Board of Trustees
On behalf of the people of the state of Washington, the five-member board of trustees will govern Highline College by providing strategic perspective and definitive leadership in determining the programs to be provided by the college and by specifying the guiding policies and principles the president will use in operating the college.
Sili Savusa, Chair
Sili Savusa, of White Center, was appointed to the Highline Board of Trustees on June 17, 2013, and reappointed to a second term in June 2018.
Savusa has more than 20 years of experience in leadership and community service positions involving policy development, cross-cultural coalition building and community organizing for social justice issues. She is currently the executive director of the White Center Community Development Association, which promotes the development of White Center through leadership opportunities and community-led, neighborhood initiatives.
She also serves on the Governor’s Commission on Closing the Achievement Gap, the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs committee and Community Center for Education Results steering committee. Previously, Savusa served on the Highline School Board until 2011 and has served as the Family Center Coordinator for Southwest Youth and Family Services. She is also the founder of the first Samoan/Pacific Islander Parent Teacher Student Association in the nation, which works to address education issues impacting Pacific Islander students and their families.
Savusa earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Washington and her associate degree from Seattle Central Community College.
Dan Altmayer, of Federal Way, was appointed to the Highline Board of Trustees on October 1, 2008, and reappointed to a second term in October 2013.
Altmayer graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in political science (international relations) and a minor in German. Soon after graduating, he went on active duty in the U.S. Army until 1992. He continued to serve in both the Washington Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve until 2004, when he retired as a major with 24 years of service. He has been awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Altmayer has been a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments since 1992 and has earned the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation from the College for Financial Planning.
He currently serves on the board of directors for the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, spent three years on the advisory council for Communities in Schools and served as vice president of the Highline College Foundation, where he co-chaired the capital campaign for the college’s Marine Science and Technology Center. In November 2008, he was recognized for this leadership role by the Council for Resource Development with the Outstanding Volunteer Campus Impact Award.
As a master scuba diver, Altmayer enjoys diving in the warm, tropical regions of the world.
Joe Bowman, of Federal Way, was appointed to the Highline Board of Trustees in October 2020.
Bowman has 20 years of pastoral experience and is the founding pastor of Integrity Life Church, also based in Federal Way. He has championed many initiatives, programs and revitalization projects for Federal Way residents and students within the Federal Way Public Schools district.
For five years, Bowman served as president of City Vision (now named Federal Way Community Connections), a City of Federal Way initiative aimed to deepen support of its residents by bringing together nearly 50 nonprofits. Bowman has also served on the Integrity Life Church board and the boards of Federal Way Community Gardens, Pastors for a Better Federal Way, and the “Chiefs Call,” a citizens advisory board to Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang. Bowman also served in a supporting role in writing the equity policy for Federal Way Public Schools.
In addition to Bowman’s civic and religious work, he is a family man who has been married for 23 years and has four children ranging in age from 7 to 13 years old. He’s authored “The Promise Prematurely Delayed: A Couple’s Infertility Journey” and enjoys the Seahawks, audiobooks, cooking, basketball, movies and bowling in his spare time.
Bowman earned his Masters degree in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Pastoral Leadership from Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary and his bachelor of science degree from City University in Business Administration.
Fred Mendoza, of Normandy Park, was appointed to the Highline Board of Trustees on November 21, 2011, and reappointed to a second term in September 2016.
After 30 years of public and private law practice, Mendoza founded Mendoza Law Center, PLLC, in 2007. Located in Normandy Park, Mendoza Law Center represents a wide range of local, regional and national companies and organizations in all aspects of business, real estate and litigation. Prior to entering the private law sector, Mendoza served as King County deputy prosecuting attorney in the criminal and fraud divisions.
Mendoza is a dedicated community volunteer. His current public service positions include serving as board member and chair of The Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, vice chair of the Washington State Public Stadium Authority and member of the board of trustees of Highline Medical Center. He was a founding member of the board of Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence.
An avid soccer fan, Mendoza has served nonprofits such as Soccer in the Streets, Washington State Youth Soccer Association and Sounders Youth Soccer Foundation. He coached the Highline High School Girls Soccer team for six years.
He is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.
Sharmila K. Swenson
Sharmila K. Swenson, of Des Moines, was appointed to the Highline Board of Trustees on October 1, 2019.
Swenson is assistant vice president of public affairs for Symetra Life Insurance Company, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance. In that role, she oversees the community relations program, corporate giving, employee community engagement and public affairs at the local, state and federal levels.
Her prior experience includes work in the private, public and nonprofit arenas, most recently serving as manager of local government affairs and public policy for Puget Sound Energy, the largest energy provider in Washington. Other positions of note include relationship development officer for Treehouse, a Seattle-area education nonprofit; national political coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; operations director for Governor Jay Inslee’s 2012 transition team; and deputy chief of staff for the 1st Congressional District, with a focus on energy, education, transportation and economic development.
Swenson serves on the boards of Treehouse and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
A Seattle native, she is a proud graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in the Highline School District and holds a degree in political science from the University of Washington.