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News Release

October 7, 2020

New Foundation Executive Director Appointed

The Santa Clarita Community College District and the College of the Canyons Foundation have announced the appointment of Michelle Rey to the post of Executive Director.

Rey, a Santa Clarita Valley resident who comes to COC with over a decade of experience in non-profit fundraising and development, will work closely with Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook, the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board of Directors to coordinate and lead the college’s ongoing fundraising endeavors, identify potential donors and develop and maintain collaborative relationships with community leaders.

“I wish to extend my congratulations to Michelle and welcome her to the Cougar family,” said Dr. Van Hook. “She will play an essential role as the Foundation’s Chief Development Officer in identifying and securing the resources our students and faculty need to reach their goals.”

Rey expressed excitement at the chance to be part of the legacy Dr. Van Hook has created through her vision, energy and commitment.

“Her passion for the students, the community and the advancement of the institution is unparalleled and I look forward to supporting her vision for the future of academia in Santa Clarita Valley,” said Rey.

Rey’s position is dedicated to securing major gifts and private donations to the college in order to provide greater access and increased opportunity to students.

“I have always been an admirer of the countless opportunities College of the Canyons helps to create for students advancing both in their academic and their professional careers,” said Rey, a resident of Stevenson Ranch, and an alumna of Canyon High School. “It is an honor to serve alongside dedicated faculty, staff, administrators and our Foundation Board as we collectively work to continue to open doors, increase access and create opportunities for success.”

“I wish to welcome Michelle to the COC Foundation and look forward to working with her,” said Steve Corn, co-chair of the college’s Foundation Board of Directors. “Her expertise and insight will be extremely beneficial to our fundraising efforts.”

Jill Mellady, who also serves as co-chair of the college’s Foundation Board of Directors, called Rey the perfect candidate for the role of Executive Director.

“Michelle’s solid fundraising experience and local community roots make her the perfect fit for this vital role within the college’s Foundation,” said Mellady. “I look forward to working with her toward creating more opportunities for students.”

For the past three years, Rey was the Director of Development for Santa Clara University where she oversaw and managed philanthropic and advancements campaigns for one of the university’s graduate schools and managed a $32 million endowment.

In addition, she also led the development of engagement and solicitation strategies for qualified major gift prospects over $100,000 while building and maintaining a portfolio of high-end donors and prospects among alumni, friends, corporations and foundations.

From 2010 to 2016, she worked for City of Hope—one of the nation’s National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers—initially as a volunteer before becoming the hospital’s Associate Director of Development.

In that position, Rey coordinated five annual fundraising and cultivation events to raise revenue in excess of seven figures and managed nine volunteer groups (national and international) to volunteer and generate revenue in support of the hospital’s comprehensive campaign.

After earning a bachelor of mathematics degree from California State University Northridge, Rey earned her Master of Public Administration from Villanova University.

In addition, she holds a Master Certification in Non-profit Management from Villanova University and a Non-profit Management Certification from the University of Texas.

“I left the Santa Clarita Valley to grow in my professional career and I am grateful for this opportunity to return home and serve not only the students at COC, but the entire Santa Clarita Valley in this role,” said Rey.