AFIT Executive Committee

Liz Murphy headshot

Liz Murphy


Liz Murphy is the chairwoman of the board and chief evangelist at CampusWorks, a strategic consulting firm that transforms higher education institutions by providing an independent perspective and creative solutions to improve operations, reduce costs, and position students for success.

Chris Bustamante headshot

Dr. Chris Bustamante

Immediate Past President

Dr. Chris Bustamante serves as the President of Rio Salado College, the largest of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. The College serves nearly 60,000 students annually with more than 30,000 students online.

Terry Murrell headshot

Dr. Terry Murrell

President Elect

Dr. Terry Murrell serves as the President of Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), a position he’s held since 2011. Dr. Murrell joined WITCC in 2007 as Vice President of Instruction and Student Services and was promoted to EVP in 2009.


Timothy Nelson


Timothy J. Nelson has served as president of Northwestern Michigan College since February 2001. Under his leadership, the college community has embraced a culture of continuous improvement and collaborative relationships. 

Leah-Bornstein headshot AFIT

Dr. Leah Bornstein

Member at Large

Dr. Leah L. Bornstein was named the sixth president and CEO of Aims Community College on Aug. 1, 2015, by the Aims Board of Trustees. Aims Community College is a public, fully accredited, two-year college with multiple sites in northern Colorado. 


Dr. Jackie Elliott

Member at Large

Dr. Jackie Elliott is the President of Central Arizona College, a position she has held since July 2016. As a first generation college student herself, Dr. Elliott has a strong passion for designing and implementing programs designed to ensure student success.


Dr. Cris Valdez

Member at Large

Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez has been the president of Richland Community College since August 2016. Dr. Valdez believes that community colleges should remain open-door institutions that aspire to both high academic standards and high rates of student success and completion.

AFIT Staff


John Politi

Executive Director

John J. Politi is the President of The Avalon Group (TAG), a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Mr. Politi is a member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, our nation’s highest award for performance excellence, and has served for more than six years as a Senior Examiner. He is a nationally recognized expert on leadership systems, strategic planning, customer service and relationship building, measurement systems, human resource management, and process management. He was awarded the Governor’s Quality Leadership Award by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan in 1997.


Dr. Charlotte Lee

Coordinator for Finance & Administration

Dr. Charlotte Lee is Senior Director of the Center for Learning & Student Success at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this, she was Vice President for Education & Organizational Development at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Charlotte has served as AFIT’s Coordinator for Financials and Administration since 2007. Before that, she was a CEO member for a decade during her presidency at Terra Community College in Fremont, OH. She has also served on the Executive Committee in the roles of President and Treasurer.


Laura Helminski

Coordinator of the Summer Institute

Laura Helminski has served as the Coordinator of the Summer Institute since 2004. She has Faculty Emeritus recognition from Rio Salado College, AZ. During her years as a full-time faculty member, she also served as Rio Salado College Chair of the Student Learning Outcomes Team for 10 years, co-chair of two Accreditation Self Study committees, a Learning Organization trainer and facilitator, a Continuous Quality Improvement trainer and facilitator. Laura was also a past Faculty Senate President, and was Faculty Development and Staff Development Coordinator for 15 years. She was Rio Salado College’s 2009 Woman of Distinction. 


Dr. Martin Reimer

Coordinator of Development

Dr. Martin Reimer has been the Provost of Ellsworth Community College, IA since July 2015. Martin has over 15 years of higher education and institutional finance leadership experience. Martin earned a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Capella University, an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a BA from Central College.

Paul Klute-AFIT

Paul Klute

Website Coordinator

Paul Klute is the Director of the Office of Institutional Research at the University of Georgia. Paul is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Higher Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Kansas. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Northwest Missouri State University.

Erika Liodice Headshot (AFIT)

Erika Liodice

Marketing Coordinator

Erika Liodice is the Marketing Communication Manager at CampusWorks. Before this, she spent a decade working in sales, marketing, and advertising for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Erika is a graduate of Lehigh University, where she earned her B.S. in Business and Economics with a concentration in Spanish.