Board Member of the Year Award - 2021

Lori Laberee - WITC

Each year, we ask our members to recommend colleagues who have made particularly important contributions to our cause as board members and as an association. Selecting a Board Member of the Year is difficult because we must pick from among very deserving individuals who come from very different colleges and boards, and from very different backgrounds and experiences.

We were honored to review the nominations for several really extraordinary members this year, and the committee would be proud to have selected any of the candidates.

The Board Member of the Year Award is based on four criteria: involvement at the district level, involvement at the state level, involvement at the national level, and the individual’s overall service through other contributions.

This Year's Winner - Lori Laberee - NWTC

For over 34 years, Lorraine “Lori” Laberee has served on the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) Board of Trustees as a dedicated advocate for the college and student success. She has served in many leadership roles and has demonstrated an exemplary level of participation at all levels of local, state, regional, and national events and activities. During her Board tenure, WITC has been recognized nationally by Washington Monthly, Aspen Institute, Forbes, and others.

As stated by WITC President Dr. John Will, “Lori has been a dedicated and active Board member for more than three decades. She serves as a tremendous advocate for our system and is extremely qualified to be recognized as Board Member of the Year.”


Ms. Laberee has served in all College Board officer positions and remains involved with new Board member orientation and legislative advocacy. She advocated for Policy Governance and was instrumental in leading that change with the WITC Board. Under her leadership, Board books are in electronic format, Board agendas have been enhanced with links to local, state, and national organizations, and Board agendas include time for monthly area legislator updates. She served on WITC’s Presidential Search Committee and advocated for Board leadership and procedural processes in the evaluation of the college president. She accompanies the college president during county Board meeting presentations and continues to represent the college at Tax Incremental Finance District meetings.

Ms. Laberee participates in collegewide events, including forums and commencement exercises. As a WITC Foundation Board of Directors Liaison, she advocated and initiated the creation of a Board Leadership Scholarship, funded by WITC Board member contributions. Additionally, her family initiated a scholarship with the College Foundation Board. Ms. Laberee’s passion for the college resulted in her encouraging her daughter to enroll in Youth Options as a high school senior who achieved her Associate Degree in Nursing at WITC.

Ms. Laberee has been a resident of the Cable community for 37 years, where she and her husband have raised their family. She has demonstrated her commitment to her community through active participation in multiple community organizations spanning nearly four decades.


Ms. Laberee has served in various leadership roles with the WI District Boards Association (DBA), including co-chair and member of the DBA Program Committee; member of the Marketing, Public Relations, and Awards Committee; member of the Interdistrict Cooperation Committee; member of the Legislative Committee; new Board member mentor; and voting delegate for WITC. Currently, she is the co-chair of the Internal Best Practice Committee and serves as the ACCT WI Coordinator for the Central Region.


Ms. Laberee has actively participated in regional/national meetings and conferences. She credits the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the District Boards Association for her continuous education in matters related to Boardsmanship. Having previously served seven years as ACCT WI Coordinator, she is serving in that leadership role again. During the ACCT Leadership Congress, she has served as a session evaluator, session proctor, and Senate voting delegate for her Board. In 2012, Ms. Laberee was a co-presenter for a WITC “Facilitating Student Success through Policy Governance and Strategic Planning” ACCT Leadership Congress session. In 2013, WITC Board members participated in a "Meeting Local Workforce Needs through Strategic Partnerships” panel at ACCT.

Ms. Laberee continues to be a strong asset and supporter of technical education. Her passion, enthusiasm, and dedication to community college priorities are unparalleled.

Board Member of the Year Award Presentation

Former Award Winners

Board Member of the Year
Year Member College
1976 William Pierce Waukesha
1978 Walter Calvert Southwest WI
1979 Leah Rigler WI Indianhead
1980 Ben Guthrie Nicolet
1990 Jacqueline DeBaker Lakeshore
1991 Joan Jenstead Waukesha County
1992 Donald McGrath Blackhawk
1993 Conrad Zander Nicolet
1994 Ruth Harker Lakeshore
1995 James Munro Blackhawk
1995 Jerald Schoenike Fox Valley
1996 Ken Day Northcentral
1997 Deborah Streuli WI Indianhead
1998 Linda Christman Madison
1999 Robert Beaver Mid-State
2000 Philip Baranowski Moraine Park
2001 Audrey Hein Blackhawk
2002 Sandra Haasl Mid-State
2003 Ruth Mundt Southwest WI
2004 Joan Jenstead Waukesha
2005 David Logghe WI Indianhead
2006 Jean Trempe Northcentral
2007 James Munro Blackhawk
2008 John Lukas Lakeshore
2009 Ronald Bertieri Waukesha
2010 Lauren Baker Milwaukee
2011 Vernon Jung Moraine Park
2012 Russell Moyer Southwest WI
2013 Patrick Costello Mid-State
2014 Ramona Mathews Chippewa Valley
2015 John Lukas Lakeshore
2016 Ramona Mathews Chippewa Valley
2017 Robert Beaver Mid-State
2018 John Lukas Lakeshore
2019 Betty Bruski Mallek Mid-State
2020 Carla Hedtke Northeast Wisconsin
2021 Lorraine Laberee Wisconsin Indianhead