College & Community Relations

New officers named to the Board of Trustees for Aims Community College

Submitted on: 11-04-2011

At its November meeting, the Aims Board of Trustees seated a new member and elected new officers. For the next two years, Walt Richter will serve as Board President, Mike Geile will serve as Secretary and Larry Wood will serve as Treasurer. They, along with returning Trustee Mike Freeman, welcomed the new member to the Board, Carol Ruckel.

Ruckel, who represents Aims District A, takes the seat following term-limited Sandy Neb, who served eight years on the Aims District Board—the last two as Board President. Ruckel has extensive experience in education, most recently retiring from Weld School District Re-8 where she directed a five-year, $3.6 million federal grant program to design and implement performance pay for instructional staff. Prior to that she worked for Denver Public Schools from 1997 to 2003 as director of licensing programs and director of human resources. Ruckel currently is an instructor for McGrath Training Systems, where she teaches education and business leaders communication and organizational performance skills. She earned her master’s in organizational management from The University of Phoenix and her bachelor’s degree in international relations and organization from The American University. Ruckel is president of the Forlurado Club, a women’s service club supporting education, the arts and local humanitarian needs; a founding member and former board member of the Pikes Peak Leadership Academy; served on Governor Romer’s Education Advisory Council from 1989 to 1992; and the Colorado PTA from 1978 to 1991, including serving as state president in 1988-1989.

Richter takes the helm as Board President for the next two years and resumes his seat representing District E for another four years. Richter earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wagner College in New York and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Vermont. Additionally, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Alabama. Richter has a long history in education in Weld County starting as an adjunct instructor at the University of Northern Colorado, then as a biology professor at Aims before becoming faculty chair, then academic dean at the college until his retirement in 2004. He served on the Aims Foundation Board before being elected to the Aims District Board in 2007, where he served as secretary starting in 2009. Through his involvement with Aims, Richter has served as an educational consultant to Kasetsart University and was named as Honorary Advisor to The Senate, Parliament, Bangkok, Thailand. He has also served District 6 on its Citizens Blue Ribbon Panel for Academic Programs and on the Budget Advisory Committee. Richter has also been involved in the Boy Scouts, Leadership Weld County, United Way of Weld County, the Greeley Chamber Orchestra, the Kiwanis Club of Greeley, Weld County Workforce Development Board–Youth Council, Greeley Area Habitat for Humanity, and served on the Institutional Review Board for North Colorado Medical Center.

Mike Geile will serve as Board Secretary for the next two years and he resumes his seat representing District B for another four-year term. Prior to serving as a Weld County Commissioner for two terms he was owner/broker of Century 21 Geile and Associates, a Regional Manager for Public Service Co. of Colorado and General Manager for Home Light and Power Co.  He also served as a consultant for Union Pacific Railroad. Geile is currently a board member of Northern Colorado Medical Center Inc. and United Way as chair of the 2-1-1 advisory committee. He is past president/chairman of Ball Fields for Kids, Economic Develop Action Partnership, Weld Information and Referral, United Way, Greeley Dream Team, Aims Foundation, Embrace Northern Colorado, Co-founder of Promises for Children, Weld Housing Task Force and the Private Industry Council. He has also served on the boards of the Northern Council of the El Pomar Foundation, Greeley Rotary, Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, Upstate Colorado, Bank One, UNC Foundation, LULAC Dollars for Scholars and the Northern Colorado Regional Transportation Committee.  As a county commissioner, he served on several statewide and regional committees including chairman of the Upper Front Range Transportation Planning Committee, chairman of the North Front Range Water Quality Planning Association, chairman of Colorado Counties Public Lands Committee and the Reliable Energy Infrastructure committee. Geile was a torchbearer in the 1996 Olympics. He has received the EDAP Community Excellence Award (1996), United Way Humanitarian of the Year (1994) and the Greeley Board of Realtors Citizen of the Year (2000). 

Larry Wood will serve as Treasurer for the next two years. Wood earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan. Wood is the Executive Vice President for First National Bank. He began his banking career in Grand Junction at First National Bank. Since then he has worked for Central Bank of Greeley, Central Bank of Colorado Springs and Centennial Bank of the West. Throughout his career he has been primarily involved in commercial and real estate lending. 

Mike Freeman was born and raised on his family’s farm west of Ault. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in agriculture business. He was a farmer and rancher until 2001 when he joined his wife, Janine, at J9 Crop Insurance Agency in Ault. He has been elected to numerous positions in the region including Highland Re-9 School Board, serving as president from 2000-2005; member of the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) Board of Directors and president in 2005; member of the Eaton Country Club Board and the Ault-Pierce Fire Board in addition to his service to the Aims Board of Trustees since 2009. Additionally, Freeman serves as chair of the Weld County Extension Advisory Committee and as vice-chair of the Greeley Chamber Ag Committee.

Carol Ruckel (right) is sworn in by Election Officer Karoline Woodruff.

Walt Richter is sworn in.

Mike Geile is sworn in.


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