4CS Board Bios

Benita BrionesCari Plyley
President Emeritus
4CS Office Manager
Butte College
Retired

After 33+ years as a Butte Community College classified employee, I retired December 29, 2018 and continue to be active as 4CS President Emerita and the first 4CS Office Manager.

I joined the Butte College classified staff in 1985 as an administrative secretary, first in Student services and then Instruction. In 1988 I received 3 associate degrees at Butte College in Office Adminstration: Executive Office Assistant, Legal Office Assisstant, and Information Specialist, and then planned to pursue higher degress in Business/ Accounting. Then in 1988 the Califorria Legislature approved AB 1725, a law including provisions for classified participation in college governance. To put it mildly, California community college participatory governance took over my life.

I am a 31-year veteran of Participatory Governance, serving as the chair of the Butte College Classified Senate Development Committee in 1990 and its first elected classified senate president. I was honored to hold the classified seats on a number of the college's first governance committees: Budget, College Council, etc. Through the years, I held various other supporting offices for the Butte College Classified Senate, and classified senate president again in 1998. At the end of that term, I was given the title/senate position of Historian/Parliamentarian and participated in senate activities for the remainder of my time at Butte College. After retiring, I received Butte College Classified Emeritus (Gold Circle Status), in May 2019.

At the statewide level, I was a member of the California Community Colleges Classified Senate (4CS) Development Committee in 1991 and was elected to the 4CS executive board for 1996-2001 as the North 1 Area Representative, 4CS President Elect 2000-2001, 4CS President 2001-2003, and 4CS Past President 2003-2004, then served as Secretary for two terms. I am honored to have been granted 4CS President Emeritus status. In May 2013, 4CS opened it's first corporate office in Chico, California and I serve as Office Manager, a volunteer position, and have continued my appointment to that position to 2019.

I "learned on the job," presenting my first workshop at the CCLC Convention, for which I was nominated for the Jeffries Award. I attribute the success of this workshop, held in a Marriot convention hall for 100 people and standing room only, to my passion for the mission: inform the college community of the importance of classified leadership training and participation in the goverance of community colleges. After that, I presented numerous workshops on leadership and participatory governance throughout the state at various colleges, events and conventions since 1991. During my term as 4CS President, I presented at numberous colleges and led the effort to retain senate rights by revising SB 235, a bill that in it's original form would have taken away the rights of classified staff members to participate in governance through classified senates and reserving those rights only to classified unions. Though the final product did not include the term "classified senates," the document referred to "other organizations" as authorized to respresent classified staff through various processes.

Beginning in 1999, I was the principal author of 4CS position papers. Jim Wilson was the other co-author and editor of these endeavors and I, as well as 4CS, owe him a life-long thanks for his committment to the success of 4CS. To understand the history of 4CS and classified involvement in CC governance, I suggest these position papers be required reading for classified leaders:

The Issue Before Us: The Right to Choose
Shared/Participatory Goverance
Senates adn Unions Working Together
Local Governing Boards
Professional Organization Rights and SB 235

My passion is sharing what I know classified leadership can bring to community colleges and the important opportunity that participatory governance provides classified staff to truly contribute to student success. It has been my honor to serve classified staff and assist them in their growth and leadership. I continue to enjoy reaching out to classified "professionals" across the state and hope to continue to make a difference.