Garrett Berger ’05
After relocating to Hampton Roads from Northern Virginia in 2003, Garrett Berger completed course work in business administration at Tidewater Community College before transferring to the University of Virginia. There he earned a bachelor’s in commerce and master’s in accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce.
Inspired by one of his accounting professors at TCC, the late Louise “Etta” Hillier, Mr. Berger began his career with KPMG, LLP in Norfolk, where he advanced to the position of manager in the Audit and Assurance Services practice.
A licensed CPA, he left KPMG in 2014 to become controller at T. Parker Host, Inc., a shipping agency and maritime solutions provider headquartered in Norfolk.
In addition to his work with the TCC Alumni Council, Mr. Berger continues to serve as a resource and mentor for students seeking to transfer to selective colleges and universities. He is treasurer of the Hampton Roads Global Commerce Council.
Tracy Kessler-Keller ’01
Tracy Keller received TCC degrees in General Studies, Social Sciences, and Business Administration. She went on to graduate from Virginia Wesleyan College in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics.
Since 2004, she has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, a regional nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of girls. The Council has an average membership of 22,000 and received the 2008 Agency of the Year Award from the United Way of South Hampton Roads, and the 2009 “4ward” Hampton Roads Award from Lead Hampton Roads.
In 2007, Ms. Keller earned a certification in nonprofit management from TCC’s Academy for Nonprofit Excellence, and, in 2007, was selected to attend a Strategic Leader Seminar at the United States Army War College sponsored by Columbia University Business School. In 2009, she graduated from the Lead Hampton Roads program. She joined the ranks of the prestigious Civic Leadership Institute’s alumni in 2010.
Ms. Keller has been recognized for her leadership many times. In 2008 she was honored as one of the “Top 40 Leaders under 40” by Inside Business Magazine and, in 2012, she was honored with the Women of Distinction Award by the YWCA of South Hampton Roads.
Jane Bennett ’91
Jane Bennett, a native of Norfolk, received her Associate of Science in Business Administration from TCC, and certification as a Chartered Life Underwriter and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Bennett is a financial services professional at the New York Life Insurance Company. She has worked as an accountant specialist in various savings banks, including as an account manager for Tidemark Bank in Newport News. She qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table four times.
Ms. Bennett’s continued connection with TCC also includes her current participation in the Women’s Center Advisory Group, now known as the Network for Empowering Women Students (N.E.W.S.). Ms. Bennett chaired the group from 2003 to 2010.
Kaitlin Burke ’09
Kaitlin Burke, a native of Milltown, New Jersey, resides in Virginia Beach. She received her Associate of Science from Tidewater Community College and graduated from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.
Ms. Burke served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for five years and continues as an active reservist. She has volunteered her time with the ASPCA and the Special Olympics, and currently gives of herself at Bon Secours Hospice. She is a member of the Veterans Society of William & Mary.
While at TCC, Ms. Burke was the recipient of the Betty L. Shores Memorial Scholarship and the T. Michael Laney Memorial Science Scholarship. She participated in the STEM Pioneer Project for women exploring non-traditional careers and was vice president of service for the Psi Upsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which presented her the Distinguished Chapter Officer award. She also completed a medical research internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Clay Dills ’95
Clay Dills, a Norfolk native, attended TCC from 1994 to 1995 and transferred to Virginia Tech, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2000. While at Virginia Tech, he won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for honors, and a prize for top thesis. He was also accepted into the Cooper Union School of Architecture and Design and spent time at both schools before receiving his degree from Virginia Tech.
Mr. Dills is an architect and principal at Dills Architects, a firm his father started over 30 years ago. He has designed award-winning projects in and around Hampton Roads and has also served as an adjunct professor of architecture at Hampton University.
Mr. Dills has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects’ Hampton Roads chapter and was selected to participate in the Virginia State AIA’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture program for 2011.
Jason Elliott ’10
Jason Elliott, a Chesapeake native, received his Associate of Science in Social Sciences from TCC in 2010. In 2013, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
In January 2013, Mr. Elliott began working at the AIDS/HIV Services Group in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the program recruitment specialist, leading education and community outreach efforts regarding HIV/AIDS and sexual and mental health. In January 2014, he transitioned to testing coordinator where he currently oversees the clinic’s HIV and hepatitis C testing throughout a range of federal and state funded programs.
While at TCC, Mr. Elliott was the recipient of the Brian P. Damiani International Experience Scholarship and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. He served as a Virginia Community College System representative on the Student Advisory Committee for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and was elected as the first-ever committee chair from a community college.
While at TCC, Mr. Elliott worked in the Office of the Provost of the Chesapeake Campus and was active in the Chesapeake Campus Student Government Association, holding the offices of senator, treasurer, and, ultimately, SGA president. Mr. Elliott was also the charter president of the Circle K International Club and a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and the International Student Alliance.
Ellyn Hodgis ’91
Ellyn Hodgis has lived in Virginia Beach since 1986. She graduated summa cum laude from TCC in 1991 with an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with an Education concentration at Old Dominion University and a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Troy University, Alabama.
Following graduation from TCC, Ms. Hodgis worked as a radiologic technologist at Sentara Bayside Hospital and served as a clinical instructor for the TCC radiography program at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. She is currently an associate professor and program head of radiography at TCC, where she created the mammography program. She has also served on the TCC Faculty Senate since 2004 and was elected chair in 2012.
Ms. Hodges is a frequent lecturer for the Virginia Society of Radiologic Technologists.
Susan James ’92
Susan James, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, immigrated to the United States in 1977 and now makes Virginia Beach her home. She received her Associate of Applied Science from Tidewater Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources from St. Leo University, and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University.
Ms. James retired from the United States Navy after completing 24 years of distinguished service as a decorated senior chief yeoman. As the Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff at TCC, Ms. James coordinates college-wide cultural events and is the liaison to the College Board.
Terri Kwasny ’08
Terri Kwasny received her Associate of Science in Business Administration from TCC in 2008. She received a Bachelor of Science in management from Old Dominion University, where she was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and was recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Management Student.
In 2002, Ms. Kwasny began a career at Norfolk Southern Corporation, where she is currently an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer in the Human Resource Department. She has served on Norfolk Southern’s corporate Diversity Council, a cross-section of employees who promote the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through education and awareness.
Ms. Kwasny is also active in Norfolk Southern’s employee resource groups, including Women in Norfolk Southern (WINS) and the Thoroughbred Volunteers, and she is a founding member of the Company’s Toastmasters Club, Toasters on Track.
Drew Little ’04
Drew Little received an Associate of Arts at Tidewater Community College. While at TCC he served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, was a Study Abroad scholarship winner, a writer for the TCC Times, and a Dean’s List and President’s List honoree.
He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in History at the College of William & Mary, where he also majored in economics. Mr. Little then earned his M.B.A. at the Mason School of Business at William & Mary.
He is the founder and CEO of true-indie.com and is a business development manager for Pilot Media. Prior to joining Pilot Media, he worked as a director of sales, as well as in management, operations and training. Mr. Little received over 75 sales and operations awards at the district, regional, and national levels.
He has served on a number of committees and boards including the Natchel Blues Network and Virginia Opera.
Raymond Mattes III ’79
A native of Norfolk who now resides in Virginia Beach, Ray Mattes attended Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University. He has been affiliated with the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater DBA Retail Alliance since 1984. As President and CEO, Mr. Mattes oversees both the non-profit and for-profit divisions of the association.
Ray is active in the community, having served as chairman of the Board of Directors for Child and Family Services of Eastern Virginia in 1998-99 and again in 2004-05. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Downtown Norfolk Council, Greater Norfolk Council, and Virginia Beach Vision. He has also served on the Virginia Beach Education Foundation Board of Directors, is a former board member of the Tidewater Mortgage Bankers Association and the Great Neck Athletic Association and has served as past chairman of the International Credit Association.
Bruce Meyer ’87
Bruce Meyer is owner and president of Meyer Group Insurance, which specializes in creating benefits programs for businesses. A long-time advocate for higher education, he has served on both TCC’s College Board and on the State Board for Community Colleges.
In 2001 Mr. Meyer was appointed to the State Board, where he chaired the Academic and Student Affairs/Workforce Development Committee and participated in the implementation of the Virginia Community College System’s Guaranteed Transfer Program.
He subsequently served for four years on the TCC College Board, including chairing its Advocacy and Advancement Committee. Mr. Meyer was again appointed to the State Board in 2010. In 2012 he was elected vice chairman/chairman-elect and served as chair 2013-2014.
Jerry Ortiz ’04
Immediate Past President
Jerry Ortiz, a native of San Antonio, Texas, and now a resident of Chesapeake, received his Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from TCC and his Bachelor of Arts in history and social science from Old Dominion University, where he is also currently pursuing a master’s in higher education.
Mr. Ortiz retired from the United States Navy after completing 21 years of honorable service. After three years as a teacher of civics and economics, and religion at St. Patrick Catholic School in Norfolk, Mr. Ortiz returned to TCC where he served as the Alumni Relations officer and president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
While a TCC student, Mr. Ortiz served as the Norfolk Campus Student Government Association president and secretary of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
Lucynthia Rawls ’84
Lucynthia Rawls is a native of Virginia Beach and graduate of Kempsville High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University and a Master of Public Administration in 1980 from the University of Alabama.
Fulfilling a desire to receive college training in computer systems, Ms. Rawls earned an Associate of Applied Science in Business Data Processing from TCC in 1985,
Ms. Rawls was employed as a management analyst for the City of Norfolk Police Department for over 17 years, prior to her retirement in 2013. She holds Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Emeritus Certification from the national Society of Human Resource Management.
Prior to coming to the City of Norfolk, she worked over 14 years in state and municipal government positions. She is a former board secretary of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts, Inc.
Ms. Rawls is a past member and chair of the Human Services Advisory Board, City of Chesapeake. Currently, she is a member of the Tidewater Literacy Partnership, the Norfolk Police Department Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the Virginia Beach Mayor’s African American Roundtable and the Social Services Advisory Board, City of Virginia Beach.