The Bellevue College Board of Trustees is composed of six members, appointed by the governor. Five of the members serve a five-year term and the student member serves a one-year term. All members must reside within the college’s district boundaries.
The Board’s duties include setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy for the college, and approving budgets. Meetings are usually held on Wednesdays at 2 p.m., approximately every four weeks during the academic year and are open to the public. For additional information about the Board of Trustees, please contact the President’s Office at Bellevue College, (425) 564-2302 or email boardoftrustees @ bellevuecollege.edu.
Members of the Board of Trustees
Rich Fukutaki, Chair
Rich Fukutaki was appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees in August 2015 by Gov. Jay Inslee. He was re-appointed in 2019 and his five-year term of office continues through September 2024.
Mr. Fukutaki is the managing director of Sun Break Group, LLC, a consulting practice focusing on business plans and strategies for start-ups and early stage companies. He is the managing partner of Encomedia, a public display entertainment company developing tv programs, apps, live events, online portals, and social media strategies. Previously, he served as Vice President/General Manager at Wizards of the Coast, where he founded the Pokemon trading card game. As an active member of the community, Fukutaki serves as an elder and small group leader at Bellevue Presbyterian Church and is an active service day volunteer at Jubilee Reach Center. Mr. Fukutaki was elected to the board of ACCT in 2021 and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee. He is active with ACT and serves as the co-chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, chairs the Awards Committee and is a member of the Finance, Audit, and Education Committees. He was appointed to the SBCTC Leadership Development committee in 2022.
Education profile: A.A., Pasadena City College; A.B., University of California, Berkeley; M.B.A., University of Southern California.
Richard Leigh, Vice Chair
Richard Leigh was appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees in January 2018 by Gov. Jay Inslee. He was re-appointed in 2020 and his five-year term of office continues through September 2025.
Mr. Leigh acts as Chief Legal Officer for SEIU 775 Benefits Group, a non-profit healthcare entity, overseeing board governance, compliance, litigation and risk management. His legal experience encompasses private practice and in-house counsel. He served several years as the general counsel for Vulcan Inc. Mr. Leigh has served as general counsel for organizations in the fields of technology (Motricity, Inc.); biotechnology (Cell Therapeutics, Inc.); and professional sports and entertainment (Seattle Seahawks). He currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) and has served on the ACT Nominating Committee. Mr. Leigh is a board member of the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum. He has served on the boards of several other nonprofits including the Casey Family Programs Foundation, the Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Education profile: B.A., Brown University, M.A., The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, J.D., Columbia University School of Law.
Merisa Heu-Weller was appointed to the BC Board of Trustees in November 2013 by Gov. Jay Inslee. She was re-appointed in 2018 and her five-year term of office continues through 2023.
Ms. Heu-Weller works at Microsoft as Chief of Staff for the Technology and Corporate Responsibility group and leads its Justice Reform Initiative. She joined Microsoft in 2013 as in-house counsel for the HR Legal team focusing on employment law counseling and public policy. Previously, she served as an employment and labor lawyer with Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, and was a law clerk at the Washington State Supreme Court to the Honorable Mary Fairhurst. Ms. Heu-Weller served on the Board of Directors for Friends of Youth, an organization providing social services to youth and their families. She has also volunteered with Rainier Scholars, an educational pipeline program, and helped launch The Learning Seed, a non-profit foundation providing scholarships for high school and college students.
Education profile: B.A., Stanford University; J.D., University of Washington.
Greg Dietzel was appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees in May 2017 by Gov. Jay Inslee. He was re-appointed in 2022 and his five-year term of office continues through September 2027.
Mr. Dietzel was the Senior State Executive for IBM until his retirement, responsible for all operations and employees in the State of Washington. He has served on the Board of the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) as President and on the Legislative, Education, and DEI Committees. He serves on the Board of 501 Commons, which helps over 2,000 WA State non-profits achieve their missions, and on the governing board of his church. He has served on the Board for the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Boy Scouts of America.
Education profile: B.S., New Mexico State University.
Pradnya Desh was appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees in August 2022 by Governor Jay Inslee. Her term of office continues through September 2026.
Ms. Desh is the CEO of Advocat AI, a software platform for AI contract generation, negotiation and management. Formerly, Ms. Desh was a US diplomat in the State Department, and a U.S. trade negotiator with USTR in Geneva. She represented the United States in international organizations, including the WTO and the UN Committee on Trade and Development. Ms. Desh joined Governor Christine Gregoire’s trade delegation to India and Korea in October 2012, and Governor Inslee’s trade delegation to Korea and Japan in 2016. She is an attorney and was the Managing Partner of Desh International and Business Law. She currently serves as the Chairperson of the Board for Music Works NW, a nonprofit community music school and was previously on the Board of the World Trade Center of Tacoma, and the Washington Council on International Trade.
Education Profile: B.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, M.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, J.D. Catholic University
Conor O’Meara was appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees in June 2022 by Governor Jay Inslee. His one-year term of office continues through June 2023.
Conor has always had a passion for leadership groups and serving his community. His experience includes volunteering for Bellevue Youth Link, Boys and Girls Club, and maintaining important roles in school groups such as DECA, and Psychology Club. Conor believes an accepting and hospitable environment is key to student happiness and success.
Anticipated Graduation Date: 2023, Associate Degree in Business