ICCTA Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award

2004 Recipient

James L. Ayers
Parkland College

Parkland College trustee James L. Ayers of Monticello is the recipient of ICCTA's 2004 Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award.

Jim Ayers has provided incomparable leadership at all levels of the Illinois community college system. A Parkland College trustee since 1989, he regularly participates in the college's FUTURES Conference and serves on the board of the Parkland Foundation. He was instrumental in arranging an "Agriculture Forum" that led to the creation of the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center. Not surprisingly, when Parkland's longtime board chair retired in 1999, his fellow trustees turned to Ayers to lead them.
Parkland College trustee James L. Ayers is the 2004 recipient of ICCTA's Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award.

His state-level accomplishments are equally impressive. He chaired ICCTA's East Central Region in 1997-98, its Federal Relations Committee from 1993 to 1995, and the Government Relations Committee from 2001 to 2003. He has earned two Trustee Education Awards and sits on ICCTA committees dealing with diversity and finance. Through his work on the association's Nominating and Women in Leadership committees, Ayers has mentored other trustees to take leadership positions within the organization. Most recently, he was named to the special committee charged with recommending a successor for ICCTA's retiring executive director Dr. Gary Davis.

On the national level, Ayers is completing his second term on the board of the Association of Community College Trustees and currently chairs ACCT's Central Region. In addition, he has made several presentations at national and regional conferences on diversity issues, strategic planning, and the changing role of the community college trustee. (Update: After leaving the ACCT board in 2005, Ayers was selected as the 2006 recipient of ACCT's most prestigious honor, the M. Dale Ensign Trustee Award.)

Outside the educational arena, Ayers is a partner in a thriving law practice and the CEO of a family-owned manufacturing business in Bement. His volunteer commitments have included serving as mayor of the city of Monticello from 1993 to 2001, as president of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce, and as Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 490.