David Hartleb served as president of Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts for over fifteen years before retiring in June, 2011. As an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach he works with seven community colleges in the middle states, north central and southern regions: Athens Technical College, Cumberland County College, Gaston College, Stanly Community College, Oakton Community College, Indian River State College and Mohawk Valley Community College. He also serves as a TA for three Walmart PRESS for Completion colleges: Northampton Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and the Community College of Beaver County.
During his tenure at Northern Essex CC enrollment increased 43% especially among minorities, which represented 36% of the total enrollment at the end of his presidency. Among other issues he focused on improving the persistence and graduation rates of minority students in part by having the Lawrence Campus designated as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Mr. Hartleb was a strong advocate of the college becoming an active chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) that is concerned with developing a fertile climate for greater diversity.
In 2007 the college became an Achieving the Dream Institution and in 2011 was awarded the Achieving the Dream Leader College designation. Within the college Mr. Hartleb was an advocate for positive change. He strongly supported the effort to adopt a form of total quality management called Process Management that improves effectiveness and efficiency of processes and projects. He also was a champion for Appreciative Inquiry that is a positive, strengths-based process used in management and planning at the college that helped transform the culture.