August 21st, 2018
Morin, GCS president, elected new GC board chair
McCartney, former assistant schools superintendent, named vice chair
The new leadership team on Garrett College's Board of Trustees brings a diverse pair of backgrounds to their positions.
Don Morin, a local business owner for nearly three decades, is the board's new chair, succeeding Vianne Bell. Dr. Brenda McCartney, a former Garrett County Public Schools assistant superintendent, has been selected to succeed Morin as vice chair of the seven-member board that oversees Garrett College.
Morin is president of Garrett Container Systems, Inc., which develops aluminum shipping and storage containers. His experience allows Morin to provide a business perspective in his new role on the GC board.
"One of the strengths of our board is the great variety of perspectives we have within our group," said Morin. "Our members have backgrounds in education, law, banking, community development, and business. This allows us to explore issues from a lot of angles, which I think leads to strong decision-making."
Morin, who began his career as a computer programmer after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1975, moved from programming into sales and marketing while working for Wang Labs. He later joined C3, where he was involved in sales, marketing, and program management for the development of a ruggedized computer system used by the U. S. Marines and Air Force.
Morin started GCS in 1991, with his company achieving ISO 9001 registration as well as certification as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone entity.
"One of the things I hope to emphasize as chair is the need to focus on the long-term fiscal stability of the college," said Morin, who led a board effort this past year to begin addressing the college's financial commitment in funding employee retirement benefits. "Non-profit educational institutions are very different from for-profit businesses, but they have the same need to plan for their financial sustainability."
Garrett College Board of Trustees transitions to new leadership. Pictured in front of the college’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building are: Duane Yoder, Madeleine Collins, Dr. Brenda McCartney, Vice-Chair; Don Morin, Chair; Vianne Bell, and Linda Sherbin. Absent from the photo is Jason Rush.
Morin, who joined the Garrett College Board of Trustees in 2011, lives in McHenry with his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Morin is GCS vice president of administration and serves on the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
McCartney spent 37 years in public education, including 30 years with Garrett County Public Schools. She was an elementary and middle school teacher and elementary school principal before moving to the board office, where she served nine years as assistant GCPS superintendent. After her retirement in 2007, she worked as an education consultant focusing on leadership development and instructional coaching.
"I see being a trustee as a way of using my professional experience to give back to my community," said Dr. McCartney. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to serve Garrett College and our community, and I'm certainly honored by the faith my fellow board members have shown in selecting me as vice chair."
McCartney earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairmont State College, a Master's Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Frostburg State University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Maryland. She was one of the founding members of Landon's Imagination Library free book program, which is available to all Garrett County pre-school children, and has served both as president of the Oakland Rotary and chair of the Garrett County Department of Social Services Board.
McCartney – who lives in Oakland with her husband, Sull – is a former member of the Garrett College Foundation and is on the Mountain Laurel Medical Center Board of Directors. She joined the Garrett College Board of Trustees in 2016.
"As vice chair, I hope to support the college in strengthening existing programs and establishing new programs to meet the ever-changing needs of our community," said Dr. McCartney, who indicated she supports the college's comprehensive mission in meeting the transfer, career, workforce development and lifelong learning needs of county residents.
Bell, who has been a Board of Trustees member since 2005, has spent most of that time in leadership roles, including two stints (2007-8 and 2014-18) as chair. She said her commitment to board service grew out of the value she places on education and Garrett College's role in making that education accessible.
"Education is a key that opens many doors," said Bell, whose current board term runs through 2021. "It benefits individuals and the community at large. The mission of Garrett College is one of lifelong learning for its students and the community. Recognizing that education comes in many forms, the college responds."
Bell lauded the board members she has worked with during her tenure as chair.
"The Board of Trustees is composed of dedicated individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives," she said. "The board works together for the good of the college and the community."
Bell and her husband, Michael, owned and operated Good Timber Bed & Breakfast for 15 years. She has been actively involved in numerous philanthropic efforts, including co-chair of the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival and co-host of the Chinese New Year Fundraiser for the Garrett College Foundation. Bell also serves as a board member and treasurer of the Coalition for Effective Local Democracy (CELD), a local non-profit that helps communities in southern Africa and international African students at Garrett College.
Both McCartney and Linda Sherbin – who joined the board in 2000 and is its longest-tenured member – were reappointed to new, six-year terms by Governor Hogan earlier this year. Duane Yoder, who has been on the board since 2006, was reappointed to a new term last year.
Madeleine Collins, who has been on the board since 2014, and Jason Rush, who rejoined the board in 2016, complete the board membership.
The new board leadership, elected at the board's July meeting, will oversee their first board meeting of the new term next month.