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West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) is excited to announce the promotion and hiring of three executive-level positions. The College has promoted Karri Mulhern to Executive Director of Business Services and Corporate Training, and is welcoming Dr. Phil Klein as the new Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, and Robert Brak as the new Director of Human Resource Development.
Mulhern, a Wheeling native, will lead the College’s efforts to support the employee training and development needs of local employers and businesses utilizing the College’s full array of two-year degrees, workforce training, and customized contract training resources. Mulhern is an accomplished economic and workforce development professional, with 22 years of experience in business, industrial and academic sectors, including eight years at WVNCC, 11 years at Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED), and three years at Rockingham Economic Development Corp., Exeter, NH. Mulhern graduated from Wheeling Central Catholic High School, Bethany College with a B.A. in Politics and Public Policy, and the University of Pittsburgh with a master’s degree in Public Administration.
The College also filled their Vice President of Economic Workforce Development and Director of Human Resources Development positions due to retirements earlier this year.
Dr. Klein served previously as Dean of the School of Health and Public Safety at South Piedmont Community College in North Carolina. In this role, he oversaw both credit and non-credit programs and worked closely with the health and public safety communities. In his new position at WVNCC, Dr. Klein will be responsible for expanding the College’s Workforce Development Program, overseeing current offerings, and engaging our community through Community Education. Dr. Klein spent the early part of his career working in public service as a firefighter/paramedic in New York City. He transitioned into higher education as an adjunct instructor while still employed as a career firefighter. In 2012, he created a paramedic education program at Chattahoochee Technical College where he served as director of the Emergency Medical
Services program. He has worked as an instructor, program director, dean, and associate vice president; in each role, he focused on workforce development and student success. While working full-time, Dr. Klein earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Nassau Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CUNY Queens, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Kaplan University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Georgia.
Brak, also a native of Wheeling, spent most of his career in Morgantown working two stints at West Virginia University totaling nearly twenty years. His time there concentrated on Classification & Compensation Administration and Employee Relations, (Compensation Analyst, Sr. Compensation Analyst, Sr. Employee Relations Specialist, and Assistant Director of Employee Relations). Both of those areas of specialty overlap with the other general Human Resources disciplines of Employment, Benefits, and Training/Development. For five years, Brak served as the Compensation Manager at Ruby Memorial Hospital before becoming Director of Human Resources at The Uniontown Hospital in Uniontown, PA, serving in that position for eight years before returning to WVU. Brak graduated from St. Vincent de Paul Grade School, Wheeling Central Catholic High School, and West Virginia University with a B.S. in Business Administration.