Committee Members

Committee Members

Select the tab for a member below to see their bio.

Ernie

Ernesto Rios

Member-At-Large, East Valley

Ernie Rios serves as the Vice President of College Success at OneFuture Coachella Valley.  He is a graduate of Coachella Valley High School, College of the Desert and the University of California at Los Angeles.  After completing his undergraduate degrees he worked in the entertainment industry where he gained valuable management experience.  Passionate about business and education, he returned to the Coachella Valley and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management at the University of California at Riverside, Palm Desert Campus.  In 2008 he joined the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and helped co-found the Pathways to Success Scholarship and Leadership program (now OneFuture Coachella Valley), which has awarded more than $16 million in scholarships and helped Coachella Valley students access more than $100 million in state and federal financial aid.  He is a former president of the COD Alumni Association and serves on the Thermal/Oasis Community Council.  Over the past decade he has worked with business, education and civic leaders to improve the quality of life of local students and residents through postsecondary attainment and workforce readiness supports.

Term Started: March 2022  Term Ends: March 2024

Michael Monachino

Michael Monachino

Member-At-Large, West Valley

Mr. Monachino has been a resident of the Coachella Valley for 14 years and has been active in supporting non-profits in the region. He has extensive knowledge and expertise in finance, construction, engineering and management.  Mr. Monachino has served as a proud Director for the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre since 2015. He formerly served on the Make a Wish Foundation NYC.

Mr. Monachino has degrees from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering and Architecture.

His career has included positions with IBM, MFD Construction, and T*IPS Legal and Financial Consultants.

Term Started: September 2022  Term Ends: September 2024

Becky Broughton

Becky Broughton

Business Representative

 Becky Broughton served as a Trustee on the Desert Community College District Board between 2006 and 2018. A strong advocate for education, Ms. Broughton is a firm believer in catching students as early as possible to show them that they CAN go to college – even if no one in their family has done it before.

As a partner in a small family farm since 1975, her expertise was essential to the start of the College’s Roadrunner Farms.

In addition to her work at College of the Desert, Ms. Broughton:

  • Has served as president of the Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District for more than 20 years;

  • Is a member of the Coachella Valley Chapter of California Women in Agriculture;

  • Was appointed to the California Grape Administrative Committee by the Secretary of Agriculture;

  • Serves as a representative for the County of Riverside on the Imperial Irrigation District Energy Consumers Advisory Committee; and

  • Served as a member of the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival for the last 20+ years.

Ms. Broughton started her own higher education journey with a community college degree and completed graduate work in biology.  As a scientist herself, she has passionately supported STEM education and worked tirelessly to ensure that those opportunities were available at the College's Mecca/Thermal campus.

Term Started: September 2021  Term Ends: September 2023

Kelly Merchant

Kelly Merchant

Student Representative

Kelly Merchant is appointed as Student Representative. She is currently an ASCOD Senator.  Her educational interests include Sociology.  She brings with her EMT training.  Kelly has volunteered for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and Life Stream Blood Bank.  She is a strong advocate in student involvement in College undertakings. Through this committee Kelly hopes to give back to the college and pave the way for future student involvement and community leadership.

Term Started: September 2022   Term Ends: March 2023  

James Dietrich

James Dietrich

Senior Citizen Group Representative

Mr. Dietrich is a real estate investor, property manager, funds manager, contractor, and educator with over decades of experience. He is retired from a 30-year career in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, transportation, logistics supply chain management, material handling automated design, installation, and project management. He is also retired from a 15-year career in historic home repair.  His community service includes Kiwanis of Palm Springs, American Legion, Southwest Church of Palm Desert, Sigma Pi College Fraternity of CSULB, and Fraternal Order of Elks. Mr. Dietrich has a 4-Year BS Degree and an Associate Degree in business and finance.  He is enrolled in the Energy Building Systems Technology Program at the College of the Desert.

Term Started: September 2022  Term Ends: September 2024

Diane Rubin

Diane M. Rubin, CPA

College Support Organization Representative

Diane M. Rubin, CPA, is a retired audit partner with the firm of Novogradac & Company LLP, a national public accounting firm headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices throughout the United States. Diane began her career at Price Waterhouse in New York after obtaining an MBA in Accounting from the University of Washington. She currently is an independent director of the Board of Directors of First Foundation Inc. and serves as Chair of its Audit Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation and is a member of the board of the College of the Desert Foundation. She was a member of the Board and Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and served as a member and President of the California Board of Accountancy. Diane has also served on the Rancho Mirage Parks and Trails Commission, the Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert.

Term Started: September 2020  Term Ends: September 2022

Rick Seeley

Richard D. "Rick" Seeley

Taxpayers' Association Representative

Rick is a community champion and philanthropist.  He holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the Univerisity of Redlands and has done post-graduate work at the University of Michigan and University of Southern California.  Early in his long career he proudly attended California's Chaffey and Long Beach community colleges to complete his lower division studies.  He firmly believes in the vital role community colleges play in the field of education.  

In 2016 Rick retired from Southern California Gas Company after a 33-year career of increasing responsibilities culminating in his tenure as the Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity.  With his professional career grounded in a heavily regulated business environment, his detail orientation was finely tuned.  In many of his assignments he was required to oversee regulatory filings which involve review of past expenditures and projection of future costs.  

Today, Rick also serves as the president of the Palm Springs Cultural Center.  The cultural center incubates, produces and encourages arts and cultural programs to leverage the unique power of creativity to open minds, bridge what divides us and discover what connects us.  In this capacity, Rick has an avid interest in developing exposure to the arts for residents of all ages, experiences and backgrounds in the community.

Rick is also the treasurer of the LA Philharmonic Affiliates in the Desert, another group providing opportunities for Coachella Valley students to be exposed to classical music at Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.  This role, as well as his work at the cultural center is the perfect progression in the common thread of his career of promoting economic and cultural diversity equality in all aspects of business and the arts.

As a fourth generation Southern Californian Rick is founding and continuing director of the Long Beach Heritage Foundation.  He is also a founder and board member of BuildOut California, the world's first LGBT trade organization focused on leveling the playing field in construction industry procurement opportunities for LGBT suppliers.  He lives in south Palm Springs with his husband, Bradley.

Term Started: March 2022  Term Ends: March 2024

Ernie

Ernesto Rios

Member-At-Large, East Valley

Ernie Rios serves as the Vice President of College Success at OneFuture Coachella Valley.  He is a graduate of Coachella Valley High School, College of the Desert and the University of California at Los Angeles.  After completing his undergraduate degrees he worked in the entertainment industry where he gained valuable management experience.  Passionate about business and education, he returned to the Coachella Valley and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management at the University of California at Riverside, Palm Desert Campus.  In 2008 he joined the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and helped co-found the Pathways to Success Scholarship and Leadership program (now OneFuture Coachella Valley), which has awarded more than $16 million in scholarships and helped Coachella Valley students access more than $100 million in state and federal financial aid.  He is a former president of the COD Alumni Association and serves on the Thermal/Oasis Community Council.  Over the past decade he has worked with business, education and civic leaders to improve the quality of life of local students and residents through postsecondary attainment and workforce readiness supports.

Term Started: March 2022  Term Ends: March 2024

Michael Monachino

Michael Monachino

Member-At-Large, West Valley

Mr. Monachino has been a resident of the Coachella Valley for 14 years and has been active in supporting non-profits in the region. He has extensive knowledge and expertise in finance, construction, engineering and management.  Mr. Monachino has served as a proud Director for the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre since 2015. He formerly served on the Make a Wish Foundation NYC.

Mr. Monachino has degrees from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering and Architecture.

His career has included positions with IBM, MFD Construction, and T*IPS Legal and Financial Consultants.

Term Started: September 2022  Term Ends: September 2024

Becky Broughton

Becky Broughton

Business Representative

 Becky Broughton served as a Trustee on the Desert Community College District Board between 2006 and 2018. A strong advocate for education, Ms. Broughton is a firm believer in catching students as early as possible to show them that they CAN go to college – even if no one in their family has done it before.

As a partner in a small family farm since 1975, her expertise was essential to the start of the College’s Roadrunner Farms.

In addition to her work at College of the Desert, Ms. Broughton:

  • Has served as president of the Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District for more than 20 years;

  • Is a member of the Coachella Valley Chapter of California Women in Agriculture;

  • Was appointed to the California Grape Administrative Committee by the Secretary of Agriculture;

  • Serves as a representative for the County of Riverside on the Imperial Irrigation District Energy Consumers Advisory Committee; and

  • Served as a member of the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival for the last 20+ years.

Ms. Broughton started her own higher education journey with a community college degree and completed graduate work in biology.  As a scientist herself, she has passionately supported STEM education and worked tirelessly to ensure that those opportunities were available at the College's Mecca/Thermal campus.

Term Started: September 2021  Term Ends: September 2023

Kelly Merchant

Kelly Merchant

Student Representative

Kelly Merchant is appointed as Student Representative. She is currently an ASCOD Senator.  Her educational interests include Sociology.  She brings with her EMT training.  Kelly has volunteered for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and Life Stream Blood Bank.  She is a strong advocate in student involvement in College undertakings. Through this committee Kelly hopes to give back to the college and pave the way for future student involvement and community leadership.

Term Started: September 2022   Term Ends: March 2023  

James Dietrich

James Dietrich

Senior Citizen Group Representative

Mr. Dietrich is a real estate investor, property manager, funds manager, contractor, and educator with over decades of experience. He is retired from a 30-year career in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, transportation, logistics supply chain management, material handling automated design, installation, and project management. He is also retired from a 15-year career in historic home repair.  His community service includes Kiwanis of Palm Springs, American Legion, Southwest Church of Palm Desert, Sigma Pi College Fraternity of CSULB, and Fraternal Order of Elks. Mr. Dietrich has a 4-Year BS Degree and an Associate Degree in business and finance.  He is enrolled in the Energy Building Systems Technology Program at the College of the Desert.

Term Started: September 2022  Term Ends: September 2024

Diane Rubin

Diane M. Rubin, CPA

College Support Organization Representative

Diane M. Rubin, CPA, is a retired audit partner with the firm of Novogradac & Company LLP, a national public accounting firm headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices throughout the United States. Diane began her career at Price Waterhouse in New York after obtaining an MBA in Accounting from the University of Washington. She currently is an independent director of the Board of Directors of First Foundation Inc. and serves as Chair of its Audit Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation and is a member of the board of the College of the Desert Foundation. She was a member of the Board and Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and served as a member and President of the California Board of Accountancy. Diane has also served on the Rancho Mirage Parks and Trails Commission, the Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert.

Term Started: September 2020  Term Ends: September 2022

Rick Seeley

Richard D. "Rick" Seeley

Taxpayers' Association Representative

Rick is a community champion and philanthropist.  He holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the Univerisity of Redlands and has done post-graduate work at the University of Michigan and University of Southern California.  Early in his long career he proudly attended California's Chaffey and Long Beach community colleges to complete his lower division studies.  He firmly believes in the vital role community colleges play in the field of education.  

In 2016 Rick retired from Southern California Gas Company after a 33-year career of increasing responsibilities culminating in his tenure as the Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity.  With his professional career grounded in a heavily regulated business environment, his detail orientation was finely tuned.  In many of his assignments he was required to oversee regulatory filings which involve review of past expenditures and projection of future costs.  

Today, Rick also serves as the president of the Palm Springs Cultural Center.  The cultural center incubates, produces and encourages arts and cultural programs to leverage the unique power of creativity to open minds, bridge what divides us and discover what connects us.  In this capacity, Rick has an avid interest in developing exposure to the arts for residents of all ages, experiences and backgrounds in the community.

Rick is also the treasurer of the LA Philharmonic Affiliates in the Desert, another group providing opportunities for Coachella Valley students to be exposed to classical music at Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.  This role, as well as his work at the cultural center is the perfect progression in the common thread of his career of promoting economic and cultural diversity equality in all aspects of business and the arts.

As a fourth generation Southern Californian Rick is founding and continuing director of the Long Beach Heritage Foundation.  He is also a founder and board member of BuildOut California, the world's first LGBT trade organization focused on leveling the playing field in construction industry procurement opportunities for LGBT suppliers.  He lives in south Palm Springs with his husband, Bradley.

Term Started: March 2022  Term Ends: March 2024