The Board of Trustees

Danny Bailey

Staff Trustee

Education: Eastern Oregon University, Bachelor of Music; Western Oregon University, Master of Science in Education – Curriculum & Instruction

Occupation: Scholarship Coordinator, Eastern Oregon University

Biography: Danny is a Willamette Valley native and EOU Alum. He began working in the Financial Aid Office in 2016 and prides himself that his position helps other Mounties to be financially successful during their educational journey. When able, Danny enjoys participating in Music and Theatre performances around the valley. Most recently, he is the music director for two different performing ensembles in La Grande. 

Richard Chaves (Chair)

Education: Eastern Oregon University, Business Economics and Management.

Occupation: President and Founder, Chaves Consulting, Inc. (CCI).

Biography: Richard has led CCI in the design and implementation of information system solutions for state and local government agencies throughout the United States. Over the past 35 years, he founded three companies, developed business and technology solutions, and received numerous recognitions from his customers and business partners for excellent service. In 2011, CCI was named Business of the Year by the Baker County Chamber of Commerce.

Roberta Conner

Education: Willamette University, Master of Management; University of Oregon, Bachelor’s in Journalism.

Occupation: Director, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.

Biography: Roberta has been the Director of the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute since 1998. She is a well-published writer and lecturer on cultural preservation issues and mentors young scholars who are interested in tribal cultural preservation. In 2007 she received the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award for her work representing the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).

Susan Corey

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching, Eastern Oregon University

Occupation: Rancher, philanthropist, former elementary school teacher

Biography: Susan is a lifelong Pendleton resident. She has volunteered with many organizations including the Pendleton Arts Council and as President of the EOU Foundation. In 2016 she received the Al and Pat Reser Civic Leadership Award. Her family has many long-time ties to the region, including Mac Hoke. Her daughter is an EOU online alumna, and Susan is proud of EOU’s commitment to transfer and online students. “I want EOU to become very successful because I feel like it’s a gem to the region.”

Karyn Gomez

Faculty Trustee

Education: Texas A&M University-Commerce, EdD in Supervision, Curriculum & Instruction & MEd in Elementary Education; Pacific Lutheran University, BAE in English

Occupation: Professor, EOU College of Education

Biography: Karyn was born in Roseburg and raised in Washington. She was thrilled to return to the area as an EOU faculty member in 2006 after several years of living in Texas. At EOU, Karyn has served on multiple shared governance committees and spent several years as the Director of Educator Preparation for the College of Education. In addition to her faculty teaching, Karyn has a total of 19 years of elementary teaching experience. She has volunteered as a state and national site visitor for the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Karyn participates in the community as a board member for the K-House campus ministry and as a classroom volunteer whenever possible.

Tom Insko, President

Ex-officio Member

Education: College of William and Mary, Master of Business Administration; Eastern Oregon University, Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Business Economics.

Occupation: Eastern Oregon University President.

Biography: Prior to his presidency at EOU, Tom worked for Boise Cascade for 20 years with the majority of his responsibilities focused on operations management. A native eastern Oregonian, Tom grew up on his family’s farm located north of La Grande. He has served as the EOU Foundation president and as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Bill Johnson

Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Occupation: Owner of Sage Farms; a multi-faceted farm in the Treasure Valley.

Biography: Raised in Vale, Bill joined Microsoft after college where he led the design of early versions of Microsoft Excel. Later, he served as Vice President of Program Management at InterNAP, an internet routing optimization firm. He is a founding member of Malheur County Poverty to Prosperity and serves on several other business and agricultural boards. Sage farms produces crops on over 5,000 irrigated acres.

Dixie Lund

Education: Eastern Oregon University, Secondary Business Education; Oregon State University, Ed.M., Adult Education; Portland State University, Ed.D, Postsecondary Educational Leadership.

Occupation: Retired Interim EOU President.

Biography: During Dixie’s tenure at EOU beginning in 1973, she held various teaching and coordinator positions and was named Dean of Distance Education. She served as EOU’s Interim President two times, is the recipient of the Oregon Women in Higher Education Service Award and was named a Woman of Courage and Vision by the university.

Tamra Mabbott EOU Board of Trustees

Tamra Mabbott

Education: M.A. Urban Planning, UCLA; B.A. Political Science, UCLA

Occupation: Planning Director for Morrow County, Oregon.

Biography: Tamra Mabbott grew up on a small dairy farm along the Rogue River in Southern Oregon.  While attending University of California, Los Angeles, she worked full time and volunteered with a variety of political organizations.  Hopeful about a career helping to make communities viable and healthy, she chose to continue her education in Urban Planning, followed by completion of an advanced program in Fiscal Studies.  She worked a short time for the Portland Development Commission and then began a 30+ year career as a land use planner. She spent two years working for a small city as a Community Development Director and then served as the Eastern Region Representative for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development.  While she described her state position as her dream job, traveling the 10 county region and spending time with wonderful people and communities, she returned to serve as the Planning Director for Morrow County where she can focus her time in a smaller community.

Cheryl Martin (Vice Chair)

Education: Eastern Oregon University, Bachelor’s of Science in Education.

Occupation: Rancher/Owner VP Ranch.

Biography: An Alumna of EOU, Cheryl taught in the Powder Valley School District for 27 years. She was awarded Oregon Middle School Science Teacher of the Year and Conservation Teacher of the year.  She served on the Oregon Science Teacher Board, was president of Baker County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the executive board for Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.  She owns and operates the VP Ranch in North Powder and is the sixth generation to live and ranch in the Powder Valley.

Abel Mendoza

Education: B.A. from Eastern Oregon University in 1972 and a PhD in chemistry from Washington State University in 1977.

Occupation: Retired EOU Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Retired Dow Chemical Researcher.

Biography: Following a prestigious career at Dow Chemical, Dr. Mendoza returned to eastern Oregon in 2001 to enjoy his retirement. In 2004, he began teaching at his alma mater as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and retired from this position in 2014. He is an inventor and holds 28 patents.

George Mendoza

Education: Northwest Nazarene University, Master of Education Leadership; Eastern Oregon University, Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education.

Occupation: Superintendent, La Grande School District.

Biography: George has over 20 years of experience working in education as an elementary school teacher, administrator, and coach. Prior to his current post with the La Grande School District, he was the Assistant Superintendent/Director of Special Education at Morrow County School District.

Cedric Riel

Student Trustee

Education: Eastern Oregon University (Currently Enrolled)

Occupation: Current EOU Student

Biography: Cedric Riel recently graduated from EOU suma cum laude, earning a degree in Business. He is currently on track to complete a second undergraduate degree in Economics while also obtaining his MBA.  While obtaining these degrees, Cedric has continued to compete in both Football and Track, sports which have contributed to the development of his character. He is passionate about serving the EOU community and has been involved with ASEOU, serving as Senate Chair in 2019-20 and as Director of Financial Affairs in 2020-21. He looks forward to being able to continue to serve the EOU community.

Brad Stephens

Education: Harvard University, AB, 1964; Tufts University School of Medicine, MD, 1968; Dartmouth Medical School Orthopedic Residency, 1975.

Occupation: Retired orthopedic surgeon.

Biography: Brad established his orthopedic surgery practice in La Grande in 1975 and was the team physician for EOU, helping teach courses on athletic injuries. In 1993 he was named Medical Director of the United State Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. He returned to Eastern Oregon in 2007 and settled in Wallowa County, where he practiced until 2014. He has served as Secretary to the EOU Foundation Board of Directors for the past two years and is the Chair of Wallowa Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to sustaining the working landscape in Wallowa County.

EOU Trustee Maurizio Valerio

Maurizio Valerio

Education: University of California, Berkeley Master of Arts in Zoology; University of Parma (Italy) Doctoral Degree in Natural Sciences.

Occupation:  Field Coordinator with The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF); Owner/Manager of the Eccoci Ranch in Union County.

Biography: Maurizio was born and raised in Italy and arrived in the US with a post-doctoral position at UC Berkeley. He taught Cultural Tourism at the University of Verona (Italy), and worked as an Instructor in the Biology Department at EOU for several years. In his current job as Field Coordinator with TFFF, Maurizio supports community building efforts in many rural communities across Eastern Oregon. He is also actively involved in a long-term forest stewardship plan on his own land for which he received the Forest Steward Award for Union County 2019 and is a nominee for the Oregon Tree Farmer Award for 2020.