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Georgia Northwestern Technical College names Three New Members to Board of Directors

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Pictured from left to right are Kenna Stock, chief executive officer of Harbin Clinic; John Thomas, chief energy services officer of Dalton Utilities; Pete McDonald, president of GNTC; and Michele Taylor, superintendent of Calhoun City Schools.

 

(Calhoun, GA) – Kenna Stock, chief executive officer of Harbin Clinic, Michele Taylor, superintendent of Calhoun City Schools, and John Thomas, chief energy services officer of Dalton Utilities, were recently sworn in as the newest members of the Board of Directors at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).

 

Pete McDonald, president of GNTC, swore in the three new Board of Directors members at a recent meeting held on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun.

 

Stock has been with Harbin Clinic in Rome since 1999. Before becoming chief executive officer, she served as executive director, chief operating officer, and business office director. Prior to her roles at Harbin Clinic, Stock resided in St. Louis and served as reimbursement manager for Esse Health and as administrative director at Metro Imaging. She received her bachelor’s degree from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. and her master’s degree from Shorter University in Rome.

 

Harbin Clinic is the largest privately owned multi-specialty physician group in Georgia.

 

Taylor was assistant superintendent of Calhoun City Schools prior to becoming superintendent in 2007. Her professional education experience also includes serving as adjunct professor at Berry College, Lincoln Memorial University, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University; principal, Calhoun Elementary School; improvement initiative coordinator, Georgia Leadership Institute; Instructional Coordinator, Kingston Elementary School; media specialist and classroom teacher, Calhoun Elementary School and Calhoun Middle School. Taylor earned a specialist and doctoral degree from University of Sarasota, a master’s degree from University of West Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree from Shorter University.

 

Thomas was the manager of Electric and Gas Engineering and Operations at Dalton Utilities from 2008-10 before becoming chief energy services officer. He previously served in the U.S. Navy as electrical division officer on the USS Carl Vinson in Newport News, Va., and as gunnery division officer and damage control division officer on the USS Thomas S. Gates in Pascagoula, Ms. He received his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University. Thomas’ military training consisted of entry level officer leadership training, 30 hours of basic management training, security, offensive personal confrontations and crowd control.

 

Georgia Northwestern’s Board serves both in a community advisory capacity and in a limited administrative capacity, performing certain oversight responsibilities as designated by State Board policy. The local Board is comprised of 16 members from the business and industrial communities from nine counties in the service area (Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties). State Board Policy defines the role and responsibilities of the local Board. Board members are selected because of their experience, ability, and dedication to deal with issues that relate to the mission of occupational education and are without contractual, employment, or personal financial investment in the school.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

 

Shaw, Georgia Northwestern Trucker Among Nation’s Elite

Mendez Places Nationally In Competition For America’s Best Commercial Trucker

 

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“Dalton, Georgia’s Antonio Mendez sits in his tractor cab on the driving range at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Walker County Campus. Commercial Truck Driving Director Robert Browder stands outside the rig.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Hard at work since the age of 17, Dalton, Georgia’s Antonio Mendez has been leading by example. And now, after 20 years of what his boss calls, “consistency,” Mendez made 2016 a year he would showcase his talents on the national stage. This long-time Shaw Industries staffer, and graduate of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, became one of the top commercial truck drivers in the nation after competing in the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

In May, at the state competition held in Lake Lanier, Georgia, Mendez became the first State of Georgia Truck Driving Champion from Shaw Industries, as well as Georgia Northwestern. Mendez bested 40 drivers in the Commercial Truck Driving Five-Axle competition to earn the spot in the national competition in Indiana last month.

 

Shaw Industries Driver Training Lead, George Gazaway, said he knew he was good enough to go far in the competition. “Antonio competed for the first time last year and really walked away learning a lot,” said Gazaway. “Just one year later, not only did he set the bar for our drivers with his performance nationally, he really made us proud.”

 

In his second crack at showing off his skills in the Commercial Truck Driving industry, Mendez not only took home top honors in the state, be he would finish 29th in the nation after completing the four-day long competition in the Hoosier state last month. “There were six different road tests, a pre-trip test, and written tests they put everyone through,” said Mendez. “I felt really prepared and ready for the competition. It went pretty well, I think.”

 

After spending the first 10 years of his employment with Shaw Industries as a forklift operator, Mendez made a decision in 2008. He wanted to learn more and move into a new career with the flooring giant. “My uncle suggested that I should try to get outdoors and look into becoming a truck driver,” said Mendez of his uncle, Joel Quintero. “So, I made the decision to take the Commercial Truck Driving program at Georgia Northwestern. My instructor (Robert Browder) was very easy to learn from. He helped me learn everything I needed to in order to be successful.”

 

Mendez would complete his program with Browder and Georgia Northwestern by attending a weekend program the college offered. He would then earn his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) later in 2008. Mendez would first spend a little over a year after earning his CDL transporting trailers from one bay to another at his plant. “I was a yard dog, at first,” cheerfully added Mendez. “Then, I got a third shift slot as a local driver with Shaw. And, now, I’m on first shift. Two daily runs to Chattanooga and back. It’s a great job that I’m proud of.”

 

His success has led to more success for others in his family. “I got my cousin to attend after I completed my program,” said Mendez. “He finished the program, too. He then came back and enrolled in the Air Conditioning Technology (HVAC) program. My brother then enrolled and did the same program, too. It has really worked out pretty well for all of us.”

 

It will officially be 20 years of Shaw Industries employment for Mendez in June 2017. He and his wife, Yolanda, have been married for 14 years. As of today, none of their children, Celina, 12, Antonio, Jr., 10, Angel, 6, nor Samuel, 4, wish to be a truck driver in the future. “They like those hot wheel trucks, though,” said Mendez. “But, they aren’t thinking about a job on the road anytime soon.”

 

Making a change in his career after a decade of experience was tough says Mendez. “Just thankful for my wife, mom, and brothers for supporting me in this,” added the 35-year-old North Georgian. “Family at work also made it possible, though. If it wasn’t for my boss, George Gazaway, Danny Trammell, and Misty Hayes, not sure how it all would’ve turned out.”

 

You can contact the college’s toll-free number at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

 

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

 

Heidi Popham Named Executive Vice President of GNTC

(Rome, Georgia) – Heidi Popham, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), was named executive vice president by Pete McDonald, president of GNTC. In her new role, Popham will continue to be responsible for Institutional Effectiveness and will now also be responsible for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Adult Education.

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Dr. Heidi Popham, executive vice president of GNTC.

 

McDonald cited Popham’s decades-long career with GNTC, service to the community, and her extensive professional achievements as key factors to her being named executive vice president.

 

“GNTC is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Heidi Popham as executive vice president,” said McDonald. “Dr. Popham joined the college staff in 1995 and has held many positions in the Office of the President.”

 

The change is intended to distribute the leadership responsibilities to operate more effectively given GNTC’s large footprint which includes six operating campuses, multiple Adult Education centers, and the Aviation Training Center.

 

“Dr. Popham will serve as a critical member of our college leadership to improve student success across all six college campuses, adult education programs, and economic development programs serving the citizens of the nine counties of the Northwest Georgia region,” said McDonald. “She has also served as the team leader for the GNTC planning and implementation of the student success initiative under the ‘Achieving the Dream’ national consortium.”

 

Popham began her educational career in 1995 as executive assistant to the president at Coosa Valley Technical College, which would later become GNTC. Her responsibilities included coordinating the daily functions of the President’s Office, serving as liaison with the Board of Directors, and planning special events. In 1998, she took on additional duties as an instructor for Continuing Education Department and Academic Affairs and taught intermediate and advanced computing applications.

 

In 2007, Popham became the director of Institutional Effectiveness and was promoted to vice president in 2009 around the same time that Coosa Valley Technical College was merging with Northwestern Technical College to become GNTC.

 

As vice president of Institutional Effectiveness, Popham coordinates the development of GNTC’s program goals, objectives, policies, and standards. She maintains operational goals for each administrative unit and each academic program.

 

Popham is the primary GNTC accreditation liaison with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and designs and executes the plans for maintaining accreditation status. She oversees the strategic planning process for GNTC and annually evaluates the progress of the college’s goals.

 

Popham is also spearheading “Student Success Track It!” a major campus-wide initiative that focuses on student retention, persistence, and completion.

 

“’Track It!’ is GNTC’s commitment to our continuous focus on student success,” said Popham. “Through the analysis of school data and conversations with faculty, staff, and students ‘Track It!’ is refining the services and resources provided to students to be more success-oriented.”

 

Other leadership roles that Popham has served in her educational career include president, Institutional Effectiveness peer group for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), 2014-15; graduate, TCSG Leadership Academy, 2013; member, Rome Rotary Club; graduate, Leadership Rome; and volunteer, Communities in Schools.

 

Popham earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, master’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, and doctoral degree in Adult Education from UGA.

 

She is a resident of Silver Creek and has been married to her husband Kurt for 31 years.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

Cutting The Ribbon On Catoosa’s First College Campus

Georgia Northwestern Classes Underway In Ringgold

 

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“Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s sixth-campus, the Catoosa County Campus, were, from left, Steve Stancil, Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission Director; Travis Johnson, Technical College System of Georgia Assistant Commissioner of External Affairs; U.S. Army Major General (Ret.) Terry Nesbitt, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Board of Directors; Georgia State Representative Steve Tarvin (District 2); Georgia State Representative Dewayne Hill (District 3); Pete McDonald, Georgia Northwestern Technical College President; Dr. Ginger Mathis, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs; Georgia State Senator Jeff Mullis (District 53); Vann Brown, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Board of Directors; Denise Clopton, Georgia U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson’s senior representative; Joe Yarbrough, Technical College System of Georgia Board of Directors Chairman; Jim Walker, Catoosa County Manager; Joe Barger, Former Mayor of Ringgold, Georgia; Nick Millwood, Mayor of Ringgold, Georgia; Shirley Smith, Technical College System of Georgia Board Member; Roger Bowman, Catoosa County Economic Development Vice Chair; Terry Herr, Pieper, O’Brien, and Herr Architects Executive Vice President; Hal Hardin, Pieper, O’Brien and Herr Architects Project Manager; George Wheatley, Barton Malow Construction Manager; and Chris Torchia, Barton Malow Construction Senior Director.”

 

(Ringgold, Georgia) – A dream that has been in the works for a decade, and under construction for less than two years, is now a reality in Catoosa County, Georgia. Lawmakers, educators, and dozens of others closely tied to the launch of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) sixth campus helped cut the ribbon on the facility Monday in a special ceremony in Ringgold, Georgia.

 

Besides the students already attending classes on-site, more than 200 people were on hand for the late summer ceremony honoring the grand opening of GNTC’s newest location. “This is going to be a flag ship campus. It’s going to be even larger soon because we are going to work to make it that way,” said Georgia State Senator Jeff Mullis (Dist. 53). “Georgia Northwestern is the epitome of an outstanding higher-education learning function.”

 

Among those city, county, and state leaders on hand to take part was Ringgold, Georgia Mayor Nick Millwood. “A lot of these kids within our community are going to have a much better opportunity at a post-secondary education,” said Millwood. “It might be harder for them to swing it otherwise if they had to travel somewhere else. Just the impact it’s going to have on the community in the years to come is something we’re excited about.”

 

Cybersecurity, Mechatronics, and Logistics leads the list of program offerings now available at Catoosa County’s first collegiate campus. The Catoosa County Campus is located at the intersection of Highway 151 and Holcomb Road in Catoosa County. The 12-million dollar facility houses a 60,000-square foot campus which sits on 36 acres. The groundbreaking took place in December 2014. College staff and faculty began moving in this summer with classes beginning last month.
You can contact the college’s toll-free number at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

 

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

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