Photos Courtesy of Kurt Krug
Henry Ford College has welcomed some new appointments to its staff this month. Lisa Bradley as the new executive director of human resources, Dr. Brad Romans as the new dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Tirria Kendred as the new director of K-12 relations.
Bradley is the new executive director of human resources at Henry Ford College.
“The HR department has been well-connected and very supportive,” Bradley said. “I have felt very welcome here.”
Bradley reports to Dr. Lori Gonko, HFC vice president of strategy & human resources.
“I knew from our first encounter that Lisa would bring something special to HFC,” Gonko said in a press release. “She has a wealth of experience in strategic HR efforts with particular expertise in leadership development, recruiting and onboarding, and DEIB program implementation. I am excited to partner with and learn from her. She is already proving to be a great addition to our HR team and the College.”
Bradley graduated from Lutheran High School West in Detroit and then attended Adrian College to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology and business management. She has two master’s degrees; education with a specialization in training and development from Capella University in Minneapolis and human development from from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA.
She has three graduate certificates: One in evidence-based coaching and another in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, both from Fielding Graduate University, and the third in human resource management from Capella University. She is working on her doctoral degree in human development from Fielding.
Bradley is a professional certified coach through the International Coaching Federation. She also has professional memberships in the ICF, Society for Human Resource Management, the Society for Diversity and the Institute of Coaching.
She lives in Detroit and is the mother of two sons.
She began her career as a social worker and after three years in child welfare, she began employment in learning and development. She has spent 35 years working in human resources, 10 of them in HR leadership. Throughout her career, she has worked as the director of learning and development at MetLife Insurance Company in Southfield; as the training manager at AAA Michigan in Dearborn; as the learning strategist at Xerox Learning Services in Cleveland, OH; as the director and later vice-president of people and culture at The Mars Agency in Southfield and as the senior director of talent and culture for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Bradley previously served as a leadership solutions partner focused on equity, diversity and inclusion at the Center for Creative Leadership, Inc. in Greensboro, NC.
“I remember attending a training session at the CCL in 1998,” she said. “I knew then I wanted to work for the CCL and jumped at the chance when the opportunity came up.”
Bradley spoke about what drew her in to Henry Ford College.
“I’m a lifelong learner, so that seemed to be an appropriate fit,” she said. “Walking on a college campus brings me to life and the opportunity to contribute to students’ success is exciting to me. HFC gave me the opportunity to return to HR leadership.
“We are responsible for people’s livelihoods here at the College,” she added. “We are supporting higher education. To borrow from the mission statement, we transform lives for employees, so they are prepared to do the same for our students. HR is in place to support HFC employees to ensure they have what they need in order to perform at their best.”
Bradley has various goals that she wants to immediately work on as she steps into this new role. These include advancing the rollout internal programs to increase efficiency, as well as the seemingly endless task of digital file conversion. Further strategic plans will connect the work of HR with college goals and continue to grow HR as an excellent, service-based organization across the board.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Lisa,” said HFC Assistant Director of Employee and Labor Relations Mark Tade. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will complement and enhance the HR department, and she has already proven to be a welcome addition to the team.”
Bradley aims to advance employee diversity and retention in alignment with the ABIDE Strategic Plan.
“We need to focus on having a diverse faculty and staff, so our students can see themselves reflected in the groups who support their success,” she said. “I’m focused on building relationships with the College’s five bargaining units and other key stakeholders, and actively supporting the Strategic Plan. I am looking forward to moving the HR department forward and watching it evolve.”
Dr. Brad Romans
Romans is the new dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Henry Ford College. He reports to Dr. Michael Nealon, the HFC vice president of academic affairs.
According to a press release, the college is grateful to Interim Dean Robert Yahrmatter, who has returned to his previous role as associate dean of the SOLA. HFC President Russell Kavalhuna expressed gratitude to both Yahrmatter and previous Interim Dean Larry Smyrski, who provided a steady, guiding hand for the SOLA since 2021. The college is also grateful to Pamela Stewart, who stepped up as interim associate dean during the past year.
“The student population here at HFC is very diverse, which resonated with me,” Romans said in a press release. “The faculty are impressive and accomplished. Our common goal is reaching our students and helping them achieve the next step in their lives. Many students who attend the College are first-generation college students. I can relate to that, being a first-generation college student myself.”
“As Local 1650 president and a faculty member in SOLA, I welcome Dr. Romans to HFC,” said HFC political science instructor Dr. Eric Rader. “Our incredible faculty are ready to work with him to help our students succeed.”
Romans was born in Southfield and is the older of two sons. He graduated from Pinckney High School. A two-time alumnus of Eastern Michigan University, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literature. Thereafter, he earned his PhD in English from the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. He also completed training as a New Leadership Academy Fellow through the University of Michigan National Forum for Public Good in Ann Arbor. He currently resides in Dexter with his family.
Romans shared why he was inspired to pursue a career in higher education.
“As a student, I loved watching professors at the front of the classroom pouring out knowledge, wisdom and information to me and other students,” he said. “I found it incredibly intoxicating.”
Romans has taught at several colleges, including EMU and the University of Buffalo in various subjects such as English composition, creative writing, special topics courses in literature, mass culture and the media, and ethnography. He has also presented at state and national conferences.
Romans has worked in higher education since 2008 and in college administration since 2015.
“Going into administration was the opportunity to more broadly impact policy to help students and make the path to graduation smoother for them,” he said.
Romans comes to HFC from Baker College, having served in a numerous administrative leadership positions. He served as director of academic affairs at both the Jackson and Allen Park campuses. He was the online director at the Flint campus. Prior to his new position at Henry Ford College, his final role at Baker was campus director for both the Jackson and Allen Park campuses.
In these roles, Romans has led his teams at Baker through strategic and operational planning regarding academic and scholarly programming, support for and improvement of student success, community partnerships and outreach, service learning, student life, budget development and cohort-based peer mentoring. He co-authored Baker’s accreditation self-studies at both the campus and at the college level, including the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reporting. As a result, he successfully secured grants of more than $2 million to support collaborative efforts regarding faculty and undergraduate research.
“A first-generation college student himself, Brad wholeheartedly embraces the goals and priorities aligned with HFC’s current Strategic Plan and its focus on student success,” Nealon said. “In his own words, Brad shares: ‘The central focus of my work is to collaborate with faculty on raising our shared level of discourse in ways that are clear, accessible and that result in greater opportunity for students.’”
Romans has a specific vision that he aims to implement at the HFC School of Liberal Arts.
“I love everything we have to offer in SOLA, whether it’s fine arts, literature, sociology, mass media, ceramics, theatre, psychology, the list goes on,” he said. “I want students to have access to their expert faculty in these subjects and for SOLA to become the preeminent spot for students to build their futures and communities. The goal here is for them to be able to build better telescopes to see the directions in which they’re headed. To me, that’s a dream come true.”
Kendred is the new director of K-12 relations at Henry Ford College.
“HFC’s mission is in line with my belief that my success is measured by the success of the students I have the opportunity to impact,” Kendred said in a press release. “The director of K-12 Relations role is crucial in facilitating early college exposure opportunities for high school students. This jump start to students’ college careers supports equitable college completion.”
She reports to HFC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Nealon.
“Tirria already possesses first-hand knowledge of HFC’s priorities regarding K-14 alignment, having collaborated with the College in the development of articulation agreements with a number of secondary education partners, including the Advanced Technology Academy in Dearborn,” Nealon said. “She’s well-versed in the intricacies of policy and legislation related to dual enrollment programming at both the state and federal level.
“She also possesses sophisticated understanding and skills related to grant management, including Perkins Grant compliance,” he added. “Tirria is dynamic, team-oriented and an excellent communicator whose passion and enthusiasm will help us to expand and enhance dual enrollment pathways at HFC while building new and strengthening continuing relationships with HFC’s K-12 partners across the region.”
Kendred, born in Detroit, graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a focus in mathematics and psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She then earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Wayne State University. She is also the mother of twin daughters.
She has spent more than 20 years in the field of education. Her career began teaching mathematics at Golightly Career and Technical Center in Detroit, where she taught for nearly 11 years. She served as program supervisor and facilitator within the Office of College and Career Readiness at Detroit Public Schools for nearly three years.
“I went into education because I was motivated by the desire to successfully impact students and change the trajectory of their lives,” she said. “My career has given me the opportunity to positively impact students’ lives, which leads to positive impacts for their families and community.”
Before stepping into her role at HFC, Kendred was at Wayne RESA for six years. During her time at Wayne RESA, she served as career education planning district administrator, providing leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of CTE and the Early Middle College program across Wayne and Monroe Counties.
In her new position at HFC, Kendred’s duties include leading efforts in secondary school relations, including dual and concurrent enrollment programming, and early college models. She is also responsible for building relationships across regional junior and high schools that lead to successful student college enrollment and completion.
“I hope to bridge the gap between secondary and postsecondary education by providing academic, social and financial benefits to high school students through postsecondary credit opportunities,” Kendred said. “Thus, establishing a robust pipeline of college-ready students who attain successful educations, careers and lives.”