Four local business leaders join MCC Foundation board

The Metropolitan Community College Foundation on Thursday welcomed four new members to its board of directors: Rafael I. Garcia, Michael L. Roane, Don Sipes and Michele L. Watley.

Garcia RafaelRafael Garcia, an MCC alumnus, is owner, president, founding principal and principal of design at Garcia Architecture, LLC. In addition to leading the award-winning firm, Garcia is very involved in the community, having served in volunteer leadership positions with the American Royal, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Kansas City Art Institute, Starlight Theatre, Heart of America United Way, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, the Boy Scouts of America, the University of Kansas School of Architecture, the Full Employment Council, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, and many more organizations and causes. Garcia is also active in Hispanic advocacy, having served as a U.S. Ambassador to Acapulco, Mexico; as the Missouri representative for the U.S. Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs; and as president and board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Prior to founding Garcia Architecture, Garcia served as an instructor in architectural design for the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Urban Design and as the director of design and architectural advisory chair at the El Centro College School of Architecture in Dallas. Garcia is an alumnus of MCC-Longview where he was a member of the basketball team. He also earned three degrees, with honors, from the University of Kansas: bachelor of environmental design, bachelor of science in architectural engineering and master of architecture.

Michael Roane is senior vice president and chief humaMichael Roanen resources officer for JE Dunn Construction Company. Prior to joining JE Dunn, Roane held senior vice president of human resources roles at Spartech Corporation in St. Louis and at Sage Software’s Healthcare Division in Tampa, Fla. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of global human resources and communications with Greif, Inc., in Ohio and, before that, was vice president of human resources for Owens & Minor, Inc., in Virginia. Roane has served in various volunteer leadership roles, including participation on the boards of the Urban League and Goodwill Industries in Richmond, the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and Delaware County Cultural Arts, the Columbus Zoo, and several posts in Kansas City: the personnel advisory council for the Kansas City YMCA, the Kansas City Civic Council’s KC Tomorrow leadership program and service as the executive sponsor on behalf of JE Dunn for the Boy Scouts Urban Explorer Post. Roane holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

Don SipesDon Sipes is vice president of regional services for Saint Luke’s Health System and chief executive officer of Saint Luke’s Northland Hospital—Smithville Campus. Prior to his work at Saint Luke’s, he was CEO of Pershing Memorial Hospital/Pershing Regional Health Center in Brookfield and Marceline, Mo. Sipes has been affiliated with a number of professional organizations, including service on the boards of the Hospital Industry Data Institute, the Association of Independent Hospitals, the Missouri Hospital Purchasing Council, the Missouri Hospital Association, the Hospital Services Group and the American Hospital Association. He has also served as both a regent and an American Society of Clinical Pathologists Fellow for the American College of Healthcare Executives. Sipes has earned several honors in his field, including the Missouri Hospital Association Distinguished Service Award, the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award, the North Central Missouri College Distinguished Alumni Award and the American College of Healthcare Executives Service Award. Sipes holds a bachelor of arts in zoology from the University of Missouri and a master of arts in management and supervision with an emphasis in health care administration from Central Michigan University.

Watley Michele 3Michele Watley, an MCC alumna, is director of the Kansas City branch office for Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Prior to her work with Sec. Kander, Watley served as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar for Rotary International in The Hague, Netherlands. While in the Netherlands, Watley also worked as a public relations intern for the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Prior to her work in the Netherlands, she was a project management and public relations contractor for the City of Kansas City, Mo. Watley is a member and board liaison for the Central Exchange, a fellow with the New Leaders Council and the Rotary relations committee chair for Rotaract KC. She has earned a number of professional honors, including an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Silver Quill Award, four IABC Communication Awards of Excellence, an Association for Women in Communication Clarion Award and a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar Award. Watley is an alumna of MCC-Business & Technology and holds a bachelor of arts in communication with concentrations in advertising and public relations from Avila University. She has also completed coursework in public international law and politics at Leiden University in The Hague, Netherlands.