Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 4:35 pm | Mostly Cloudy 70º


Three New Trustees Join Westmont College Board

Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Two parents of Westmont College graduates and an alumna have joined the 29-member Westmont Board of Trustees, which oversees the operations of the college.

Mike Allen of Dallas, Helga Houston (Class of 1983) of Columbus, Ohio, and D. Verne Sharma of Pasadena began serving in October.

Allen, president of Providence Energy Corporation, and his wife, Melissa, have four children, including two Westmont alumni, Luke and William, both of the Class of 2007. Allen says their Dallas-based family first heard of Westmont from friends whose children were attending.

“They loved Westmont and encouraged us to come out and look at the college,” he says. “It’s exciting to be a part of Westmont’s unique blend of rigorous academics and Christian theology.”

As a member of the board, Allen is interested in sharing his business knowledge and entrepreneurial ideas.

Houston, a chief risk officer for Huntington Bancshares, says attending Westmont fundamentally changed who she is.

Helga Houston

“I grew up in a Christian home, but it was the first time I had to put things together intellectually and spiritually, and decide who it is that I am and who I want to be,” she says.

Houston, who has been on the Westmont Board of Advisors for four years, brings a wealth of business experience to the board of trustees.

“I want to be engaged to find ways to use my education and business training in ways that are beneficial to the college,” she says.

Sharma, CEO, president and chairman of the board of Calhoun Vision, and his son, Matthew, who graduated from Westmont in 2011, were attracted to Westmont’s Christian faith and rigorous academics.

D. Verne Sharma

“This is a unique environment that combines young men and women who want to serve the Lord and live life a certain way with a quality education,” Sharma says. “Westmont is the best of both worlds.”

He has lived in the U.S., Japan and Asia for many years and is looking forward to using his business expertise to expand Westmont’s global mission.

“I have a good understanding of the international environment to assist Westmont as it seeks to meet its global objectives,” he says. “This is a great opportunity for me to be around like-minded, mature Christians, and to be involved in the governance of an important academic institution.”

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.


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