Board of Directors

sonja adamsSonja Adams is resident of Crittenden, Ky., and is a home educator. She is a graduate of Faith Baptist Schools, and has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from East Tennessee State University. She and her husband, Bobby, have seven children. Mrs. Adams was appointed to the Gateway board by Governor Matt Bevin in November 2017 for a term expiring November 2023.

Sam CollierSam Collier is an automotive technology instructor and dean of Transportation Technologies. He has served at Gateway for 13 years in transportation technologies. Mr. Collier is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Certified Technician, worked for 17 years in the automotive field and won the 2010 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Faculty Excellence Award. He was a member of the 2007 Gateway Leadership Enrichment and Development (LEAD) Class and enjoys volunteering at his church. Mr. Collier earned an associate degree in automotive business from Cincinnati State College, a bachelors degree in organizational leadership from Northern Kentucky University and is currently working on a masters degree in educational leadership at Morehead State University. His current term will expire July 31, 2019.

jeff groobJeffrey 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.

Erik HermesErik Hermes is a resident of Cold Spring, Ky. He is co-owner of Hermes Construction Co. He graduated from Elder High School (Cincinnati) and studied Business at the University of Cincinnati. He is active in the Building Industry Association, the Campbell County Republican party, the Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission and the Campbell County 4-H Sharpshooters club. Mr. Hermes was appointed to the Gateway board by Governor Matt Bevin in November 2017 for a term expiring November 2023.

viviane johnsonViviane Johnson is a currently sophomore at Gateway Community & Technical College. Ms. Johnson, whose father had a 24-year military career, was born in Germany. Four years ago, her family moved to Northern Kentucky, and she is a graduate of Ryle High School. At Gateway, Ms. Johnson has maintained a 3.9 GPA, is involved in Project ASPIRE with Gateway's Student Support Services and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She will graduate from Gateway in the Spring of 2018 and continue her education at Northern Kentucky University to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology. After NKU, she hopes to become a counselor in mental health therapy, working with Veterans, families and students. When she is not studying or in class, she spends her time reading interesting novels, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. 

kenneth paul headshotKenneth 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 Gateway'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.
Dan Ridley HeadshotDaniel Ridley is the Edgewood Admissions Counselor/VA Certifying Official for Gateway and serves as the staff representative to the Gateway board of directors. He earned a bachelors degree at Tennessee Technological University, is a graduate of Gateway's Leadership Enrichment and Development (LEAD) class of 2014-2015. Mr. Ridley began his Masters Public Administration at the Northern Kentucky University in fall 2016. Mr. Ridley previously served in human resources at Petermann, LTD and as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves, with two deployments to the Middle East. He is active with local nonprofit organizations by raising funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research and raising awareness for veterans issues. Mr. Ridley is also a musician. His current term will expire in July 31, 2019.

Dan Ridley HeadshotChuck Session serves as Vice President of Government and Community Affairs for Duke Energy. He is responsible for leading local and state government affairs in Kentucky, as well as the local community relations efforts with the company’s key stakeholders in Northern Kentucky. In addition, he has responsibility to direct Duke Energy's regional economic development activities for both Ohio and Kentucky to enhance the performance of the company’s natural gas and electric operations. Mr. Session has worked for Duke Energy and its predecessor companies for over 30 years

Mr. Session currently serves on the Greater Cincinnati United Way, Kentucky State Chamber Board of Directors and Tri-Ed Economic Development Board in Northern Kentucky. Mr. Session is also a recent graduate of the 2016 class of Leadership Kentucky.

In his spare time, Mr. Session enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and volunteering in the community. He and his wife, Maida, have one daughter. His current term will expire in November 2018.

Julie Ann Smith Morrow headshotJulie Ann Smith-Morrow is a resident of Newport, Ky. 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 heat shotIversy Velez is a resident of Florence, Ky., and a practicing attorney. She is a graduate of the Commercial 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.