Board of Trustees

white RVC logo mark on dark blue background

Board Meetings

The RVC Board of Trustees meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month for its Committee of the Whole meeting and on the fourth Tuesday of the month for its regular meeting. Meeting dates may be changed in November and December due to the holidays. Meeting materials, including agendas and board packets, are posted on the website at least 48 hours prior to each meeting.

View Meeting Information

How can my voice be heard at these meetings?

If you wish to speak to the Board of Trustees at a virtual meeting, please submit your comment via email by the deadline noted on each meeting agenda.

Submit Public Comment

If you wish to speak to the Board of Trustees in-person at a scheduled meeting, you must sign-in to speak prior to the meeting being called to order.

  • Find the sign-in sheet on a table near the entrance of the room where the meeting is held.
  • Your request to speak to the Board shall include your name as well as the name of any other individuals who plan to address the board with you, the organization you and other speakers represent (if any), the topic to be addressed, and whether you will speak for or against the issue.
  • The public comment section of the agenda will be limited to a thirty (30) minute maximum, to be extended if necessary at the discretion of the Chairperson.
  • Presentations by any one individual shall be limited to three (3) minutes. Our full policy on recognition of visitors can be found in Section 18 of the Board Policy Manual.


Meet our Board Members

portrait of board chair Gloria Cardenas Cudia

Board Chair

Gloria Cardenas Cudia was elected to the board in April 2019. She graduated from Rockford West High School and studied at both Rock Valley College and Rockford College for courses associated with her positions as the Employee Relations Director at WIFR-TV and Rockford Clinic where she worked as a medical secretary and translator for over a decade. She retired from the Rockford Park District after 20 years of service as a staff marketing manager and an appointed Park District Commissioner. Gloria is a television producer and currently volunteers at the Comcast Cable Company to produce and host two public service programs. Gloria is also a non-denominational Christian ordained minister who retired after 16 years of service. The Rockford Register Star’s and Rockford Woman magazine’s panel of judges selected Gloria as the 2010 Rockford Woman of the Year because of her long-time service to the Rockford area community. She has been married to Frank, her high school sweetheart for 49 years. They have two adult married children and several grandchildren.

Completed State Required Leadership Training on June 12, 2021, as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act, 110 ILCS 805/3-8.5.

placeholder profile picture icon

Vice Chair

Paul Gorski was elected as a Rock Valley College Trustee in April 2017, to fill a two-year unexpired term. He was then re-elected to a full six-year term in 2019. Paul has previously served as a Cherry Valley Township Trustee, Cherry Valley Library District Trustee, and Winnebago County Board member, and plans to bring his positive experiences from those leadership roles to his position as RVC Trustee. Paul is also involved locally as a contributor to The Rock River Times newspaper, and is the editor of the non-profit social media news outlets and on Facebook and Twitter. As an IT administrator and part-time news reporter, Paul enjoys asking and fielding questions. 

Completed State Required Leadership Training on June 19, 2021, as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act, 110 ILCS 805/3-8.5.

portrait of board secretary Bob Trojan



Robert (Bob) Trojan was elected to the board in 2023 to serve a six-year term. He was first elected in April 2015 and in 2021 was appointed to fill a two-year unexpired term. He graduated from Chicago Vocational High School, served in the U.S. Marines and completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering from U of Illinois, and an MBA Marketing degree from Northwestern. He has spent his life working in and managing manufacturing companies, domestic and international. Bob came to the Rockford area in 1990 as President of Hydro-Line, Inc. and started Rockford Linear Actuation Inc. in 2002. His community service includes serving on boards of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Growth Dimensions, Abilities Center, Rockford Area Ventures, Community Foundation, Discovery Center, several committees dealing with manufacturing and a member of several voter referendums. He was a Community Member of the Rockford Register Star Editorial Board. Bob has been the Award recipient of the Chamber's Manzullo Individual Catalyst (2007), People You Should Know (2011) and the Robotics Make It Loud Award (2013). In 2022, he was nominated and was a finalist for the Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. Bob and his late wife Norma's family includes three sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Completed State Required Leadership Training on June 19, 2021, as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act, 110 ILCS 805/3-8.5.

portrait of board member Richard Kennedy

Board Member

Richard Kennedy was appointed to the Board of Trustees in February 2023 to fill a two-year unexpired term. He is a graduate of Belvidere High School and attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) on a Division I football scholarship. Richard graduated from NIU with a degree in Sociology-Criminology and is a 20-year veteran of the Rockford Police Department. He served the last 10 years of his police career as a supervisor in the patrol division. Now retired from the police force, Richard is a substitute teacher for the Harlem School District and works in the Central Reporting Unit for the City of Rockford. He holds an array of law enforcement and safety-related certificates for emergency management, supervision of personnel, crisis intervention, team training, organizational accountability, investigations, and HAZMAT awareness.

portrait of board member John Nelson

Board Member

John Nelson was elected to the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees in April 2017 and to a six-year term in 2021. He practices law in Rockford, Illinois as a sole practitioner. He obtained his BA in economics from St. Olaf College and graduated from Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana. He served as the City Attorney for the City of Rockford, Illinois from 1976 until 1980 and has been in private practice ever since. While in practice from 1980–1983, he served as part-time Winnebago County Public Defender. John is also on the Federal Defender Panel representing criminal clients in the U. S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of Illinois. He has been a member of the Illinois Township Attorneys Association for 25 years and currently serves as President. He has served as the Harlem Township Attorney since 1993. In addition to practicing law, Attorney Nelson has a particular interest in politics having voted in the last five electoral colleges. He also served four years on the Illinois State University Parent Association serving his last year as President of the association.

Completed State Required Leadership Training on June 19, 2021, as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act, 110 ILCS 805/3-8.5.

portrait of board member Kristen Simpson

Board Member

Kristen Simpson was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2023. She has lived in the area her entire life and graduated from Durand High School. Kristen, along with her husband and two of her daughters attended Rock Valley College, and she is excited that her son will soon be part of the Golden Eagles family. Kristen has a passion for photography and has had her own photography business since 2007. She is active with the Kinnikinnick Parent Teachers Organization (PTO), serving on committees, and organizing many events. Kristen has six children and one grandson.

portrait of board member Crystal Soltow

Board Member

Crystal Soltow was elected to a six-year term on the board in April 2021. She is what you call a “BNR,” born and raised in Belvidere, IL where she continues to play an active role in organizing and supporting community activities. Crystal is owner of Power Combat Fitness (PCF) in Belvidere where she actively teaches classes and serves as a fitness/life coach to help others pursue their health and wellness goals. As a busy mother of four, she also serves as vice president of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at her daughter’s school.

Completed State Required Leadership Training on December 22, 2021, as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act, 110 ILCS 805/3-8.5.

portrait of student trustee Juan Nogueda

Student Trustee

Juan was elected Student Trustee in May 2022.


How do I become a trustee?

Learn about the process to become a board member.

Become a Board Member