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NMJC Board Chairman Stepping Down

NMJC Board Chairman Stepping Down photo 7/2/2014 2:40:23 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

Story by Denise Marquez, Hobbs News-Sun

After 11 years serving as the chairman for the New Mexico Junior College board, Guy Kesner has stepped down from his position.

Recently Kesner purchased and moved to a new home, which changed the district he lives in from District 3 to District 4. With the change in districts Kesner had to vacate his seat with the NMJC board.

“I sold my house in my district and moved into another board member’s district,” Kesner said. “When we bought the house I didn’t even think about me being a member of the board at NMJC and how that would affect it.”  

Steve McCleery, NMJC president, said Kesner has been a great asset to the board.

“I think Guy Kesner has grown to become a phenomenal board chair for NMJC and for the taxpayers in Lea County and the state,” he said. “He is extremely intelligent and he has a great finance background. You’ve got to have someone on the board who has that wise finance background. We’re going to miss him.”

McCleery said with the vacant seat on the board there are two options for the board to fill the seat. The board can appoint someone to finish out Kesner’s term, which ends March 2015, or leave it vacant until the board’s general election.

“I think what the board will probably do is appoint someone to fill that unexpired term,” McCleery said. “To appoint them they have to live in the district that (Kesner) is vacating. They could leave it vacant and let people announce and wait for the election, but that puts the board at only six members ... it can become problematic.”

The board plans to have a person to appoint and vote on a new chairperson by the next NMJC board meeting July 24, McCleery said.

“They’ll select a new chair and then they will have to select a secretary,” he said. “Typically that goes to somebody who expresses that they want it and who has been on the board a while. (Kesner will) call the meeting to order and then pass the baton.”

Kesner said he is sure the board will find a qualified person to fill his seat.

“I am sad that I’m not going to be on the board anymore, but there is a lot of great people that reside in my district,” he said. “The college will be represented well when they find the replacement for my district.”

Kesner said he is honored to be part of many of the projects accomplished at NMJC and the decisions made that have benefited the college and community.

“As a board member, my opinion is the best thing we’ve done as a board is to retain McCleery as president of the college,” he said. “Since I’ve been on the board we added the Western Heritage Museum, which is fantastic, we added two student apartment complexes and we’ve added an outreach and training facility, remodeled and added the Ben Alexander student services facility. We’ve made a lot of changes in the last 11 years that are going to benefit the citizens of Lea County for years to come.”

McCleery said Kesner’s role on the board was impressive and professional.

“He allows for great debate to happen among board members,” he said “They can disagree on an issue, but he’s fostered the willingness to look for win-wins, but once the vote is taken it’s over. He understands that the role of a board member is to hire and fire the president, to approve policy and the budget and empower the staff to run the college.”

Kesner said he is thankful for being voted onto the board and will miss his duties as a board member and chairman.

“I’d love to thank all the constituents for giving me the honor to serve as a NMJC board member,” he said. “All the faculty and staff and administration have done a fantastic job. Given the opportunity to give out diplomas at graduation every year and seeing the excitement on those young men and young women’s face is probably what I’ll miss the most.”

Denise Marquez can be reached at 391-5437 or at  .

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