Barb Crittenden and Jerry Smith

Creston, IA—Jerry Smith, Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees member from Osceola, received the 2015 John P. Kibbie Award during the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) annual conference held at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa from July 22-24, 2015.

Smith has served on the Southwestern Community College board of trustees since 1997.  He has represented SWCC on the IACCT board since 2000, and has served as chairman of the IACCT board for two separate terms.

According to Dr. Barb Crittenden, Southwestern’s president, Smith is an advocate for the mission of community colleges.  

“Jerry is a powerful spokesperson for the role of education in improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities,” stated Crittenden.

Smith was employed by MATURA Action Corporation in Creston for more than 35 years.  He served as their executive director from 2001 until 2011 when he retired.  

In 2011, Smith received the Iowa Community Action Association’s highest honor, the Robert R. Tyson Memorial Award.  He testified as an expert witness before United States House and Senate committees regarding worker retraining on two separate occasions.  Prior to his position as executive director for MATURA, Smith was the Region 14 workforce director.

The John P. Kibbie Award is given annually to an Iowa community college leader to recognize extraordinary achievements, influence, and dedication to Iowa’s two-year college mission.  The award is named for Iowa’s long-time state senator John “Jack” Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg).  Kibbie served in the Iowa House from 1961-1964 and the Senate from 1964-1968.  He was re-elected in 1988 and served until 2012.  Kibbie has been a long-time, strong proponent for two-year colleges in the state.  He served on the Iowa Lakes Community College board for 17 years, 10 of those years as president.