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Today, the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee of the Maine Legislature voted 8-0 to approve three of Governor LePage’s appointees to the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. The nominations will now move to the Maine Senate for a confirmation vote as early as next week. The candidates represent a diverse set of skills, life experiences, and geographic representation across the State of Maine.

Presented to the Committee by Aaron Chadbourne, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor. Governor LePage’s nominees were as follows:

Michael A. Thibodeau – Presque Isle

Michael is a native of Presque Isle, and a graduate of Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, the predecessor to Northern Maine Community College (NMCC), with an Associate’s degree in Accounting, as well as a BS in Accounting from Husson College. He is the Past President of NMCC’s Alumni & Friends Organization, current Vice-Chair of NMCC General Advisory Council, past Ex-Officio Member of NMCC Foundation Board, and has served on various other NMCC related committees. Michael is an accounting manager for MMG Insurance Company. He is also the Past President of the Northeast Society of Human Resource Managers, a past member of Stone & Webster Utility Risk Management Committee, and a Corporator for Eastern Maine Healthcare System. He and his wife Cindy have two daughters. A successful product and active supporter of NMCC, Mike is well suited to join the MCCS Board.

Paula D. Silsby – Portland

Paula graduated from Ellsworth High School and attended Mount Holyoke College before obtaining her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law. She has 33 years of federal law enforcement experience having worked as the United States Attorney for the State of Maine. Paula is currently the Outreach Coordinator for the Maine Early Learning Investment Group. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Maine Jaycee’s Outstanding Young Woman Award, the Buzz Fitzgerald Public Service Award presented by the Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault Special Recognition Award. Paula has served as a special instructor at Harvard Law School, as the Director of the Maine Cancer Research and Education Foundation, and as a Director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Portland. In particular, Paula’s expertise in law enforcement will provide a unique and valuable contribution to the MCCS decision-making around campus security planning.

Suzanne Grover – Norway

Suzanne Grover is known in Oxford County for the expansion and success of Grover Gundrilling in Norway, a leading provider of precision gun-drilling, deep-hole drilling, honing, and machine and support services to customers all over the United States, Canada and Europe. Suzanne, who attended Nasson College, and her husband Rupert, who graduated from the University of Maine’s College of Engineering, share a strong commitment to the power of education to change lives. According to Suzanne, the need to hire thousands of trained workers over many decades proves that education plays a critical role in promoting prosperity. All Maine children and adults should have excellent academic options, making the Community College System is critical.

Suzanne Grover is also legendary in Oxford County for her unrelenting drive and involvement in the community. She has a reputation as a tireless volunteer who never finishes a job until it is done, and done well. Among her many contributions to the community include service on the Maine Arts Commission, creation and expansion of the 4-H Bryant Pond Learning Center and deep involvement in her local food pantry.

About the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees

Under Maine law, the basis of the Community College System is to provide associate degree, diploma and certificate programs which are designed to create an educated, skilled and adaptable labor force which is responsive to the changing needs of the State’s economy and to promote local, regional and statewide economic development. Established in Title 20-A, Section 12705, the Board of Trustees is composed of 13 voting members, who are appointed by the Governor, subject to review by the legislature’s education committee and 3 ex-officio members. Voting members include 12 from the fields of business and industry, labor, education and from the general public and one member of the student body of one of the technical colleges who is also a permanent resident of the State of Maine. Current student member Nicole Boucher was confirmed by the Senate last year.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for developing and adopting policies for the operation of the System, including the Maine Community College System Office and the colleges; for overseeing the administration of the system; for developing and adopting by-laws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business; and for approving programs and policies recommended by the System President and the administrative council. Members are appointed to 4-year terms.