Katharine Eneguess, President at White Mountains Community College was recenlty named one of six Outstanding Women in Business for 2013. The award is presented by NH Business Magazine and Centrix Bank.
Looking at her resume, it's hardly a surprise she ended up living back among the mountains in New Hampshire's North Country. Growing up, the Peterborough native spent the summers of her childhood at her family's summer home on Lake Umbagog. In college she ran a canoe and kayak school to help put herself through Plymouth State College, where she earned an undergraduate degree in physical education; and after she earned her master's degree, she ran a private high school for ski racers that dropped in at some of the biggest mountains in the world.
With her combined love of education and the outdoors, it's only fitting that she's moved back to the Great North Woods for her current role as President of White Mountains Community College in Berlin. "I have a strong sense of place and I knew there was a major opportunity for this institution in the North Country," said Eneguess, who became president of the college in 2003 after working for 18 years as vice president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.
Under Eneguess' guidance, the college has started many programs designed specifically to help students and local people succeed. These include spearheading a plan to build a 30,000 square-foot transportation center to connect students with jobs in the area's automotive and mobile equipment industry, and designing a hospitality certificate program to prepare students to work in the region's tourism industry.
The college also launched a program called Business Services North with two other organizations, which provides information and technical assistance to people looking to open a business.
The college is a national leader in virtual business incubation and was one of 11 colleges nationwide selected to participate in a virtual incubator network. Through that, the college's incubation services are held up nationally as an example of best practices for small, rural colleges. Eneguess also spearheaded a program that works directly with early learning educators of all the child-care facilities in the region to ensure that North Country children are getting the best start in life.
Eneguess, a lifelong Girl Scout, serves on a number of North Country regional development initiatives and sits on many boards. Notably, she is chair of the New Hampshire Women in Higher Education Leadership network, which promotes women's leadership within higher education.