Board of Directors

Joseph H. Creaghead
Global Shelter Systems

Joseph Creaghead is a resident of Fort Mitchell, Ky., and an executive with Global Shelter Systems, a defense contractor based in Ft. Thomas, Ky. A graduate of Beechwood High School, Mr. Creaghead holds a degree in civil engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the board of directors of Welcome House. Mr. Creaghead was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2017.

Chad L. Day
Cincinnati Building Trades

Chad Day is a resident of Covington, Ky., and executive secretary of Cincinnati Building Trades, which seeks to coordinate and harmonize the activities, functions and interests of the Affiliated International Unions in the Building and Construction Industry. A graduate of Paris High School, Mr. Day completed a four-year electrical apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and is a member of IBEW. He was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2018.

Dr. Amber Decker
Staff Representative

Dr. Amber Decker is director of Grants and Contracts and serves as the staff representative to the GCTC board of directors. She joined the college in 2000 and served as director of Adult Education before being named to her present position in 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University, a master’s degree from the University of Louisville, and an Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky. She previously served as executive director of the Northern Kentucky Adult Reading Program. Dr. Decker serves on the board of the Northern Kentucky Forum and is a past member of the Covington Partners board of directors. She participated in GCTC’s inaugural LEAD class in 2006-2007, the Northern Kentucky Educational Leadership Class of 2007, the Women in Leadership Development program in 2009-10, the KCTCS President’s Leadership Seminar of 2010-11, the American Association of Community College’s Future Leader Institute in June 2012, and the SOAR Leadership program in 2012-2013. Dr. Decker was recognized by Kentucky Adult Education in 2007 with the Learning for Life 110% award honoring individuals who have served their communities, students, and adult education programs in an outstanding manner. In 2011, she received the KCTCS system-wide award of excellence for administrative staff. Dr. Decker was honored in 2012 with the Emerging Leader Award through the Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky program. A resident of Erlanger, Ky., Dr. Decker was elected to the board in 2013; her current term will expire in June 2016.

DaShawntae Durham
Student Representative
DaShawntae Durham is a sophomore at Gateway Community and Technical College, where he is pursuing an associate in arts degree. He plans to pursue bachelor degrees in political science and sociology. In his second semester, he was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa academic honorary organization, where he served as the vice president of scholarships for the Beta Pi Tau chapter. Since then, Mr. Durham has become increasingly involved in student activities. He served as a work-study student in the office of Student Success and Engagement where he assisted in coordinating and presenting events on campus. Most recently, Mr. Durham was elected president of the Student Government Association and vice president of fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa. He also was elected to serve as the student representative to the Board of Directors. His term will expire June 30, 2015.

Jeffrey Groob
November Strategies
Jeffrey Groob is a resident of Covington, Ky., and is a management consultant and principal of November Strategies, LLC, and Groob Turnaround & Growth Partners. He is also an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College and the University of Phoenix. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering, Mr. Groob holds an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He developed his consulting businesses following a successful career as an entrepreneur and marketer with TechneGrowth, Inc., and Zonic Corporation. Early in his career, as an engineer at GE Aircraft Engine Group, he provided airline support to KLM, Air France and Lufthansa. Mr. Groob serves on the board of advisors of Remtec Engineering/MBS Associates and the steering committee of ConnectKentucky. He is active in engineering professional associations and honor societies. He was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2009 to fill an unexpired term, and he was reappointed in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2019. 

Kenneth Paul
Retired, Cincinnati Bell

Kenneth R. Paul is a resident of Ft. Thomas, Ky., and a communications consultant and retired executive of Cincinnati Bell. Mr. Paul’s 41-year career with the telephone company included management and non-management positions in sales and sales support and involved the direction of eight to 160 employees. Mr. Paul served as Campbell County Judge Executive (1986-1998), Campbell County Commissioner (1982-1986), Councilman and Mayor of the city of Southgate (1972-1982) and was a Southgate police officer from 1969 to 1972. He is past chair of the boards for the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, Northern Kentucky Health Development and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. He served four terms as president of the Campbell County Council of Governments. Mr. Paul is quite active in community activities. He was appointed to GCTC’s founding board by Governor Paul Patton in 2001, was reappointed by Governor Ernie Fletcher in 2007 and was reappointed by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2019.

Dr. Julie Ann Smith-Morrow
CEO, Dress for Success Cincinnati

Julie Ann Smith-Morrow is a resident of Newport, Ky., and the chief executive officer of Dress for Success Cincinnati. She is a graduate of Brookfield (Wisconsin) Central High School and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where she earned a bachelor of science degree and a Ph.D. in agronomy. Dr. Smith-Morrow is a member of the Hamilton County Human Services Chamber board of directors, vice chair of the Newport Independent School System board of education, and a member of the inaugural class of Emerge Kentucky. She was appointed to the Gateway board by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2019.

Iversy Velez

Iversy Velez is a resident of Florence, Ky., and a practicing attorney. She is a graduate of the Comercial Institute of Puerto Rico, the University of Puerto Rico where she received a bachelor of arts degree, and the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico where she earned a Juris Doctor degree. Ms. Velez is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Puerto Rico Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers and the National Immigration Project. She was appointed to the Gateway board by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2018.

Paul L. Whalen
Attorney, U.S. Department of Energy
Paul Lewellin Whalen is a resident of Ft. Thomas, Ky., and a contracts attorney for the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Whalen is a graduate of Tates Creek High School in Lexington and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Latin American studies. He has a master’s degree in history from Ft. Hays State University, a diploma from the U.S. Naval War College and a J.D. from Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law. Mr. Whalen is a member of the Kentucky and West Virginia Bar Associations, and chair of the Commission on Archives and History for the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church. He served 12 years on the Ft Thomas board of education and four years on the Kentucky State Board of Education. He and his wife Teena have three children. He was appointed to Gateway’s board by Governor Steve Beshear in May 2014 for a term expiring November 15, 2017. 

Dr. Michelle Deeley Wilhite
Faculty Representative
Dr. Michelle Deeley Wilhite is full professor of oral communication. She joined Gateway in 2000 after serving as vice president of educational initiatives for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the Kentucky Communication Association and the Kentucky Forensic Association. She was named Margaret Greynolds Speech Coach of the Year for 2009-2010, Carter-Talbott Speech Coach of the Year for 2008-2009, Outstanding Young Educator in Kentucky by the Kentucky Jaycees in 2000, and Outstanding Young Alumnus by Northern Kentucky University that year. She received GCTC’s New Horizons Faculty Award in 2010 and is a 2001 graduate of the KCTCS President’s Leadership Seminar. She holds undergraduate and master's degrees from Northern Kentucky University, Miami University and the University of Louisville, where she earned her Ph.D. A resident of Florence, Ky., she was reelected by the GCTC faculty to a three-year term that expires in June 2016.