President and Administrative Council
Dr. Joseph A. Manickam, president
Will Miller, executive coordinator, president’s office, ex officio
Lisa George, CFO, vice president of finance
Del Hershberger, vice president of admissions and financial aid
Dr. Rachel Swartzendruber Miller, vice president of advancement
Deb Roth, vice president of student life
Dr. Brent Yoder, vice president of academics
Affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, Hesston College is governed by the Hesston College Board of Directors. Mennonite Education Agency and Hesston College appoint board members collaboratively.
Hesston College Board of Directors
Chair Ken G Kabira, Bartlett, Ill.
Board Term: 2014-18, 2018-22
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Narita Manufacturing Inc.
Ken (goes by “Kenji” but spells it “Ken G”) currently serves as the EVP & COO of Narita Mfg., the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer that supplies critical parts to the passenger rail car industry. He has been in executive leadership roles for nearly two decades. He has served as a chief marketing officer in all three sectors of the economy – private (McDonald’s Japan), public (Chicago Transit Authority) and nonprofit (National-Louis University and Lions Clubs International). He also serves on the board of directors of Japan America Society of Chicago.
Member of Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church
- A.A., liberal arts, Hesston College, 1981
- B.A., behavioral science, The University of Chicago, 1985
- M.B.A., marketing, The University of Chicago, 1992
Ken G has two children, Joe (b. 1996) and Alice (b. 1999), and is an avid cyclist and a passionate fan of Arsenal Football Club in addition to Hesston Larks.
“As an alumnus of Hesston College, I have benefited enormously from the intellectual, social and spiritual formation I experienced at the college over thirty years ago. It was only for two years, but Hesston was a time and place that gave me a significant growth experience. It may be a small place, but Hesston can give a big experience to young people who are making a critical transition in their lives. I want to help the college continue to thrive as an institution that can provide such a positive experience to future generations.”
Vice chair Luke Roth-Mullet, Harrisonburg, Va.
Board Term: 2012-16, 2016-20
Luke has business and operations management and human resources experience in industry. He previously served as an international service worker with Mennonite Central Committee in Mexico, associate attorney at Wharton, Aldhizer, and Weaver in Harrisonburg, Va., and research and policy associate at the Center for Public Policy Studies.
Member of New Creation Fellowship, Newton, Kan.
- A.A., Hesston College, 1999
- B.S., Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.), 2001
- J.D., University of Notre Dame (Ind.), 2006
- M.B.O.E., Ohio State University, 2013
Luke and Sarah Roth-Mullet have two daughters.
“As an alumnus, I have benefitted from the many relationships and enrichment opportunities that Hesston College affords both its students and the surrounding community. I am honored to now serve as a board member.”
Secretary Anita Stalter, Goshen, Ind.
Board Term: 2018-22
retired Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, Goshen College
Member of College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind.
- A.A., Sauk Valley Community College (Sterling, Ill.), 1967
- B.S., Eastern Mennonite College (Harrisonburg, Va.), 1979
- M.Ed., early childhood education, James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.), 1984
- Ph.d., teaching, curriculum and educational policy, Michigan State University (East Lansing), 1997
Anita has two grown children.
“I was education department chair at Goshen College for 13 years and an administrator there for 14 years. During those years I had the opportunity of seeing Hesston transfers who came to Goshen College with a solid academic background and a commitment to the core values and mission of GC. I also served on the recent Hesston College presidential search committee and through that process learned the value of a Hesston College education.”
Treasurer Steve Ropp, Iowa City, Iowa
Board Term: 2011-15, 2015-19, 2019-23
Senior Vice President, Director of Commercial Banking, Hills Bank and Trust Company, Hills, Iowa
Member of First Mennonite Church, Iowa City, Iowa
- A.A., Hesston College, 1980
- B.S., agricultural business, Iowa State University, Ames, 1986
Steve and Kathy (Stutzman) Ropp have three married adult children and one grandchild.
“Hesston College has had a major impact on my life and the life of our family. It is an honor to serve and give back to a place that supported, challenged and encouraged us.”
Paula Brunk Kuhns, Portland, Ore.
Board Term: 2019-23
Retired Teaching Learning Coach, Colorado Springs School District 11
Co-owner of Just Cause, a Fair Trade Store LLC
Paula worked in public elementary schools both as an educator and as an instructional coach. She now enjoys selling fair trade goods through her mobile store, Just Cause. She spent three years with Mennonite Central Committee in Mexico and has served on the leadership board for Mountain States Mennonite Conference, the Mennonite Women USA board, and the Leadership Discernment Committee for Mennonite Church USA.
Member of Portland (Ore.) Mennonite Church
- A.A., Hesston College, 1979
- B.A., University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 1987
- Elementary teaching license, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 1989
Paula and her husband, Bruce (Hesston College, 1978), enjoy living close to their son (Hesston College, 2002), daughter-in-law (Hesston College, 2003), and twin grandsons (Hesston College, 2029?).
“My years at Hesston College set a trajectory for my life through academic and spiritual growth as well as lasting relationships. I was encouraged to be actively engaged in the world, and I value that the college has continued growing into an academic community with global impact. I am honored to serve on this board and look forward to discerning new directions as Hesston enriches the hearts and minds of its current and future students.”
Dwight Gingerich, Kalona, Iowa
Board Term: 2017-21
Principal and Boys Basketball Coach, Iowa Mennonite School
Member of First Mennonite Church, Iowa City
- B.S., Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.), 1981
- M.A., counselor education, University of Iowa (Iowa City), 1986
Dwight and Mo Rhodes (Hesston class of 1983) Gingerich are the parents of two college students and one in high school.
“I have heard so many good things about Hesston from Mo, as she had a terrific experience there. In my role as counselor, I’ve had a number of opportunities to be on campus, and have seen many of our students go there. It is very rare to find someone who hasn’t felt really blessed by their time at Hesston. Hesston strikes me as a nurturing environment, a place highly committed to infusing Christian faith with learning. I am excited to serve in this way!”
Val Gleason, Newton, Kan.
Board Term: 2020-24Chief Executive Officer, Newton Medical CenterEducation:
- diploma, Firestone School of Nursing at Akron (Ohio) City Hospital, 1975
- B.S., business, Kansas Newman College (Wichita), 1991
- M.B.A., Baker University (Baldwin City, Kan.), 1999
Val and Monty are the parents of four adult children.
Barth Hague, Newton, Kan.
Board Term: 2017-21
President and CEO, Mirror, Inc.
Barth leads Mirror, a behavioral health company serving the State of Kansas and headquartered in Newton. Previously, he was chief marketing officer at Wichita State University and prior to that, vice president of marketing services for Everence. In addition, Barth serves on the boards of Bluestem Communities and The Mennonite, Inc. He also holds elected office, serving on the Newton City Commission.
Member of Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, Kan.
- A.A., Hesston College, 1976
- B.A., Goshen (Ind.) College, 1979
- M.A., communication, University of Texas (Austin), 1988
Barth and his spouse, Betty (Hesston College, 1976) have two grown sons.
“Hesston College has been dear to my heart ever since I first stepped onto the campus in 1974. I was immediately embraced by a community-oriented, Christ-centered perspective that has continued to develop and grow throughout my adult life. I’m humbled that now, many years later, I have the opportunity to return something of value that can help the college develop and grow.”
Tim Penner, Harper, Kan.
Board Term: 2019-23
President and CEO, Harper Industries
Tim manages Harper Industries, a manufacturer of bale handling, hydraulic and lawn and turf equipment. He chairs the Mennonite Economic Development Associates board and has served Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in several roles including as agricultural extensionist and community development worker in Bolivia, country director for Bolivia and interim director for Latin America.
Member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Harper, Kan.
- B.S., Goshen (Ind.) College
- M.B.A., Eastern College (St. David’s, Pa.)
Tim and Faith Hershberger Penner (Hesston College, 1974) have adult children and a daughter in law.
Grace Tijerina, Newton, Kan.
Board Term: 2018-22
Retired Church Planter
Gracie volunteers with the Los Fresnos Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Mennonite Women USA Board as representative of the Conferencia Femenil Hispana Menonita.
Member and co-pastor of Hope for the Broken, a Mennonite Church where she preaches one Sunday each month and leads worship the other three and is involved in the congregation’s visitation and community programs. Also assists with summer vacation Bible school with UCIM churches in South Central Conference of Mennonite Church USA.
- A.A., Hesston College, 2016
Gracie has three adult children and eleven grandchildren.
“I attended Hesston College and it was such a blessing experience that made me want to serve. I love Hesston.”
Jeff Wright, Los Angeles, Calif.
Board Term: 2018-22
Pastor, Madison Street Church, and Principal Consultant, Urban Expression
Jeff pastors Madison Street Church, a small, Anabaptist urban church connected to the Brethren in Christ (BIC). He also serves as a consultant to church and non-profit organizations on missional strategy, leadership development, church planting and financial self-sufficiency. He is a Leadership Minister in Franconia Mennonite Conference. In addition, he is a member of the Riverside City Board of Ethics Board of Directors; Pacific Conference BIC Church; New Threads Theatre Company Chair; and the Board of Evangelism and Church Planting, Pacific Conference BIC Church.
Member of Pasadena (Calif.) Mennonite Church (inactive) and Madison Street Church. Active ordination as mission and service worker in Eastern District Conference, Mennonite Church USA. Provisional License for Pastoral Ministry, BIC US.
- B.A., Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.), 1981
- M.Div., Fresno (Calif.) Pacific Biblical Seminary, 1986
- M.B.A., church management, Graduate Theological Seminary (South Bend, Ind.), 1995
- Post-graduate Diploma, applied theology, Spurgeon’s College (London, U.K.), 2008
Jeff and his spouse, Debbie, have two adult children and five grandchildren.
“I have had a long-term admiration for Hesston College and its mission along with a respect for the nation-wide and international reach of the college. My daughter and son-in law are alumni and met at Hesston College. I am particularly excited about the emerging trends possible in Christian higher education for a two-year school as it prepares to reach for higher goals.”
Roger Yoder, Goshen, Ind.
Board Term: 2013-17, 2017-21
Captain, American Airlines, and co-owner, New Horizons Aviation, Goshen, Ind.
Member of East Goshen (Ind.) Mennonite Church
Has worked with East Goshen’s youth and young adult groups and served as an elder, fellowship commission chair, as well as various other positions in the church.
- A.A., Hesston College, 1973
Roger and Rhonda have two adult children, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.
“Hesston College gave me wings many years ago as well as life long friends, a career that I love, and a wife that I love even more. Our children both attended Hesston College and I would like my granddaughters to attend some day. It is my desire to see Hesston College further the work of the kingdom and I am happy to do my small part in making that happen.”