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.
Levitan has been married to her spouse, Howard Werth, for 22 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, Levitan was inspired by her mother who taught for over 30 years and was a first-generation college graduate. She believes that well-educated students provide employers with the skilled workers they need to succeed in business. These former students use their education to find well-paying jobs that encourage them to lead productive lives in Portland and surrounding communities.
Additionally, Werth's family has a strong commitment to education as well. A few years ago his family donated land to PCC to build the Newberg Center. This gift helped Levitan understand the college's strong relationships with the community and businesses, as well as inspired her to join the PCC Foundation Board.
Her hope for the PCC 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.
Susie Lahsene, Vice President
Susie Lahsene is the Senior Manager for Transportation and Land Use Policy at the Port of Portland. She holds a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech University and a MBA from the University of Portland. She is the chair of Oregon's Freight Advisory Committee and is Vice President of the Working Waterfront Board of Directors.
A resident of Oregon since 1979, she is married with two sons; one in San Francisco working for Adidas and the other is a recent Portland State graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. Lahsene has a love of food which stems from her husband's successful restaurant business.
Lahsene was inspired to serve on the PCC Foundation Board for two reasons. First, her son was the beneficiary of a PCC education, which provided support for his interest and degree in mechanical engineering. Second, she believes there is a lot of opportunity to connect people with jobs and business on the waterfront. She hopes the PCC Foundation ensures resources are available for students to learn a trade or skills that can result in employment in well-paying harbor jobs and industry.
She gives back to PCC because it provides a very important role in the educational system and sees the college as an easy transition from high school to a more rigorous education that is affordable and accessible. This path provides students the opportunity to receive a solid foundation for a career or go on to a university. She hopes PCC gives students the knowledge, educational foundation and confidence to pursue their dreams – whatever they may be.
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 the television show "American Idol" and is pursuing a career in performance in Los Angeles. His son Ty, 19, is a two-time state basketball champion at West Linn High School and is a student at Santa Barbara City College.
Cleland was inspired to join the PCC Foundation by a board member, who inspired his desire to make a difference for people in the Portland community. He values his involvement with the board. In particular, being able to meet scholarship recipients provides him with the direct evidence that the work the foundation does 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 and scholarship dollars to students than any other event.
Cleland hopes that this generation of PCC students can use their experience at the college to improve their lives and the lives of those they care about.
Abel Ahumada Alaniz
PCC Diamond Alumnus Dr. Abel Ahumada Alaniz has overcome extraordinary challenges to become a successful dentist in Portland. Ahumada Alaniz arrived to the United States in 1985 at the age of 15 as a beet and berry picker, sending money home to his family in Mexico every chance he got. He soon began working on a bigger dream – becoming a dentist. First, he needed to become a U.S. citizen, learn how to speak and write in English, and earn his high school degree.
He did just that – and then some. After obtaining his GED, he enrolled at PCC and was awarded his associate's degree, followed by his bachelor's degree at Portland State and his doctorate of Medicine in Dentistry from the Oregon Health & Science University.
The following year he opened a private dental practice in Southeast Portland that serves mostly the local Hispanic community. Today, with a thriving practice, he often invites aspiring dentists to job shadow him, as well as speaks regularly at local colleges about his story and the importance of education.
Ahumada Alaniz says he would never have been able to accomplish so much without the support of people who believed in him, including PCC and his wife Robyn. He and his family live in the Garden Home/Tigard area.
Janice Burger currently serves as the Chief Executive for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon where she provides operational and strategic leadership to the center, Seaside and Newberg Hospitals and respective service areas. Burger also serves on the Mt. Angel Abbey Board, Vision Action Network, and the Washington County Homeless Plan Advisory Committee. She earned her undergraduate degree in Economics and master's degree in Health Administration from the University of Washington.
Burger is married to Peter, who is an attorney for the Bonneville Power Administration. They have two sons, Christian and Michael.
Burger says she joined the PCC Foundation Board because of her love of learning and 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 PCC Foundation has been her work with the scholarship committee.
She hopes the current generation of PCC students will use their education to serve for the benefit of others.
Senator Margaret Carter
The Honorable Senator Margaret Louise Carter was the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Legislature. A PCC alum, Carter says the opportunity and education she experienced at PCC enabled her to pursue her dreams. Carter now has a PCC scholarship under her name, which she calls a "hand up" to people in need.
Carter was educated in Louisiana's public school system and was the high school salutatorian before accepting a music scholarship at Grambling State College. She dropped out after two years to marry and start a family. She went back to college in Portland and graduated in 1972 with a degree in education from Portland State. The following year she received a master's degree in Educational Psychology from Oregon State. After graduation, Carter accepted a position as counselor at PCC and began a period of civic involvements to improve the quality of life for residents in her northeast Portland community.
State Sen. Carter resigned from the legislature in 2009 to accept Governor Ted Kulongoski's appointment as Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. She held the post until 2012 when the agency's restructuring moved Carter to the newly created position of Director of Community Engagement. In 2011, the college named its new technology building at the Cascade Campus after Sher and in 2012 she was elected to the Oregon Historical Society's Board of Directors. Carter joined the PCC Foundation Board of Directors in 2016.
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. He wants to see others in the community benefit as he did from an education. The everyday life stories of PCC students provide him with the inspiration to continue giving back to the community.
Enger's favorite project since joining the board has been his involvement with student scholarships, and he enjoys learning about student successes during and after their time at PCC. His hope for this generation of PCC students is that they achieve personal and professional successes after graduation.
Enger is Vice President of Network Operations at Oregon Health & Science University. He and his wife Mary are proud parents to three daughters and enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren.
Michael J. Gentry
Michael Gentry was inspired to serve on the PCC Foundation Board after he was invited to join by a close friend. It didn't take long for him to 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 it provides.
One of his favorite projects each year is reading PCC Foundation scholarship applications. He finds the process to be extremely rewarding and inspiring. Gentry hopes that this generation of students feel they are able to dream big and can advance as far their aspirations take them.
As a retired attorney experienced in business, corporate governance issues and other key areas, he brings much to the table. An active community member, he 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.
Karen Kervin is the Community Relations Manager for U.S. Bank's Northwest Region, where she manages U.S. Bank Foundation grants in the region. Prior to joining U.S. Bank in 2013, Kervin was Chief Marketing Officer for the Portland law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
In addition to serving on the PCC Foundation Board, she is immediate past president of City Club of Portland and serves on the board of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.
Kervin is passionate about the work of PCC, which makes college and career training accessible to thousands of people each year. She is very impressed with the college's programs and people. She knows that the time and resources she invests are well spent, which is what she looks for when deciding where and how she contributes.
Her hope and advice for PCC students: "If you want to further your education, whether for college credit or career training, there is no better place to pursue your goals than PCC. Take advantage of all that PCC has to offer as it is an investment in your future."
Kervin and her husband Tom have two grown children, Katie and Patrick.
Carol Lyons is a longtime supporter of PCC and has been a student at the college in both credit and noncredit 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 graduates ranging from fixed-wing aircraft pilots to aviation mechanics to accounting staff. In addition, her family has philanthropically supported a range of programs, including Aviation Science, Aviation Maintenance, Future Connect and New Directions.
Lyons 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.
Lyons is currently Managing Partner at Lyons Aircraft Leasing and Lyons Properties. Previous employers include Monarch Life Insurance and the Port of Portland where she was an Environmental Planner. She also was the Operations Coordinator for the Portland International Airport. Lyons holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Some of her other interests include kayaking, sailing and hiking with her two children. Her family is passionate about international travel and serving the community.
Mark Mitsui, Ex-Officio
Mark Mitsui began his tenure as president of PCC in September of 2016. Previously, President Mitsui served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges within the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education. In Washington he worked to advance President Obama's community college agenda through partnerships with numerous federal agencies and national stakeholders. In this capacity he co-led the My Brother's Keeper Postsecondary Completion interagency team working to improve college access and completion for the nation's young men of color.
Before serving in the Obama administration, he was president of North Seattle College in Washington state from 2010 to 2013. While at North Seattle, President Mitsui was founding chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities, a member of the National Asian/Pacific Islander Council of the American Association of Community Colleges, and in 2013 was honored with the Rhonda Quash Coates Award for contributions to the Multicultural Student Services Directors Council of Washington state.
From 2006 to 2010 he served as Vice President of student Services at South Seattle College, and before that worked as a senior administrator and teacher at educational institutions across the Pacific Northwest, where he has deep roots.
President Mitsui holds a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Western Washington University, and completed a master's degree and doctoral studies in Education at the University of Washington.
Monihan is Vice President and Publisher at the Pamplin Media Group – Oregon's largest source of local news.
Besides serving as publisher of five newspapers (Lake Oswego Review, West Linn Tidings, Wilsonville Spokesman, SW Community Connection and The Bee), he also helps direct the overall advertising, marketing and production operations for the Pamplin Media Group. He has worked for the media company for almost 30 years.
He was named publisher of the Forest Grove News-Times in 1991. It was in Forest Grove that he started to understand the importance of PCC and how it impacts the lives of so many people. It was another newspaper man, former News-Times publisher Hugh McGilvra, who helped pass legislation as a state representative for the creation of the college's Rock Creek Campus.
Monihan, who grew up in Beaverton, feels that a strong local college, just like a strong local newspaper, functions to help create strong communities. He sees the college as a vital partner in the success of the greater Portland area business community.
“The impact that a college education can make on a person, and the ripple effect on the business community as a whole is immeasurable," he said. "PCC's ability to provide a starting point for a quality education at a reasonable price helps put students onto a path to improve both themselves and their community as a whole."
He is a graduate of Jesuit High School and Oregon State. Monihan and his wife, Traci, have five children: Chelsi, Ian, Mitch, Kennedy and Jori. All have graduated or are attending college, with two having taken part of their undergraduate prerequisites from a community college. He has worked for the Pamplin Media Group for almost 30 years.
Kim Morgan is the Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Nike. While Kim currently executes partnership strategies with Nike Innovation and for many prior years served as a venture capitalist for Motorola, she also has an unusual additional set of skills. Kim was a decorated Naval combat helicopter pilot and flight instructor responsible for the leadership of training and combat missions in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Desert Fox.
Kim grew up in Oregon, left for college to attend Notre Dame, then moved abroad and stateside for 20 years. Kim and her husband, Meurig, returned to Portland in 2014 to raise their twins. In addition to the BA in Finance obtained at Notre Dame, Kim has an MBA from the University of West Pensacola.
Kim is an avid triathlete and outdoors woman and enjoys racing and raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. She recently completed the Coeur D'Alene Half Ironman bringing her total fundraising to over $9,000 for the Team in Training.
Kim was prompted to get involved in the PCC Foundation when she attended its Gala. "As soon as I heard the inspirational stories from the scholarship students, I was hooked and wanted to be a part of something that has the potential to make a huge impact on people the community," she said. Kim says the scholarship funds change lives and create a ripple effect of positive change.
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 PCC Foundation provides help students accomplish their goals, dreams and so much more.
Nelson and her husband Jacob have two kids – Andrew and AnaLucia. Nelson says that her kids are her "Continuing Ed" as they teach her something new every day.
Nelson's favorite PCC Foundation Board project has been in the organization's work groups, specifically the "Student Success" group where she has been able to engage with student leaders to learn the issues and concerns students. She 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 already do.
Nelson is currently Director of Account Consultants for Electric Lightwave (an Integra company), where she has worked for 17 years.
Thach Nguyen is a recently retired Probation Services Senior Manager for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, Juvenile Division, where he worked to reduce incarceration for minority youth. Thach appreciates the challenges some PCC students face. He escaped on a boat after the fall of Saigon and survived when the boat sank. Eventually Thach went on to take classes at PCC and within five years attained a Master's in Public Administration degree from PSU. Family is important to Thach and he is the parents of three children – one of whom is in the Teacher Program at PCC – and one grandchild.
Thach is the recipient of numerous awards and, in 2010, he received the Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee’s Sy Award for life-long commitment to justice, access, and equality for underserved and underrepresented citizens in Multnomah County. In addition, he was recognized as a "Freedom Fighter" by Roosevelt High School and, in 2016, received the APANO Outstanding Advocacy and Empowered for Equity Award.
Thach is heavily involved in the community and is a co-founder and board member of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO). Thach served for many years as the President of the International Refugee Community (IRCO) Board of Directors. He also co-founded the Asian Family Center and is active with the ACLU.
Thach is inspired to be on the PCC Foundation Board of Directors to help all students overcome barriers to achieve their personal and professional goals. "PCC has helped me with my education when I first came to Portland," he said, "and it is a privilege to give back."
Deanna Palm, Ex-Officio
Deanna Palm first came to know PCC as a student in the 1980s. 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 policies. She also guides administration on the budget and works to promote the chamber in the community.
"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.
Dale Pellow has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial construction industry. He currently serves as a Director for Lease Crutcher Lewis and is the former CEO of Howard S. Wright's West Coast operations.
In 2003, the Lake Oswego resident spearheaded Howard S. Wright's first construction project with the college at Rock Creek Campus. It did not take long for him to build relationships with people at PCC and understand the reason for their mission. Eventually, he became a member of the "President's Posse" and learned first-hand the value of connecting high school students with the college through Future Connect. Programs like this are what have inspired him to get more involved and serve on the board.
"For me it's simple; such a small amount of money has such a huge impact on people's lives," he said. "I have the opportunity firsthand to see the impact of funding and awarding scholarships to those in need."
A graduate of the University of Oregon Business School, he has been married for 30 years to Kerri, and have two boys. His son Brock, who is 23 years old and a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, played baseball at Western Nevada College for two years prior to transferring to UO. His other son Colby, who is 20 years old, is in his second year at Santa Barbara Community College. Their family enjoys the outdoors and they spend a considerable amount of time at their small working ranch in Eastern Oregon. Some of Pellow's past volunteer service includes serving on the Gales Creek Camp and Lake Oswego Little League boards, as well as founding member of the PCC Golf Tournament.
He currently also serves as a member of the University of Oregon Portland Council.
Gene Pitts, Ex-Officio
Gene Pitts currently serves as Chair of the PCC College Board of Directors. He has been with Intel Corp. since 1988, and is a senior leader as Technical Marketing Director in Hillsboro. Prior to that, Pitts worked at Westinghouse Electric in Asheville, N.C., and Milliken and Co. in Spartanburg, S.C. Pitts graduated from Clemson University with bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the high-tech sector working with some of Intel's largest server and workstation customers across the globe.
"I value our education system and the value that it brings to the community, and I want to see technology help bolster the value proposition that PCC brings to the education pipeline," Pitts said.
Ami Margolin Rome
Ami Margolin Rome was born and raised Portland. After graduating from Emory University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology, she followed in her father's footsteps by joining the Peace Corps. Her love of education and books helped sustain her for two years in the Dominican Republic where she taught teachers how to use computers and built the first library in her district.
Rome moved to Washington, D.C. where she received her master's degree in International Affairs from The American University School of International Service. After graduating, she earned a coveted Presidential Management Fellowship and began work at the U.S. Department of Education. In the fall of 2007, Rome moved back to Portland where she has held many positions in the education field. Jobs included working as a Policy Analyst with Education First Consulting and was the first Executive Director of the North Clackamas Education Foundation.
Today, Rome works in the Development Office of Oregon Episcopal School. Her first novel, "Vanishing Acts," a middle grade mystery co-written with her father, NY Times bestselling author, Phillip Margolin, was published in 2011. The novel was awarded the Oregon Council of Teachers of English Honor Book Award for Middle Grades for 2011. Rome's mother, Doreen Margolin, served on the first PCC Foundation Board and was a longtime member of the PCC Board of Directors.
In her free time, Rome likes to plan trips around the world with her husband Andy, and spend time with friends.
Senator Chip Shields
State Sen. Chip Shields' passion stems from a deep interest in empowering people to overcome poverty and achieve their goals. He's seeing this take place in the lives of PCC students, and as a PCC Foundation Board member, intends to do everything he can to encourage this in the future. One of the ways he has shown his commitment to PCC students is by establishing a scholarship endowment that honors his mother and aunt. The award supports a current or former foster youth, graduates from Jefferson High School Middle College or the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Young Women.
For more than 16 years, Shields has fought for the people of North and Northeast Portland. From leadership roles in funding our schools and protecting families from foreclosure, to finding living-wage jobs for hundreds of people through Better People, the Northeast Portland nonprofit job center he started, he cares for his community. He earned a master's degree in Social Work from Portland State. After running Better People, he was elected to the Oregon House in 2005. For the past eight years Shields has focused his legislative career on creating living-wage jobs, equitable schools, and affordable health care.
Because of his work in the legislature and the community, Shields has been recognized with the AFL-CIO Hero of Labor award, the Skanner newspaper Drum Major for Justice award, the Citizen's Crime Commission crime-fighter of the year award, the CAUSA leadership award, the Humane Society "Top Dog" award, and multiple awards from Basic Rights Oregon and Oregon League of Conservation Voters.
He lives in the Piedmont neighborhood and is a proud parent of a young daughter. He has also been a proud foster parent of several foster children attending Woodlawn and Sitton elementary schools. When not in legislative session, Shields is a sales representative for an outfit that supplies fuel efficiency products for heavy equipment. He joined the Foundation Board of Directors in 2016.
Richard V. Stenson
Dick Stenson received an associate degree from a community college in California and this inspired him to give back by serving on the PCC Foundation Board. Stenson enjoys serving on the board in part because of the low-cost of tuition. For him, this is important because it means that every donation can go a lot further and help more students realize their college dreams. Future Connect is his favorite college program, which gives the PCC Foundation and partner cities the ability to provide both scholarships and mentoring to low-income, first-generation college students.
A healthcare executive for 42 years, Stenson retired after 22 years as President and CEO of Tuality Healthcare. He holds bachelor's, master's and MBA degrees as well as Fellowship status from both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Medical Group Administrators. Stenson 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. He and his wife Doreen enjoy spending time with their two daughters and three grandchildren.
Jeff Van Raden
A PCC alum and long-time member of the Foundation Board, Jeff Van Raden has a deep-rooted sense of "PCC Panther Pride." Not only did his PCC education benefit him personally, but he believes hiring the college's graduates also helped his company prosper. Van Raden says he found his path and place at PCC, and tells the story of one specific PCC instructor that changed his life.
"He taught me not only about skills but also character," said Van Raden. "I learned that it's not raw intelligence that matters most, but perseverance and commitment."
Van Raden was honored with the PCC Diamond Alumni Award in recognition of his professional achievements and his commitment of time, talent and resources to the College. He is also one of the PCC Welding Program's biggest proponents. He hires its grads, sits on the department's advisory board and donates equipment, money and his own time. On behalf of Columbia Industries, he has gone to bat for the program before the Oregon Legislature to encourage it to increase the budget for community colleges.
"The PCC Welding Program has helped us," he said. "This is a very critical institution for us."
While studying at PCC in 1976, Jeff met his wife Kathy. Their mutual love of horses, sailing, labradors and especially children led to their elopement on St. Valentine's Day in 1982. They have two daughters, Michelle and Jamie, and six grandchildren.
Rob Wagner, Ex-Officio
Rob Wagner serves as Associate Vice President for College Advancement at PCC.
Wagner has a rich history with volunteer activity. Some highlights include being Appointed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski to the Board of Oregon Volunteers; The Oregon Commission for Voluntary Action and Service; City Club of Portland; Civic Education and Advocacy Advisory Committee; and is a current Lake Oswego School Foundation Board member. He finds the inspiration to give back to PCC comes easily.
"I'm absolutely 100 percent committed to the mission of PCC and the importance our foundation plays in the lives of our amazing students," Wagner said. "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."
Wagner's mom, Stephanie, was the Executive Director for the Friends of Tryon Creek State Park and teaches with the Center for Science Education at Portland State. His dad, Rick, is a retired radiation oncologist with Providence's St. Vincent's Hospital. 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 Recreation District.
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."