Presidential Search Advisory Committee

A 14 member Presidential Search Advisory Committee has been named to assist the WWCC Board of Trustees in the search process.

The committee reflects a representation of faculty, staff, students, and community members. Board of Trustees member Darcey Fugman-Small is chairing the committee.


Darcey Fugman-Small

WWCC Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Advisory Committee Chair

Recently reappointed to her second term on the Board of Trustees, Darcey has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board. Darcey attended Olympic Community College and is a graduate of the University of Washington. She and her husband Rick Small, own Woodward Canyon Winery in Lowden, Washington, where she also serves as the general manager.

Darcey has served in roles for a number of community organizations, including the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, Walla Walla Public School District Facilities Advisory Committee, United Way of Walla Walla, Planned Parenthood, AAUW, and the Carnegie Art Center.


Don McQuary

WWCC Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Advisory Committee Vice Chair

A trustee since March 2012, Don is the immediate past Chair of the Board and has also served as Vice Chair. A graduate of Washington State University, Don is CEO of Stonebraker McQuary Agency Group of Clarkston, a family insurance firm dating from the early 1920s, with offices in Clarkston, Spokane, and Northern Idaho. In 2004, Mr. McQuary co-founded Basalt Cellars, a winery in Clarkston.

Long active in the Lewiston-Clarkston community, he currently serves as President of the Tri-State Memorial Hospital Board; is a member and past president of Valley Vision, a public-private economic development organization for the Lewis-Clark Valley; has chaired both the levy and bond committees for the Clarkston School District over the past 25 years; and served on the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 1986-1994 and as its Board President in 2003.



Dave Bailey

WWCC Instructor, Diesel Equipment Mechanics

Dave Bailey has been employed as an instructor in the diesel technology program since 1996. He has served on the professional development committee for four years. Dave has served on the faculty senate for six years and been the president of the senate for the last two years.


Jessica Gilmore

WWCC Dean of Business, Entrepreneurial Programs & Extended Learning

Jessica Gilmore is the Dean of Business, Entrepreneurial Programs and Extended Learning at WWCC. She started her career in the classroom at Highline College teaching Business Information Technology courses, managing a department of faculty with the goal of ensuring student success. To gain additional experience in management, Jessica took a career building opportunity at Pearson Education; a global publishing company; where she was the Director of Customer Experience for Higher Education. In March of 2012, Jessica found a new home at WWCC where she could combine her entrepreneurial spirit and classroom experience to help design programming that fits the needs of students and employers in the Walla Walla valley. Outside of her role at WWCC, Jessica has participated extensively in the community. Roles include; Chamber Ambassador, Board member and study participant of Community Council, Advisory Committee for WaHi Business department and other collaborative community efforts. Jessica is an active collaborator with our local universities and has helped to create both the Community wide “Pitch-It” competition held during Global Entrepreneurial Week annually as well as the Tri-College Etiquette dinner held each February.


Sergio Hernandez

WWCC Foundation Board Member

Education is Sergio’s passion and has been his vocation for 47 years. Sergio has been fortunate to serve in various teaching and administrative roles PK – 16. The Walla Walla Valley has been his home for a total of 29 years, having moved in and out three times, but always returning to the land of “many waters”. Sergio’s wife currently serves the community as an immigration attorney and him as Equity and Access Coordinator for WWPS. Sergio currently serves on various committees as well as with the Children’s Resilience Initiative.


Richard Jones

Community Member

Richard graduated from Clover Park High School in Tacoma, WA. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and is actively farming today. He has served 20 years on the Dayton School Board, receiving the Washington State Outstanding School Board for Small School Districts award. He served as an REA board member for 12 years, a Columbia County Commissioner for over 13 years and a Columbia County Volunteer fireman for over 35 years.

Richard is married with five children, nine grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.


Kip Kelly

Community Member

Kip Kelly is the Senior Vice President for Business Development at Coffey Communications, his employer for 32 years. Kip’s educational experience includes a BS in Civil Engineering from Washington State University and an MBA from Seattle University.

Kip currently serves on the Walla Walla Valley Air Travel Coalition and on the fund development committee for the Community Council.

He is married with two teenage sons.


Ross Lake

WWCC ASB President

Ross is a second year student at WWCC and the Associated Student Body President. He was born and raised in Walla Walla and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 2014. Ross plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to major in Business.


Linda Lane

WWCC Clarkston Instructor, Accounting/Business

Linda has been an instructor within the Accounting/Business/Office Department for the past 24 years and has the pleasure of working with many different administrators with different leadership styles. Prior to starting her teaching careers, Linda was employed in the business realm where she was fortunate to work with some outstanding leaders.


Richard Middleton-Kaplan

WWCC Dean of Arts & Sciences

Richard was raised in Los Angeles, CA. He completed his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Los Angeles, with an undergraduate year abroad at The University of York in England. In 2013, he returned to The University of York as a visiting scholar on a sabbatical, where he worked with The Centre for Applied Human Rights. Richard has taught in many formats including online at a broad range of institutions, including a large state university, an elite all-girls prep academy, a four-year liberal arts college, a city college in one of the most crime-ridden parts of Los Angeles, an arts college, WSP in Walla Walla, the top-ranked university in the UK, and a superior comprehensive community college.

At Harper College, Richard’s institutional service included being co-coordinator of Learning Communities for four years. He served on a Presidential Task Force for Employee Diversity & Inclusion, and in that role Richard traveled to Kentucky, visiting the ACCT’s Equity Award-winning Kentucky Community and Technical College System Office in Versailles, KY, as well as campuses in Louisville, Oxford, and Lexington. Perhaps most significantly, in 2013, Richard was appointed by the provost as the first Distinguished Chair in Harper College’s history, and was asked to undertake coordination, review, and expansion of faculty professional development. As Distinguished Chair for Teaching Excellence, he co-founded the Academy for Teaching Excellence as a faculty professional development center.


Melissa Rodriguez

WWCC Secretary Senior, Arts & Sciences Division

Melissa was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents and has spent her life moving all over the states (New York, Puerto Rico, Washington (Walla Walla, College Place and Spokane), Tennessee, Texas and California), as a daughter of a Public Health employee.

Melissa holds a BA in Communication from Cal State University in San Marcos, CA. where she graduated cum laude and as a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the honors society of the National Communication Association.

After college, Melissa began working in the newspaper industry. But, the great majority of her professional life has been spent in administrative assistant roles. Her previous position was as administrative assistant to the executive director of a federally-qualified hospital/Health Center in Castañer, PR.

Melissa has been at the WWCC since September 2014, working as Secretary Senior of Arts & Sciences, and she absolutely loves the College, and particularly her Division.  She thinks that is saying a lot, since her arrival coincided with a challenging transitional time for Arts & Sciences.

Melissa is currently in the market to buy a little house here in Walla Walla and settle in for a long life of not moving anywhere else. Of all of the places she has lived, Melissa feels most at home right here; the College has been a huge part of that contented feeling for her.


Ruth Russo

WWCC Instructor, Chemistry

Ruth Russo grew up in Spokane. She attended Gonzaga University, where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry with a Minor in Philosophy in 1985. In 1990, Ruth received her PhD in Pharmacology from the John Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore. In 1990, Ruth began teaching at Whitman College in both Chemistry and General Studies. She served terms as chair of programs. In 2009, Ruth began pre nursing courses at WWCC; she was hired as a tenure-track chemistry instructor the next year. Ruth’s husband and she are raising four kids in Walla Walla Valley; three of her kids are attending or have attended WWCC. Ruth is currently serving as the president of the faculty Association for Higher Education, in which capacity she sits on the College Council.


Mike Tatko

Community Member

Mike Tatko was raised on a wheat farm near Craigmont, Idaho, and graduated from Highland High School. He completed his degree in communications/journalism from the University of Idaho.

He is past-president of the board of directors of Valley Vision and serves on the board of directors of the Lewis-Clark State College foundation, Southeast Washington Economic Development Association, Inland Northwest Partners, Inland Northwest Economic Alliance and the Idaho-Lewis County Technical Education Foundation. He is also past chairman of the advisory committee for the Workforce Education Division at WWCC and a member of the City of Lewiston Audit Committee.

Mike lives in Lewiston with his sons Jake (14) and Josh (10).


Sherry Hartford

WWCC Vice President of Human Resources, Ex-Officio Member of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee

A native of Eastern Washington, Sherry Hartford grew up in Spokane graduating from Central Valley High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washington State University, her Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga, and has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Human Resources Certification Institute since 1999.

Prior to joining the staff at WWCC, Sherry worked in various HR and other administrative roles with the Department of Corrections. Currently she is the Vice President of Human Resources. Sherry has been in a leadership role with the WWCC Human Resource Office since June 2005.

Residing in College Place with her husband of 23 years, Sherry has enjoyed having both daughters attend WWCC as Running Start students.