Oregon Community College Association





Share on Social Media

Contact Us

Cam Preus, Executive Director

John Wykoff, Deputy Director

Karen Smith, General Counsel

Katie Archambault, Interim Operations Manager

Elizabeth Cox Brand, Executive Director, Student Success Center

Petrina Bigford, Administrative Assistant



260 13th St NE 

Salem, OR 97301

(503) 399-9912



OCCA Executive Committee

2018-19 OCCA Executive Committee










Denise Frisbee
OCCA President

Board member, Portland Community College

In 2014, Denise received the OCCA's Howard Cherry Award for Outstanding Board Member.
Her background is as an attorney with a focus on land use and government law, and her career has included serving as director of the Lake Oswego Community Development Department and the Planning and Building Departments, as well as executive director of a nonprofit, Statewide Organization for Schools, and as the Government and Community liaison for Lake Oswego School District, along with a variety of community and school-related volunteer roles.

Denise holds a JD from Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law, and a Bachelor's degree from Smith College. Denise and her husband and family enjoy the Northwest's out-of-doors offerings of hiking, bicycling, whitewater canoeing and skiing.











Annette Mattson
OCCA Vice President 

Board Member, Mt. Hood Community College

Annette currently serves on the boards of Children First for Oregon, Zenger Farm and the Clackamas County Business Alliance. She was a member of the David Douglas School Board for 18 years and on the Oregon School Boards Association Board of Directors for 8 years, including serving as OSBA President in 2009. She was also Chair of the Clackamas County Economic Development Commission in 2008 and the North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce in 2007. Annette recently retired from Portland General Electric where she worked as a local government affairs and public policy manager. She is a former student of Mt Hood Community College and has a BS in Human Development from Warner Pacific College. Annette and her husband live in east Portland and have 4 adult daughters in the metro area.










Debra Thatcher
OCCA Secretary

President, Umpqua Community College

Debra H. Thatcher, Ph.D. Dr. Debra Thatcher assumed the presidency of Umpqua Community College on July 1, 2016. She previously served 2 years as acting president and 2½ years as provost and vice president for academic affairs of the State University of New York at Cobleskill, an agricultural and technical college of approximately 2500 students located in rural upstate New York.

While at SUNY Cobleskill, Dr. Thatcher oversaw over $80 million of new construction and renovations; new academic programs; enhanced student internships and undergraduate research; and improved relationships with business and industry.

Prior to her service at SUNY Cobleskill, Dr. Thatcher was responsible for academic and student affairs in her role as provost and dean of faculty at Lees‐McRae College, a small, private college in southern Appalachia. She worked with the entire college community to increase enrollment and retention, add new academic programs, improve facilities, and increase community outreach.

While at Northern Michigan University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Dr. Thatcher served as associate dean of the College of Professional Studies and director of the School of Education. Under her leadership, significant modifications were made to the teacher education curriculum, including teaching classes onsite in local K‐12 schools and introducing an inquiry approach to teaching and learning.

Dr. Thatcher served as the elementary education coordinator and director of undergraduate teacher education at Salisbury University on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore. Her primary administrative responsibilities were for curriculum and assessment. She was also a professor of early childhood and mathematics for elementary school.








Birgitte Ryslinge
OCCA Treasurer

President, Oregon Coast Community College

Throughout her time in education, Birgitte has been closely involved with workforce and economic development, and partnering and advocacy with external stakeholders including industry, other education (K‐12 and other post‐secondary) and elected officials. Before focusing her career in community colleges, Dr. Ryslinge worked for 10 years in industry and this prior experience (corporate and small business) also informs her approach to student success, learning, innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr. Ryslinge is a native of Denmark who immigrated to the United States as a child with her family. She speaks Spanish and Danish, and enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, cycling and hiking.

Birgitte enjoys working with the external community to advance the role and position of the community college and has been very successful in that capacity developing important relationships and resources.










Susie Johnston

Board Member, Lane Community College

Susie is currently in her twelfth year as a Lane board member and served twice as chair. She also served as a K-12 Pleasant Hill School Board Member 1997-2009. She moved to Oregon over forty years ago. Susie’s varied Lane County community involvement has included: Lane Council of Government, Commission for Children and Families, Citizen Review Board, Cascade Foothills Library & Lane Library League, Loaned Executive for United Way Campaigns, Catholic Community Services, and for many years as the Symposium Coordinator for Jasper Mountain Center.

Susie and her partner, John, love to travel and spend time with their grandchildren in New York and Portland. She also enjoys gardening and flowers and needlework and photography. And…life.










Ron Fox
OCCA Member-at-Large

Board Member, Rogue Community College

Ron Fox currently serves as RCC’s board representative on the Oregon Community College Association Board. He is also a Board Member for The Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau and the Medford Schools Foundation. He is an active member of the Medford Rotary Club and previously served as a board member for the Medford Rotary Club.

His professional background covers over 25 years as an economic development executive for a multi-state regional utility, division manager with the State of Oregon Economic Development agency and as the Executive Director for Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (also known as SOREDI).

Ron grew up in southern Oregon prior to earning a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Business Administration and Technology. Ron enjoys southern Oregon’s outdoor offerings of hiking, fishing and skiing.










Julie Huckestein
Oregon Presidents Council Chair

President, Chemeketa Community College

Julie Huckestein has served as President of Chemeketa Community College in Salem Oregon since July 2014. Julie has over 30 years of experience in community colleges and held the position of Vice President/Chief Financial Officer prior to her appointment as president in 2015. She is a proud community college graduate and earned an AS degree in Business Administration from Linn-Benton Community College, a BA degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University and an MS degree in Education: Policy, Foundations and Administration from Portland State University.

She is a native Oregonian and a first generation college graduate. She is a former board member of the National American Association for Women in Community Colleges and has been active in the local and state organization for over 25 years. She is a member of the Marion County Reinvestment Council; Governor Brown’s Mid-Valley Regional Solutions Advisory Committee; and a board member on the Marion-Polk Food Share. She serves as a Commissioner for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities which oversees regional accreditation for 162 higher education institutions.

She and her husband Jim have three adult daughters and four small grandchildren.

Immediate Past President