Achieving the Dream Names New Board Members

Anaheim, CA (February 7, 2013) – Achieving the Dream – a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success in higher education history – today announced the appointment of Lou Testoni and Mike Villarreal to the Board of Directors.

Testoni and Villarreal are joining the board following the departure of former director Joaquin Castro. Castro is a member of the US House of Representatives, representing Texas’ 20th Congressional District, and stepped down from Achieving the Dream’s Board of Directors to fully focus his time and resources on the challenges and opportunities facing the residents of San Antonio.

The appointments of Testoni, a financial expert and Executive-in-Residence at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, and Villarreal, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, bring the total number of Achieving the Dream board members to 11.

“We are so pleased to announce that the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors approved Lou Testoni and Mike Villarreal to the board,” said Chairman of the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors Robert G. Templin. “Mr. Testoni and Representative Villarreal will bring a wealth of knowledge and insight that will be invaluable to the board and the entire Achieving the Dream National Reform Network.”

Testoni is an accomplished senior business executive and financial leader with over 36 years of experience working with companies in both the public and private sectors, across a variety of industries including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, retail, media, and technology. He recently retired as the Managing Partner of the Lake Erie Market of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Testoni currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Carnegie Library System of Pittsburgh, and sits on the boards of ABARTA, Inc., Henderson Brothers, the Three Rivers Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, The Frick Art & Historical Center, Achieving the Dream, and the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

“I am looking forward to beginning my work with the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors and using my experience to help guide and shape the direction of community college reform,” said Testoni.

State Representative Mike Villarreal was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He was the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s, receiving an economics degree at Texas A&M University and later earning a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Since 2000 he has served in the legislature, focusing on prekindergarten funding, financial aid for low-income college students, and other education priorities. During the last legislative session he led the fight against the historic budget cuts to education.

“Education is a deeply engrained passion of mine, so joining the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors is a natural fit,” said Villarreal. “I look forward to being a part of this critical work, and helping move the needle on community college student success.”

Achieving the Dream was conceived as a national initiative in 2004 by the Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations. Over the course of the first six years, Achieving the Dream demonstrated that innovative, evidence-based community college programs and interventions can produce and sustain improved student success. In 2010, with the support of the Founding Investor, the Founding Partners agreed to transition Achieving the Dream from an initiative into a strong, sustainable, independent national nonprofit organization – Achieving the Dream, Inc. An influential and diverse Board of Directors has since been established to lead the work of the new organization and with the addition of Testoni and Villareal, the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors now includes 11 executives:

  • Leah Meyer Austin, Former Senior Vice President, Lumina Foundation
  • Diane Bastian, MBA, Owner, Panera Bread Franchise, Eastern North Carolina and graduate of Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, MI
  • Anthony P. Carnevale, Ph.D., Director, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University
  • James P. Comer, M.D., Founder and Chairman, Comer School Development Program, Yale University School of Medicine's Child Study Center
  • Marc S. Herzog, Former Chancellor, Connecticut Community College System
  • Eduardo J. Padrón, Ph.D., President, Miami Dade College
  • Robert G. Templin, Jr., Ed.D., President, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Louis L Testoni, Executive-in-Residence, University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business
  • William E. Trueheart, Ed. D., President & CEO, Achieving the Dream
  • Mike Villarreal, Texas State Representative, District 123
  • Blenda J. Wilson, Ph.D., Former Colorado Commissioner of Higher Education; Former Chancellor of California State University, Northridge and University of Michigan, Dearborn; and Former CEO, Nellie Mae Foundation

Lou Testoni and Mike Villarreal participated in their first meeting with the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors on Tuesday in Anaheim, CA. The board meeting happened in conjunction with DREAM (Achieving the Dream’s 2013 Annual Meeting on Student Success). For a complete overview of the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors, visit the Achieving the Dream website here.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With nearly 200 colleges, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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