Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Karen Shea

Summit Salon Academy | Tacoma, WA

Karen Shea has worked in education for over 20 years. Prior to starting Summit Salon Academy with her husband Michael in 2006, she worked as Director of Admissions and served on the Executive Committee for a private career college. She has also held multiple roles in the professional beauty industry working for a local beauty distributor. Karen plays an active role in the daily operations of the Academy leading and engaging students and staff.

She is passionate about student success and preparing graduates of Summit Salon Academy with the professional and industry-specific skills to begin a rewarding career as well as teaching students how to give back to their community. The Academy has been recognized with Modern Salon’s Excellence in Education Award and supports several non-profit organizations through fundraising and Academy events

DJ Schmidt

Vice President
International Air & Hospitality Academy | Vancouver, WA

DJ Schmidt joined the International Air & Hospitality Academy in October 2019 as CFO and moved into the President and CEO role in March 2021. DJ, a licensed Certified Public Accountant, has spent the bulk of his career working for BlueScope Steel (Melbourne, Australia) and its various US-based companies, which brought him to the PNW from Kansas City, Missouri, in 2011. Go Chiefs!

That was followed by a stint in residential construction (2015 to 2019) before arriving at IAHA. DJ loves the diversity of the four distinct programs IAHA offers and the role they play in helping students achieve their dreams and helping them to fully participate in the economy.

DJ is also passionate about the business itself and ensuring it remains relevant in an ever-changing economy and that IAHA continues to be where staff and instructors want to work. DJ and his wife Corinne are the proud parents of India (10) and Cotton (8) and enjoy playing family golf amongst other outdoor activities.

Caycee Clark

Divers Institute of Technology | Seattle, WA

Caycee obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from the University of Washington and then jumped right into a career working in the field of student financial aid administration in the career school sector. Caycee has been in financial aid administration since 2000 and is currently the Director of Financial Aid at Diver’s Institute of Technology in Seattle, Washington.

In addition to the role of Treasurer on the Northwest Career Colleges Federation board, Caycee also serves on the Executive Council of the Washington Financial Aid Association as the Proprietary School Sector Representative. Caycee has been a volunteer at Crisis Connections (formerly known as King County Crisis Clinic) since 1998, where she has served taking calls herself on the 24 hour Crisis Line for several years, as well as currently being a Youth Mentor for Crisis Connections’ Teen Link youth program.

Amy Robbins

Gene Juarez Academy | Federal Way, WA

Amy Robbins has been involved with the private vocational school sector for almost 20 years. She has held many roles at Gene Juarez Academy including student and recipient of the Careers that Work! scholarship, educator, financial services, and leadership. In addition to her current role as the Director of Financial Aid, Amy is involved with various outreach organizations to give Gene Juarez Academy and their students an opportunity to give back and support their local community.

She is passionate about student success and helping to turn dreams into prosperous, lifelong careers. Gene Juarez Academy is an experienced cosmetology education provider. Since 1987, Gene Juarez Academy has been delivering an accredited and quality cosmetology training program, graduating thousands of beauty professionals. As a premier salon and spa organization for 40+ years, Gene Juarez has earned a reputation for providing quality and excellence in everything they do.

Christine Cote

Director-at-Large Position Three| Expires 2024
Perry Technical Institute | Yakima, WA

Christine Coté has 34 years of professional experience in career college administration and development. Christine has served as President of Perry Technical Institute since 2008. She joined Perry’s administrative team in 1997 as Foundation Director and was appointed Vice President of Operations in 2007.Over the last seven years, under Christine’s leadership, the school’s enrollment has grown by 73%. She has overseen a major construction project and a campus renovation, and led the school through the process of adding five new training programs.

In 2012, Perry Technical Institute was one of 17 schools out of more than 800 nationwide to be named a School of Excellence by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Health from Central Washington University. She is an active member of the Yakima community serving as a Past President of the Yakima Kiwanis Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, and as an ASPIRE youth mentor. She serves on the Board of Directors of the South Central Workforce Development Council, and is Past President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Career Colleges Federation.

David Shulman

Director-at-Large Position Two | Expires 2025
Seattle Film Institute | Seattle, WA

David Shulman received his MFA in Cinema/Television from USC and taught film/video at the university level prior to founding the Seattle Film Institute in 1994, where he is the Executive Director. He has produced, directed, written and edited numerous PBS documentaries.

David worked as a story analyst for Columbia Pictures and has worked on a wide range of feature films. He recently completed World Enough and Time, an independent 35mm feature film which he wrote, directed, and edited.

Joe Burgmeier

Director-at-Large Position One | Expires 2025
Pima Medical Institute, Renton, Washington

Joe Burgmeier joined Pima Medical Institute in January 2016 as the career services coordinator for the Seattle location and was quickly promoted to the Assistant Dean of Faculty, which has been his role for the previous six years. In January 2023, Joe was promoted to Campus Director for the Renton, Washington location. Before joining PMI, Joe spent the previous 5 years with Everest College as both the Director of Education and the Director of Career Services. Joe is passionate about student success and making a positive impact on the community and people’s lives. Joe holds a Master of Education from Seattle University (Education Counseling), a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa.

Kurt Ikemeier

Director-at-Large Position Four | Expires 2025
Northwest College of Art & Design, Tacoma, Washington

Kurt started teaching in our industry in 2002 as an adjunct instructor. Immediately I felt the connection with students and the ability to share knowledge and previous experience with students to help shape their education and career goals.

Kurt has worked for Kaplan College, ITT Technical Institute, Concorde Career College, Everest College, Central Washington University, and Northwest College of Art and Design. My positions have included Instructor, Department Chair, Director of Education, Campus President, and Regional Director.

I truly believe in what we do, the education we provide, and the career pathways we encourage students to follow. My leadership focus is student-centered / students first.

Educationally I hold a Bachelors in Criminal Justice, Masters in Public Administration, and ABD status in my PhD program for Policy and Administration.

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