Keynotes (2022)


Dr. Bill Pink

Opening General Session
Friday, October 21
9:30–10:45 a.m.

From Pathways to Highways: The Focus of Being Relevant and Responsive

Dr. Bill Pink became the 10th president of Grand Rapids Community College in May 2017, and is the first African-American appointed to the post in the institution’s 100-plus years.

With more than 30 years as an educator and leader at the national and local level, Dr. Pink is focused on building on GRCC’s strong history of service to all students, guiding the college to be relevant and responsive to its community.

Prior to coming to GRCC, Dr. Pink served as vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University.

The Abilene, Texas, native has taught and coached in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Oregon. He was inducted into the York College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016 for his performance as a student-athlete.

Dr. Pink is also involved in governance and policy development at regional and national levels. He was elected to the board of trustees for the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditor for colleges and universities across 19 states, and the American Council on Education board, working with leaders from across the nation to shape public policy and help more students gain a quality education.

He also serves on the Community College Advisory Panel for The College Board and was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation executive committee. He was most recently elected to the American Association of Community Colleges board.

In West Michigan, he serves on the boards of Spectrum Health West Michigan as Governance Committee chair; the Heart of West Michigan United Way as board chair, West Michigan Works!; The Right Place board as vice chair; and the Grand Rapids Economic Club.

Shannon M. Cox

Closing Session
Saturday, October 22
10:45–11:45 a.m.

Shannon Cox currently serves as the Montgomery County (OH) Educational Service Center Superintendent. She is the twelfth superintendent in the organization’s history and the first female to hold that position. Her role includes working directly with and advocating for all 16 public school districts in Montgomery County. As the educational leader for the county, she works with leaders in city and county government and other public sectors.

Shannon was featured as a TEDxDayton speaker, where she gave her TED Talk on “Future Self.” Shannon has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton, where she taught workshop classes and Educational Leadership courses.

Shannon believes there has never been a more important time in education to advocate for our profession, our schools, and most importantly our students.