LaGuardia Community College Foundation Installs New Chairperson

Long Island City, NY—Paul M. Higbee, a partner of G.C. Andersen Partners, LLC, was sworn in as the newly elected chairperson of the LaGuardia Community College Foundation on December 2.  He succeeds John Vogt, Regional Director of Restaurant Operations for White Castle who served as chair for two years and was installed as a new honorary director. 

Along with the newly elected chair, the board elected Suresh Sani as vice chair and Cecilia Briones as treasurer.  Mr. Sani and Ms. Briones joined the board in 2009, serving respectively as chair of the Committee on Directorship and chair of the Investment and Finance Committee.

During the traditional swearing in ceremony where Mr. Vogt handed over the gavel to the new chair, Mr. Higbee applauded the Foundation for raising private funds to support and enhance the education of LaGuardia students. “I welcome the challenge and hope that I can do as good a job as my predecessors,” he said.  “Moving forward, the Foundation will continue to serve as a vital source of economic support to LaGuardia and its students.”

“The Foundation has a direct and powerful impact in assuring students that they have the financial support needed to pursue their academic goals,” said Peter Katopes, Interim President. “With Paul Higbee at the helm, the Foundation will continue to assist students in need and further the academic mission of the College.”

E. Ramone Segree, LaGuardia Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the LaGuardia Foundation, praised the outgoing chair and welcomed his successor. “Under John Vogt’s leadership, the Foundation’s fundraising efforts exceeded our expectations,” he said. “I am confident that Paul Higbee will bring creative ideas and new energy to a board that will continue the fine work of his predecessors.”

For the next two years, Mr. Higbee will be leading a board that is made up of dedicated business and community leaders who have been instrumental in providing support where it is most needed: offering scholarships to low-income students.

Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has raised more than $3.7 million, has awarded $1.1 million in scholarships, and has provided over 2,000 scholarships to students in need.

Mr. Higbee, who joined the LaGuardia Foundation in 2009 and was elected as its treasurer a year later, comes to the board with over 30 years of experience as an investment banker.  As a partner of G. C. Andersen Partners, a merchant banking firm engaged in investment banking for emerging growth and middle-market companies, Mr. Higbee advises clients regarding mergers, restructuring and financing. 

Prior to joining G. C. Andersen in 2001, Mr. Higbee was a managing director at Deutsche Banc Securities, PaineWebber and Burnham Lambert.  He serves as a member of the board of directors for several public and private companies.

Mr. Higbee received a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information about the LaGuardia Community College Foundation visit

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Located in Long Island City, Queens in New York City, LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Founded in 1971, the College is recognized as an innovator in educating students who are under prepared for college work and/or are not primary English speakers. A catalyst for development in western Queens and beyond, LaGuardia serves New Yorkers and immigrants from 153 countries through over 50 majors and certificate programs, enabling career advancement and transfer to four-year colleges at twice the national average. Visit to learn more.