Board of Directors

The Palo Verde College Foundation relies upon the service of those in the community with a deep desire to give back. These individuals know that through their service to others, our community has access to a skilled labor force, and they give students the opportunity to reach their educational goals. Palo Verde College Foundation Directors manage the assets, and the business and financial affairs of the Foundation. The Board of Directors serves as the policy making body of the Palo Verde College Foundation and they annually adopt a budget to support and control the fundraising activities of the Foundation.

The Board of Directors primary role is to expand the financial resources of the Foundation and the stewardship of those funds for the maximum benefit of the College, scholarships, a variety of grant programs, and its community. The Foundation Board of Directors is an active, working, participatory organization, and our Directors personal involvement is key to the success of the Foundation.

2021-2022 Executive Committee

Marcella Thomas Marcella Thomas, President (Elected 2002)
Marcella serves as the President of the PVC Foundation Board and has previously worked at the college as an adjunct instructor. She was born and raised in Blythe, and is an alum of Palo Verde Valley High School and Palo Verde Community College. She is active in the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the PVUSD Alternate Governance Group. Marcella loves education and helping others succeed using education as a means to a better life.
Teresa Houston Teresa Houston, Vice President (Elected 2011)
Teresa currently teaches at the Palo Verde Valley High School as an English Instructor, and is a graduate of the PVVHS Class of 1991. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a Teaching Credential from National University. Teresa was born and raised in Blythe, where she resides with her husband and three children. She is very active in the community, coaching in Blythe Little League, and Blythe PAL, Desert Dolphin Swim team coach and swim instructor. She is also very active in the St. Joan of Arc church serving in the Altar Society and Catechist.
Donald Wallace

Dr. Donald G. Wallace, Secretary (Ex-Officio 2012)
Don came to Blythe in 2012 and currently serves at the Superintendent/President of Palo Verde Community College. He has a PhD from Oregon State University, and a Master's in Public Administration from Portland State University. Don has a passion for music and performs with the resident PVC group, Mesa Sharps and D Flats. Don loves to travel with his wife, whom he met in Blythe.

Stephanie Slagan Stephanie Slagan, Vice President of Administrative Services (Ex-Officio 2018)
Stephanie serves as the Executive Director of Palo Verde College Foundation, and has worked at the college since 2006, serving in various roles within the Administrative Services and Student Services offices. She has a Master's Degree in Public Administration, and is both a Palo Verde Valley High School and Palo Verde Community College alum. Stephanie loves everything Disney, and enjoys taking frequent trips to Disneyland with her husband Andrew and two children Abigail and Taylor.


Louise Alford Louise Alford (Elected 2012)
Louise has dedicated her life and career to the education of children and adults. She is a 1952 alum of Palo Verde Community College, where she currently teaches as an adjunct instructor, and has lived in Blythe since 1940. Louise loves spending time with her family and friends celebrating holidays, birthdays and other events. Louise is very active in the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, as well as other community clubs and associations.
Rachel Angel Rachel Angel (Elected 2018)
Ms. Angel currently services as the Principal of Palo Verde Valley High School. She has a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Art's from CSU San Bernardino, two teaching credentials in Elementary Education and Applied Administration, and her Associates degree in Liberal and General Studies from Palo Verde Community College. Rachel is also active in the Colorado River Country Junior Livestock Show, the Blythe Junior Women's Club, a Catechist at St. Joan of Arc Church, and is the originating Advisor for the National Elementary Honor's Society. When she is not volunteering, Rachel spends her time with her two daughters, playing games and going for rides in the desert.
Jennifer Arneson (Elected 2020)
Jennifer has been active with the Foundation since 2020.
Lale Cilenti Lale Cilenti (Ex-Officio 2018)
Lale serves at the Dean of the Needles Center for Palo Verde Community College District. She is also the Executive Director and voting member of the Palo Verde River Adult Education Consortium. Lale has lived in the Needles area since 2005 and is very active in her community. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Valley View Medical Center in Bullhead City, AZ. Lale has a bachelor's and a master's degree in Chemistry.
Eric Egan

Eric Egan (Elected 2020)
Eric is currently the Director of Information Technology at Palo Verde College and was the Vice Mayor of Blythe, California. Formerly a California Correctional Officer, Eric has worked at PVC for 20 years. He is a Palo Verde College alum and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management and a Master's in Cybersecurity and Data Assurance. Eric considers himself to be a lifelong learner.

Denise Hunt Denise Hunt(Elected 2018)
Denise serves at the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent/President and Foundation and has worked at Palo Verde Community College since 2001, spending a considerable amount of time assisting the Foundation. She moved to Blythe in 1989, and is a Palo Verde College alum, as are her two children. Denise is passionate about family genealogy and enjoys painting, crocheting, crafting and all types of music and cooking.
Sunil Lal Julene Marquez (Elected 2020)
Julene Marquez is a small-town girl at heart. Originally from Wisconsin, Julene moved to Blythe in 2001 with her husband and three children. Julene is a veteran of the United States Navy. She is a Palo Verde College Alum and was also an experienced employee in several fields, with her most recent positions being Business Services Technician and Financial Aid Technician. After fourteen years she retired to be a caregiver for her family. Julene enjoys the outdoors, reading, and exercising her creativity. Julene strongly believes in the success of all potential and current students and Alumni of Palo Verde College and is serving on the Foundation Board as a volunteer to further that cause.
Sunil Lal

Jon McNeil (Elected 2020)
Currently retired, Jon has lived in Needles, California for the last year and a half. He worked in education for 45 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. Jon attended Monrovia High School, Citrus Community College and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with his Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science with a PE minor. He got a teaching credential from La Vern College and his administration Masters and credential from Azusa Pacific College. He attended USC for a Doctorate and will resume his dissertation. Still serving as a consult for schools and serving on many boards, Jon considers himself to be a very active and involved person. Jon’s wife is the school superintendent in Needles and his stepson is the director of economic development.

Lois Shaffer Lois Shaffer (Elected 2014)
Lois moved to Blythe in 1986 as an elementary school teacher, and is currently the Director of Data, Assessment, and Accountability at Palo Verde Unified School District. She has a Master's of Science degree in Educational Administration. She is a member of the Rotary Club, Blythe Chamber of Commerce Board, and also a member of the Zion Lutheran Church Council and Elders' Board. Lois loves spending time with her daughter, who attends Palo Verde College.
Dawn Williams

Edward Singh (Elected 2020)
As the current Director of Special Services for the Palo Verde Unified School District and former Director of Student Services for the Brawley Elementary School District, Edward has supervised more than 1000 Special Education staff members in a career spanning over 30 years. To this day, he still visits classrooms and stays connected to counselors, school psychologist, special education teachers, mental health providers and students who appreciate his personal touch. His thirty years in Student Services/Special Education have won him praise from students and colleagues who describe Edward as “a transformational leader and a professional.” Beyond the Palo Verde Unified School District, he is passing his expertise on to a new generation of counselors, psychologist and mental health professionals by teaching at Palo Verde College. Edward has helped create many programs that have become models for special education and counseling models across the two counties. In addition to his professional life, he is a husband, father, and grandfather of two grandchildren.

Dawn Williams

William Smith (Elected 2020)
William came to the Palo Verde Valley as a young man. As an entrepreneur he has owned and operated a number of businesses. He currently serves as the Interim Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at Palo Verde College. He holds a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, a Bachelors in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. Mr. Smith is a Palo Verde College alum. He enjoys traveling and learning about history. His 4 teenagers also keep him busy.

Dawn Williams

Vanja Velickovska (Elected 2020)
Vanja was born and raised in Macedonia. She moved to Sweden to pursue her Master’s Degree followed by a move to Las Vegas to pursue her Doctorate in Biological Sciences (Cell Physiology) at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Working as a teaching assistant during her graduate program, she discovered a love for teaching. Vanja believes that anyone can learn, given that the topic provokes interest and enthusiasm. She tries to make topics interesting to her students and to provoke their genuine interest for the sciences. Believe it or not, Vanja loves the desert and the heat. “I love living here as the winters are warm with no snow”. She also enjoys reading, swimming, hiking, and taking care of her 3 children, husband and 5 pets.

Dawn Williams

Leslie Jessop-Watkins (Elected 2020)
Leslie has made Blythe her home since 1978 with the exception of 6 years of service in the United States Navy after graduating from Palo Verde High School. She owns several small businesses with her husband Rory and they are active in many community functions. Leslie holds a Master’s of Business Administration and has been an adjunct instructor in Business for Palo Verde College since 2019. She joined the Palo Verde College Foundation board in 2020 and serves on the Scholarship Committee. Leslie is an advocate for adults with disabilities and serves on the Sheltering Wings board of directors in Blythe, where the abilities of adults are emphasized. Leslie and Rory are avid travelers and they enjoy boating, fishing, camping, and photography in their spare time.

Dawn Williams Dawn Williams (Elected 2016)
Dawn has been active with the Foundation since 2016 and currently serves on the nominating committee.

Emeritus Directors

Ron Baker
Ron Baker, 2018