Lisa Watson Leads as Interim Director at Northwest College
Written by Andrew-Rossi on November 22, 2020
Watson – a Cody resident – was appointed as interim director upon the departure of President Stefani Hicswa.
Hicswa accepted the position of chancellor at Montana State University – Billings in October.
Watson brings a wealth of experience to the presidency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami.
In her career, she has worked as an institutional separate accounts manager at Franklin Templeton, junior accountant at H.J Jenzano, and district resource manager/retail operations manager at TJ Maxx. She is also a Certified Personal Accountant in the state of Wyoming.
Since moving to northwest Wyoming, Watson has served as vice president for administrative services at the college since 2014. There have already been several occasions when she’s served as NWC’s acting president, stepping in when Hicswa was absent and representing the college at state and campus meetings.
This won’t even be her first time serving as an interim college president – she first assumed such a position at Miles Community College in Montana from May 2013 to Jan. 2014.
“With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing statewide economic and budgetary reductions, the college needs a president who can assume the position and hit the ground running,” Watson says.
This transition will be important to NWC, a fact Watson acknowledges. She recognizes her previous experience has best prepared her for the challenges the college currently faces.
“It is true that we have hard work ahead, and transformational change must occur,” Watson said. “This is coupled with budget reductions and a presidential search. However, as long as I have the privilege of serving as interim president, I am committed to working with the board, our campus community, and the citizens of Park County to serve the mission of the college and to move the college forward to a bright future.”
Hicswa departed NWC on Nov. 11 – the same day Watson stepped in as interim president. Despite already leaving her position, Hicswa’s resignation won’t fully take effect until Jan. 8, 2021.