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.
Melissa Skipworth, Secretary
Position 5: Term ends 2023
1061 Misty Cliff
Dickinson, TX 77539
Melissa Skipworth is a resident of Dickinson, TX and graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Business Administration. Skipworth has been married to Sean Skipworth for 11 years and they have a 6 year old son attending Dickinson ISD.
Skipworth has spent over 10 years in Human Resources focused in corporate recruiting for the Healthcare, Oil & Gas, and Information Technology Industries on a national level. In addition to supporting the recruiting cycle from privately-owned businesses to Fortune 500’s, Skipworthalso specialized in process improvements and systems implementation for hiring and on-boarding.
In 2013, Skipworth made a career change from recruiting to capacity management. As a Resource Manager for Grant Thornton, she optimizes deployment with consideration of the company strategy, the needs of the client engagement, and the practitioner’s development goals.
“What I love about my role is that the Resource Manager is the only Talent professional who maintains an assigned, one-on-one relationship with practitioners. Delivering effective career coaching and development in the context of deployment is core to this relationship.”
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.
Skipworth believes community colleges are becoming more important as university tuition increases and the demand for employees with degrees is increasing.
“College of the Mainland has provided countless students with the opportunity to receive a first class education and enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed,” 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 the President and the board to improve facilities and resources for faculty, staff, students and the community.”
Position 4: Term ends 2025
2525 Overland Trail
Dickinson, Texas 77539
Dawn King is a lifelong, fourth generation Galveston County resident, graduate of Dickinson High School and of College of the Mainland.
King’s mission is to make a positive contribution to a team that is committed to the successful growth of all the communities that College of the Mainland serves.
“College of the Mainland has been at the center of all of my professional goals,” said King. “My opportunities for higher education came later in life. COM’s location, reasonable cost and dedicated staff are the reasons I succeeded. I’m proud to have the chance to serve an institution that gave so much to me.”
Prior to working as a realtor with Bayou Realtors, Inc. in Dickinson, King worked for the City of League City as the Assistant to the Mayor and City Administrator, then went on to become the City’s first Public Information Officer and worked for the City of Friendswood City Secretary’s office.
King is a founding member of the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as the president, is active with the Dickinson Economic Development Corporation and the city’s Board of Adjustments and Building Standards Commission as well as the Dickinson Historical Society and the 50 Club of Galveston County.
King lives in Dickinson and is married to Jason, who is a construction manager with Dow Chemical in Texas City. She has one son, Tyler, and three step-daughters; Robin, Megan, and Emily.
Dr. Verna Henson
Position 1: Term ends 2025
7306 Heron Lane
Texas City, TX 77591
Verna Henson grew up in La Marque and is a proud graduate of Lincoln High School. She graduated on a Friday night and began her college career at the University of Houston on the following Monday morning. After some interruptions for work (17-year career with Southwestern Bell and AT&T) and marriage, she was earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston-Downtown.
In August 1988, Verna was among the first cohort of students to qualify for and be awarded a Gus Ridgel Fellowship from the University of Missouri. In 1990, she earned a Master of Arts degree in sociology and three years later completed all requirements for a PhD except the dissertation. In 1994, after teaching for one semester at the University of Houston- Downtown, Verna accepted a one-year lecturer position in the Department of Criminal Justice at what was then Southwest Texas State University. She was awarded a tenure-track position in 1995 and received her doctorate in sociology in 1997. Verna became director of the Texas Success Initiative Program (formerly TASP) in 2002. She retired from Texas State University in January 2013 and was honored with the Assistant Professor Emerita title.
“I see College of the Mainland as the gateway to higher education for many area students,” said Henson, who along with her younger brother, Charles, are first-generation college graduates. “Its accessibility, affordability and quality course delivery by excellent instructors makes it a viable choice for all students. As a COM trustee, I am dedicated to cultivating an environment that insures student success in the academic setting and beyond.”
Verna is the proud mother of three children - Michelle, Monica and Charles, grandmother of seven -Jeremy, Corbin, Cierra, Colin, Caleb, C.J. and Chaz and a great-grandmother to Caylee.
Dr. William (Bill) McGarvey
Position 6: Term ends 2025 – At Large Position
808 Buttonwood Dr.
Texas City, TX 77591
After graduating from La Marque High School, McGarvey attended College of the Mainland, graduating with an Associate of Arts. He then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin where, as a Phi Beta Kappa, earned a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in economics. McGarvey furthered his education by earning a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in computer information systems from Nova Southeastern University.
McGarvey began his career at American National Insurance Company as a computer programmer before going to work for International Business Machines (IBM) for more than 20 years. In 1997, he was inducted into IBM's Golden Circle, an award reserved for the company's highest performing employees. In 2003, McGarvey left IBM to start his own business, William McGarvey Enterprises, which owns and manages residential rental properties.
McGarvey served as chair of COMPAC, an organization of volunteer citizens who advocated in favor of passing the COM 2018 bond referendum. He currently is a board member of both the Texas City ISD Foundation for the Future and the College of the Mainland Foundation.
McGarvey is married to his wife, Genevieve. He has three children and five grandchildren.
As McGarvey says, "College of the Mainland will always have a special place in my heart. When I graduated from high school, I had neither the grades, nor the money, nor the maturity to make it at a four-year university, but thanks to College of the Mainland, I had the opportunity to pursue a higher education and this changed the direction of my life.
"I often refer to College of the Mainland as one of the crown jewels of our community and I look forward to a future where our crown jewel shines ever brighter."
Donald G. Gartman
Position 7: Term ends 2023 - At Large Position
2538 Quaker Dr.
Texas City, TX 77590
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.”