ACPA International OFfice
The ACPA International Office, headquartered in Washington, D.C. at the National Center for Higher Education in One Dupont Circle, provides the operational leadership necessary to support the Governing Board, the Assembly, and the nearly 6,000 members. ACPA’s Executive Director serves as a member of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat group in advocating for issues of importance to higher education to the federal government and the U.S. Congress.
Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University (NC) and his Master’s degree in College Student Development from Appalachian State University (NC). Prior employment experiences include staff roles at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, the University of Memphis, and the Semester at Sea program.
Over his twenty years of membership with American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Chris has been a program presenter, job employer and candidate, charter chairperson for the District of Columbia College Personnel Association (DCCPA), president of DCCPA, Director of Membership Development on the Governing Board, and a four-time annual convention team member (2011, 2012, 2014, and 2016 annual conventions. His most treasured professional experience to date was serving as chairperson for the ACPA 2016 Convention in Montreal, Canada, the first comprehensive student affairs in higher education organization to host its annual meeting outside of the United States.
Chris is originally from North Carolina, but now considers the D.C. area home after living in the District for over 14 years.
Tricia Fechter Gates
Deputy Executive Director
Prior to working at ACPA, Tricia served as the Director of Events & Programs at Synergos, an Association Management Company. She has previous work experience with the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values, Rockhurst University, and the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Tricia earned a bachelor’s in secondary education from Saint Louis University, a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina, and an MBA from Rockhurst University. She holds a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University. Originally from St. Louis, Tricia travels home often to visit family, especially her two nieces, Tricia and Maggie. She is also an avid traveler who enjoys exploring domestic and international locations.
Director of Association Services and Administration
Schawn joined the International Office staff in September 2012 as Association Services Coordinator and currently serves as the Expeditor, Global Community Interchange. She is responsible for general administration, provides office and database support to the Association, and serves as the first point of customer service to the Association’s members.
Schawn brings a wealth of experience from various administrative positions at an international school in New Jersey and Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.
Schawn earned a bachelor’s in communications from Loyola University Maryland.
Director, Strategic Business & Resource Development
Tim joined the International Office team in November, 2014. As the Senior Team Lead, Strategic Business & Resource Development, Tim serves as the primary resource to ACPA’s prospective institutional members on college and university campuses and strategically directs ACPA’s Corporate Partnerships program.
Prior to joining ACPA, Tim worked for six years in various capacities at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) and with the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA).
Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston College and a master’s degree in student affairs administration in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at Indiana University.
Senior Team Lead, Finance, Accounting and Risk
Tom joined the International Office staff in 2008 and serves as Senior Team Lead, Finance, Accounting and Risk. He manages all fiscal and accounting functions and oversees human resources at the IO.
Before coming to ACPA, Tom spent 12 years as a U.S. Navy Officer before establishing roots in the D.C. area in 1993, and he has held administrative and financial management positions with several non-profit associations.
Tom received his bachelor’s in economics from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a master’s in financial management from The Johns Hopkins University.
Director, Professional Development
Angela Hoffman joined the International Office in March 2019 as the Director of Professional Development. She is responsible for the management, administration, and coordination of all operational aspects of the annual Convention and other in-person and virtual professional development events. She supports volunteer leadership in creating events that further the professional development and personal growth of students affairs and student services professionals.
Prior to working at ACPA, Angela was the Assistant Director for Orientation Programs at Michigan Technological University. She has previous work experience with the University of Michigan, Colorado State University, and the University of Utah with functional experience in admissions, housing, critical incident case management, and student success.
Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah. As a passionate learner, she is continuing her studies as a Ph.D. student in higher education leadership at Colorado State University. She has committed her educational and personal pursuits to increasing postsecondary access and degree attainment for students with experience in foster care and those who do not experience the support of a secure family network.
Bethany Tognocchi Lyst
Director, Marketing & Communications
Bethany Tognocchi Lyst joined the International Office in September 2017 as the Director of Marketing & Communications. She is responsible for all ACPA related marketing materials, targeted communication efforts, website upkeep and social media campaigns. She oversees implementation of the ACPA visual brand and ensures all materials tell the ACPA story.
Bethany earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Towson University in 2011 and master’s degree in student affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013. She has previously held positions in Residence Life at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Georgetown University.
Her dual passions for visual communication and student affairs makes ACPA the perfect professional home! As a Baltimore native, Bethany enjoys being in the DC area close to family and friends but loves to travel as often as possible with her wife and two dogs!