LeRoy Salazar and Val Vigil named new ASC Trustees

(01-05-2012)

Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced two appointments to the Board of Trustees for Adams State College. LeRoy J. Salazar of Manassa was reappointed, and Valentin "Val" Vigil of Thornton will replace Trustee Gigi Darricades, whose term expired Dec. 31. Both will serve three-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2015.The appointments must be confirmed by the Colorado Senate. The board makes policy for the college and oversees its operation.

"Trustee Darricades has been a huge asset to Adams State during her time on the ASC Board," said Adams State President David Svaldi. "She is committed to the San Luis Valley and all its citizens, as was clear in her constant support for all ASC students, faculty, and staff. I look forward to continuing to work with Ms. Darricades in her role as CEO of Valley Wide Health Systems, as we partner on a variety of projects."

Entering his third year as a city councilman for Thornton, Vigil has operated Vigil & Company, Financial Consultant, since 1971. A realtor and accountant, he provides tax return and business consulting services. He is also a licensed consultant for on-call business development and financial accounting assistance for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Supportive Services Program for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Vigil earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and secondary education from Adams State in 1971. He served as a Colorado state representative from 1999-2006, sitting on the Appropriations Committee, Education Committee, Information Technology Committee, and Legislative Audit Committee, including a term as chair.

Previous positions include ten years as revenue manager/auditor of the City of Northglenn, two years as district custodial coordinator for Adams 12 Five Star Schools, and seven years with Parks College, where he was an instructor of business, business program supervisor, and Dean of Student Services. Vigil's public and professional service include being a founding member of the Adams 12 Five-Star Schools Hispanic Advisory Council and the Norwest Bank Hispanic Advisory Committee.

"My family has a history with Adams State - two of my brothers also are alumni - and that has given us a lot of advantages," Vigil said. "Also, in high school in Costilla, NM, it appeared about 70 percent of my teachers had attended Adams State. I've always been an advocate of education, and I wanted to give some of my time back to my alma mater."

Vigil is an "Adams State Great Story," Svaldi said. "I welcome him as Adams State's newest Trustee. He has been a loyal ASC alumnus, and I look forward to working with him as we move ahead."

Salazar completed an earlier term as trustee for Adams State beginning in 2003, when the college was authorized to form its own board, independent of the other state colleges. He most recently completed a partial term due to a vacancy on the board.

He farms and ranches in Conejos and Costilla counties in the San Luis Valley. He is also president of Sweetgrass Co-op, formed to help ranchers of organic, grass-fed, and natural beef to market their products.

Salazar was president and CEO of Agro Engineering, Inc., from 1982-2000 He has served as a member of the Colorado Agricultural Commission, as director of Citizens for Colorado Water, and on the North Conejos School District Board of Education, with several years as its president. He is vice president of the Hope for Children Foundation and a board member at the San Luis Valley Federal Bank. He holds a master's and bachelor's degrees in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University, earned in 1977 and 1974, respectively.

"I am happy that LeRoy has been appointed to one more term as an Adams State Trustee," Svaldi said. "LeRoy is a quiet leader who brings a passion for and commitment to all Adams State students."

By Julie Waechter