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7:09 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

College loses its economic development director

Wright’s last day after three-and-a-half years

Alexandria Wright moderates the 2016 Future Leaders Forum.

Yavapai College/Courtesy

Alexandria Wright moderates the 2016 Future Leaders Forum.

Today, Wednesday, March 21, is Alexandria Wright’s last day serving as the Regional Economic Development director for Yavapai College.

She began working for YC in August 2013.

Among other duties, Wright was tasked with overseeing the college’s Regional Economic Development Center, which provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and builds wealth in the local communities.

“Over the past 3.5 years, YC has emerged as a regional leader in economic development, small business technical assistance, workforce analysis, and in delivering in-demand corporate training,” Wright said. “Additionally, our Career Coach initiative now provides YC students with the resources they need for job placement and success after graduation. 

“I’m proud of the work that has been accomplished over this time and the leadership granted by Yavapai College to help achieve these goals.”

The next chapter of her career is taking her to California. She has accepted a position working for the Ventura County Community College District as Director of Economic and Workforce Development, Grants and Contracts.  

Dr. Ron Liss, vice president of Instructing and Student Development at Yavapai, will be overseeing the Regional Economic Development Center in Wright’s absence. However, he intends to appoint an interim director from within the college shortly.

“I’ve already talked to a couple people and am waiting for some responses back,” Liss said. “I’m hoping to have somebody in place by the end of the week.”

How quickly a full-time replacement will be found has not been determined yet, he said.

“It does take us a little bit of time to go through the search process and all,” Liss said.

College finds new Foundation Executive Director within

Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills and Yavapai College Foundation Board President Perry Massie have announced that Paul Kirchgraber has been hired as executive director of the Yavapai College Foundation (YCF), according to a news release. 

Kirchgraber brings more than 25 years of experience in a variety of roles in higher education and nonprofit organizations where he led annual and major gift fundraising programs as well as management, communications and donor relations operational areas.

“I am confident that Paul will be a major asset in supporting the Foundation’s philanthropic mission to support Yavapai College objectives and activities,” Wills said in a statement. “His vast experience in resource development and promoting community awareness are valued strengths that he brings to his position.”

Kirchgraber joined the YCF in 2010 as the director of development after serving as the chief development officer of the Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross. He also served as the national vice president for development for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America as well as in leadership positions at Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. 

“Paul’s track record in fundraising leadership and board development make him the right choice to lead the Foundation,” Massie said. “During the past six years, he has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the YCF’s major gifts program, the Legacy League and our endowment fundraising campaign.”

Kirchgraber holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Louisville and a master’s degree in social work from the State University of New York, Brockport.