College Welcomes Five New Trustees
Five new trustees, including two South Florida Community College alumni, and one reappointment have been approved by Gov. Rick Scott to join the SFCC District Board of Trustees. New members of the Board of Trustees will be Derren Bryan and Kenneth Lambert, representing Hardee County; and Lana Puckorius, Kris Rider, and Joe Wright, representing Highlands County. Tami Cullens, who has represented Highlands County on the board since 2006 was reappointed by the governor upon expiration of her term. Cullens and the new trustees join Timothy Backer, chair, who has represented DeSoto County since 2009, and Dr. Louis Kirschner, who has represented DeSoto County since 1999.
“We’re pleased to welcome the new members of the board,” Backer said. “They’re going to be a good fit. I’ve had a chance to speak with many of them. Ken Lambert graduated from SFCC and is very proud of the college and the direction it’s taken. Kris Ryder is a recent graduate of SFCC. She decided to get her degree after her kids went to college. Because of the economy, the governor has encouraged these board members to ask a lot of questions and to watch the budget.”
The SFCC District Board of Trustees’ next meeting is Dec. 7. Dr. Norm Stephens, SFCC president, indicated that the timing is ideal for the new board members. “The college’s annual planning meeting is held in December and that is when the board reviews the mission and strategic plan. During the workshop, the board establishes priorities for the coming year which drives our internal planning and budget development for the next fiscal year.
The trustees will be involved in many positive changes at the college over the next several years. “The new baccalaureate degree program is a significant milestone for the college, and we’re excited about new technical programs including the biofuels education initiative,” said Dr. Stephens. “Our Guide to Personal Success (GPS) first-year experience initiative will unfold over the next five years, benefitting of our incoming students. Our board members will help shape all of these efforts.”
Puckorius, who has served as a member of the SFCC Foundation Board, looks forward to further involvement with the college. “I can’t think of anything better than to be a trustee, using my experience and knowledge for the good of the college.”
Cullens will now become a senior member of the SFCC District Board of Trustees and brings with her leadership and history. “The most rewarding part is handing diplomas to the students during graduation,” she said. “They’re smiling from ear to ear, and you know that education opens up a whole new world for them. Many of the students are the first family members in college. You know that SFCC provides another step for them in improving their lives.”
Cullens takes her work on the SFCC Board of Trustees to heart. “Years ago, my grandfather donated the property on which the Highlands Campus is located. In his mind, it was going to be a small college. I’ve had a chance to see the college grow. Now we’re able to offer a four-year degree. To be a part of that process is warming to me.”
“I would like to thank the board members who served the college with such dedication over the last ten years and more,” said Dr. Stephens. “In that time, the college has undergone a transformation, and the board deserves much credit for providing the leadership and guidance for all the accomplishments.”
“We’re looking forward to working with the new members of the board. I’ll meet with each of them over the next several weeks to provide information about the college and their responsibilities. I’ve had a chance to talk each of the new members and I found them to be very interested in the college and interested in participating as part of the SFCC District Board of Trustees.”
Reappointed to the board is:
Tamela “Tami” C. Cullens, of Sebring, has been a payroll clerk for Glisson Animal Supply since 2009 and a registration clerk for Sebring International Raceway since 2006. Between 1995 and 2000, she served as a temporary judicial assistant to a Highlands County Court Judge. A 14-year member of the South Florida Community College Foundation, she has also served as a trustee for Webber International University. Cullens received a bachelor’s degree from Webber International University. She is reappointed for a term beginning Nov. 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2014.
The new board members are:
Derren J. Bryan, of Bowling Green, has been the general manager and information technology director for Albritton Insurance Services L.L.C. since 2006. From 2000 to 2008, he was president of Net-Pro Professional Networking Solutions Inc. From 1997 to 2007, he taught science and coached at Hardee Senior High School, and from 1995 to 1996, he taught and coached at Port Charlotte Senior High School. His community involvement includes the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce, the Hardee Athletic Foundation, the Hardee County Economic Development Authority and the Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties Inc. Bryan received a bachelor’s degree from Western State College of Colorado. He succeeds Richard Maenpaa and is appointed for a term beginning Nov. 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2015.
Kenneth A. Lambert, of Wauchula, is the vice president of enterprise solutions for Knowledge-Based Marketing Group. Previously, he was a senior vice president for Merrill Corporation from 2009 to 2011, a self-employed marketing services consultant 2007 to 2009, senior vice president of Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing from 1989 to 2007 and vice president and officer with First Union National Bank from 1983 to 1989. Lambert served as a commissioner of the City of Wauchula from 2004 to 2009 and as mayor from 2000 to 2004. Lambert received an associate degree from South Florida Community College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He succeeds Gary DeLatorre and is appointed for a term beginning Nov. 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2014.
Lana C. Puckorius, of Avon Park, is a retired certified financial planner. Previously, she was president of Puckorius and Associates Inc. from 1987 to 2009. She has served as president and a board member of the South Florida Community College Foundation. She succeeds Anne Reynolds and is appointed for a term beginning November 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2015.
Kris Y. Rider, of Lake Placid, has been a bookkeeper for Michael A. Rider P.A. since 1981. She is a past president and member of Scholarship Recognition Inc. of Highlands County and received an associate degree from South Florida Community College. She succeeds Joan Hartt and is appointed for a term beginning Nov. 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2014.
Patrick “Joe” Wright, of Avon Park, has been the president of V&W Farms of Delray Beach since 1988 and president and board chairman of Southeast Milk Inc. since 1997. From 2007 to 2009, he served as a councilman for the city of Avon Park. A member of the board of directors of the National Milk Producers Federation and the Dairy Cooperative Marketing Association Inc. since 1997, he has been a member of the board of managers for Gustafson’s L.L.C. and NAD L.L.C. since 2004 and 2005, respectively. He was director and vice president of Florida Dairy Farmers from 1992 to 2010. Wright received bachelor’s, Master of Business Administration and law degrees from the University of Florida. He succeeds David Leidel and is appointed for a term beginning Nov. 8, 2011, and ending May 31, 2015.
The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.