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Support Student Success

Donors to the Cochise College Foundation provide nearly $500,000 annually to promote student success through scholarships, facilities development and program support. By supporting Cochise College, the foundation endeavors to increase the college’s accessibility to our diverse and changing communities.

The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is overseen and supported by a volunteer board of directors.

Ways to Give

Donors who wish to support student success have an array of options. Our online service makes giving to the Cochise College Foundation quick and easy! You can make a gift using your credit card or request that regular gifts be automatically deducted from your bank account (the online service assesses no fee on bank transactions). Email Cochise College Foundation with questions you may have about giving.

With the addition of a provision in your will or trust, you can designate the Cochise College Foundation to receive a percentage or specific amount from your estate. Proceeds from the sale of a gift of personal property can help with scholarships or program support. A transfer of appreciated stock may let you contribute and avoid capital gains tax incurred if the securities were instead sold.

Contact your legal or financial advisor about how your gift to the Cochise College Foundation can help you achieve your goals.

Cash and Pledges
Gifts may be made by cash, check or credit card. Cash pledges should be made in writing or by means of a pledge form available from the Cochise College Foundation. We will be happy to tailor pledges to meet the donor’s wishes and provide follow-up reminders to assist in making pledge payments as necessary.

AmazonSmile website
Amazon will contribute a portion of proceeds from qualifying purchases to the Cochise College Foundation.

Matching Gifts
If your employer or your spouse’s employer has a program that matches part or all of a qualifying donation, such a program can double or even triple your gift amount. Check with your human resources department to see if such a matching gift program exists.

Real Estate
You may give private, commercial, or agricultural property to the Foundation. If you are considering such a gift, please contact the Foundation as early as possible so that we may jointly decide the best use of the property.

Personal Property
Works of art, valuable books, and/or furnishings are considered gifts of personal property. An appraisal will be required in specific situations for non-cash contributions. Before considering a donation of personal property, contact the Foundation so that together we may determine the best way to arrange such a gift.

Planned Gifts
Planned gifts are commitments that are arranged today but generally come to the Foundation after your lifetime, such as designating a gift in your will, or designating the Foundation as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Your planned gift helps ensure Cochise College’s ability to deliver educational services and scholarships to our community far into the future while matching your overall financial planning goals.

Online Giving Website
Arrange easy one-time or recurring online gifts. A percentage of your credit card gift will cover fees associated with our online merchant service. If you would prefer that 100% of your gift go to the purpose for which you intend, you can arrange for automatic payment from your checking account.

Establish a Scholarship Fund
Donors may establish a specially named and endowed scholarship fund as a tribute to an individual, a group, or in connection with a particular area of study at Cochise College. Creating an endowed scholarship fund allows you to make a financial commitment to the College and to the students of our community with an investment that will continue to give far into the future. The minimum amount for establishing an endowed fund is $5,000.

Memorial/Tribute Gifts
The Cochise College Foundation’s gift of education contribution program allows you to make a gift in honor or in memory of someone special. Your gift to the Foundation makes for a unique personal gift from you for the holidays, for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation, or for Mother’s or Father’s Day. The Foundation acknowledges all gifts in writing and will send a special occasion card to your honoree or designated party.

Graduating Senior Scholarship Guarantee

In 2015 53% of high school graduates enroll in post-secondary education, and 42% of residents have attained a degree or certificate. Arizona seeks to raise those statistics to 70 percent and 60 percent by 2030.

PROBLEM: Arizona has set goals for the year 2030 to address challenges to preparing the workforce of tomorrow. Only 53 percent of high school graduates enroll in post-secondary programs, and only 42 percent of residents have earned a 2- or 4-year degree. Cochise County trails on both measures.

SOLUTION: The promise of scholarship funding helps inspire students to realize their potential at one of the top community colleges in the nation. Graduating Cochise County high school seniors who enroll full time and declare an academic goal at Cochise College the semester after high school are eligible to receive up to four consecutive semesters of financial support.

YOU CAN HELP: Your financial contribution helps more students pursue their potential and enhances the competitiveness of the county and state workforce and quality of life.


The Cochise College Foundation promotes student success through scholarships, facilities development, and program support. By supporting Cochise College, the Foundation endeavors to increase the college’s accessibility to our diverse and changing communities.

The foundation annually awards more than $300,000 in scholarships to students and $100,000 in program support to the college. It recently received a parcel of property on which college students enrolled in the Residential Construction Technology program will learn workplace skills by building homes.

4190 West Highway 80 | Douglas, Arizona  85607-6190
(800) 966-7943, Ext. 4735 | (520) 417-4735

2018 - 2019 Foundation Board of Directors

Board Officers

Gene Manring

The number of organizations Gene has served since he became a resident of Sierra Vista in 1973 is too long to list. Gene retired from the U.S. Army in 1975. He served on the Cochise College Governing Board for eight years and as executive director of the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce and of the Chapman University branch campus (now closed) offering bachelor’s degrees in Sierra Vista. He was elected to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors in 1988. He has more than 15 years volunteering in the Foster Care Review board program, and he also is a member of the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative board of directors.

sheila devoe heidman

A Sierra Vista resident, Sheila retired from Cochise College in 2014 after 17 years. She served the college as director of the Small Business Development Center; executive director for Business and Workforce Development; and dean of Extended Learning. As the dean, she oversaw college centers in Willcox, Benson and Santa Cruz County; Online/Virtual Campus; and the Center for Lifelong Learning, Small Business Development Center, Adult Education, K-12 outreach, and the Prison Education Program. She owned the DeVoe College of Beauty in Sierra Vista for more than 20 years. In addition, she has served on various local boards and is secretary of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation, where she previously held all other executive board positions.

Karen Justice

Karen is a personal financial planner and independent registered investment advisor who resides in Bisbee. She also worked for five years in mortgage banking, four years as an auditor with a CPA firm, and 12 years as a tax consultant. She is an active supporter of the Bisbee Public Library and has served in a planned giving capacity with the boards of the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. She has also served on the Finance Committee of several other Bisbee non-profit organizations.

Jean Giuffrida

Jean manages the Long Realty office in Sierra Vista. A 20-year resident and former educator, she joined the board in 2013. Jean is past president of the Women’s Council of Realtors and a past officer of the Southeast Arizona Association of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service. She has served on the Greater Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, working closely with the organization’s leadership program.

Board Members

Mark Battaglia

Mark, an avid investor, has served the Cochise College Foundation board of directors for some 20 years. A semi-retired attorney, he came to Benson following a stint as national transportation manager, chemicals and plastics, with Union Carbide. He opened a private practice, which he today shares with his daughter, but also has served as city manager, city attorney, and deputy Cochise County attorney. Before enrolling in law school, Mark earned a degree in finance. He is never very far removed from the day’s trading news, and he spent about 20 years as foundation treasurer, in addition to previously serving as board president several times. His other hobbies are fishing and spending time with his grandsons.

charles chambers

Chuck Chambers operates a small family cattle ranch east of Douglas. He has served on the Whitewater Draw Conservation District Board of Supervisors for 16 years, two of them as chairman. He also serves on and is past president of the Cochise/Graham County Cattle Growers Board of Supervisors. Chuck served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years as a pilot, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He is a life member of the Arizona Rangers and was company commander of the Douglas Company for seven years. He is deacon and financial secretary for his church, and he holds a master’s degree in engineering. He joined the board of the Cochise College Foundation in 1992.

Jan Guy

Jan (’76) of Hereford found a home at Cochise College not just as a student, but also as a volunteer. She began her formal post-secondary education as an adult student at Cochise College in 1974 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of the State of New York in Albany and a master’s in public administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She joined the foundation board in 1992 and was elected to the Governing Board three years later. She served as chair for many years and was named board member emeritus in 2013. She is a lifetime member of the Association of Community College Trustees. She is a licensed pilot and also works with her therapy dog Crockett at the hospital and local nursing homes.

Board Members (Cont.)

Joanna Michelich portrait

Dr. Joanna Michelich (’68) has had an ongoing relationship with the college since her enrollment as a freshman in 1966. Upon graduating from Cochise, she pursued degrees from Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona and Washington State University. She received the Outstanding Community College Alumni Award for 1964-1978, presented by Cochise College and the State Board for Community Colleges of Arizona in 1978. Over 35 years, Michelich served in a variety of leadership positions in higher education and related professional associations. She retired as executive vice president/provost of her alma mater – Cochise College – in 2009. In addition, Michelich was a trustee of the former Sierra Vista Regional Health Center and a founding member of the board of the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona. She has served as a board member with numerous other community organizations and brings to the foundation a personal passion for Cochise College and its successful future.

Dan Rehurek, Ph.D.

A variety of positions in teaching, admissions, and as vice president for instruction and vice president for student services, preceded Dan’s service as president of Cochise College. Named president emeritus in 1993, he also served on the Douglas School Board and as president of the Arizona School Boards Association. He was a founding member of the Douglas Economic Development Corp. He joined the Cochise College Foundation board after retiring. He and his wife Yvette continue to grow the Dr. and Mrs. Rehurek Scholarship fund. Dan’s newest project is service on the Santa Cruz County Provisional Community College Governing Board; Santa Cruz County is currently served by Cochise College.

Bob Strain

Bob was elected to serve on the Sierra Vista City Council in 1998 and 2002 and as mayor in 2006. He chaired the Upper San Pedro Partnership Advisory Commission from 1999-2010. He is past president of the Sierra Vista Rotary Club and a member of the Greater Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce, Air Force Association, Military Officers of America Association, Fort Huachuca 50, and the Citizens Police Academy Association. Bob served as member and president of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation board of directors between 1999 and 2003. Bob served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years, retiring in 1984 as colonel. He was a program manager for Planning Research Corp. in Washington, D.C., and Sierra Vista from 1984 to 1990 and assistant vice president for management information systems for Science Applications International Corp. from 1990 to 1998. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force War College, he previously earned a master’s in business administration from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southwestern State University. He has also served as arbitrator/mediator for Cochise County Superior Court, associate faculty in economics at Cochise College, and on the advisory board for the Cochise College Center for Economic Research.

Gail Zamar

Gail (’71) of Douglas retired in 2008 as superintendent of the Douglas Unified School District. A 1969 graduate of Douglas High School, she earned an associate of arts degree from Cochise College. After teaching elementary school, primarily in Yuma, Tucson and Douglas, for more than 10 years, she became assistant principal at Huber Middle School in Douglas. She was named principal of Stevenson Elementary in Douglas in 1994, assistant superintendent of DUSD in 2002, and superintendent in 2003. She has served as a consultant since retirement.

Ex-Officio Member

J.D. Rottweiler

J.D. became the 11th president of Cochise College in 2009. A first-generation college graduate, he earned a bachelor of arts in sociology with a Japanese minor in 1990, and a master of arts in sociology in 1992 from the University of Wyoming. In 2005, he earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah. He arrived at Cochise with more than 15 years of community college experience, ranging from small, rural colleges to large, multi-campus, urban institutions. Prior to becoming president, he was executive vice president for academic services and professor of sociology at Central Wyoming College. He has served as associate dean of instruction at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa, and on the faculty at Ricks College, now Brigham Young University – Idaho, and was associate professor/chair of the Department of Sociology at Salt Lake Community College. An avid sports fan, J.D. will travel far for a good football, basketball, baseball or volleyball match-up.

Board Member Emeritus

A retired classroom teacher, Shirley worked for many years with the Douglas Unified School District. She and her husband owned a florist shop and were involved in the landscaping of the Douglas Campus. Shirley resigned from the board in 2012 but remains an avid supporter of Cochise College. She is now board member emeritus.

George Hooper

The late George Hooper served as an active board member from 1978 through 2009, often hosting foundation gatherings at his home in Sierra Vista. He spent 30 years in the U.S. Army and later managed Southeast Arizona Medical Center in Douglas. He also volunteered with the Fry Fire Department. Now a resident of Snowflake, he keeps in touch with his Cochise County friends and recently endowed the George and Barbara Hooper Scholarship for nursing students.

Linda Staneart

Linda, a resident of Green Valley and formerly of McNeal, served on the Cochise College Foundation board of directors for 15 years. When she resigned in 2012, the board named her its first board member emeritus. Previously a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Douglas, she helped connect the foundation with local donors and became a real estate agent after leaving Cochise County.

Honorary Members

Marsha Arzberger

Now retired, Marsha was raised on a farm in Missouri and worked her way through college with scholarships. A resident of Arizona since 1967, she was elected to serve in the State Senate in 2000. Marsha’s background includes service as dean of Draughon’s Business College in Kansas City, Missouri, and professor at the Oklahoma Junior College of Business and Technology. She also served on the Arizona Board of Regents from 1993-2000. She was a member of the Civil Air Patrol for more than 30 years and is a private pilot with an instrument rating and more than 5,000 of flying experience. She is a partner with her husband Gus in the family ranching business. Now retired from politics, she was appointed an honorary member of the Cochise College Foundation board in 1999.

George Bugen

Bugen family history in Bisbee dates to 1907, when George’s father Chris arrived from Yugoslavia. A World War I veteran, he married Mamie Milutinovich, ran the Bugen Brothers Grocery, and had three children – Bette, Sam and George. The boys served in the Korean War. Members of the family were active in various professional, civic and social circles. All were members of the St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church. In 2012, George, the last remaining member of the family, made a gift valued at some $1.2 million to the Cochise College Foundation in support of capital improvements at the Sierra Vista Campus. At the time, it was the largest recorded gift received in support of Cochise College.

Foundation Staff

Denise Hoyos

Denise studied journalism and worked as a reporter and editor before taking her first community college position in the district development office at Ivy Tech State College, now Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. After two years handling newsletters, special events and award programs, she joined Cochise College as public information officer in 2001. She became executive director of the Cochise College Foundation in 2007. In 2009, her role expanded to executive director of the Office of External Affairs, which handles fundraising, marketing and communications for Cochise College. Denise has implemented consistent public and donor communications, planned the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2014-2015, and serves on the college Grants Committee. She is a member of CASE website (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) and currently serves on the District VII Communications Committee. She also serves on the boards of the Cochise County Fair Association and the Bisbee Council on the Arts & Humanities.

Rose Berumen

Rose graduated from Douglas High School and studied for a year at Cochise College before pursuing a secretarial certificate at Chaparral Career College in Tucson. After working as a teller for Pima Savings & Loan Association, she joined Cochise College in 1988. She worked first in human resources, then with the vice president for administration, before joining the foundation.

Dr. Mark von Destinon

Dr. Mark von Destinon’s history with Cochise College dates to his childhood, when his father was the dean of business services. Mark served as college registrar, dean of students on the Sierra Vista Campus, and faculty in psychology and sociology. He retired in 2011 and was named faculty emeritus in 2013. Von Destinon has administrative and faculty experience at both the community college and university levels. His experience includes distance training program evaluation, and he is president of the board of the Tucson Preparatory School. In addition, he has more than 23 years experience working with the Pima County Attorney’s Office performing research and working on grants and publications in the areas of child abuse, domestic violence and victim’s services.

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