Board of Trustees Members

Nonna Hon. John Nonna
Board of Trustees Chair
Nonna, a former member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, is a practicing lawyer and managing partner of the New York office of Patton Boggs, a leading national law firm in the areas of public policy, litigation and business law. He has balanced a successful law practice with public service, including various roles in Pleasantville, New York, including mayor. In that position, he led the effort to bring affordable housing to seniors through a public private partnership, facilitated the establishment of the Jacob Burns Film Center, and fostered the revitalization of the Pleasantville business district.He was the chair of the Board of Legislators Legislation Committee, shepherding in the passage of term limits, ethics reform, flood control law and the creation of the charter revision commission through the legislature.

 

Stern Betsy Stern
Vice Chair
Betsy has been a member of the WCC Foundation Board of Directors since 1985.  She is a former president of the board as well as a former chair.  Betsy is responsible for the development of the Foundation’s Volunteer program, Native Plant Center, and Gateway initiative among many other things.  She is a true champion of the college and joined the WCC Board of Trustees in 2009, currently serving as the Vice President.  Betsy serves on the Executive, Celebrity Salons, and Governance Committees.

 

Spano Hon. Andrew J. Spano
Vice Chair
Mr. Spano has worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator in both New York City and Westchester County for nearly thirty years. He also helped to establish the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, which seeks to raise educational standards and advocates on behalf of fair working conditions for education professionals.After his educational career, Mr. Spano served as the Westchester County Clerk for four years and then as the Chairman of the Westchester County Democratic Party. In 1998 he was elected Westchester County Executive for three terms. Mr. Spano also served as a member of the Governors SAGE commission and is Vice President of the Board of Managers at the Trump Park Residences in Shrub Oak.

 

Toni's-Head-Shot-(2) Toni Cox-Burns
Westchester Community College Board member Toni Cox-Burns is a distinguished career educator who has effectively used her leadership skills and innovative ideas in an array of organizations, projects and civic causes.Ms. Cox-Burns, who has resided in Westchester County for over thirty-five years, was a founding member of the White Plains Library Foundation, a past Board member of Arts Westchester (formerly, Westchester Arts Council) and her vision inspired creation of the African American Writers and Readers Literary Tea. She founded American Women of African Heritage, Inc. (AWAH), an organization whose mission is the empowerment of women and girls of African heritage, education and fostering inter-generational dialogue.

Appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2004, Ms. Cox-Burns is a steadfast advocate for diversity in all areas of the College. She is an active member of NYCCT, a state-wide association of trustees and ACCT, a national organization for community college trustees. Ms. Cox-Burns holds a BA from Fisk University and earned a Masters at New York University.

 

McLaughlin
Joseph P McLaughlin
Joseph P McLaughlin has been a high school English teacher for 41 years. He has taught at Harrison High School for 38 of those years. He is chairman of the New York State Teachers’ retirement board and a member of the executive committee of the New York State United Teachers.

 

Mitchell Dr. LeRoy Mitchell
Dr. LeRoy W. Mitchell obtained his primary and secondary education on the island of Dominica, W. I.  After teaching there, both at the primary and secondary levels, he was awarded the Christian Brothers Scholarship to study at Iona College.  At Iona, he received a BBA (Magna Cum Laude) in Accounting, and was awarded another scholarship which culminated in the MBA in accounting one year later.While at Iona, he interned with the international accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company (now KPMG).  Upon graduation, he accepted a position with another international accounting firm, Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young).  There he remained until he was recruited to join the faculty of his alma mater, Iona College.  During that time he obtained a Doctorate in Public Administration at the Wagner School of Public Service of New York University.  Dr. Mitchell retired in February 2015 as Professor of Accounting at Iona with 41 years of service at the College.Dr. Mitchell is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), and an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP).He is past president of the Estate Planning Council of Westchester County.  Dr. Mitchell was the National Chair of the Association of Community College Trustees from 2013-2014, and has held several other positions of leadership in that organization since 2010.His civic and community activities include Treasurer of the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, Treasurer of the New Rochelle Police Foundation, Secretary of the Industrial Development Agency of the City of New Rochelle, founding member of the New Rochelle Overall Economic Development Corporation, Life Member of NAACP, member of the Government Accounting and Auditing Committee of the New York State Society of CPA’s, and a 13 Year Trustee of Westchester Community College, and treasurer of New York Community College Trustees Association (NYCCT).He holds memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Government Accountants, the Calabria Society, Commonwealth of Dominica Improvement Association, and the Dominica Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He is the recipient of the Roth Memorial Award for excellence in Business Administration, the Catholic Accountants’ Guild award for excellence in accountancy at Iona College, and the National Educator Award for the Association of Government Accountants and is listed in Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.

He is the 2003 recipient of James P. Kelly award for outstanding Public Service by the Westchester chapter of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Dr. Mitchell is the co-author of several articles in accounting.  He is a consult to many small businesses in tax, business, and estate planning matters, and has been a guest speaker for professional organizations in the U.S.

 

Bikkal
Robin Bikkal, Esq.
Robin Bikkal is the owner of Bikkal & Associates, in White Plains, New York, and a former Senior Partner at Silverman Bikkal & Sandberg, LLP. She concentrates her practice in the field of immigration and nationality law. For over 20 years she has successfully represented corporations, individuals and families in diverse immigration-related matters including family-based petitions, employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, deportation and removal proceedings, VAWA, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions (SIJS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), criminal immigration defense proceedings, naturalization and citizenship applications, registry applications, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ms. Bikkal has also been highly successful when retained to reopen or appeal matters previously denied by the government. She lectures extensively throughout the Hispanic community and to Not-for-Profit Organizations on all matters related to the field of immigration and nationality. Most recently she moderated a CLE program on immigration sponsored by Pace Law School and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.In addition to her work in the field of immigration and citizenship, Ms. Bikkal has a long history of civic involvement. Currently, she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College, and as a member of the Service Academy Review Board for U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, and is the co-chair of the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester.  She is the former chair of the Westchester County Hispanic Advisory Board, and as President of El Centro Hispano De White Plains, a not-for-profit organization serving the Hispanic communities of White Plains and surrounding areas. She is a Former Director of the Westchester County Bar Association. Previously, she also served as President of Westchester Hispanic Coalition, President of the Lupus Foundation of America, Westchester Chapter. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, member of the Ridgeway Elementary School School-based Council, she served as a member of the Purchase College Council, member of the Board of Directors, YWCA in White Plains, New York, and a Volunteer Attorney for both the Westchester Hispanic Coalition and EL Centro Hispano De White Plains as well as an Advisory Associate of the Westchester Community Foundation, and member of the Board of the Westchester Education Coalition. Robin is the Founding Chair of the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester and is a Past Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee.

 

Ms. Bikkal is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French.

 

jacknis Dr. Norman J. Jacknis
Dr. Norman Jacknis, Director, Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s open innovation and pro-bono strategic advisory group), is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation.At Cisco, since 2008, he has worked extensively and in-depth with the National Association of Counties and the US Conference of Mayors. For the Mayors, he is developing a strategy for the economic viability of American cities in 2030. In addition to his work on economic development, he has also worked at both the Federal and local government level on the creation of collaborative environments for citizens to deliver public services.His recent written work includes a blog for elected government executives, “A New Kind Of Public Square For Urban America” in Transforming American Governance: Rebooting The Public Square [2011], “Government’s Role In Facilitating An Innovative Economy” for the International Journal on Innovation Science [2011], “Transformation of the Local Government CTO/CIO” in CIO Leadership For Cities And Counties: Emerging Trends and Practices [2009], and “Westchester County Case Study” in Case Studies on Digital Government [2007].
Dr. Jacknis has extensive executive and leadership experience in local and state government. Before joining Cisco in Feb. 2008, Jacknis served more than ten years as CIO and commissioner of Westchester County, NY government, where he was responsible for all of the government’s technology, analytics, Internet and broadband activities, as well as technology-based economic development. In addition to the County government, he provided these services to municipalities and other non-profit community organizations.Under his leadership, Westchester County won numerous awards, including the Center for Digital Government’s top ten digital counties in the country, American City & County’s Crown Communities Award for technology and was selected by the ICF as one of the global top seven Intelligent Communities. Government Technology Magazine selected him as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers who, using technology … broke bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public”.

Dr. Jacknis served as co-chair of the technology and architecture committee of the New York State CIO Council, participated in the Federal/State/Local Partnership for Intergovernmental Innovation and continues as the technology adviser to the County Executives of America.Prior to his public service, Dr. Jacknis had diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing.Jacknis received his Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Princeton University. Among many activities beyond his work, he is past President and now Chairman Emeritus of the Fairfield- Westchester Chapter of the Society for Information Management (a national association of CIOs and senior IT executives), Chairman of Westchester’s Internet society (WATPA, founded in the early 1990s), past Chair and current member of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, President of the New York Metropolitan Library Council, among several leadership positions in the library community.

 

Swope David Swope
David Swope is a lifetime resident of Westchester County, founder of Club Fit in Jefferson Valley and Briarcliff and active in many community organizations.In 1963, David’s family founded Teatown Lake Reservation with a gift of 190 acres to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Today Teatown is the largest non-governmental preservation in the county with approximately 900 acres adjacent to Westchester County’s Shadow Lake Park, John Hand Park and Kitchawan Preserve. David is past Chairman and an honorary board member of Teatown.

David is Chairman of the Jacob Burns Film Center; Chairman of the Westchester Community College Foundation, a Director of Historic Hudson Valley, a Trustee of Lesley University and involved in the Ossining Children’s Center and the Katonah Museum of Art.David is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. David served in the U.S. Peace Corp in Bombay, India where he set up a legal aid clinic. David practiced law at the firm of White and Case in New York City before returning to Westchester to become involved in his own businesses – Tappan Hill (Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill) and Club Fit.

 

jonathank
Jonathan KimiadiStudent Trustee
Jonathan, a first-generation American student at Westchester Community College, is responsible for the Executive Board position of Student Trustee in the Student Government Association(SGA). Jonathan is a voting member in the SGA Senate and chair of the Legislative Research Committee. Under his leadership, Student Senators review and discuss policies, amendments, and resolutions prior to presentation and vote in the SGA Senate. He represents the student body as a member of the Board of Trustees and reports to the Program and Planning Committee.In addition to his duties as Student Trustee, Jonathan holds other leadership positions on campus. He is the Vice President of College Project for the Alpha Iota Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Secretary of Model United Nations Club.

Prior to his academic career at Westchester Community College, Jonathan was a student at Hendrick Hudson High School before graduating with the Class of 2014. During his tenure, he found his love and passion for public service. In the fall of 2012, Jonathan’s perspective of the world and his purpose was formed by his experience at the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security. It was in the capital of the United States where he joined hundreds of scholars from around the world to gain knowledge on diplomacy, intelligence, and defense. He returned home with a fierce determination to devote his life towards the greater good of others. Thereafter, he enlisted as an Infantryman in the New York Army National Guard and successfully completed Basic Combat Training in the summer between his junior and senior year. Jonathan continued his devotion during senior year serving as an intern in the district office of Assemblywoman Galef.Jonathan hopes to attend law school after earning his baccalaureate degree at a four-year institution.