Meet the Team

Dr. Trudy Gerald

Interim Regional Chair, Central Valley Mother Lode Regional Consortium
Dr. Gerald is Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Economic Development for the Kern Community College District. In this position, she serves as interim regional chair for the consortium, playing a lead role in ensuring a broad and equitable post-pandemic workforce recovery throughout the Central Valley Mother Lode region.
Contact Me

Gary Potter

Regional Director of Employer Engagement-Central Subregion
Gary has a Master’s of Agricultural Education with an emphasis in Agricultural Engineering and Technology. 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.
Contact Me

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.
Contact Me

Beatrice Licon

Director of Programs and Compliance
Licon, who holds a Master of Business Administration, ensures all financial information within the Central Valley 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.
Contact Me

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 Valley Mother Lode Regional Consortium.
Contact Me

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 Valley Mother Lode Regional Consortium.
Contact me


Director, Central Valley/Motherlode Center of Excellence

Octavio Patiño, Ed.D

Director of K14 TAP
Octavio is the son of retired high school educators. He is also a native of Kern County. Octavio spent 21 years as a teacher and administrator for the Kern High School District. Octavio has worked in various positions throughout his career to help students set high-achieving goals for their futures. Octavio is excited to continue that work as the new Director of K14 TAP. Octavio has a Bachelor’s in History, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
Contact Me

Maira Nuñez

Department Assistant III, Economic Workforce and Development
Maira Nuñez, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in English, is a South Kern County native. She is excited to support the team in her new role as Department Assistant III of Economic and Workforce Development for the Kern Community College District. Outside of work, Maira enjoys traveling, reading, photography, playing music, and spending time with her family and friends.
Contact Me

Mary Watts

Regional Director of Employer Engagement-North Subregion
Mary is a first-generation college graduate with a master’s in marketing management and a bachelor’s in international relations. Mary has experience setting up paid internships, creating work-based learning opportunities, coaching students on career readiness skills, and helping set up an Eastern Sierra K-16 Collaborative. Mary was born in Kern County and currently lives in Calaveras County. In her role, Mary will support the growth and strengthening of college to career pipelines to better prepare students to graduate with gainful employment to meet the needs of the workforce.
Contact Me