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Denise Frisbee wins highest state honor for community college trustees

PCC's longtime trustee is named the 2014 Howard Cherry Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association


Denise Frisbee, who has served on the Portland Community College Board of Directors since 2005 and is a two-time board chairwoman, has been named the 2014 Howard Cherry Awards Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association.

Frisbee, a Lake Oswego resident, was lauded by PCC President Jeremy Brown as a strategic thinker, sustainability champion and passionate advocate for Portland and for all Oregon community colleges. In addition to PCC, she has served as a member of the Association of Community College Trustees Governance Committee, a nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C., that represents more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees from 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges across the country.

“Ms. Frisbee is an incredibly dedicated and active trustee, someone who seeks to collaborate and connect with other leaders to promote community colleges and education to local, state and national audiences,” Brown said. “Her friendly, warm demeanor is collegial. She engages audiences in such a way that they want to learn more about PCC and community colleges overall. We could not ask for a finer board leader.”

Elected in 2005, 2009 and 2013, Frisbee represents Zone 1 (Lake Oswego, Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood) as she works as an attorney and is a past director of the Department of Planning and Building Services for the City of Lake Oswego. In total, Frisbee has more than 15 years of experience supporting education at all levels, from kindergarten through community college. She has been instrumental in supporting sustainability such as steering the college’s green building efforts and forming the college’s Climate Action Plan. She has guided PCC’s efforts related to revenue and future funding sources as well as its completion agenda to meet the state’s “40-40-20” goals.

Frisbee said she owes a great deal of gratitude to Norma Jean Germond and the late Doreen Margolin, both past board members from Lake Oswego, in mentoring her on the important role the PCC Board plays.

“The Howard Cherry Award is so meaningful to me,” Frisbee said. “It represents an acknowledgment from my colleagues, who are all equally committed to community colleges and student opportunity. It really is a privilege and team effort. So I want to extend an appreciative thanks to the OCCA team that so effectively advocates for community colleges and focuses the state conversation. And I want to recognize the amazing team at PCC, which has committed leaders at every level — from the board, the president and cabinet, to the faculty and staff — who all pull together to keep improving the college and put students first.”

The Oregon Community College Association’s Howard Cherry Award recognizes board members, employees and advocates who make a difference. They are named after the late Dr. Howard Cherry, a Portland orthopedic surgeon who was a lifelong advocate for education and community involvement. He served on the Portland School Board, in the Oregon Legislature and was a founding member of the Association of Community College Trustees. In addition, Cherry was a founding member of the Portland Community College Board of Directors and played key roles in establishing PCC’s Cascade and Rock Creek campuses.

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