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Coles appointed to Southwestern Michigan College’s Board of Trustees

Published 11:05pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The board of trustees of Southwestern Michigan College appointed Eric Coles to the board Monday. Coles replaces Jan Kairis, who died Feb. 23.

Coles, 41, is a resident of Milton Township near Edwardsburg, the township where SMC’s south campus is located. He is owner and operator of Coles Farms Inc. since 1996. Before that, from 1986 to 1996, he gained additional experience in farming assisting with operations in the N.P. Beebe Farms Inc. in Milton Township.

He has been a member of the board of education for the Edwardsburg Public Schools since 2009 and currently holds the position of secretary on that board. He will continue his service on the Edwardsburg Board of Education. He and his wife, Anne, have three children: Parker, 10, and Hannah, 9, both students at Edwardsburg Intermediate School; and Mason, 6, a student at Edwardsburg Primary School.

Coles graduated from Edwardsburg High School in 1988 as salutatorian and has a bachelor of arts degree in financial administration from Michigan State University. He graduated from MSU in 1992 with high honors.

Coles was a member of the Milton Township Planning Commission from 1999 to 2002 and was a member of the Cass County Farm Bureau Board from 1995 to 1999. He was named the 2006 Conservation Farmer of the Year by the Cass County Conservation District; a Centennial Farmer in 2005 by the Michigan Historical Commission; and the 1995 Farmer of the Year by the Cass County Conservation District.

Fred L. Mathews, chairman of the Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees said, “As a member of the Edwardsburg Board of Education, Mr. Coles has demonstrated his commitment to high-quality student learning, student success and sound fiscal policies.”

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