Three seek two openings on WSCC board

SCOTTVILLE — At least one new person will be joining the West Shore Community College Board of Trustees following the Nov. 6 General Election.

Three candidates have filed for the two open six-year term that are expiring on board on Dec. 31. One of the people presently holding those two seats is Mike Ennis, who did not seek another term, opening the door for someone new to win a spot.

The three candidates include incumbent James Barker, of Manistee, while newcomer Randal Tomaszewski is from Manistee and James Scatena is a Ludington resident. The top two candidates two receive the most votes will be starting their new position in January.

The Manistee News Advocate asked all three candidates to answer three questions in 200 words or less. Their responses are published as is.

MNA: Please introduce yourself and describe your background, professionally or personally.

BARKER: I am a Manistee High School graduate, a United States Navy veteran, and am the first WSCC Alumni to ever serve on the West Shore Community College Board

Barker

Barker

of Trustees. I am the CEO of Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital.

SCATENA: I have been a resident of Mason County for 21 years. I was the president and CEO of FloraCraft in Ludington for 19 years. I retired from FloraCraft in 2017.

I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Minor in Economics from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Penn. I was married to Patty Scatena for 45 years until she passed away in 2016. I have two grown children and four amazing grandsons.

Scatena

Scatena

I have enjoyed a long and successful career in management. I am currently a member of the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital board of Directors where I serve as chairman of the Governance Committee. I am also a member of the Spectrum Health Hospital Group Governance Task Force. I am a recent graduate of the Michigan Hospital Association Excellence in Governance Fellowship.

I also serve as the President of the Ludington Area Catholic School Board. In 2008 I was named Business Leader of the Year by the Ludington & Scottville Chamber of Commerce. In 2011 in was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award by the International Craft & Hobby Association and in 2017 I was inducted into the Association for Creative Industries Hall of Fame.

TOMASZEWSKI: I grew up here in Northwest Michigan. I was born and raised in Manistee County and graduated from Manistee High School. While my working career took me away from Manistee County, Northwest Michigan has always been home for me and my family, returning several times each year to vacation and visit friends and family.

After a rewarding career in healthcare as a Registered Nurse for nearly a decade, I returned to Grand Valley State University and earned an MBA in Marketing Management in 1994. I continued with my healthcare background working in the medical equipment industry as a product manager, director and executive vice president of Marketing, retiring after 20 years and returning home with my family to Manistee County in 2014.

MNA: Why are you running for the board of trustees and what qualities would you bring this board?

BARKER: I have served on the board for three years and consider it a great honor to have done it. The college is a vital part of our community and I want to insure that it stays viable for many years to come.

SCATENA: I have significant and successful experience in leadership, marketing and manufacturing. At FloraCraft, we employed over 200 area residents and also operated satellite operations in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and California. We employed local residents in manufacturing and distribution careers. We worked very closely with state and local agencies to recruit, train and retain skilled workers.

I served on the Michigan Works! West Central board and was exposed to all that the State of Michigan has to offer. In addition, I have significant training and experience in governance which helps me serve as a productive board member. I believe that my governance training and experience will be a benefit to the current WSCC board. I believe

Tomaszewski

Tomaszewski

that too many local students are graduating or leaving college with debts they can’t pay and degrees that they can’t use.

I also serve on the WSCC Foundation Board of Directors and I have attended College Board of Director meetings to stay up to day on WSCC affairs.

TOMASZEWSKI: The Board of Trustees adopts policies for the governance of the college and formulation of new policies for amendment for the overall operation of the college. After being blessed with a rewarding career in healthcare and business management, I would like to give back to WSCC and the board of trustees, to help continue WSCC future academic success through academic and trade school programs for students that today’s prospective employers are looking for.

As a successful business executive, I’ve learned first-hand what it takes to achieve and remain successful in the businesses I’ve been fortunate enough to help guide and manage. Key values included open and honest communication, networking and collaboration, being a dedicated team player and having the ability to listen and work well with others. Using these guiding principles, the companies I have worked for have grown into multi-million-dollar businesses and created more jobs for hard working people in West Michigan, throughout the U.S. and worldwide

I would be honored to be part of the WSCC Trustees team to help guide the formulation of new policies for overall operation of WSCC to create more opportunities for our young people and equip them with the most relevant skills and academic programs that today’s employers are looking for.

MNA: Explain how you plan to address the issues and/or improve the college if elected.

BARKER: If I am re-elected, I will continue to work with the board, college administration to lead the college into the future. There are many qualified leaders and staff at West Shore Community College, and as a trustee, its my job to support them while lending my expertise in governance.

SCATENA: I am running for the West Shore Community College Board of Trustees so that I can help area residents find career opportunities that will allow them the reach their life and career goals.

The current board of directors has done outstanding work in strengthening the leadership team and staff at West Shore Community College and positioning the college for even greater growth. I want to offer my extensive business leadership experience and training to their progress.

I see great potential for area residents in the skilled trades. We are no longer in a “college for all” economy. I believe that too many local students are graduating or leaving college with debts they can’t pay and degrees that they can’t use.

According to the State of Michigan Go-Pro program, skilled trades are careers that often require less schooling and debt than a four-year degree. These jobs are in demand for fields like welding, healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, construction and automotive. Employers in Michigan are desperately seeking talent to fill these roles more than ever before. I would like to see West Shore Community College become the statewide leader in graduating career-ready students.

TOMASZEWSKI: Our area young people are our greatest assets. Too many Michigan kids are leaving college with debts they can’t pay and degrees they don’t use. Not every student is set up for the academic commitment of a four-year college degree.

WSCC is doing an outstanding job of preparing our young people not only for future academia at four-year universities, but also in developing student talents within skilled trades and technical training programs such as IT, electrical, welding, healthcare and business. WSCC programs create more opportunities for our young people to land those all-important first jobs and future career paths, while being able to do so living and working closer to home.To equip our WSCC students for success, navigate and manage their future careers after graduation and stretch career growth development is what employers are looking for.

As a WSCC trustee, I look forward to dedicating my efforts and working with fellow trustees to guide university policies that optimize the college program and student career employment opportunities for the brightest futures of our graduating students.

avatar

Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply