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CCS Foundation announces five new officers to Board of Directors


The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation is pleased to announce a new slate of officers and five new members of their Board of Directors.

Gordon Hester, President and CEO of Kiemle Hagood Company, serves as President and Facilities Chair, while Kathy Pearson, Vice President of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, serves as Vice President. They are joined by Secretary Jim Allen, Investor & Director of Sales, Strategy, & Innovation at FMI Equipment Company; Treasurer and Finance Chair Patrick Cummings, Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual; Advancement Chair Suzanne Schmidt, President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc, Inland Pacific; and Board Relations Chair Jacob Parks, President of Profitable Ideas Exchange.

“This is a dedicated group of officers who will bring energy to the work we do to support CCS and our students,” Heather Beebe-Stevens, Executive Director of the CCS Foundation, said.

The Board of Directors, which has 19 members, welcomed five new local leaders this year:  Kevin Christie of Avista, Patrick Cummings of Northwestern Mutual, Matt Murphy of Metal Fabrication Company, Nathaniel Prior of GESA Credit Union, and Kevin Zenishek of Northern Quest Resort & Casino.

Kevin Christie is the Senior Vice President of External Affairs & Chief Customer Officer at Avista. In
that role, he has responsibility for regulatory affairs, customer service, customer experience,
communications, community outreach and philanthropy, as well as customer energy efficiency
and conservation activities, and new products and services. Christie joined Avista in 2005. “The community college system is so critical for economic success and growth regionally,” Christie said.

Patrick Cummings is a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual. He started his career with Northwestern Mutual in 2004. Prior to that he opened a scratch office with Edward Jones in central Idaho. Cummings’ primary focus is wealth management, tax efficient investment planning, retirement income planning, and company benefit plans. “I’m proud to be part of CCS to provide opportunities to those who desire education,” Cummings said.

Matt Murphy is Senior Director of Operations at Metals Fabrication Company. Murphy started his career as a welder. With this experience and his education, he was hired as a Project Manager at Metals Fabrication Co. He has spent 18 years with the company, growing into his current leadership position. “I’ve hired many graduates from the community colleges of Spokane which have provided invaluable talent to help our company and our community grow,” Murphy said.

Nathaniel Prior is Assistant Vice President at GESA Credit Union. Prior graduated from a community college and has worked in the housing industry as a U.S. ambassador for an Italian manufacturing company, been a marketer at the University of Idaho, and most recently is an Assistant Vice President for Gesa Credit Union. “I have seen community colleges raise people and families out of poverty, give hope to those left out or behind, and transform lives,” Prior said.

Kevin Zenishek is the Executive Director of Casino Operations at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. Zenishek’s primary focus has been on strategic planning and developing meaningful initiatives to enhance the environment for team members as well as the gaming experience for guests. He is a graduate of CCS and was a recent recipient of Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine’s 20 Under 40 Award. “The CCS Foundation is a positive contributor to the community by helping hundreds of students reach their true potential!” Zenishek said.

The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation provides student scholarships, emergency aid, and program support to SCC and SFCC students across CCS’s 12,300 square-mile district. Their mission, “We make potential possible,” drives this work.  

Posted On

9/14/2021 2:13:35 PM

Posted By

Jonathan Glover



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