History of the CMC Foundation

In 1981, the Friends of Copper Mountain College began to raise money to pay for construction of the first phase of the Copper Mountain Campus which was at that time part of the College of the Desert. It started with the sale of a quilt and before long, groups such as the local Rotary Clubs came to the rescue with large contributions. Then-President Ronald Reagan was so impressed by this self-help initiative that he awarded the Friends his Volunteer Action Award for 1984.

Through the following 20 years, the Friends collected donations, mainly from local residents, and disbursed cash through the College for continuing expansion of the campus. These funds provided landscaping, expansion of the parking lot with energy efficient lighting, construction of a warehouse, $200,000 for the purchase of books, periodicals, and media equipment for the new Greenleaf Library.

In 1999, Copper Mountain Campus separated from College of the Desert, Palm Desert, and, through state legislation, formed the new Copper Mountain Community College District. Copper Mountain College obtained its own full accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in June 2001, at which time the Friends changed their name to the Copper Mountain College Foundation.

The Foundation continues to develop its mission of expanding educational opportunities in the Morongo Basin by supporting the programs, activities and facilities of Copper Mountain College.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Chuck Uyeda, President

Mario Villescas, Vice President

Kristina Suydam, Treasurer

Renee Anderson, Secretary

J. Ovier Alvarez, Director

Mary Jane Binge, Director

Brandon Burdett, Director

Karen Coghill, Director

Kevin Cosgriff, Director

Ginger Cowan, Director

Kristie Mitchell-Doutt, Director

Veno Nathraj, Director

Ron Sears, Director

Jeewanjot Singh, Director

John Zaccaria, Director

Ex-Officio Directors of the Foundation: 

Daren Otten, Superintendent/President, CMC

Mariah Banerjee, Student Representative, CMC

Chelsi Chastain, Classified Senate, CMC

Mary Lombardo, Board of Trustees Liaison, CMC

Jim Brakebill, Academic Senate, CMC

Meredith Plummer, Chief Business Officer, CMC

Honorary Directors

Robert Burke (in memoriam)

J. B. Carrol (in memoriam)

Tony Dindio (in memoriam)

Greg Gilbert

Elmer T. “Bud” Garrett

Owen Gillick

Nancy Huntington 

Stephanie Ince

Cathy Larson

Christine Proudfoot (in memoriam)

R. M. “Max” Proudfoot (in memoriam)

Genevieve Salisbury (in memoriam)

Jane Smith (in memoriam)

Michael Styles (in memoriam)

Bob Thacher (in memoriam)

Howard Van Elgort

Meeting Minutes 2022
Meeting Minutes 2020