The Heartland Community College board of trustees has appointed Growmark Inc. executive Becky Ropp to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of trustee Terry Baggett.

The appointment was made by a vote of the Heartland board Monday night. Ropp will serve as trustee until a successor is elected at the next regular election for board members in April 2015.

Ropp, of Normal, was selected from 30 people who submitted letters of interest to fill the vacancy created by Baggett's resignation in January. He resigned because he intended to move out of the community college district, which covers parts of DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean and Tazewell counties.

"The college was pleased to have so many qualified candidates show interest in the trustee position,” board Chairman Gregg Chadwick said in a news release Tuesday. “We feel that Becky’s commitment to lifelong education, coupled with her knowledge of business and collaborative approach to community leadership, make her an ideal trustee."

Ropp told the Pantagraph on Tuesday she is interested in serving as a trustee because she sees it as an opportunity to give back to the community.

"I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the educational community of Heartland Community College," Ropp said. "I, myself, have been raised with a deep appreciation and respect for education. From my family to what I do for Growmark today I believe very strongly in helping other people in developing their skills and careers."

During her 19-year career with Growmark Ropp rose from an intern while she was still in college to her most recent promotion to the human resources leadership team as director of the Talent Management Division for the company's entire system.

Ropp earned an undergraduate degree in 1995 from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in business administration in 2000 from Illinois State University.

Ropp and her husband, Ken, operate a farm about 4 miles from the college. They have an 11-year-old daughter.

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