Gary Oertli was elected to Sound’s board of directors in May 2022, following a more than 45 year, trailblazing career in higher education, where he served at the highest levels. His experience includes twelve years at the Seattle Colleges—as President of South Seattle College, interim President of Seattle Central College, interim Vice President of Instruction at South Seattle and interim Dean for Business, Information Technology and Creative Arts at Seattle Central College. He was president and CEO of Shoreline Community College for five years. He was honored both at South Seattle College and Shoreline Community College as president emeritus after retiring.
During his tenure at South Seattle College, Oertli served concurrently as President of the state community college president’s group, representing 34 colleges. The group promoted collaboration between the community college system and four-year institutions, increasing legislative support for the state’s higher education system.
In recent years, Oertli chaired with the University of Washington, the State Board for Community Colleges and the Community College Engagement Initiative to create programs that promoted smoother transitions between students in the state system to the University of Washington.
Oertli has served as the University of Washington Alumni Association President and as President of the University of Washington Husky Band Foundation. Oertli is a graduate of the University of Washington, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business. He also completed the Executive Management Certificate Program from the Foster School of Business. He was also awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Schiller International University.