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Former college Trustee Dick Van Hollebeke wins state leadership award


Dick Van Hollebeke
Dick Van Hollebeke

The Washington State Association of College Trustees has selected Edmonds Community College former Board of Trustee Dick Van Hollebeke for the 2016 Trustee of the Year Award for his leadership in the community and technical college system.

Van Hollebeke has been a steadfast champion of the college during his 10 years of service from 2005-2015 and has contributed countless hours of his time in support of students and education.

“Mr. Van Hollebeke demonstrates what it means to lead through service. He has spent many hours attending activities and events — well beyond what is required by his position as a Trustee — and involves himself fully in the life of the college and by his high level of engagement,” said Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President. “He also was instrumental in the addition of a student representative member to the Board of Trustees (we were among the first community colleges in the state to have a student representative sit on our Board).”

Van Hollebeke has spent countless hours traveling to Olympia and Washington D.C. to meet with legislators and give presentations — all in his endeavor to make a difference in students’ lives through higher education.

In recent years, he started a program to do television interviews on campus that are played on local TV stations online. The two programs he continues to host are “Engaging our Communities,” focusing on local communities, their mayors, political figures, dignitaries, and how these community members fit in with the college and partnerships with the college, and “Inside Edmonds,” focusing on staff, faculty, and students and what’s happening on our campus.

Outside of the college, Van Hollebeke has participated in the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, was an Edmonds City Councilman, was Chair of the Edmonds Alliance for Economic Development as well as a past board member of the Police Chief’s Roundtable and Counterpoint Mental Health. In addition, he was part of the Edmonds Center for the Arts Campaign, Catholic Community Services Fundraising Committee, and Past President of his parish council. Prior to being selected as a trustee he was a member of the Edmonds CC Foundation Board of Directors for nine years.

He is currently involved in the Edmonds Petanque Club that provides support for local community organizations. He is also a co-founder of the Creative Age Festival of Edmonds, which aims to help retirement-age individuals to revitalize and transform themselves to lead more creative, active, fulfilled, and engaged lives.

Van Hollebeke was honored at the 2016 ACT Awards Dinner on May 12 at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“Mr. Van Hollebeke has a passion and deep commitment to the college, employees, and more importantly, the students,” said Hernandez. “We have truly benefited from his enthusiasm and dedication to the support of higher education.”

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Marisa Pierce