PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — In what the outgoing chairman of the Maine Community College System board of trustees called a “complete County sweep,” two Aroostook County leaders were chosen Wednesday to serve as chairwoman and vice-chairman of the board for the coming year.
After two years at the helm as chairman, the tenure of Daniel Wathen ended Wednesday when Kris Doody, chief executive officer of Cary Medical Center, was unanimously elected as the new chairwoman. The Caribou woman earned a master’s degree in business from Husson College, a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and an associate of science degree in nursing from the University of Maine. She oversees the 65-bed hospital in Caribou, which employs approximately 540, including 60 active medical staff, 100 courtesy and consulting physicians and 75 volunteers, according to its website.
Doody, who has spent the past two years as vice chairwoman of the board of trustees, is active in the community and the state, sitting on several boards and committees.
Robert Clark, who resides in Fort Fairfield, was named vice-chairman. Clark is the executive director of the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou. The membership organization promotes economic development in the region and provides federal and state services at the regional and local levels.
Both Doody and Clark have been heavily involved in efforts at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. Both led the institution’s first major gifts fundraiser, the “Campaign For The County’s College,” in 2007. They were instrumental in helping to raise more than $2.5 million to support student scholarships and in-structional technology and to help the college respond to community needs.
Money generated through the campaign has paid for scholarships, technology upgrades and major classroom renovations.
Doody and Clark were the only two nominated for the slots.
“Are there any other names before we have a complete Aroostook County sweep,” Wathen asked with a smile.
Doody said that serving as chairwoman on the heels of Wathen, the retired chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, means she has “big shoes to fill.”
“One of my goals moving forward is to continue the growth that we have seen within the system,” Doody said after the meeting. “This past year we had 4,000 applications that we had to turn away, and we don’t want that to happen again. We currently have more than 16,000 students enrolled within the system, which is a testa-ment to the education that we offer our students.”
Wathen has been on the board for eight years and has spent two years as chairman.
“It’s been an amazing eight years and two years as the chairman,” he told the board Wednesday. “I will always consider it as one of the highlights of my life. It is excellent to see all of the support now for community colleges in the state. That support is the result of the excellence of the community colleges. I have been really proud to be involved with this. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I want to thank all of you.”