Jorge Burwick serves as the Operations Manager, CollegeBuys where he oversees CollegeBuys contracts, vendor relationships, and contract support functions. Based on systemwide need, he works to develop new business lines by vetting prospective vendors and managing compliant requests for proposals. Jorge supports systemwide collaborative procurement initiatives. Jorge has over 10 years of experience in higher education and has committed himself to working with projects that focus on equity and inclusion. Prior to joining the Foundation, he managed student programs at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities where he was responsible for corporate relations and campus outreach. Jorge is a native Texan and earned his bachelor's from Trinity University and master's from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
J.C. Sales is the Vice President of Program Development for the Foundation for California Community Colleges. In this role, he supports ongoing efficiency and effectiveness for Foundation programs such as CollegeBuys, Workforce Development, Equity & Community Impact by serving as dot-connector to a vast network of relationships across the California Community Colleges system, state agencies, and public higher education system-partners. J.C. also works closely with the statewide Chancellor’s Office to provide support and ensure alignment with matters related to legislation, policy, and the state’s budget. J.C. possesses nearly 20 years of experience in government and nonprofit sectors having worked for the Foundation for 12-years, and serving in the United States Army, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the administrations of Attorney General Edmund G. Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He received his bachelor's in economics, juris doctorate, and masters in public administration from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Jose Fierro began his tenure as President/Superintendent of the Cerritos Community College District in July 2015. Located in the Southeast Los Angeles region of California, Cerritos College is the foremost launchpad for upward social mobility in the local community. Dr. Fierro’s commitment to increasing educational access, success, and completion is reflected in the innovative ways that Cerritos College connects with the community and students. Since his arrival in 2015, the community has seen a 386 percent increase in completion of transfer-level math courses in a student’s first year, and a 107 percent increase in completion of transfer-level English in a student’s first year. These momentum points are significant factors to a students’ success, as demonstrated by an 85 percent increase in the number of degree and certificate awards at Cerritos College. With the support of time-tested partnerships between Cerritos College and local school districts, Dr. Fierro launched Cerritos Complete in 2016. More than a Promise Program, Cerritos Complete provides easy access to college for high school seniors. Cerritos Complete increases the velocity of completion through wraparound student services and a merit-based scholarship component. Cerritos Complete won the 2018 Examples of Excelencia Award in the Associate Level category, which is the only national effort to identify and promote evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latino student success in higher education. The program was also selected as a finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Award. Dr. Fierro is a 2020-2021 Aspen Presidential Fellow and a 2017 Wheelhouse Fellow. He serves on various boards at the local, state, and national levels, including 2021-2022 President-Elect of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Board, Community College League Board of Directors, 2021 President-Elect of the National Community College Hispanic Council Board of Directors (NCCHC), Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Alliance Executive Committee, 2021-2022 President of the California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators (CALCCTA) Board, Racial Equity and Inclusive Excellence (REIE) Taskforce, Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium Governance Council, Coast Plaza Hospital Board of Directors in Norwalk, and the National Association of Community College Teachers Executive Board (NACCTEP).
Joseph Quintana is Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for California Community Colleges and a key executive liaison to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. A recognized and well-respected expert of the California Community College system, Quintana’s strategic executive leadership, stalwart guidance, and programmatic initiative and oversight have directly contributed to the Foundation’s continued and significant year-over-year growth. Quintana first served, proudly, as a Foundation student intern through the Career Pathway Program, where he worked for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office supporting the 17-member Board of Governors. He advanced to become Executive Director of CollegeBuys, the nation’s premiere community college focused procurement program. As Executive Director, Quintana developed and executed partnership agreements, public code complaint contracts, and cooperative purchasing programs that continue to provide significant discounts to California Community College students, faculty, staff, and the system. His system expertise, operational acumen, and strong ability to build and maintain key partnerships led to Quintana’s COO appointment in 2016.
Keetha Mills is President and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Under her leadership, the Foundation has expanded overall impact through the development and delivery of more than 40 mission-aligned programs and services across five areas of impact: student success, workforce development, equity, community impact, and system support. Since her appointment in 2012, the Foundation has significantly increased available resources to total over $50 million in annual support of the California Community Colleges and its students. Inspired to further this success, the Foundation has launched an ambitious goal to double its impact over the next decade, with Mills challenging her team to create innovative solutions and forge valuable partnerships that will continue to drive annual increases in resources brought in by the Foundation to benefit the California Community Colleges. Mills’ professional background includes over 20 years of experience in executive leadership, finance, accounting, and operations, which she leverages to lead the nonprofit through a business-centric lens. Credited to her focus on operational discipline, the Foundation continues to achieve strategic year-after-year growth, resulting in an expanded portfolio of resources, services, and specialized programs that increase opportunity and improve outcomes for more than 2.1 million students across all 116 community colleges.
Kim Carrillo graduated with a B.S. from CSU Sacramento and is Interim Purchasing Supervisor for Los Rios Community College District, servicing California’s second largest community college district. She provides public bid and procurement expertise to support the successful implementation of the District’s $1 billion capital building program and facilities maintenance and operations of 4.5 million square feet of District space. Kim is a contributing member to the CCC Facilities Procurement Guidebook, and NCCCPG committees. She deployed electronic bidding and has successfully bid out over $60 million in new construction projects since 2020. Having worked for over 13 years in higher education, she has a well-informed perspective to apply procurement strategy, leverage cooperative agreements, and makes efforts to increase the District’s vendor diversity.
Kim Simonds is the Purchasing Supervisor at MiraCosta College. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She has over 20 years of procurement experience in the California Community College System. In the 13 years she has been with MiraCosta College, she has specialized in Public Works/Construction including related professional services and Contract Administration.
Mina Hernandez is the Director of Purchasing and Material Management at MiraCosta Community College District. She provides innovative leadership at MiraCosta which includes contracts administration and overseeing procurement, warehouse, mailroom and the copy center operations. Prior to MiraCosta, she was the Executive Director of General Services for West Valley-Mission Community College District. Mina is a statewide leader. She led the efforts in creating the Purchasing Guidebook and Purchasing-Facilities Guidebook, which serves as best practice guides for the California Community College System. Mina is a frequent presenter on topics related to innovation in procurement and contract management. She has led many efforts to streamline and modernize procurement practices at the various higher education institutions she has worked. In March 2021, she was selected by PlanetBids as an awardee for the annual Breaking Barriers award. In October 2021, she was awarded the CHEC Focus on Efficiency Award for leading the Purchasing-Facilities Guidebook, along with being awarded with her team for their modernization efforts with MiraCosta’s procurement processes during COVID-19. Mina graduated with a Master of Administration from Northern Arizona University in 2012. She has a multifaceted background, having worked in higher education administration for fifteen years and in the private sector as a legal professional for over a decade.
Nick Newkirk is the Purchasing and Contracts Manager for the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD), where he has served since 2018. Prior to his current position with SOCCCD, he served as the Director of Purchasing for Perris Union High School District for four years. Nick previously served as chair and co-founder of the Riverside County Purchasing Collaborative and received the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region XIX Business Services Administrator of the Year Award for 2016-17. At the age of 17, he started his career in school business as a student worker within the accounting apprenticeship program for Murrieta Valley Unified School District, where he stayed and worked as a classified staff member within the purchasing and payroll departments for 14 years.
Patty Samford has been the Purchasing Supervisor at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, CA since 2018. Patty has led her team through many initiatives, most notably the implementation of Oracle financial system and Planet Bids online bidding system. Although Patty’s term as co-chair for the Northern California Community College Purchasing group ends May 1, 2022, she plans to continue to be an active participant in the California Community College Purchasing community.