Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Gerald Gemmill, ’85, selected as Whitworth's next Vice President for Finance and Administration


Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor has selected Gerald (Gerry) L. Gemmill, ’85, to be Whitworth’s next vice president for finance and administration, replacing Brian Benzel, who will retire in December. Gemmill will begin serving in his new role Nov. 1, with Benzel serving as special assistant to the president until Dec. 31.

Gemmill currently serves as the director of local government and labor policy for the City of Spokane, where he is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships between the city and regional, state and federal governments, as well as planning and implementing labor initiatives established by the mayor’s office. He also serves as Spokane Mayor David Condon’s liaison to the city council and to several boards and commissions.

“I am very excited to welcome Gerry Gemmill to Whitworth and to my cabinet,” President Taylor says. “As a Whitworth alumnus, Gerry has first-hand knowledge of the transformational power of Whitworth’s mind-and-heart education. I am confident Gerry will enable Whitworth to be the best steward of its financial capital resources and to meet its goals articulated in the Whitworth 2021 vision and strategic plan.”

Taylor also expressed deep appreciation for Gemmill’s wealth of professional experience that will immediately benefit the university, including his direct management experience in finance and budgeting, human resources, and facilities planning.

Prior to his current position as director of local government and labor policy, Gemmill served in several capacities with the city as deputy director and then interim director of public works and utilities. He has also served as director of operations, administrative manager, and human resources manager for Spokane County.

Gemmill is eager to join the Whitworth community, and says he views his new role as a blessing more than an opportunity. He points to his experience as a Whitworth student as being critical to his professional life. “There is no bigger influence on my career than Whitworth,” Gemmill says. “None of what I’ve done would have been possible without Whitworth, and I’m very, very sincere about that.”

Gemmill says that one of the things he looks forward to in joining the Whitworth community is being a part of its mission of giving students a mind-and-heart education that equips them to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity. “It is such a unique mission,” Gemmill says. “That is what excites me most.”

In addition to his extensive administrative experience, Gemmill is an adjunct professor in Eastern Washington University’s MPA program, where he teaches courses in budget and planning, and personal management. From 2003-05, he was an instructor at Whitworth, where he taught applied management principles and human behavior in organizations courses. He holds an M.A. in public administration from Eastern Washington University and a B.A. in public policy from Whitworth.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Rhosetta Rhodes, chief of staff, President’s Office, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4238 or rrhodes@whitworth.edu.

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or lbeechinor@whitworth.edu.