Gateway Foundation Elects New Board Members

The Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation has elected four new members to its board of directors, according to Lee Flischel, Foundation chair.

The new board members are Steve Brunson, vice president of Republic Bank of Northern Kentucky; Normand G. Desmarais, chairman and founding partner of TiER1 Performance Solutions, LLC; Rich Hempel, CEO and managing partner, Natural Bridge Group; and Deborah Simpson, president of Multi-Craft.

We are pleased to welcome to our board this highly talented group of talented executives, Flischel said. Their experience and insight into vital aspects of the Northern Kentucky economy will further strengthen the Foundations grasp of community needs. That understanding informs our efforts to help Gateway meet those needs through career education and training of the work force.

Brunson joined Republic Bank in 1995 and worked there for six years while his wife attended medical school in Louisville. He rejoined the Republic team in 2005 when he was hired to manage the Fort Wright banking center, the firms first bank in Northern Kentucky. Brunson is a native of Fort Thomas, attended Newport Catholic High School and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.

Desmarais has founded four companies in manufacturing and high tech industries since 1989. Prior to forming TiER1 Performance, he served as vice president of enterprise learning for AF Kelly, an information technology software and services firm in Greater Cincinnati, and as president and CEO of Cambridge Digital Media in Massachusetts. Desmarais has a bachelor of science degree from Fitchburg State College and an MBA from Western New England College. Desmarais serves on the board of The INTERalliance of Cincinnati, is an IT advisor for Transitions Inc., Project Connect/Cincy Public Schools and the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Northern Kentucky. He serves on Gateways Urban Campus and IT advisory committees among numerous other civic activities.

Hempel has over 27 years of information technology industry experience as a high-tech entrepreneur and in corporate development, most recently as a founder and senior executive of numerous start-up and early stage ventures. He previously was a founding member and senior executive of AF Kelly, served nine years in business development and staff marketing with IBM, and was in sales management with Caremark and US Surgical. Hempel has a bachelors degree from Transylvania University and has completed professional education programs at Harvard University and Babson College. He is a current and past member of state and local economic development boards, including Northern Kentucky E-Zone, Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, Connect Kentucky and Vision 2015.

Simpson has served as president of Multi-Craft, located in Newport, since 1990, having joined the company in 1969 as a receptionist/bookkeeper and rising through the ranks for 21 years. She is a graduate of the College of Mt. St. Joseph, serves on its business advisory committee and is a member of the advisory council for graphic communication at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She serves on the board and executive committee of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is active in numerous civic and industry boards. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce WE awards.

With the election of these new directors, we now have 23 current board members that reach into virtually every aspect of the community, said Laura Cook Kroeger, Foundation executive director and Gateway vice president of resource development and external affairs. They will keep the Foundation moving forward on behalf of the college.