Letter: Marianne Virgili for CMC board of trustees
My name is Marianne Virgili. I’m a resident of Carbondale and I’m running for the District 2 (Eastern Garfield County) seat on the Colorado Mountain College board of trustees on November 5. Everyone in CMC’s six-county district votes on all the seats, so even if you don’t live in Garfield County, you can vote for me.
Here’s why I hope you do:
As the CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber for more than 30 years, I understand small-town values, challenges and opportunities. I learned how to engage people and diverse community groups through collaboration, and I’d like to put my visionary and strategic skills to work for CMC.
When I was a kid, my dad told me that if I continued to get straight A’s, they’d have to send me to college. College! You can bet I wanted to go. So I studied hard and became the first child in my extended Italian-American family to obtain a degree. My immigrant mother went back to work to help pay tuition, and I realized that education was a gift so precious that it could only be repaid by giving it to someone else. I am passionate about education and the opportunities CMC can afford our communities.
My vision for CMC:
- Become the most inclusive and innovative student-centered college in the nation.
- Provide affordable education for students to be able to study, reside and work in the communities where they live.
- Train first responders, nurses, law enforcement, teachers and others in vital community jobs.
- Expand Vo-Tech offerings to train tomorrow’s workforce.
- Empower immigrants and Dreamers through quality, accessible education.
- Pioneer new four-year degrees and expand to emerging fields.
- Value the faculty and administrators who create an exceptional learning experience.
- Provide lifelong learning opportunities.
- Ensure transparency, stewardship and accountability.
In Glenwood Springs my collaborative leadership resulted in winning a dozen local election campaigns to fund trails, streets, bridges, transit solutions, historic preservation, the arts and education; and promoting Glenwood Springs and the chamber to win several national awards, including USA Today’s Most Fun Small Town in America and the 2013 National Chamber of the Year.
I am retired and excited for the next chapter of my life. Now I have the time to devote to an institution that I have supported for over 30 years. I lobbied successfully at the state capitol for CMC’s ability to offer four-year bachelor’s degrees in 2010 and in 2018 challenged the Gallagher Amendment by chairing the successful 7D election campaign, which allows CMC to retain revenues that would have otherwise been lost and keeps tuition affordable. I currently serve students by raising money for scholarships and facilities as a member of the Board of Directors of the CMC Foundation.
If you believe as I do in affordable education, education for job preparation and lifelong learning, then please cast your ballot for me on November 5.