TCC Real Estate Foundation Board

The TCC Real Estate Foundation Board is a dynamic cross-section of the real estate industry in South Hampton Roads, from development to banking to legal to construction to architecture.


Dorcas Helfant-Browning

Chair and Treasurer

Dorcas Helfant-Browning of Virginia Beach is a managing partner and principal broker with Coldwell Banker Professional Realtors and former chair of the State Board for Community Colleges. A native of Chesapeake, she was president of the National Association of REALTORS® in 1992. She was the first woman to lead the association and was also the youngest person to serve as president at that time.

Ms. Helfant-Browning is an active volunteer in her community and was named Hampton Roads Woman of the Year in 1990. She is a past chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. She was also past president of the Virginia Aquarium Foundation; and past member and chair of the TCC College Board.


Burrell Saunders

Vice Chair and Secretary

Burrell Saunders is CEO and co-founder of Saunders + Crouse Architects of Virginia Beach. The firm has provided master planning, urban lifestyle architecture, open-space designs, parking strategies and avenues for public input for a number of major projects, including Virginia Beach’s Town Center.

Understanding that cooperation between civic leaders, citizens and investors is fundamental to the success of any comprehensive plan, Mr. Saunders dedicates his energy to shaping public initiatives that will produce long-term benefits for communities. One of the firm’s current projects is the new ODU art museum.

Mr. Saunders has planned and designed four major town centers and over 50,000 acres of mixed-use properties across the Mid-Atlantic. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the International Interior Design Association.


Laura M. Arcand

Laura Arcand is an executive vice president of TowneBank. She is the senior real estate finance lender and is based at the Member Service Center in Suffolk, where she leads a team of bankers handling the banking needs of commercial and residential real estate developers and builders. Ms. Arcand has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate banking industry.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary.


Lee Armistead

Dr. Lee Armistead is Director Emeritus of the TCC Real Estate Foundation. Appointed to the TCC College Board by the Portsmouth City Council in 2008, he served for many years as the board’s representative to the Real Estate Foundation Board. He stepped down from the College Board in 2016 at the end of his term.

Dr. Armistead has served TCC and his native South Hampton Roads as an educator and community leader for almost four decades. After 13 years as a teacher in the Chesapeake Public Schools, he became an administrator and ultimately retired with 31 years of total service. Not long afterward he began a second career with TowneBank.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in business from Frederick College – a predecessor of TCC — Dr. Armistead went on to earn a master’s in business from Virginia Commonwealth University. He then earned a certificate of advanced graduate study and a doctorate in education with a major in educational administration from Virginia Tech.

In addition to his ample volunteer leadership in higher education, Dr. Armistead completed two terms on the Portsmouth Parks and Recreation Commission, including a three-year tenure as chair.


Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani

Dr. Edna Baehre-Kolovani is president of TCC and an ex officio director of the TCC Real Estate Foundation Board.

Dr. Kolovani became the fifth president of Tidewater Community College in July of 2012. Her experience as a community college president includes extensive work in strategic planning, expanding and diversifying college enrollment, and exemplary fundraising and public advocacy campaigns.

Dr. Kolovani led the development of the TCC strategic plan, “One College, One Voice, One Future,” in 2013, which focuses the college on key areas of workforce development, academic excellence, student success, efficient use of resources and philanthropic growth.

Since becoming president, she has worked to expand TCC’s presence in local high schools through dual enrollment and in area businesses through the Center for Workforce Solutions. Under her leadership, TCC partnered with the YWCA South Hampton Roads to provide licensed child development centers on all four of TCC’s campuses.

She advocates for Hampton Roads, higher education and TCC through her memberships on a variety of boards and organizations, including Future of Hampton Roads Moving Minds Committee; United Way Women’s Leadership Council; Virginia Beach Vision; Downtown Norfolk Council; Greater Norfolk Corporation; Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; and the Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc.

In 2015, Dr. Kolovani joined the board of Opportunity, Inc., the Hampton Roads Workforce Investment Board.

Before coming to TCC, Dr. Kolovani was president and superintendent of Napa Valley College in Napa, California, and president of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kolovani has received numerous honors, including the YWCA South Hampton Roads Woman of Distinction Award in 2016; American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ 2013 Mildred B. Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award; and the 2000 Carolyn Desjardins President of the Year Award.

She is a proud recipient of the 2007 Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Peace from Morehouse College, and she was given the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction in 2002 by Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges.

Dr. Kolovani holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in German and comparative literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Pädagogische Hochschule in Heidelberg, Germany. She is trilingual in English, German and French.

Matthew Baumgarten

Matthew Baumgarten

Ex Officio

Matthew J. Baumgarten is Executive Director of the TCC Real Estate Foundation and Chief Operating Officer for Facilities and Public Safety.

Mr. Baumgarten provides day-to-day leadership for TCC’s Facilities Management Department and the College’s Real Estate Foundation Board. He joined TCC in November 2015, bringing to the college 18 years of progressive real estate development and construction management experience.

For 10 years, he was design/build project manager and owner’s representative for Lincoln Property Company of Norfolk, managing all aspects of the development process and all phases of construction for military family housing neighborhoods in the Mid-Atlantic. In that role, he led the design process and budget development; coordinated the bidding process; negotiated contract awards, cost and schedule; and oversaw the construction management process.

Previously, Mr. Baumgarten was project engineer with Sussex Development Corp. of Virginia Beach, assigned to the joint-venture company that built Virginia Beach’s new convention center; project manager for Chianelli Building Corp. of Norfolk, where he managed the construction contract at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune; and a project manager with J.D. Miles and Sons, Inc., of Chesapeake.

As a nuclear engineer-qualified submarine warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to the U.S.S. James K. Polk SSN-645 homeported here in Norfolk.

Mr. Baumgarten holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in mechanical engineering from Manhattan College in New York City and is a graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Program Officer Course. He is a Virginia Beach resident.


Donald Z. Goldberg

Don Goldberg is director of new business development for Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate and is a member of the Suffolk City Council, representing the Suffolk Borough.

Previously, Mr. Goldberg was director of Economic Development for the City of Chesapeake from 1988 to 2001. During his tenure, the City of Chesapeake welcomed over 225 new companies and over 450 expansions of existing companies, creating over 27,000 jobs for the citizens of Hampton Roads.

He is also the former president of D.D. Jones Transfer and Warehouse, Co. Inc.

Mr. Goldberg is active in various community and civic organizations including Opportunity, Inc., and the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Board of Trustees. He is a past member of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission, the State Chamber of Commerce, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and the Virginia State Company.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Elon University.


William A. Hudgins

Bill Hudgins is an ex officio director representing the TCC Educational Foundation Board. He is the senior development manager of the mid-Atlantic market for Panattoni Development Company, where he is principally focused on industrial, office and build to suit development in Virginia and North Carolina.

Prior to joining Panattoni, Mr. Hudgins served as president of HL Development Services Group and senior vice president of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, where he successfully brought to market more than $500 million and 2.5 million square feet of mixed-use projects in the greater Norfolk region. Prior to the development focus, he served as a broker with Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate.

Mr. Hudgins previously worked with Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C. He received his M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


John D. Padgett

John D. Padgett is an ex officio member of the board, representing the TCC College Board.

Mr. Padgett was appointed to the Tidewater Community College Board by the Norfolk City Council in 2011. Managing Partner of McGuireWoods’ Norfolk Office, he is an attorney whose expertise in advising corporate clients on a wide range of issues is matched by his commitment to myriad South Hampton Roads civic and philanthropic organizations.

A native of Norfolk, Mr. Padgett received his Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the Washington & Lee University School of Law.

He has given of himself to — among others — local organizations including the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, of which he is chair; Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and the Hampton Roads YMCA, both of which he served as chair; and the Rotary Club of Norfolk, of which he is past-president. Mr. Padgett has also previously served as the chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.


James K. Spore

Jim Spore is president and CEO of Reinvent Hampton Roads, a community leadership initiative focused on generating high-paying, satisfying jobs to underpin a vibrant economy. He retired in 2016 after serving the City of Virginia Beach for 24 years as its city manager.

Mr. Spore was instrumental in the development of the TCC Virginia Beach Campus, forging an enduring and positive partnership between the college and the city. In 2001, TCC and Virginia Beach Public Schools opened the 134,000-square-foot Advanced Technology Center. In 2005, Mr. Spore was key to the development of the Joint-Use Library, which comprises the services, programs and collections of both a public and academic library. Under his leadership, the City of Virginia Beach purchased 6 key parcels and conveyed them to the college at no cost to enable future growth and implement a shared vision for higher education in Virginia Beach.

Mr. Spore holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in urban planning from the University of Illinois.


Kenneth Stepka

Ken Stepka is chairman emeritus on the Board of Directors of Clark, Nexsen, Owen, Barbieri & Gibson, P.C. Before retiring as chief executive officer of Clark, Nexsen in 2011, Mr. Stepka had been with the company for nearly half of its history, advancing up the ranks and holding key leadership positions. He has 46 years of extensive experience in project management, subcontract administration and client interface. Stepka became general manager of the Clark, Nexsen headquarters in Norfolk in 1985 and was named an executive vice president in 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Old Dominion University.

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Ashton Lewis

Ashton Lewis, a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, was educated in the public schools of Chesapeake and graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1968.  Returning home, he joined his father in the family automobile business, Bill Lewis Chevrolet.  As a result of Mr. Lewis’ record of commitment to community, including one year of gratuitous service as Interim President of Eastern Virginia Medical School, he was chosen Portsmouth’s First Citizen in 1988.  Elected to the Beazley Foundation Board in 1990, he is currently an active principal in the First Team Auto Group, with dealership locations in Chesapeake, Suffolk, Roanoke and Christiansburg, Virginia.

Mr. Lewis has served on the governing Board of the Beazley Foundation for 27 years, currently chairs the Personnel Committee, and sits on the Investment and Nomination Committees.


Jeff Ainslie

Bio coming soon.