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Peralta Colleges Board Elects New Officers for 2014

16 December 2013

The Peralta Community College District’s Board of Trustees, at its annual organizational meeting held on December 10, 2013, elected new officers for 2014.

The outgoing president, Cy Gulassa, who represents Area 6, was also honored at the meeting for his work leading the Board in 2013.  

Abel Guillén, who represents Area 7, was elected President of the nine-member board, and Meredith Brown, representing  Area 2, was elected Vice President. Dr. José M. Ortiz, Chancellor of the District, was elected Board Secretary.

Nicky González Yuen, Area 4, Cy Gulassa, Linda Handy, Area 3, Dr. William “Bill” Riley, Area 5 and Bill Withrow, Area 1, will continue to serve on the Board. Student Trustees serving on the Board are Sharon Clegg and Wai Li.  

Abel Guillén is a proud product of California’s public schools. Professionally, he has assisted hundreds of K-14 districts in California in securing over $2 billion in general obligation bond program funding for facility improvements. In 2000, Guillén served as policy analyst for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign. In the 1990s, Guillén was in the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and served as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow.

The son of a baker and a cook, Guillén was the first in his family to attend college. He has a Master’s Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts, also from UC Berkeley. At Cal, he fought to expand educational opportunities for all and received the Priestly Award for “contributions to student welfare” upon his graduation. In 2012, Guillén was named “Legislator of the Year” by an Oakland non-profit organization.

Meredith Brown has over 25 years of experience in complex litigation and representing small businesses, public agencies and construction owners on large projects. From 1989 to 2000, she practiced construction law, business litigation, and contracts and procurement law. Brown represented regional transportation agencies and special districts with a well-established firm in Oakland and in San Francisco before starting her own law practice. She received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1983 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger Honorary Society.

Brown received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1988.  She served as a clerk for United States Magistrate Joyce London Alexander, First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988. Brown has served on the volunteer board of a local early childhood education center and worked as a literacy volunteer for a regional community service group. Brown is a youth sports coach, volunteer community youth sports board member, a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus and has served as a judge pro tem for the Alameda County Superior Court for several years as well as serving as the president of the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club. Brown is married and the mother of two children.

Filed under: Board of Trustees, Press Release

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  • Peralta Community College District is comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College. Together they provide northern Alameda County a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities.
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