CRANFORD – On Monday, June 17, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) presented the Ronald D. Winthers Community College Trustee Leadership Award to Union County College Board of Trustees Vice Chairman James R. Perry for his dedicated service to New Jersey’s 19 community colleges.
“This award is an honor bestowed on a single New Jersey community college trustee each year,” said NJCCC Chairman Bakari G. Lee, Esq. “The award was established in honor of long-time Burlington County College Trustee Ronald D. Winthers, and it was created to recognize visionary leadership by a New Jersey community college trustee at the local, state and national levels.”
Perry, of Plainfield, has served on the Union County College Board of Trustees since 1992 and has served as vice chairman since 1999. He served as the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority chief financial officer prior to retiring in 2012.
“For over 20 years, James Perry has been a dynamic leader in advancing the mission of community colleges,” Lee added. “Jim has been and continues to be the shining example of excellent community college trusteeship. He has served as a mentor to many community college trustees throughout the country, myself included.”
Perry served as the Northeast Region Chair of the Association of Community College Trustees and as a member of its national board. In 2000, ACCT recognized his national contributions with the ACCT Northeast Region Trustee Leadership Award.
In New Jersey, Perry served as Chairman of the NJCCC from 1999 to 2002, and a member of the NJCCC Executive Committee from 1995 to 2002. During this time, he led negotiations with state officials to increase the Chapter 12 community college building and renovation fund, which provided an additional $170 million to renovate and construct new buildings. In recognition of his accomplishments, the NJCCC named its renovated conference room in his honor in 2002. He continues to serve as a member of the NJCCC and as a member of the statewide Community College Trustee Ambassadors Program.
In 2012, Perry was appointed to the ACCT Trust Fund Board, which was established by the ACCT Board of Directors for the purpose of financing projects pertaining to the education and training of community college and technical institution governing board members.
Perry holds an MBA in finance and BA in accounting/finance, both from Western Michigan University, and an associate degree from Henry Ford Community College. He also completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University in 2003.
In addition to his work with Union County College, he served as president and a board member of the King’s Daughters Day School, founding member and director of the Plainfield Business Development Corporation, director and legislative vice president of the Central Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Plainfield Citizens School Budget Advisory Committee.
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government. The Council is also the state coordinating organization for all community colleges in New Jersey.
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