LSCPA president named 2018 Pacesetter

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

By Lorenzo Salinas


The National Council of Marketing and Public Relations has named Lamar State College Port Arthur President Betty Reynard as its 2018 Pacesetter of the Year for District 4.

The NCMPR Pacesetter award recognizes special leadership and support in marketing and public relations among community college leaders. Reynard represents a district that includes Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

“I was so surprised when I got the email, I thought it was a mistake,” Reynard said. “It’s nice when you work hard and someone recognizes you for it. I don’t see this as an award for myself, but instead for the entire campus.”

Reynard will be recognized for the award Oct. 27 at the district meeting at the Community College of Denver.

“This particular award identifies people who have strong outreach within the community; so, that’s been one of the goals I’ve had while I’ve been here: To improve our outreach and relationship with the community,” Reynard said. “Our ultimate goal, of course, is to better serve students.”

Reynard started her career with Lamar Port Arthur in 2014. She highlighted her start with a clear idea of where she wanted the college to go and what it would take to get there.

“When I first got here, I did a presentation to the community. In October 2014, I had a wish list of five things that I had hoped to accomplish,” Reynard said.

Among those items, both large and small, were new faculty, new program purchases and the construction of the Sheila McCarthy Umphrey Industrial Technology Center on campus.

However, Reynard said the last thing on her wish list was a distillation unit for the college’s process technology training program.

“At the time, it was a mystery on how it would come to pass… but as soon as we saw the grant money qualifications, we went through the process of applying for the grant,” Reynard said.

Lamar Port Arthur was awarded a $1.6 million Disaster Supplemental Funding Grant recently by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The college matched the grant with $400,000, bringing the total up to $2 million.

Reynard said that with the distillation unit funding approved, all the items from her list four years ago had been achieved. That would not mean she was done looking ahead.

“We’re going to start the process of updating the campus master plan,” Reynard said. “We have the kickoff meeting next month.”

Lamar officials would meet with individuals on campus and community leaders to help identify new long-term goals for the college.

“We’ll always be looking at opportunities to share our story with different organizations in the community, but also to be more actively involved with those organizations,” Reynard said. “We can always want more.”

Reynard’s District 4 Pacesetter award qualifies her for the National Pacesetter of the Year Award, which will be presented at the NCMPR national conference in March 2019.

NCMPR member and Lamar Port Arthur Public Information Coordinator Gerry Dickert nominated Reynard for the award.