Longtime West Hills College District Deputy Chancellor Ken Stoppenbrink to retire in January

From West Hills College
West Hills District Deputy Chancellor Ken Stoppenbrink retires
West Hills District Deputy Chancellor Ken Stoppenbrink retires

After over 20 years of service, longtime Deputy Chancellor Ken Stoppenbrink is retiring in January 2019. He’ll be handing the reins to newcomer Dr. Richard Storti who starts his new job in the West Hills Community College District on January 14.

“West Hills has provided me with a great opportunity to grow my skill set to meet the needs of the district,” Stoppenbrink said. “It has been a great journey and, after working for 51 years, I am now ready for retirement. Prior to coming to West Hills, I was working in the private sector in the Trucking Industry as well as Health Care. I have learned what it’s like to work for bad bosses and great bosses. I have to say that my two bosses here at the District have been great and are highly admired in the State for their leadership abilities. I have mixed emotions but also know that it’s time for me to step aside and pursue other interests after 22 years at WHCCD.”

Stoppenbrink has served the West Hills Community College District in a variety of positions since 1996.

He will be honored with a retirement celebration on Saturday, January 12 at Keck Community Center in Coalinga. Registration for this event is still open. Register at https://westhillscollege.com/ken/

Tickets are $40 for an individual ticket and $75 for couples. Proceeds from the event will benefit the West Hills Community College District President’s Scholars Fund.

Stoppenbrink served as the HR director until 2004 when he was promoted to the Vice Chancellor of Business Services. As HR director, Stoppenbrink oversaw the hiring of 13 brand new faculty positions and watched as the district grew from a one college district with centers in Lemoore and Firebaugh to a two-college district with a center in Firebaugh. He also oversaw bargaining with the classified and faculty unions. In 2005, when he became Vice Chancellor of Business Services, he guided the district through the 2008 fiscal crisis, helping to mitigate layoffs via furloughs and pay reductions. On July 1, 2013 Stoppenbrink was promoted to Deputy Chancellor of the WHCCD. During his tenure, he’s continued overseeing the district’s finances and worked on 12 bond measures, serving as treasurer on each.

Prior to coming to West Hills, Stoppenbrink worked in healthcare human resources.

During his career he has been responsible for a number of areas such as risk management; health care administration; contract negotiations; construction project oversight; bond campaigns and strategic planning for all fiscal affairs of the district.

“Ken has been a great asset to our District and has guided us through many obstacles and helped shape us into the innovative District we are today,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District. “We are grateful for his long service and wish him a happy retirement.”

Stoppenbrink has also been active in community and professional development organizations. Locally, he has served on the Coalinga Chamber of Commerce board, City of Coalinga Planning Commission, Coalinga Regional Medical Center Board, and Coalinga Rotary.

He has also served in leadership roles in professional organizations including the Association of California Community College Administrators, the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers, Community College League of California JPA, and Statewide Association of Community Colleges. He has also been a member of accreditation teams for 10 colleges and presented on topics ranging from bond refinancing to energy programs for various professional organizations.

Stoppenbrink was also this year’s recipient of the prestigious Walter Star Robie Award. Recipients of the Walter Star Robie Award are selected based on demonstration of leadership at the college and state level and personal accomplishments, including participating and involvement in their local communities and charitable endeavors.


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