Former Group Health Foundation CEO joins college effort to raise resources

Shoreline Community College is taking a significant step toward increasing resources that will help the college better serve the needs of students.

Laura Rehrmann will join the college as Special Assistant to the President for Community Engagement following action by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, to approve funding for the position.

Laura Rehrmann photo

Laura Rehrmann

“I couldn’t be happier that Laura is joining us,” President Cheryl Roberts said. “Laura has tremendous skills and experience that will help us reach out to those who want to support the college in meeting the needs of our students and the communities we serve.”

Roberts received positive reactions from representatives of the faculty and classified unions as well as student leadership before bringing the proposal forward. Following the board vote, Trustee Phil Barrett said: “I’m very excited; this is a step in the right direction.”

Rehrmann recently retired as president and CEO of the Group Health Foundation and vice president for community responsibility for Group Health Cooperative. She just completed her term as president of Seattle 4 Rotary, the largest Rotary in the world. From 1993-98, Rehrmann served as executive director of the then-Seattle Central Community College Foundation.

Rehrmann is a graduate of Seattle University.  She earned a master’s degree in Not-for-Profit Executive Leadership from SU in 1996 and now serves on the advisory committee for the program. Rehrmann is a Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and a Certified Fund Raising Executive.

“A focal point of Laura’s work will be the capital campaign that is required for our new health sciences building,” Roberts said. The project is on the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ list of capital projects that would be funded with legislative approval.

“Laura will also help us with donor development, community development and work with the foundation staff and foundation board members,” Roberts said.

What Rehrmann won’t be, Roberts said, is executive director of the foundation.

“In the short term, Laura will support the foundation to help prepare for an executive director,” Roberts said. “Laura’s work will create the environment that will allow the college and foundation to recruit an executive director. Laura will be involved in helping find the right person for that ongoing leadership position.”

The funding approved by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday will pay Rehrmann $75,000 a year for two years.

While she will have an office in the foundation offices, Rehrmann won’t be on campus full time, Roberts said. “Laura will be out working with community members and college partners on behalf of the college and our students,” she said.

Roberts told the board members that Rehrmann will start work on Friday, Dec. 5.

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