The ABHES Board of Commissioners consists of thirteen members, six appointed by the commissioners themselves (either ABHES members or non-ABHES members) and seven elected by the accredited members from among its accredited institutions and programs. At least two of the Commissioners represent the public, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, and have no affiliation with an ABHES-accredited institution or program. Care is taken to include in its mix academic and administrative personnel, and educators and practitioners. Each Commissioner serves a defined term and is held responsible to a strict Code of Ethics.
Chair: John (Jack) A. Yena
Appointed Seat – Public Member: Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President Emeritus, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island
Jack Yena is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President Emeritus of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he has served in several capacities since beginning his career there in 1963. His distinguished career includes serving as President and Treasurer to the Career College Association (then AICS), Commissioner and Chair of the Collegiate Council for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Chair of the American Council on Education (Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials), and as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality & Integrity for the U.S. Secretary of Education. He has served ABHES over the years as a member of appeals boards and currently serves on its Financial Review Committee. Mr. Yena earned both his bachelor’s degree and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
VIce Chair: Effie Dubis
Elected Seat – Administrator in a Healthcare Related Area: Director of Financial Affairs/Operations, St. Louis College of Health Careers, St. Louis, Missouri
Ms. Dubis comes to ABHES with an extensive background in accreditation, having served as a team leader and subject specialist for many years on ABHES accreditation teams. She is also a member of the Preliminary Review Committee and former member of the Commissioner Nominating Committee. She has been employed by St. Louis College of Health Careers since 1989. Ms. Dubis holds a Masters of Health Administration from St. Louis University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and an Associate Degree in Nursing from Mayville College, St. Louis, Missouri.
Secretary: George Grayeb
Elected Seat – Administrator in a Healthcare Related Area: President/CEO, Ross Education, LLC, Grand Rapids, MI
Mr. Grayeb has been part of postsecondary education for the past 20 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Anderson University and a master’s degree from the University of Denver. Currently, he serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ross Education, LLC. Ross provides health related programs in 30 communities throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Mr. Grayeb holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Math, Computer Science and Political Science.
Treasurer: Craig Pfannenstiehl
Appointed Seat - Baccalaureate Degree Representative: President and CEO, Bay State Education Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts
President and CEO of Bay State Education Corporation in Boston. He served as President of Bay State College a regionally accredited college in Boston with over 1,200 students from 2006 until 2015. Mr. Pfannenstiehl spearheaded the reorganization of the college management team; initiated and managed the development of the College’s first three fully integrated strategic plans; developed the school’s strategy for online programs; expanded to a new campus in Taunton, MA; and, oversaw its transition into the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in 2008 and then later oversaw the ten year re-accreditation process in 2013. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Harrison College headquartered in Indiana.
Commissioner at Large: Dolores Gioffre
Appointed Seat – Distance Education Specialist: Former Dean of Business, Liberal Arts, and Computer Services and Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems Management Department, Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Dr. Gioffre possesses many years of experience in the higher education sector. Since 2006, Dr. Gioffre has served as an Educational Consultant for post-secondary education in curriculum planning and review, assessment, distance education, and other related educational activities. Her work includes accrediting agencies, state agencies, and private clients. Prior to that time, Dr. Gioffre served for 11 years at Delaware Valley College, most recently as Dean of Business, Liberal Arts, and Computer Services and Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems Management Department.
Dr. Gioffre holds an Ed.D in Vocational/Technical Education from Rutgers University, and a Master of Arts in Business/Distributive Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Trenton State College.
Appointed Seat - Practitioner in Specialty Area: Office Manager/Medical Assistant, Friend Health Care, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Ms. Carlson has an extensive background as a medical assisting practitioner and as an educator and administrator, formerly working in postsecondary institutions. She has been a Registered Medical Assistant with the American Medical Technologists (AMT) since 1989 and is this year’s recipient of the AMT’s prestigious Medallion of Merit Award. Ms. Carlson has served ABHES as a Medical Assisting program specialist on site visits. She holds an Associate of Occupational Studies from IntelliTec Medical Institute, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a diploma in Medical Assisting from PPI Health Careers School, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Appointed Seat - Public Member: Retired, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Dr. Houston has been employed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1994. Prior to that, she served as Chair of Computer Systems Department, Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania, for nearly 20 years. She has an extensive background in accreditation, including as a site visitor for Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, for which she served on the Board for several years. Her experience with ABHES includes membership on its Appeals Panel.
Dr. Houston holds an Ed.D. in Computer Education from Nova University and a M.S.Ed in Business Education with a Marketing concentration from Youngstown State University.
Richard Luebke, Jr.
Elected Seat – Ownership Representative: Chief Operating Officer, Pima Medical Institute
Mr. Luebke has been involved in postsecondary education since 1983, beginning as Campus Director, Pima Medical Institute, Tucson, Arizona. His previous background was with the Boy Scouts of America where he served since 1976, most recently as Director of Finance. A family-owned educational company, Mr. Luebke has served the organization since the first year it was accredited by ABHES. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Idaho State University.
Appointed Seat – Commissioner at Large: President, Healing Mountain Massage School, Salt Lake City and Cedar City, Utah
Mr. R.J. (Randy) Nikola, president and director of Healing Mountain Massage School in Salt Lake and Cedar Cities, Utah, has been appointed to the Member-At-Large seat previously held by Ms. Florence Tate, until June 30, 2015. He is a massage therapist of twenty-five years, an educator, and a published author of several health-related textbooks used at schools throughout the United States and Canada. Randy has extensive background in accreditation, having served as a team leader and subject specialist for the past dozen years with ABHES. Mr. Nikola previously served on the ABHES Commission commencing in 2009, including various committee chair roles.
Elected Seat – Academician in a Healthcare Related Area: Regional Staff Development Educator-Perioperative Services at Baptist Health System, San Antonio, Texas
A retired 20-year military officer and healthcare professional, Ms. Starks serves as the Regional Perioperative Educator at Baptist Health System, School of Health Professions, in San Antonio, Texas. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, and a MSN in Administration (major) and Education (minor) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Along with Ms. Starks’ numerous health-related affiliations, publications, and awards, she has an extensive background as a professional presenter in the field of surgical technology and perioperative nursing. In addition, she has served as textbook reviewer for various national publishing companies. Her work with ABHES includes service as an evaluator and as a member and, most recently, Chair of the Programmatic Accreditation Committee for Surgical Technology.
Elected Seat – Ownership Representative: President, Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Mr. Stover began his career in 1986 at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, where he trained as an emergency medical technician and surgical technologist. He has worked as a surgical technologist and first assistant since 1990; and, in 1999 launched a surgical assisting educational program. He currently serves as president of the Association of Surgical Assistants and holds both the Certified Surgical Technologist and Surgical First Assistant credential. Mr. Stover has served ABHES in such areas as appeal panelist, site visitor, and as a member of the Preliminary Review and Annual Report committees.
Elected Seat – Administrator in a Healthcare Related Area: VACANT