A longtime Highline College trustee has earned the highest honor given to two-year college trustees in the United States. Dan Altmayer received the 2017 Trustee Leadership Award from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) during an awards ceremony Sept. 27 in Las Vegas.
The annual award recognizes exceptional contributions and service among trustees at more than 1,100 two-year postsecondary institutions.
Among Altmayer’s many contributions is the work he has done on behalf of education and support for veterans. As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Altmayer knows firsthand what it is like to return to civilian life and the importance of support programs to help veterans make the transition.
He worked with college administrators to emphasize and enhance Veterans Programs, an office on campus dedicated to helping veterans transition to college.
He focused on identifying ways to better serve veterans at the college, such as increasing capacity, providing adequate staffing and beefing up outreach efforts.
He also helped establish an innovative program to bridge the gap between the time veterans apply to the college and the time they begin receiving their VA benefits. The bridge funding allows veterans to begin their education without delay, which in turn helps them enter into the workforce more quickly with the necessary skills and credentials for employment.
“The fact that I was selected for the award is simply an acknowledgement of the great work that everybody here at the college does. Without the great outcomes that we have been able to achieve together, I wouldn’t have been considered,” said Altmayer, a trustee since 2008.
In May, Altmayer received the 2017 Trustee Leadership Award from the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT). ACT annually recognizes an individual trustee who has made a significant contribution to promote Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges.
As winner of the statewide award, he was a candidate for ACCT’s Pacific Regional Trustee Leadership Award, which he won in July. His selection as one of five regional winners in the United States made him eligible for the national award.
Highline’s five-member board is composed of community members from Highline’s service area of South King County.
Altmayer lives in Federal Way, where he has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments for 25 years. Originally from Hoffman Estates, Ill., he is a 1984 graduate of Northern Illinois University.
The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a nonprofit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees.
Diving Deep for Highline
During his time as vice chair, he was instrumental in the fundraising efforts for the college’s Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center and served as co-chair of the capital campaign to rebuild and expand the aging structure.
Located on Puget Sound’s Redondo Beach, the MaST Center is now a 2,500-square-foot marine biology and aquarium facility and serves as a teaching institute and public learning center.
This civic effort meshed with his passion for diving. A master scuba diver, Altmayer collected aquatic life from Puget Sound to display in the MaST Center’s aquarium. Its aquarium holds over 15 tanks, displaying more than 250 native marine species.
In November 2008, he was recognized for his leadership role on the MaST Center capital campaign with the Outstanding Volunteer Campus Impact Award from the Council for Resource Development.
His efforts also earned him an Advisors with Heart Award, with a brief profile in Wealth Management magazine (“The Life Aquatic: Dan Altmayer,” 4/29/13).