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Board of Trustees Bios

Columbia College's original charter established the board of trustees in 1851. Trustees meet three times per year. Board members serve three-year terms and may be reelected indefinitely.

Daisy Willis Grossnickle'66, Chair

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 1982
Term expires: 2015

Daisy Willis Grossnickle has been involved with Columbia "Christian" College since she arrived on campus in 1964. She volunteered as a student recruiter and served on the alumni board after earning her associate's degree in 1966. She has served as a co-chair for the Annual Fund and is a member of the President’s Society at the Charter Circle level. Grossnickle became a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia College in 1982, and has served on the technology, facilities and educational policies committees. She served as secretary of the board, and in 2005, she was elected as the first woman to chair the Board of Trustees. As chair, she currently serves on the executive, finance, Tradition Meets Tomorrow campaign steering and nominating and by-laws committees.

This is the third time Grossnickle has been involved in a presidential search at Columbia College. She previously served on the search committees for Dr. Donald Ruthenberg and Dr. Gerald Brouder. In 1991, she received the Columbia College Service Award from the National Alumni Association.

Grossnickle has extensive experience in the volunteer sector. She is one of the founders of "Mothers of Pre Schoolers," a dynamic program designed to nurture mothers of children from birth to age six in Columbia, Mo., and served in the role of "Titus Woman" as a mentor to young mothers for several years. Grossnickle was instrumental in developing the Memorial Prayer Garden at Missouri United Methodist Church and served as its chair for numerous years. She completed a one-year study program to become a Stephens Minister, a transdenominational Christian education organization that provides training and resources to strengthen and expand lay ministry in a congregation. Since 1964 she has been a continuous member of the Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia.

Grossnickle's Columbia community service includes: member of Ted Boehm Sheriff's Employee Scholarship Fund, board member of the American Cancer Society, vice president and president of  Jefferson Junior High School Parent Teachers Association, past president, for Devotional Leader and current member of Margie Rogers King's Daughters Circle. In 2005, Grossnickle was instrumental in establishing Optimus – The Center for Health. Optimus promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing lifestyle guidance based on clinical research in the health and fitness field. She also has been a member of the Institutional Review Board at Boone Hospital Center since 1983.

Grossnickle manages real estate trusts and properties. She is married to Gary "Skip" Grossnickle; they have two daughters, Gayla Grossnickle Miller '90 and Sarah Grossnickle Swindle '96.

Janet Carter Wright '58, Secretary

Salisbury, Mo.
Trustee since: 1989
Term expires: 2016

Janet Carter Wright, a native of Hannibal, Mo. graduated from Christian College in 1958 with an associate's degree. She received the Columbia College Service Award in 1992 for outstanding service to the college.  She has served on the Education Policy and Student Life committees of the Columbia College Community. She is a member of the Trustee's Circle of the President's Society.  Wright was recently elected to the position of secretary to the Columbia College Board of Trustees.

A life-long equestrian, Wright competed on the Christian College riding team. She has also been a board member of the First Baptist Church, King's Daughters, United Way and the Country Club of Missouri.

Mrs. Lynne B. Stuver Baker '64

Independence, MO
Trustee since: 2013
Term expires: 2016

Lynne B. (Stuver) Baker earned her associate of arts from Columbia College in 1964, followed by her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Missouri in 1966 and master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973. She also earned a bachelor's degree in social work at the University of Central Missouri in 1996 before finishing an additional master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas in 1998.

Baker has served on the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1991, acting as the board's first vice president from 1993 to 1995 before serving as president from 1995 to 1997. She also has served on several committees and currently is the chair of the nominating committee. Baker also served on the Columbia College Board of Trustees as an Alumni Trustee from 1997 to 2006.

Baker will soon retire from a career in counseling and education in the Independence, Mo., public school district. She now operates a part-time life counseling service, Heart to Heart Counseling and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in both Missouri and Kansas.

Walter E. Bixby III '82

Kansas City, Mo.
Trustee since: 1991
Term expires: 2014

Web Bixby, executive vice president and vice chairman of the board of Kansas City Life Insurance Company, graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1982. He was elected assistant vice president of Kansas City Life in 1985, vice president of marketing in 1990 and president of Old American Insurance Company, a subsidiary, in 1996.

Bixby supports his alma matter as a trustee, fundraiser and director of the J.B. Reynolds Foundation, established in honor of his great-grandfather. He serves as the national steering committee chair for the Tradition Meets Tomorrow campaign and is a member of the Dorsey Chapel Circle of the President's Society.

Bixby is the son of the late Walter E. Bixby Jr., a college trustee emeritus, and the late Mary Martha Musser Bixby '51. Bixby's son, James Philip Bixby, graduated from Columbia College in 2005.

Judith A. Cunningham '64

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2004
Term expires: 2015

Judy Cunningham graduated from Christian College in 1964 with an associate degree in liberal arts. She also received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Central Missouri State University and a master's in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Cunningham has helped educate students of all ages and needs in Hawaii and Missouri. She coordinated special education projects for the University of Missouri and the state of Missouri that focused on helping school districts educate students with disabilities.

Cunningham has held multiple positions with the Columbia College Alumni Association. She endowed the First Christian Church of Columbia, Mo., Christian College Scholarship to honor and advance her parents' values of philanthropy and education; she assisted with the development of the Emerging Leaders Institute, which prepares students for active roles in the community; and in 2011 she was the CCAA Service Award winner. Cunningham is a member of the Dorsey Chapel Circle of the President's Society.

Jerry D. Daugherty

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since:1989
Term expires: 2015

Jerry Daugherty, president and owner of Reinhardt Construction, is a 1970 graduate of the University of Missouri, where he was a member of the golf team. Daugherty earned a bachelor's degree in wood products and construction and became a full-time project manager for Reinhardt after graduating. He and his wife, Mary, became sole owners of the company in 1995. Daugherty's professional achievements are scattered throughout mid-Missouri – schools, banks, health care centers, government centers, churches, restaurants, grocery stores and exclusive residential projects.

Daugherty is a member of the Rotary Club, a director of U.S. Bank and a board member and elder of First Christian Church, where his family has attended for more than 40 years. Daugherty serves on the college's Board of Trustees Finance Committee. He is a member of the Charter Circle of the President's Society.

Gary R. Drewing, Sr.

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 1999
Term expires: 2014

Gary Drewing joined Joe Machens Ford in 1983 as a partner and general manager and became the sole owner of the company's family of automotive dealerships in 2006. During Drewing's tenure, the business has expanded beyond the Ford and Lincoln lines to include Toyota, Scion, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Nissan. The combined group now employs nearly 900 individuals, making it one of Boone County's largest employers.  Joe Machens Ford Lincoln is the No. 1 dealership in sales in the state of Missouri and one of the top 25 in the nation.

Drewing is a member of the Charter Circle of the President's Society. He earned a B.A. in accounting and marketing and an MBA from St. Louis University in 1971. His son, Gary R. Drewing Jr., graduated from Columbia College in 1999 with a degree in business administration.  Both sons, Gary, Jr. and Rusty, a graduate of Truman State University, are involved in the family business.

Joseph P. Dubinski '96

Kansas City, Mo.
Trustee since:2011
Term expires: 2015

Joe Dubinski graduated from Columbia College in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is currently a partner at Bryan Cave LLP. The Kansas City-based attorney advises clients in mergers and acquisitions, financings, corporate governance and commercial contracts.

Previously, Dubinski worked for Ameritech Mobile Communications in a marketing position. During law school at the University of Missouri, he served as associate editor-in-chief of the Missouri Law Review.

Dubinski has also served the Columbia College Alumni Association as chair of its Visioning Committee. He is a member of the Ivy and Oak Circle of the President's Society.

Stephen E. Erdel

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2010
Term expires: 2015

Steve Erdel is the president and chief executive officer of Boone County National Bank, which has donated generously to Tradition Meets Tomorrow and the Boone County National Bank Scholarship. Established in 1977, the scholarship supports students who are interested in a business-related field of study and who demonstrate involvement in community service.

A 1973 graduate of Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., Erdel began his career with Commerce Bank and rose to be the president of the Commerce Bank – Mid Missouri Region. Erdel has won numerous awards for his civic involvement and has been active in the First Presbyterian Church, the Great Rivers Council of the Boys Scouts of America, the Columbia (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce and the Central Missouri Food Bank.

Dr. Christopher Babayco

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2013
Term expires: 2015

Christopher Babayco, Ph.D., has been an assistant professor of chemistry at Columbia College since 2010. His current research, with the assistance of undergraduate students, involves investigating the interactions between metal-chelated porphyrin monolayers and gas phase molecules.

Dr. Babayco received a Friend of Student Affairs award from Columbia College in 2013 for his work with the Science Living-Learning Community. He serves as a local section chair for the American Chemical Society. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Willamette University, Salem, Ore., in 2004 and his doctorate degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in 2010.

Steven S. Fishman '74

Columbus, Ohio
Trustee since: 2010
Term expires: 2015

Steve Fishman is chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Big Lots, Inc., a Fortune 500 retail corporation with annual revenues exceeding $5 billion. The company operates more than 1,500 Big Lots Stores in the 48 contiguous United States and over 75 Liquidation World and LW stores in Canada. Big Lots offers consumers a wide range of extreme value-priced merchandise, including brand-name closeouts, seasonal products, food, furniture, housewares, toys, and gifts.

Fishman joined Big Lots in July 2005. A 40-year veteran of the retail industry, Fishman provides the strategic direction for Big Lots' long-term growth, which includes building the company's buying organization, increasing brand recognition, and maximizing earnings potential.

His extensive retail experience, financial expertise, and merchandising skills positioned him for his post. Before Big Lots, he served as CEO/president and chief restructuring officer of Rhodes Furniture, leading the national retailer through a successful reorganization to improve operating performance.

Prior to Rhodes, Fishman was the chairman, CEO, and CRO of Frank's Nursery & Crafts, a lawn and garden specialty retailer, where he was recruited to accomplish similar repositioning objectives. Under his leadership, Frank's dramatically improved profitability, emerged from bankruptcy, and completed a public offering in less than a year.

From 1993 to 1999, Fishman served as chairman and chief executive officer of Pamida, formerly a publicly held general merchandise discount retailer. His experience also includes senior executive merchandising positions with Federated Department Stores and May Company.

Fishman is active in many community initiatives and serves on the board of the Columbus Partnership. Fishman received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the business turnaround category in 2009, and was named Retailer of the Year by SUNY's Fashion Institute of Technology in 2010. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Columbia College. Fishman and his wife recently founded the Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia College. Through scholarships and seed money, the center helps students develop the skills they need to transform innovative ideas into business ventures.

George W. Hulett, Jr.

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2009
Term expires: 2015

George Hulett, a trustee since 2009, is president of Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning, which has been in his family for more than 80 years. Growing up in Columbia, Hulett was a baseball star at Hickman High School and later at the University of Missouri, where he captained the 1962 team and led the Tigers to the College World Series before being signed by the Kansas City A's. He graduated in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in business and accounting.

Hulett is a member of the First Baptist Church and contributes to other organizations including United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Missouri Symphony Society and the Boone County Historical Society. He's also a season ticket holder for Mizzou football and baseball.

In 1991, Hulett endowed the Hulett Family Criminal Justice Graduate Study Scholarship. He is a member of the Dorsey Chapel Circle of the President's Society.

He is married to Jeannie Hulett; the couple resides in Columbia. Their children, Alan and Joy, graduated from Columbia College in 1984 and 1992, respectively.

Mitchell R. Humphreys, MD

Phoenix, AZ
Trustee since: 2013
Term expires: 2016

Mitchell R. Humphreys, MD, earned his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri, where he also attended medical school. He completed his internship and residency as an instructor of urology at the Mayo Clinic, followed by a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and endourology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

As a full faculty member and associate professor at the Mayo Clinic and Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., Dr. Humphreys is involved in a number of innovative research initiatives, including a multi-institutional, NIH-funded group study, designed to detect and treat a variety of kidney stone diseases. He is a founding member of a new international research consortium that pools resources to address pressing clinical research questions and he founded a non-for-profit group to deliver advanced medical care globally to places in need, such as Haiti. He has won several awards, including the Outstanding Young Physician Award and the Patients' Choice and Compassionate Doctor Recognition Awards for 2011 and 2012.

June M. Hurdle '83

Columbia, MO
Trustee since: 2014
Term expires: 2017

June M. Hurdle graduated with her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Columbia College Evening Campus in 1983. At the college, she was a member of the Jane Froman Singers and the Double Sextet.

A few years after she graduated, Hurdle worked as an admissions officer for Columbia College and then moved to the state of California. She and her husband owned a construction business, which they sold before returning to Columbia, Missouri, in 2007. In 2010, she received her MBA from Stephens College. Now, Hurdle is self-employed as a high-end real estate developer. She and her husband are developing an upscale community, Linkside at Old Hawthorne, which is targeted at homeowners age 55 and up.

Hurdle is an active volunteer in the community. At the college, she sits on the Columbia College Alumni Association’s Visioning Committee, and she is an alumni admissions volunteer. She also was the National Campaign Steering Committee vice chair for the Tradition Meets Tomorrow Campaign. She is a member of the Ivy and Oak Circle of the President’s Society. In the Columbia community, Hurdle is the president of the Parent Teacher Student Association at Rock Bridge High School, where her daughter attended school. She is a member of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network, and she previously was a member of the Jefferson Junior High School PTA.

She is married to Bob Hulett; and they have two children, Blake and Katie. Blake graduated from Columbia College in 2014.

William J. "Bill" Johnston '82

Columbia, MO
Trustee since: 2013
Term expires: 2016

Bill Johnston graduated from Columbia College in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and currently is an account executive for Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. in Columbia, Mo., where he has worked since 1983. Bill earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1999 and also holds the Associate in Reinsurance and Associate in Information Technology designations.

Johnston has served on the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors extensively for more than 22 years, serving as the association's secretary/treasurer from 1997 to 1999, and as president from 2005 to 2007. He also has sat on several committees and is the current co-chair of the bylaws committee. Johnston is a member of the Ivy and Oak giving circle at Columbia College.

He enjoys assisting with Knights of Columbus events in his spare time, as well as traveling, playing golf, attending Columbia College men's and women's basketball games, and spending time with his wife, Janice, and two children, Kim and Brad.

Jolene Marra Schulz '61

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2001
Term expires: 2015

Jolene Schulz earned an associate's degree from Christian College in 1961, followed by a bachelor's and master's of education from the University of Missouri. She has taught kindergarteners and college students alike, including some at Columbia College, where she was an adjunct professor from 1998 to 2001.

Schulz served 34 years as an administrator for Columbia Public Schools and has held board positions with many organizations, including the National Association of Partners in Education, the Central Missouri Food Bank,  the Mid-Missouri Alzheimer's Association, the Voluntary Action Center Board, the Greater Missouri Leadership Board of Directors, the Missouri Community Service Commission (appointed by the Governor), the National Association of States Service Association (as a representative for the State of Missouri), the Columbia Junior Achievement Board, the University of Missouri College Education Advisory Board, the  University of Missouri Jefferson Club Board of Trustees,  and the Mid-Missouri Tourism Board. She is also a Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.

Schulz has won numerous awards such as the Columbia College Alumni Association's Community Service Award,  the University of Missouri's College of Education Citation of Merit for Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service in Education, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Outstanding Community Educator Award, the Missouri Hazel Riback Volunteer Director of the Year Award for the state of Missouri, the National Association of Partners in Education Director of the Year Award, the Columbia Public Schools Fund for Academic Excellence Outstanding Community Education Award,  the Voluntary Action Community Leader Award, the Outstanding Young Women of America Award, and Who's Who in American Education.  She is a member of the Columbia College Founder's Circle of the President's Society and was inducted into the Columbia Public Schools Hall of Leaders.

Schulz presently works part-time as Horizon Assistant with First State Community Bank and is a co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours, which offers "A New and Fun Way to See and Explore Columbia.”

Helen Coe Simons

Driftwood, Texas
Trustee since: 2012
Term expires: 2015

Dale Simons earned an associate degree from Christian College in 1965 and later attended the University of Texas, where she earned a political science degree in 1967. At Christian College, she served as junior class president and president of Campus Community Government. She has continued to support Columbia College in the years since, both as a donor and as a member of the Alumni Association, where she served as the board president from 2009 to 2011. She is currently serving on the Columbia College Capital Campaign Steering Committee.

Simons has extensive experience in non-profit management and governance and has worked with organizations including the Foundation for Women's Resources, the Marbridge Foundation, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, the Governor's Committee on Volunteerism, and the Texas Department for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities. She has served on the national boards of the Association of Junior Leagues International and Children's Research Triangle.  She is a board member of Leadership Women, Collaborative Care for Kids, and she chairs the Grants Committee for the Kappa Alpha Theta National Foundation.  She is currently volunteering at the George W. Bush Institute where she assists with the International Women's Initiative chaired by former First Lady Laura Bush. 

Simons is married to Dr. James K. Simons, DDS. The couple has three children and eight grandchildren. Simons' mother, Helen (Boo) Cates Neary, attended Christian College in 1937 and is a member of the Ivy and Oak Circle of the President's Society.

Simons is a member of the Trustees Circle of the President's Society. She and Neary are the first mother and daughter to be inducted together into the President's Society.

Reverend Brad Stagg

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2012
Term expires: 2015
Rev. Brad Stagg is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as the senior minister of Columbia's First Christian Church since July 2012. Previously, he worked at Bethany Christian Church in Houston, Texas.
Stagg earned a bachelor's in humanities at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1987. In 1993, he received his Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.  

Anita Abbott Timmons '58, Vice Chair

St. Simons Island, Ga.
Trustee since: 2007
Term expires: 2016
Anita Abbott Timmons has served on the Columbia College Board of Trustees since 2007, and in 2013 she was elected as Vice Chair, a title that she currently holds. A native of Kokomo, Ind., she graduated from Christian College with an associate's degree in 1958. In 1976, she received a bachelor's in English literature, magna cum laude, from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ.

Timmons currently serves as convening chair of the Tradition Meets Tomorrow campaign, chairs the Science Initiative committee and is a member of the Educational Policies committee. She is also member of the Trustee's Circle of the President's Society.

Timmons has been a life-long volunteer, involved in local, national, and international non-profits with expertise in governance and fundraising. She was awarded the Columbia College Community Service Award in 1992. Among her numerous volunteer activities, she has served on the board of Phillips Exeter Academy where she established and chaired the Committee on Trustees and was the recipient of the Founder's Day Award. She chaired the board of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and was vice chair of the Advisory Council to the Anglican Observer at the UN. Currently, she chairs the Foundation Board of the YMCA of the Golden Isles, is a trustee and co-chairs the Major Gifts committee at the College of Coastal Georgia and is a member of the President's Council of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Timmons is a former CEO of Adventure Travel and a primary school educator. She also has experience in the newspaper, insurance and commodities industries. She is currently general partner of Taj Enterprises, Investments, and she resides on St. Simons Island, Ga., with her husband, James. The Timmons are the parents of four children and the grandparents of 10 grandchildren.

Carol Willoughby Winkler '93

Columbia, Mo.
Trustee since: 2006
Term expires: 2015

Carol Winkler has served on the Board of Trustees since 2006. She also has served as a volunteer on multiple committees across campus including the re-accreditation committee, Science Initiative Campaign, athletics trustee committee, reunion weekend, homecoming and the Hall of Fame. Winkler has served as Columbia College Alumni Association president and board member. She is a member of the Ivy and Oak Circle of the President's Society.

Originally from Grandview, Mo., Winkler graduated from Columbia College summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business in 1993. She is a Certified Professional Secretary, a designation granted after a rigorous two-day, six-part exam. She is currently a plan administrator at MFA Retirement Plans. She and her husband, Darrell, reside in Columbia. They have two children, Kelly and Shannon.