September 17, 2021 – Asheville, NC-based RH Perry & Associates has assisted the Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania in recruiting Chris Gray as its first president. “The board of trustees, after an extensive national search, is proud to appoint Christopher Gray as the founding president of the Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania,” said Ronald Dinicola, chairman of the board of trustees. “We will work in partnership with him to serve the educational needs of all of Erie County.” Mr. DiNicola said the board interviewed more than 30 candidates for the job and selected Dr. Gray after an extensive process. Dr. Gray has been the vice president of academic affairs and workforce development at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL, for the past four years.
“I am excited to be joining a committed group of caring people who are passionate about making the greater Erie area a better place to live and work,” said Dr. Gray. “The hope in Erie County is palpable. This community is home to so many hard-working people, a well-established infrastructure and beautiful natural resources – and I can’t wait to help us achieve great things together.”
“He’s a natural innovator and has a long history within the community college movement,” Mr. DiNicola said. “I think he brings a set of skills that are important to our community’s economic development.”
Erie Community College, recently became Pennsylvania’s 15th community college and is starting classes this fall. “Community college changed my life, expanded my world view and gave me the confidence to grow as a student and leader,” Dr. Gray said. “I’ve committed my life to giving back and making sure that any student who wants to better their journey is able to do so. Community colleges break down barriers so all students, even those like me, get a chance.”
Established in 1974, RH Perry has conducted over 1,000 higher education searches. The firm’s higher education practice consists of senior-level executives with a well-balanced mix of college and university presidential experience, senior administrative experience, and executive search expertise. Founded by Robert H. Perry, the firm also has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Doeg joined RH Perry & Associates in 2001 and is based in Asheville, NC. In 2012, he was promoted to chief operating officer and in 2016 he was named president of the firm. In tandem with managing partner Matt Kilcoyne, Mr. Doeg is responsible for leading and managing the firm’s corps of senior consultants and senior associates. He is also responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities for the firm.
Mr. Thompson, director of community college searches, has led, or participated in, a wide range of presidential and senior administrative higher education searches. His experience spans large and small, urban, suburban and rural institutions nationwide. Mr. Thompson has provided services to both single and multi-campus institutions. His experience in higher education includes a combination of more than 40 years in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Michigan of senior-level administration, community college trustee service and college teaching experience.
Mr. DaRin joined RH Perry in 2014 as the firm’s practice leader in enrollment management searches. For 25 years, he served Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, the last 13 as vice president for enrollment management. After joining Nazareth in 1987, he was the director of admissions for the college for eight years, then served as the dean of admissions for five years before taking on the vice-president role.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media