Kyle Dickson, Board Chair
Position 3: Term ends 2021
2514 Pilgrim Estate Dr.
Texas City, TX 77590
Kyle and his wife, Mary Stratman Dickson were both born and raised in Texas City, graduating from Texas City High School in 1980 and 1976. They met while attending College of the Mainland in 1980.
Kyle received a B.B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1984, an M.B.A. from the University of Houston in 1987 and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1990. At South Texas he was a member of Phi Delta Phi Honorary Fraternity and served as the Assistant Editor of Corporate Council Review.
In 1999, Kyle left the private practice of law and joined C2C Fiber, Inc. as Senior Vice President/General Counsel. In 2002, Capital Telecommunications, Inc. acquired C2C Fiber, Inc. and from April 2002 to June 2006 he was Vice President of Business Development/General Counsel. Capital Telecommunications was acquired in July 2006 by StarVox Communications, Inc. and from July 2006 to July 2007 he was Vice President/General Counsel.
In late 2007 Kyle re-entered the private practice of law by joining McFatridge, Baker & Schmidt prior to merging with Murray-Lobb where he currently serves as the managing partner. Murray-Lobb provides legal services to banks and other financial institutions as well as a variety of other small and medium sized businesses.
Kyle supports and serves on many boards in his community including Mission Generation, Inc., Associated Credit Union of Texas, Mainland Communities Crime Stoppers, Inc. and the College of the Mainland Foundation, Inc.
Kyle and Mary’s children, Victoria and Kyle, Jr., are both graduates of Texas City High School. Victoria graduated in 2007 from California College of the Arts with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Fashion Design and Kyle graduated in 2015 from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
For many years Kyle’s wife taught earth science at Blocker Middle School, eventually becoming one of their counselors but is currently the counselor at Heights Elementary School in Texas City. Kyle and his wife attend First Baptist Church of Texas City.
Alan Waters, Vice-Chair
Position 2: Term ends 2021
#1 South Pintail Street
La Marque, TX 77568
President and owner of Modular Building Co. in Houston, Waters brings extensive management and financial experience to the board. Waters spent over 20 years in the police and corporate security fields and rose to police chief in a suburb of Atlanta and later as corporate security director for Compaq Computer Corporation. He also has experience in the educational environment as he has been adjunct faculty at three community colleges and the University of Houston.
Waters has been married to Yolanda Waters for 25 years and has two daughters, both of whom attended community colleges prior to attending four-year colleges. He has a Bachelor of Science from Purdue/U.S.D. and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.
Alan feels very strongly that COM is important in the community, must be a good neighbor and must provide an environment that exceeds the expectations of our customer, the student. He believes that COM is moving in the correct direction, and he wants to make sure it continues succeeding.
Rosalie Kettler, Secretary
Position 4: Term ends 2019
4604 19th St. E.
Dickinson, Texas 77539
Rosalie Radicioni Kettler understands the direct correlation between education and the nation's progress.
Kettler, who has served on the College of the Mainland District Board of Trustees as its secretary since 2007, said COM plays an essential role in the community.
"The progress of our country depends on the education of our young people," Kettler said. "COM is dedicated to offering affordable courses that focus on student success and the community´s needs."
Kettler would like to see COM attract and retain more students. She hopes the College will expand its physical facilities and offer more programs.
"COM’s open door policy allows anyone who wants an education to take a variety of courses that are very affordable," Kettler said. "The first year initiative program is a great opportunity for students to learn how to study for college courses. Students become better parents, husbands or wives, and community members after taking the class."
COM has always been a special place for Kettler.
"All (five) of my children attended COM during their summers home from four-year institutions because it was an affordable option and conveniently close to home," she said. "My daughter was in the dual credit program, which helped her graduate from a four-year institution in three and a half years."
She´s been involved in education as a member of the Dickinson Independent School District Alumni Association. She serves on the Association of Community College Trustees where she is a member of the Communication and Education Committee.
Kettler was born and raised in Dickinson, the city she still calls home. She owned a hair salon called A Cut in Time in Dickinson for more than 20 years before she retired in 2006. She is a longtime member of the Dickinson Historical Society. She attends Shrine of the True Cross Catholic Church in Dickinson.
Kettler and her husband, Terrence, have five children and 12 grandchildren.
Position 1: Term ends 2019
P.O. Box 733
La Marque, Texas 77568
In 28 years as a member of the College of the Mainland Board of Trustees, Bennie Matthews has been a leader with several different roles—vice chairman (1985–87), chairman (1987–1991), secretary (1995–97, 1999–2007) and chairman of the board (2007–11).
The one constant has been Matthews´ dedication to providing a high quality secondary and postsecondary education to students in mainland Galveston County.
"Over the years, COM has been able to give students the academics to succeed at an affordable price," Matthews said. "Education at a four-year institution is very expensive. I would like to see us develop into a college that can offer an affordable bachelor´s degree."
Matthews´ experiences as a student, alumna, teacher and longtime supporter of education give her special insight.
"Across the board I want all of COM´s educational programs to continue to grow and succeed," Matthews said. "It is necessary for COM to provide an opportunity for students to get on track and be gainfully employed."
Matthews, a Texas City resident since 1959, has shown her educational leadership in the classroom and beyond. She retired from La Marque Independent School District after more than 36 years as a high school mathematics teacher.
In 2006, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) honored Matthews as a life member. She currently serves on ACCT's Audit and Finance Committee. She also serves on the La Marque ISD Foundation for the Future Board and the College of the Mainland Foundation Board. She´s a former state director of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, a past president of the Mainland Retired Teachers Association, a former president of the La Marque Classroom Teachers Organization and a former secretary of the District Four Retired Teachers Association. Matthews earned her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics from Huston–Tillotson University in Austin and her Master of Science in chemistry and mathematics from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M.
Beyond her contributions to local and state education, Matthews has volunteered for the American Red Cross. She's a member of St. George's Episcopal Church where she serves on several committees.
Position 6: Term ends 2019
P.O. Box 2722
Texas City, TX 77592
Rachel Delgado attended La Marque schools and graduated from Living Stones Christian School. She attended College of the Mainland from 1995-1996, earning 70 hours before transferring to Baylor University.
“My time at College of the Mainland was instrumental in expanding my intellectual and economic ambitions," said Delgado. “As a new high school graduate, the learning environment at COM embraced me and stimulated a lifelong passion for learning that has enriched my life ever since."
In addition to being a full-time mother of four, Delgado is a multi-family real estate investor with apartment buildings in three Texas counties, a job that has heightened her interest in community involvement.
“Our family has put a tremendous amount of our time, effort and money into building up equity in our apartments and providing our tenants with a nice place to raise their families,” explained Delgado. “Over time, the experience gives you a sharp eye for assessing opportunities, for measuring the performance of an enterprise and also a keen interest in local tax-and-spend issues."
Delgado’s feelings for the College and its performance are very personal but also typical of so many other county residents. Her desire is to ensure that COM is able to deliver on its mission of student success.
“Galveston County is growing – in the last ten years, the county has added 45,000 additional residents, more than 18 percent growth,” said Delgado. “COM has both tremendous opportunities as well as challenges. Ensuring student success is job number one – the College exists to educate."
COM’s student outcomes, as measured by degrees granted and certificates issued is a major area of concern for Delgado, and she intends to focus on these matters, find solutions and make improvements. She believes that whenever possible COM must partner with local industry as this will ensure the economic success of students.
“A good job is the number one economic development program for families and I’m committed to ensuring we maximize the employment potential of our graduates,” Delgado said.
Donald G. Gartman
Position 7: Term ends 2023 - At Large Position
5321 Forest Cove Dr.
Dickinson, TX 77539
A veteran, businessman and community advocate, Don Gartman has spent decades serving Galveston County.
Gartman’s career began when he joined the Army, three days after high school graduation. After military service, he worked various construction jobs, and with the City of Austin electrical utility department.
No one in his family had gone to college. One scorching day during lunch break, a conversation with his foreman changed his mind about higher education.
"He said, ‘Don, you’re much too intelligent to be working in the hot sun like this! You need to get an education and become an engineer.’ I asked, ‘What does an engineer do?’ He said, ‘See that power plant? There is an electrical engineer running it,’” Gartman recalled.
In June 1966 Gartman earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Southwest Texas State University, with a major in business management and minor in economics.
“After graduation, I visited my foreman and told him how he had changed my life,” said Gartman. “I get emotional thinking about it because I come from a very poor background.”
Gartman held many executive positions with Houston Lighting and Power, Reliant Energy and CenterPoint Energy. From 1995 to 2002, he was chairman, president and CEO of EDESE, an electric distribution company located in northwest Argentina that was purchased by Reliant Energy.
“The company had been owned by the state government and was in terrible condition. We trained and developed good employees, improved efficiency and developed an award-winning company over an eight-year period. That was the greatest experience of my life,” said Gartman. “Every challenge or job I have had, I have done the very best I could. I truly believe that’s the key to any success in life.”
In 2004, he helped restructure and develop the Galveston County Economic Alliance, and created the Galveston County Economic Alliance Foundation that sponsors the Galveston County Small Business Development Center.
Gartman has a long history with community boards. He has also served as a Galveston Chamber of Commerce president and board member, Texas City Rotary board member, and Galveston United Way president and board member.
Another way of giving back is serving on the College of the Mainland Board of Trustees.
“I am a strong believer in community colleges,” said Gartman. “Your degree from a community college can be rewarding to your career, or it can be a stepping stone toward a four-year degree at a major university, without the large debt.”
Position 5: Term ends 2023
1061 Misty Cliff
Dickinson, TX 77539
Melissa Skipworth is a resource manager for Grant Thornton LLP, an accounting firm. She has been involved in the community as a member of her neighborhood homeowner association and volunteer during “community impact days” with her company.
“Community colleges are becoming more important as university tuition increases and the demand for employees with degrees is increasing. COM has great workforce and 50 plus programs,” said Skipworth. “I want COM to be people’s first choice to work or to go to college. We need to increase transparency and trust. I want to work with President Warren Nichols and the board to improve facilities and resources for faculty, staff, students and the community.”
Skipworth first became involved with COM after moving to Dickinson. Her husband, Sean Skipworth, is a COM government professor.
“Great things happen at COM every day. We have high-quality staff and faculty who care about students. We’re a resource in your backyard,” said Skipworth.