Spotlight on Ohlone:
Yee still making Ohlone proud
By Theodore Harrison, Staff writer.
Thursday, March 19, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.
When the Argus newspaper named Garrett Yee as one of “10 People to Watch in 2003” no one could have known at the time (except maybe Yee) how far his future success would go. Yee, former president of the Ohlone College Board of Trustees, Iraq veteran and published author, was recently promoted by the U.S. Army Reserves to the rank of Colonel.
In 2006, Yee was re-elected to Ohlone Board of Trustees while stationed in Iraq on active duty. Prior to being elected to the board Yee, participated in the Community Task Force for Ohlone College and served as president of Citizens for Better Community.
Both experiences gave Yee the opportunity to achieve one of his most rewarding community projects: “Measure A.” Measure A was the bond measure that brought us the Newark Campus and the new Student Services Center currently under construction.
Yee and his family have a long connection with Ohlone. His father was an adjunct instructor at Ohlone for several years. Growing up, Yee frequently spent time at the old Ohlone site along Washington Boulevard where he took swimming lessons.
In addition, Yee and his wife, Maria, both attended Ohlone as students. Yee later received his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. In 1987, Yee received his officer commission through Santa Clara’s ROTC program.He later received an MBA from Golden Gate University. He is currently enrolled in a Master’s in Strategic Studies program through the Army War College.
Yee is currently the Commander of the 650th Regional Support Group, which is located in Las Vegas. As the commander he is responsible for overseeing 1,300 personnel assigned to units located throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Hawaii. Prior to being promoted to Colonel, Yee served in Iraq where he was stationed in Baghdad serving with the Center for Army Lessons Learned.
His assignment focused on reconstruction efforts throughout the country and required extensive travel in the region.”
In February 2007, Yee returned to his civilian job after 18 months of active military service. In his civilian job, Yee worked as a manager at the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California. The following January, Yee chronicled his experiences in Iraq with a published book titled, “Greetings from Iraq,” which is available on-line.
Yee was first elected to the Ohlone College Board of Trustees back in 2002. He was re-elected to a second term in 2006.
Yee believes the biggest challenge facing Ohlone is state funding and its impact on programs. He believes “the college is fortunate that Dr. [Gari] Browning has been working proactively with the staff at Ohlone to develop plans so that the college can be positioned to meet its short-term and long-term budget needs.”