Meet the Team

Dr. Jessica Grimes

Regional Chair, Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium
Dr. Grimes is Dean of Economic and Workforce Development for the Kern Community College District. In this position, she serves as regional chair for the consortium, playing a lead role in ensuring a broad and equitable post-pandemic workforce recovery throughout the Central/Mother Lode region.
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Gary Potter

Regional Director of Employer Engagement-Central Subregion
Gary has a bachelor’s degree focused in Agriculture Science: Emphasis in Agriculture Engineering and Agriculture Education from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Gary has a passion for agriculture and manufacturing and is excited to support the region in building strong pathways to the workforce for the region’s employers, students, and colleges.
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Adia Smith

Regional Director of Employer Engagement-South Subregion
Smith, who holds a Master of Science in Aviation, works with business and industry, colleges, and other stakeholders to help create work-based learning opportunities for students. She also proactively engages industry with Consortium colleges to create initiatives that enable student employment.
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Diane Baeza

K-14 Technical Assistance Provider
Diane has a long history serving the Central Region in her roles at Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, and Taft College overseeing various CTE grants and projects. In her most recent position as Director of the Pathways at KCCD, Diane facilitated K12 to Community College collaboration, working to ease transitions for students while aligning CTE programs, work-based learning experiences, and funding support.
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Beatrice Licon

Budget Analyst
Licon, who holds a Master of Business Administration, ensures all financial information within the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium is reported and submitted. She works with the Chancellor’s Office to make sure the Consortium is in compliance with financial reporting and assists the colleges and schools with financial questions.
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Jessica De La Garza

Accounting Coordinator
De La Garza, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a concentration in finance, works to create and streamline processes to facilitate fiscal support for K-12 and Consortium colleges with the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium.
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Rebecca Murillo

Program Director, Strong Workforce
Murillo, who holds a M.S. in Educational Counseling and M.A. Leadership and Conflict Resolution has worked in various roles for both four-year schools and community colleges. She will assist in helping to streamline processes to facilitate program management for the K12 SWP and SWP Consortium colleges with the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium.
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Nora Seronello

Director, Central Valley/Motherlode Center of Excellence
Nora Seronello has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is the Central Valley/Mother Lode Center of Excellence Director. The Centers of Excellence is the leading source of labor market research for the California Community Colleges. Our work empowers community colleges to make informed decisions for preparing the workforce of tomorrow.
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