that they are able to dream big and advance as far their aspirations take them.
As a retired attorney experienced in business and corporate governance issues, among other key areas, he brings much to the table. An active community member, Mike has served on various boards including Friends of Timberline, Portland Opera Guild, Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited, Contemporary Crafts Guild and the State Professional Responsibility Board of the Oregon State Bar.
Sylvia Kelley, Ex-Officio
Sylvia Kelly is acting President of Portland Community College. She provides strategic leadership across the district and ensures the advancement of PCC’s strategic plan in conjunction with its mission, vision, and values, working in collaboration with faculty, staff, students and members of the external community.
Previous to joining Portland Community College, Kelley served as Southern Oregon University’s Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Foundation. She also held previous positions in institutional advancement, corporate education and workforce development, marketing and public affairs, and as an instructor of leadership and human relations.
Sylvia says about her work with the PCC Foundation Board, "I'm incredibly thrilled about the direction in which the PCC Foundation is going. It's an exciting time as we engage with more alumni and connect with the many donors who care and support our students."
Susie Lahsene is the Senior Manager for Transportation and Land Use Policy at the Port of Portland. She holds a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech and a MBA from University of Portland. She is the Chair of the state of Oregon’s Freight Advisory Committee and Vice President of the Working Waterfront Board of Directors.
A resident of Oregon since 1979, she is married with two sons; one in the Bay area working for Adidas and the other is a 2015 graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering from PSU. Susie has a love of food which is great as her husband is in the restaurant business.
Susie was inspired to serve on the PCC Foundation Board for two reasons. Her son was the beneficiary of a PCC education – which provided support for his interest and degree in mechanical engineering. Additionally, she believes there is a lot of opportunity to connect people with jobs in the waterfront businesses. She believes the Foundation ensures resources are available for students to learn a trade and other valuable skills that can result in employment in well-paying harbor jobs and related businesses.
She gives back to PCC because it provides a very important role in our education system and sees PCC as an easy transition from high school to a more rigorous education that is affordable and accessible which provides students the opportunity to test a direction and receive the foundation for a career or additional university work. She hopes PCC gives students the knowledge, educational foundation and confidence to pursue their dreams – whatever they may be.
Carol Lyons is a longtime supporter of Portland Community College and is herself a lifelong learner, having been a student at PCC in both credit and non-credit classes for more than 25 years. She has seen firsthand the relevance of a PCC education, as her family’s company, Hillsboro Aviation, has hired numerous PCC graduates ranging from fixed-wing aircraft pilots to aviation mechanics to accounting staff. In addition, Carol’s family has philanthropically supported a range of programs at PCC that includes Aviation Science, Aviation Maintenance, Future Connect and New Directions.
Carol hopes current PCC students graduate with the proper support and skills to pursue their dreams and passions in whatever fields they choose, and that they also cultivate a desire to help those coming up after them.
Carol Lyons is currently Managing Partner at Lyons Aircraft Leasing and Lyons Properties. Previous employers include Monarch Life Insurance, the Port of Portland where she was an Environmental Planner, and the Portland International Airport where she was the Operations Coordinator. Carol holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Geography from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Some of Carol’s other interests include kayaking, sailing and hiking with her two children. Her family is passionate about international travel and serving the community.
Vanessa Nelson joined the PCC Foundation Board as a way to “pay it forward." She is grateful for the sacrifices her family made to ensure both she and her sister went to college, as well as the scholarships awarded throughout her academic career. With a keen awareness of students’ needs, she is inspired to give back to her community. She knows the scholarships the Foundation provides help students accomplish their goals, dreams and so much more.
Vanessa is married, and she and her husband, Jacob, have two kids, Andrew (3) and AnaLucia (4). Vanessa quips that her kids are her “Continuing Ed", as they teach her something new every day!
Vanessa’s favorite Foundation Board project has been the work groups and her participation in the “Student Success" group where she has been able to engage with student leaders to learn the issues and concerns of PCC students. Vanessa has found this to be an enlightening experience, and one that moves her to continue to serve and give.
She hopes that this current generation of students goes on to serve the community in ways that benefit everyone, having seen and heard the inspirational testimonies of students that do.
Vanessa Nelson is currently Director of Account Consultants for Electric Lightwave (an Integra company), where she has worked for 17 years.
Deanna Palm, Ex-Officio
A former PCC student in the early 1980s, Deanna Palm currently serves as Chair of the PCC College Board of Directors. The lifetime Washington County resident has been president of the Greater Hillsboro Area Chamber of Commerce since 2001. Palm leads the Chamber in establishing relationships with businesses, the community and local governments as well as implementing all of the chamber board’s polices. Deanna also guides administration of the budget and participates and promotes the Chamber. “As a PCC alum, I know first hand what a positive impact an education at PCC can have on your career, and in my position at the Hillsboro Chamber, I have seen how responsive and adaptable PCC can be to rapidly changing workforce development requirements," Palm said.
Janet Rash is currently employed by Intel Corporation and celebrates her 27th anniversary in July 2015. She is the company’s Community Engagement manager for the Northwest Region. In that role, she interfaces and collaborates with school districts and non-profit organizations to match employee interests with community needs. She has been managing the Intel Involved program in Oregon since its inception in 1991.
Janet’s an Oregon girl who grew up in Coquille, Oregon. She’s the mother two sons and grandmother to one granddaughter and four grandsons, and she loves to spend time spoiling them. Other interests include spending time visiting ancient sites and stone circles, reading about far away places, listening to Celtic, Blues and Rock and Roll music, and cooking.
Janet returned to college after her children graduated; PCC is where she enrolled. The best years of school were spent at PCC and her fondness for the college has never diminished. In her job with Intel, she’s partnered with PCC on several initiatives and has always been excited by the outcomes of these endeavors. Whether it’s hosting a technology and engineering conference for Latinas, helping with the PCC Maker Movement, or reviewing scholarship applications, the engagement is satisfying and helps drive great outcomes for students, the school and the community.
What inspires her to make charitable contributions to PCC is her faith in PCC and in the future generation. Janet believes that we have to help make their success possible as others helped us.
The scholarship committee is a favorite because a participant gets to learn about the students and their dreams and aspirations that a good education can facilitate; it keeps Janet inspired to help PCC become an even stronger college.
Janet hopes the current generation finds itself surrounded by a community of supporters who help them become critical thinkers, civically engaged citizens, and empathic human beings.
Caitlin Sause is the director of Government and Public Affairs for Vigor Industrial, a post she’s held since July 2014. Prior to this role, she served as the Government Affairs advisor for Ball Janik, LLP.
Born and raised in Coos Bay, Ore., Sause grew up working in the maritime and timber industries. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned her master’s degree in political science in 2008 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In addition to her service on the PCC Foundation Board, Sause is a board member of the Oregon Sports Authority, a member of Toastmasters International and a member of the Arlington Club.
She is particularly passionate about PCC’s workforce development programs, and specifically its welding program. She notes that we have a shortage of skilled welders in the United States, and is excited at the thought of finding a solution to the problem through attention and support of welding programs like PCC’s.
Caitlin loves hearing the success stories of students who are finding family wage careers, and wants to keep equipping students with the skills necessary to prepare them for whatever career path they choose.
Richard V. Stenson
Dick Stenson received an A.A. degree from a community college in California and this inspired him to give back to PCC by serving on the Foundation Board. Dick enjoys serving on the Board in part because of the low cost of tuition at PCC. For him, this is important because it means that every donation can go a lot further and help more students realize their college dream.
His favorite Foundation project is Future Connect, and he appreciates that the program gives the PCC Foundation and Metro cities a place to provide both scholarships and additional mentoring to low-income, first-generation college students.
A healthcare executive for a total of 42 years, he retired after 22 years as President and CEO of Tuality Healthcare. Dick holds a B.S., M.H.A. and M.B.A. degrees as well as Fellowship status in both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Medical Group Administrators.
Dick and his wife Doreen enjoy spending time with their two daughters and three grandchildren. He currently serves on several other local boards such as the Hillsboro Community Foundation, Intel Community Advisory Panel, Tuality Healthcare Foundation, Pacific University Acorn Foundation, Southwest Community Health Center, and Vision Action Network of Washington County.
He hopes that PCC students will find much or all of what they need from higher education in one of PCC’s numerous programs.
Rob Wagner, Executive Officer
Rob Wagner currently serves as Associate Vice President for College Advancement at Portland Community College and is the Executive Officer for the PCC Foundation.
Rob’s mom, Stephanie, was the Executive Director for the Friends of Tryon Creek State Park – she still teaches with the Center for Science Education at Portland State University. His dad, Rick, is a retired radiation oncologist with Providence/St. Vincent’s. Both of Rob’s sisters teach in Portland Public Schools, and his brother, a former Peace Corp volunteer, is a Park Ranger with Tualatin Valley Parks and Rec.
Rob has had a rich history with volunteer activity. Some highlights include: Appointed by Gov. Kulongoski to Board of Oregon Volunteers! – The Oregon Commission for Voluntary Action and Service; City Club of Portland, Civic Education and Advocacy Advisory Committee; Current Lake Oswego School Foundation Board member.
Rob finds the inspiration to give back to PCC comes easily. He says, “I’m absolutely 100% committed to the mission of PCC and the importance our Foundation plays in the lives of our amazing students. PCC students are central to the life of our civic and economic community. It only takes one student story to have you understand the incredible value of contributions to the Foundation."
Rob finds it much more difficult to choose a favorite Foundation project he’s worked on, but highlights the excitement of the PCC Foundation Gala: “The PCC Gala is a blast – and I like how it pulls the entire college community together around a fun theme that highlights our incredible students."