With her recent election as board chair, Charlotte entrepreneur Linda Lockman-Brooks becomes the first Black person and the first woman to lead Central Piedmont Community College’s board of trustees.
The Charlotte business executive has served as a Central Piedmont trustee since 2016, when she was appointed then re-appointed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education. She’s the founder and president of Lockman-Books Marketing Services, a consulting firm that boasts clients such as AT&T, Bank of America, Novant Health and the Dallas Mavericks.
In an interview with QCity Metro, Lockman-Brooks reflected on the impact her historical election will have on Central Piedmont’s students of color.
“On graduation day, the president of the board of trustees is standing there to hand them that diploma, along with Dr. Deitemeyer,” she said, referencing the school’s president. “That’s going to make me smile, to see students of color seeing someone that looks like them. That’s important because I truly believe that if you can see it, you can be it.”
Her leadership comes as colleges across the country face enrollment challenges fueled largely by the Covid-19 pandemic. Community colleges are seeing double-digit enrollment decreases since the start of the pandemic. The Charlotte Observer reported that CPCC enrollment fell by 18% among Black and Latino students over the last year.
“Linda assumes leadership of the board at a crucial time, as Mecklenburg County emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic and the college readies itself to help a growing number of Mecklenburg County residents restart their careers or begin their higher education journey to greater economic mobility,” Deitemeyer said in a statement.
Before her election as board chair, Lockman-Brooks served on the board’s executive committee as well as its finance and facilities committee. She also co-chairs the college’s “Powering a Stronger Future” campaign, which seeks to raise $40 million to provide scholarships and academic support for students who have been historically disadvantaged.
Lockman-Brooks succeeds Edwin Dalrymple, who has chaired the board since 2014.