Board members

PCC district map

Message from PCC Board Chair, Kali Thorne-Ladd regarding DACA

The Board of Directors of Portland Community College, in keeping with our national organization, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), is deeply troubled by the Administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In a statement issued on September 5, J Noah Brown, ACCT's President and CEO wrote:

DACA is of great importance to thousands of community college students throughout this country, and we are dismayed regarding the decision to terminate this program. Community colleges are open-access institutions whose mission is to educate and empower students to achieve their academic and career goals. DACA is an important asset that facilitates this mission, providing stability and economic opportunity. Terminating DACA undercuts our efforts to serve this population by creating additional barriers to postsecondary access, including the ability for some students to receive in-state tuition. It would also prevent those students in whom we've invested from obtaining legal work in this country. These students were brought to the United States at young ages, and none of them willfully violated the law in order to immigrate to this country. To revoke educational and other life opportunities for reasons beyond their control is undeserved.

We call on Congress to act quickly to remedy this situation for those individuals profoundly affected by this action.

The PCC Board of Directors believes in our DREAMers. These students are leaders, scholars, and community supporters. They are our friends and neighbors. DREAMers are key members of student government, active participants in clubs and organizations, scholarship earners, program initiators, people who help to make our college great. DACA status has meant that these vital members of our communities contribute in positive ways to our region, state, and country.

We encourage the College to continue to offer support and resources to our DACA and DREAMer students and staff and hope that Congress will create a more humane long-term solution for these members of our college community.

The PCC Board of Directors consists of seven members elected by zones to four-year terms. The board members govern the college which includes selecting the president, approving the hiring of other staff and faculty, approving the college budget and establishing policies that govern the operation of the college.

Denise Frisbee

Denise Frisbee

Elected in 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017
Represents Zone 1 | See map of Zone 1
Contact Denise Frisbee

Denise Frisbee is in her third term as a director representing Zone 1. She has served as Board Chair from 2008-09 and again from 2012-14. She is in her second term as the president of the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA) Board, the statewide organization representing Oregon's 17 community college.

Denise co-chaired the successful 2017 PCC bond measure. She has also served as the board's representative on the PCC Foundation 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 local government and land use law. In addition to the private and public practice of law, Denise has served as director of the Lake Oswego Community Development Department and the Planning and Building Departments, as well as executive director of a nonprofit, Statewide Organization for Schools, and as the Government and Community liaison for Lake Oswego School District, along with a variety of community and school-related volunteer roles.

Denise holds a JD from Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law, and a Bachelor's degree from Smith College. Denise and her husband and family enjoy the Northwest's out-of-doors offerings of hiking, cycling, whitewater canoeing and skiing.

Kali Thorne Ladd, Chair

Kali Thorne Ladd

Appointed in 2012, Elected in 2013, 2015
Represents Zone 2 | See map of Zone 2
Contact Kali Thorne Ladd

Kali Thorne Ladd is co-founder of KairosPDX, a non-profit organization focused on access to quality early learning opportunities for historically underserved children. She also worked for the City of Portland Mayor's Office as the education strategies director overseeing policy and direction for the mayor's key education initiatives. Her involvement with the college's Future Connect Scholarship Program is where Thorne Ladd was first introduced to PCC, which prompted her to pursue a board position. She holds a master's degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Michael Sonnleitner

Michael Sonnleitner

Elected in 2015
Represents Zone 3 | See map of Zone 3
Contact Michael Sonnleitner

Michael retired from 27 years of full-time teaching at Portland Community College in 2015, having taught Political Science courses on all four PCC Campuses – and became the first PCC teacher ever to serve on the PCC Board. He long-served on the PCC Educational Advisory Council (EAC) and its Academic Standards and Policy (ASAP) Committee, on the Internationalization Steering Committee, and as Co-Creator and Chair of the PCC PACS (Peace and Conflict Studies Program). His work with PCC student leaders has ranged from facilitating creation of the District Student Council to helping organize Salem Legislative Internship Programs. A Fulbright Scholar in India in 2010, Michael's publications mostly relate to Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Frantz Fanon, and issues regarding Violence, Nonviolence, and Social Change. In PCC's Zone 3, Michael has served on the Boards of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association and SE Uplift (a coalition of twenty neighborhood associations), while remaining active with other groups concerned about affordable housing and houseless people, deportation policies and immigration reform, racial and economic equality, and other environmental and social justice issues. Michael holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a Whitman College B.A. with credits from Fisk University. He especially enjoys bicycling, vegetarian cooking, and multicultural experiences in the U.S. and abroad.

Jim Harper

Jim Harper

Elected in 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017
Represents Zone 4 | See map of Zone 4
Contact Jim Harper

Jim Harper has spent more than 40 years with PCC. He has been a student, a volunteer and a corporate user of the many quality services PCC provides. He has sat on the PCC Foundation Board for the last 26 years, including serving as the Board Chair from 1990 to 1992.

Director Harper is a realtor for RE/MAX Equity Group in Hillsboro. He is currently on the Board of the Association of Community Colleges and is Chair of their Pacific Region. He is the Secretary of the Board of Gateway to College National Network and is a Past President of Oregon Community College Association. He has also served as Vice President of Administration for Morrison Child and Family Services, Executive Director for Arras Inc., School-To-Career Liaison for Multnomah County, Director of Human Resources at Wacker Siltronic Corp, and Division Manager for Tektronix, Inc. Director Harper has been an active member of the PCC Budget Committee, is a Member of the Governor's School Transformation Advisory Council, the Mayor of Portland's Business Round Table, the Regional Strategies Board for Multnomah and Washington Counties, and is a Past Chair of the Region Two Workforce Development Committee. Director Harper holds a bachelor's degree in education from Portland State University.

Valdez Bravo

Valdez Bravo

Elected in 2017
Represents Zone 5 | See map of Zone 5
Contact Valdez Bravo

As a first-generation Latino college student, an Army veteran, a former PCC student, instructor and advisory board member, Valdez Bravo brings a diverse set of perspectives to the PCC Board of Directors. A lifelong public servant with over 20 years in the healthcare industry, Valdez works as a healthcare administrator at the VA Portland Health Care System.

A first-generation college student who grew up on a small farm outside of Salem, Valdez enrolled at PCC in the fall of 2004 and for the first time in his life, thrived as a student. Valdez credits much of his later academic success and professional development to the foundation that PCC provided. Valdez now holds a masters in healthcare administration and a masters in business administration from Baylor University, and an English degree from Portland State University. Valdez is also a Board Certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Prior to his election as PCC Director from Zone 5, Valdez taught classes for PCC's Biomedical Electronic Engineering program and also served on its curriculum advisory board. In addition to his work serving veterans, Valdez has worked with a number of national and local organizations such as Portland Youth Builders, Oregon Humanities, the Oregon Society of Healthcare Executives, and previously served as President of the Oregon Biomedical Association (2012-2013). In 2008, Valdez traveled to Monrovia, Liberia with Project HOPE to rebuild their medical center after it was destroyed in their civil war. The running thread that connects Valdez's work in these various organizations is a desire to bring different groups together in the service of a common desire for social change. Valdez is inspired everyday by his wife and daughter and as a family they enjoy political activism, bicycling, exploring the arts, traveling around Oregon, or just hunkering down with a good book.

Mohamed Alyajouri

Mohamed Alyajouri

Appointed in 2017, Elected in 2017
Represents Zone 6 | See map of Zone 6
Contact Mohamed Alyajouri

Mohamed Alyajouri is currently a healthcare administrator, managing two Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) Primary Care clinics. With over 15 years in the Healthcare field, his experience includes Program Development, Project Management and Quality Improvement. Additionally, Mohamed has international experience working with the World Health Organization.

For most of his adult life, his professional and community involvement has been around community building, social justice initiatives, interfaith outreach and partnerships and public health promotion.

In the spring of 2017, Mohamed ran for public office and was elected to the Portland Community College Board of Directors, serving residents of Washington and Yamhill counties. He also serves on World Oregon's Advisory Board, Oregon Public Health Association Board, and the Muslim Educational Trust's Outreach Committee.

Mohamed, a proud first generation immigrant, grew up in Oregon. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at Oregon State University, receiving his Bachelors in Healthcare Administration and his Masters in Public Health. Mohamed lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his wife and 3 children.

Deanna Palm

Deanna Palm

Appointed in 2009, Elected in 2015
Represents Zone 7 | See map of Zone 7
Contact Deanna Palm

A former PCC student in the early 1980s, Deanna Palm assumes represents Zone 7, which covers western Washington County. 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 the businesses, community and local governments as well as implement all of the chamber board's polices, administering the budget and participates and promotes the chamber. "As a PCC alum, I know firsthand 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.

Mohamad Karim

Mohamad Karim

Appointed in 2018
Student Trustee
Contact Mohamad Karim

Mohamad is an international student who was born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in nine different countries around the world. He came to the U.S. three years ago to pursue higher education. However, his language barriers did not hinder his education and involvement. While attending PCC, Mohamad has served in many different leadership roles: as International Student Ambassador and Director of Student Programs for the Cascade Associated Student of Portland Community College, Vice President of Service for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the lead organizer for TEDxPCC 2018. He has also represented the student voice on a variety of campus and college committees.

He plans to finish his Associated of Science Degree by next year and transfer to a four-year institution to finish his Civil Structure Engineering Degree. When he is not busy with his schoolwork, Mohamad enjoys scuba diving, traveling, reading and playing soccer as well as doing community volunteer work.